Food


So! It’s been a busy few weeks! Work’s been picking up, but I think (I *hope*) I’m settling into the new, faster pace. Apex has been pretty busy too, what with opening back up for submissions, marketing Gene O’Neill’s new collection of short dark fiction TASTE OF TENDERLOIN, and with Apex becoming SFWA certified! YAY! GO APEX! Now, officially, if you sell something to us, it will count toward your SFWA membership (and Pro status! ^_-). It’s quite exciting, I must say! Even as just a humble submissions editor. Congrats to Apex! ^_^

Meanwhile on the home front, I’ve been trying to write more, paint more, and keep the house clean, besides making sure to make good, relatively healthy meals to eat. Went to see Food, Inc. last weekend, and boy, does it make you want to cook your own food and know your own personal poultry farmers! ^_^ Some of the info in the film I already knew, either from my mother who seems very food/health-forward, or from relatives in the farming industry, but it’s always eye-opening seeing video of it. And–as always noted–it is a documentary, which if I learned nothing else in college, I learned that there is no such thing as an objective documentary. They’re all biased–but that’s not a bad thing. Most documentaries are *trying* to convince you of some truth, and therefore, their opinion does shade their portrayal of the facts, even if only by how they select to edit the film.

Someday, I think I’d like to have a micro-bakery/micro-brewery. I’ve been thinking that a lot lately, but it’s sticking in my head. Ah! Too many hobbies, too many interests! ^_^ Plus, watching Kiki’s Delivery Service just kind of emphasizes the bakery side. haha

Writing Stuff: (more…)

It’s been one of those drifting kind of weekends. You know the kind: you’ve got a to-do list of ordinary things, you get most of the list done, but by Sunday evening you still don’t feel like you’ve accomplished much. It’s probably just that I haven’t accomplished much I feel that excited about. I cleaned. I did some work. Did grocery shopping. Made dinner. All things I needed to do, but not things I wouldn’t have done anyway.

In fact, the one thing I actually *do* feel pretty jazzed about is the EPIC PIZZA OF AWESOMENESS which I made (and Andy put on the pizza-stone: not a small task with this one) on Saturday night. Picture this: almost perfectly round crust, like the almost-round curve of the Earth or the nearly-perfect-circle of our orbit around the sun; one half is loaded with pepperoni; the other half, piled with green peppers, red peppers, and onion, so when you bite it, it still crunches with juice; the crust–perfectly crispy on the bottom, enough to form a solid structure for the delicious goodies on top of it…. My mouth is watering just REMEMBERING it. *le sigh* It was by far the best pizza I’ve made to date, and I’m not ashamed to brag about it. Hey, I’ve done my time: I’ve sloughed the pizza over itself on the stone so half of it is cheese-down, had half tear off because of an unrealized hole in the crust, realized too late we didn’t have any cheese, forgot to put the salt in the dough, mixed up half a teaspoon of garlic salt with half a TABLESPOON in the sauce.

This last pizza made all those miserable, snorting-laugh or grumpy-teared miserable failures worth it.

We watched A.I. with Kaku this weekend, too. I’m not going to lie: I cry at almost every Haley Joel Osment film. I try not to, but I just can’t help it! And I like to think I’m not an overly teary individual, though I’ve got a few that almost always get me (Sixth Sense is on that list).  I’d seen the end of A.I. before, just not the whole beginning part; I think I caught from the Flesh Fair on on TV one time. But anyway, I liked it. It’s a Spielberg, but I don’t think he actually over-Spielberg’d it. The aliens were definitely familiar for him, but it was still interesting.

(Note: HOLY CRAP! I just looked up HJO to make sure I spelled his last name right, and I had no idea he was only three years younger than me. Dang. That makes me feel really young. XD!)

Made vegetarian “sushi” today for dinner! Check it out:

Yummy!

Also, the STAR TREK movie review will be up on the Apex blog tomorrow.  

