Welcome Gentle Readers

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!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pains & Gains, Irish Butter and Updates

My reward for taking a long walk to and from the Mar Vista Farmer's Market was an astonishing hunk of fresh baguette with a light, light smear of Irish butter. The crust is perfectly crunchy and the inside is remarkably tender. The butter was sweet and somehow not greasy. Paired together, it was a most delightful snack. The market was a treat on its own. Though I was too late for the squash blossoms again, I found amazing produce like a fat leek with over a foot of white or light leaves. And then there were the huge shallots and big, beautiful tomatoes. Oh, and there was the baguette. All of this was on top of a really beautiful day. Or it was by the time we started walking home. It had been raining mightily earlier and there were still big, dark clouds lurking about when we started out.

The weekend has been wonderful, food and beverage wise. My walk yesterday centered around a trip to Beverage Warehouse, a liquor, wine and beer outlet store in the neighborhood. Friend and former Boders Books colleague, Adam, recommended some wines on his website, PinotNow.com . I found two of the five mentioned in recent blogs on the site. Both wines, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Carmenère were only $7.99. I've only tried the d'Abruzzo so far. It was just wonderful. I can't wait to try the Carmenère. I also found a Spanish sparkling wine, Cristalino Brut Cava for the same price. It has excellent reviews. I look forward to trying that as well. Adam is going to walk me through the place at sometime soon to point out the other deals. I'm very pleased and excited with what I've already found.

Gains and Pains

As it is with the ying and yang of life, there are setbacks with progress. I managed to hurt one knee while simply moving around the apartment. The pain from that is enough to put me back on the sofa. When looking at the grand scheme of things, it isn't a terrible set back. Some ice on the knee along with an analgesic and some rest will set it right. I will likely have to push back some of my errands this week, but that won't hurt any of the projects. All of this is reasonable, but I'm usually not reasonable right away. I have a tendency to initially freak out then work my way back to reasonable. Craig (who advised me about the ice) already fussed at me about wanting to do too much to soon. He said I should be eating bon bons on the sofa or be fanned by a Nubian. I was watching Cleopatra at the time. Jon doesn't fuss at me. He knows that I'll get back to sane eventually. However, he does keep me from getting up too much. I'll take it easy tomorrow, but I won't postpone anything yet.

More Palate Perils

After last week's blog, friends pointed out that I've been exposed to other expensive foods with varying impacts on my finances. The most recent is imported Irish butter. I hadn't planned on trying it. It's expensive compared to full price supermarket butter. I pooh poohed the notion of baking cookies with it as suggested by some of my Food Network chefs. I still do pooh pooh that notion. With all the spices and ingredients like chocolate chips, I think it is impossible to taste the difference between regular, domestic butter and Irish butter. So how did I end up spreading it on my baguette? I noticed that it was only a dollar more than the regular butter I buy at Costco for almost the same number of pounds. We tried it as part of our St. Patrick's Day meal. I must say, it is creamier and tastier than regular butter on bread or in mashed potatoes. It's amazing on mashed potatoes. I wouldn't but it every time I shop for butter, but as a once in a while treat, it's definitely worth the money.

The most extravagant palate peril I've had anywhere was Latvian Ossetra Caviar. Our former roommate's family was from Latvia. They visited almost every summer and brought back a lot of gifts. On at least three occasions, one of the gifts was this honking large tin of Ossetra Caviar. I had had it before at the odd New Year's Eve party, but nothing that good. We had it often enough and in such quantities that I considered purchasing a mother of pearl spoon to scoop it with. Alas, the sturgeon population became stressed after a while. These gifts got way too expensive – even for someone buying it in Latvia. We stopped receiving them. There was never an impact to my wallet, because I just never felt a driving need to pay almost $100 an ounce for anything. Nope. Not happening. I will, however, gladly accept gifts.

Updates or Craig vs The Film Industry

Craig has just interrupted me in taking up the blog this Monday morning with a rant about the Jheri Curl. I'm not sure what prompted the rant or where it was headed. I'm still waking up from the affects of pain meds, so not much is making sense. Still, we must press on!

Craig's problems with the film industry have nothing to do with really bad films like Eegah [look, I found the trailer for Eegah ] or Battle LA. Writer's note: These are not my opinion of either film as I have not seen them. These are Craig's strongly held views. Mind, he voluntarily watched both films, so I don't feel sorry for him. At any rate, his latest battle with the film industry goes far beyond yelling at JJ Abrams for begin a hack (he was in Craig's neighborhood quite often for some reason). Craig helped a good buddy of his actively wage war against Film LA over allowing a disruptive number of shoots in his friend's neighborhood. I'm not sure of the details of the battle as it was occurring at about the time I was really getting sick, but I do remember seeing one of the neighborhood meetings on the local news. It was contentious. And I've noticed the results when recently dealing with Film LA. There is a lot of advice offered – no insisted upon – about the community outreach necessary before shooting in a residential neighborhood.

Despite all of this, Craig is very handy to have during pre-production and on a shoot. Since I'm stuck on a sofa, he's been helping me with things like finding production insurance and locations. The latest locale I've been after is a Victorian house. There are quite a number of them near USC and near Downtown LA. Since he's lived all over the city, I knew Craig would know where to find them. Alas, the ones he knew of are, according to him, filled with surfers and dirtbags. He suggested that they would be great extras in a zombie film. No make-up would be necessary. Unfortunately, I needed a non-zombie scene set in the Victorian era. He did give me some good leads though. Craig has also agreed to work with me during the horror film shoot and the Demon Under Glass web series. He's very good at keeping me sane and happy during a shoot. I suspect his goal during these shoots is to keep me from doing too much running around. In exchange for his presence, we've agreed to give him his usual nine seconds of screen time as we did in Demon Under Glass. Thus, on the web series, I have almost all of my location, costume and prop issues resolved. I am now turning my attention to the bureaucracy of a shoot (insurance, guilds, blah blah, blah). Still, it looks like we'll be doing the horror feature first. The first draft of that is nearly finished. We're having a lot of fun with that now, and I'm relieved. It's been far easier to write since we took a more twisted view on the material.

The novels haven't been completely put on the back burner. I've found time to keep both moving usually late, late at night (or actually early morning) when Jon has gone to bed and no more work is being done on the script. There may even be an excerpt coming.

Stay tuned.

No comments: