Monday, January 26, 2009

The cold is passing!

The cold and its sense of great depression is leaving. Thank goodness! There is nothing worse than the feeling you are dripping brain lubricant AND life energy out of your nostrils.

The writing gig has been slow going, what with the cold and all. Mostly, I'm focusing on short stories for a little while. The two big novels are in holding position. The oldest of the two has been getting on-and-off attention, the Nano07 is in meditation. Mediation? Something.

Tonight I have been instructed to make Chinese food by my daughter. The tofu awaits me! I think tofu-bok choy stir fry with sesame seeds. Yummay!

Friday, January 23, 2009

We have a dumb mayor

That's really about it. I'm feeling all out of sorts about politics. On one hand, I woke up this morning to announcements that President Obama is closing Gitmo and outlawing torture. On the other, I've got the power center of Stumptown spinning in a whirlwind of confusion.

It's making my head hurt. I keep crying with joy about DC and shaking my head about PDX. Somebody get me some Advil!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Elevate my mood, quick!

Okay, it's time to call in the big guns--chocolate, caffeine, chips. Some days are worse than others. Nothing bad happened at work today, but after last week, I really needed something cheerful to happen. And the inauguration didn't quite cut it, because I was listening to the speeches through work distractions, and that only made me hate people more.

Right now, I just really, really hate people.

Pass me the chocolate!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Safety ninja

The day before yesterday at work a very small child, probably 18 months, escaped from his grandmother and almost went out the front door. I vaulted over the front counter and stopped him.

It was a Hot Fuzz moment, and I felt like a rockstar and the little guy's grandmother was blown away.

Damn it, I deserve a raise!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blue Corn Masa Dumplings--not vegan

Since I'm avoiding wheat this month, I'm enjoying a lot of corn- and rice-based dishes. Tonight, I tried a really tasty idea: masa dumplings. I found blue corn masa on sale at the Food Coop, and an old article in Gourmet magazine came to mind.

Begin with 1 &1/2 cups of pinto beans. Soak them overnight. Then cook with 3 C water & 1 Tb salt until tender; when beans are tender, add a minced clove of garlic (or 2 or 3!) & a chopped onion. Stir in 1/2 Tb olive oil, 1 tsp chili powder & 1 tsp cumin (more or less--I didn't actually measure). Add 1 Tb tomato paste & 1 1/2 C vegetable broth. Allow to simmer five minutes.

While it simmers, stir together about 1 C masa harina (the stuff that tortilla chips are made from!), 1 Tb baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and gently whisk one egg together with 2 Tb corn oil. Stir in 2 Tb vegetable broth. Begin to work into dry ingedients, adding vegetable broth as necessary to create a dough slightly stickier than Playdough. Roll into balls the size of walnuts and add to gently simmering broth (reduce heat, if necessary). Cover and simmer gently about 5 minutes.

We had ours with salsa and guacamole, but I bet a lot of chopped fresh cilantro would make this fantastic!

I would like to experiment with this recipe to make it vegan--I could probably use ground flax seeds to help hold it all together--but the dumplings turned out so light and fluffy I had to share them right off the bat.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Writing update!

While I did make it to the end of my Nanowrimo project, I am putting any work on that story way, way, waaaaaaay on the back burner. I am instead re-working the first book I ever wrote. And by re-working, I mean the kind of re-writing where you look at the original manuscript and say: "Awesome! Now I have a 125,000-word outline!"

If you had told me a year ago that I would need to do this kind of revision to save the story, I would have cried. But now I am really enjoying myself. It's actually very enjoyable to sit down, look at the events of a scene and just write it a whole new way. It's being re-written this way because it's the same story with a new heroine. So she has similiar motivations and similiar responses but not exactly. (The love angles wind up totally different because of this.) But most of the same awful stuff happens to her. It's the same world, new girl.

Or the same world, different writer? I don't know who has changed most, my heroine, or me. I just know that what I'm writing sounds totally different than what I started writing 4 years ago.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Updates and stuff

Updated the quote of the month to reflect my favorite hobby: the study of zombies. It's a hobby that's really drawn my sweetie pie and I together, and it's the foundation of my bond with my brother. I've got to say, I've got a soft spot in my heart for the undead.

Monday, January 05, 2009


It happened at the beginning of last month, and I've been waiting to write up a great "it was my birthday and these are my amazing insights" kind of a post. And waiting. And waiting.

It turns out I don't have a whole lot of insights about turning 30. Weird.

Actually, I am noticing some changes in myself. For one, I am not as cute and fuzzy as I used to be. The tough, grouchy lady inside of me is rearing her head--and getting appreciated, instead of pounded under. There are things that go along with that tough broad, like reading Stephen King again after years of turning up my nose at scary stories, and buying books about the martial arts. There are weird things, too, like changing snack preferences--I used to be sweets all the way, and now I'm transitioning to jerkey.

I don't know. Things are changing. I feel like my emotional bones and muscle are starting to appear from beneath the puppy fat of my youth. I'm not as cute as I used to be, and I think that's okay.