PThe Nightingale and the Rose, Oscar Wilde

        The Sorrows of Young Werther, Goethe


        Way behind on all crochet.
        It is NaNoNovember!

        anandadaydream's Profile Page

        blogger profile
        library thing

        desert songs
        amaranth and jasmine
        my lj


        Amaranthus, continued (NaNoWriMo 2010)
        untitled (2009)
        untitled (2008)
        Amaranthus (NaNoWriMo 2007)
        untitled (2006)
        Beneath the Dust (2005)
        Mortal Angel (2005)

        quid pro quo
        modernday phoenix
        life of a naturefreak

        lesbian pirates
        questionable content
        the dreamer
        joe the circle

        101 cookbooks
        i can haz cheezburger

        the hunger site
        the ONE campaign
        amnesty international


        the quote lists:
        summer 2004
        (rest to come once I get them online again~)

          the massive archives:
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          01/09/2011 - 01/16/2011
          01/30/2011 - 02/06/2011

A bit behind on the NaNo tonight, as I was sidetracked by some things when I got in from work tonight (and haven't quite hit more then momentary strides with any ideas tonight, hmm).. but, I got a tiny bit ahead last night, and anyway, what I *did* do tonight was far more important, I think.

Well, alright, maybe spending an hour fighting with yousendit and firefox (which is being ridiculously bitchy today) and iTunes (also inexplicably bitchy), going through the thirty or so songs Megs (my music goddess!!!) sent me overnight, to aid in soundtracking my NaNo. Megs you are amazing. ^_________^ So this is why you'll see so much Killers and Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco and what have you in the for the next while. (Also because I'm very much liking some of the songs. "Dance Dance" by Fall Out Boy is THAT song! And "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" by Panic! at the Disco is THAT song!!! EEEEEE!!!!)

And then there was the knock at the door - two cops, again, in the dark entryway, shining a flashlight angling down at my door, asking for someone by a name I've never heard...unless it was the same person two cops came by asking for like a week ago. I don't remember, I didn't recognize the name so it didn't really stick. I told them my name and Tom's (as he was still on campus this time), and told them who had lived here before us. I told them that this was the second time I'd had them show up asking for someone I'd never heard of, and they said it's not likely to be the last - they have a warrant for this guy, at this address. (What I didn't say: HI HE HAS NOT LIVED HERE FOR AT LEAST TWO YEARS GOOD JOB ON THE UPDATES GUYS.. why have you not checked with the landlord??) And while these two now know not to try this address again, "the day guy might not", apparently communication isn't so great in the department. (Apparently. Good lord.) So, they left, and I wished them luck on finding the right address.
(When Tom got in and I explained it all to him, he gave me a long spiel on procedure, should they actually try to come in sometime. We also agreed we're calling manager-Tom tomorrow, to let him know this is going on, if he doesn't already. The first night, I know they were going to knock on the rest of the doors in this building...)

However, while all this was going on, I was having a really good, long talk with Mel online, which was really nice. (I miss wandering into your room at night, perching on your bed and just talking with you awhile..) It's so strange, so many of the things she's going through right now are just what I dealt with when I was 16, but.. there's always details that are different, so I can't always give specific help. At least I can lend sympathy and understanding.. that's one thing I was-- well, no, I wasn't really short on it, I had some really great friends through high school that kept me (in)sane, but.. I didn't have anyone older than me, I was the oldest in any of the handful of groups I went between, really (except for SFE, and, uh, the upper classmen weren't exactly role models XD), I was the one to try to keep things under control... but it wasn't long before Megs took me under her wing, and she's what got me through adjusting to college. :)
...I don't know, I wish there was more I could actually do to help her out, but.. I'll always try, at least, and will always listen.

Then she went to do homework, and I.. sorta started some NaNo, but mostly began working on dinner. I bought some sweet potatoes the other day, as I'd been waaanting some, so I decided pretty early on today that I'd make them tonight and surprise Tom with a nice dinner. Typically, I just make one thing, like a big mess of stir fry or ramen or macaroni or whatever, we split that and that's dinner. (We're talking like three packets of ramen, plus some veggies and meat.) But, sweet potatoes, I needed a main course, and I'd spent most of the day wracking my brain, trying to think of something. Considered picking up a turkey, I've been thinking about it lately anyway, but, I'm not going to do that 'til I've done a lil more research I think. ^^; Ham I could manage, but it's pretty darn expensive. So I was thinking of mixing up a warm sort of richer flavoring into some rice and a bit of the chicken we have around, and doing that. Then Megs told me she's always liked sweet potatoes with bean chili. CHILI! I'd never thought of that, but it'd work REALLY well! We'd actually had some chili, cans of it were cheap this week so we got one just to try it out (I can make it awesome from scratch, but that requires a good bunch of ingredients).. and one can doesn't do a whole lot, that was Tom's after-dinner snack earlier this week. ^^;

