bloodyrosemccoy: (Old Spice Onna Horse)
Dang, my hands are getting a bit ripped up lately. It's a sign of a lot of entertaining myself, though.

Causes of hand-rip-uppery:

-CAUSE #1: This here bird. Lucy's friendly and cheerful and loves hanging out with me, but sometimes she does take bites out of my fingers. I've managed to convince her not to do it as much, but she still does in certain situations.

The annoying thing is that the best way to break them of the habit is to not snatch your fingers away, because that's what the bird wants. Instead you're supposed to hold your finger there or even push into it, which will throw the bird off-balance both physically and mentally. And that takes some damn willpower when that hooked bill is pinching with nutcracking force.

But we're having a good time other than that. I have also taught her not to be afraid of cardboard paper towel rolls because they contain treats. And she had a nice bath in a dish last weekend, but since then she's been less interested in the bath dish but keeps bathing in her water dish. So she's keeping clean.

She likes NPR. She will be an erudite bird.

-CAUSE #2: Been cooking a lot. I'm eating quite well (Lucy likes lasagna, too), and most of the dishes I've made are pretty good. However, we will not speak of the attempt to make corn dogs ever again. Turns out hot oil is hot.

-CAUSE #3: Kittens who still don't know how to retract their claws. I probably won't even feel completely at ease having a bird and I'm going to bring a pair of tiny kitties into my life. I am an idiot.

But we did have a nice day where the neighbors took the kittens out so they could romp on the lawn. Which was rather hilarious when our party attracted a whole bunch of neighbor kids. The poor kittens had started out exploring the concept of grass, but ended up exploring the concept of getting constantly picked up and juggled by six kids aged 4-11.

-CAUSE #4: Trimming grapevines. We shoulda done this months ago, but there was this whole MOVING thing going on. So I had to do it myself, though one of Dad's former patients, who works at a vineyard, came to show me how. (He got a pretty alarmed look on his face when he saw the 45-degree angle at which the vines are set up. Life on a mountainside has its disadvantages. But I enjoyed the trimming--it's kind of meditative.

Also, it turns out I am a wizard. I trimmed half of them, and then later that day it suddenly got cold and snowed. A few days later, it was springy again! So I trimmed the rest, and then THREE FUCKING FEET of snow promptly crashed into my house.

So apparently I have the power to summon snowstorms by trimming grapevines. Sure, it's very specific, but still. I AM ELSA. BOW DOWN BEFORE ME!

-CAUSE #5: Eczema.

No, seriously, that's it. Eczema is a plague upon me. Such is my life.

In conclusion, yes, I am having a good time, except for the eczema. All I have to do is buy some Band-Aids.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Calvin And Uncle Joker)
Musical Houses commences!

I feel like I should say something on this momentous occasion, but I have no idea what, so instead I'll just proclaim that my first act as head of the household will be to put the coffee maker in storage. Goddamn thing takes up too much counterspace anyway.

My next act will be to acquire a parrot.

That's right, I've gone mad with power. Mom'n'Dad should be having a good time, though--they're in Cheyenne tonight--so what they don't know won't hurt them, right?
bloodyrosemccoy: (Hobbit Hole)
Like most of my contemporary third-grade literati, I was a big fan of Brian Jacques' Redwall books, epic tales of the high adventures of mousies and their fellow woodland critters. They were an entirely new kind of fantasy for my narrow little brain in that they were almost completely devoid of magic--only a little bit of possibly mystical reincarnation, if that--but by god they were full of humor, swashbuckly swordfighting, heroic stunts, dastardly villains, colorful allies, and vivid settings.

And of course there was the food porn.

Oh, GOD, the food porn. I remember reading that Brian Jacques grew up in England during World War II, and if he wasn't exactly starving, there was never quite enough food, and what there was had an uninspiring quality to it. So he took to reading cookbooks like they were porn, and always lingered on feast scenes in the stories he was reading. And when he wrote his own stories, there was always at least one feast, with loving attention paid to describing every single dish on the menu. Holy shit when Mom read those books aloud to us we would get SO DAMN HUNGRY.

And the centerpiece of the food, for me, was always the moles' signature dish, the Turnip'n'Tater'n'Beetroot Deeper'n'Ever Pie. God DAMN that thing sounded good. In those days there was no Redwall Cookbook, and there MIGHT have been but the internet wasn't A Thing yet, so we just had to make up our own recipe. Mom tried many variations, but it wasn't till I came across a different book, Maggie Black's Medieval Cookbook, that it all came together. I combined her recipe for mushroom pasties with my own Deeper'n'Ever Pie recipe and voila! THE GREATEST FOOD EVER.

