Friday, October 29, 2010

Stompy boots, ahoy!

Saw the doc this morning, and I and my foot are now officially released and off to see the world! Or at least to stand firmly in one place without wobbling. I was all like, "Check out my range of motion, yo" and he was all like "Don't be thinkin' you gotta wear the brace all the time, like" and I was all like "Cool 'cause I wanna wear other shoes, but not sneakers" and he was all like "Yeah that's good just don't wear somethin' that doesn't give you any feedback." And I was like, "Cool."

Also my scar is looking awesome instead of all gross and pink and lumpy, and after another tube of Mederma it should be all "What's that little faint line, is that a crease from where your sock got wrinkled?" instead of "ew you have a worm all up on your foot." So I'm happy about that.

He also said it took between forty and fifty deep stitches to tighten up the ligament so my foot points straight instead of yawing off to one side all the time. Which explains the pulling sensation when I make circles with my toes. But it doesn't hurt and I don't have to worry about my foot deciding it likes having its side on the floor instead of its sole -- not to mention all the bone damage has been cleaned up/removed, which is why I did this in the first place -- so it's definitely worth it.

Next summer, I think, is for the other one. Fingers crossed until then!

Oh my life argh argh argh argh

Dear Mental Floss,

All I wanna do is buy a t-shirt, and you won't take my PayPal or my debit card. Baby why you gotta be like that?

Love and cuddles,

Jo

Update: They called me to say the system had a glitch; I tried again on the website and got the same error messages; I called them back and she ran my card over the phone. I'm gonna be pissed if this doesn't work.

I'd like some fresh, well-seasoned perspective.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Discrimination against gun owners does not, repeat DOES NOT, share the same moral plane as discrimination against ethnic groups.

And before I go any further, let me say that this is not a discussion of the right to self-defense, but rather the nature of rights in general. Please keep that in mind before you jump straight to the comments to tell me I'm a spineless coward or a collaborator or whatever.

Anyway.

The difference is that a right is something a person is entitled to do, not something that a person is. And before you go off on me about "But I am a gun owner" -- don't. Just ... don't. I have the right to free speech; I am a green-eyed brunette. Choosing to exercise my right to free speech is extremely important to me and informs nearly all aspects of my identity, but it is not my identity itself. If the government places restrictions on my speech, I can choose whether or not to exercise my right (which they can't take away; that's what "inalienable" means). I won't be happy about the restrictions, but the choice is there.

If the government places restrictions on green-eyed brunettes, that's an entirely different kettle of fish. Being a green-eyed brunette is not an action I can stop if necessary; it is a state of being that I have no control over. Sure, I could get colored contacts and dye my hair, but the plain facts of my existence would remain unchanged.

"The government won't let me do something" is miles away from "the government wants me to not exist." And again: Don't give me that "government doesn't want me to exist because I own guns" business. I choose to speak freely. I could choose not to speak, if the consequences became more than I could stomach. Likewise, I could choose to speak despite the consequences*. I cannot choose not to be a green-eyed brunette. I don't do myself any favors by conflating the two.





*I should point out that getting all butt-hurt and demanding that someone else recognize my rights is a quick and easy way to look like a petulant child. My rights depend on my will to exercise them, not on someone else's agreement that I have them. Someone doesn't want me speaking in their place of business? Well, that's their prerogative. I can either roll my eyes and say, "Fine, I'll shut up and get on with my shopping," or I can say "Fine, I'll take my shopping somewhere else." It would be out-of-bounds for me to say "How dare you? I demand you let me speak freely in your private establishment, that you own and set the rules for." And if it's a local government rule that's the problem, either get the rule changed, or move. We gun owners are exercisers of a sometimes unpopular right, not an oppressed minority. We have options. Oppressed minorities, not so much.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Great.

I'm out of stuff to do at work, I've got my immediate financial issues/tasks squared away, I don't have any important phone calls to make, I can't start writing until next week, I can't touch my outline or I'll ruin it, and I've got a handle on the schedule for my NaNoWriMo preparations/duties. I don't have anything to do and I don't have anything more to plan.

