Songs of a Goat Singer
May 2013
 
 
 
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sibylla
sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Fri, May. 31st, 2013 12:13 am
I went to the doctor today for a follow-up to my previous follow-up. I've been going to physical therapy once or twice a week for a month now, and have been very good about doing the homework given me by Chris the Physical Therapist. I'm building up a nice bit of muscle underneath my padding, which makes me happy.

The doc seemed out of sorts while we were talking, and I wanted to touch him lightly on the arm and inquire after his mental health. I decided, however, that that would be wildly inappropriate, so I tried to make him laugh, instead. When he asked if I was doing the exercises Chris assigned me, I said, "Yep. I do them religiously - which is to say I do them every night, not just on Sundays". That line usually gets a chuckle, or a little smile at the very least.

Nothing.

And I suspect it didn't help that I didn't give Doc Musser the answers I think he wanted to hear. But I'm not going to lie to my doctor. It's not my job to COMFORT ALL THE PEOPLE, no matter what my instincts might be. Lying kind of defeats the whole purpose of going to the doctor in the first place.

Yes, I'm doing all my PT like a good little patient, and yes, the PT is helping some ... it's strengthening my core, where most of the fucked-uppedness is, and I can walk short distances more easily. "Short distances" means, like, around the house and yard without my stick. I feel stronger and more confident in my short walkings, and that makes me feel really good about myself, but the PT isn't really reducing my pain levels. I still require pain meds, especially for things like walking to the store and going grocery shopping. Stairs and uneven ground continue to fuck me up. I'm pretty sure that the Doc wanted to hear something like: Yes, the PT's amazing. I feel like a new person. With a few more sessions and regular exercise, I think I'll be all fixed and better and bipedal all the time.

But, like I said, I'm not going to lie. That's not my job. My job is to listen to my doctor, comply/cooperate as best I can, and tell him the truth about how I'm doing so that we can make informed decisions about my treatment.

I don't expect Doc Musser to fix me. I'm not sure that I can be fixed, not without a fair bit of surgery. I just want to be able to live my life without hurting so much all the damn time. That's all. I'm going to see the doc again in two months, and I shall tell him so ... again.

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sibylla
sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Thu, May. 2nd, 2013 04:33 pm

When I make this with kale, I cut off the tough stems and toss them in the compost. Also, I find that kale takes longer to wilt.

10 oz. fresh spinach (about 3 bunches), cleaned and chopped
1 tablespoon butter
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
½-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
A little water
A few pinches of the following: cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, allspice, cayenne
Salt to taste
2 - 4 tablespoons heavy cream
Paneer, cubed

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add garlic and ginger, sauté till golden. Add a tablespoon or two of water, then the spices. Stir and allow to simmer 5 to 10 minutes.

Add spinach, mix well to combine. Simmer on low heat till spinach is nice and wilted, maybe 10 minutes. More water can be added to aid in the wilting if necessary. Add salt and respice as needed.

Slowly add cream, stirring gently to combine, then add the paneer, if using. Simmer another 10 or so minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves two-ish.

A lot of people like to purée the saag and return it to the pot before adding the paneer.

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sibylla
sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Thu, May. 2nd, 2013 03:58 pm

Saag = made with just about any leafy green thing - spinach, collards, mustard greens, kale, et cetera.
Paneer = quickie cheese with a great many uses in Indian cooking.

First, you want to make the paneer, because making it is dead simple, and not everyone has a handy Indian grocery around the corner. Also, you're making cheese! How awesome is that?

So get the best milk you can. Good milk makes delicious paneer. I suggest using whole milk, but 2% works. Hell, add in some cream if you want to. I often do. Skim milk will give you a dry, rubbery thing that dreams of one day becoming paneer. Avoid crushing its dream by not using skim milk.

Pour your milk into a pot and slowly bring it up to a gentle boil. This is going to take awhile, so be patient. Also, don't wander off thinking you'll come back to it in a couple minutes, because you won't, and then your milk with either be scalded or boil over. So keep an eye on your milk as it heats. Give it a stir every once in a while to make sure it's not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Something you *can* do while you wait is to get the acidic thing - distilled vinegar, fresh lemon or lime juice, a little citric acid water solution. It doesn't really matter; it's not going to flavour the cheese.

When your milk is at the gentle boil, slowly pour in your acid, stirring gently. Curds will begin to form quickly. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the curds to separate from the whey. Providing there are no spiders around, now's a good time to sit on a tuffet, but do not eat your curds and whey. Instead, line a strainer with cheesecloth and pour in the curds and whey. Now you have curds. Some people like to run the cloth-covered curds through cool water to make sure no acid taste lingers. I've never noticed it make a difference.

Twist the curds up in the cheesecloth to squeeze more whey out. If you like, you can hang the cloth-covered ball of cheese over the sink, a bucket, a pan, whatever, and let the remaining whey drip out. 30 minutes should be long enough for the process.

Now take your cheese, still wrapped in cloth, and put a nice, heavy weight on it to make it flatter and squeeze out a little more moisture. Leave it for another hour or two. Come back later, unwrap your paneer and cut up for cooking. Yay, cheese!

So for your paneer project, you will need milk, 3 or 4 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice (or vinegar, whatever), and cheesecloth. I don't have actual cheesecloth, but use a nice piece of skrim. Muslin is good, too, as are flour sack towels. Important note: if you use cloth from around the house, make sure it hasn't been treated with fabric softener. You don't want Spring Breeze-flavoured paneer. I promise.

A quart of milk should yield enough paneer to go with a 10 ounce thing of frozen spinach.

Another note: This dish is also known as palak paneer, 'palak' meaning 'spinach', specifically.

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sibylla
sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Wed, Mar. 6th, 2013 07:28 pm

Oh, LJ, I've strayed and am heartily sorry. I've completely ignored you, pretended you didn't even exist. Will you ever forgive me?

Most of what I want to post here is bitching about a variety of things - the kittens under my house, my anger at my doctor and my fury toward his office staff, the resumption of life sans pain medication, and my grumpiness at mass transit for making me miss my therapy appointment *and* stand outside for an hour in 34°F weather, with a wind chill of 24° for added insult.

But it's not all complaint. I have some naked pictures taken Saturday evening that I quite liked; I went to a Dropkick Murphys concert with Lovelace Monday evening and had a *brilliant* time; and I've recently started to really connect with my therapist, so that's a good thing, too.

I may write about all these things. But, for the moment, Lovelace has just gotten home from work, and I have a lovely brie, cracker, and apple snack that needs attending to, as well as a shivering puppy.

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sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Fri, Jan. 25th, 2013 12:39 pm
Today, I feel all grown-up and accomplished and shit ... and it's only lunchtime!

I woke up on my own just before 10:00 and stayed awake. I've been going right back to sleep and staying there till 11:30 or noon lately because I have these morning dreams that are either A) much more fun and interesting than my real life, or B) so much like real life that I don't realise I'm asleep, which is a little disconcerting. As an example: last week, I didn't realise that I was dreaming until I realised that I was stepping off the MARTA bus wearing high heels and no cane. In the dream, I'd gotten up, taken care of Dante, showered, dressed, and all that stuff - thinking the whole time that I was awake, until my brain recognised that there's no way I'm out walking in the stripper-shoes that pass for normal, fashionable attire these days. There is no teetering around on 5-inch heels with a half-inch platform for this gimp girl, with or without a cane.

So yes. I woke up and stayed up. Tended to the puppy, set out my meds for the next week, put a giant pot of Mexican beans on to simmer, and then, to paraphrase from Hyperbole and a Half, made all the phone calls like a motherfucking grown-up. I called the pain clinic, I called my doctor, and then I called and made reservations for lunch tomorrow. Making phone calls shouldn't be horrible and problematic, but it is. Calling friends or family is generally okay, but having to call anyone else is always fraught with anxiety, even when I write down and practice aloud whatever it is that I need to say. Stress-inducing. Anxious-making. Terrible.

Shortly, I'm going to have a lovely breakfast of brie, crackers, olives, and an apple. Then I'm going to gather all my supplies, take the meds, and dye my hair. If it wasn't quite so cold, I'd walk to the store and get myself a bottle of wine. Wine makes the hair-dyeing more fun and less painful.

While the dye sits on my hair, I'm going to tend to the pile of correspondence that I've allowed to accumulate on my desk. I only wish that I had a chair that would allow me to actually sit at and use my desk. Oh, and room for said chair, as there really isn't any in my tiny bedroom. Unless it was a fancy folding chair of the right height, then I could use it when needed and leave it folded and tucked away when not.

