I've not been blogging because I don't know how to blog the constant state of "What did that stupid orange bastard do this time?" without ending up with ulcers.


On Saturday, I went to Pike Place Market with Shaun and Dayna.  (It was supposed to be Shaun, Dayna and Heidi, but Heidi ended up not going.  Pity.)  And we're parking and get out of the car and while Shaun's putting the parking receipt on the dashboard, this one-legged Buddhist monk on crutches comes over to me and Dayna.  And he takes a wooden-bead bracelet off his wrist and puts it on mine.  Then he does the same to Dayna.  Then he joins our hands, and starts praying over us.  (I'm assuming he was praying, it was in another language, he might have been cursing us out more nicely than I've ever heard.)  Then he asked for a donation.

Dayna didn't have any money.  I only had a few twenties.  I caved nearly immediately and gave him a twenty and felt very karmically pure after.  And I gave the bracelet to Abby and shared my karmic purity.

I've had a lot of people inform me that they wouldn't have given him anything, but really, it was good payment for the story.  

After all, I now get to say I was prayer-assaulted by a one-legged Buddhist monk.  It's like something out of David Lynch!
erisiansaint: (Default)
( Jan. 11th, 2017 07:09 pm)
I've been heartsick since Election Day.  It isn't going away and it keeps getting worse.

This election has made me see that people would rather believe lies than do research.  They'd rather women died in childbirth than get abortions.  People would rather control women's sex lives than care for the children we do have.  People would rather keep seeing injustice happen based upon the color of one's skin than fix it.  People would rather let a child rapist, sexual predator, bigoted con man have the highest office in the country because he's white and rich than a woman get it.  (If you're going to comment with anything resembling "But Hilary", know that I won't want you as a friend afterwards, btw.  So careful with that.)

I feel like my government thinks I'm nothing more than a walking incubator, to be left to die when my childbearing years are over.

I want to believe better of people.  I really do.  And in my more rational moments, I know that over 3 MILLION people believe the same way I do and voted that way.  It just didn't matter.  The bad guys won.  And there are all these memes about "what you can do" and I'm trying and it does not help the sadness I feel, every day, with every new headline.  I still feel personally betrayed by my country.

Trump is disgusting.  But watching Ryan and McConnell use his attention grabbing techniques to push through ever-increasingly corrupt and venal laws and power grab exhausts me on a daily basis.  They think we don't notice.  We do.  And I'm afraid of what's coming because I'm afraid my son is going to be the one caught in the crossfire.
Tuesday is the Tadlet's 16th birthday.  (Look!  Only two more years before I can tell the ex where to shove his head.  Ahem.)

The tradition in the house that I'm living in is this: whatever else is going on, whatever presents happen, on your birthday,  you get to request a particular meal of me.  For years, now, Tadlet's go-to birthday meal has been potato-leek soup with bread, and a cheesecake.  (Thanks to Chris for teaching me to make cheesecake, because seriously, that was one of the best things I ever learned!)

This year, it's maple baked beans (with onions and TONS of salt pork in) and a cheesecake.  The beans are easy: soak your beans overnight.  Drain them, put them in a pot on the stove, boil for 30 to 40 minutes, drain and reserve liquid.  Dice up a shitload of salt pork.  Chop an onion.  Arrange in layers in your cooking vessel, whether it's a slow cooker or a pot that goes in the oven, going beans, salt pork, onions, beans, salt pork, onions.  Take your hot bean water, add 1/3 cup of brown sugar, a cup of real maple syrup, a tsp of mustard powder, a little salt.  Pour that over the beans to cover.  Cook for a LONG FUCKING TIME until done.  For me, if it's a slow-cooker, then eventually I get fed up and shove it in the oven to reduce the liquid to a syrupy glaze.  It's my version of the Williams Sonoma recipe, so you can look it up on the internet if you want exact measurements.

They'll be a bit weird: I couldn't find my mustard powder.  I substituted rather less than a teaspoon of cayenne.  I'm not telling anyone.

