missroserose: (Warrior III)
Hey guys! It's been a week. (And it's only Wednesday.) My computer went boing Monday morning, and that afternoon a full quarter of my yoga playlist disappeared...right in the middle of teaching class. Timing! I switched over to the last section of another playlist, and it went fine, but wow that threw me off...I depend on my music to set the pace and the arc of the class, so hiccups like that become significant speed bumps. Seriously considering switching to a non-connected device for music (I think I've got some old iPod Nanos hanging around) so I don't have to worry about that happening again.

Tuesday was supposed to be my rest day, but I spent it biking down to Lincoln Park to see if they could un-boing my computer. They did (yay!) and didn't even charge me (double yay!), so I biked home, used it for a bit without incident, then plugged it in...and shortly thereafter it went boing again. Current theories are either the adapter or the power board are bad; either way, double augh. It's going to have to wait until Brian can take a look at it, because I don't have the time to get back down to Lincoln Park...and he's in Las Vegas at the moment, and then we're both headed to Boston almost directly after that. And of course, Monday was the day I had multiple people messaging me wanting to set up massage appointments, which is a giant pain in the butt to do on my phone. Woo, timing!

On the upside, I've got my old computer with an external keyboard, so at least I'm not completely dependent on my phone. Also, I'm kind of proud of myself - usually when Brian's out of town I live on packaged food and take-out, but instead I hunted down ingredients at the Asian store and tried out a recipe for a cold noodle dish with pork and vegetables that I could separate into single-serving containers and stick in the fridge. (The recipe itself is maybe a 3.5 out of five - like most NYTimes recipes, it needs more spices. But it's edible and halfway healthy...although I was entertained to realize halfway through that I was basically making a more-white-person version of a dish the Vietnamese restaurant next door sells. They do it better.) And this morning I went to Sculpt despite being much more tired than originally planned. I'm glad I did, despite my arms being tired; Rob-of-the-enthusiastic-5:30-AM-sunrise-pictures-#blessed was teaching, and his energy always cheers me up. Especially when I'm grumpy.

So, yeah. I think the theme for my classes today and tomorrow will be something related to perseverance, heh. We'll see if it pays off...
missroserose: (Default)
I'm grateful that I have no particular difficulty with fireworks; I wouldn't want to have people shooting them off every night, but once or twice a year doesn't really bother me, and I genuinely enjoy the more artistic displays. Towards that latter end, we decided to head down to the park to watch the Saddle and Cycle Club's (yes, we have an honest-to-god country club in our neighborhood, dating back to the 1920s when this area was a tony suburb of Chicago) annual fireworks display. They were gracious enough to invite the plebeians to watch from the beaches and parks nearby...you know, the ones that are public property. So generous!

After literal years of talking about it, Brian had finally nabbed a small grill to do a cookout. So yesterday morning, we bundled up the car with the grill and charcoal and bags of chips and utensils and blankets and a cooler bag with approximately 50 pounds of various meatstuffs and salads and ice packs, and drove all of five blocks to the lakefront park, intending to unload and have me drive back/walk down (parking at the park is difficult on any nice day, but absolutely insane on holidays)...only to discover that the police had blocked off the parking lot, likely to manage traffic flow. Well, at least we didn't go too far out of our way, heh. We pared down our supplies some and I dug an old wheeled luggage bag out of the closet to pack up the cooler and we managed to trundle everything down on foot; Jamila came down to meet us and helped us unpack everything. The weather was lovely - humid, but not unpleasantly hot, with a nice breeze to keep the smoke from the fireworks and cookouts moving. Most of the families around us were Hispanic; Brian commented later that it was nice to spend Independence Day surrounded by immigrants.

Brian's food was predictably excellent; Jamila got a great picture of him in front of our tiny grill. She also documented our excellent burgers and one of our gigantic beef ribs; and, at my spur-of-the-moment request, did her best Baby Groot impression). I spent most of the time sprawled on our blanket, reading and occasionally reapplying sunscreen; at one point our friend Erin stopped by and we chatted for a bit, although unfortunately her dog was feeling poorly so she wasn't able to stay for the fireworks.