And I always celebrate Hobbit Day with one, because I think the hobbits and the moles would probably agree on what makes a damn fine savory pie, especially with the addition of mushrooms. So I'm gonna share my recipe with you, and if you want to celebrate a couple of great books with some great pie, be my guest!

Deeper'N'Ever Pie - Hobbit Variation

What You Need:

2-3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2-3 beets
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, chopped
cheddar cheese, shredded*
extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
2 pie crusts (I use Pillsbury because while I am good at some kitchen things, pie crusts are MYSTERIOUS ALCHEMY)

What You Do:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Parboil the beets whole, until they are soft, in one saucepan. When they are done, peel them (they're easier to peel after they've been boiled) and chop them, then toss them in a big mixing bowl

While that's going on, parboil the chopped carrots and potatoes in another saucepan. Drain them and dump them into that same mixing bowl

Lightly saute the onions and mushrooms in olive oil. Add them to the bowl

Now toss the vegetables till they're good and mixed. Mix in 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 tsp. mustard powder, and dashes of salt and pepper.

Mix in the shredded cheese.

Now put one of the pie crusts in your pie pan. Then dump the filling in!

Cover with the other pie crust. Pinch the crusts' edges together. Punch a few holes artistically in the top crust with a fork.

Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Ta-da! You have an amazing Deeper'n'Ever Pie to share with your friends. Mom likes it with sour cream (Mom likes EVERYTHING with sour cream), but I like it plain. Maybe with an apple beer or some ginger ale, or some mulled ginger apple cider if you have it on hand. But no matter how you serve it, enjoy--and raise a glass of whatever you're drinking with it to Brian Jacques, who wrote some amazing books. Here's to you, Mr. Jacques.

*I have no idea where the moles got cheese. Only bad guys seem to eat meat in the Redwall universe; the good guys WILL eat fish when it's available, but they're mostly vegetarian. They're only vegan because they have to be, though--I think there's a passing mention of cattle in Redwall itself, but that was the first one published and the continuity got retconned so there is no good source of milk. But by god Jacques wants cheese and cream and butter, so he cheats with something called "greensap milk." I'm cheating right back with "actual milk" products.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Old Spice Onna Horse)
There are some bottles of experimental Earl Grey cream soda settling up in the fridge. I'll let y'all know how it tastes. If it goes well, I may try some Pride of the Port soda next.


Have been taking up jewelry-making again. Taking chainmaille a bit more seriously this time around. It's always difficult to get started with something, but this place has a few great starter kits. Plus, it's got colorful jump rings, and I am a sucker for colors. So far I'm trying a simple Box Chain rainbow necklace. I'm idiotically proud of how closely I'm managing to get the jump rings closed.


In the meantime, I've come across some pretty nifty-looking images of handmade LED Zelda-style Fairy-Inna-Bottle necklaces, but none of them are for sale. So I went with the next logical course of action and decided to make it myself.

Problem is, my knowlege of electricity is roughly that of a fifth-grader working through Fifty Fun Science Projects You Can Do At Home: something something battery something zinc copper something something circuit something LIGHT! And, y'know, for some reason I've picked up the impression that a potato is involved somehow. So I called my brother, what with him being an electrical engineer and all,* and he offered me some tips. The rest has been trial, error, and a lot of Googling. Oh, and gathering components. Once I get that done, the rest should be easy.


Mom got herself some roller skates, too. Now we just have to find a place to skate--outdoors, possibly, as spring gets moving.


I have mastered the art of Fish'n'Chips. I'd make myself a medal, but I'm already making a few other necklaces, and that would just be redundant.

*On the one hand, this a running joke along the lines of asking a linguist how many languages they speak. "Can you program my TV? I mean, you ARE an electrician!" No, he's an electrical engineer. On the other hand, though, I figured he probably knew a LITTLE more about practical circuitry than me and my potato.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Xenofairies)
What I Learned Since The Winter Solstice

  • The Cooking Hypothesis suggests that the invention of cooking precipitated a rapid evolutionary change in humans, allowing them to more efficiently process nutrients and, of course, growing bigger brains. I always said cooking was an important part of humanity, dangit!

  • Nancy Kerrigan was filmed right after being attacked sobbing and asking "Why? Why?"--and a lot of people thought she was being a wimp or a drama queen because she was only bruised. Dude, it still hurts, but quite apart from that, when you get attacked, it's probably TERRIFYING and it HURTS YOUR FEELINGS.