Now what?

Just a quick note before I start frothing at the mouth.

Just so we're clear: Food and drink do not constitute life support, any more than a warm blanket constitutes life support. Life support is when machines take over for vital functions. Provision of nutrition, same as provision for adequate body temperature, should be a given in any care situation. It's one thing not to place a feeding tube on someone who is obviously going to die in the next, say, 24-48 hours (what I've heard termed "fixin' to die" by ambulance-types), but to remove feeding apparatus from someone who is otherwise stable? Or to never place it at all? You're essentially -- no, strike that; you are actively making the decision that it's time for that person to die. The Terri Shiavo case is a prime example; it was framed as a "right to die" issue, but the plain fact is that she wouldn't have died in the first place if she had been left alone. Removing her feeding tube did not hurry her death, it precipitated it. They might as well have taken away her blankets and left her out to die of exposure. The only difference between starving a person and shooting them an overdose of morphine is that starvation takes longer, days or even weeks (as in the link at the start of this post). But because it's a lack of action, it gets painted as humane.

Humane. If you did it to a animal, you'd be fined or even jailed. Chew on that for a while.

And in case there's any question, yes, this post is a public document expressing my wishes with regard to my medical care.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I Am Not A Fast Cook: Nana's Party Mix

So Sunday's NaNoWriMo kick-off party was an AWESOME success, with about 15 awesome writers of awesomeness in various stages of attendance. I made goodie bags for everyone with pens and pencils and stickers of monkeys wearing hats, and fun-size candy bars in the bottom of the bags. They were Snickers Snacks. Bonus points if you get why I giggled when I thought of that.

I also included chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes and chex mix, and ended up promising everyone the recipes. The former items have been covered in days past; the cookie recipe is here and the cake recipe is here (bake for 20 minutes; makes about 30 cupcakes). But, since I have yet to post the chex mix recipe (which makes sense, because this was my first time making it), I present it here. It's my godmother's recipe, and it's famous for a darn good reason.

Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees. Then, in a large roasting pan (or something similar), mix four cups each of corn, wheat and rice chex, two cups of saltes peanuts and four cups of stick pretzels. I recommend the kind that comes in like a five-pound bag at World Market; most brands are too thick and come out kind of chewy instead of crisp. Melt three sticks of butter (I never said this was healthy) and mix with three tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and one scant tablespoon Lowry's Seasoned Salt. Pour over the cereal mixture and toss well, then add four cups of cheerios and toss again. (If you add them before the butter they'll just soak it all up and get rock hard in the oven.) Put the pan in the oven for an hour and 15 minutes, stirring the mixture every quarter-hour. Pour onto a sheet pan to cool. Enjoy!

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm not crazy. I'm differently hobbied.

Just like last year, this year's NaNoWriMo attempt has its own website where I will be posting the novel as I write it. This year's novel is about 30,000 words longer than last year's, so the biweekly chapter updates will continue through the end of December. It's a story I've had half-formed for a couple years now, and I'm quite pleased with how the (excessively detailed) outline has turned out. (Seriously: I've put so much work into it already that I'm changing the names of half the characters just to keep it fresh and workable. But fresh and workable it will be!)

Writing begins a week from Sunday (technically Monday); chapters begin posting the week after that. Hope to see you there!

Good grief.

So Tam puts up a post about some big man what got his widdle feelings hurt by the po-po, and Shootin' Buddy (known to his friends for his dry humor) responds with "Wookie, please."

("Wookie suiters" being slang for obnoxious libertarians; the structure of the phrase being borrowed from various pop-culture sources.)

I followed up with the note that I was going to say something insightful, but that SB said it for me and that I was going to put "Wookie, please" on a t-shirt.

And then we both got lectured about plagiarism by someone who seemed to think neither of us knew the source of the joke. Tam, gallant amazon of the internet that she is, came to our defense, and I chipped in that I was "miffed" he gave me so little credit. Which resulted in this response:

Anonymous said...

"AT, You are wrong."