Couldn't quite find a sweet potato recipe like I was looking for (i.e., something like Grandma's marshmellow-covered ones of awesomeness), so I spliced together a few from the good ol' giant red Better Homes cookbook, and went with that:
Washed the two sweet potatoes, popped them in the oven to hang out for like 40 minutes. Meanwhile, let some chicken thaw, and starting throwing together something for it to cook itself in in a pan. I think I wound up with varied amounts of: salsa, honey bbq sauce, brown sugar, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, paprika, bunches of chili powder, bit of cayenne, I think a lil sprinkling of nutmeg, bit of pepper, maybe quarter cup of water. And a small bay leaf (the idea for which I ganked from the Better Homes' recipe for chili.) Cut up the chicken into little pieces, threw it in there, and put the heat on as low as it would go without dying (mmm, old gas stoves).

As per a recipe in the cookbook, I mixed up some brown sugar and butter to put in with the sweet potatoes. Recipe didn't call for cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, but, c'mon, they needed to be there. (My ground cloves have completely disappeared and it's driving me nuts, those are freaking expensive! So I neeeeed to get over to the Tuscany market, where they have .99cent spices, and ransack for some things.)
Once the potatoes were cooked, I pulled them out, and started poking at them, trying to peel them. Little more annoying than I'd thought, but there again, I didn't exactly let them cool more than a few seconds before I started poking them. ^^; (I aaaalways run behind schedule on cooking projects, and I REALLY wanted all this to be verynearlydone by the time Tom got in, after class and VAP.) Finally got them peeled, started breaking them apart to mash them up... and only THEN found that I don't have any sort of mashing utensil down here. *facepalm* Soooo, we improvised a bit, and between a fork and one of the beaters from my mixer, did a fair enough job. Mixing in some milk made the consistancy much nicer, though it was still kinda chunky. Figured baking would soften it all more though.

Buttered the baking pan, put in some potatoes, smushed the brown sugar mixture in, put in the rest of the potatoes, and let them hang out for about half an hour. Chicken was definitely cooked and tasted fantaaaastic, so let it just sit there awhile. Threw some rice and water into a pot, with a mix of mainly the same spices as I'd used on the chicken, and let that simmer a bit before letting it boil. About this point, Tom came in, I met him at the door all happy and things...
...and then he said he wasn't sure he liked yams. I wanted to cry. He instantly switched over to soothing-mode and told me maybe he'd like them this time, he just hadn't had them in awhile.
I covered the potatoes in marshmellow (pulled jet-puffed ones into mini-sized ones), poked at the rice, and re-warmed the chicken.. About ten minutes later, the potatoes smelled PHENOMENAL, I put the chicken mixture in on top of the rice for its last few minutes of cooking, and actually set the table. :) Usually Tom watches tv when he gets in, to wind down, but he knew I'd spent a long time on this so didn't say a word about it, came over and sat at the table when I said things were ready. It was really nice, actually, sitting down to dinner with him, having a meal on the table and talking. <3

And EVERYTHING. TASTED. AMAZING. omg. I'm still beaming over it. I'm so happy. I completely mixed the chicken mixture into the rice, and the flavors were in *exactly* the right amount, it wasn't overpowering (though it was pretty spicy, thanks to the salsa) and it wasn't in the least bland. Tom decided the rice needed some ranch dressing, which he liked better than I did, but it worked. (Note: this was not completely random, I had a recipe for ranch-chicken rice stuff to go in a wrap, that I think we've done a few times now, as it was reallyreally good.) And THE POTATOES. omg. THEY WERE PERFECT!!!!! If anything, possibly a liiiittle too sweet (I didn't exactly measure the brown sugar, the recipe called for 3/4c., but that was if you were using six sweet potatoes.. I used two, and it was at least half a cup of sugar. heeh), but oh my goodness. Tom LOVED - and remembered that the reason he'd been put off sweet potatoes was that whoever it was in his family that cooked them at Thanksgiving had been loooading them with Jack Daniel's. Mine, he couldn't stop eating. (I couldn't either, 'til he was kind enough to finish them, hee.) He reprimanded me for making such good food, because he couldn't stop eating even though he was full. The potatoes are gone, there's no way they'd last, hee, and there's maybe.. well, one Melissa-serving of the rice left, it's more like half a Tom-serving.

