WELL, there went an entire month. Yeesh! And my brain meats are all kinds of crazy today, so this will likely be super-random and disjointed, heh.

Had a pretty huge month income-wise, and landed a couple of big projects. Enough so that I may get the new laptop that I've been wanting for a while. Of course, there's another part of my brain that's saying, "maybe you should save up for the wedding, dummy." But, the wedding is not a business expense (heh), and my laptop is getting increasingly old and slow, so eh, we'll see. Advice has been to wait for the next Macbook Pro update to be released, so I'll likely sit on the decision for at least a bit longer, anyway. :)

Speaking of wedding, September 2017 is the target zone for that. Yes, it's a ways off, but you know who has two thumbs and is not in a hurry? THIS GIRL. My goals are Simple, Fun, and Low-Stress, and having a longer timeline will be good for that on all fronts. Saving up is a big thing, because I've been very intentional about keeping my personal debts down, and I have *zero* business debt, and I am certainly NOT going to change any of that for this ridiculous wedding thing. I do currently have enough saved up to go dress shopping at some point, but I suppose that'd also involve things like deciding who my bridesmaid(s) will be. And I am having THE WORST time with that, largely because I hesitate to saddle any of my friends with the obligation, heh. I am ridiculous. How do people decide these things, anyway?

I've been going to the gym a lot, and now The Joe will be able to join me--he just finished the Foundations course, so we're going to go together today for his first normal class. It's possible that I'll lift heavier weights than he does, but I've also had a year-or-so head start on barbell stuff, and did bodyweight strength training for years prior to that, so that seems fair. ;) But, he also actually enjoys distance running, while I merely tolerate it. Basically, he's the cardio hamster, and I'm the 'squatch who likes to throw boulders around, heh.

Related: it's pretty great to be with a dude who feels proud of my physical prowess strength, rather than intimidated or threatened by it. :)

Derby-wise, I have both a TT Alumni bout and tournament this month, which is exciting, but also rather inconvenient, because I've been trying to rest my body from skating more than usual. I have a knot of muscles in my back that refuses to loosen up, and it's gotten to be pretty disconcerting. I've been reading up on things and talking about it with some of my sports-doing compatriots, and it sounds like it might be due to my glute medius not firing consistently, which definitely tracks with how my hips are structured. BUT, for now, I get to wait for a doctor's appointment next week to get some answers and/or referrals.

Summer traditions are pleasant and plentiful, thus far. 4th of July was full of flames, food, and friendship. Did my annual Oregon Brewfest lady-date with [livejournal.com profile] marykae and tried some very good beers and also some really weird ones. (much to my surprise, Mint beer was the Meh experience, while Pesto beer was actually pretty good?!) Gourmet-Q looms on the horizon, and I have no idea what to make, but it's always a fun afternoon regardless.

And, new things: veggie gardening has been decently successful, aside from a few stupid cabbage worms. Strawberries are thriving, I got to harvest a few poblano and sweet peppers and string beans, bell peppers are coming along, the basil is practically exploding, and the first round of grape tomatoes is crazy-delicious. Not bad, for somebody whose gardening knowledge lives entirely on Google, heh.

The new Ghostbusters movie was really fun. Folks who said it was "written by checklist" weren't exactly wrong, but the cast and chemistry was great, and the movie was genuinely funny. The new Star Trek made me very happy, and it actually managed to be all action-packed for the newbies, while still feeling like it had some of the soul of the original series. They could've done more with Idris Elba, but overall it made me pretty hopeful about the new TV series in 2017.

Anyhoo, that's all that's coming out of the brain meats at the moment, so it's back to the grind.
By some weird twist of fate (namely, an all-day workshop I was supposed to attend getting postponed due to the presenter being sick), I wound up having Saturday completely and totally off. I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself. I didn't go to a workshop, or to the studio, or to the Hangar, or to any previously-agreed social obligation. WEIRD.

Joe was leading a walking tour of the food carts, so I spontaneously decided that this would be the day that I finally went on the danged food cart tour, which I've been wanting to do for a while. So, I tagged along and got to try food from a lovely array of food carts West of the river that I'd heard about, but never visited. One had Chinese dumplings that actually reminded me of childhood, and that is most definitely not an easy task.

There were also other, different dumplings, which were not Chinese, but were also notably delicious. And, some of the best falafel I've ever eaten. Oh, and I'd be remiss in my duties if I failed to mention the deep-fried Mars bars! Even 1/3rd of one was enough to last a while, heh.