Now, cheesecake...cheesecake is FUN.  Cheesecake has a basic recipe from Philly cream cheese, also available on the internet.  The first major tweak is that you want to put a pan of water on a lower rack to steam it.  Also, bang the pan repeatedly to try to get the air bubbles out, so that it won't crack.  (But really, who cares if it does?  It'll still taste good!)

The fun part of cheesecake is that you can mess with it near endlessly and it'll still be amazing.  I've done mango cheesecake, where I pureed frozen mango and put that in the batter and diced the rest of the mango and cooked it and then threw that in the batter as actual chunks.  (That's fucking amazing, btw.) 

Today's cheesecake is as follows: 3/4 cup of white sugar, 1/4 of light brown in with the cream cheese.  Then I added some mulled cider that's in my fridge to flavor it instead of using vanilla.  (If I'd been thinking, I'd have reduced a cup of it down to a few tablespoons, that would have been muuuuch better and stronger.  But there's been a lot of cooking today.)  I chopped up three apples and cooked them on the stove with butter, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.  And I made dulce de leche, as it's a caramel-apple cheesecake.  (To make dulce de leche in the oven: take your 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk.  Pour it in a deep dish pie plate.  Cover it with foil.  Put that pie plate into a roasting pan and pour in water halfway up the side.  Bake at 425 for 45 minutes, refill the water if necessary, bake for another 45 minutes.  Let it cool.  Next time, I'm salting it a bit, because sprinkling salt on afterwards took it from Amazing to Orgasmic.)

To put the cheesecake together, I put in the graham cracker crust, sprinkled it with some of the apples, poured in half the batter, put in a few chunks of the dulce de leche.  Then I put in some more of my dulce in with the rest of the apples and heated it just enough to coat the apples.  I put those in as a layer, put in the rest of the batter and tapped out as many bubbles as possible.

Updates later on how it turned out, it's in the oven now.
erisiansaint: (Default)
( Aug. 12th, 2016 06:33 am)
I actually tried to post about this before, but I couldn't.  I'm finding that it's very hard to talk about.

My father died on July 25th.

I'd gone to see him two weeks earlier, because I got the call that he wasn't doing well.  I hadn't wanted to go, because I didn't want to remember him in his hospital bed.  But I went anyway and I took Tadlet, (who'd gotten home that day from a choral trip to Denver,) and we went.  Dad wasn't lucid for the first two days, but we spent a lot of time there anyway.  (They'd done some test, I think an MRI, which meant giving him Ativan and that knocked him out for those two days.)  He was awake and lucid on the third day and spent a lot of time holding my hand, and I was able to tell him I loved him and he said it back to me.  He told Logan to be a good boy.

I hadn't wanted to go.  For the rest of my life, I'll be grateful I went.  And that I took Logan and showed him that it's just what you do.

There were a lot of ups and downs on that trip.  The test showed that what he had was some kind of virus that attacks the insulation of the neurons, which causes paralysis.  It usually only attacks the young, and it goes fast, so no one realized.  It took about 8 months to work on my father, he had one HELL of a constitution.  But they also think he had ALS, (Lou Gehrig's disease,) and when the treatments for the first one seemed not to be working, we all opted not to keep going with them.  He also had some hairline spinal fractures.

So, he went to hospice and flirted with the nurses right up to the end.  I'll write about the funeral when I'm not about to go to work.

Also, if I don't respond to comments for a while, it's not that I don't see them.  I thank you in advance.  It's just very, very hard for me to talk about this.  I didn't have the closest relationship to him, but we loved each other, and I miss him.
erisiansaint: (Default)
( Jul. 31st, 2016 09:24 am)
Well...I am.  Alive, I mean.

I'm going to write a longer post about this, but the short form is that my dad died exactly one week ago.  The funeral was on Friday.  It's...rather harder than I expected it to be, given our relationship throughout most of my life, but it's back to having to be an adult and cope.