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sibylla
sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Thu, Jan. 17th, 2013 04:26 am

When last we left our heroine, she had finished the complete overhaul and reorganisation of her desk. Once that was done, it was time to head out to a therapy appointment.

This is where everything started going south. I will try to be brief.

* I left the house without my phone.

* I left the house without my umbrella.

* I used the courtesy phone to call Lovelace & arranged for him to pick me up at the station at 5:30.

* The bus route to and from the health centre has changed slightly; I found this out the hard way. While the southbound bus stops at a kiosk directly in front of the building, the northbound bus now stops on the far side of the street next to the health center, right on the road, diagonally across a very large parking lot. This is a long way for a gimp on a bad day.

* I twisted my right ankle as I was crossing the parking lot.

* On my way to the new stop, it started lightly raining. The new stop has neither seats nor shelter. It was a 10-minute wait. Ten minutes can feel like a very long time.

* I didn't make it into my seat before the bus driver pulled away from the stop. The bus lurched and I fell ... again. Twisted myself trying to grab the seat so I wouldn't go sprawling across the aisle. Fell anyway and landed hard on my knees. The right knee bore the brunt of it. Now both sides of my back are killing me, and my right leg hurts from the ankle all the way to the hip. Tuesday fall + Wednesday fall = A WORLD OF HURT.

* Fare gate at the station is fucked up and won't accept my card. Not a MARTA employee in sight. Have to buy new, full-fare card, put money on it, and use *that*. Gate likes the new card and lets me in.

* I catch an early train, arriving at the station ahead of schedule, a little after 5:15. The rain has stopped, but both night and the temperature are falling. There is nowhere to sit but the ground. So I sit and wait. And wait. And wait.

* Can't find a pay phone. People are willing to tell me the time, but no-one will let me borrow a cell phone. After 3 tries, I quit.

* Lovelace's phone meeting runs a couple minutes over. After a while, he wonders why I haven't texted him to fetch me. Then he remembers that I have no phone. It takes twice as long as usual for him to get the station. Lovelace arrives at 5:48.

* I get home and realise that the *only* thing I've eaten all day was a piece of celery with peanut butter at 11:30 a.m.

Wednesday can fuck off and die. I was wroth. Livid, even. Other small things happen; brownies and help moving my HQ to the living room do not. I spoke to Lovelace as little and shortly as possible. I ordered my roommate not to speak to me at all. Two glasses of wine didn't help. Sleep, however, did.

After an hour-long nap, I felt ready to rejoin the human race. We ate dinner, watched some mediocre television, and then I retired for the night.

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sibylla
sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Thu, Jan. 17th, 2013 04:19 am

Wednesday started out quite well. I woke up at a good hour and was able to get out of bed with surprising ease, given Tuesday's little contretemps with the stepladder and recycling bin. ;) Then I found some pain meds and was able to move around pretty darn well afterwards.

I was still feeling all motivated, and since Tuesday's efforts yielded more space on my dresser and shelves, I did a little reorganising there, and then moved on to my writing desk. It's got two flat surfaces, both of which were completely covered with boxes and *stuff*. It stands directly across from my bed, and I was tired of that unsightly mess being one of the first things I see when I wake up. Depression is bad enough without chaotic messes reinforcing everything and making it worse. So ... writing desk! I took everything off, then gave it a good dusting, which helped some, but not enough. So I got a rag, mixed up a bit of Murphy's oil soap, and gave the desk a thorough cleaning. I had no idea how dirty it was. When I was finished, the rag was filthy and the cleansing bowl was just gross. So yay! Clean desk!

Desk 2

I found good homes for all the crap that was sitting on my desk. I reorganised the wee drawers, as well as the main drawer. I set up my altar on the very top of the desk. Finally. Yes, we've been living here since July of last year, and I'm only now setting up my altar. My tiny room was a complete tip; there was nowhere to put it. Now there is.

Desk 1

Once that was done, I took all the cards, stationery, and miscellaneous mailing supplies out of the centre cabinet and reorganised everything. It's a thing of beauty now. A place for everything, and everything in its place.

Desk 3

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sibylla
sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Wed, Jan. 16th, 2013 11:35 pm

On Tuesday, I did the following things:

I finished the second half of A Memory of Light in a marathon 5-hour reading session. I woke up around 9:30 yesterday morning and started reading shortly thereafter. Somewhere along 11:00, I got up for food and to let Dante out. About an hour later, it was suddenly 2:45, and I found myself simultaneously laughing aloud and crying as I finished the book.

I also successfully removed an impressive ink stain from a new-to-me pair of jeans. I didn't do quite so well getting it off my thigh. I got the jeans at one of the nicer Goodwills, and they were still brand new. The ink was the gorgeous BRIGHT PINK that Lovelace gave me for Christmas. Though the jeans are very dark, the stain was mighty. My laundry skills, however, are mightier! There's no trace of the stain, though I've *still* got ink on my thigh.

I thought I'd successfully fixed the pen that was causing the problem, but I discovered this morning that I was wrong. I was careful this time, and so there was no splashing about of ink. I will have to fiddle with the pen a little more.

I sorted through the three "miscellaneous" boxes that've been cluttering up my room. My bedroom is tiny, and it takes very little to throw it into chaos. In the sorting, I made much more room on my shelf, my writing desk, and the top of my dresser. And in bringing more order to the chaos, I've made my room a pleasanter place to be, which is extra-important when I'm wrestling with depression ... because I need plenty of space to pin that twisty bitch. ;)

I also sorted through the giant box of receipts and assorted mail and papers. Most of it went into the recycling bin, a little of it went into the "burnables" bin, and a very tiny portion actually got filed away. This, too, contributed to the overall improving of my room, and of my mood. There's just something ominous about a big box full of mail, papers, receipts, and stray bits of paper. Who knows what could be hiding in there?


My productive afternoon was abruptly ended when I missed a step coming down the step ladder. It wouldn't have been so bad if I'd just missed the step. That would've meant landing hard on my left leg and hurting my back a little in the trying not to fall. Instead, I came down hard on the right leg, then managed to stick my right foot in the full recycling container, and completely lost my balance. The small recycling bin was knocked over and all the contents spilled out. I twisted and tilted, trying to avoid further damage - the tall radiator-like space heater was next in my path. Instead of crashing backwards into that, and possibly my writing desk as well, I sort of went sideways and used the bed to break my fall. In doing so, I ended up with a wrenched back, an unhappiness in my left leg, and a scattering of light bruises on the outside of my right thigh.

But it's not falling if I don't land hard on my derrière, right? Right?

So I had a very productive day in which I tackled several projects that I've been putting off for several months. Then I fell, which I seem to be doing more often than is probably good for me. In the falling, I put myself out of commission for the rest of the evening. Lovelace came home to find me all gimped out in bed, and took excellent care of me. He brought me a glass of wine and then commenced to making dinner because I couldn't. He kept my glass filled and brought me dinner in bed, all the while being very sweet and solicitous. I got all sappy about it on Facebook, but it's worth being sappy. This is what partnership is about, doing for one another with love.

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sibylla
sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Sat, Jan. 5th, 2013 09:46 pm

New year, new glasses

New glasses

Popping in out of nowhere, after months of neglect. But here I am, complete with fancy new glasses.

I'm very pleased, especially as I was high as a kite when I chose them. An unfortunate combination of my usual meds with maximum strength Robitussin rendered me Loopy As Fuck. I'd also had my eyes dilated as part of the exam, so I had that to deal with, as well. Not really the best conditions for choosing frames, but I think I did well. I remember thinking that my friends with naughty librarian fetishes would be pleased, and I somehow managed *not* to share this with Lovelace, the optician, and the shop in general, for which I am still grateful. It was bad enough that I was super chatty and laughing like a loon. *shakes head* It was kind of awful.

The holidays passed well. I had a bit of a stomach bug over Thanksgiving and a pretty serious cold over New Year's. Christmas was very low-key. We spent Christmas Eve with the family, stayed the night, and returned home in the early afternoon of Christmas Day. It was very strange and anti-climactic. I felt sort of lost and weird, and it took me a little while to figure out that it's because Lovelace and I haven't really got any Christmas traditions of our very own. We've always spent all of Christmas with family, so have never really had the need or opportunity to do our own thing.

Prior to Christmas, I went into a bit of a baking frenzy. Gingerbread, chocolate chip cookies, deluxe oatmeal cookies, double chocolate cherry cookies, and gingersnaps. I might've gone a little crazy with it. I promised baked goods to others to be delivered by Orthodox Christmas (7 January), but then I caught a horrible cold. It is more likely the case that I will make the baked goods the week of the 7th and send them to their various destinations by the end of the week. This is my hope.

