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!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Adventures in Japanese, Cookery and Writing for Reals

Once again, I began this blog days ago and have been kept from finishing. But it as just was well this time around. Some really fun things happened days after I would have finished. Jon turned up with The Dreaded Summer Cold this weekend. I was thus sent forth to find stock fixins and meds for my poor Hubs. And thus, my Saturday adventures began! I left almost two hours earlier than my norm on the weekend. Jon and I tend to amble about our day, so there is no hurry about anything. This time, I had to get moving. The Hubs needed some real soup and really needed some 'tussin (cough medicine with decongestants). And as men tend to be, he was really a sad and miserable thing. The best chicken stock comes from collagen rich parts like chicken wings or feet. I have a special source for those. Also, my favorite Japanese market usually has whole carcasses from the pieces and filets they've trimmed from the whole bird.

Pop Japanese Quiz and Drunken Proposal
My favorite clerk at Mitsuwa does not typically work on the weekend. Yet there he was bagging for one of the female cashiers that is also a Japanese transplant (I can tell by the way she says thank you like every anime character I've ever heard). He spoke to the cashier as I ambled up. I heard something about Japanese and me while I put my items on the conveyor belt. Before I could remember the sentence that informs native speakers that my Japanese is terrible, she was speaking to me about the transaction. I kept saying sorry, sorry as I managed to tell her that I had three pennies (the number 3 keeps coming up in anime) and I remembered how to say your welcome before saying good afternoon and goodbye. I turned on my young bagger friend wanting some English from him for all of my trouble. All I got from him was 'sup? He seemed very pleased with himself when I responded with an exasperated 'really?!' En route to the regular supermarket, I passed a red faced man sitting at a bus stop. I thought he was red faced because it was crazy hot for this part of town, and the man had no hat. He looked at me with bleary eyes as I passed. I got a little bit away before he shouted 'marry me' in a heavy slur. The exercise is working. The first thing that comes back when I lose weight is the rack. Maxi informed me during the shoot that I could give Beyonce's butt a run for the money. I yelled back in my best Rhoda Morganstern voice, “I'm Maaarreeed!' This sort of weird never happens when Jon is with me. Then, I run into a whole different kind of weird.

I made stock for a couple of different soups, and I made grilled cheese sammies. And I gave Jon his 'tussin' every six hours. I worked on this blog and the other writings I need to get done while Jon dozed in his chair while working on his chess pieces. He's making full blown sets on commission! Can an Etsy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etsy account be far behind?

And Now, We Join the Blog Already in Progress

This week finds me cranky and a tiny bit desperate. And that is because I lost almost an entire week of work last week. I think all I managed to do in seven days were the blogs and a few emails. I was more productive during chemo! What happened? I ignored something that was incredibly important, and it took me a while to figure out what that was. You see, after the first surgery I had in 2009, I could no longer process vitamin B-12 through food or pills. That part of my intestines is gone. I'll need injections for the rest of my life. It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Once a month, I get a small injection. It's even stored in my liver for up to two months before there is a real problem. And I think that was my problem – that it was a very minor problem. Because of my recent schedule, I found myself postponing the shot two Fridays in a row. Last week, was the beginning of week three. I was dropping off to sleep in mid sentence by Monday. All week long, I'd start badly awake not realizing that I had fallen asleep. I was constantly apologizing to people who were on chats with me for disappearing without replying. I'm not sure if I was believed my excuses in some cases. It took Jon to figure it out by Wednesday that it was likely lack of B-12. I don't sleep very well on at least 3 days out of seven in any given week for no rhyme or reason. I probably wouldn't have connected it to B-12 on my own. The theory proved correct when I was nearly back to normal as soon as I had the shot.

This lapse in judgment about my meds put me even more behind in my obligations at a time when I was having almost an existential crisis about how much I should be trying to get done. All of the kitbitzing that I've been doing in the run up to the book fair has had me questioning whether I should take off my filmmaking hat permanently and focus solely on writing fiction. That was my original dream for many, many years. And now with Indie publish and marketing opportunities, I could make a reasonable amount of money from my work – enough to push Jon and I beyond just getting by. On the other had, Jon and I have sacrificed so much for so long to get the film career off the ground. I had long talks with the Hubs and with Marie and other factions during the week that I was more fully awake. The consensus was that I could keep both jobs with some reorganization of my time and some selfishness about giving up any of it. Given that I start my day when Jon leaves and end it 12 hours or more later, and work seven days a week on creative things, I should be able to keep both hats and make some head way, Thus, I have a schedule of work each week starting with this week. We'll see how it goes in a week or two.

Food Stuff
During one of my Sunday calls, my father asked me what it was I was putting up on Facebook that my http://www.marthastewart.com/972476/basic-pasta and tips from the episode http://www.kpbs.org/news/2013/may/03/martha-stewarts-cooking-school-pasta/ to roll out strips of pasta into sheets. We let the dough rest for an hour between rollings until it was super thin. Then, Jon cut it. He is far more precise than I am with that kind of thing. We didn't get anywhere near angel hair pasta in thinness nor was it as long, but the texture and taste was great. We're still not sure about buying the attachment yet, but it looks promising. [See Photos below] I've also been having huge successes with desserts and breads as I've been making a lot of them. I've actually begun taking orders for pay! I'm still not sure what to charge, but this is really cool.
relatives were going on about. That could be any number of things that would be bad all bad where my 70-something former cop father is concerned. Thankfully, it was all related to the new recipes I'd been trying. Of particular note, was the pasta that Jon and I made a couple of weeks ago. We're trying to figure out if we want to invest in a pasta making attachment for the standing mixer by making pasta on our own. Coincidentally, Martha Stewart and another cooking show we watch were doing hand made pasta. We used her basic recipe

Writing Round-up

My plan is to get the latest Soldiers Book done for Bent-con in November. I would like to have some short stories from the Ensnared universe and Vincent's Cookbook (finally). I also want to have some sample chapters of the Proposal ready for Bent-con as well. I'm also prepping a schedule for next year of an ambitious slate of titles and an intensive marketing campaign. I really think I can make my writing a real source of income in the next year. I'm feeling really positive about that.

Next up-- The blog about the book launch and the Nin-fizz!

Stay tuned!

Pasta in basically the correct order.

More fun sthings:

A Sage Margarita in North Hollywood.

A spa water at home.

Christmas ornaments at Costco in August.

A fraction of my expanding art supplies.

Birdthday buffet a la Deb part one.

Birthday buffet part 2.

Tired chef.

We are now special guests at the Culver Hotel.

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