More later, with anecdotes.
erisiansaint: (Default)
( Feb. 20th, 2016 10:25 am)
So, yesterday, I actually had time where I could call.  And I did.  And I was able to cancel my ACA with the state of Washington because as of February 1, I have insurance for me and my son.

It felt SO GOOD.  Every bit as good as getting it in the first place felt.
erisiansaint: (Default)
( Jun. 23rd, 2015 09:35 pm)
Ok, first of all, I interviewed for my job yesterday.  (That's not as weird as it sounds: I've been temping at this place for nearly a year, so yesterday, I interviewed to go full time.)  There are three other candidates, so I'm not counting on it being mine.  Just really hoping.  There's a few more interviews to go, however.

Today was "Culture Day", which is kind of like orientation, except it happens a month to three months into the job.  It's not about your job skills, it's about the company and the mission statement, etc.  Since the department I'm temping with is HR, we're the ones who run it, so on Culture Days, I usually set up breakfast and lunch.  On Culture Days, I try to get in early.

Today.  Forgot my ORCA card at home.  (For you non-Seattleites, the ORCA system is this interestingly computerized system that means you tap an ORCA card on the reader and it automatically deducts money from the account.  You don't have to have an account by name, you can stick your card into a specialized machine and put money on it.  A lot of bigger companies will issue these cards, too.)  Dayna kindly ran it out to me, as I'd already made it to the bus stop.  (The bus stop is only about 3.5 blocks from the house, but it amounts to about half a mile and it's mostly uphill.)  The bus left as she was handing me the card.

Then, I got to the transit center, got my bagel, and made the second bus with about a minute to spare.  Great!  I missed my stop.  Not great.  I ended up at a Park & Ride not close to my job.  Also not great.  There's another bus that'll get off at the bus stop right by my work.  Great!  I got on the wrong bus.  (550 instead of 560.)  Not great.  Get off the bus on the first stop post-Park & Ride.  This wrong bus is the only one on this route.  Not great.  Walk an extra mile to work.  Very not great.  Get there 15 minutes early.  Great.  This is instead of 45 minutes early, which would have meant time to eat my bagel.  Not great.  As soon as I walked in, after walking over a mile and a half this morning: have to do more walking/standing to set up the breakfast.  Siiiiiigh.

I finally did get to sit, eat my bagel, try to drink some coffee that was SO BAD that I gave up and bought a bottled frappuccino out of sheer self-defense.  (I was so tired after all that, that I nearly fell asleep at work.  Even after the coffee.)  I also got to set up lunch later, no problem.  All of HR eats with the students on Culture Day.  It's fun.  Some of the executives join us, too.

Halfway through lunch, my back (left side, the cluster around the bottom of the rib cage,) clenched.  Or seized.  Clenched up was how it felt.  FUCKING HURT.  After lunch, I managed to swallow two ibuprofen.  By an hour later, they'd only put a dent in the pain.  (I carry stress in my back.  After months of not knowing if I'd even have a chance at a job, and then finding out I have a chance, but if someone else is a better fit, they'll hire them instead, my back decided that it had had enough.  Ow city.)  I ended up taking a taxi home because I couldn't have borne the bus.  (Luckily, that turned out to be 9 dollars, pre-tip.  As a once-in-a-blue-moon thing, that's affordable.) 

And now, I'm stressing about whether I'll even be able to make it to work tomorrow.  Did I mention Ow City?  Because really, the pain is quite intense, given that my natural state is to have a backache.  (Stupid large boobs.)
erisiansaint: (Default)
( Jan. 1st, 2015 12:19 pm)
This is an open post.  Generally, most of my posts are going to be closed, locked, what have you.  If you are someone who would like to be able to read my posts, this is the place to comment.

Edit to note:  This is for anyone new who I met recently, guys, no worries, no one's going anyplace, honest.  Sorry for the confusion and welcome to everyone who's new!
erisiansaint: (Default)
( Jul. 28th, 2014 06:32 am)
Dreamt that when I went into a temp job this morning, I was working for a guy who was directly working for Jim Henson.