I've done a bit more wandering around with my camera than usual over the past few weeks, but it was especially nice to be doing so on a gorgeous day like this one. Usually, when I'm shooting a lot for clients, I don't so much feel like shooting outside of a work/portfolio building context, and it was nice to still have the itch when I had some time to myself. Moments are important, even the little ones.

In other news, I went to my first "pre-tryouts" practice for travel team last week, and holy smokes, standards are high. But, they don't seem unattainable. It's a little strange to realize that the group of people whom I perceive to be better skaters than I am is actually getting smaller. There are still people on the A-team who intimidate the bejeezus out of me, but eh, I'll get over it eventually. I learned a ton from that one practice, so regardless of how tryouts actually go, I'm going to come out the other end as a bolder and better skater.

Oh, and this morning? TOTALLY WENT TAP-DANCING. It's been over a decade since I last did that, but I still have my shoes from college, and I found a class through parks and rec that actually fits my schedule. It's a beginner-type class for adults, and I think I might be picking things up a little faster than most--it's amazing how much your body remembers even after that much time--but I had fun, regardless.

And finally, I think I just made myself throw up in my own mouth a little looking at the below, heh. It's good to have talented friends who will coax me out from behind the camera every so often. :) WUV.

Photo-Making Month (5) - Yam (Not-)Fries

Photo #5: Yam (Not-)Fries. One of my recent favorite places is Dick's Kitchen, because they have a knack for making food that's tasty and comforting, but also reasonably healthy and natural--something I try to do at home. The Zizou Burger isn't so pretty without the bun, but lord, those yam fries. Nomnomnom.
Heh, we even have sort of a theme today. Go me.

Photo-Making Month (3) - Glass Sweat

Photo #3: Glass Sweat. It's warm enough today that, even with the drizzle outside, iced tea sounds better than hot tea. The sweaty glass has me longing for summer again.
batskeets: (yan!)
So, my birthday weekend was pretty sweet:
  • I spent a large part of Friday afternoon in the kitchen, making a double batch of BACON COOKIES. Those things are so, so labor-intensive, but holy damn, they're good.
  • Later that afternoon, I got an e-mail from a potential client I'd all but given up on, saying that she wanted to move forward with the (big) project we'd talked about many weeks ago, and that she'd bring me the first deposit on Monday.
  • Friday night, my hot boyfriend took me out for dinner at The Sweet Hereafter. I like that he didn't even blink when I suggested a vegan joint as one of the possible places we could go. And, in case you're wondering, that place makes freakin' delicious vegan food.
  • Saturday morning was scrimmage, which is always fun, and I'm really turning into an awesome jammer. Of course, most of the league thinks of me as a blocker because I'm good at hitting, but hey, versatility, right?
  • Saturday afternoon involved biking to Stumptown ComicsFest, to work a shift at the Geek Council's booth. I brought some bacon cookies to give away, and one guy quipped, "so you're giving away the cookies and selling the recipe?" Since I'd already posted the recipe on my business blog, that gave me the perfect excuse to pimp my web site and give out my business card for every cookie I gave out thereafter. XD
  • Saturday afternoon also involved coming home and baking a birthday cake in preparation for the joint birthday party. I made a chocolate cake, with coconut "butter"cream frosting, topped with chocolate ganache. The cake, frosting, and ganache were all vegan, and it was also the first layered cake I've ever made. It came out both beautiful AND delicious. I wish I'd had my pro-camera on-hand so I could've photographed it.
  • Getting ready for the party actually went really smoothly, in generally--I think this was the least stressed-out I've ever been prior to hosting a get-together at my house. The kitchen actually wasn't a disaster left for me to clean (unlike the old place), [livejournal.com profile] dakania and I were cooking/baking and cracking jokes in the kitchen, [livejournal.com profile] matrixleap came over early to help get things ready, and Joe came early to borrow the kitchen and help out. All afternoon, people asked me "what can I do to help?" and I really, really appreciated that. I love my roommates and my friends. <3
  • The party itself? AWESOME. We had fantastic food contributions, plenty of libations to go around, silly hats ahoy, and wonderful people. There were a metric ton of things happening this weekend, and which made me appreciate it more that people came over to my little get-together. I also love that these parties always A) make me wish there were ten of me so I could spend more time with each of the awesome people, and B) fill me with happy because the cool people I know who didn't previously know each other end up clicking so well.
  • There also may or may not have been a couple of alcohol-fueled fireballs happening in the back yard. It's really good that the concrete patio at my house is so huge. XD
  • People got me presents! Really cool ones! I completely didn't expect that. D'aww. <3
  • Sunday involved nursing a cop of Water Avenue Coffee, and finishing the third Game of Thrones book, FINALLY, so I can take a break and read something else now. But, damn, the way a Storm of Swords ended was completely worth it. Then, I met up with Joe at Stumptown ComicsFest to actually wander around and look at things.
  • While at Stumptown, we went to a panel about Oregon History, which included a little trivia contest. In spite of my doubts, we actually won, so we came away with free comics and a gift certificate for Bunk Sandwiches. YES.
  • Also while at Stumptown, I checked on [livejournal.com profile] drjeff's Kickstarter, because Sunday was the final day to make the deadline, and IT GOT FUNDED. So, he gets to write a book, and I get to design it (and a web site to go with). DOUBLE-YES.
  • I dragged my very-tired-self off to Endurance practice, which I was highly tempted to skip, but I didn't, and I wound up doing a pretty awesome job, especially considering I'd gotten all of 5 1/2 hours of sleep on Saturday night/Sunday morning. And, one of my fellow Meaties gave me a really cute hand-drawn birthday card. D'aww.
  • After practice, Joe made me curry for dinner, and we watched Avatar: The Last Airbender and passed out early. It was so, so nice to wind down after a long-but-fun weekend.
So, yes. Landing projects, getting creative in the kitchen, seeing wonderful people, skating, and generally winning at life. Happy birthday to me, indeed.
JOE: I thought it was funny that last night, we were amusing ourselves by watching a show about a writer and a graphic artist.
ME: [laughs] ...wait, does that mean I'm Simon Pegg? Woohoo!

