Thursday, September 28, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. Alexander Chee talked about bibliomancy, a way to find inspiration in your bookshelves.  
2. The Non-Profit Quarterly took a look at what a COVID outbreak at a writing conference can teach us.  
3. Apparently social media for certain football teams had Old Bay on the mind on Sunday, but they made fundamental errors.  

Monday, September 25, 2023

Rainy Days

I spent the second weekend in a row factoring a tropical storm into my plans. Now of course, I was never in the direct line, so it is easy for me to be a little flip about the weather. There was rain, there was wind, I stayed inside. 
I played games, I cooked food. Last weekend I hung out with family.
As much as I complain about rain and wind, sometimes it is quite nice to have a good reason to stay indoors and cook delicious food. To catch up with people, to read. 
Here in the DC area, we also could really use the rain, though all at once comes with its own concerns. 
So, here's to rainy days. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. This ranch that was featured in movies and TV burned in the 2018 fires and they are figuring out next steps for the space.  
2. I realize climate change has far worse effects, but poison ivy flourishing in it is one I had not expected.  
3. Continuing my tradition of enjoying articles about TV I do not or have not watched, this is an oral history of the British Baking show that has different names depending on where you live.  

On the Newsletter: Available Again

Hey folks, 
Repeat news for newsletter and Ream folks, but I made Cocker on the Porch available in e, free, across retailers. ('Zon readers, it may take a smidge to update.) 
It's single POV, closed door romance, two neighbors who are brought together by a dog. It now includes a bonus epilogue where Wendy and Tuan meet my other dog owning couple, aka Rafe and Felicia from Undercover Bridesmaid. (The only spoilers for Undercover Bridesmaid would be that Rafe and Felicia get together and get a dog, and honestly, only Felicia should be surprised about that.) 

Monday, September 18, 2023

Playing the Game

We played card games with family old and new this weekend, and it was fun. Seeing who just plays, who tries to plan a perfect win, who apologizes or often fauxpologizes for a move that creates in issue for another player. Who talks trash, who plays quietly, until they win. Who quits after a successful or unsuccessful round. Who tells tales about how the game did or did not go. 
I grew up in a family that did not believe in letting kids or newbies win, so had to accept either learning to lose gracefully or learning to at better or both. This is not to say I have never walked out on a game. I have. In my defense, the rules were getting bent in only one direction and I was like, okay, then please carry on without me. I was probably less graceful than that sounds. This last weekend I never once won, but I also hoped I played well. Like a lot of things in life, there are more losers than winners in most card games, so you have to enjoy the process. Otherwise, why do it at all. 

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Over on the Newsletter

Hey folks, it turned out I had a few more topics to discuss for Let's Talk About Fictional Sex. The posts are linkied in the newsletter or if you purchased the ebook, uploads of the adddtional contet have been pushed out to retailers.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. Maggie Tokuda Hall wrote more about her experience being asked to redact the reference to racism her author note for her book about Japanese internment.  
2.This family's house on Maui is standing, but things are still tough.    
3. Folks watching a view camera in Alaska spotted a lost hiker.  
Also if you wanted to provide some assistance to folks in Morocco, Laila Lalami suggested the food bank.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Adventures in Baking

My toaster oven died. I discovered this as I tossed what was going to be my dessert in and came back 30 minutes later to discover I still had batter. 

I did some online research, discovered my model is online only these days, but I could buy a somewhat fancier one at the store in walking distance. There was of course a much fancier one, but with the intention of being frugal, I went for just a bit more fancy 

Decided to be bold and just bring a large shopping bag and not a cart. I got to store, they were out of the model the site said they had, but they had a slightly fancier model. (Still cheaper than much fancy, but close enough that I pondered going to the other store.) 

Bought it. Carried it home. Two people along the way asked me if I was okay. (Very kind. It wasn't too heavy, but the humidity was high, so hard to carry a rectangle with sweaty hands.)

Got inside and scraped myself on my own chair. (The betrayal!)

Fancier also means larger, so had to find a different spot to set it up. 

But now. Now. I have dessert. 

Thursday, September 07, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. Tressie McMillan Cottom wrote about the 'Bama Rush TikToks.  (NYT link)
2. DCist went to talk to license plate swappers.  
3. And Olivia Dade wrote about how motherhood and writing romance helped change how she saw her body. 

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Freezing Summer

A friend of mine once talked about freezing cubes of pesto so that in the winter she could have the taste of summer. I confess I buy tons of berries in summer, when they are plentiful and often on sale, and freeze them. 
And last week I made a lemon coconut butter mochi that turned out perfectly, and I'm freezing some of that too. 
I like to have some soup or cooked beans in the freezer. To stock up for moments when you just cannot face cooking. 
And I usually have some frozen dumplings in there too. As a mostly vegetarian, it has recently become much easier to find delightful dumpling recipes that have more interesting fillings than fake meat. (I am not against fake meat. But I am much more interested in a variety of veggie fillings.) 
Last summer I froze some dumplings with a corn tomato filling. They were a delightful treat one winter day. 
Global production means we can certainly find many things out of season, but I find particular delight in getting things in season, and storing them up for a treat later.