  • The difference between triple axels, triple spins, triple lutzes, etc., has to do with where you push off from and what direction you're facing and okay fine I've already forgotten.

  • Flavoring sodas is a lot like brewing tea. Really sugary tea.

  • But brown sugar makes them taste rather bitter.

  • Also, soda-brewing is similar to making beer, except you don't let the yeast go far enough to make alcohol.

  • Furthermore, there is a lot of argument over just what the "cream" in "cream soda" refers to. Vanilla? Adding cream to the soda? Or cream of tartar? It's a HISTORY MYSTERY.

  • In tangentially-related soda discoveries, SodaStream is a company fraught with political tensions and controversy.

  • Cloth pads and panty liners are surprisingly expensive, but also surprisingly worth it.

  • There is a constellation in the Southern Hemisphere called "The Poop." Yes, it refers to a ship's stern (poop deck), BUT STILL. HURRRR.

  • There are, naturally, all sorts of recipes for Ent-Draught on the internet.

  • Mainlining Atop The Fourth Wall has taught me something I always rather thought: I have terrible comic-reading comprehension. I do okay with some, mostly in comic strip form, but it takes me a long time to parse each page, way longer than it takes to read straight prose, so if I'm going to read a comic, I have to be committed. And even then I have trouble regarding them critically.*

  • I did learn, however, that lots of people find it extremely difficult to keep comic continuity straight. Comic writers, for instance. Case in point: Donna Troy.

  • The director of Tremors is Ron Underwood, who got his start in the film industry making educational shorts for Barr Films--such as one of my favorite Rifftrax-featured shorts, Library World.

  • My mom, who watched very little TV as a kid, nevertheless has strong opinions about what Mr. Peabody's voice sounds like.

  • Mork & Mindy was a spinoff of Happy Days.  Clearly, I never watched either of them.

  • Getting feedback on your novel can be a mixed bag. You get excited that you can make it better, but frustrated when you can't tell if the feedback makes sense.

  • Publishing a serial story online gets more difficult with each installment because there's a lot to keep track of. BUT DAMMIT IT'S STILL POSSIBLE.

  • You can unclog standard drain clogs with the use of science fair volcano technology.

  • After you turn into the left-turn-lane, it's legal to drive 500 freaking feet in that lane. Which is almost a whole block even here in Salt Lake City.

  • The Beautiful Creatures movie might be adapted from a novel of the same name, but don't let that fool you. It is clearly a remake of The Touch of Satan.

  • The first female-directed movie ever to gross more than $1 billion is Frozen. Which is awesome, but dang, it took a while to get there. Let's hope this is a good precedent!

*Interestingly, though, I read a lot of Archie comics as a kid. It fascinated me the same way 1950s Educational Shorts fascinate me--it shows some weird whitebread cultural ideal that somehow I can't look away from.

Geeky Chef

Jan. 24th, 2014 02:20 am
bloodyrosemccoy: (Hobbit Hole)
Tried to make some of Grandma's Fairy Soup* tonight. Not bad stuff, but I have got to learn how to cook squash longer. (It didn't help that Mom was hungry and kept demanding to know if it was soup yet every few minutes.) It always comes out a little too crunchy, which isn't how you want your squash.


Also, it occurs to me that now that Mom's got a soda charger, I can try to bust out some pretty excellent Chateau Romani. I still think that fermentation is more fun than using the soda charger, but fermenting is a bad idea whe milk is involved, so in this case we'll just roll with it.


Speaking of geeky chefs, [ profile] acrossthelake came by tonight to politely try some of my soup, and then we traded TV shows! I'm evangelizing Fringe to her--aw, man, watching the first season is a lot like hanging out with my old buddies--and she showed me the pilot of American Horror Story, which appears to be a show rooted firmly in the Unlikable People Making Bad Decisions genre.** I may have to keep going on it just to see what the hell kind of genre it's actually going for. But hey, no matter what it's good to be watching Fringe again. And even better to be hanging out with my friend again!

*So-called by myself and my siblings because in the Wind Waker game your Grandma makes the soup for you after you give her a fairy. I'm sure they didn't mean that she made the soup out of the fairy, but well ...

**Also it seems that its opening title music is played largely by those springy things on the bottom corners of doors that are supposed to keep the door from banging into the wall. An interesting choice.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Sweet Moves)
Mom was gone for the last two weeks, and you know what that means! Time for Adventures With Dad!

