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Over at A. is A. there is a process post called "These People Ought To Know Who We Are And That We Are Here".

If you're interested in what I've been working on lately and what I've been doing with it, then this might be of interest to you.

I've been reading my old stories lately, trying to figure out what can be salvaged and polished and what can't.  Maybe one day soon I'll actually sit down and read my thesis collection.  Maybe.

Green Toast and Egg

Over at Knives Out there is a new post about cooking with freshly laid eggs and a very simple recipe for Green Toast with Egg.

The more cooking posts I write, the more I realize that I need a better camera for taking pictures of the things I cook.

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I didn't really list all my New Year's resolutions here on LJ like I usually do this year, but there is one that is relevant to people who read what I write on the internet.  It's really three resolutions that interconnect.

1) Save more money

2) by cooking at home more

3) and uploading the results to Knives Out at least once a week.

So here's the first recipe of the new year - Spaghetti Squash with Brown Butter and Sage.

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I Always Wanted A Dragon

I have a pet.

His name is King Ghidorah. He is a juvenile bearded dragon. Much like yours truly, he enjoys sun lamps and leafy greens.

King is very low maintenance. He gets chopped greens in the morning and crickets in the afternoon. He explores the room and puffs out his beard to look tough. He tastes the air. He falls asleep on my forearm.

Pets are nice because they take you outside of yourself for awhile. The signals that move through King's reptile pea brain are alien and incomprehensible. When I gently stroke the top of his head, he closes his eyes and goes still. Does he enjoy it? Is he mesmerized? Is he wishing he was somewhere else? It's impossible to say. He might dream, because he sometimes twitches his legs in his sleep.

Bearded dragons are desert creatures. His terrarium brightens my room during these gloomy Portland days. King is very young and was born in captivity. In Portland. I don't think he has ever seen the real sun. Someday I would like to show it to him.

I Miss Russian Class

Chain Smoking Batman Is The Best Batman

Last night I dreamt I was Robin to Jon Hamm's Bruce Wayne / Batman.

I think we spent far more time drinking absurdly expensive liquor than fighting crime.

It was pretty great.

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Pew Pew Pew Laser Time

I wrote today for an hour with the kind laser intensity I haven't had since I finished my thesis.  Got down a solid 428 words of "Light Sensitive".  It's a non-genre story in the sense that all of the events that occur are grounded in our particular kind of reality, but it does contain a hell of a lot of lyncanthropy imagery.  It's about money, family, and mental health.  And feeling a little monstrous sometimes.

I'm not doing NaNoWriMo.  I never do NaNoWriMo, because I think it's silly to try to write a novel in a month.  I am, however, utilizing the time frame as a convenient arbitrary deadline for some other writing-related things I want to get done.

1) Finish a full draft of a new story, either "Light Sensitive" or "Hum".

2) Submit another story for publication.

I'm still waiting to hear back on the last pulp story I submitted for publication, but the publication in question takes 3-4 months to respond and it's only been 2.  In the meantime, I'm trying to get a few new balls rolling.

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Oh Yeah And This Happened

Last night Galactus and I realized it's been a year since we started dating.

If you're interested in my cheesy recap of the evening, you can read it over at A. is A.

Greening

All right.  I'm finally going to try a little vegetable gardening.

After having great luck with plants during high school, I went through a period in which I killed pretty much everything I tried to grow.  This time period coincided with living in a dim apartment complex, so the poor light quality might have had something to do with it.

Now things are better.  I managed to save one of my boyfriend's rootbound houseplants after it's root system was burned by a mistaken overdose of chemical fertilizer.  The little pot of basil I bought a few months ago is still thriving after a fall move indoors.  I got a fern for the bathroom (they like the humidity) and the little fellow is doing great.

I'm going to start simple.  Container gardening on the patio, so as not to disturb my landlord by tearing up the yard.  A container of mixed lettuce and a pot or two of tomatoes.  Lettuce and tomatoes are both vegetables that are much cheaper and much, much tastier when homegrown.  Lettuce apparently likes things cloudy and damp, so I can plant it as soon as the winter frosts are over.  Tomatoes come a little later in the spring.

Still trying to decide whether to buy self-watering containers or build them myself.  I might build one for the tomatoes and buy one for the lettuce, as the particular size of the containers needed for the lettuce might be difficult to scavenge.

Any gardening tips?

Get Excited And Make Things

I put the book Radical Homemakers on hold at my local library in the summer.  I picked it up a couple days ago.  That's how popular this book is in Portland.

I can see why it's popular.  I've finished the "theory" section of the book and I just started reading the "practice" section.  It's a good read.  It's a seductive read.  Hayes tends towards the virulently anti-corporate, but she also makes a series of very sound points.  More money does not equal more happiness.  Getting rich doesn't matter if we suffer from time poverty.  The things that consistently make human beings happy, like good friendships, relationships, family, and the freedom to pursue our own creative pursuits, suffer and disappear in the face of a sixty-hour work week.

I currently work 15-20 hours a week if you include the time spent prepping for class.  Here are some things that make me happy: dinner with friends, library books, bike rides.  These things don't cost very much.

Hayes also helped articulate why I feel calm and empowered when I'm standing over a pot of beans over the stove.  I don't feel like a drudge.  I'm making something for myself and the people around me.  I'm doing something for myself instead of having to pay someone to do it for me.  Yeah, I think cooking and cleaning can be a feminist act.  I think anything that makes me self-reliant and happy is a feminist act. 

I had the day off yesterday.  I'd worked a 6-hour tutoring shift, no breaks, the day before and I was bone tired.  My job can be exhilarating and rewarding at times, but it's not quite right for me.  I want to teach people how to read books, not how to take tests.

How would I rather spend my time?  Working for two weeks and spending my whole paycheck on a beautiful table from CB2, or taking a two-week carpentry workshop and learning how to build my own beautiful tables?  Spending an hour at work in order to earn the money to buy a 8-dollar bag of organic granola, or spending an hour at home making granola from scratch?

I spent most of my day reading Radical Homemakers and drinking tea.  I made granola with rolled oats, olive oil, honey, pecans, apricots, cinnamon, and kosher salt.  I made a big container of kale and basil pesto that will last me a good two weeks on pasta.  I checked off one of my chores on the house chore wheel.  And I felt pretty damn good about myself.

I'm definitely looking forward to to WWOOFing this summer.  It's time to expand my skills.

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