Writing Stuff:

Measly 200-odd words on the “UNTITLED NOVEL PROJECT”. Seems like just writing whatever scenes hit me is working better than trying to force it in a linear motion, though I would like some semblance of order in the long run. Maybe I’ll try flash-card scenes this time, so I can write the individual scenes randomly…

So most of you know that yesterday was my twenty-third birthday! Hooray! I’m older now! Many of you may not know that it was also Andy’s first day of Chiropractic school. I drove him in yesterday morning and dropped him off for his orientation (10-4), and then I went grocery shopping for the things I needed to make dinner and my birthday cake. ^_^ For dinner, I wanted to have Vietnamese spring rolls from a recipe my mother has often used. It’s a delicious dish, and I was more than a little pleasantly surprised to find that Walmart actually had everything for it. Crazy! In fact, it’s the only place so far where I’ve found both the rice paper and the bean noodles. Dirt cake is a lot easier to make, so I wasn’t as surprised about finding those ingredients. ^_^

Drove home from there and promptly got cooking. It was strange, but not having Andy around the apartment puts me in a really productive, I need to do things, kind of mood. I can’t just sit around by myself. That’d be boring and not a little pathetic. So I cooked. Got the dirt cake all ready (I was very impressed at my insane cookie-blending skills, considering I have no food processor and had to use only my rolling pin), because it needed to chill for a while. Also cooked up the bean noodles and then the chicken for the spring rolls. Actually, I was really productive and didn’t even sit down to play video games once all day yesterday! Now THAT’S nuts.

Got a bunch of calls from family, which was fun. It’s always nice to hear from you guys. ^_^ I had finished getting everything ready, and had just sat myself down with a pack of Twizzlers to play Zelda when Andy comes home, done with his orientation day 1. Yay! I really missed not seeing him all day. It’s going to be pretty intense over the weeks, since (I believe, from what we know–look for a correction if this ends up being wrong) he’ll be in classes M-F from 7:30am-4 or 5 pm. O.O!! Loooooooong days, but at least he’s studying stuff that will all be useful when he becomes a chiropractor.

After hearing about his orientation, we had dinner, and though he says it was fine, I overcooked the chicken a little. :-\ Ah well, it was still pretty tasty (it was the texture of the chicken that was off a little). Then we had dirt cake, and thankfully that’s almost impossible to mess up. ^_^ It was extra yummy.

Then we, meaning I, opened presents. Andy got me the new Enya CD (which I’ve been drooling over, see below), and a nice bottle of Disaronno, which we haven’t had in far too long. We both had a little of the Di in our tea cups (the white, handless, asian-inspired ones) with icecubes, and it was just marvelous. I also got a fair bit of tinder from other relatives, which I’m very much looking forward to spending without feeling guilty! (It certainly helps that Andy should be getting his financial aide check today which covers living expenses like rent–makes me much less likely to just put the checks in the bank and use them for groceries, which is just not that much fun.) I had pretty much already decided (since I can’t really afford the sofa I want) that I would put some of the money toward a nice bookshelf from Ikea, because I’m ready to put away all the books/DVDs/etc. that have been laying all over the living room floor since we moved in, and because I would feel guilty buying more books only to pile them on the floor in a corner. Then I figured with some of the other $$, I’d buy me and Andy the two print posters we’ve been dying for:

I can get fairly cheap frames for them, and getting those up on the walls will make this place feel a little more lived in. That takes up most of the money, but leaves me with enough for a few books, including *drum roll please* the enormous textbook on Jupiter that I’ve been eyeing for the last few months. It’s a book I really couldn’t buy if I didn’t have gift money, because it’s so expensive, but it looks absolutely fabulous, and actually will help me with writing. YAY! As for the other few books, I haven’t quite decided what I’ll get just yet. I’ve got a couple of ideas, now it’s just narrowing the list down.

To top off my birthday, we watched Desperate Housewives into the evening until we were both so tired (and stiff from sitting on the floor) that we went to bed. Sounds like a great birthday to me! ^_^

Oh! And my interview with poetess Brandy Schwan is up on the Apex Magazine website! She’s a very interesting lady, and a very fine poet. Check it out! There’s also a lot of good short fiction up, so feel free to read those too! ^_^

Writing Stuff: (more…)

It’s been a pretty quiet day today. Other than finishing up some Apex stuff, and finally getting around to eating some of that birthday cake, Andy and I decided to make tonight our weekly pizza/movie day because we’ll probably be out later tomorrow evening (and Saturday is our usual day to do said pizza/movie set up).

HERE IS A PICTURE OF THE PIZZA I JUST MADE:

So while I’ve been prepping the pizza (Jamison family recipe, of course), I also managed to do a lot of:

Writing Stuff

I finally got cracking on “Mimicry”! It’s been a long and exhausting week in writing terms, but at long last my Critters gauntlet is over. Now I can get back to building up my self esteem so I can actually write something without my inner editor yelling “It’s CRAP!” the whole time.

