Wednesday, September 30, 2009

chimps trade meat for sex

There's no reason to mention this article, except after I read it, I had the burning desire to say to someone, anyone, "Duh! Why do you think 90% percent of dates involve men taking women out to dinner? The man is proving he can provide for a mate and offspring!"

I don't care what anybody says: we're all animals at our core. Being human means you have evolved a superego to make up lies to disguise the fact that you're driven by your id.

And that's exactly the reason I always insisted on going dutch, during the early phases of dating someone. Although in retrospect that may have backfired, since I tended to end up with guys who wanted to be taken care of.

It's a delicate and difficult thing, balance of power.

Friday, September 25, 2009

grumpy old men/fried green tomatoes

I have a tomato cage in my back yard. Tony built it. It's a raised bed with chicken wire all around, to keep out the squirrels and neighborhood cats. I don't really have enough sunlight in my yard to raise produce; the plants grow just fine but they bear little fruit.

This year the tomatoes I planted were indeterminate heirloom varieties. That means they grow and grow and grow until they stick out the top of the tomato cage. Once there, they were actually tall enough to grab a little sun, and one of them threw out some late fruit--two large green tomatoes the size of softballs, just beginning to turn pink. I hoped there would be enough sunny hours left in the fall to let them ripen.

I came home last night to find two of my herb pots had been knocked off the fence-rail next to the tomato cage. The biggest terracotta pot was cracked, but still intact. That was annoying, but it could've been a cat, could've been a squirrel.

Then I noticed my two big green tomatoes were gone. I thought that was weird--squirrels don't usually go for tomatoes until they are ripe. And it was weird that the stems looked splintered, instead of chewed. I looked around for the tomatoes on the ground.

I found them inside the cage.

Somebody had climbed up on my fence, knocked my pots off, picked my tomatoes, and apparently felt bad about it and put the tomatoes back in the cage, on the soil, at the base of the plant.


I suspect one of the neighbor children. I'd seen her in our yard previously, last week when I was home sewing. I went over and knocked on their door, showed her and her mother the fruit and asked if she knew anything about it. The kid denied it, of course. Her mom was sympathetic but said she had seen an unfamiliar child's bike in our yard the day before.

I have no problem with the kids playing hide-and-seek in our yard, but when they start tearing up my stuff.... I may have to put down bear traps, tripwires with tranquilizer dart guns, attack bunnies....


I decided to make the best of it. I've tried to make fried green tomatoes several times before and failed miserably. Tomatoes are bitter when they're green, they turn to mush when you cook them, and they're so wet the breading doesn't want to stick.

But this time it worked. The tomatoes were very green and still hard, just blushed on the inside when I sliced them. I salted them twice, once with sea salt and once with Pensey's Seasoning Salt, which has a bit of sugar and herb flavoring. I also dusted on Herbs de Provence and some black pepper and let them sit on the cutting board for a bit while the oil heated. I used a 12-inch nonstick skillet and about 1/2 inch or less of Pomace olive oil.

When the oil was quite hot, I double-breaded the slices: first in masa harina (corn flour), then in egg/milk wash, then in a mix of masa and whole-wheat bread crumbs. They fried up quick and crispy and were startlingly good--light, mealy, and tomato-flavored without being bitter. EXACTLY what I'd wanted in a fried tomato--which is weird because I'd never eaten any but the lousy ones I'd made myself, years ago. We had them with ham steak and sauteed spinach.

I didn't offer any to the neighbors.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Screw you, Jar Jar. Screw. You."

Linking to this cuz I've reached a point where I have to get my snark on vicariously.

Great White Snark WonderCon 2009 Costumes

Part 1

... and Part 2

Also because it's LMAO funny.

Bonus snarky goodness: Comicon 2009 Roundup!

Monday, September 14, 2009

listen to the cookie

Last week I ran into an acquaintance I hadn't seen for a while, and in the course of conversation he asked me why I wasn't writing anymore.

I thought of all the baggage of the last three years, and I said, "Well, I got divorced, and then I got remarried... and now I'm not angry anymore." And then we both kind of laughed, because although it is funny, it's also peculiarly true.

I had been blaming my lack of writing fire on being busy, but the simple fact of it is, in past years I had refused to take on other jobs, other projects, because they would get in the way of my writing.

I know, too, that if I sit down and concentrate for a couple of days, I can reboot the writing muscle.

But I have no real desire to do so. Partly because the writing never made me as much money as the sewing has. But also because I look at my old stories, and I look at the fiction books I used to enjoy, and I find them cloying. Such melodrama. Such pandering. So formulaic--even well-done books rely on certain assumptions about the way people behave--which are, for the most part, inaccurate, or at least inconsistent.

A fortnight ago I had a real bad week. Everybody on my periphery seemed to be conspiring to piss me off. All of it was petty shit, which in some ways is the most aggravating of all, because there's nothing you can do to fix it, you just have to simmer at the injustice. I spent the whole of Labor Day weekend stewing about it all, and somewhere in the midst of my dark thoughts I got a jolt--clean as a lightning strike and heady as lust--I wanted to write something.

I even had a couple of fresh ideas leap into my mind--that Quinn Taylor thing on the collapsing space station, and a couple of Trace/Fairweather scenes that I've been composting for a while. For the next hour or so I had the fire burning in my brain and heart--the machinery roared to life and began cranking out plots, situations, mood, sensory images--but of course I wasn't in a place where I could do anything about it, and besides I had a whole pile of sewing waiting for me at home.

I have mused over that flash of inspiration for days--that straight-line connection between the need to bash somebody's head in, and the drive to channel that aggression through the keyboard. I'd made jokes about it, the past couple years--about not needing to hide in my fantasies anymore. Apparently it was more true than I knew.

I feel sad about it. I feel as if I've lost something.

I got a fortune cookie last night that said, "Some more art in your life at this time could make you feel better."

I think maybe I should listen to the cookie. But it's hard--when I look ahead at the next three months, I only see the weekends on which I could be sewing for money.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 1968

The day my honey came into the world.

Happy Birthday to my sweet husband!