We recently watched The End of Time, so to give Joe a bit of time to wind down between the end of David Tennant and the beginning of Matt Smith as The Doctor, we've been watching Spaced, and it's pretty great. And yes, it is kind of amusing that it's about a writer and a graphic artist, although I don't draw as well as Simon Pegg's character. Fortunately, I have plenty of other mad skillz to fill the gap. ;)

I've been playing the waiting game with living spaces for the past couple of days, and I'm going a little bit nuts, because of it. I haven't heard back from one place which was supposed to get back to me by the end of the day yesterday, so I'm kind of assuming that's not good news. One awesome place remains, though, so I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed on that one. :)

I'm skating at Wreckers tonight, and doing Actions for the Stats team at the Season Opener tomorrow night. It's going to be a bit odd seeing some of my fellow Meaties skating in the bout--namely, the people who were eligible for the special draft that essentially forced me to step down from Fresh Meat. I'd have been eligible for that, if I hadn't been injured. But, you know, I'm so deliriously happy to be skating again that I don't think it'll matter that much. I'm sad to not be drafted right now, but I will be. I'll be getting back onto Fresh Meat in just a few short weeks. I'm just, y'know, not the most patient person, sometimes.

Oh, and the cleanse is going pretty swimmingly. I got to start eating cheese again today, and OH GOD I MISSED THAT. I'm so very glad I don't have any sensitivity to dairy. I'm going to at least try to stay off of gluten for another couple of weeks, but testing sugars should be, um, interesting.

Business has been busy, and I'm furiously squirreling away the dolla' bills. Having [livejournal.com profile] dark_knight_l as an assistant has already made me at least a little bit saner, and that's only going to improve as time goes on. Also, it's pretty excellent to have an assistant whom I can talk with about nerdy things while wearing ridiculous derby shorts.

Cleaning up

Jan. 9th, 2012 03:19 pm
Today is DAY ONE of my anti-inflammatory cleanse. I’ve done a cleanse once before, a little over a year ago, and I have to say, the results were pretty staggering, and in that good way–I had ridiculous amounts of energy and felt generally awesome. Unfortunately, the holidays and the massive lifestyle changes of 2011 beat my good habits into submission, so it’s given way to way too many grab-and-go meals and too many pastries. But, NO LONGER! I’m ready to stop making excuses, and stop feeling like crap.