Possibly my favorite part of the day, aside from the fireworks show, was dusk; the crowds were starting to go really wild with the fireworks, so everything was getting noisy and flashing, but amidst the chaos there were comparatively tiny fireflies coming out, blinking hopefully at the colorful displays. You keep those aspirations high, fireflies!
missroserose: (Default)
Right now I'm in the middle of Extensions - that's the follow-up class to CorePower's Teacher Training, where they give you more instruction on stuff like playlist- and sequence-building, environmental settings, and assists/adjustments, as well as polishing your cueing and timing and other minor stuff like that. I admit I went into it with low expectations; they market TT heavily but never mention Extensions (or the additional tuition, or that it's mandatory to get hired) until you're actually in training. So I was expecting it to be a lot of "this is how we do it at CorePower because we're the best!" puffery with maybe some useful bits thrown in. To my pleasant surprise, it's actually turned out to be quite useful; there's definitely some stuff that's CPY-specific, but a lot of it is more generally applicable, and it's been refreshingly puffery-free.

In any case, I went to a C2 class today just before Extensions; we had a lecture scheduled (as opposed to a physical practice) so I figured it'd be okay if I was a little tired. And I was more or less okay, but realized afterward that I'd missed dinner, so at break time I hopped next door to the Subway to nab a sandwich. Much to my surprise, the cooler full of bottles of soda looked super appealing to me. This almost never happens; I'm not a big soda drinker, and I rarely indulge (given that pure glucose is kind of awful for my wonky blood sugar issues). However, it struck me that I could use the caffeine, so I reached in and grabbed a Diet Coke, paid for it and the sandwich, and went back to the studio.

Weirdly, though, the soda didn't taste anywhere near as good as I thought it would. It wasn't the aspartame, which I'm plenty familiar with; there's a definite rush I get when my body's really craving something, and it wasn't happening. I was halfway through the bottle (and the sandwich) before it hit me - the reason the soda had looked so appetizing was because it was full of sugar, and my carbohydrate stores were probably depleted from the workout. Needless to say, the diet version wasn't scratching that itch in the least. And with the fiber/protein/fat in the sandwich, I could've drunk it without any blood sugar trouble, either. Exercise brain is not always great at logical reasoning, heh.

But now I'm home and treating myself to a ginger beer, with bitters and a squeeze of lime. So that's not nothing.
missroserose: (Default)
Background: Brian and I both like good food and drinks. Brian likes to cook. I like to make drinks. Generally, this works out pretty well. Every once in a while I'll cook too, and usually find someplace to put booze in the recipe -- ever tried bourbon French toast? Or apple pie with brandy? Amazing.

This morning, I made oatmeal, and decided to try something new by putting preserves and cinnamon on top.

Brian: "This looks good!"

Me: "Thanks! It's a bit of an experiment."

Brian: "Great! So how much booze is in it?"

Me, mock offended: "It's for breakfast! I wouldn't put booze in it!"

Brian: "Uh-huh. And what kind of preserves are these?"

Me: "It's the stuff Janae sent us. The Colorado...Whiskey...Peach..."

*pause*

Me: "I'm incapable of making anything without booze by now, aren't I?"
missroserose: (Inspire)
More ridiculously cold weather has arrived. It's -1 right now, which is actually slightly higher than the "high" of -2. Not bad if you bundle up, but Brian had to run to work for a few supplies and reported back that the wind is nasty-cold. And tomorrow it's supposed to pick up, with wind chills down to forty below. I remain grateful that Brian and I both can work from home - in fact, Brian's employer actively encourages people to stay home and work remotely in weather like this.

Needless to say, the ratio of "Good for you!"s to pitying looks I've gotten when telling people I just moved here from Arizona has been trending toward the latter of late. Most of them don't believe me when I tell them I'm actually enjoying it (with the important help of stylish-and-warm winter gear and a well-insulated home), so I've been insisting that it's just like when I was growing up in Anchorage. Although my mother reports it's been so warm in Anchorage the past couple weeks (forty-odd degrees and sunny) that the pussy willows are all budding out three months early. Mid-February I'll actually be headed up in that direction; she bought me tickets to fly up there (first class! my mother is awesome) so I could help her out while she undergoes minor surgery. If this weird reversal keeps up I'm going to start telling people I'm vacationing in Alaska to escape the winter weather.

