Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ok, Universe, throw some prosperity at me!

It's been a rough week. 

I'm still unemployed.  And I'm scared.  What if I'm not employable?  How the hell am I going to support my kid without a job?  It's not like I'm not applying, I am, all over the damn place.

Except I absolutely refuse to let this happen to me again.  I won't be unemployed and newly dumped and terrified about how I'm going to support my kid.  Not again, not for a third time.

And three day weekends when you're having panic attacks aren't as much fun as they'd seem.

I also had an RP date for Monday that fell through, but that was due to Real Life which comes first.  Luckily, I went over to a friend's house anyway, so I didn't miss out on the fun time for the one that didn't happen.

Today, in a short amount of time, I get to go back to the doctor to look into birth control again.  It's been a nice ten years not worrying about it, but I'm goddamned fertile and I don't plan to be celibate until menopause, nor do I want another baby.  (I'm already at the point where babies are cute and awesome and I like giving them BACK.)

I'm scared enough that I splurged and bought a lottery ticket, yesterday.  But I strongly suspect the only way out of this hole is clawing my way out of it.  But that's ok, aside from the terror of not having a job.  I'm not afraid of doing things under my own agency, it's the not being able to that scares me.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Fantasy and privacy

And yet another post. Two in two days, this might become a real blog!

What is difficult and what I have to remember is to keep a handle on my fantasies.  I've been pretty much living on them for a long time, now, and while I was fantasizing about game stuff, that was fine.  (Online role-playing games, called MUSHes.  Multi-User Shared Hallucinations.)

But what I can't allow myself to do is apply those fantasies to people.  I started, and had to pull myself up short yesterday and frankly, I don't need the ow of pulling myself up short.  I keep trying to be realistic and then having people tell me, "Well, don't unnecessarily close doors."  Well, no, but having those doors wide open is sort of like an invitation for me to let the wind blow all the goddamned common sense out of my head.  So I'll just leave my doors alone, when they're supposed to open, they will.

I don't think this was a door that was supposed to open, though, and I'm closing it again.  If I can just keep my damn foot out of it, I might be ok.  Maybe.

Meanwhile, it's a three-day weekend, which, for me, is going to mean three days of no privacy unless I go lie down on the couch with headphones and hiding under the blankets.  Which is a sort of privacy but I can't do it for the full three days.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Time for another blog post. 

I'm not writing this on LJ because people follow my LJ and that would make sense.  Instead, I write it on the blog that no one knows that I have, and therefore, if I'm whining, who'll notice?

A lot's happened in the last few years.  The biggest two are these: I got a kick in the ass about my health and my long-term relationship broke up after ten years.  I'm viewing both of these things as necessary kicks in the ass.  You see, I'd gotten comfortable in my life, and stuck in a rut, and frankly, rather depressed.  This is Change.  Not just change, but Capital-C Change.  But let's review.

First of all, I'm having two fun conditions.  The first is some inability of my body to process its own natural oils.  The symptoms of this are that a) my eyebrows frequently look like I have dandruff and b) while I'm asleep, the oils in my eyelids start to coagulate and I wake up feeling like someone's shoving ground glass into my eyeballs.  The second is this: a little over six weeks ago, I went to the doctor and found out that my blood sugar levels were just over the edge into diabetes.

The solutions are easy.  For the first condition, I take fish oil pills.  (I take a particular brand so that it doesn't feel like I'm burping lemon-baby-seal.) For the second, diet and exercise, baby.  I changed my diet around completely, and I'm exercising.  Both are much needed changes, but they seem to be working.  So far.  (On the plus side, I also had them do the tests for HIV and a few other STDs, just to relieve my mind of all cares on that score.  My mind is, in fact, relieved.)

So, now, I'm in the unenviable state of still living where I was, with the ex, my son, and the roommate.  Except now, I'm sleeping on the couch, (which is fine during the week and leaves something to be desired on weekends, when people seem to want to stay awake much later than I do.)  I'm job-searching rather frantically, and wanting one three months ago so that I can be out, already.