I kind of hate using the word, “cleanse,” because that makes people assume that I’ll to be living on cayenne pepper and lemon juice for two weeks, and that’s not what it’s about. Spending two weeks starving is the direct opposite of what I’d consider Healthy or Fun. That said, it won’t be easy, either–these are the things that I need to avoid for the next two weeks:
  • Soy
  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Sugar
  • Processed Foods
  • Citrus Fruits (except lemon)
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Peanuts
  • Corn
  • Hydrogenated Oils

…yeah, that’s not a short list. And, in all honesty, I don’t really have sensitivity to a lot of foods--sugar definitely makes me wonky, and I’m considering continuing gluten-free for the rest of the month--so a lot of these things will probably come back into my life post-cleanse. I mean, I like cheese. It doesn’t make me feel crappy. I’m going to keep eating it. But, if I can rein it in with a few of these things, I know I’ll be a lot better off.

Anyhoo, yeah, it’s Day 1, and I kind of feel like crap. I miss my coffee. But, that’s normal, and if my previous cleanse experience was any indication, I’ll feel like kicking the ass of everything in a few days.

Kind of wish I could just fast-forward to that, really.

And on the plus side? I ran THREE WHOLE MILES yesterday. That's the first time I've done that since well before spraining my ankle. My legs work! Woohoo!

HAY GUYZ. Rib-Off is almost upon us, and I realize that amid all the flurry here, I forgot to announce it. I'm not the organizer, all I did was say, "sure, you can do it at my house," when [livejournal.com profile] daemonwise was casting about for a venue, and he sent out Facebook invites quite a few weeks ago. (July has been, uh, "interesting," enough as it is, so cut me a little slack, heh)

ANYWAY, the short version: My house. Saturday. August 6th. 1pm until we get tired. 10 different rib recipes will be pitted against each other in epic battle. You get to eat ALL of them and vote for the best in five different categories. There is also a side dish competition, open to anyone who wants to make an appearance! Also, bring whatever you want to drink. Hang out, have fun, enjoy the pork-drunk excellence.

Or, if you require more details, here's the long version, as posted by [livejournal.com profile] daemonwise on FB:

The Long, Copy/Pasted description )

On a related note, guess who's throwing down a test batch before going to the studio today? Oh yeeeeah.
It's been solo time here in the Skeets-verse, this weekend: I scrimmaged and did Wreckers yesterday, and did a bit of yoga this morning, but other than that, I've been cooking, reading books, and watching Netflix. There was a definite need to recharge and reset my brain meats, so I can start really pulling my life together, and the calmer I get, the more things are starting to fall together in a way that makes sense.

I really and truly need to start eating better, because I'm getting headaches and feeling crappy for no good reason, and I don't like it. The on-the-go lifestyle isn't likely to let up anytime soon, however, so I grilled enough marinated chicken and veggies to last me a few days, and also made some wasabi almonds for snackin'. I'm also going to make a supposedly-Filipino-style pork stew in the crockpot in the next day or so, which is probably the first bit of serious cooking I've done in a while. Man, I miss my kitchen.

I've started reading Clash of Kings, to get my Song of Ice and Fire fix now that the first season of Game of Thrones is over. I find myself reading Tyrion's lines of dialogue and hearing them in my head with Peter Dinklage's characterization and inflection, which I think is sort of a testament to how fantastic the casting of the show has been, thus far.

Oh, and I finally, FINALLY watched The End of Time last night, so I can finally start in on the Matt Smith episodes of Doctor Who. David Tennant almost made me cry at the end, though. Bawww.

Also, Thursday was my first genuine attempt at photo styling for products, for a local aromatherapy skincare business. I'd had help with it on a few of the other shoots I did for the shopping guide I've been working with, but this one had me flying solo. I didn't have a lot to work with, but I think I did pretty well with a blanket we had at the studio, and some loose aromatherapeutic ingredients the owner had brought.

(P.S. I'm experimenting with a new logo/watermark. Tell me if it sucks.)


Essance (2)
This has been an exhausting week, but damned if I haven't been crazy-productive. There have been fun bits mixed in, too.

I've also been up past 1am two nights in a row, and it's all derby's fault, heh. I did my Cheap Ticket Night duties with GnR, this time around, and they were more open and friendly than the other teams have been, I think. We went to karaoke after CTN was over, too, so that was a kick in the pants, and I got to wow them with my mad karaoke skillz. As for last night, we had to do floor pickup after practice, and then I hit up the food carts with a few Freshies afterwards, because we were all starving. They were all MSR cleared, so I felt a bit left out of some conversations, but I'll get there soon, too. I'm definitely improving.

So, yeah, I'm feeling less worried about the social aspect of derby. A little. I'm still asking myself, "where do the nerds hang out in RCR?" because I know they must be out there, and I want to find my people, heh. I don't expect to be the super-gregarious person that everyone loves, because I'll be an introvert until I die, but as long as, "we don't know you," isn't the thing preventing me from being drafted, I'll be happy.