In other news, like roughly 90% of the female population of this country in January, I've decided I could stand to lose a few pounds. I don't think I'm fat or anything, but I've been gradually putting on weight over the past couple of years, and (especially what with working from home, with all the possibilities for deliciousness therefore constantly available) I'm not quite willing to trust my gut feelings on how much and when to eat. I've had very good luck with HabitRPG for building daily habits, and Mint.com for budgeting, so I saw no reason the same idea wouldn't work for tracking my food intake. To that end, I've been playing with Lose It!, a calorie/nutrition tracking website/app combination. I've been very impressed with it so far: you can move seamlessly between the app and the website, the interface is clean and easy to use, there's an extensive database of foodstuffs available, including lots of popular restaurant items, and - what really sold me on it - the app has a barcode scanner so you can instantly download the nutrition information of whatever you're cooking/eating and be certain it's correct. I know lots of people find this kind of thing a pain in the ass, but I have just enough of a meticulous control-freaky streak that I actually really enjoy it (especially with the streamlining in place so there's relatively little time spent entering or adding or multiplying). Admittedly, I've only used it for a few days, but it's been really nifty to be able to quickly punch in different food/exercise combinations and see how they affect my calorie budget for the day. It's also encouraged me to look for healthier options in day-to-day eating, since I know that those are the ones that'll make me feel fullest and happiest per calorie. It's given me that extra bit of encouragement to pay closer attention to how much I eat - that last pierogi might be tasty, but if I'm not hungry for it, I get 80 more calories to spend on dinner. (And then Brian's happy because he gets to eat my last pierogi.) And best of all, I've been enjoying food more - I know it's cliche dieting advice at this point, but it's really true that food tastes better when you wait until you're good and hungry for it.

The app also a whole community/social aspect, which I haven't played with much, but a little bit of clicking around the forums has shown a surprising lack of fat-shaming or body snark or other nastiness, and quite a bit of sensible advice about nutrition and exercise. Some people even use the tool to help them gain weight, and everyone seems to talk pretty openly and frankly about their experiences. So that's encouraging. The only thing that bugs me slightly is the focus on weight - if you're eating well and going to the gym regularly, for instance, your weight might not change but your body shape would (because you're building muscle as you burn fat). I wish there were a setting to go by waist size, or something similar. Still, the benefits inherent in the way it's adjusted my mental thinking about food are strong enough that I think I'll probably keep using it even after I get to the point where I change it to a maintenance-level calorie-intake rather than a net-loss calorie-intake. And that's probably the best compliment I can pay any such tool.

I also want to give a public shout-out to my friend Leigh, who gave me another invaluable tool in thinking about food or anything else that requires willpower. It was a few months ago, when I'd ordered some soup and potstickers for lunch for Lao Sze Chuan (a local incredibly-gourmet Chinese restaurant chain that has the most amazing food). Their potstickers are delicious and also enormous, and I'd eaten three of the five, and I could tell I was full, but I really really wanted to eat the other two. Leigh was gracious enough to listen to me angst about this over IM, and then rather than get all pedantic on the benefits of abstinence like I probably would have, she just said "You know, two potstickers and a glass of wine sounds like a fabulous midafternoon snack." And I realized she was right - and furthermore, that sort of thinking works wonders for all sorts of situations. You just stop framing it as "I can't have this right now", fix a concrete point in your mind where you can, and think about how much you're going to enjoy it then. Using scarcity and willpower to increase anticipation and maximize enjoyment. When you have a hedonic streak like I do, that's total and complete genius. I am so grateful for my awesome friends. <3