After dinner, he was going to go play something on his computer, but we kept talking... and we talked a good long while. Mostly me talking about my family, trying to sort through some of what's happened to us all in the past few years, and Tom put in his two cents.. for all that he claims he doesn't care about people, he's ridiculously perceptive, and there are times it feels like he's figured someone out after no more than a glance. He sees things very, very clearly, without getting tangled up in the emotion of it. (Really, this is just an outgrowth of his years spent honing his ability to look at his *own* life this way, which he can do inhumanely well sometimes. I'm pretty in awe of that about him, I know it's a hard-won ability, and it's something that serves him very well.) But, he ran into corners a lot tonight, just talking.. his parents split up when he was a few years older than I was, but.. apart from that, it was not at alll the same sort of situation. But it was really good talking with him awhile, he doesn't talk about himself too often, how he felt or his past, and I love it when he does.

So--- crap. It's past midnight somehow. (I couldn't fall asleep last night, it was past 1 or 2 when I finally did, so my clock's a lil off.) NaNo count isn't quite where it should be, but not so bad as I feared. Posting the day's writing over there, then heading up to bed. 'Night all. :)

"The bus pulls up, and the color really sort of irks me today - it doesn't fit in at all with the softness of the morning colors, it's like a giant WalMart smiley face stuck in the middle of an impressionist painting. Ick."

*can't stop giggling* Well, this year's novel is off to a pretty fantastic start... wow. I don't even know where that came from, but, it worked, so it's staying. There will be a post over on the NaNo blog later this evening, provided I can stop procrastinating. I AM PROCRASTINATING ALREADY and it's only the first day. I am so doomed. ^^;; BUT! I'm doing ok with my character. She has a voice, and though it's a little too close to what my own was in high school, I have hints of being able to pull her a bit farther from that, so yay.

However! I am now taking (ok, beggingpleading for, really) suggestions on her music! What's cool in the high schools now? Is it still the emo-punk thing it was a year or so ago? I'm aiming for a middle-higher level social group, like not the popular kids and not the general middleground, but right about in between. (Mel, I think it's the same area a lot of your friends are in.) So far, my playlist for her mirrors what's big on, as well as a few of my own assumptions: Killers, My Chemical Romance, a bit of Postal Service, Green Day's American Idiot album, Death Cab. So, suggestions and mp3s are more than welcome - I've already hit up Megs for new Killers stuff, some more MCR, and some Fall Out Boy. All contributions welcome!

So, I was nosing around Amazon to find titles to try to hunt down in the library here on campus (where I'm wandering around in-costume today and having a blast doing so yay).. really, not having much luck, Reed hasn't much in terms of general fiction. It looks like a lot when you're up there, but really, there's only two or three aisles of children's/YA, and general fiction.. not a lot, unless it's classical literature.

All that aside, however, I've found ANOTHER bunch of books to my want-desperately-but-am-unlikely-to-find-dueto-being-out-of-print list. (The main bunch atm is the Trixie Belden series, of which the first three have been reprinted, but the rest, I've not seen since I was last in the children's room of the Perry Public Library.) Those of you who got my NaNo spam email know about this book "Requiem for a Princess" that I love with all my heart, and really admire, for being able to pull of something that, at a glance, seems lame and unbelievable, but doing it in such a real, heartfelt, believable.. I can't really explain it, it's odd, it's not the main conflict that sticks with me, it's the sense and the feel of the interaction between the girl in the present and the girl in the past that she dreams of..

In any event, on a whim, I decided to see if the author, Ruth M. Arthur, had done anything else I might want to hunt out. And o. mfg. EVERYTHING that she has written, I want so terribly to read. It turns out that that's the main theme she wrote around - a girl in the present has some sort of dilemna or trauma or what-have-you, and unearths a similar situation in the life of someone in the past who's in some way connected to her. Which is EXACTLY what I'm planning on taking on. *facepalm* So I'd just like to state that, for the record, I didn't know that when I was thinking up this story. ^^;

...meanwhile, though, I think I really am going to re-read "Requiem" again soon, I love that book dearly, and could use the tips on how to do what I want to do well. It could so, so easily go cliche, and I'm not about to let it.

2006 NaNo!

Has no title yet!

But it does have a tenative synopsis, and a blog, and the blog is here:

Now go. And read. And help me fix any general issues before I make things worse by writing them. ^^;;

And from November 1-November 30, feel free to spam that blog with as many comments as you like, whether it's feedback, critique, insults, enthusiasm, or just screams at me to get my wordcount back up. Any and all will help me finally hit 50k, and will be hugely appreciated. Maybe I'll even make up a special batch of cookies to send people when it's all over. How's that for bribery? My cookies are awesome.


...apart from that sounding so incredibly wrong, I meant it. Just remind me, I'm not going to be in any sort of sound mental state by month's end, heh.
I. Got two commissions today. BWA! *dances about happily*, granted, I'm not being paid for either, but, y'know, experience and getting things out there etc. YAY!