The first Adventure With Dad started while Mom was still around, the night before she left. The Fourth of July celebrations were marred, or enhanced if you’re like me, when some weather god left the Thunderstorm switch jammed on. So that night I went upstairs to make myself a snack, listening to the wind and the pouring rain and the thunder. Whoosh it went, and patapatapata, and CRACKA-BOOM!.

And then something on the roof went: WHUNKita-WHUNKita-WHUNKita-WHUNKA-WHUMPA THUD.

Well, shit, I thought. We’d just had the roof completely revamped, and here it sounded like Santa Claus’s drunken summer joyride had just gone horribly wrong all over it. I waited for the inevitable emerging of the other household members to inquire after that horrendous noise.

Nothing happened.

ME: Hey! Did anybody else hear a godawful noise just now?

DAD: *snore*

MOM: That’s just the thunder, honey. Go back to bed.

ME: Thunder makes a lot of noise, yes, but does not generally go “thud.”

Turns out the varmint caps Dad had installed a couple of years ago had been loosened by our roofing guy, and the wind had set a couple of them rolling merrily. We located one on the edge of the roof itself, but the other was nowhere to be found.

DAD: We should get out there and find it! And then put them back on! Right now! At 1:30 in the morning! In the pouring rain! With lightning and thunder around us!

ME: Dad, I am fairly sure no varmints are going to crawl into the chimney in the next 6 hours. Let’s wait until going on the roof doesn’t spell instant death, shall we?

We managed to convince him to go back to bed for a few hours. Fortunately the rain let up, and by the next morning it was clear enough that he could go out to track down the other cap (it was in the neighbors’ yard) while I took Mom to the airport.

When I got back, he was already on the roof.

ME: For crying out loud, you are a goddamn BRAIN AND SPINE doctor. Didn’t it occur to you that it was a basic safety precaution to have someone else around in case you fell ?

DAD: You were taking to long! THIS HAD TO BE DONE.

So the caps are back on, and Dad made it off the roof, and Mom made it to California.

DAD: *plaintive* Why do these disasters always happen when your mom leaves?

ME: It’s not so much that more disasters happen. It’s just that they feel disastrous because you and I are clueless goddamn morons when it comes to taking care of things.

DAD: You’re probably right. So, what shall we have for dinner tonight?

ME: Rice Krispies sounds great to me.

DAD: It’s going to be a long fortnight.

And it was. But it was a fun fortnight, too. Tune in next time for more Adventures, such as Cookin’ With Dad!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Sweet Moves)
Dad built me a deck!

He says it's for me, but I suspect it is also self-interest. It's right on the edge of my garden, anyway. And while the construction process was a bit awkward, what with Dad's tendency to stomp all over my garden and to assume that the sight of him building a deck is so enthralling that Mom or I ought to sit out there and watch him spend 8 hours fiddling every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.* Also, he suggested I put pots of geraniums on it, to which I casually noted that there are other plants I'd prefer, which apparently translated to "I HATE GERANIUMS AND ALSO FUCK YOU," so yeah, communication has been an issue.

But there's no denying that it was needed. Not so much the deck part, but the steps leading off it into my garden. The previous stairs were so warped that they were starting to look sort of Eschery, and it's hard enough to garden at a mountainous angle without the complication of nonEuclidean geometry. Not to mention the ever-present threat of tibial fractures.

So I am glad he did it. And it's a very nice deck, with fake redwood boards and copper accents. And I can put some plants on and around it! Just not geraniums, dammit. I am apparently remaining firm on that point. Go figure.

*Astute readers might wonder why I say "watch" and not, perhaps, "help." You are right to wonder, but I will explain: Helping would not work so well--both because I don't understand how to make cooperation happen, and because Dad is so insanely meticulous that even if you do try to help you largely wind up watching him check and recheck his math until one of you passes out from heatstroke.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Old Spice Onna Horse)
Hoo, busy weekend!


It turns out a pitched roof doesn't do much good if it connects to a flat awning over one's deck. The entire back half of the thing is sagging dangerously, and it's going to take money--a whole lotta spending money!--to fix it. In a stunning development, our homeowners' insurance is actualy going to pay for some of it. And as long as they're rebuilding anyway, they're going to throw in some skylights for free! Maybe the lighting in my house will actually improve!