We spent New Year's Eve at home. Built a big fire in the back yard and the household enjoyed a quiet, laid-back evening at home. Good times, good times. Indulged in a little New Year's magic, writing down all the things we wanted to leave behind in 2012, then consigning those things to the fire. A little sage to cleanse things, and then doing the inverse: writing down the things we hope for, the things we want to manifest in our lives in 2013, and then offered those to the fire, as well. Out with the old and in with the new, as it were.

Not just sitting around and hoping for things, either. I was proactive and commandeered myself a Poetry Buddy for 2013. A kind friend to help encourage and motivate me to write some damn poetry. I miss it. Haven't written anything of even the least consequence in years. Feels awful, so I decided to do something about it. And now I've got someone to help me out with prompts and general encouragement, someone to whom I can feel a little accountable. And so today, I wrote myself a wee poem. It just took a little push, a small suggestion from an outside source, and BAM! There it was, like it had just been waiting patiently to be called up, biding its time. Yay!

Okay. That's enough for now. Feeling mighty pleased with myself. Good evening.

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sibylla
sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Mon, Oct. 29th, 2012 12:19 am

We're feeling a little whimsical in the brainpan tonight.

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sibylla
sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Mon, Oct. 29th, 2012 12:01 am

The Friday before this past Friday, I burnt the bejeezus out of my hand. I had venison in the oven, and even though I was using a hot pad, I still managed to burn the thenar eminence (a.k.a. mount of Venus) of my right hand on the lid of the roasting pan. The contact with the lid was very brief, but it was solid.

I drew on my left hand to demonstrate the size and location of the burn:
Hand example

It was a bad burn. A skin-melty burn. Skin melting, blistering, swelling, and red-purple turning. Or, as those with a better command of the English language like to say, a second-degree burn. I didn't know what it was at first; there was only pain. Grabbed a small piece of ice from the freezer and ran it over the burn; I know that one isn't supposed to actually ice a bad burn, but it was the first thought my panicked mind had. There was some howling, but it stopped the swelling and kept the colour on the red side of reddish-purple. Then I treated it with lavender essential oil and aloe. My whole thumb area hurt, and badly. Once the swelling started to go down and the colour-changing evened out, I saw just how badly I'd burnt myself. Took my teary-eyed self to the rest room and very gently ran cool water over the burnt area for a good 10 or 15 minutes. Very gently reapplied the lavender-aloe mix and tried to dress the burn. I couldn't do it by myself, and it still hurt so very much. Clayton got home around that time and found me on my knees in tears in the kitchen. It was the second time he found me like that that week. He helped me dress the wound and I went about the rest of the evening. People came over, everyone was suitably appalled by my burn, folks all helped make it a very fine evening. The venison turned out beautifully. I don't know what I'd have done if it hadn't come out well.

Anyhow, I took a picture of the burn earlier this evening. It's healing very, very well.
Burnt hand

The discoloured bit there, the skin itself feels like it's asleep. It hasn't got proper sensation, but the flesh underneath is still tender. The discoloured bit is noticeably, um, lower than the surrounding skin, and its texture is ... weird. It's kind of disconcerting, really. I've never burnt myself this badly before. But, as I said, it's healing very well. I'd like to think that it's because I started treating the burn immediately and well. Ice isn't recommended, but it did stop the ... hrm. Not sure how to articulate it. There was very little carry-over cooking, as it were. How about that? Ew.

So my right paw has been largely out of commission over the past week. I've kept the burn covered, changing the dressings twice or thrice per day for the first six or seven days, just one or twice since the weekend. I've done really well with it and have managed to keep it from getting infected, which was my main concern.

So that's it. I hope I never burn myself that badly again. It was excruciatingly painful and is going to take a good two or three weeks before it's completely healed. Ouf.

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sibylla
sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Sun, Oct. 7th, 2012 01:24 pm

I found this series on YouTube a couple months back, and mentioned it to a couple of friends. So I am delighted to see them all together, and in alphabetical order for our convenience: Brian Cox teaches us how to pronounce the names of the whiskeys we love so well. God bless him. :)

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sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Tue, Oct. 2nd, 2012 11:54 pm

I wanted to jot down a few other things.

I must remember to pack my poker and fire gloves every time we go camping. I never think about it, then find myself sticking my bare hand into the fire to shift a bit of wood or to move something flammable into a better position. Do not stick your hand into the fire unless that hand is covered in a giant leather fire glove.

Also, fires are easier to tend when you have actual tools. Sticks of a certain size are all well and good, and you may not damage your cane too badly when you use it to shift wood around in the fire, but nothing beats a good set of proper tools. Like the poker and fire gloves you left at home, foolish one.

I get emotionally involved with my fires. I talk to them, asking them to please do this thing or that thing. Sunday morning, I built a fresh fire to eat the burnables - cardboard, paper, wooden stakes, et cetera. I left camp for a very short while, and when I came back, people had piled stuff on top of the fire. I got very upset; distressed, even. "Why are you trying to kill my fire? You're smothering her! She can't breathe with all this crap in here!" I revived her and did my best to clear things out, but I didn't have anything like a shovel and ash bucket. I tried to disconnect myself from it, realising that the fire was just temporary, that it would die shortly after we left the site. Lovelace and I were the only ones in camp who knew anything about building and maintaining fires. But I couldn't leave my poor fire alone; I was poking and shifting and feeding her right up to the moment we got in the car.

It may seem a little silly, but I really was distressed about my fire's well-being. I walked around the camp doing clean-up, muttering about suffocation and death, whispering encouragement to the fire. Had to stop and examine that in myself, why I got upset and couldn't just let it go. Somewhere along the way, I'd forgotten that a hearth fire is a sacred thing, that the building and tending of fire is a sort of sacrament. My campmates weren't concerned about keeping my fire alive and healthy. To them, it was temporary, something to throw flammable trash into - a garbage can, of sorts. The idea of a ... I don't know the words. Disposable. That will work. The idea of a disposable fire just struck me as a horrible thing, something disgusting. Blasphemous, even, especially considering that fire is what brings all these people together. They spin fire, make amazing fire sculptures, build huge wooden constructs for the express purpose of setting them aflame, then dance wildly around the fire. But then to turn around and want to throw together a quick and dirty fire for burning trash ... *shakes head*

I don't know. I have no issue with burning scrap wood, paper, cardboard, and other such things. Yes, these things are discarded, they're trash, but they're also tasty food that the fire loves to eat. Go ahead and build a fire just for disposing of burnables, but have some respect and take care of that fire. Don't suffocate it by dumping a garbage bag full of paper and magazines right on top of it. Don't toss synthetic plush toys or clothing in there. Don't let it smother in its own ash and debris.

I'm good with fire. Building them, maintaining them, coaxing them back to life. Maybe it's a knack. It's something that I'm proud of. When I was building my poor trash fire, one of my campmates kept offering me flammable liquids to get it going. I said, "I haven't even tried lighting it yet! Give me a chance here before busting out the chemicals!" I'd built a good fire with plenty of tinder and kindling, and it caught easily. I had a tea light stowed in my pocket, just in case, but I didn't need it.

So, yeah. Fire and I, we get along. I'm far more invested in the fires I tend than I realise. I've got what some might consider funny, old-fashioned ideas about fire and our relationship with it. I keep thinking about that four-foot deep fire pit in our back yard. One of the boys found a good-sized grate and put it on rocks in the bottom of the pit so that we can actually reach any fire we may build in it. Autumn has arrived, I have a fire pit, and I can hear the soft sighs and crackle of phantom fires just waiting to be lit.

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sibylla
sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Tue, Oct. 2nd, 2012 07:45 pm

When an event's all over, people will often ask, "So what was your favourite part?", and, depending on the event, the answers are often the same. At a burn, Burn Night is what most people talk about - the burning of the effigy (which often includes explosives WOOHOO!) or something associated with it. In a way, I'm no different. I had two best parts, if you will. They're linked by a piece of red silk.

Details of the first favourite thing belong discreetly tucked behind a filter, but to speak generally, I found myself walking back to camp around 4:00 in the morning, carrying my clothes and boots, and wearing a length of red silk tied rather like a sari without pleats.

An amusing aside - I understand that such a stroll homeward is often referred to as a "Walk of Shame", which I find offensive. So I was wondering what I might call it, and one of my campmates solved the problem all unknowingly when she referred to my early morning Walk of Glory.