(Also? I don't want to jinx it by going on about it, but I think I'm feeling inspired again. So I'm going to go rinse the dye out of my hair and see if I can't sneak in some writing above and beyond my 500-word minimum today. Wish me luck.)
missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
It's been a nice holiday. What with not having many social contacts in the area, along with post-Christmas brokitude and some pretty severe cold/snow, we decided that a quiet observation at home was in order. But it was lovely nonetheless. Last night, I made one of my favorite incredibly rich meals, so Brian got a holiday off from cooking. When midnight rolled around, we had champagne cocktails and lay down on the hardwood floor by the fire (Brian: "I think 2014 might have to be the Year of Rugs") and recounted our many blessings for the past year. Today, we slept in before braving the (continuing) snow and taking the bus down to a nifty little Jewish deli in Lakeview for lunch, and after getting back I cleaned the bathroom and had a nice bath with one of the fancy bath bombs from my Christmas stocking. Now there's lemon pudding cakes in the oven, and when they come out we'll have the rest of the bubbly with them and watch Sherlock. {That part was written a few hours ago. The lemon pudding cakes were amazing, and so was the show. For a story about a protagonist who's completely clueless about human relationships, it's so incredibly smart about interactions and the power dynamics inherent therein.}

I don't have a lot of resolutions per se. I did tweet my wish for 2014: "Wishing us all new and better opportunities, and new and better guts to stand up and say 'I'll do it.'" I admit it's a bit of a selfish wish, given my plans for the upcoming month/year, but it's nonetheless true - I don't want to be the only one making scary plans and doing scary things!

About those plans...one of the biggest changes that's going to be happening is that I'll be making a concerted effort to raise my public profile somewhat. I don't know by how much, since popularity is a difficult thing to predict, but I'm hoping to make inroads in author communities and the like - I've met a lot of cool author-y people online, but even aside from that, name recognition is a good thing, and can often translate into sales. I've already re-Twitterpated myself (and even attracted a few followers, thanks to a few interactions with the ever-hilarious Chuck Wendig), and I'll be starting a writing blog this week, probably on Wordpress.

All of which is to say that I'm trying to decide what to do with my Dreamwidth/LiveJournal accounts. So far I've been fine with keeping them 99.9% public, as I tend to curate my friends carefully, pick low-drama folks to hang out with, and generally be obscure enough that even when I weigh in on a hot-button topic, it doesn't attract a lot of attention. But that may not be the case in the future. And there's a lot of history here - more than a decade, now, including many bits of myself and my growth process that I'm...not ashamed of, precisely, but that could easily be taken out of context. It doesn't help that I'm planning on writing in a controversial genre/about some controversial topics, and while I'll do my best (as always) to be fair and diplomatic on the subjects, that doesn't mean I won't piss some people off.

I've been thinking for a while about exercising LiveJournal's (and, I assume, Dreamwidth's) "change all your past posts to friends-only" feature, but resisted it so far largely because I know at least a few of my friends read this because they see the links through Facebook or an RSS reader, and if I were to only make posts under friends-lock the only people who would see it would be the ones who check LJ/DW regularly. Which - let's face it - is an increasingly small number.

I'm still deciding what the writing blog should focus on. If I make it a personal blog like this one, chances are that I'll stop posting here almost entirely. If I decide to focus on a few specific subjects (feminism, sexuality, the role of porn in Western society, and the cultural experience of sexually proactive women all seem likely topics, given my interests and the subject matter of my writing), I may keep this blog up separately for more personal journal-style posts. But either way, chances are I'll be going exclusively friends-only, here. So if you'd like to keep up here, and aren't already signed on my friends list on either site, let me know.
missroserose: (Cocktail)
Until moving here, I'd never quite understood how anyone could devote their life to gluttony. Food can be good, sure, but I ate more for utilitarian and social purposes, and truly life-changing culinary experiences were both hard to find and expensive (and thus far between).

I think I understand a little better now. There is, quite literally, more amazing food here in Chicago than I could experience in a lifetime of eating out three meals a day. And there's more being invented every day. I'm fairly certain I've gained five pounds since we got here, and I'm certain I've barely scratched the surface.

Chicago, you have bested me. I shall continue to partake, and enjoy, but you will be the first place I've lived since reaching adulthood where my knowledge will never be truly comprehensive. I toast you - your variety, your ingenuity, your diversity. May it never cease.

So does anybody want to be gym buddies...?

Differences

Oct. 7th, 2013 04:06 pm
missroserose: (Book Love)
Number of restaurants that would deliver to our place in Arizona: 0.

Number of restaurants that deliver to our place in Chicago: 426. (And those are just the ones on GrubHub.)

I frickin' love this town.