Went to a Passover seder this weekend at Kate'n'Matt's. I had never been to a seder before. I am really not the sort you would normally invite to a seder unless you are exceptionally laid-back. Fortunately, Kate'n'Matt and their other Jewish buddy are exceptionally laid-back, so it was in the nature of a fun dinner party with some tradition tossed in. Also it was vegetarian, and Kate is a great vegetarian cook. Once we got to the part where we can actually eat, it was delicious.


Finally got some new soil worked into my garden and planted some beets and radishes and carrots, with the assistance of an enthusiastic three-ish-year-old neighbor who has been acting as local anecdotal evidence of the existence of Einstein Syndrome. Until a few months ago the little guy only communicated with squeaks and shrieks, when most two-to-three-year-olds are progressing from two-word telegraphic speech to full sentences. Then one day apparently his brain was all "Hey: WORDS!" and suddenly he went from little squeals to being full on motormouth. He narrated the whole time he scooped dirt and planted seeds and watered the garden and, I think, suggested mixing concrete in with the dirt to make a skyscraper. I ... I may have created a monster.


So, yes, it's lovely and summery out, and it is marred only by the fact that our next-door neighbors are AWFUL dog owners. They like to leave their stupid fucking pit bull* out on the back porch so that he can launch into a thousand years of barking every time something startles him, such as when a stiff breeze blows through the backyard or a moth lands on the side of the house. You would think this would be an easily solved problem--"Hey, your dog barks his fool head off whenever you're gone, here, I even printed out some tips on how to train him to not do that, thanks"--but these neighbors, like so many bad dog owners, are also terrible people, and a casual suggestion that maybe they should actually pay some attention to their dog results in DECLARATIONS OF WAR. Do not get me STARTED on the Saga Of This Goddamn Fool Dog. It's a tale retold many times in bad sitcoms. I wish it would stay in them.


But it is so NICE out! I may just head out and climb a tree. Maybe take along my notebook, get this stubborn installment of Scatterstone worked out (it's a great installment, so by god I gotta get it RIGHT!). Or maybe I'll just noodle around on my ocarina. If that dog's gonna bark, I might as well give him something to bark ABOUT.

*SPECIAL NOTE TO PIT BULL APOLOGISTS: I am sure there are lovely pit bulls in the world! I expect they have responsible owners and are themselves the very essence of dog urbanity! There are certainly pit bulls out there with intelligence and poise and the ability to not bark like incessant car alarms! THIS PIT BULL IS NOT ONE OF THEM.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Not So Lucky)
Good news, everyone! After six months in the hospital and recovery, Neighbor Cat's owner is coming home on Thursday! And just in time, too, because I was seriously considering just adopting that darn cat to make things more convenient for me and also so that she wouldn't go entirely crazy.* I may get a little wistful about the times I'd just go hang out with my puffy little pal, but it'll be REALLY nice not to have to get up and walk down the street every morning.

Of course, it's not as easy as all that. It never is. After the regimen of steroids, which I had to administer four times a day for a week and thus made me consider just moving into the house, failed to fix the cat's eye, I checked with the vet and told Neighbor Lady's Son that she needed to go back for another appointment. He assured me he would get right on that. Back in January.

Guess who wound up finally taking the cat to the vet in March?

So I got a sound scolding from the vet. Being the honorable sort, I manned up and pinned all the blame on Neighbor Lady's Son. Apparently Neighbor Cat's lower eyelid has managed to curl in on itself like a jelly roll, and it's swollen. She gave me more eyedrops and some gunk that's supposed to boost the cat's immune system--I put it on the cat's paw and she licks it off, I guess. Apparently it is fucking delicious for cats, so at least there's that.

ME: And how many times a day do I have to do THAT?
VET: Two.
ME: TWO? Oh my god, THANK YOU. I can just do it when I feed her. Oh, Vet Lady, you have made me the happiest fur-clogged caretaker in the world.
CAT: Fuck you all, this carrier is small and somebody's been prodding me and I can't feel my eyeball now and I hate car rides and IS THAT A DOG?
DOG: Saaaaay.
ME: Whoops, let's just move this carrier out of the eyeline of curious dogs.
DOG'S OWNER: *greatly offended* Well! He just wanted to LOOK.
ME: Look, the cat has had a really rough day, but she has yet to piss herself with terror. I would like to keep it that way.
CAT: I just want to go back to my nice quiet house and hide under the bed!

Except when we got back to her house Neighbor Lady's Son was there installing railings and a gate around the staircase. It's supposed to keep Neighbor Lady from falling down the stairs, but it's only about two-and-a-half feet high, so really it seems like its only contribution if she loses her balance will be to act like a fulcrum and flip her over so she lands on her head. But whatever. The point is, in order to install it, her son had every power tool in existence blasting away.

