Nov. 19th, 2008 01:20 pm
luciab: (Default)
Fruit cobbler with ice cream for breakfast... yum. It's really easy to make, too. I will say, though (and this was a 'duh' moment) if you use frozen fruit you really should thaw it out before adding it to the batter. It works fine, mind you, but it nearly doubles the cooking time. Like I said, duh.

I'm also posting a link to an entry I wrote a few days ago but originally had friends-locked. [ profile] mstra_margarita and I talked about it last night at the potluck and decided that it really didn't need to be locked. I thought, given that there's a Baronial polling coming up, it might be of some interest.

Since it was written days ago, however, I don't think it would show up where anyone would see it, so here's a new link to it. Sorry if this seems puffed-up of me.
luciab: (Default)
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about roles, and the responsibilities and privileges that come with them. The most extreme example of it hit me on election night when I looked at the Obama family and thought, “Oh, your lives are never going to be the same.” I know that the evolution began as soon as he started winning primaries, but the change in January will be unimaginable.
playing the game )
luciab: (Default)
Well, I made my Pot-au-feu and am now reminded why a friend calls it "pot o' food." My god, even with the vastly reduced quantities I used, I still have huge amounts of food. I got smart, though, and packed up a bunch of single servings and stuck them in the freezer. I think the variety of all the meats and veggies is what makes it so good; I don't think the original version as posted online with just beef sounds interesting at all. Julia's description said the name means "pot on the fire"; the pot was put on the fire and whatever was handy was thrown in and was left to cook slowly all day. I have no idea why I got such a strong urge to make this, unless the relatively simple holiday meals left me feeling atavistic. Weird, but I am now well supped. VERY well supped.

I am also enjoying the music site that [ profile] nomadicmedic posted a few days ago. It doesn't have "alternative" setting, but has certainly provided a suitable variety of music tonight. It shows what's going to play next, which is handy, especially since it doesn't have a setting for "for god's sake, NO BOB DYLAN!!" Ahem.

I read an interesting mystery yesterday and am still trying to figure out how I feel about it. I mean, I liked it well enough to seek out the next book in the series, but it's damned strange. The book is Eight of Swords and the protagonist is a '60s radical who's been hiding for 30 years because of something he did back in the day. The author is playing coy about exactly what it is, but there's no statute of limitations, so I'm assuming somebody died, probably in the explosion that supposedly killed our protagonist. I liked the character. At the end of the book, though, he goes to a meet with the knowledge that he's going to kill a man, and he does. The guy has a gun and was going to kill HIM, but our man gets the drop on him. He does think "I'm going to have to live with this the rest of my life" and in the interest of fair play, speaks to give the hit man a chance to surrender. Then when he swings around with his gun, bam. I think it bothers me that I identified with him, a lot, at least till we got to the shooting-in-semi-cold-blood part. All the killing in Pulp Fiction didn't bother me as much as this did; that whole thing was so far removed from any reality I know that I didn't identify with anybody.

My cat, however, brings me back to my reality-- my purpose in life is not to kill bad guys, or even worry about the ethics or morals thereof, but to provide her a lap to flomp in, and scratch her belly when it's presented to me. Which it is. She's most undignified, and I love it.
luciab: (Default)
I just read my D'land comments from Aug 30-- D'land doesn't tip you off when you get comments so you have to go look every time to see if anyone said anything, and I never think to do that. Why would I keep going back to my own diary? I know what I said. Anyway, I had a particularly heartening comment from Celynen. She says "If [the desired grad degree is] in the Humanities, I can tell you from being on an admitting committee that they won't care what your math GRE score was..." Whew! That makes my heart lighter. And my daughter, who knows me really well and is one of my most highly respected advisers on her own merits, tells me to not study the day before the exam, which is today. Hrm. I was going to ignore that bit and review math some more, and maybe take another practice test on the computer, just because I don't really get test anxiety but I have noticed that I forget what I've brushed up on if I don't keep brushing it up. (Perhaps I should review the writing part of the verbal, with special attention to run-on sentences.)