Maybe...wouldn't be the first time. But the whole right/wrong thing is just so nebulous and subjective when the "what" is undefined and the "why" is unstated.

If the "what" is that SB's comment wasn't spoofing MW's while mocking everything/everybody wookish/libertarianish/anarchish...and the "why" is that his intentions were pure and his humor was innocent and aimed solely at
the plant in the linked story, then yeah I would be wrong. But history would indicate otherwise, and I doubt it.

Joanna, sorry you were miffed. Guess I didn't know you took your t-shirt worthy "insights" so lightly.
To which I replied,
What the hell is wrong with you?
That SB was spoofing others' previous work was obvious; that was part of the joke. That's why it was funny. I've met/had sushi with Shootin' Buddy; his humor revolves in large part around that sort of thing. He's a "try to keep up" kind of guy. AT, apparently, hasn't picked up on that, instead assuming that both SB and I are ignoramuses operating at the "hurr durr man's pants fall down" level of humor. This is not the case, obviously, and I know it shouldn't annoy me as much as it does. But *sigh* it does.

By now I'm at the "I had to explain the joke and it's stopped being funny" stage of things, but dang if I didn't have to get this out there somehow. It's one thing to lack a sense of humor; that happens all the time, and to perfectly nice people. But picking on other people's humor because you take your own too seriously? That's a sign that you need to get a hobby, and fast.

All I know is, if somebody made a t-shirt based on something I said, I'd be flattered. And I'm highly suspect of anyone who would feel otherwise.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Don't take that bet.

Warning: Waaaahmbulance incoming. I only whine because questions in my workplace are met with "What? Aren't you so cute, trying to think about things? You should know better than to question us!"

My manager's boss has decided that because clearing old items from our reports (something we've been doing since I started working here) is causing problems for another department, we have to stop doing it immediately. Ten bucks says they say this "fixes" things. Another ten bucks says that they never find out what's actually causing the problem. Yet another ten bucks says our manager (who has no real idea of what we do, and who probably has a personality disorder) will berate us in about two months for not putting up good numbers and for having messy reports.

Basically, instead of taking a single action, marking something once and having it go away forever, we're going to have to sort it out, remark it and dodge around it every day until the report ships. And this is mostly because our company runs on the principle of "waaaaaah stop it" instead of "fix it so we're all happy". And both my manager and my boss lead from behind. Ten bucks says the meeting tomorrow to "explain" things will only make the situation worse.

Don't take that bet.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I prefer to sing the body analog, dangit.

Up 'til two days ago, my right ankle hurt; I was afraid it was injured on top of the healing surgery site. Overnight Monday night, it stopped.

Don't get me wrong; it's still definitely in the "healing" phase of things. But there's some kind of milestone that passed while I was asleep. I've been driving with it (meaning: driving seated like a normal person instead of straddling the console) for about a week now, and it's going fine. But up until last weekend it had a feeling that I can only describe as the pain equivalent of the downslope of the flu: You still feel like crap and it isn't necessarily getting better, but it isn't getting worse and the truck isn't parked on your chest anymore. You're down to a box of tissues and the imprint of a tire on your sternum.

Anyway that's what my ankle felt like. And now it doesn't even feel like that; it feels more fragile than anything. And not fragile like my left ankle (which, incidentally, hurts like a blankety-blank; more on that in a minute). My left ankle is a teacup that hit the linoleum and has had the pieces taped back together; technically it's in one piece, but I wouldn't make tea with it. My right ankle, the glue's almost set and pretty soon I can put it back in the cupboard with the others and use it again. It'll always have the crack marks in it to remind me to be careful, but it'll be functional.

Back to my left ankle hurting: I've restarted my habit of walking around the parking lot on my breaks at work, which is great for rebuilding strength and muscle tone and all that, but Lefty desperately needs about six weeks of R'n'R to feel (as) normal (as it gets), and that won't/can't happen right now. So I'm left with a brand spankin' new tire on one side, and a worn-out wheel that's about to shred on the other.