ME: Let's get this carrier open ...
ME: ... Did she just straight up TELEPORT into the bedroom?
SOMEWHERE UNDER THE BED: There is definitely not a cat under here. Go away.
ME: Very well, cat. I shall return later to get your food and medicine. I apologize in advance for the eyedrops.
BED: I can't hear you.
ME: Is there an industrial-strength pet-roller around here? Believe it or not, I am not actually wearing a furry grey jumpsuit.

So it's been a hell of a weekend for the poor thing. And, of course, now she gets to look forward to being tackled twice a day to get drops in her eyes. This is all a plot to make her really happy when Neighbor Lady gets back, isn't it?

*Actually, I had been considering it for about four months now, but there were things to consider: for one, they kept assuring me that Neighbor Lady would probably only be away another couple of weeks, and I didn't want it to look like I was stealing her cat. Also, as noted, Neighbor Cat is declawed, and our own cat is ... well, not.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Xenofairies)
What I Learned Since The Autumn Equinox:
  • It's a bit painful to win the trust of a shy cat and then have to destroy it again when you have to give her eye medication every few hours.
  • Those profoundly stupid-looking Breathe-Right strips you stick on your nose? They help ENORMOUSLY when you have swollen sinuses.
  • Awesome animator Friz Freleng would concentrate so hard on animating a scene that you could literally set fire to his desk while he was at it and he would not notice. His friends discovered this through several practical experiments.
  • Some gallbladders have really recognizable problems, like gallstones. Others just slowly croak over several years.
  • Trunk or Treat is not reserved for just Utahns.
  • Sharpie makes good pens that don't give me a headache now!
  • Quenya has an extensive case system, but it's also kind of weirdly redundant. Seems Tolkien had trouble making up his mind about a lot of things.
  • If your political party forcibly ejects anyone who demonstrates even an iota of rationality, it will not go well for your crazy-go-nuts party come Election Day.
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is known as the movie that invented the twist ending, but what I didn't know is that it was invented by accident because the studios thought the original untwisted ending was too macabre. Studio execs--messin' with your movies since 1920.
  • It may be sad to leave your cross-town library job, but dang is it a relief not to have to drive that far all the time.
  • When I observed a couple of years ago that Kevin Clash has gone mad with power, I was more right than I knew. (I was talking about the supersaturation of Elmo in everything! I didn't expect THIS! DAMN YOU, KEVIN CLASH)
  • A single episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? on Youtube exactly equals one medium session of boring WiiFit Free Step. Time flies when everything is hilarious.
  • There may be another unexpected upside to switching narrators in my Doctors! story: my former narrator gets back all the weird characeristics that got in the way when he was narrating! Why didn't I do this sooner?!
  • That butter-and-flour mixture I've enjoyed making for years as the best part of soup-cooking is called a roux.*
  • The ch in "chalcedony" is pronounced as a k.

*I know how to do a lot of things in the kitchen, but I don't know what to call a bunch of them. So years after I've learned something I'll find out there's a word for it. Clearly I need an authoritative 1950's narrator looking over my shoulder at all times.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Bat Signal)
My cooking days fast approach, and I'm completely out of ideas. What the heck should I make for dinner tomorrow?
bloodyrosemccoy: (Calvin And Uncle Joker)
A Pretty Good Sign That You Are Turning Into A Grownup

When asked what you want for your birthday, you reply "I could use some new underwear and pants!"

An Even Better Sign

You are really excited when you get them, too.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Ferb Rocks)
I tell ya, there's nothing like fixing a broke-ass toilet, with wrenches and valves and so forth, to make one feel like a GOD DAMN COMPETENT MOTHERFUCKER.

What else can I fix?
bloodyrosemccoy: (Calvin And Uncle Joker)
Why I Was Late For Work On Saturday:

DAD: Hey, Amelia!
ME: Aaaagh! Don't come in! I am in a state of undress.
DAD: Fine, I'll holler through the door. But I need an opinion.
ME: I believe that the Star Wars prequels detract from George Lucas's original commitment to mythicism and remove the mystique of Darth Vader, and therefore do not count.
DAD: I need an opinion on the window in our back door.
ME: I'm for it!
DAD: Just put on some pants or something and come see.

So I got dressed and went out to see what had Dad so darn puzzled.

ME: Huh.
DAD: See what I mean?
ME: It appears to be … shattering.
DAD: Yes.
ME: How long has this been going on?
DAD: I'm not sure. I just noticed it a few minutes ago.