I ended up spending most of Burn Night in our camp. We were feeling fragile in the head, and there were just Too Many People. Dark, empty camp was better, except that it was dark and getting mighty chilly. We had a fire bowl, wet wood, a bit of dry hickory that had been wrapped in plastic, and a lighter, so we did what any good camper would do and built a fire.

It actually reminded me a bit of my quest back in '06: dark, cold night; wet firewood; feeling solitary. Makes me chuckle a bit. So yes, I built myself a nice, bright fire that gave off lots of heat. A little too much heat for me to remain in my Burn Night finery. Big, poofy, synthetic petticoats oughtn't to be so close to a roaring fire, so I stripped down to my fishnet body stocking, put on warm socks, and draped the red silk around my body. About four and a half yards of crimson China silk that I'd dyed myself; it felt wonderful against my skin as I moved. And me, I felt beautiful in my hand-dyed red silk, moving around in the firelight, welcoming any who wanted to share my hearth. It was a great goodness.

I tended my fire for a good six hours, and could've kept it going longer, but it was getting on toward six in the morning. I was dead tired and the sky was thinking about maybe lightening up a bit in preparation for the dawn. So I broke up the embers and spread them in the bowl to cool off. Once I was sure she wouldn't wake up again, I left my fire and went to bed.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Mon, Sep. 10th, 2012 02:28 pm
Well, Kev the GE Repairman, has come and gone. I'm going to be without my washing machine for yet another week. There's definitely one part that needs replacing, maybe others, but it's impossible to know without fixing the first thing. It's going to take a week for the part to arrive, and Kev's going to make sure he's got parts for the other things that might be wrong, just in case. I'm about ready to take a bat to the damn washer. It wouldn't do a whole lot of damage, but it would certainly make me feel better.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Sat, Sep. 8th, 2012 11:27 pm

Oh, lovely! My hard drive is failing. It's been making funny sounds for a while now, so I've been backing it up regularly, but now my computer is actually telling me that the drive is failing.

Fortunately, [profile] wayfindr's papa is an expert in these things - high on the list of IT guys I trust implicitly - and he's going to fix it for me. I'm going to have to leave my laptop here at Crystal's tomorrow, and I'll be without it for about a week, and that's going to be very difficult. I'm sure that Lovelace will let me borrow his laptop while he's at work, but it's not quite the same. Erasmus is my tether to the outside world, you know.

The sound that my hard disk is making .. well, there's the normal clicking sounds that sad drives often develop, but then there's this sound. It's like a small, quiet engine winding down and then revving back up again, followed by a click and a brief, even drone.

I had a glass of white Lambrusco earlier to wash down a dose and a half of painkillers. I'm about three quarters of the way through my third glass, and while I'm still feeling pain, I don't mind it so much.

Also, there might be a wee smackerel of chocolate ice cream in my very near future.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Sat, Sep. 8th, 2012 09:28 pm

The tune to my pain song is Eine kleine Nachtmusik, only rendered in "ow" rather than by a strings ensemble.

Pain levels have been unusually high the past several weeks. It feels like my hypermobile left SI joint has become super-extra-hyper, like hopped-up-on-amphetamines-hyper hypermobile. I haven't hurt this badly this consistently since all this mess got serious, back in 2003. It's no good. I find myself just walking along, and then something somewhere will shift ever so slightly, and everything attached to and near my left SI joint explodes into pain. Sometimes my left knee will join the fun by deciding it doesn't want to hold me up anymore, and I'll fall to the floor in a manner so graceful that it looks like I've done it on purpose, though why I'd suddenly sink to the floor in the middle of doing something, I couldn't tell you. If nothing else, the cry of pain should indicate that something's gone wrong. *laugh*

I was a theatre major my first year of college, and the most useful thing I came away with was learning how to fall well.

The body's been on a very slow decline for several months. My low back, hip, and knee have been hurting more and more. Starting about the middle of July, things got markedly worse. One of the side benefits of visiting mermaidblue in mid-August was being able to play in the ocean and having a hot tub in which to soak just about every evening. A couple days after I got home, things got even worse, and that's when I started falling. It varies from day to day, but there were several in a row where I couldn't do a damn thing - couldn't stand long enough to cook, couldn't gimp down the stairs to check the mail, couldn't get dressed without help. *sigh*

Now I can do most of those things, but I have to be very, very careful with how I move. I can feel it throbbing right now, and the slightest move in the wrong direction would push everything over into spasm. At the moment, things are tight and tense ... like sprinters getting ready to run, practically quivering as they wait for the starting gun.

On a related note, back in the spring, I decided to leave the Grady health system. Bunch of reasons, very few concerning my doctor, and very many concerning the natures of public health and bureaucracy. I got a recommendation from a friend of mine for a doctor whose office is just a mile from my house. I called his office yesterday afternoon and made an appointment for this coming Friday. I could've had an appointment for Monday, but I'm expecting the GE repair man some time before noon.

So I will take all of my information and documentation and other -ations with me, and hope that the doctor is nice to me.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Thu, Sep. 6th, 2012 12:45 am

Last year, I didn't go to Dragon*Con, and I didn't especially miss it. The year before that had been fraught with gimp angst - people being unusually rude, mean, and/or thoughtless to disabled people in general, and to Lisae in wheelchairs specifically. I needed the break. This year, though, I missed it very much. I got downright pitiful about it in the week or two leading up to the Con, as I read about people doing all their Con prep - marathon sewing sessions, last-minute shopping trips, packing frenzies, making plans to get together ... you know, the normal stuff.

I refuse to spend another August eating my heart out, wishing I was at Con. Toward that end, I went ahead and registered for Dragon*Con 2013 while I was at paidiraiompair's doing laundry.

Keeping in mind how pitiful and lonely I felt with all my friends at D*C, I intend to go to Frolicon 2013, as well. It'll be another two or three weeks before I can take care of that little chore, but it will be done.

Though I didn't actually go to Con, I did go to a small, annual get-together Sunday evening. Every year, a few of us gather in someone's room for a lovely tea party, where we watch the Masquerade Costume Contest on DCTV and drink more Long Island iced tea than is really good for us. It's always a fine time. This year, one of the tea partiers came into the room and told us that there was a TARDIS near the elevator bank - that, or she was a whole lot drunker than she thought. Of course, most of us jumped up and ran to see. Okay, there may have been some stumbling involved, but that's neither here nor there. Here's a photo of me and reprobayt with the TARDIS:


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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Thu, Sep. 6th, 2012 12:01 am

We're as settled into the new place as we're going to get, and I'm pretty pleased with it. There was talk about painting my tiny bedroom to make it more hospitable, but I don't really see that happening, not with three of the four walls being covered by tables, a bed, shelves, a desk, and a giant wardrobe shelving unit thingy (of which part is bolted to the wall).

Last month, I flew up to Cape Cod to spend a week with mermaidblue. It was marvellous visit, and a great deal of fun was had. Just before I left, our washing machine quit working, two-thirds of the way through a load of laundry. Lovelace arranged for an appliance repairman to come by the day after I returned home, and I was looking very forward to having a working washing machine again.

I should've been so lucky. The repairman tinkered with it for a little while and couldn't determine was wrong with it. He said something about having to call somebody in, and said that they'd be back in touch. A week passed, and nothing. So Lovelace called Kevin, who called the repair shop, and several days after that, we got a call back. So now it's Tuesday (yesterday), and the repair guy returned. He replaced something involving circuitry, then tinkered around with it some more, and made no progress. So he pronounced it dead. Not mostly dead, but dead-dead. But he had no explanation of why that might be, so I didn't feel compelled to take his word for it. Fortunately, neither was our landlord. He told Lovelace that he's going to contact GE about the washer, so we'll see what happens. It's fewer than two years old. It was bought by the tenant from two leases ago, but when our Obnoxious Boy Neighbours moved in, they found the appliances in the condition in which they were delivered - all wrapped up and pristine. So our washing machine has only seen about 14 months of use. This is no good.

paidiraiompair offered me the use of her laundry facilities, so I spent today over at her place trying to catch up a fortnight's worth of washing, maybe a little more. It was vastly superior to spending hours and hours at a laundromat: no competing for washer or dryer time, no ugly lighting, no gimp-killing plastic chairs, plus free Wi-Fi and total control over the TV and/or music. Also, the chance to spend some quality time with a good friend. You can't beat that with a stick.