Also I'm in the market for some good supportive stompy boots that don't say "U.S. Army Surplus" on the tag. (Nothing against army surplus; I'd just like something a little more stylish. Plus I'd have to fight the temptation to blouse my jeans, and that's a fight only the most dedicated can win.) I refuse to wear trainers unless I'm actually, you know, training, and I figure big badass boots are my next best option.

Mmmmmm stompy boots. They're not stilettos, but they'll have to do.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Am Not A Fast Cook: French Italian Toast

The name will make sense in a minute.

Start by heating a cast iron skillet to just past medium -- if your stove dial goes from 1 to 5, set it to half past 3. While the skillet heats, mix four large eggs with one cup of 2% milk, 1/2 t. vanilla extract and 1/4 t. cinnamon in a container wide enough to let a slice of bread lay flat. When a drop of cold water dances on the skillet, grease it with butter and prepare the bread. Take 8 slices of a large, chewy, slow-risen Italian loaf -- the wide oval kind, cut in 1/3" slices -- and soak each piece for 15-20 seconds on each side. Cook in the skillet, 3-4 minutes on a side, and serve with butter. The chewy bread and short soak time means a french toast that is simultaneously dense and fluffy -- they're even good leftover, which is more than I can say for a lot of french toast. You can add maple syrup or honey if you want, but you won't really need it. Any eggs left over can be scrambled in the hot pan. Enjoy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Righty-oh, then.

Sometimes things sit on your chest and squeeze everything else out until you get them off. I don't feel better, necessarily, but I don't feel worse, either. At least my cards are on the table. Now that I've barfed my private life all over your screens, back to your regularly scheduled programming. Cheers.

Dirty Laundry

My sister got hit by a car last fall. According to my dad, this is apparently my fault for failing to push her out of the way.

Story of my life.

I haven't said much here lately because I haven't had much to say to anyone, except my family. And that something is "STOP TELLING LIES ABOUT ME. STOP TREATING ME LIKE I'M CRAZY FOR ACKNOWLEDGING THAT WE HAVE PROBLEMS IN OUR FAMILY." I haven't said it because I was afraid I would cause a rift in the family. But you know what? That rift is already there.

That same sister's wedding reception was this past Saturday. I didn't go. (That's both of my sisters married now, and both younger than me. I avoid relationships for a reason.) I didn't go because I thought from the moment I heard she was engaged that she was making a colossal mistake, and when I tried to point out all my reasons for thinking so, I was utterly dismissed. Oh, it's all right that they were only "in love" for THREE WEEKS before he proposed. Oh, it's all right that I had to drag that piece of information out of her. Oh, it's all right that I found out about it third-hand because someone I know found out from someone else who found out on FACEBOOK. This is the same sister who's a college dropout, dry drunk, everything-always-works-out space cadet whose response to a pregnancy scare ran along the lines of "Tee hee! I'm not going to be a mommy!"

Cue the daisies and dancing off into the sunset.

I always carried water for her because that's Just What You Do in my family. I got fed up and quit at her intervention last year, and now my parents think I was too hard on her and that they don't know where I get these ideas about The Way Things Are. I've run the gamut from being accused of wanting revenge (although why would I want revenge? my mother asks; there's nothing to want revenge for), to writing nasty letters to my mother (I did write a letter; strongly and plainly worded, but not nasty); to having my mother insinuate to a mutual friend that I was only happy on meds. (She claims she meant painkillers; the friend took it to mean anti-depressants. Which I have never taken. When confronted, she blinked her eyes real big and said it wasn't her fault the friend misunderstood her.)

My dad even told another mutual friend (my godmother, who I live with) that he had saved evidence from this blog of, I believe, lies I told about the family to specifically hurt them, or something. That part wasn't very clear. What was clear was that my supposed failure to go along and get along is the source of all the current discord in the family.

But the last straw came when I heard what happened at the wedding reception -- the word was that my sister "has two sisters, who couldn't be here tonight." That one sister wouldn't be there was a given; she's been estranged from the family for years. Ran away screaming, as a matter of fact; I haven't seen her in close to two years. I respect that she wants to be left alone, because I understand now why she left.