ETA: Also, I just ordered sushi from a place called Fishing Cat. Because, cats!
missroserose: (Warrior III)
It's turning out to be nearly as much of an adventure settling in to this place as it was getting here. One of the many awesome things about our house in Bisbee was the truly ridiculous amount of storage it had; closets everywhere, two separate built-in chests of drawers, a pantry, etc. Accommodations here are...a little scantier (though we do have a giant walk-in closet that's probably going to house the dresser and some formerly-drawer storage). Most frustrating is the bathrooms; the previous ones both had medicine cabinets, and the master bath had one of the aforementioned built-in chests of drawers. Here we have...nothing! No drawers, no cabinets, flat mirrors, no counter space. Feh. I have a strong suspicion that this place has seen a string of bachelors as tenants.

Today, therefore, was an IKEA trip. As it turns out, the bed and traditional-style bookshelves will both need to wait until we can borrow or rent a truck, but we picked up some bathroom shelving that should serve for my hair things and whatnot, a modular shelving unit that should hold some books and such in our bedroom, and a sofa table that we're hoping will serve for a TV stand. Along with all sorts of nice little touches like candle holders and bathmats and some nice new bowls and plates. Because it's IKEA, and if you don't end up with a bunch of little items in your cart then you're probably not human. (I'm only half-joking there; those stores are almost scarily effective examples of market psychology being used in behavioral engineering.) Now for the fun part - interpretive construction! At least, trying to follow IKEA instructions often feels like an interpretive dance shaped toward eventual construction of your pieces.

We didn't make it to the Field Museum yesterday, but we did get down to Brian's new office to check it out ahead of his starting Friday. I'm pleased to report that it appears thoroughly awesome. The culture there is extremely laid-back and friendly; Brian's cubicle comes with a stock of company-branded foam darts, and the office has - I shit you not - a lounge with a hardwood pool table and fully stocked wet bar, along with an open invitation for spouses to join Friday-after-work cocktail hour. I have a feeling I may be getting to know the folks there rather better than at some of Brian's previous workplaces. :D

As to my own work, I've begun practicing again. Fortunately I don't seem to have lost too much muscle memory over the past week; and while my calluses are gone, I still have fairly tough skin on my fingertips. Chicago is a notoriously busking-unfriendly town, so it's looking like coffeeshop gigs are going to be a good goal to work towards. We went by our new favorite guitar store (the Chicago Music Exchange) so I could try an acoustic amp or two. I'm eyeing the Vox AGA30, as it's a nice portable size (I could haul it and my guitar along on the train without too much trouble) and not too expensive, but Brian (who's done sound work before) isn't sure it'd be loud enough for a good-size coffeeshop, especially with all the ambient noise. But at the moment it's all theoretical anyway - I've got an email for a local place that's looking for performers, but I'd like to have a song or two up on YouTube so I could send them the link first.

The kitties are all settling in well enough. Ian put together their cat tree last night and that's had a soothing effect on Leo The Neurotic Cat's psyche especially. (Between the new environs, the fairly loud central air, the occasional sirens, and some carpenters that've been installing a new deck on the building next door, the poor guy's been rather frazzled. Even when we just had the parts for the tree stacked up in the corner he was spending a goodly amount of time hiding in one of the houses. Fortunately he's doing better today.) Dexter is rather miffed that he's been on a wet-food-only diet, though as the vet predicted, it's doing good things for his coat. (And it's not like he can't stand to lose a pound or two.) Tripp spent the first few days sleeping an awful lot (not unlike his humans...), but as Brian put it when his petting hand was pounced upon this morning, "I can tell you're feeling better because now you're all crazy again."

Somewhat entertainingly, we've been here four days and still haven't gone grocery shopping (other than the earlier-referenced trip for salad supplies for dinner the other day). The last time we moved across the country, we had to go shopping almost immediately, as the only non-fast-food options were mediocre chains. This time, between being so tired from travelling and being so busy putting our house together and being so eager to try all the amazing food (at least two pho places within a block of our house! Ann Sather just a couple of streets over! Better Mexican food than we had the entire time we were in Arizona!), we haven't even gotten around to cooking in our fabulous new kitchen yet. But it's only a matter of time, I'm sure.
missroserose: (Masquerade)
So, funny story. One of the things I noticed in Chicago was that I was having trouble climbing stairs - I could do it, but it would make my heart pound way more than it does here, which made no sense, as Chicago's barely above sea level and here we're more than a mile up. By all rights the stairs up to the El train, as steep as they were, should have been a breeze.