Celynen goes on to say, "You want to score high on verbal and analytical, and that shouldn't be a problem for you." Thank you! I have been consistently upbeat about the verbal part. The analytical, however.... well, that's one of the reasons I hate getting into political debates. I am just not good at thinking on my feet, analyzing what the other person said, and pulling cogent responses, complete with examples, out of my hat. And unlike some people, I particularly don't want to pull responses out of any portion of my anatomy. The good thing about the essays is that they allow 30 and 45 minutes respectively for writing, and there's no one blasting you with rhetoric while you're composing. I realize that as part of the analytical thinking you're supposed to try to pick holes in your own arguments, but I don't get all pissy with myself while I'm doing that. If I'm going to talk to myself, I am determined to maintain a polite discourse.

The day stretches ahead of me. I think I'll walk up to the library to drop off some books and to the grocery to get some milk. My car gets good gas mileage, and they are both extremely short trips, so the gas is really negligible, but the walk is an extremely good idea. Perhaps some straightening around the house- put up some of that Pennsic stuff. And maybe a long tub soak, murder mystery in hand. I think I'll just squinch in a teensy bit of review in between those activities, though. Just a litle.


Sep. 1st, 2005 09:53 pm
luciab: (Default)
I'm feeling more sanguine about the math stuff. Can you tell I'm studying words in my spare time, too? Until recently, I thought "sanguine" was negative-- like saturnine, I suppose. Then I wondered if it had the same root as "exsanguinate," so I looked it up. Yep, it does. Turns out sanguine used to mean "having blood as the dominant humour." Having an active cirulation was supposed to mean you had "cheerful and hopeful spirits" along with your ruddy complexion.

Anyway, I've been working today in the Kaplan Math review book. The general Kaplan book is most unhelpful in regard to math; there's little or no explanation compared to the Arco guide. The Math review book, though, is great. I guess they figure if you're scared/desperate enough to buy a whole separate book for just math, you must need to be reminded about everything. It also has many more test examples, so you get to practice more.

I figured out something weird today. I volunteered at Ten Thousand Villages this morning, and they asked if I could come back for an hour this afternoon. Bring your books and study here if it's slow, they said, so I did. Silly me, I forgot to stick a pencil in my purse, so I used a pen there to do problems with. Turns out a pen is good for me... if I have a pencil I erase and hesitate and erase some more; a pen seems to make me more decisive. I guess the old subconscious is thinking, Might as well just go on and do it.... or something. What strange things we learn about ourselves.

Enough navel gazing. Off to bed with a mystery. Preferably without exsanguination.
luciab: (Default)
Well, you see it all started when.... when did it start exactly? A lot of little things sort of built up. Like I have two computers, one older but still eminently functional. I could use it for data storage, and to play music. I have two printer/fax/scanners. The newer one of them is currently only partially working, since the graphics tablet screwed up the installation, and now I can't find the installation disk. My need for full function is still in place, however, and there sits the other scanner with me unable to use it. (It isn't USB, or I'd just hook the sucker up.) But if everything were networked together.... hrm.

With that in mind, I looked around the studio/office for a place to put the other system. Every horizontal surface is covered with stuff. Fabric, other sewing stuff, books, boxes of stuff that hasn't been unpacked since I moved in here nearly three years ago. You know, stuff. Brigida came over today (she of the boundless energy) and we were talking about the situation. She took a more global view than I had been doing, and suggested a series of rearrangements that included the hall closet. It all made sense (well, nearly all of it) and I started immediately.

The resulting temporary chaos has me re-evaluating everything I pick up to move-- do I need it? Want it? Does it fit? Can it be taken in? I have my work cut out for me, guys. And this on top of sewing for Pennsic and making a court scroll, with some studying for the GRE tucked into the mix. And you guys who are doing all this AND have full time jobs? Hats off to you, is all I can say.