I, on the other hand.

I could have been there. My schedule was open. I chose not to go because I couldn't appear to give my blessing to this latest train wreck. I couldn't smile and lie and pretend everything was fine the way I tried to last month when I was laid up and the family wanted to visit. I've only got about two days' worth of faking in me at any one time, and it's running dangerously low. I'm through.

I am through being the punching bag in our little dysfunctional circus. I am through being treated like I'm always in the wrong, that it's always me who has to change and adapt and tread carefully to avoid hurting other people's feelings. I am through.

I predict that my mother's reaction to this post, were I to read it to her face-to-face, would be a theatrical stiff-upper-lip look-how-much-you've-hurt-me-but-I-still-love-you Guilt Trip Extraordinaire. I've been on the receiving end of a lot of those. I don't care any more. One thing I'm sick of in our family is the behavior that if I hurt someone, it's my job -- nay, my duty -- to make them feel better. The letter I mentioned earlier was my attempt to tell my mother that I was not responsible for her happiness, and that I wanted her to stop trying to make me make her feel better. It didn't work, apparently; how dare I be anything but nice to someone, especially her. How dare I expect a grown woman to stand up for herself and not allow someone else's upset to get her down. Why, it's almost like I think of myself as A Person, not as Her Daughter. Gosh. What a shocking development. I have opinions other than hers.

-- A couple years ago I had a scheduled event on the day of my mom's birthday, which was a weeknight. I told her this well in advance. We celebrated her birthday on the weekend, including cake and presents. She decided at the last minute that she wanted to go to a restaurant on the day of. When I refused to break my plans, my sister accused me of being mean.

I'm not scared any more of making my dad angry, either. He's a resentful, misogynist, passive-aggressive little man, and if he needs me to dance around and not make him angry, well, that's his problem. Life isn't about waiting for other people to build you up, and it isn't about pitching a fit and getting all butt-hurt every time someone says something that pokes your sore spots a little bit. I had to learn that on my own. I certainly didn't pick it up from him.

-- If I'd been the one hit by the car, he would have told me I should have watched where I was going and berated me for endangering my sister.

To hear my mother tell it, everything is fine and my sister is doing well -- all her problems stemmed from her thyroid condition, anyway, and now that that's been treated All Her Problems Are Over Forever! Forget about responsibility for personal choice; thyroid conditions don't make you self-medicate with alcohol. If my mom can find something to treat or something to fix or some pill to pop to make it all better -- whether it's St. John's Wort or Jesus -- then It's All Better Now and Everything Is Fine. Never mind figuring out why a treatable condition made someone so unhappy or destructive in the first place; as long as there's something at the root of it, then we can fix that and we'll all be fine.

I've been put "at the root" of a lot of things.

AND I AM THROUGH.

Maybe I'm over the line putting all this out there for the world to see. I'm willing to take the fallout for that. But I will not do so via grovelling apologies and promises that I love them. If they can't live without me propping them up, then they're going to have to learn to deal without me. I have my own life to live. I can't be structural support in theirs any more. You wanna talk, Mom, let's talk. But don't expect me to change my mind just because you want me to.

All my life I tried to make everybody happy
while I just hurt and hide
waiting for someone to tell me it's my turn to decide. -- Sarah Barreillis, "King of Anything"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's full of starrrrrrrs ...

I just finished outlining the big dramatic climax of my NaNo novel and it was very emotionally wrenching and now I am spent. Really; I get very emotionally invested working out the basics of my plots; it saves me some trouble later when I'm filling in the details, but it's very tense while I'm in the throes of it. It's one reason I enjoy writing; I get as much of a rush creating these plots as I do from reading someone else's work. And it's a good thing I'm doing this now; I'd be a wreck the end of November if I tried to work out all these plot problems while I wrote it.

Whoof. I'm going to have the shakes all evening now.

I love this.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm on your lawn.

From a comment I made on this post over at Tam's:

The word "cyberspace" is older than I am.

Suddenly turning 27 doesn't feel so bad anymore.