I was a little worried, wondering if something odd was up with my body, but I didn't feel ill, just slightly run-down. And tonight I did my usual wandering down the hill and back up the staircase at the end of our street, and felt fine.

Then it occurred to me...I think, day for day, I was probably ingesting between 50 and 100% more food, calorie-wise, than I normally do. Often very rich food. The entire time I was in Chicago. (I REGRET NOTHING.)

Well, good to have that cleared up. And hurrah for being in as good a shape as I am so that I could even make it up those stairs after some of those meals.
missroserose: (Partnership)
Coming home from Tucson late Saturday, Brian looked at me and asked, "Have we really gone from having one guitar that we never play to having seven, most of which we play regularly? Within a year?"

Strangely enough, we have. Admittedly, a couple we don't play much - Mary Jane's a little too big for me to play comfortably, and Kalia's much nicer-sounding anyway; and Brian traded for a 12-string Ovation because he wanted to try playing 12-string, but didn't end up liking the feel of that particular one. But the 12-string Eastwood we got him for his birthday he plays regularly, along with (of course) his Les Paul. And in addition to Kalia, with some help from the wonderful people in my life, I managed to scrounge up the cash for that GS Mini I was eyeing. So I don't have to feel guilty for taking up 2/3rds of the overhead bin when we go visit Brian's mum in April.

Tucson was a fun day - we went to the Festival of Books for the first time. (I'd meant to go last year but hadn't managed it; I nearly didn't go this year but at the last minute checked the list of guest authors and realized Patrick Rothfuss was going to be there. Given that he's one of my favorite authors, and that I've a full set of first printing hardcover copies of all his books so far, this meant we were definitely going.) Somewhat entertainingly, the weather was cold and drizzly all day; the poor booksellers were spreading tarps over their wares and the guest authors got none of Tucson's much-vaunted lovely winter weather. Still, though, it was a fun trip - Mr. Rothfuss was a thoroughly entertaining individual, both in person and as a panelist. And he was most gracious about signing all four of my hardbacks plus a paperback I bought from the booth hosting the signing (as it only seemed gracious to support their shop).

After wandering around there and attending a rather interesting panel on gender roles in fantasy, we went down to Rainbow Guitars in the hopes that they'd have the guitar I wanted - a Taylor GS Mini, the only travel guitar out of the many I tried that didn't sound like a travel guitar at all aside from perhaps being a little weeny on the bass. I got their last one, in fact; apparently they normally keep a few in stock as they're quite popular, but it had been a busy Saturday. The popularity, at least, is understandable; this particular guitar's a really nice balance of features, being compact and lightweight and inexpensive (for a Taylor) while still very good quality and with nearly a full guitar's worth of sound. Plus it comes in a very nice thick-padded soft-shell case with backpack straps. The guy at Rainbow, in recognition of the fact that we'd been in there a number of times, even gave us 10% off the price, which made it slightly less than it would have been online with no tax. Score one for developing relationships with one's local retailers.

Then we went to Feast, with the intention of eating for (nearly) free on the remainder of a gift card a lovely friend had bought us. Instead we ended up paying for dinner and using the gift card for a bottle of amazing Scotch they introduced us to. It ate up the rest of our restaurant budget for the month, but still. Totally worth it.
missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
This weekend has been pretty excellent. Why? I'm glad you asked! Here's a list of the highlights:
Pictures and general niftiness below. )
missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
This weekend has been pretty excellent. Why? I'm glad you asked! Here's a list of the highlights:
Pictures and general niftiness below. )
missroserose: (After the Storm)
It's been an odd week. Busy, what with work and Zumba and Thanksgiving shopping and such. I got ahead on my writing, then fell behind again. Also, mood-swing city. Spent about half a day practically flying, then another half a day slowly deflating into, if not quite the depths of despair, at least its antechamber. And then I got tired of my pity-party, especially as I didn't have any Jim Beam Black to keep me company.