I was very sorry to wake up from it.
erisiansaint: (Default)
( Jul. 18th, 2014 03:42 pm)
It's official, today.  The Tadlet is half an inch taller than me.
I'm trying to reach for the gratitude of having a life today, because I'm just not feeling it, I'm cranky and whiny and trying not to cry.

My car died, yesterday.  Surprisingly, it wasn't the tires, and it wasn't the oil, it was the transmission that blew.  To fix it would cost about 2800 dollars, although that's apparently from a rebuilt transmission, not from getting one out of a junker and having that installed.  I also can't actually afford insurance AND a car payment

This has me in a bit of a panic, because I have to have a car, I'm not working a job that's on a bus route, and it's one where I have to be there at 7 am, it's part of the job requirement.  D is being kind enough to loan me her car for work purposes, on days when she's not going on an interview and she's going to drive me on interview days.

So, the gratitude.

I have an awesome roommate who's being insanely kind.

The way my car went out (on a highway, no less,) didn't kill me.  It didn't even hurt me, it just inconvenienced me.

I have options of which kind of broke I want to be.

My ex was kind enough to come get me yesterday morning when I was having hysterics and drop me off at home.

I was only an hour late for work yesterday, thanks to the fact that I'd gotten a very early start.

AAA is a fucking BRILLIANT organization and thanks to the fact that we had AAA+, I could have my car towed to the auto place, and then back home when it turned out that there's no way I can get it fixed, and I didn't have to pay for that.

And I have a job.

Ok, that's it, that's about as grateful as I can manage, given that I'm still flipping out.  But I needed to remind myself of the good facts.
erisiansaint: (Default)
( Sep. 7th, 2013 06:31 pm)
I am officially moved in.  My computer is set up (although not yet plugged in.)  I have a bookcase, (partway set up,) a bed, (completely built and made, with sheets and pillows and comfort,) a rolling cart with wire baskets for my clothes and a basket on top for my dirty clothes, and a night stand.

Most of my kitchen stuff is in the kitchen.  I have a lamp on my nightstand and I'm on my laptop.

I'm not standing.  I'm not walking. I'm not packing things.  I'm not stressing.  It's freaking awesome.
erisiansaint: (Default)
( Jun. 20th, 2013 10:19 pm)
I've got a job.  I've worked there since Monday, I really really like it and I'm starting to feel competent at it.

Tomorrow, I get an IUD inserted.  I'm looking forward to this, too.  Since I'm not with someone with a vasectomy, it's time I take control of my own reproductive system again.  Also, it might make my periods lighter, which would be nice, given that they're generally so heavy that I've been anemic for years.

Speaking of, today has been such that I've seriously considered a home hysterectomy with a grapefruit spoon.  Ow.  Which is probably why I'm having the kind of night where I listen to "Being Alive" on YouTube, every freaking version I can find.  I love you, Mr. Sondheim, for the songs that reach in and rip my guts out. 

Also, lately, I've been thinking that if I were any more straightforward, I'd probably be downright transparent.  I've also been talking to a lot of people who challenge me mentally, to the point where I wonder if my brain really is made of swiss cheese and how it is that I've been not-thinking about some things that used to be very important to me, for years and years.  It's not bad, it's more like...waking up.  Or something.  But it makes me wonder how long I've been asleep and think that no wonder I needed such a damned huge kick in the pants to start the process.  It's a good process.  I needed it.  This isn't easy, but it's necessary and will ultimately be very rewarding.

Also.  No matter how many times I watch Up, that damned movie makes me cry EVERY TIME.
erisiansaint: (Default)
( Apr. 17th, 2013 11:51 am)
So, as some of you know, in an effort to start being healthy, I joined a gym on Sunday.  (GREAT deal, too: one dollar signup fee.)