I didn't have time to both wash and dry all my laundry, so I ended up bringing home five or six loads of damp laundry, which I'm drying tonight. After all, our dryer's working just fine. *shakes head*

I can't wait to have a functioning washing machine again.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Tue, Aug. 14th, 2012 11:47 pm

On my flight up, I discovered that the gentleman sitting next to me was a born-again Christian. You could take a wild guess and probably come close to the truth on how I figured that one out. He didn't actually ask me if I'd accepted Jesus Christ as my personal saviour or if I'd found Jesus, not in those words. I forget what words he used.

When I was telling Sarah about it on the way to Hyannis, I said, "And I did what any self-respecting pagan would do, trapped in Economy for two hours ... I lied my ass off." Recalling the conversation, though, that's not entirely true. I didn't actually lie. I ... well, I told the truth like a Jesuit, which is to say I skirted around the edges of lies, but not quite over the line. I said things like, "Well, I was raised Catholic, and my husband was raised Mormon", which is true. I said that yes, I am familiar with the teachings of Jesus, which is also true. Asked if we went to church in our area, I said no, and in reply to a related question about how we choose to worship, I sidestepped the question neatly by answering with a question and an implication - "You know how, sometimes, if you spend Thanksgiving with your family, you then spend Christmas with your wife's family? Well, we have a similar compromise."

And when I told him that I prefer to keep my religion private ("... as Matthew suggests," I said), he very politely wrapped up his end of the conversation and we each returned to our books. It was, on the whole, as satisfying as such an encounter can be.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Mon, Aug. 13th, 2012 08:58 pm

I got up early this morning, finished packing my bag, and then Lovelace drove me down to the airport for my 9:00 a.m. flight to Boston.

Massachusetts, I am in you!

It's a silly thing to say, but I like how childish and dirty it sounds.

I'm staying the week here in lovely Hyannis, MA, visiting my beloved mermaidblue. It's my first time visiting New England, so I'm pretty excited.

Dr. Sarah is working the night shift tonight, so it's just going to be me and a glass of red wine in the hot tub. Alas.

That's why this entry is so short: there's a bubbling hot tub outside, and I can hear it calling my name.

Hopefully there will be more later. Stuff about moving and my birthday and general things. Now, however, is time for wine and hot tub.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Sun, Jul. 1st, 2012 01:56 am

Thursday afternoon and evening, I was in what could only be called a stupendously rotten mood. You know how sometimes you're in a bad mood, and you kind of enjoy it? You let your emotional hall monitor (or your superego, for you Freudians) take a break and go with the flow so that you can through whatever's pissing you off by allowing yourself to be pissed off. This wasn't that. I was angry and I didn't want to be, which ... yes, made me more angry. But I woke up Friday morning feeling much better.

The neighbours had their last hurrah Thursday night, a sort of going-away party for themselves. They were up until at least 3:30 Friday morning, and it didn't bother me in the slightest that they kept me from sleep, as I knew it was the last time. It's amazing how tolerant one can be when the end of an intolerable situation is nigh.

Friday was for doing laundry and it was also going to be for the baking of pie, but the time, he got away from us. Lovelace got home around 6:30, and we left the house at 7:30ish for a household Target adventure. On our way, I realised that I haven't gotten out much at all lately, not even to go to the grocery store or the library. I suspect that my moodiness, culminating in the aforementioned Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Thursday, might've been due to a bit of cabin fever.

So yes, Target adventure. We haven't been to Target in a good, long time. We made up for this by being there for nearly 2 hours. Oy. It was too late, and we were too tired to start cooking, so we ordered pizza for dinner. It was lovely, as was pizza breakfast this morning.

563 is officially empty now. I know for certain because their wireless network is gone from my list of available networks. *chuckle* Grundle Cheese is no more.

I want to take pictures of 559 before we dismantle everything and move it next door. I never really took any photographs once we got everything arranged and settled, and I want to remedy that. I don't know why, but I just think that a photographic record might come in handy one day. Perhaps I'll be feeling nostalgic or something. Who knows?

I don't think there's much need to talk about the ridiculous heat wave we've had this weekend. There was heat, and it was ridiculous. My friend who grew up in Saudi Arabia said it was stupid hot this weekend, and if she thinks it's too hot, then, by god, it's too damn hot.

Lovelace had to work today. I'm not going to call him a poor thing, though. He worked today, then he's working Monday and Tuesday, and then he'll be off till the following Monday. Woohoo! I think we're doing a family get-together at Teddy's on the Fourth. Otherwise, I imagine next week will be all about packing and moving, perhaps finishing with a final Moving of Big Things some time this coming weekend. That would be awfully swell.

Lastly, Lovelace and I baked a peach pie this evening. He did the crust and I made the filling. We make a great pie-making team, and we used to bake pies pretty regularly. We stopped, I think, around ... actually, I just searched through my LJ Archive to see if there was any mention of pie-baking, the stopping and starting thereof. The last mention of a fresh-baked pie was in July 2006. We baked a peach pie for Mom's birthday. Prior to that, Lovelace and I hadn't collaborated on a pie since early 1999.

And I'm talking about proper, double-crust or latticed fruit pie. I've made a great many key lime pies and lemon ice box pies regularly since 2000. But the other sort, with the homemade flaky crust full of fresh summer or fall fruits ... there've been long intervals - lacunae, if you will - where none were baked at all. While we were with Chris, we didn't do the flaky fruit pies, only citrus pies, as he didn't really eat fruit.

I started my LJ in August 2001, shortly after we moved in with Chris. Going through the whole thing, there's talk of the two of us working on the peach pie in July 2006. Also of key lime and lemon ice box pies. There are a couple references to our baking pumpkin pie, once in 2002, again in 2004, and once in 2006. So 2006 was a two-pie year, six years ago.

I just spent way, way too much time looking all of that up. And yes, I do post in my LJ pretty much every time I bake anything sweet - cake, pie, cookies, banana bread, &c.

It's very late now. I went downstairs to see why Dante was barking (roommate arrival). Lovelace was sleeping on the couch. He awoke wanting pie, so we shared a slice, even though it was still pretty hot. We baked it in a cast iron skillet, so the cooling is going to take a long time.

Oh, my gods, the pie is so good. The only thing that could possibly improve it would be good vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream. Lovelace did a bang-up job on the crust, and I put together a damn fine filling. I can't think of anything I'd tweak or change at all. Good thing I was clever and wrote it all down as we went along, innit?

Going to sleep now so that we can wake up sooner and have pie breakfast.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Tue, Jun. 26th, 2012 03:51 pm

I looked out the window to see what the dogs are barking at, and what did I see? Neighbours, moving out.

My heart, he is filled with gladness.

The end of the month is upon us. It sneaked up when we weren't looking, and now it's almost July. We take possession of the new place on the 1st, and then we have till 14 July to get our stuff moved and both houses cleaned. I anticipate that this Sunday will be spent cleaning the new place preparatory to. I have this strange notion that our neighbours' idea of clean and our own ideas are ... disparate.

Our dryer quit working late last week. The repairman came over today to take a look at it. The thermal fuse needs to be replaced, and the kind gentleman from Castleberry will return in a day or two and fix our dryer. I can't help but laugh that the dryer's going to be fixed just in time for us to move out.

I wonder if the fridge next door has an icemaker. The fridge is larger and newer than the one here, so an icemaker isn't out of the realm of possibility. That would be so lovely. We have a system that works - it involves two or three food storage containers, an ice pick, and a hammer - but it wouldn't break my heart if I didn't have to smash ice into wee bits anymore.

For this next bit, I'm going to refer to our current house as 559 and the new house as 563.

So excited! 563 was built in the 1920s, so it's about 40 years older than this place. While 563 is a bit smaller than 559 (a difference of about 150 square feet), there's no funky staircase inside eating up valuable space. Both houses have two full bathrooms, stairs leading up to the front door, and very little in the way of storage/closet space. I shall miss my arch and my colourful walls, but I look very forward to having a dishwasher and a gas stove. 563 also has a fancy, nearly new, high-efficiency washer/dryer set. The Disappeared Neighbour - the guy whom we never saw, but theoretically lived there - bought the set and just left it when he high-tailed it out of town. When our current neighbours moved in, the W/D set had never been used. Still had tape and plastic on from whenever it was delivered.

Crazy, man. I can't imagine just abandoning such a thing. Ah well, his loss is our gain.

I hope it won't take long for Kevin to find renters for this place. It's been a swell house. It has a great deal of character. But 563 has no stairs and a driveway that will permit us to avoid the outside stairs. This is a great thing.

There won't be room at 563 for the things we bought to extend the tiny kitchen here, which is sad. I love the giant work table/cabinet and the shelf on which we keep .. actually, we use that shelf for an awful lot. We keep appliances on/in it, set dishes to air dry on it, keep heavy cookware on it, and store canned and bottled goods on it.