So what did I do to break out of the depression? I went to Sierra Vista and ate steak, along with Brian (who'd just finished an incredibly long work-project involving working over the weekend). Then he obligingly ferried me all over town looking for a copy of Moulin Rouge, because despite having a mixed reaction to it the first (and only) time I saw it nearly a decade ago, the thought of a high-flying Parisian period/modern musical mashup fantasy seemed like exactly what I needed.*

Appropriately enough, while we watched the movie I finally got around to trying a bit of the bottle of absinthe that my friend Janae brought me back from France. While (after performing La Louche) it was perfectly pleasant to drink, I was somewhat disappointed that I didn't experience any of absinthe's much-vaunted mind-expanding effects. However, once I ran the back label of the bottle through FreeTranslation.com, I learned that this particular type had been neutered "in accordance with regulations", with the additional psychoactive chemicals that supposedly come from the botanicals removed. So I suppose I'll have to hope someone gets me a bottle of the real stuff for Christmas.

Tomorrow (supposedly) the contractors are coming to fix our ceiling - the swamp cooler sprung a leak a couple of months ago, and the landlord and property-management company seem to be have had a bit of a time finding someone reliable to come out here and fix it (which, in all fairness, hasn't been helped by Brian's and my travel schedules). So, since I'm going to be stuck at home all day, I figure I might as well see if I can catch up on my writing.

Wish me luck, folks...



*Updated reaction upon second, ten-years-later viewing: Much more enjoyable when you're [a] not in a jaded, cynical period of your life, [b] watching it on a proper home theater in high definition with surround sound, and [c] somewhat familiar with Baz Luhrmann's caffienated-weasel-on-cocaine editing style so you don't spend all your time going "What the fucking FUCK?" Also, "El Tango De Roxanne" is still possibly one of my favorite musical numbers ever.
missroserose: (After the Storm)
It's been an odd week. Busy, what with work and Zumba and Thanksgiving shopping and such. I got ahead on my writing, then fell behind again. Also, mood-swing city. Spent about half a day practically flying, then another half a day slowly deflating into, if not quite the depths of despair, at least its antechamber. And then I got tired of my pity-party, especially as I didn't have any Jim Beam Black to keep me company.

So what did I do to break out of the depression? I went to Sierra Vista and ate steak, along with Brian (who'd just finished an incredibly long work-project involving working over the weekend). Then he obligingly ferried me all over town looking for a copy of Moulin Rouge, because despite having a mixed reaction to it the first (and only) time I saw it nearly a decade ago, the thought of a high-flying Parisian period/modern musical mashup fantasy seemed like exactly what I needed.*

Appropriately enough, while we watched the movie I finally got around to trying a bit of the bottle of absinthe that my friend Janae brought me back from France. While (after performing La Louche) it was perfectly pleasant to drink, I was somewhat disappointed that I didn't experience any of absinthe's much-vaunted mind-expanding effects. However, once I ran the back label of the bottle through FreeTranslation.com, I learned that this particular type had been neutered "in accordance with regulations", with the additional psychoactive chemicals that supposedly come from the botanicals removed. So I suppose I'll have to hope someone gets me a bottle of the real stuff for Christmas.

Tomorrow (supposedly) the contractors are coming to fix our ceiling - the swamp cooler sprung a leak a couple of months ago, and the landlord and property-management company seem to be have had a bit of a time finding someone reliable to come out here and fix it (which, in all fairness, hasn't been helped by Brian's and my travel schedules). So, since I'm going to be stuck at home all day, I figure I might as well see if I can catch up on my writing.

Wish me luck, folks...



*Updated reaction upon second, ten-years-later viewing: Much more enjoyable when you're [a] not in a jaded, cynical period of your life, [b] watching it on a proper home theater in high definition with surround sound, and [c] somewhat familiar with Baz Luhrmann's caffienated-weasel-on-cocaine editing style so you don't spend all your time going "What the fucking FUCK?" Also, "El Tango De Roxanne" is still possibly one of my favorite musical numbers ever.
missroserose: (Default)
After nearly 28 years, endless diner visits and more ruined eggs than I'd like to count...