Figured editing was a good place to start, since my idea well has been a little dry for the time being. It’s probably simply because I haven’t been reading as much, because of the move, and because we don’t have a couch or anywhere suitable for reading besides the bed, which is fine for the most part, but still not where I tend to read. I am in the process of remedying this lack of literary fuel. Afterall, it is one of the Five Golden Rules of Writing (Read, Write, Edit, Submit, Repeat).

Anyway, started on editing. I’ve been retyping the whole story into a new document for this draft, because it helps me to evaluate the flow of the text and helps me to make even fairly large edits without feeling like I’m trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. So far, I’ve got about 6,000+ words edited into draft 2, and about the same amount to go. It’s huge, I know, especially for a short story, but I figure I’ll shoot it off to the WotF contest first, and then see what my options are from there. Until then, I’m just worrying about making it the best story I can.

Gotta say, though, I’m really loving this project. It’s been a while since I felt really proud of a piece of writing, but this one is definitely making its way into my heart. This probably means it will never be published, but ah well. At least I’ll have a fun, unpublished story to look at every now and then when I pull it out of my files. If nothing less, I’m having a blast working on it.^_^

So a brief overview of the past few days, eh?

MONDAY

Lots of odds and ends. Did dishes almost all day. Admired the thunderstorms. Andy brought home the first disk of season one of Stargate SG-1, and we watched the pilot. We were not amused. Andy says decisively: “It sucked.”

TUESDAY

Set up a financial tracking system on my computer, which is really nice to have, but also very depressing. It’s painful to see how much we owe in loans (just for me!). Then we went to the bank, and then did grocery shopping.

Which meant I could actually try a new Orange Chicken recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. Well, it’s not exactly “new”–my mom has made it for the family before, but I’ve never tried it on my own. So! I decided to give it a try, and here are the results:

YummySuper Yummy!

It was goooooood! ^_^ And spicy, too!

Then Andy and I watched the first aired episode of Stargate SG-1, and were slightly more amused than when we watched the pilot.

WEDNESDAY

Today, we did many things. First, we went and saw Get Smart, which was fantastic! It’s the first movie since Lars and the Real Girl that we actually didn’t regret spending money to see. The film got off to a slightly rough start, not for any fault of the film itself, but because the movie theater was having difficulties getting both picture AND sound to work. Thanks AMC. But they fixed it pretty quick, so that was good. It was a fun movie–the only thing we could think to criticize was the choice of Madonna/Justin Timberlake’s awful new song as part of the sound track. Blech. But otherwise, the film was fun on a bun!

Then we picked up packing paper for his mum, grabbed an accordion folder for finances (which we actually did BEFORE the movie, because we had time to kill), and we finally got Andy some new clothes, because he doesn’t have too many. We also need to do laundry sometime… ^_^

Then we went over to Mom (Slater)’s house for a cook-out. First, however, we had to take pictures of things to sell on Craigslist (Piano, anyone?), and then we polished a silver tea tray with two tea pots, a creamer, and a sugar dish. It was much more work than we anticipated getting all that tarnish off. We have both decidedly chosen NOT to own silver in the future. ^_- Then we had hotdogs, hamburgers, and sausage for dinner which was yummy, and then Andy got his butt served to him in a seven game series of Brawl against his bro John (John was Donkey Kong; Andy was Ike).

After that, Andy and I headed home to watch Hot Fuzz which we’d gotten in the mail (Netflix rox!). The movie was often interrupted by random phone calls, first from Andy’s bro trying to get a ride to a friend’s house (even though Andy would have to drive all the way over back to his house and THEN to the friend’s house, and THEN back here) until that got straightened out, and then from my mom while they stood in line at Disneyland in California. Those butts. They had a “fast pass” for some Screaming Rollercoaster, but they had time to kill, so they figured they’d wait in line and go once and then if they liked it, they’d use their pass to go back almost immediately.

Eventually, we got to watch Hot Fuzz, and wow! It was so much fun! I had somewhat low expectations of it, because the ads made it look so stupid, but since we had seen and liked Shaun of the Dead, we thought we’d give it a try. And it was awesome! ^_^ I haven’t had that much fun with a movie in ages. Again: a movie we could not find fault with. It was fantastic; Andy thinks it is his new favorite movie. ^_^ Good times! We’ve had a string of amazing movie luck today, so I expect we’re due for a bunch of really bad ones soon. ^_^

Also, had root beer floats, which are awesome.

TODAY

Will update about today later, when more has happened. Will be going out to lunch with a one Miss Kelly Almond, and am muchly looking forward to that. ^_^ TTFN.