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!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Spring, Cougars, Onion Jam and Updates

This blog can now be translated into every language that Google Translate covers. Just scroll down to the right hand menu to find the drop down box. Mind, these translations may be less than accurate. I'm just saying there is a reason why translator jobs still exist.

The month of fun ended at my favorite time of year in Los Angeles. The Jacaranda trees are in full bloom. Vibrant colors have exploded everywhere. The honeysuckle and night blooming jasmine are releasing their lovely scents. The last thing I expected from Los Angeles was that it would smell so lovely at any time of the year. Just down the street there is a beautiful blanket of yellow posies on a little tract of land next to an electric company power station. The gray weather that is typical of June in LA – June gloom to the locals – makes the colors pop all the more. The end of the Month of Fun is worth it for the beauty in the month that follows. I have added to the spring greenery. I have a lone tomato plant that seems to be thriving in the bedroom window. I've learned from the disaster with the herb garden that the only place in this apartment that gets strong, consistent sunlight is the bedroom. It just seems weird having vegetables growing there. I may not get actual tomatoes until December, but I'm going to keep at it this year.

One of my favorite birthday greetings – among some fabulous greetings (I thank you all for the kind words and good wishes) – was the one from my most sage and often most profane friend, Nick. He informed me that I am now officially a Cougar.

Before I continue, I'd like to mention that Craig had nothing to do with the four legged cougar that somehow made its way from the wilds about Pacific Palisades to just shy of the wilds of the 3rd Street Promenade in downtown Santa Monica http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/05/santa-monica-mountain-lion-killed-amid-safety-concerns.html. He did, however, have an explanation as to how it came to be there. There is a canyon above the Palisades that is difficult enough to get into that it has escaped development. The area has abundant game. Mountain lions thrive there. His theory is that this big cat was likely chasing game along a creek bed and went far enough that the bed turned into a concrete lined canal. Lining rivers and creeks is a bizarro habit in this part of the world. I believe its done in an effort to control the water ways. I thought the practice was limited to this region. However, I was dismayed to read that it is even more prevalent in Japan. At any rate, the cougar probably couldn't get out of the canal. It followed the route until it emptied near the beach and downtown Santa Moncia. Panicked 911 called ensued. Many animal rights activists have been screaming about killing the unfortunate animal. However, I agree with Craig. It panicked when they used the tranquilizer darts and bolted. This happened a short distance from the pier and the main drag in town. There are a lot of children out and about there. I'm sorry, but I agree that human safety takes priority. I also agreed with Craig that had this been in the era of our tenure at Borders, the mountain lion would have made it into the store and Phil would have been the most likely one to find it – followed by Craig. That was how store 93's luck worked.

Where was I? Ah yes, two legged cougars. I was placed to hear of this new designation as it coincided with my renewed interest in my appearance. I had made a few trips to the make-up aisles in various establishments where I did a lot of puzzled staring at the confounding array of products. Despite this deep confusion, I had replenished my long depleted collection.

I was wearing war paint and had my hair in a new do the day I set out to meet Marie and her mother for lunch. I stopped en route to shop for something else I hadn't had in years – a summer purse. My mother would be appalled at that sad state of affairs. As I left Ross Dress 4 Less (I'm not going to break the bank for my new look), I opted for the elevator to the street. Stairs are no longer my friends – if they ever were. As the elevator door opened, there stood a very tall, incredibly handsome blond young man. He carried headshots, naturally. I looked at him levelly and exclaimed 'Wow!' Obviously, my war paint, new purse and official designation left me feeling empowered. I especially enjoyed him blushing profusely and stumbling away. I may have thought such a thing in my twenties or thirties, but I would never have said it. At that ages, such a declaration would have been a gauntlet thrown. Now, unless I stepped in the cutie's path, it's clearly an appreciative observation. And it was a lot of fun! Sorry, but I have no photos of me in my new guise. I've gotten accustomed to not having photos taken. I will try to get some the next time I get dolled up.

On the cooking front, I've had some middling results from an experiment to make Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day – a book I discovered in a food blog. I've managed to finally get my crusts to work, but the loaves were too dense. The author kindly answered my plea for advice. She told me the dough was too wet. I plan to try again. Meanwhile, I have made a very successful apricot jam on my first attempt! The season goes on as does berry season. More jams will follow. I hope the bread will stand up to it. I think among the jams I'll make next will be onion jam. I made some caramelized onions for a flat bread I was baking with the experimental dough. I also used it on hot dogs and a number of other things. I think I'd like to keep that handy! And it's Vidalia onion season! I even have a book on that to help me. It took all these onions to make just a smudge of the caramelized stuff.


I have yet another blog. This one is dedicated to the web series version of Demon Under Glass that we are developing. This will be a detailed, no holds barred account of how an ultral low budget production is put together. You can find it at http://demonspawntales.blogspot.com. Like this blog, it can be translated into however many languages Google translate covers.

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