...I seem to have finally acquired the taste for Tabasco sauce.

(But that's not to say I wouldn't stick with Cholula if it was offered me.)
missroserose: (Default)
After nearly 28 years, endless diner visits and more ruined eggs than I'd like to count...

...I seem to have finally acquired the taste for Tabasco sauce.

(But that's not to say I wouldn't stick with Cholula if it was offered me.)
missroserose: (Show Your Magic)
Normally I'd just put this in my recipe blog, but I'm crossposting it, as I think perhaps some of my friends might appreciate some comfort food today.

I made these the traditional (yeasted) way once, and while they were delicious, they were also a huge pain - the recipe required lots of kneading and waiting for dough to rise, as well as being left overnight. But after trying out a recipe for pinwheel biscuits in The Joy of Cooking, I found a way to combine the two that was just as good as the original, and far simpler to make.

(Also, given the news that came in while I was making them, I was rather glad to have the comfort food shortly thereafter.)


Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
3/4 cup buttermilk

2/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c butter
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 c chopped pecans

2 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 c brown sugar
2 teaspoons (approx.) cinnamon


In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut up butter into pieces and cut into flour with two knives or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. (Do not allow butter to melt or form a paste with the flour.)

Add buttermilk all at once and mix together with a rubber spatula or spoon until dough starts to cohere. Lightly flour your hand and knead in the bowl until you have a nice round ball of dough; refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and grease the bottom and sides of an 11 by 7 inch pan. Put brown sugar, butter, and honey in small saucepan and whisk together over medium heat, until sugar melts and mixture boils gently. Remove from heat and stir in pecans, then pour into bottom of pan.

Get dough out of fridge and roll out into a (roughly) 10 by 16 inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar onto dough. Roll up the dough into a cylinder (like a rug), stretching it to fit around the outside as you go. With a sharp knife or a piece of floss, cut the roll into eight pieces and place them cut-side down on top of the syrup in the pan.


Look, I even remembered to take a picture this time!


Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Invert the pan over the foil, letting the syrup drip down through the buns. Devour immediately and as messily as possible.
missroserose: (Show Your Magic)
Normally I'd just put this in my recipe blog, but I'm crossposting it, as I think perhaps some of my friends might appreciate some comfort food today.

I made these the traditional (yeasted) way once, and while they were delicious, they were also a huge pain - the recipe required lots of kneading and waiting for dough to rise, as well as being left overnight. But after trying out a recipe for pinwheel biscuits in The Joy of Cooking, I found a way to combine the two that was just as good as the original, and far simpler to make.

(Also, given the news that came in while I was making them, I was rather glad to have the comfort food shortly thereafter.)


Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
3/4 cup buttermilk

2/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c butter
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 c chopped pecans

2 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 c brown sugar
2 teaspoons (approx.) cinnamon


In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut up butter into pieces and cut into flour with two knives or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. (Do not allow butter to melt or form a paste with the flour.)

Add buttermilk all at once and mix together with a rubber spatula or spoon until dough starts to cohere. Lightly flour your hand and knead in the bowl until you have a nice round ball of dough; refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and grease the bottom and sides of an 11 by 7 inch pan. Put brown sugar, butter, and honey in small saucepan and whisk together over medium heat, until sugar melts and mixture boils gently. Remove from heat and stir in pecans, then pour into bottom of pan.

Get dough out of fridge and roll out into a (roughly) 10 by 16 inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar onto dough. Roll up the dough into a cylinder (like a rug), stretching it to fit around the outside as you go. With a sharp knife or a piece of floss, cut the roll into eight pieces and place them cut-side down on top of the syrup in the pan.


Look, I even remembered to take a picture this time!


Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Invert the pan over the foil, letting the syrup drip down through the buns. Devour immediately and as messily as possible.
missroserose: (Default)
Now having made sticky buns for the first time, I'm rather in a position to appreciate Captain Edmund Blackadder's wisdom.

Verdict: Delicious, and deliciously messy, but given how much work the yeasted dough takes (you have to let it rise overnight, among other things), I don't think it'll end up being a regular favorite of mine. Perhaps for special occasions - sleepovers maybe?

Still, I must reiterate: nom nom nom.

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