I'm also editing and shooting like mad, and also trying to read up on marketing things, and see what I can put to use right away, and what I can plan to build in the near future. I attended a branding workshop a couple of days ago, and got a few good thoughts from that, and I'm hoping I can find the bandwidth to put this and other knowledge to work. It's obvious that I'm good at what I do; now I just have to convince the rest of the world that this is the case.

Speaking of shooting like crazy, I'll be covering the derby bout and some part of the Portland Pride festivities, for the new photojournalist-y gig I recently picked up. As if Big Bout weekends weren't exhausting enough already, right? Still, it'll be okay. I do get to sleep in tomorrow, since there's no floor at the hangar and therefore no practice.

Also, complaining for a moment, because I'm a great big Whiny McWhinerpants: the New Roommate hunt has really been cheesing me off. Andy supposedly knows a guy, but I'm cranky about this person for two reasons:

A) he's been dragging his ass about getting us a deposit, or even coming to SEE the bloody room. He's supposedly super-excited about moving in, but I've yet to see or hear about any action to show that. Like, you know, paying me some freaking money to hold the room.

B) he's yet another comedian. See, we already have two comics in the house, and now that another of my current roommates has started doing open mics, it's effin' COMEDIANPALOOZA every time I'm at the BYH. Which, granted, isn't that often, because I'm usually out and about, or over at J's, but I'm not exactly a fan of how it's shaped the culture of the household. So, naturally, having one more comic move in wouldn't help, uh, at all.

So, yeah. I'm annoyed both for practical reasons and frivolous interpersonal ones. I'm hoping to work something out with one of the derby girls I know, but it's all up-in-the-air and I'm tired of having to think about it. :p

On a more positive note, here's another photo I took last week, at Mother's downtown. I still can't believe I said no to this pie; looking at this photo is making me hungry for it all over again!

Chocolate Pie
Super-advance notice for y'all, because I'm back in action: Saturday, June 4th, 10am-1pm is OPEN SCRIMMAGE! Just $5 to come and see me skate, and you don't have to be there exactly at 10am, so feel free to show up late. The Noon-1pm hour is co-ed, however, and I'm not 100% certain whether or not I want to get hit by boys for my first post-injury open scrimmage, so if you actually want to see me do anything, I recommend getting there before 12. :)

I've been in a crazy-good mood these past few days. I felt much stronger and more sure-footed at skate practice on Thursday evening, and following that up with a lazy evening of dinner at home and showing J another Doctor Who episode was just the break I needed before another busy weekend.

Bake-Off got to a late start, but once we got rolling, there were tasty baked creations to be had. My macaroons went over well, too--I found myself saying over and over that, "it's like if peanut sauce and cookies had a baby," so I named it after my favorite Thai joint in Eugene (which, incidentally, serves *awesome* peanut sauce) and called them Tasty Thai Macaroons. They wound up winning the Spicy and Originality categories, so I call that a success! Recipe posting will follow, once I have a couple of photos edited that I can post with it.

After filling myself with baked goods and not getting rapture'd (heh), I went to a party which involved everyone dressing as one of the seven virtues or deadly sins. (I hastily assembled a Wrath costume) It was fun, and I got to drink tasty pineapple wine and sit on a giant d20 ottoman, but I started running out of steam well before midnight... probably because I'd woken up early that morning and wound up editing photos before practice, heh. I've done way too well at solving my empty to-do list problems.

Sunday was relatively lazy; I did more editing, went to give/get some free stuff at [livejournal.com profile] marykae 's, and then had my ass handed to me by a particularly tough endurance practice. My lower back is still sore today, but I'm pretty jazzed to have made it through not one, but two hours of beatings. My muscle endurance is definitely not where it was, but my skills are coming back much faster than I expected. <3

After that was sitting through the league meeting, when all I wanted to do was go home, shower, and eat, but I did get to inhale a most excellent taco salad (tinga pork, OH YEEEAH) and watch Game of Thrones afterwards, so I have no complaints!

Oh, and in even better news: the appointment I made several weeks ago with the orthopedic specialist *finally* happened yesterday, and the news was good. Running and jumping still don't feel good, but after poking and prodding at my knee, the doc said my knee is stable, and didn't feel the need to push for an MRI. I now have a hinged knee brace, but more for the mental cue to take it easy than for any actual need for joint support, and they said to call in if it's not at 100% in a few weeks. It's pretty much the best news I could've gotten. Hooray!