The back door was, indeed, shattering. In the progressive aspect. As we watched, an ever-denser network of cracks was crazing its way through one of the full-size panes. It was making an ominous noise, too.

BACK DOOR: Kk … kkk-kk … kkk …
ME: This can't possibly end well.
DAD: Any suggestions?
ME: I'll check the internet. Hey, internet! What do I do about cracking windows?
INTERNET: So you want to hack your Microsoft operating system, eh?
ME: What? No! I'm talking about windows slowly bursting into a thousand shards!
INTERNET: Oh, you're looking for XXX Mac/PC slash fiction!
INTERNET: Well, I have some legal forums with advice on tenant/landlord disputes pertaining to broken windows.
ME: That's closer, anyway …
INTERNET: Or there's always XXX tenant/landlord slash fiction!
ME: … The internet is no good, Dad. We're on our own.
BACK DOOR: Kk-kkk! Kk …

The window was bowing slightly now, and tiny grains of glass were sprinkling onto the porch. We supposed we could let it shatter by itself, but there was always the danger it would explode and make an awful and unsafe mess--especially not good if a certain cat decided to bang on the door to come in. And neither of us wanted to spend the afternoon in the emergency room digging glass out of our eyeballs, as might happen if it blew up at us. So we decided to do the most logical thing: cover it with a tarp and smash it ourselves.

BIG STICK: *thunk*
ME: You hit the wall.
DAD: THAT WAS A PRACTICE SWING. You concentrate on holding up the tarp.
ME: You want I should paint a bull's-eye on it?
ME: All right! Quick! Grab as much loot as you can--oh, right, we live here.
DAD: Please tell me I only got the outer pane.
ME: Inner one's still holding strong!
DAD: The precision of a surgeon, that's what I have!
ME: But you're terrible at breaking and entering.

We looked at the pile that used to be our back window.

ME: S'pose we ought to clean this up.
DAD: "We"? You're already late for work. You get to the library. I'll clean up.
ME: Absolutely. I leave the glass-handling to you, the surgeon whose entire livelihood is based on uninjured hands!
DAD: As it should be.

We're still not sure what broke the window. My theory is that the wooden frame has been warping for years, and the glass has been under stress, so that when something hit it on Saturday it was the last straw. But the way it shattered in slow motion was unexpected. At least we have another pane, so that thieves and murderers, and more to the point raccoons, can't get in.

… Come to think of it, maybe it was the raccoons. Wouldn't put it past those little bastards.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Hobbit Approved)

Deeper’n’Ever pie for dinner.

Heck yeah you know you want some.

*Or, in molespeak, Moi Koind o' Poi.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Midna)
Those of you who’ve been around for a while probably know a bit about my wild subconscious: I have super-intense and detailed dreams, highly augmented by the Fukitol pills I take. Normally they’re sweeping crazy epic journeys, or prolonged anxiety dreams,* but they do like to step outside the box once in a while.

For instance, I recently dreamed that I was making pumpkin soup with ginger, allspice, and coconut milk. And I woke up and was all, “That doesn’t sound half bad.”**

So today I figured what the hell and tried to make a soup. I embellished a little—added nutmeg, garlic, onion, salt, a tiiiiny bit of sugar, and chicken stock to the mix, since the Great Pumpkin Prophecy lacked some spice.

And y’know what, it actually turned out goddamn delicious. Never let it be said my subconscious doesn’t know its way around a kitchen. Even a nonEuclidean one.

(It tasted particularly good with goat cheese crumbled in it, and yes, I got that idea from the Soup Dungeon in Twilight Princess. Which also raised another question: if I knew anything about the internet, then I could bet my pants that there was already a recipe out there for Yeto’s Superb Soup. So I set out into the wide Googlelands. Guess what? I get to keep my pants.)

*Not so many Ancient Egyptian Algebra tests at the moment; my anxiety at this point seems better represented by the kind of dream where the plane leaves five minutes ago and holy fuck you still have three houses’ worth of stuff to pack and every time you think you’ve got it all done you discover another pile of stuff still waiting.

**When I was a kid I was always completely amazed when a grownup would describe the ingredients in a particular meal and another grownup would say “That sounds delicious!” It was impossible for me to conceptualize how flavors went together until I’d actually tasted the finished foodthing—and then I only understood it as a gestalt particular to that foodthing. Took me years to get a sense of flavor enough to be able to say “Dang, you’re right, that DOES sound good!”