The breakup itself has been perfectly civil.  Really, in a lot of respects, it's not much different than it's been for the last few years, except that I feel broke, now, and there's no sex.  I know he's already talking to some other woman, and one would think I'd be jealous over that.  Instead, I'm finding a curious urge to cheer him on.  Like, if he can't be happy with me, and he wasn't, and I wasn't particularly happy by the end, either, when I let myself think about it, which wasn't often, then he should find whoever he should be with soonest.  We're split up, but he's still a good person, I still love him, even if we're through and don't want to be with each other anymore.  I want him to be happy.  He deserves it.  So do I.

I'm in flirtation-mode, myself, which means that I have at least four offers of sex from people who are far, far, far too far away to do anything about it.  (In some cases, this is a relief, as I do try not to sleep with married men, one is a dear, dear friend, and the fourth...well, the fourth is someone I could easily get very serious about and that worries me slightly.  Isn't it too soon to even think that way?  Luckily, he's in another state, and I'm here, and he isn't moving here and I'm not moving there.  Or unluckily.  I have yet to decide which.)  And I have some very, very good friends here, as well as family.

Oh, don't get me wrong.  I have minutes of SUCH resentment that it bothers me.  They pass, though.  (Truth to tell, they pass a hell of a lot quicker than the moments of panic about being unemployed and needing to move out.  Those stay for a long, long time, once they lodge.) 

But thanks to my sister, my son, and a good friend or five, I'm doing my best to look at this as an opportunity to change.  I'm not a victim in this, I'm half the reason for the breakup.  My lack of a job is on me, as is my efforts to find one.  I needed change in my life and I got it, big time.  This isn't a bad thing.  This is an opportunity for growth and maturity and meeting adversity head-on, and if I still cry and have panic attacks, well, at least I'm not letting them stop me. 

Everything is going to be fine.  But I can't move out soon enough for me.  For either of us.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baked Beans.

Ok, I'm pitiful.  I forgot I had this blog.  Another post, right here, and it's not like I have any followers, right?

So, I tried making baked beans again, today.  (This recipe: )  I changed up a few things about how I did it.

The first was this: I didn't just soak them overnight, I also boiled them for a while.  Change #2: I didn't make them in the slow cooker, and end up with way too much liquid.  I used my cast iron dutch oven.

Only two changes, but such a difference!  Although, I still needed more water in the soaking and more in the boiling.  (The beans absorbed nearly all the water overnight, so the top ones didn't look soaked enough, and while there was plenty of cooking liquid left, they would have benefited from another ten minutes of boiling.)  I took off the rind of the salt pork, and sliced it thin, and then chunked up the slices.  I used good dry mustard, and grade B maple syrup, as well as dark brown sugar.  I ended up liking the flavor of the sauce, very much.

The funny thing is that I always think my Lodge dutch oven is much smaller than it is, so when I put my 1 lb of beans and 3/4 of a pound of salt pork in, it only filled the pot about halfway.  I kept thinking it didn't look like enough.  Of course, it was a lot, and they're a little rich.

I also kept thinking about Laura Ingalls Wilder, describing her mother's baked beans in The Long Winter.  She boiled the beans, and they all drank the cooking liquid as broth for lunch.  Then she took the boiled beans, put them in a pan, decorated them with "scrolls of molasses" and a "bit of salt pork" and put them in the oven to bake slowly for dinner, and then, that was all they had for dinner.  (Eating these beans tonight, I could understand that.  They're very hearty and leave your stomach all warm and full.)  I've never been much of a bean fan.  My mom never made them.  But I keep reading about French beans, cooked with lots of pork and duck, or I try these beans and think that maybe my antagonistic feelings about beans are some prejudice I picked up from someone else, because really, I quite like them.  When I can remember to make myself eat them.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Recycling, the foodie way.

I picked up a rotisserie chicken and some asparagus...ok, a lot of asparagus for dinner, for yesterday.  I also realized that all I needed to make chocolate chip cookies was baking soda, so I bought that, too.

The chicken will be recycled tonight into yellow rice with sausage and chicken.  The carcass will make soup tomorrow.  The asparagus will go into a frittata with bacon on Thursday.

I love doing that, I feel so...thrifty!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Thomas Keller is a /GOD/, I tell you!

I'm sorry, I don't have pictures for this one.