Anyhoo, it's Tuesday, and I started off my morning shooting with Moonstruck. 9am call times are not my favorite, but it was a fun shoot, and the owner was an incredibly sweet and energetic lady. And, when I mentioned wanting to buy some of their new chocolate varietal, she insisted I take some home at no charge. God, I love food shoots. <3

That's all I've got. Ding!
I don't have time to write much of substance, because I need to edit until I'm blue in the face. BUT!

A) If you aren't coming to Bake-Off this weekend, you're officially missing out on my latest evil cookie creation. Threw down a quick test-batch this morning, and oh my STARS.

B) Earlier this afternoon, I talked with a dude who is, quite possibly, the biggest skate nerd I've ever personally met. My current skates are better than the previous ones, but they're too narrow and possibly a bit too short, so he's going to hook me up with skate boots that actually fit my giant feet. And possibly a short/forward mount. The latter is a bit scary, but the former is flat-out exciting.

And, back to editing.
Yes, I've been talking up these cookies for weeks, and they've been through several revisions. The reviews were good on the first couple of attempts, but I wasn't satisfied, so I continued to tweak the recipe.

The good news is, I've finally reached a point with the recipe where I feel they're finally ready to be unleashed, and you know what? They're pretty awesome.

Semisweet chocolate probably sounds like a pretty tame starting point, but it's only part of the equation.

Peanut butter is also part of said equation, but that's not terribly weird, either. Reese's has sworn by the combination for years, so of course this means I can't possibly stop there. The legend of these cookies has been told to some, and sampled by a few, and now, behold!:
Bacon Cookies!

Your eyes do not deceive you. There's bacon in them thar cookies.
Bacon Cookies II: THE BACONING

For those who want to make your own:

6-8oz bacon
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Pre-heat oven to 325F. Cook the bacon in a pan until crispy. (yes, I insist upon crispy bacon. Texture is everything, y'all.) Reserve 4 Tbsp of the bacon grease and set aside, and chop the cooked bacon into small pieces.

2. Cream together the peanut butter, sugars, bacon grease, unsalted butter, and maple syrup, and then beat in the egg.

3. Sift together the remaining 4 ingredients, and then add the peanut butter mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Add the chopped bacon and chocolate chips, and mix until thoroughly distributed.

4. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet, and bake for 12-13 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on a cooling rack, if you can restrain yourself from eating them for that long.

The cookies don't spread terribly much, and they're crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. I also recommend using crunchy peanut butter, or the kind you grind yourself at the store--New Seasons has a machine filled with peanuts that it'll grind into peanut butter in whatever amount you want. Again, texture is everything. <3

Darn it all, now I'm hungry.
This magical phrase was sent to me by my awesome boyfriend yesterday afternoon: "After that I could make you dinner." If that's not swoon-worthy, I don't know what is. ;)

Fred's threw a monkey wrench into his original plan for dinner, because they'd closed up their fish counter by the time I got up there post-derby, so no salmon for us. Still, he threw down some respectable asparagus, mushrooms, and chicken instead. It was fresh, healthy, and simple, and my tired-and-congested self was highly appreciative. It was also a nice reminder that not every meal needs to be a wild and crazy production in order to be damned tasty.

Speaking of derby, I really shouldn't judge myself based on my first practice after being sick, but uuuuggghh. Lots of falling all over the place last night, and I felt like a complete and utter trainwreck. The kicker? There was also a draft, so after practice, I watched as several girls celebrated getting picked for teams. I'm absolutely happy for them, but my ego didn't exactly deal with it well, especially seeing as one of the drafted girls is even newer to derby/RCR than I am. I think that's the first time I've felt anything other than excitement on behalf of my derby comrades, and I don't like feeling that way at all. Still, I'd really like to stop being a crappy skater, preferably while I'm still young. :p

ANYWAY, I also threw down MOAR BACON COOKIES yesterday afternoon, and mucked with the formula again. The cookies didn't spread as much, but I think the texture is finally exactly what I want it to be. I also documented the process this time, so I'll be blogging the hell out of this recipe very, very soon. Until then, we'll see what tonight's round of taste testers think!

And, because I have food on the brain, here's a pizza I photographed a couple of weeks ago. I got to take it home afterwards and eat some, and share the rest with the housemates. I really should consider chasing down paid gigs for food photography, because I could definitely get used to the perks.