Job 1: Nancy, one of the women I work with, was pestering Chad, trying to get a decent reprint of a photo of her son she'd had taken. So he reprinted it for her, but the trouble she was having was with the photo itself, not so much the quality - her son had had an unfortunate bit of breaking-out the day of the pictures, and while WalMart = waythefuck cheaper than the schools here for pictures, they don't do retouching. So she's trying to sort this out with Chad, and I leapt in to the conversation and was like OOO!!! LET ME LET ME LET ME! hee. After a bit of confusion as to how exactly I would be doing this (I need to start remembering the world is not as full of comp-saavy people as the media arts lab), Chad (with a long-suffering look, as always, heh) scanned it for me and flung it onto a disc. SO! I'm plugging in the Wacom again I think, as I've a hunch that'll make retouching way awesomer, and smoother than with a mouse like I've done before. I've done awesome jobs on shots for Mel and Erica, so, I'm pretty confident. :)

Job 2: Shannon dropped me a note on facebook today, saying she has a sudden desire to have an old-movie style picture of her, and wondered if I could do so - in trade for some craft supplies, YAY! (I need to have Tom help me set up that sewing machine, I've been doing far too much by hand for my Hallowe'en costume.) She'd thought of having it painted, or, as it seemed more my specialty, a digital thing. I've offered to do either, or a drawing, or whatever she'd like, really - making things look old is my specialty, it reallyreally is. ^__________^ So I'm pretty psyched.

In other news, work has been RIDICULOUSLY busy. Like I went to grab something downstairs..Thursday night, I think it was, and I couldn't even walk across the floor to get where I wanted, there were too many people. @_@ Saturday night was worse, but, I did get to gank a rental costume to wear, so I had on a pretty, old-fashioned, shiny lavender off-the-shoulder dress all night, which made me really happy. <3 I worked 39 1/2 hours last week. Only 34 this week, and then like 37 1/2 next. I have Tuesday (tomorrow, Hallowe'en YAY!) off, and then I don't have another day off 'til the following Tuesday. aaaack. Granted the later part of the week I typically work evenings, but, still, it's harder to scramble all over town and get errands done and grab the bus in time to get to work at 4... bleh.

Saturday night after work, I dropped by the Masquerade Ball on campus for awhile, though by the time I got there, they'd already switched over from the party/mingling part to the watching Rocky Horror part. But Katie and I still got to catch up a little and talk, which was very happy. :) And Joel came over and took my picture just because I was Rainbow Brite, and I got another random compliment from someone else. ^_______^ The costume looks really great, I'm wearing it around all day tomorrow (Tom's embarrassment levels be damned XD) so I'll be sure to get a picture to post at some point. Did a little tweaking here and there, as the shirt was a little short and there wasn't quite enough fabric at the top, and I need to find a way to get that ponytail to stay in the wig better, but, I have a little pouch full of "star sprinkles" and it is great. Originally I was going to wear my heels, with the black stars on them, but the weather and the walkability issue have led me to switch to the Mackie boots, which actually look really good with it, and really, are closer to Rainbow's boots than my heels are, so, yay.

NaNoWriMo starts the day after tomorrow, and I'm trying to reign in the panic. Spent my lunch break today doing some more brainstorming, and I'm closer to getting the main character down, but.. still having some issues. hmm. Today or tomorrow, I'll get the blog for that started, and post my overall idea, so y'all can start flinging ideas/critiques/suggestions/attacks at me. :)

...I actually *said* "y'all" a few nights ago, and Tom flipped shit at me. He's scared to death of being "countryfied" by me. He says even the cookies I bake are "country cookies". I finally asked last night what the difference is between "city cookies" and "country cookies", and apparently country cookies have less flavor than city cookies. Admitedly, the current batch (these) were not at ALL as flavorful as I'd expected, so I had to remedy by making up a random glaze, of brown sugar and maple syrup and a bit of milk and confectioner's sugar.. but the ones I'd made before were chocolate with peanut butter in the middle. According to Tom, THOSE ones were "city cookies".
I think it really just comes down to the things I like vs. what he likes. *giggles and rolls eyes* (Note, of course, that he's still eating the pumpkin ones I made, even though they have faces and things and are fuuuull of pumpkin spice, which he claims he doesn't like at all, but doesn't know is in these, hee.)

So, yes, things are going well as always with him and I. *giggles* I've no idea if it's coming through that way or not, but whenever I talk about him making fun of me about something or another, it's completely in fun, believe me. Rarely does he take it too far, and when he does, I let him know, and he stops and immediately starts apologising all over. He's very good to me, all-around. :)
(As well he should be, given the amount of time I spend making him food, hee. ;p)

There was something else I was going to post about the other day, but can't remember. Just as well, this post is long enough. Be on the look-out for a link to this year's NaNo blog! :)