I Am not A Fast Cook: Jalepeno Jelly

This isn't a recipe because I didn't do much cooking this past week, so instead I'm going to sing the praises of jalepeno jelly.

I know there's supposed to be a tilde there, but I'm in "edit HTML" mode and I can't be bothered to look up how to do it.

Saturday (or maybe it was Sunday, I don't remember) I realized I had neglected to eat lunch, so I put some bread in the toaster, got out some peanut butter and contemplated the jellies and preserves in my fridge. I had passion fruit and mango; I had black currant; I had lemon curd. None of these tickled my fancy. And then I remembered the jar of jalepeno jelly, unnoticed at first because I keep it on a different shelf in the door. I decided to give it a go, and what a delicious go it was! Subtle and sweet without being cloying or sticky, and with a kick that waves as it goes down your throat, saying "Hi! Don't forget I come from a hot and spicy pepper!"

I' 'twas delicious. I will be using this jelly often in the future.

That's all I got.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Dance, meat puppet, dance.

I'll let you guess how this quote applies to current events:

"Right about now, MacBeth begins to realize ... the witches may have been toying with him." -- Thumbnail Theatre

Weebles wobble, but they ... ah, screw it.

Having one ankle fixed has made me realize just how screwed up the other one is; I'm walking around like normals now with an in-shoe brace on my right ankle, and it's feeling good -- it's sore and it gets overworked easily, but I pop a couple ibuprofen and I'm fine.

The left ankle, on the other hand ...

I have to wear an ace bandage on the left just to feel stable, and it actually hurts worse than the right (you know, the one that got sliced open five weeks ago ... ) because it's so overworked. Plus if I lay on my stomach and put my leg up in the air, my foot actually slides half in inch off center because the ligaments are so completely destroyed. It literally looks like an internal decapitation, except it's in my foot instead of my neck so I'm only wobbly instead of dead. It gives me the willies and when I do it in the bathtub it makes Captain Quackers nervous.

(Yes I have a rubber ducky. He's cool. Rubber ducks are cool. )

My next check-up is at the end of the month, and I'm going to ask my doctor how soon I can get the left ankle tuned and tightened like the right (new brakes, new shocks, the works). I don't think I have bone chips (although it's certainly a possibility), but I don't want to spend the rest of my life with one foot flopping at the end of my leg like a dead fish. I'm hoping for maybe six months, tops; I really don't want to wait any longer than a year. At the very least, it'll have to wait until I can stand to drive with my right foot again.

This sucks.

Marriage propsals from oil magnates and lottery winners would also change my mind.

I've decided to take the "what doesn't kill me and makes me stronger" route when it comes to my job; it pays the bills (even the unexpected ones) and I'm to the point where I feel like I've actually got some personal stability in the office, so I've decided to stop looking for positions elsewhere and to stick it out. Yes, I spent my morning chasing down a salesgirl who insists the problem isn't hers to fix; yes, I have to deal with the new group out west not knowing how to do their work correctly, which screws up my production numbers; yes, I have to deal with a boss who's idea of instruction is "Don't do it this way" (How should I do it? "Just don't do it this way!"). But I've been at the same desk doing the same thing for a year now, which is a first, and I'm going to a birthday party on Friday and I'm bringing Sham Ham'n'Bean soup for a fundraiser in a couple weeks, and I have health insurance. I think the good finally outweighs the bad here. So, barring drastic changes, I'm going to stay.

But if I sell a novel and make a metric butt-ton of cash, all bets are off.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Sweet.

Wikipedia says that my birthday is the anniversary of the first steam-powered airship flight (in 1852, if you're wondering).

You can't see me, but I'm squeeing.

In loco novelentis

NaNoWriMo is upon us (and yes, I will be tiresome and speak of almost nothing else until probably, oh, Christmas) and the Indianapolis WriMos find themselves without leadership, alone and friendless in the empty wastes of high-speed novelling. We used to have two -- two! -- Municipal Liasons, but they both quit over the summer for various reasons, and when the forums opened the other day we started making "now what?" noises? The MLs were the ones who coordinated the kickoff and Thank God It's Over parties, and most of the meetups, but now there's a big empty space where they should have been.