Tonight's the studio-warming party, and I feel vaguely overwhelmed and unprepared--especially seeing as it's 90% clients and industry people, rather than a crowd of my super-best-friends--but it should be fun, once we really get into it. I'm also rolling out my second revision of the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies for the party, and oh my GOD, I think I've really done it this time. The texture of this batch is godly.

I'll be doing one more batch to verify the recipe, but once I have, you can bet I'll be blogging it. Bwahaha.

Outside of that, sleep has been fleeting, and I'm feeling fairly lethargic. I have a mild strain in one of my hamstrings, which is irritating, but not as bad as whatever's going on with my right foot/ankle: it's been cranky and tender for the past two weeks, but there's no appearance of bruising or swelling... I'm not certain what's up with that, but it's worrisome. Of course, now that I've been doing *two* sports regularly, I have no idea when it happened or how, so I'm largely clueless as to what it could be, but I'm doing my best to take it easy, and avoid aggravating it.

Fortunately, I think I'm close to a point where I can get some weighty issues out of the way, and start doing something about my bedraggled physical and emotional state. I've been saying that for weeks, and then doing nothing about it, and I'm tired of spinning my wheels.

On a completely unrelated note, I shot this a week or two ago, and I'm pretty pleased with the images we got from the session. I haven't done a great deal of product shooting yet, and I think it's actually more of a challenge for me, because I love the energy of shooting with people. And, well, lighting small objects like jewelry in interesting ways is not the simplest task. But hey, not a bad effort, and we had a pretty spectacular team doing photoshoot styling and bringing in awesome floral arrangements.

This week has involved a lot of shooting and a lot of appointments. The shooting has been awesome, and the appointments have been good and necessary, but I'm completely wiped out, and The Plague is making the rounds amongst the derby girls.

I was feeling extremely tired, achy, and sore-throated yesterday, even after getting a lot of sleep. I've also been thinking that I might be dangerously close to overtraining, so when I got an invitation to dinner last night, I decided to call in sick on derby practice, rather than drag myself through it and potentially make myself or other girls sick. Joe and I had a relaxed-and-groovy dinner at Apizza Scholls (speaking of which: Tre Colori pizza? HOSHIT DELICIOUS) and enjoyed a bit of open mic standup comedy... and you know? It was the perfect thing to eat, chat, laugh, and just... SIT.

The nice part? OSB and Draggin were quick to chime in that they were actually proud of the girls who called in sick to derby practice. I know that all of us who were feeling under-the-weather felt like slackers for not going to practice, even though we know logically that getting rest is the smart thing to do, for yourself *and* your team. It was incredibly nice to have our coaches, both old and new, reaffirming that for us.

With that thought in mind, I'm playing hooky from wushu practice tonight, too. I also postponed the nanquan workshop I'd planned to do at UO for a couple of weeks, so I have a nice, open weekend, and plenty of time to get even more rest and relaxation. I'll be hanging out with Alyson for her birthday tonight, but I'm already thinking that cooking dinner and watching a movie sounds like the perfect way to spend my Saturday evening.

Taking it easy on myself feels good. Sometimes, you have to take a step back before you can begin to move forward again.

batskeets: (spoon)
Christmas Eve-Eve was an interesting romp. I spent most of the afternoon indulging my OCD tendencies via gift-wrapping, while I waited around for the folks' cleaning lady to finish up her work. By the time she finished, I was just in time to run down to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] theamazingjosh, Melissa, and a couple of their L.A. friends, over by Union Station.

Traffic was an utter beast, so I got there later than I wanted, and didn't take a ton of photos, but we did wander around Olvera Street for a bit, checked out some amusing shops, and I also consumed a custard-filled churro that may have changed my life. Move aside, creme-filled donuts, there's a new fried pastry concoction in town! I did take a bit of issue with the fact that the shop was called, "Mr Churro," and I called it Senor Churro in my head, in passive protest. But, dude. THAT CHURRO.

After that, the aforementioned L.A. friends had us along for two holiday parties, which were both populated by quite a few other girls from the same sorority as said friends. The first of the two was possibly the most bizarre party atmosphere I've ever witnessed: there were babies. EVERYWHERE. There was nearly one baby for every adult in attendance! Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't have a problem with kids, but I can't say *I've* spent much time around them, while drinking to excess at the same time. Not surprisingly, we spent most of our time at that party hiding out in The Baby-Free Zone, otherwise known as: The Kitchen.