Ugly Bugs

Dec. 5th, 2011 12:29 pm
bloodyrosemccoy: (Movie Sign)
There are moments that test your humanity. When adversity strikes, the raw animal components of your personality must strike a balance with the more rational, neocortical ideas and values, allowing your true colors to shine in the most horrific of moments. It is a moment that hardens a soul, the great pressure crushing all the raw aspects of a personality into an adamantine ore that is the core of your being.

Like, for example, when you find a big dead cockroach in the middle of your room, you find out your diamond-hard core is made entirely of PANIC. I wound up spiralling into a horrible vortex of anxiety, shame, and a CLEAN ALL THE THINGS mania. ROACHES AAAAH. When dinner was ready Dad found me finally clearing the accumulated dust from behind the tea shelf and the jewelry pile.

He seemed really apologetic. "It's okay, we'll clean this up. Just use the Shop Vac, we'll get this done, don't worry!"

"Thanks," I said, "but I'm already over the anxiety attack. Now I figure I'll just use the energy while I've got it."

(Later I found out why he was so contrite: he'd declared that it was my messy room that had invited in the cockroaches, till Mom pointed out that they'd more likely chill in the kitchen, and anyway the reason there's so much stuff in my room is because I am keeping it IN ONE ROOM.)

The good news is that it's finally inspired me to clean my room. My room is a clutterspace--I try to keep ahead of it, but I accumulate paper stuff at an alarming rate, what with my obsessive notebook-keeping and my love of books. Even if ol' Roachy rode in on my pants cuffs from the Liberry, where we DID have roaches, all those books on my shelves and under the desk and at the foot of the bed and behind the TV could definitely use a dusting.

Meanwhile, if he DIDN'T ride in from the outsides, I'm going to seize on the most reassuring thing I can, even if it happens to be an article from Cracked. It's like having ants. Large, ugly ants.

Go with me on this. Nobody wants to see my diamond-hard core of panic again.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Sweet Moves)
Okay, I may have gone a little nuts in the garden store today. I couldn't help it! I have so much more ground to put plants in now! And Dad turned the soil for me today--I think he's as excited as I am.

... On the other hand, I am the one sitting around cataloging the seeds and plants I bought (OMG PEPPERS! COLORFUL BEANS! PUNKINS!) and charting where I'll be putting them, so maybe not. I want to plant them already, but there are things to be done first--I started digging up the dandelion roots today and severely traumatized some earthworms, and tomorrow I'll finish that and try get my nice new dirt laid out.

I normally like dandelions, but that's when they're not in my vegetable garden space. However, I gotta tell ya, there is nothing like yanking out roots to make you feel like the god damn king of everything. Soon I will demand you call me Captain Vegetable, but for now, I may have blown out my knees and shoulders hauling those bags of dirt down all those stairs and tiers,* and I think I need some Advil.

I bought more thyme, too. It will work, dammit!

*And if you don't think I sang "I've got a bag of dirt" like Captain Jack Sparrow did in the second PotC, or spoke to said bags specifically so that I could address them as "dirtbag," you don't know me.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Sick And Tired)
Oh, dang, I forgot to tell y’all about the end of the Varmint Invasion!

So a few days into this fiasco, I noticed a whole lot of scuff marks on the outside of the garage door. It looked like an animal had been scratching at it pretty heavily, but it seemed a little weird to have an animal clawing at the garage door. But then it struck me … the garage door has two positions, and one of them is up.

So we lowered it and went into the garage, looking up at the ceiling above where the scuff marks would be if the door were up.

And there was a big old hole.

So! It may or may not have used the chimney to get in, but judging by the mess inside the hole, this was definitely an entry point. So we have capped the chimney and sealed up the hole, but not before the Varmint Dudes sprayed Raccoon Repellent and Raccoon Poop Neutralizer into both areas.

The soffit we left smashed for a couple of nights, because the mother’s relocation of the baby raccoons took a few nights, and we wanted to be damn sure they were all gone. (We were not hugely worried about her changing her mind and moving back; for one hing, it looked hard enough carrying those little suckers down the mountain. Carrying them back up would be super difficult.) But after a while of inactivity, it was reasonable to assume that was it for raccoons in the attic, and we closed it up again.

I’m glad she managed to relocate with minimal interference from us humans, too. Trapping would be a lot more strenuous on everyone, although the mother might have welcomed a respite from dragging the kids around. So now they’re outside the house, and all is right with the animal/human dynamic again.


bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)

July 2016

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