So I stepped in and said "Yo, Northside, over here!", and I got a bite, and then another and another, and now I'm organizing meetups from Broad Ripple* to Carmel and all points in between.

I've committed myself to a minimum of three evening events a week during the month of November, including a midnight write-off at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 1st (which is a Monday morning, because I am insane) and I promised snacks so I'm going to be baking pretty much non-stop from now until next month.

I am so excited.

Anybody who's interested can check out the National Novel Writing Month website and see if they want to get involved; the Indianapolis forums are here if you want to jump right in to the local stuff. (Hint: You so do.) Writing 50,000 words in 30 days sounds like a lot -- and it is -- but the experience of it and the sense of accomplishment when you finish is what makes it worthwhile. It doesn't have to be good; it doesn't even have to be coherent. It just has to be 50,000 words.

Back to work!



*This is the part where I poke Tam and Bobbi with a stick and tell them they should join because it's awesome. And also I am making cupcakes.)

Monday, October 04, 2010

I Am Not A Fast Cook: Mushroom Soup

I had a bunch of mushrooms that needed something done to them, and I didn't feel like actually cooking so I bastardized a Joy of Cooking recipe and made mushroom soup instead. It's pretty tasty and has like 10 calories a bowl, so it's good filler if you want a decent dinner and already had a donut at the office.

Start with half an onion, two carrots, two ribs of celery and about 12 oz. of mushrooms, all chopped fine. (Just a note: Next time I'm cutting everything into chunks instead of chopping, just to see if it improves the eating experience.) Put it all in a pot with three to four cups of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Then add six cups of beef stock (I used beef base because I didn't have stock on hand), bring to a boil again and simmer for another 45 minutes. Add salt and paprika to taste, and black pepper if you feel it needs it. Serve hot. Enjoy!

"Eureka!" "'Scuse me, I what now?"

I'll go put myself in the pun corner.

*ten minutes of sniffling and baleful, over-the-shoulder looks later*

I think I solved me my whiteboard problem (mentioned last week): Index cards and sticky tack. I've got a substantial amount of blank, white wall space and very few (meaning: hardly any) wall decorations, so I'm surprised I didn't think of this sooner.

In other news, both of the Indianapolis Municipal Liasons quit over the summer, so now the Indy NaNos are adrift, leaderless and alone in the vast wastes of the coming storm. (Or something like that.) I'm taking it upon myself to organize something on the north side, which mainly consists of a forum post saying "Hey, I'll be at X location at Y time for Z hours; come join me and we'll write together!" But that doesn't do anything for, say, a city-wide kick-off party (and, four weeks later, the Thank God It's Over party). There's a girl at IUPUI who's trying to get something started, so I offered my help; we'll see if anything comes of it. I really want to get a bunch of stickers and NaNo merit badges (yes, they have those) and stuff, but it's all rather spendy and I am all rather broke. I may have to bribe my compatriots with homemade snacks. Meantime, I'm focusing on color-coding my index cards and nitpicking my insanely detailed plot outline; by the time I start, I should have very little actual thinking about the story left to do.

And yes it's all going to get posted as I go, just like last year. The only way I can make myself stay on track is to risk disappointing someone other than myself, or to give someone else a treat. How weird is that?

Only 27 days to go!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Urgh.

I'm trying really hard to get a column done for today but I've got a crap-ton of work to do and I feel like teh poop so no guarantees. In the meantime yesterday's extended post will have to take the YMMV tag for this week.

In more positive news, I've graduated from the fracture boot to a brace and I'm no longer required to use crutches. Also my incision has healed to the point where I can start treating the scar, which is good because I tend to develop keloid tissue and it's starting to look really bumpy and gross (and it itches so bad it keeps me up nights). I'm not particularly happy about this; I always thought my feet were one of my better features, and now it looks like I have a wriggly pink worm crawling across my foot. It's a minor consideration compared to the improved stability and joint function, but internals aren't everything and I'm really not happy about it.