sienamystic: (horse)
Back on the East Coast, hanging with the family in the Virginia burbs. I have been mostly happy with these prospects, especially since Back Home has been getting hammered by blizzards, but although I love my mom very much, I also know how crazy she is, and feeling cheerful despite her rapid mood swings has been a little more difficult for me. That and the far-right-wing radio shows she marinated herself in - there's usually something blaring as background noise no matter what she's bustling around doing.

Also, as I've likely mentioned in the past, nobody likes the man she married (hell, she doesn't like him half the time), in large part to his yelly personality (got to hear him screaming, on the phone, from the basement, at multiple hapless drones about professionalism and customer service. It was precisely the opposite of fun.) and his ability to go from zero to TMI in a matter of seconds. Not gross TMI, but I don't need to know about his therapy for his angry inner child, you know? Frankly, I could have guessed at his existence, and I don't need details.

Also, have been fighting the usual worries I have about taking vacation time, because of course that's when they realize how incompetent/useless/disposable I am, right? At least my brain enjoys unrolling those scenarios. Honestly, while I love my therapist and have unloaded a lot of stuff on her recently, I don't think I'm getting any sort of handle on my anxiety, and I don't think I can afford to keep going. It's forty dollars a session, and that's just enough to make things pinch elsewhere.

But time spent with my sister is always great, and we got to enjoy a particularly awesome early Christmas present from her and her boyfriend - another trip to the Korean spa. So today we spent a lot of time soaking in hot tubs, paddling around to different parts of a pool with different massaging jets, immersing ourselves in the red clay ball room, dozing on a floor with radiant heat, eating good Korean food, fighting over a mango smoothie, and mostly just laying around. It was delightful, and I want to move in and never leave.

Also, we've been eating a lot. A LOT.
sienamystic: (Anya)
So this has nothing to do with the rampant over-sharing I regularly do on here. In fact, this isn't really a problem, it's just a thing I'm thinking about in that vaguely-irritated-but-not-really sense.

So I buy old magazines, the 1960s and before. As you do. And I scan fun advertisements and share them on Flickr and post them to an LJ vintage ads group, and occasionally put them up on Tumblr, etc. As you do. I make no claims of copyright over them, because I don't have that right. And most people who see them and want to put them on a website do the polite thing and do the link back and yadda yadda. So it's annoying to see one of your own scans posted with a link back to somebody else's Flickr page, and follow that link to find a few other scans you did there in the same photostream (because they were kinda crappy scans to begin with and so easily identifiable) and then the other person has slapped a copyright symbol on them. Probably the default setting, but it gets on my nerves a little bit. Welcome to the internet, you must be new here, blah blah. Still ticked me off a tad.

So that's it, actually. A minor gripe about something that no doubt goes on all the time and this time I happened to see it. So thanks for listening, and have two Hostess ads, from 1928 and 1930.

No wonder tea guests are frankly amazed to hear that cakes like these are bought at a grocers )

Cake doesn't have to be homemade to be good, Mrs. Hale finds )

A caution

Jul. 4th, 2012 05:33 pm
sienamystic: (Be More Awesome)
Note to self: when you've previously had chocolate cake overflow it's pans and all over the oven, clean that shit up before trying to cook anything in the oven again. Billowing clouds of smoke plus bits of charred batter on fire in the oven are no fun at all.

In other news, thanks to Ask Mefi, I'm now reading Herman Wolk's Marjorie Morningstar and really enjoying it.
sienamystic: (etc etc etc)
My birthday is tomorrow - looks like my gift from my mom is going to be a new tire. On Friday Bemo was dropping me off and a giant group of high school boys was trooping across campus and knocked over a normally-secured metal pylon. Cue loud yelps, clanging noises, and one big distraction, cue a slightly-too-hard curb check by Bemo, cue a flat tire showing up later that day and requiring a replacement. I am doing my best not to be really surly about yet another unexpected expense. I took out my irritation by cleaning the kitchen - at least all that energy can be harnessed for something worthwhile.

There's nothing that makes me realize how small the world has gotten than texting with my sister wile standing in the prep room unframing paintings, while she is on the other side of the world and about ready to go to bed. She's still on Mindanao, and aside from some mild annoyances with her classmates and some digestive issues and a sore throat, she's having a good time. She's prone to swollen tonsils, so fingers crossed that she shakes off the sore throat. She's already planted rice with a carabao, visited a shelter for young gang members trying to transition out of that life, and talked with a couple doing outreach through art.

Meanwhile, another friend is in Morocco and two coworkers are enjoying two weeks in Spain. I am in full-on travel yearning mode.