Oh! I just remembered that I won't have to keep the dish rack on top of the fridge anymore. Joy! It's such a pain in the ass. Up the step ladder to put the wet dishes in the rack, back down to do more dishes, up again to take the dry dishes and put them away. It's a wee, itty bitty kitchen, and I'm really quite proud of the ways we managed to use the space.

And speaking of dishes ... I have a sinkful to do, leftover from last night. Whee.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Sat, Jun. 16th, 2012 11:50 pm
Man, today was a hell of a day. Yesterday was busy, full of errands and walking. We didn't leave the house today, but oy.

Crystal had the worst of it, passing a kidney stone this morning. If we were having a contest, she'd win, hands down.

Crap. I forgot what I was going to say next.

Oh! Yes. So this weekend, Miranda's been a little unsure about me. Not afraid, just ... unsure. Except for today. I'm not sure why, but my presence was very distressing for poor Miss Miranda. I walked into a room, she started crying and quickly escalated to shrieking. I looked at her for too long, shrieking. Didn't matter that Mommy was in the room, didn't matter that I was quiet and still. Auntie Lisa = shrieking Miranda.

She's usually fond enough of me; at the very least, she generally tolerates my presence. My theory is that she had nightmares last night in which I played the villain. Based on her response, I'd guess that dismemberment and cannibalism were prominent themes. *chuckle* She's just a wee thing, so I'm not taking it personally. I really have no idea why I've been a source of fear and despair. I hope that Sunday will be better. It'll be her first birthday.

Gosh. I've been a godmother for almost a year now. She's my little treasure and I adore her. Even if I do make her shriek.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Thu, Jun. 14th, 2012 01:09 pm

And in an interesting turn of events, both guys are moving out at the end of the month, and we - Lovelace, Clayton, and I - will be moving in. The lease on this house starts on the 15th of the month, and the one next door begins on the 1st, so we'll take possession of the new place on the 1st, but we'll have till the 14th to get all of our stuff out. The overlap will allow us to switch houses in a leisurely fashion.

In the interim, we need to straighten up around here and keep the house neat and orderly in case Kevin wants to show it to prospective tenants, but that's no trouble at all.

The house is a little smaller in terms of square footage, but the space it has is used much more efficiently. It has a decent-sized kitchen, for example, and it lacks completely a funky, space-eating staircase.

Eep! I have a bus to catch. I'd better run.

But before I go, I should express gratitude that Neighbour Greg was unable to find a roomie. I don't know whether he wasn't trying very hard or what, but whatever the case ... YAY!!!

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Mon, Jun. 11th, 2012 06:51 pm

Last week, I got all excited when I was told that our neighbours are moving out when their lease is up at the end of the month. I was all, "Woohoo!" and then I found out that the above isn't exactly the case. Nikolai is moving out, but Greg (the loud party-hosting one) wants to stay and is looking for a roommate. For some strange reason, they told our landlord to go ahead and put up a "for rent" advert, which I don't quite understand.

So now we're hoping that Greg won't be able to find a roommate in time and will have to move out, as well. If he's leaving, then we might move next door. We love our little house here, but there's hardly any back yard to speak of, and the stairs are a bitch. The house next door is all on one level, has a much bigger kitchen (with a gas stove), and a really nice, nigh efficiency washer dryer set. It's a little smaller, square-footage-wise, but since it's a single level, the space is used far more efficiently, making it effectively larger than this one. And! And! And we know that it's very well suited for entertaining. ;)

Oh, Greg, I hope you don't find a roomie, because I want your stair-free house.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Mon, Jun. 4th, 2012 09:34 pm

Brigitte and Clayton are staying here this week, which is a change, and a happy one.

Yesterday, we all did our grocery shopping together, which was easy now that Lovelace and I own a car again!

Yes! I've neglected my poor online journal. We bought a 1996 Volvo station wagon from an old SCA friend. Bought it outright; paid cash and everything. Here's a picture:

Car


Her name is The Peacock (because she's right between blue and green), and she's great!

Today, we were good and productive. Made a roast chicken and mustard greens for dinner tonight, plus a giant pot of chili for the freezer and for chili nachos later this week. I also made a little bit of teriyaki sauce for the beef marinade for Thai beef salad, also later this week.

Watching Season 3 of Buffy as I've been working in the kitchen this afternoon. Oh, how I miss Buffy night! A bunch of us would gather every week at someone's house to hang out, eat food, and watch that week's episode. It was grand.

A fine way to pass the afternoon, television, cooking, and nostalgia.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Mon, May. 21st, 2012 08:48 pm

Four. There were four cookies left, so I've taken a couple photos and am posting them along with the recipe so they can be together. Primus - The photos:





Secundus - The recipe:

Lisa's Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies (of doom?)
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
5 or 6 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate chunks/chips (about ½ a bag)
1 cup dried tart cherries (chopped if they're large)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then add the vanilla. Slowly add flour mixture, mixing till just combined.

Fold in chocolate chunks and cherries.

Roll dough into small balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake 10-12 minutes.

Makes 2½ to 3 dozen cookies.

I was feeling extra ... let's call it "persnickety" and curious, so I dropped each ball on my little kitchen scale to make sure that the cookies were about the same size. 30-32g cookie balls made largish cookies, and would've given me about 2 dozen total. The 27-29g balls of dough made good-sized cookies and would've given me more like 3 dozen. It's the difference between a heaping small spoon of dough and a great, heaping spoon of dough.

Also, it's good to sort of squish the balls down a little with your fingers, to flatten them a bit. The dough balls didn't spread a whole lot in the baking.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Mon, May. 21st, 2012 08:08 pm
Ow. I took the meds, and I wish they'd start working already.

I left the house at 1:45 this afternoon to catch the bus to the library. I exercised a great deal of restraint and checked out only as many books as I could comfortably carry in my backpack. I've a tendency to check out as many as I can possibly carry, and so end up with 20 pounds of books or more on my back. Not today, though. I got just seven books, which left me with plenty of space for other things.

After the library, I went by CVS to pick up a couple refills, and to let the pharmacist know that my most recent Vicodin refill was short 10 tablets. I sent Lovelace to the pharmacy Friday evening to fetch the refills, then realised over the weekend that there was a shortfall. I had my prescription bottle with me, and was completely shocked when the pharmacist took the bottle, counted out the pills, and then added the 10 that were missing.

Other pharmacies I've used over the years have usually been ... somewhat less than helpful under similar circumstances. If I'd already paid for the prescription, even if I was still at the counter and realised that someone had made a mistake, well, it sucked to be me, didn't it? The pharmacy I was using prior to this one screwed up a couple times, and it got to where I would stand at the counter and count out the pills myself before handing over any money. It probably annoyed everyone, but I'd rather piss people off than get shorted on my crazy meds. It wasn't too long after we moved that I transferred all my prescriptions to the CVS down the street. CVS tends to be more expensive than other places for a number of things, but I give them my custom because they treat me the way I want to be treated. It feels more like going to a small, local pharmacy where everyone knows me by name, and that's worth an awful lot to me.

When I left CVS, I toddled over to inspect the new TJ Maxx. Its grand opening was yesterday, so everything's all fresh and new ... and in order, which is always nice. It's a small store, but quite nice. I spent ridiculous amounts of money in my head. :) In reality, I got a pair of shorts (all of mine are currently too small), two bras (again with the too small), and a snazzy umbrella. The umbrella was more in the way of insurance: as I was walking to the check out, I started hearing thunder. I'd be walking home with a backpack full of library books, and I had no umbrella. Last time that happened, the skies opened up, and I was trapped under an awning for an hour before the rain let up enough that I could walk home without getting completely soaked. So I bought an umbrella on my way out, and I made it home before any rain fell.

Sounds like we've got more on the way, too. Nice, rumbly thunder and deeply blue-grey skies. I'm going to sit out on the balcony and enjoy the cool air before the rain starts.

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sibylla
sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Sun, May. 20th, 2012 10:54 pm

It took some four or five batches, but I finally perfected the recipe for the chocolate cherry cookies. Here it is, as requested:

Lisa's Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies (of doom?)

2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
5 or 6 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate chunks/chips (about ½ a bag)
1 cup dried tart cherries (chopped if they're large)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then add the vanilla. Slowly add flour mixture, mixing till just combined.

Fold in chocolate chunks and cherries.

Roll dough into small balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake 10-12 minutes.

Makes 2½ to 3 dozen cookies.