And I finally got my ass in gear today.  (I figured out I either needed new sweatpants or I needed to shave my legs and get a combination lock.  Locks are cheaper and don't require hemming.)  Mind you, my legs are EYE-BLINDING, FISHBELLY WHITE, and I hadn't gotten around to shaving them, but I figure if I could just freaking get over myself, it'd be better for me in general.  Besides, when one is fat, frumpy and forty, the only person caring about lightly hairy, blindingly white legs is the owner of said legs, no one else gives a damn, they're too busy thinking "why did I eat that damn cupcake?"  Well, maybe that's just me.

Anyway, I went, I did some stretches that I remember from my days of being 125 lbs and taking a LOT of karate, (which got me a lot more strange looks than the legs, does no one warm up before walking anymore?) and then went on a treadmill.

It wasn't much of a workout, all things considered.  I'm out of shape and I know it.  It was a 20 minute walk at about 2.5 mph for the vast majority of it, which ended up being 3/4 of a mile.  I worked up a sweat and felt good.  And man, did I grove to the playlist I made.  Some songs are just made for working up a sweat!  (Diary of Jane by Breaking Benjamin, for instance.)

What I also discovered is this: I am a LOT more flexible than one would think, for fat, frumpy and forty.  Those stretches I mentioned?  Think kinda like karate kicks, front/side/back, but instead of kicking,  you're just swinging your legs.  Except I can still get my legs to waist level on side kicks and higher for front kicks, and almost at waist level for back kicks.  I keep this up and I might get back to almost being able to do a full split again!

Anyway, that's my reason to feel good, today.  And it felt GOOD to move.

erisiansaint: (Default)
( Feb. 24th, 2013 09:57 am)
Yesterday, I woke up and the first FB status I saw, when I checked FB, was that of a dear friend of mine telling me that a mutual friend of ours had died.  She was in her forties, which is to say, our age.  My friend had been much better friends than I had, but we'd both lost touch years ago, and it hit me very, very hard.

Most of the rest of the day wasn't better, since I spent most of it either crying or on the verge of tears and the world kept deciding to intrude, yesterday.  I kept sort of almost coping.

Yesterday was also my roommate's birthday party, so I was aware that I was going to have to be social.  And right as I was getting dressed for that, my sister called and reminded me that today was her best friend's birthday.  (That's my sister's gentle reminder that today is the anniversary of my mom's death.)  My mom died 13 or 14 years ago, I've lost track.  But probably because of Stephanie, it's hitting me exceptionally hard, today, so if you me and I don't answer, or call me and it goes to voice mail, that's why.  I'm not looking for sympathy and hugs, either, it's just that I have a thought process going on and it's not comfortable.

On the plus side, last night, I had a REALLY good time.  I saw people I love, and I had an entire two drinks and sips of others.  (For you people who know me, you know I'm an extreme lightweight, so that's sort of unprecedented.  It also made me pretty damned tipsy.  But I was sober before bed, so no hangover.)

erisiansaint: (Default)
( Dec. 13th, 2012 10:53 am)
I made baked beans yesterday, and I thought I'd made enough for everyone to have a good helping and then we'd have enough for dinner for days.

I was wrong.  And I was really ok with being so wrong.  Because by the time we got done decimating the beans, there was one helping left.   One.  And this was a BIG pot of beans!

So, the beans:
A 1 lb package of navy beans, soaked overnight
1 large onion, diced
2 12 oz. packages of Hormel Salt Pork, with the rinds cut off and also diced.
1 cup of Grade B maple syrup
1/3 cup of packed brown sugar
1 tsp of dry mustard powder
a big pinch of ginger
a small pinch of salt

I drained the beans, and tossed them in a pot, then covered them with water.  I only simmered them for about 20 minutes, as I made these beans on the stovetop anyway.  Then I drained them again, and reserved the cooking liquid.

In my big, cast-iron dutch oven, I layered the beans, onion and salt pork.