I'm not entirely sure my proposed solution is going to be the best, but I don't have any other ideas. I'm thinking I'll use the door/table that was going to be a cutting table for a desk for both computers and printers. The printer is now on the bottom shelf of the desk, which means I have to stand on my head-- or sit on the floor-- anytime I want to use it. If I did that, I could get rid of the current computer desk and put the TV in this corner. Except that the "cutting table" is even higher than the computer desk, which is already too high for me to use unless I put my chair up as high as it'll go and use the bottom shelf of the table for a foot rest. I do need to be comfortable at the computer, because I don't just use if a few minutes a day for email, but for hours doing graphics, which will be key if I intend to sell any printed art work. Maybe if I move the printer over there but keep this computer here.... then the closet door is still blocked by the TV. Shit.

Nevertheless, I need to make decisions and arrangements before I can do anything about the scanner and computer. And this is exactly the kind of mental shit I hate so bad. I just want to DO it, I don't want to have to think backwards, and rearrange the whole damn house, one step at a time, and in the proper sequence or I won't have a place to put whatever it is I just picked up. Aaargh!

Ya know what? Right now what I really need to do is get ready to go to the FlamingBolt potluck and cookout. My contribution- a peach-blueberry cobbler-- is done. I just need to prep the lap work I'm going to take to sew on. I think I'll do that right now. I'll worry about the rest tomorrow.
luciab: (Default)
Another too-long delay between posts. Sigh. How on earth to balance between doing something to write about and having time to write? It’s kind of like working overtime so you have extra money but then not having time to enjoy it.

I had a plan for the last week or two. See, now, that may have been the problem. Nia, for one, says that “plan” is a four-letter word and the mere existence of a plan means that it will fail. (Sounds like some of that really advanced Physics, about stuff not existing unless you look at it….) Anyway, I decided that I would try to have Gisele’s AoA scroll done by Crown, and to encourage that goal I planned to stay with her in DC and day trip Crown. This plan expanded, as plans are wont to do, to include an extra day or two in DC for me to see a museum or two. By the beginning of the week it was obvious that the scroll would not be done in time, but I was still trying to balance getting more done and having time in DC. I haven’t spent any time there seeing museums since I was in high school, and believe me, I wasn’t really looking at the exhibits then, so I figured I had plenty to see.

I wound up driving up on Thursday so I’d have all day Friday to amuse myself, and then Gisele and I could go to Crown on Saturday. Uh-huh. I amused myself, alright. I trekked from one end of the Mall to the other as fast as my short little legs would carry me, so as not to waste time that I could be spending in gape-jawed joy, looking at one thing or another. I am interested in so many things…. What to do, and which to do first? I considered Natural Sciences or Air and Space, but was rapidly dissuaded when confronted with all the rug rats that were waiting in lines to get in. I was feeling fine when I left Gigi’s Friday AM, but by the time I was halfway down the Mall I had a dull ache behind my eyes and was seeing double. A disconcerting feeling, that. That made the idea of sharing huge echoing spaces with screaming kids even less enticing.

The walk was long enough, and the migraine hit hard enough that I found myself musing on All in My Head by Paula Kamen, a book about living with chronic pain and disability. She makes the point that no one wants to see themselves as being disabled, and lord knows that’s true. Getting cross-eyed sick from just walking, and not even on a sunny day… well, hrm… maybe this isn’t so exaggerated after all. Crap.

Herein follows a description of the rest of weekend, including comments on Art and Architecture. (Please note the caps. Heh.) Read more... )

Monday saw me discover downloading music.Read more... )

Something that I’ve really realized more strongly than I suspected is that I seem to be approaching that line between Extrovert and Introvert, if I haven’t already crossed it and left it in the dust. If I don’t get plenty of alone-time, I get pretty damn cranky. Lately I’ve been in a really good mood and have been very productive, but damn. I was feeling stressed on Monday when Tuneless Boy upstairs started “playing” and “singing.” Believe me, I use those terms advisedly. Historically, I’ve been indulgently amused (though catty) about his lack of skill, and even admired him for enjoying himself so much and trying so hard. Monday I had no such tolerance. I had to leave the studio, because he practices directly above that room. I had plenty of work to do in other rooms, but I kept sticking my head in the door, hoping he’d follow his usual pattern and only play for about 5 minutes. Nope, he picked Monday to have a longer attention span than usual. His current fave seems to be Bob Dylan. You might think that would give him an advantage, since Dylan can’t sing either and many of his songs tend to be rather tuneless. Nope, he just sounds downright drunk and wanders ever farther off whatever passes for a tune. “It ain’t pretty” doesn’t begin to cover this subject. Wow.