I was feeling extra ... let's call it "persnickety" and curious, so I dropped each ball on my little kitchen scale to make sure that the cookies were about the same size. 30-32g cookie balls made largish cookies, and would've given me about 2 dozen total. The 27-29g balls of dough made good-sized cookies and would've given me more like 3 dozen. It's the difference between a heaping small spoon of dough and a great, heaping spoon of dough.

Also, it's good to sort of squish the balls down a little with your fingers, to flatten them just a tad. The dough balls didn't spread a whole lot in the baking. I wish I'd thought to take pictures of the finished results, but all the cookies were gone by the time it occurred to me that it might be helpful.

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Current Mood: pleased pleased

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sibylla
sibylla
Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Sun, May. 20th, 2012 12:25 am

I'm lying. I'm not going to kiss the sky. I'm going to bitch about my neighbours. Again.

I spent most of Friday afternoon and evening in the kitchen. From about 3:00 till 12:45, I cleaned and did dishes, baked a loaf of banana bread, a couple dozen double chocolate cherry cookies, and a lovely key lime pie. Went on a bit of a binge, I did, but it was good.

The neighbours spent the afternoon cleaning their house. It was serious cleaning with mops and multiple buckets of nasty water being poured out on the driveway (what a waste!), someone's mama came over to help, and everything. Last night, the initial phase of the party began, and I got to listen to them until I finally fell asleep some time around 2 in the morning.

This morning, I was having a very good, very erotic dream. In it, I was gagged and blindfolded, gripping a wooden closet rod with both hands. I was naked from the waist down, my skirt rucked up around my hips, and there was a man behind me, his hands on my hips, just about to enter me. That's when Lovelace came in to hug me goodbye before heading to work. *sigh* Under normal circumstances, I'd have had a chance of falling quickly back to sleep and picking the dream up where I'd left off, or at least of starting a new dream on a similar theme.

But these were not normal circumstances, because at 8:00 a.m., my neighbours and their friends had been up for quite some time (perhaps they never actually went to sleep), being loud and prepping the house and yard for the main phase of the party. So there was no drifting back to sleep to pick up the thread of a lost dream. There was only a great deal of displaced sexual tension and more than a little annoyance.

And, of course, Dante's been all keyed up because of the noise and all the coming and going, so he's barking like a maniac any time I take him outside, or any time there's a startling noise or he can hear someone leaving or arriving next door. I'm ready to kill him and the neighbours, both. And the insufficient sleep and thwarted sex dream aren't helping anyone.

I'm laying in my bed, wishing I could fall back to sleep just for a little while, and I hear the neighbours talking about coke, and I realise that they're not talking about a popular cola drink. Not long after this, they get considerably louder and faster. Yay. I got to hear them talking about drinking and drugs for a very long time Friday night, and now I get to listen to them all coked up and talking about being hungover or, in a couple cases, still drunk from the night before.

I'm cranky, and I miss the cold weather. They only seldom had parties over what passed for winter, and when they did, they were mostly inside parties.

Oh, children, I know you believe that coke enhances your personality in some way, but I can promise you that it doesn't. You're not any less ignorant or boorish; you're just louder and more annoying with it. I hope to god you kids don't renew your lease. Please, please, please move somewhere else. Please.

Current Mood: cranky cranky

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Thu, May. 10th, 2012 11:59 pm

Today was my brother John's sixth yahrzeit. Gods, how I miss him.

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Current Music: Blue Öyster Cult - Godzilla

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Sun, May. 6th, 2012 07:02 pm
Sitting on the couch, listening to music, drinking wine, and playing around on the computer. This is not a bad way to spend a Sunday, I must say.

I put a pot roast in the oven about 2 hours ago. It's been, like, a year since I've made a roast. This particular roast comes from White Oak Pastures, about 180 miles south of here. Especially these days, I like knowing where my food comes from. Lovelace and I are making an effort to eat things that are better for us, like meat and milk from cows raised locally in pastures, fed on grass and mostly left alone to be cows until they're slaughtered and become tasty, tasty meat. We're doing what we can on the limited budget that we have. We don't eat meat often, but when we do, it's damn good meat. Quality over quantity and all that. I wish that we could always afford to eat according to our conscience. We can't, but we do what we can.

The smell of the roast is making me salivate. It's going to be done soon. I should go check it, then put the sweet potatoes in the oven.

Dante is doing as well as can be expected. His bits are sore, he hates the Cone of Shame, and he doesn't like being stuck in the pokey, but he's being very gracious about it. He's not whining or barking, and he goes back in when he's told. A week to ten days before he's healed, according to the aftercare instructions. He'll be a very happy puppy, I'm sure.

Yay! Lovelace is home! He had to work today, poor thing.

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Current Music: Andy M. Stewart - The Houghs Of Cromdale

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Sat, May. 5th, 2012 11:49 pm

This was the view of the moon from my backyard, light shining down through the pecan trees:



Looking at the moon shining down on me always makes me think of this song:



"I See the Moon", by The Mariners. My Daddy sang this to me all the time.

I see the moon, the moon sees me
Down through the leaves of the old oak tree
Please let the light that shines on me
Shine on the one I love.


It makes an excellent prayer, too.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Sat, May. 5th, 2012 04:19 pm

Dante is home and resting. Here are photos:


Stopping to get an E collar, and then



At home, wearing the Cone of Shame

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Sat, May. 5th, 2012 02:02 pm

Dante's getting fixed today. We dropped him off at the vet's at 7:00 this morning, and we're picking him up at 3:00.

We were up at 6:00 a.m., which is way too early on a Saturday. After the vet thing, we stopped and got breakfast, then went back home and Lovelace and I both went straight back to sleep.

I've been awake for about an hour now, and I'm a nervous wreck. I'm constantly expecting a phone call that starts, "Ms. Darcy, I'm so sorry ..."

It's been nearly eight years since Lughby died, but every time I have a pet go under anaesthesia, I freak completely out. I can't help it. I know that it's a routine procedure, and that the chances of anything going wrong are very, very small. Just like I know exactly how unlikely it is that my house is going to catch fire and my dog is going to die, but every time I leave Dante alone in the house for more than, say, half an hour, I'm terrified that very thing is going to happen. Every single time, for the past two or three months. Of course, every time I come home, I'm grateful, relieved, and sometimes surprised to find that my house is not a pile of smoking ruins with a charred Dante among the ashes.

Welcome to my crazy.

Ooh! Mr Cardinal just landed and sat right outside my window for a minute. *laugh* Silliness. When I was a kid, my father often referred to male and female cardinals as Mr or Mrs Cardinal, so that's how I always address them and think of them.

Anyhow, yes. I'm an anxiety-ridden bundle of fear. Rational mind knows better, but nobody's listening to her right now. We've also got an irrational belief that something terrible is going to happen to Lovelace. It's a fear that comes on every once in a while, and after a bit, it goes away again. Same with the house-catching-on-fire thing. They're kind of like that aunt and uncle you have, the ones no-one in the family can stand. They drop in without warning. They make themselves right at home, messing up your house and eating all your food. They spend the entire visit yelling at your kids and complaining about your cat. They ignore all hints and suggestions that it might be time for them to move on, until you finally lose it and scream at them to get the fuck out of your house.

I've talked to my shrink about it. We discussed the fact that this episode started not too long after I reduced my Seroquel dosage. I would've done better to go down a half step for a few weeks, then go down another half step.

Yay! One hour till we pick up the puppy. The phone continues not to ring.

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Current Music: Altan - Eoghainín Ó Ragadáin

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Thu, May. 3rd, 2012 02:06 pm

I'm putting this here in case I want to refer to it in the future.

A very dear friend of mine discovered a bit of information, and being the clever fellow he is, he decided to ask all his women friends for input, because he had no real frame of reference. The question he posed was this: Is bathing suit shopping for women (as my friend put it) A Hideous Event?

The short answer is yes. Yes it is. I decided to give him the long answer, so that he might have a more complete understanding of the experience. This is my answer:

Think of all the girls and women you know who hate their bodies, no matter how beautiful you and everyone else in the world think they are. Now think about all the times you hear your women friends get angry/frustrated/depressed about whatever size clothing they wear and how there's nothing like a standard of sizing in the women's clothing industry as a whole. Throw in a limited budget and the awful lighting and background in dressing rooms (it's almost like they're designed to make you look as bad as possible). Now take all that and whatever inferences you draw from that information and imagine that horrible dream where you're defending your doctoral dissertation in your underwear, only the panel isn't just your professors and advisers. It's your mean aunt who's never said a nice thing about anyone in her life, the nurse who's always at you to lose weight, your psycho ex-girlfriend, a couple of Internet trolls, and that jackass on the street who said that you'd be fuckable if you lost, like, 40 pounds.