Also, continuing to love Legend of Korra, even if the dialogue was a little stilted this ep and I wish they had more time to spin out the story. Several characters are suffering a bit from the pace and the romantic strands of the story aren't being handled very well, but the action sequences are dynamite and I remain deeply in love with Lin Bei Fong.

Got a box in the mail from my mom. As usual, it includes things I wanted (a trashcan from Singapore that I had as a kid, featuring three flamingos, some Chiz Curls from a Filipino market because none of the markets here carry them), some things I didn't expect but were nice surprises (clothing from my sister - we've been swapping things) and some absolutely batshit stuff only my mom would think I want (a busted plastic knight's helmet, some clothing from mom that she knew I wouldn't fit into) and some things I wish she had not seen (A FAN LETTER TO RICHARD DEAN ANDERSON THAT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE READ BY ANY OTHER EYES). Oy.

Am currently watching some track and field events to get jazzed for the upcoming Olympics, which I unabashedly adore watching - not just track and field but a ton of events I otherwise do not follow at all. Am currently speculating that if I were a javelin thrower, I'd set up dummies and pretend to be attacking enemy troops. Meanwhile, a roast is filling the house with a very nice odor of steak and onions and potatoes, and I'm anticipating something delicious soon.
sienamystic: (eclipses)
1. Aww, Korra. And I love Tenzin and his family more with every show.

2. I just had to pay for my license plate renewal and it's almost as much as my monthly car payment. Gnngh.

3. I dreamed this morning that I was running around the house picking up cat poop. Not exactly inspiring on any level.

4. I'm ready to see the Avengers and Brave.

5. I have a doctor's appointment on Monday and I don't want to go.

6. One of my cats is sitting in the bathroom, staring blankly at the toilet.

7. Think I'll make room for a bike ride today.

This is kind of how I feel right now:

Kit in the window
sienamystic: (Jareth)
The green curry chicken dish came out really well, including the clumsy but ultimately successful dissection of the chicken into component parts to bubble away in the coconut milk. And the second chicken (what I had taken as a giant chicken turned out to be two more normal-sized ones, tucked side by side...clearly I should have been counting legs) has just been roasted last night and will be turned into sandwiches. And I made another batch of the veggie bacon pasta, which has turned into an old reliable dish. And in-between somewhere there, there was a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

One of my weird psychological quirks is a deep love in preparing food, and then a lot of indifference about whether or not I actually eat any of it (or go have a peanut butter sandwich later). Strangely, my sister shares this quirk, which crops up every once in a while unpredictably. (Certain dishes never trigger it, and the longer a dish is in my rotation the more apt I am to share a bowl of whatever it is on the spot). Neither of us can pinpoint any reason for this weird reason, unless my thesis research on nurture, the woman's role in feeding, and fasting as it relates to female mystic saints still carries over to modern times. Which, I suppose, it may, but I'm damned if I can see how.

So this is all a roundabout way to say that the green curry chicken was great, but I'll probably eat more of it next time when I've had more time to work out my relationship to it, but I've already eaten a bunch of the plain roast chicken because I make those all the darn time.
sienamystic: (outlaws)
I am so hopeless at refusing people who are excitedly trying to sell me things and calling me honey and being super-helpful. Because I went into the Vietnamese grocery and came out with a giant frozen chicken plus all the fixings for twelve years of noodle dishes.

pro/con

Feb. 19th, 2012 08:30 pm
sienamystic: (tempt me)
The good thing about a waffle maker - plenty of delicious waffles
The bad thing about a waffle maker - we're eating too many waffles
sienamystic: (LIfe)
Damn, Damian Lewis. I need to check my top ten list and make sure you're on there.
sienamystic: (DADA)
Grab the nearest book to you, turn to page 45, and read the first sentence. It will describe your sex life for 2012.
"Spade did not look at the pistol." - The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett.
Uh, let's hope that's not actually prophetic in any way.

Have made chicken chili and served it up with really good cornbread from a Trader Joe's mix (and I even got to use my cast-iron skillet for the purpose.) Pretty good for the day when the weather has turned from an unbelievably nice span of weather to windy and briskly chilly.

Have not yet gotten back in the going-to-the-gym groove. Why is it so hard? It used to be a routine part of our lives, but somehow going back after a long absence is like pulling teeth. We're on for Friday. Thursdays are aikido, and I may start volunteering for the children's class, although I'm not sure yet.