Well, that pretty much brings me up to date on what’s happened in the last few days. Now to go out and do more stuff to write about.
luciab: (Default)
Ahhhhh. The scroll is done. The dress is done. The weekend is over. The secrets are out. Eldred knows why he had to get a haircut and I don’t know of any upcoming drama, thank all that is holy. Whew. I am so glad I paint pictures instead of organizing vigils. I’d have to commit hara kiri. I did remember to scan the scroll after I finished it this time; now if I knew how to upload it I could post a link so you’d know what I’ve been working on for the last month. Now to start the scroll for Coronation. It’s not going to be a full-time day-job’s month worth, though. That was, well, special for Benefse.

Flamingbolt had a household potluck Sunday afternoon; it was wonderful to see everyone. It was a reasonably high percentage of everyone, too, because Mor and Aed were in town for Benefse’s ceremony. We had them all to ourselves today instead of having to share them with the whole kingdom. Heh.

I spent most of Monday taking a friend to a colonoscopy. It was apparently a generic vanilla colonoscopy, (well, okay, no more invasive than usual. Well, damn, you know what I mean. Well, if you don’t just wait--you will,) which leaves me wondering why the doctor thought she needed someone to drive her. She doesn’t really strike me as that delicate a flower, and seemed well enough to me after the procedure. I drove myself with absolutely no problems. Lord, I drove myself to many of my horrible medical procedures. Am I really such a tough cookie? And can doctors tell so easily? Why doesn’t anyone coddle me? Oh, wait, if they try to coddle me I get all antsy, don’t I? Sigh. How on earth do you ever find someone to help you when you need help but not smother you when you don’t? Man, that’s a killer. I fantasize about the big strong man who can make me feel protected, but then I get all anxious about whether he’d try to tell me what to do. My experience is that he would, and then I’d get all pissed off. What a balancing act.

Miranda is off getting her girly bits snipped today. I have been trying to pay really close attention, and as best I can tell, Molly is more accepting of Miranda than she is of Carmen. M and M will get nose to nose (and nose to butt) with no hissing, but Molly is more defensive with Carmen. I can’t tell that Carmen initiates anything, but if Molly is eating and Carmen approaches, Molly will growl and hiss and leave. She doesn’t haveto back down; all she has to do is bat Carmen smartly on top of the head and I’d be willing to bet Carmen would back off. Molly weighs about three times as much as she does, after all. Molly’s got the upper hand, but she seems determined to relinquish it. Sigh.

I met Miss Lily yesterday. She told me that I am so quiet that she hardly knows I’m up here. She says she hears “my little dog, and it’s so sweet.” Whew. As long as she thinks all the thrump-thrump-thrump back and forth is sweet!

I’m starting “research” on the next scroll, which is for Coronation. I would like to do a grisaille piece (all the artwork would be white and grey) on black paper, with gold diapering and calligraphy, but I’m afraid the recipient would think it too stark. Me, I think it would be stunning and elegant but then I’m the weird artist. Should I wuss out and do a standard International style gothic piece? I only say “wuss out” because I’ve done so many of them and I generally like to do different styles, not because it’s a wussy style. I reeeeeeeallllly think the grisaille/black/gold would be gorgeous. (Okay, this is starting to tell me how much I want to do it. So maybe even if not this time….) There’s another design I’m considering, too. I want to decide and get started soon. I’ve got the trip to Kentucky coming up this month, and I’d like to finish up a couple of the almost-done pieces I have in my portfolio and not just keep them hanging around. I’ll bet the recipients would like it, too.


luciab: (Default)
Susan Arthur

February 2011



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