In a bowl, I mixed the brown sugar, the mustard, the ginger, the salt, and then the maple syrup.  I mixed that with a bit of the cooking liquid to dissolve the sugar, and then poured it over the beans.  Then I covered the beans with most of the cooking liquid and saved the rest for later, when the water cooked off a bit.

And I simmered those things on my lowest setting on the stovetop for about five hours, mixing at least once an hour to keep the beans from sticking to the bottom.  (That was only marginally successful.)  At one point, I poured the rest of the cooking liquid in, and for the last half hour, I took the lid off to boil down the liquid a bit and thicken it up.

Oh, god, they were SO GOOD.  My son agitated at me from the time he came home until the time they were done and insisted on trying a bean and some of the sauce, and then later, stealing a few more from the pot while I was cooking them down.  They were still a little firm, but not crunchy, none of them.  The salt pork melted away into deliciousness on the tongue, they were sweet and tangy and with a tiny bit of a bite, and they were a little complex.  They made me REALLY happy.  And everyone else.

And then, later, I walked into a bedroom with a DISTINCT odor, from a man who really needs to have his intestines cleaned out with a bottle brush, (which the beans tried to do, I suppose.)  Ooof.  Still, it made for some funny moments.  And dinner was worth it.
erisiansaint: (Default)
( Dec. 6th, 2012 05:54 pm)
It's another year and Tadlet is now twelve, today.  And he's still generous and smart and frustrating and thoughtful and inconsiderate and all those other things kids are.  And he called his dad because it's his birthday and Tadlet was asked what he wanted for his birthday and did he want Skylanders. 

Not my kid.  I overheard him telling his father that what he wanted was on ThinkGeek.com.  And what he asked for was Ten's Sonic Screwdriver.


So fucking proud.

Happy birthday, Tadlet.
This is going to be a bit rambly, I'm trying to organize my thoughts, here.

The long story )
The moral of this story?  "No means no" doesn't go far enough.  "No means /stop/.  Silence isn't consent.  Only a yes is a yes.  Gentlemen already know this.  Creepers don't, and they exploit that there aren't enough gentlemen out there, and that women are scared to come forward.

Ok, so, while the entire world is going ga-ga over Prometheus, (a movie I have zero interest in, because I am a fan of sleeping and my suspension of disbelief is awfully good,) I waited eagerly for Rock of Ages.

If you're looking for an intelligent movie with an insanely good plot, and the best covers of 80s hair rock that you've ever heard...this isn't it.

If you're looking for cheesy fun, with 80s montages, one of the funniest sex-scenes I've ever seen, a feel-good ending, and a soundtrack that's going to make you want to headbang and sing along?  This is your movie.  It was insane amounts of fun, with plenty of silly, and the actors looked like they were having a blast.  If it took itself seriously, it'd be Xanadu, but it didn't, and therefore, it's more reminiscent of the Broadway musical version of Xanadu.

Everyone was every bit as good as you'd expect them to be, and sometimes better.  There were interesting cameos, (D spotted Deborah Gibson next to Russell Brand in the sing-off against the fake PMRC, for instance,) and I have no idea how Paul Giametti can pretty much turn his eyeballs into dollar signs like in old Bugs Bunny cartoons, but his facial expression was perfect.  (When you see it, you'll know what scene I mean.)

Just...go see it.  Expect a piece of fluff and enjoy it as such, and you won't be disappointed.

erisiansaint: (Default)
( Mar. 7th, 2012 11:42 am)
The tradition in this house is that the person celebrating the birthday gets to choose what I cook for their dinner.

Today is [info]amezuki's birthday and he refuses to decide on a dinner.  All he wants is homemade cheesecake.  I'm really, really flattered by this.  (For my sister's birthday, she's getting potato kugel.)

So, since he wants a fruity one, I'm going to dice up an apple or two and cook it in butter and brown sugar and cinnamon and cloves and ginger.  Then, when I pour the cheesecake mixture, I'll pour half of it, toss in a layer of apples, then pour in the other half and bake.  Apple pie cheesecake.