That's bathing suit season anxiety and the agony of shopping for a damn bathing suit. Though if you have a very large budget, you can go to a specialty shop where they have a great selection of cuts and sizes, friendly and professional staff to help you, and nice dressing rooms with good, natural lighting. But that's only if you're prepared to drop a couple hundred on a bathing suit that fits properly and looks nice.


Because I'm the way I am, I want to revise it, but that's it in its first draft glory.

The bathing suit shopping, she is no fun. Hell, I'm comfortable in my own skin and pretty content with the way I look, and I hate bathing suit shopping. It's a pain in the ass. I like to wear two-piece bathing suits, which is handy, since there's a wide selection of them, and tops and bottoms are sold separately. If I preferred one-pieces, my choices would be far more limited. As it is, my breasts have changed size and shape. I wear a silly bra size, and I don't know how easy it would be now for me to find tops that fit and offer support. I see frustration in my bikini-buying future.

Shit. I hope the suit I bought a couple years ago still fits.

Also, I miss my paid LJ account. I hate these damn ads, and I miss having a million userpics. 15 is insufficient for a full expression of our moods.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Mon, Apr. 30th, 2012 12:45 am

So tired.

Lovelace has been sick since Thursday, though he's much improved now. But he was puny all weekend, and I've been feeling puny, myself, so nothing's really been done around the house except for laundry and dishes.

Today, we went on a major grocery excursion. We didn't go grocery shopping last weekend, and we hadn't gotten a whole lot the last time we were at the store, so there was no putting it off. We've been in need of Korean foodstuffs, so we hied ourselves out to the Buford Highway Farmer's Market. It felt like we bought the whole store. Bunches of produce, bulgogi meat, frozen mackerels, a couple snacky items, toenjiang (fermented soybean paste), kochujiang (hot sweet red pepper paste), three or four kinds of noodles, two different kinds of rice, fresh tofu, and I don't remember what else. It was a large grocery cart full of food.

I think we'll be eating a fair amount of Korean food this week. :)

I know that some people like to do their shopping at places like Super H Mart, but like the BHFM best. Though I am grateful to Super H Mart and other, fancier Asian markets. BHFM has had to step up their game over the past few years to keep up with other grocery stores, and now they're just huge. More of an international grocery, as well. When we first started going there, BHFM was mainly a Korean market, with some Chinese and southeast Asian items, as well. Now they have a little bit of everything. They've got aisles and sections for everyone - Korean, Chinese, Mexican, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, Indonesian, Indian, Eastern European (mostly from places in the former USSR, plus a few things from Greece and Turkey thrown into the mix), and plain, old American stuff. That's not a comprehensive list, but I think I got all the major bits covered.

*happy sigh* I love that place!

Too tired to ramble on.

Good night.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Fri, Apr. 27th, 2012 10:04 pm

Dear Neighbours,

Although you discuss politics and current events intelligently with your pals, I have to confess that, after listening to you tell stupid, racist jokes that I haven't heard since I was five, I don't think I can take anything you say seriously, no matter how well-reasoned or thoughtful your position or opinion may sound. Sorry.

-- me

I try, generally, not to be judgmental, but unlike the Pope, I am not infallible. My neighbours ... well, my father always told me that I should never judge a book by its cover, and my neighbours are proof of that nugget of wisdom. They're two young men who've recently graduated from college. Early 20s, come from good backgrounds, did well in school, and all that. Because of the way our two houses are arranged, I can hear, with perfect clarity, everything from their porch and backyard coming in through my bedroom window. On an otherwise quiet afternoon, with windows in both houses open, I can hear them ... entertaining female companions.

Anyhow, about a month ago, they had some of their guy friends over, and their talk turned to women and sex. I found myself wanting to yell out my window, "You should always 'wrap it up', regardless of how long it takes 'the girl' to 'give it up', you jackass!"

Seriously. One of the fellows had recently acquired a girlfriend, mirabile dictu, and I found myself hoping that the young lady made him take a battery of STD tests and demanded to see the papers before she started having sex with him. He treats her with a certain amount of respect, which, of course, means that she's a Good Girl, and therefore "safe". Fuckwit.

Me, I recommend against fucking my neighbours, whether they've "wrapped it up" or not.

As for the racist jokes, they're every bit as ugly, ignorant, and unfunny now as they were when I was little.

I can't help but wonder how certain of my neighbours' friends would feel if they could hear how they talk when they think nobody's listening.

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Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Thu, Apr. 5th, 2012 12:13 am
One of the things I miss most about grapefruit is the grapefruit martini: Absolut Ruby Red, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, and a splash of rosewater, served with a twist of ... you guessed it: grapefruit!

Every once in a while, I can have a bit of grapefruit with little ill-effect. Maybe I should get a tiny, wee bottle of grapefruit vodka for the next time my body will tolerate it. *wistful sigh*

As an aside, my Comcast e-mail address is defunct. It was tied to Mom's account, which she cancelled after she moved in with Teddy. No more karakaxa AT comcast, alas. I get very attached to my e-mail addresses; losing one or having to change one always feels a little odd.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Tue, Apr. 3rd, 2012 10:01 pm

What a fine day it's been! This morning, Mom called to say she would be over later this afternoon, and you know what that meant: executing Emergency Housecleaning Protocol.

I know that it makes Mom feel good to help out around the house - doing some dishes or giving the kitchen floor a scrub - but you know how it is. When Mom cleans something when she visits, it's not a reflection on my housecleaning, but I can't help but feel somehow ... inadequate.

So I crammed a day and a half's worth of cleaning into one afternoon, and it was worth it. Straightened up everything downstairs, swept and vacuumed the floors, did a million dishes, and cleaned the kitchen. I expect that I'll be spending most of tomorrow laid up in bed paying for it resting, maybe doing some laundry.

Anyhow, Mom picked Lovelace up from work and brought him home, brought along a bit of tasty Korean food. She came in, looked around as she was unpacking her super-awesome new insulated purse-thing, and she smiled real big at us, and told me how nice the house looks. It made me feel so damn good! I can't even tell you. Makes me happy when Mom's proud of me.

I had my blood taken at county mental health yesterday. Had to get up at a quarter to seven that morning to get there in time for my 9:00 appointment. I was cold and a little dehydrated, so the nurse had a hard time finding a vein that would bleed and wouldn't roll. The first time she tried, the needle went right in, but no blood. It didn't even bleed a drop when she took the needle back out, though I've got a tiny bruise where it went in. My shrink called me this afternoon to let me know that my blood work came back great. Happy liver and kidney function, excellent cholesterol and blood sugar. She knew I was a little worried about it, given the weight I gained on the increased Seroquel dosage.

Oh! The rose rum I set to infuse a little while back ... after two weeks, I strained out the rose petals and put in fresh. Left it to sit another two or three weeks, then strained it again. The rose wasn't very strong, so I added a splash of rosewater. This afternoon, I mixed a shot of the rose rum with some ginger ale, and it was delicious!

Our mint is coming in very well, and with the warm weather, it's about time for a nice, big batch of sekanjabin. I think I'll use the rose rum in my sekanjabin coolers this spring. I think that I'm going to use a nice, neutral vodka for infusing the rose petals; the rum had too strong a flavour of its own, which isn't a problem with infusing lavender.

Maybe I'll hop the bus to the library tomorrow. Depends on spoons, but I need to get to the library to pick up a book on hold and to refresh my reading shelf. Speaking of shelves, I've really come to love GoodReads. I opened an account back in January, and whenever I get bored or have nothing better to do, I do a bit of historical cataloguing. I've been keeping track of every book I read every year since 2002, so I have quite a backlog. I'm about halfway through 2005 at this point.

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Fancy Boots and Hips Made for Sin
Sat, Mar. 31st, 2012 12:05 am

I just realised that I haven't eaten nearly enough today. It's midnight, and I'm about 1,100 calories shy of my quota for the day.

Gosh, I wonder why I'm in such a dirty, foul mood. Duh.

Nothing in the fridge looks good, and the things that *do* sound good, they might as well be on the moon for my ability to acquire them.

One of the perks of being a grown-up is the following phrase: Well, fuck it. Ice cream dinner it is.

I have an unhealthy relationship with ice cream.

I don't have 1,100 calories' worth of ice cream, and the idea of eating that much in one sitting makes me feel kinda nauseated, but I'm sure I can put a dent in it.

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Current Mood: grumpy grumpy

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