It's hard to type with two cats snuggled against you. I thought I had more to say, but then Fat Orange lay down on the keyboard, so I think that's it for tonight.
sienamystic: (SPQR)
Hanging out at a coffeeshop grading tests and listening to David Bowie (makes remarkably good background music to do this.) Am contemplating a pot of tea, but then I'd really be drowsy and less inclined to get work done than I already do. Outside is a railyard and beyond that, a pretty pink and white and purple sun setting over what was a very nice late-fall day that has included some tasty banh mi from the food truck and some lounging on the sofa before I headed out to get some work done which as you can see, I'm responsibly plowing through.
sienamystic: (tempt me)
I wanted to buy one for myself for my upcoming birthday, but am dithering. Any opinions, people?
sienamystic: (Trust Me)
Not sure why, but I haven't watched The Mentalist all season. But I dvr'd the finale and just watched it, and it was really, really good. I'll try and start watching next season, for sure.

Also, way to go, Bradley Whitford. That was a nice acting turn.

In non-tv news, we just went over to a coworker's new apt (we'll be sitting her slinky black cat Sam for her) and found the little complex she's in now very appealing. It's a small cluster of two-story apartment buildings around a small grassy courtyard, and the apartments themselves are well-maintained and located in a good neighborhood. They're not really very far away from where we are now...maybe only about two miles further out. It would be a longer bike ride, but I could still pedal to work if I wanted to.

It was enough to tempt us into at least looking into their apartments...our lease is up in June, and while I like the apartment we're in for a lot of reasons, it would be great to get a second bedroom back again. On the other hand, neither of us is exactly jazzed about the idea of packing up everything again. So, I dunno.
sienamystic: (Let them eat cake)
Hey, guess who here is stress eating like a mofo? Who just made cake (which was a disaster, but still tasted really good. So, a tasty, tasty, buttery, disaster)? Who is attempting to dive headfirst into a bag of Trader Joe's veggie chips? (Note: very little veggie involved.)

I'm determined to make Feb the month of Finally Losing the Goddamn Ten Pounds That Stand Between Me and a Sub-200 lb Weight. To that end, most of my grocery shopping today was for stuff that will help me regain some control over my eating. But, my friends, I seem to be waiting until midnight on the 31st to regain that control. Trill it with me - streeeesssss eeeeeeaaaating!
sienamystic: (DADA)
and examine this carefully staged piece of portraiture to ascertain my current mindset.

Descriptive self-portrait
sienamystic: (Domina)
So, after Sayers falls out of copyright, how long will it be before someone writes Vampire! Peter Wimsey romancing prickly witch Harriet Vane?

And clearly, Bunter is a djinn.

Man, I should have requested this sort of crackfic for Yuletide.
sienamystic: (DADA)
Nobody will ever realize that we were serious about my mom's new relationship being threatened by a Pennsylvania hermitess and her scheming ways.
sienamystic: (SPQR)
I wondered why my Flickr stats had exploded recently - turns out the NY Times food blog linked to one of my scans of a Table Talk menu for January, 1912, and then the Redbook bobbing for apples bondage cover has just been launched onto Twitter. I will enjoy the pretty, pretty count totals before my images sink back into the great ocean of the internet and are mostly ignored once again, except for all those students looking for images of Michelangelo's Bacchus and the loyal cross-dressers who come to view my girdles.

Redbook cover Oct 1933, Bobbing for Apples
sienamystic: (tempt me)
Two rectangles of pate brisse chiling in the fridge for another bacon-mushroom tart and my first attempt at a Nutella one. The sweet one is for tomorrow, when Bemo and I will schlep over to a co-worker's house to eat chili, carve pumpkins, and toast the seeds for later eating.

Unfortunately, cooking seems to be a definite stress-reaction for me. I shouldn't have spent all the money I did at the grocery. It's going to be another tight month.

Enjoying the slightly warmer weather, since the past two days have been really chilly. The windows are open again and the cats are basking in window sunbeams.

Am contemplating going out and seeing if I can jog. Unsure as to whether this is a good idea or a quick trip to shin splints and large amounts of pain and/or humiliation.

Am contemplating putting up some of the genuinely 19th-century envelopes I own up on Etsy. If I do, how much should I charge for them? Should I sell them individually, or in sets or two or more? I'm thinking people would buy them for crafting purposes, obviously. The paper is quite nice and people like the copperplate handwriting. Plus, some of them are charmingly soot-stained.
sienamystic: (commedia)
Ratchet the cat has two methods for drinking water. Either he whines at the top of his formidable kitty lungs until I turn on the bathtub faucet - a carefully calculated trickle that results in his bonking us with his damp head minutes later - or he reclines by his waterbowl like Nero at an orgy, resting his chin on the edge of the bowl and lapping up the water in the same noisy way that an 80lb black lab would.

In other, non-cat news, I ran a little bit on the treadmill today for the first time, and I'm pretty pleased with how it went. I only did a few short bursts, keeping to a brisk walk for the rest of the time, and my knees remained happy and I got my heart rate up in a good way. So, y'know, woot and all that.

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