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This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gifts, Football and other Randomness

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

Random Tidbits

I’m not sure how long this blog will be. I’m not doing the year’s end wrap up until Tuesday or Wednesday. There are still some elements in play that may not resolve themselves until January 31st. I’m in an interesting state. We’ve been free of the day job since Wednesday, so I’m better rested than I typically am on a Sunday. I’m also not facing an intense day of food prep for the next week. We’re not really scheduled to do anything until after January 2nd. The only tension on the horizon that I know of today is the Eagles-Dallas game later this afternoon. I’m actually doing some work related to Sybaritic Press today. We’re finishing a transfer of nearly all of the titles to a new printer/distributor. It was a fantastic deal that included more access to brick and mortar bookstores. Our first experiments went well. We liked the quality of their printing, and the first transfer went through seamlessly. Unfortunately, this company has been very good at advertising their fantastic deal. Since the deadline is the 31st, they have been flooded with new submissions. The last transfers will not be seamless. Thus, if you’re new to this blog and inspired to go read our titles, they may turn up as unavailable on Amazon.com and other outlets. That should only be the case for about another week, but we aren’t sure that it won’t be a bit longer than that. Meanwhile, we are finishing the transfers on Monday or Tuesday.

The Gift of Giving

Husbands walk a minefield in gift giving to their wives. I think it’s that they consider themselves practical. Father’s practicality lead him to get Mother a vacuum cleaner for Christmas on year. It was a very nice vacuum cleaner, and the house needed one. That gift did not go over well at all. Since that experience, I eschewed practical gifts in favor of the very personal from guys. However, since cooking became an avid past time, I’m much more into the practical. Thus, this Christmas, I was pleased to get some professional sized cooling racks and a fourth half sheet pan. I had three professional grade pans purchased from a diner we frequented in Playa del Rey. It was shut down to make way for the first of many condo developments. That was one of the best cooking purchases I’ve ever made. But one the cooking beast is loosed, it must be appeased with new things. Thus, I was happy with my gifts of a box grater (I had abandoned my grater in favor of buying pre shredded ingredients like cheese and carrots. I’ve been persuaded that I’ll get better results grating some things myself). I was really jazzed to get some Limoncello. I have seen it used on the Food Network many times in some very tasty looking dishes and drinks, but it’s pricey enough to give me pause in the market. If it costs the same as a pound of crab meat or sea scallops, I will just buy the seafood. This is especially true if I’ve never used a product before. I’ve yet to buy Pernod, because I’ve never tasted it and don’t know if I’d like it in recipes. I don’t really like sherry in the soup recipes that call for it. But, I digress. I’m only lacking a new stash of Herbes de Provence. Jon and I will hunt down some in the next few days. Unfortunately, none of that hunting will be in Provence. By the way, I received a vexing e-card from one of the business I contacted during 2008. I’m certain he didn’t intend it to be vexing, but it was. The e-mail had a lovely Provence landscape and a caption like ‘The best gift to give yourself is a home in Provence.’ Well, d’uh. Let me whip out my ATM card and get on that. Ah well, I shall have to settle for taking a whack at making Ratatouille. I’ll be breaking out the Anthony Bourdain cookbook today for that recipe and some others that I haven’t tried in a while. It’s good therapy that I need.

The other gift I received from Jon that may raise eyebrows is Madden NFL for Playstation. I know you might think that this is like Homer buying Marge a bowling ball, because he wanted to have a new bowling ball and thought she’d just let him use it. I was going to use a reference from the Flintstones instead of The Simpsons. The Flintstones had a similar episode, but I wasn’t sure how many readers remember the TV series and not the films. Admittedly, I haven’t played video games routinely since Q*bert, but I was fairly good at them when I played. I haven’t been interested in playing the games Jon has though I enjoy watching many of the storylines. Yep, they have plots and some of them are quite a lot of fun. However, the only game I’d ever shown interest in playing is Madden NFL. Perhaps I can get the Eagles to the Super Bowl. Currently, I’m trying to not watch their final game of the season against the Dallas Cowboys. The playoffs are on the line, and I am not nearly drunk enough. I haven’t even gotten started on reaching that goal. I’ll peek at the score on Yahoo when the curiosity overcomes my better judgment.

There are none right now. We don’t expect any activity until tomorrow. That’s why I’m holding off on the year-end review. I did discover a great source for costumes for Blood Oath. I mean, how can you not shop at kungfu4less.com. I think I’d shop there just to say I had. We’re working on websites today. I’ve made a graphic for Blood Oath that harkens to my favorite romance novel covers. It’s simple, but I’m still pretty proud of myself. I’ll post notices of additions later. Stay tuned.

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