So.  My sister bought me the Ad Hoc At Home cookbook, as I think I've mentioned, and I already knew that the Roasted Chicken on Root Vegetables recipe is heaven

Today was the turn to try the Leek Bread Pudding.  It's a savory bread pudding that he intends as a side dish.

Oh, did I mess with this recipe.  To start with, I didn't measure anything beyond the cream, milk and technically, the eggs.  I did slice the brioche bread into cubes and toast them...for half the time called for.  (I might go for the full 20 minutes, next time.)  I diced up half a pound of bacon, and browned that up, then pulled it out.  (Using good bacon means not a lot of fat gets rendered, just the right amount for the three leeks I used.)  I sauteed the leeks in the bacon fat, roasted the asparagus (which was already cut into chunks,) for 20 minutes with some truffle oil and kosher salt.  I chopped up the leftover chicken from the earlier recipe.  I made up the custard, and then realized that there was not enough liquid (my own fault, I deliberately shorted it,) and fixed that.  And then I put it together in a dutch oven: a layer of bread cubes.  Some chicken, some bacon, some asparagus, some of the leeks.  The rest of the bread cubes, the rest of the chicken, bacon, asparagus, leeks.  The custard.

Then I shoved it in the oven.  Then I came back, an hour later, to find that the oven  I burst into tears, turned it on, and an hour and a half later, found that it was PERFECTION.  It was so good, I nearly cried again.  Tadlet ate some of it and decided he didn't like it.  My SO ate some and said it was 'ok, but didn't knock his socks off.'  My roommate ate some and proclaimed it AWESOME, and could she have more, please.  There's about half of it left, I made a lot.

This stuff came out light, fluffy, savory, tasting lightly of the thyme I put in and not at all of the marjoram that I noticed.  It was just barely salty enough, between the bacon and the actual salt I added.  The brioche gave it enough sweetness to offset the bacon.  The chicken gave it a nice meaty texture and let me pretend that it was a balanced meal, between the chicken and the asparagus.  I added the last layer as leeks and those got lovely and crunchy.

It ended up being a lot of work, so this one won't be done too often.  I'd like to have a proper casserole dish to put it in, too, because I used the large pot that I make my mashed potatoes in, and it filled it most of the way.  Half the amount would make one /hell/ of a stuffing for a turkey, if you took out the chicken and possibly added some kind of fruit, instead.

And several days later, my sister's tried it and her reaction was so visceral that she turned beet red.  Sometimes, you manage to pull off the Platonic ideal of something.  This one certainly had a shining moment.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A good day.

In fact, this was a series of good days.

To begin with, I bought a set of Harmony interchangeable needles from  I love these things immeasurably: I prefer wooden needles, they don't hurt my hands.  And these are just beautiful, all colorful and laminated.  And I am knitting Knitty: Convertible on the size 6s, in a laceweight red silk yarn that makes my heart sing, it's EXACTLY the color red of the silk blouse I used to own, a bright, in your face red that lets you know, there's no other color it could be.  It's red.

HOWEVER.  Much to my dismay, one of the layers on one of the needles started to come off, just enough to snag the yarn at every stitch.  Knitpicks sent me a new set of size 6 tips!  I finished up a section and a half in one day, it made me sincerely happy.  Thank you, Knitpicks!

Then, there was dinner, last night.  It was Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc At Home cookbook.  I should likely wait until fall to do this one again, my root vegetables, which are usually so insanely good as to make a person cry, just weren't that wonderful.  Or I'll skip the parsnips.  I'm not sure.  Dessert, however, was a brainwave.  Because I used to read the French Laundry At Home blog, all the time, until it ended, and now I read her Alinea at Home blog.  But Carol Blymire did a roasted pineapple entry, one that intrigued me.  And I had a whole, fresh pineapple from the grocery store, already peeled and cored.  So I sliced it in half, lengthwise, and into half-rings, the other way, dotted it with butter, sprinkled on vanilla extract, in generous amounts, and lots of brown sugar, then baked it. 

And then ate a lot of it.  And want to make it again, now, it was better than it had any right to be.  It was sweet, tart, buttery, vanilla-y, and reminded me of the topping of a pineapple upside-down cake without the too-sweet cake.  I can't wait to make it again!