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!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Stress, Lardons and Japanese at Harley Davidson

This blog has been my most difficult in the last few years. I cannot say that I have ever resented writing it or not enjoyed it. But there have been several things that have happened in the last few months that have made me wonder about the point of doing anything. I have not been in such of state of white hot fury in a very long time. Some of it I'll talk about here. Most of it is something that has to be said in person. And I do have to own some of the reasons why I find myself so vehemently angry in recent days. For far too long, I have ignored slights that were both very big and very, very small. If you are now wondering whether or not you've slighted me, chances are that you haven't. Those prone to these sorts of slight seldom give it any sort of thought. At any rate, one of the changes that cancer patients make is to let things that upset us go. I have found that to be a useful practice in general. However, some people can take that philosophy to mean that I am a doormat or that I will accept being treated shabbily. I suppose the argument could be made that shabby treatment is better than those who've simply disappeared from my life after I fell ill. I view them as the same transgression. I will not tolerate either anymore.

And while I'm in the mood to be snarky, let me say this very clearly. I am an artist. Despite appearances to the contrary, that makes me a sensitive and sometimes fragile soul. To me, being ignored is as bad as being criticized. I know how many people read this blog every week. It's a lot of people. And that does make me happy. But I hardly ever hear from 99% of them. It's the same with my books. I get very few comments, reviews or even 'likes' for my pages. This does not help me sell books which was the original intent of this blog. I don't ask much. I just ask that when I post links to things I'm working on, click on them and then click 'like' or leave a comment. Buying would be great, but it's not necessary. The 'likes' and comments help me make sales. Let's practice. Here is the link to my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/DL-Warner/e/B002BREP2O/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1 . Go there and 'like' the page. It would be extra wonderful if you liked a few of the titles as well, but I won't push.

Speaking of things I need to have people pay attention to, Jon and I have launched a fundraiser to make a web series based on Demon Under Glass. We need traffic as much as we need donors. Traffic gets us featured on the entire site, exposing the campaign to millions of people. The link to the Demonspawn Campaign is here: http://igg.me/p/282567/x/126025 . The trailer that we have worked on for months is there for your viewing pleasure. Go and have a look. Seriously.

Holiday Musings

Thanksgiving being so early in the month has really thrown me off. I actually had a mild panic attack over the holiday baking. I was convinced for a short time that I was too far behind schedule to get everything in the mail. Typically, the week after Thanksgiving, this place is full of baking supplies, and we're figuring out the logistics of mailing it all. I was remembering that the week after Thanksgiving last year, I had enough cookies in production to bring goodie bags to Bent-con. It took a while to realize that though the holiday fell on the proper Thursday of the month, the date was a lot earlier than usual. Everything was a week earlier, date wise. I wasn't already behind. That was stress that I didn't need. I have had a very stressful week. I was even forced to buy something decidedly Christmas in the month of November. I hate doing that. The giant, mutant poinsettia I like to have instead of a live tree went on sale really early at Costco this year. I didn't want to buy it so early, but they ran out of them last year. More stress. Costco is a special kind of insane in the days after Thanksgiving.

Luckily there was lots of good food that I could enjoy most of the time. We really enjoyed the Thanksgiving leftovers this year. The turkey was humongous. And unlike most people we know, we actually enjoy the leftovers as they are. There is no need to get all Iron Chef to transmute such a tasty meal. And then there were the turkey sandwiches. They were just sublime. We had enough turkey that Jon had sandwiches for lunch all the next week. However, I had a hankering for something else. I really wanted to back engineer the sublime cream of potato soup Marie and I had at the Crème de la Crepe a few weeks ago. It was very close to vichyssoise which is leek and potatoes. I was fairly sure I could back engineer it. I figured that since the company founders were from more country parts of France, chances were that lardons figured into the soup. It did have bacon as one of the garnishes. So, I sliced two pieces of slab bacon and cooked them until crispy. I cooked the leeks and other veg in the rendered fat. There was also some good, homemade stock on hand. It was really close. I think I needed a smokier cut of bacon to really nail it. Though my effort was quite tasty. I made the croutons by tossing cubed baguette bread with olive oil and toasting them on a sheet pan. I was really stoked. I've never had a back engineering effort work so well.

Deb vs Japanese at Harley Davidson

On Friday, I was heading home from some errands in Marina del Rey when I passed the monolithic Harley Davidson Dealership. AS I got closer to the main entrance, I realized that a mini tour bus full of Japanese men were leaving the showroom to get back on the bus. They had black leather jackets and hats and big smiles. The line was also blocking my path. I was tired, so I didn't mind pausing. The men acknowledged this patient gesture with smiles and demi-bows. I remembered a sentence I had learned a while back that I never thought I'd actually use. So I said as the rain came down with my best accent, 'Good afternoon. The weather is bad, isn't it?' They were very startled. They smiled and really bowed at me. One said something I recognized as 'you are speaking well.' I remembered the reply for that as I practice it a lot. “No, I'm really not good yet.' While that statement is very true, it is also the absolutely best and most polite reply to such a compliment. I got some great bows then. This boosted my confidence. I had been lamenting the slowness of my progress.

My last manga in the pipeline for the year will be done this week. I get back to my novels full-time for several weeks! The baking season begins as do new cooking videos.

Stay tuned.


Kimberly Hunter said...

Another good one, hon. And I had no idea you had an Amazon page. Will have stop by.
Alas, my foray into the Japanese language has been stalled. But only temporarily. Other irons in the fire. Hope to get back to it soon though.

Kimberly Hunter said...

Another good one, hon. And I had no idea you had an Amazon page. Will have to stop by.
Alas, my foray into the Japanese language has been stalled. But only temporarily. Other irons in the fire. Will get back to it soon enough though.
Can't wait for more Soldier's books!