The second party was also a bit strange, but that was mostly due to the insane decor they had in the house. I also had an awkward, but blessedly short, conversation with a girl who decided I was very interesting, once I mentioned that A) I'm half-Chinese, and B) I'd been to China. She then said that she's dating an Asian guy, and just recently got interested in Chinese culture because of that. I'm not sure what Herculean force of will came over me in that moment, but I somehow I resisted the urge to facepalm, upon hearing that statement.

Otherwise, it was relaxed-and-groovy, the munchies were good, and we got pleasantly schnockered and had an overall amusing evening. I did occasionally get the sense that, even after having been out of school since 2003, most sorority chicks still don't exactly "get" me, and I think most of the in-depth conversations I had were with the husbands and boyfriends. But, everyone was friendly and in good spirits, so I can't complain. :)

Anyhoo, here a few shots from our pre-party wanderings. I feel like I should've grabbed a shot of that churro, but I was too busy EATING IT ALL.

Union Station: Light It Up!


Rock Chick de los Muertos
Okay. There's a post somewhere in this squishy mass of brain matter, I'm positive.

...okay, maybe not. I think all you're getting out of me is a list. Blame absinthe. Or Canada.
  • Killer Burger was pretty killer, all right. It was a peanut butter, bacon, and pickle burger, and I think the peanut sauce was a bit too sweet to make the experience perfect, but I ate the whole damned thing and I'm not the least bit sorry. The PB and pickle flavors actually came together nicely, but there were times when I nearly forgot there was bacon on the burger. Something seems a bit wrong with that.
  • I'm not sure what got into me before derby practice on Saturday, but I went in with my proverbial guns ablaze. It was exhausting from an endurance standpoint, and I fell down more than a few times, but I was on the attack, mentally. I'm tempted to say it was the best practice in ages, but there've been quite a few good ones, as of late. And! I may have the opportunity to skate with the flat track league in LA, while I'm there. This is happy-making.
  • Yes, absinthe is serious business. I'm making a point of noting this, on the off chance that I might actually remember it in the future. You know, as opposed to finding myself shaking my fist at the heavens again several months from now, when another absinthe-related hangover cracks me upside the head.
  • That said, it *was* a pretty excellent party, so even though my recollections are somewhat fuzzy, I dare say? WORTH IT. :)
  • Last night kicked off my first foray into the WoD, through a game of Demon: The Fallen. I always seem to fall back on making useful characters--yeah, I've spent too much time around deliciously creative D20 min/maxers--so playing in a game where there's a stronger storytelling aspect is going to be a nice change of pace. I was also hideously unprepared for the session, so figuring out who my character is via flailing around senselessly was pretty damned amusing.
  • Work-wise, editing has been grueling, but it's going more quickly than expected, thank jeebus.
There are other things worth noting, too, but I'm reserving comment on those until I actually figure out what in god's name is going on. XD

Okay, I think my next post is required to A) contain actual paragraphs, and B) not contain bullet points. I can handle that, right?
I know several of you have mentioned Miike Snow in the past, and I feel rather foolish for not following up on that, because, damn, I'm loving these tunes and getting them for myself as soon as is humanly possible.

The contents of my existence over the past week can largely be summed up with the following:
A) Work Work Work
C) ...wait, WTF?

Things are going well, but I've definitely been thrown the occasional interesting curveball. I think I have too much on my plate to devote more than 2 minutes of thought to things outside of Points A and B, but a few things in list-y format:
  • Thanks to a lot of thought, a few good practices, and a well-timed message from [livejournal.com profile] marykae, I've committed to trying out for Fresh Meat in a week or so. Odds are, I won't make it, because I'm new, and my endurance sucks, and there are 30-some-odd girls doing the special bootcamp that I wasn't able to do. But hey, no expectations is not a bad place to be.
  • My busted furnace is finally scheduled to be replaced! Yelp proved successful once again in helping me find some good heating companies to give us estimates, so not only are we getting a really nice, 98% efficient gas furnace, but we're also getting in on a ton of federal and state tax credits, so it'll be wicked-cheap. (comparatively speaking) Other than the fact that we've been freezing our collective butts off for the past three weeks at the house, this really couldn't have turned out any better.
  • I started watching Hellsing last night, in the hopes of powering through it so I can return the DVDs to their rightful owner in a reasonable amount of time. I'm only two episodes in, but so far, it's amusing.
  • I found a few spare minutes on Tuesday to throw together an infusion, and it seems to be progressing okay, so far. Hopefully the end result won't be awful!

Tonight, I wushu and consume a Killer Burger. Tomorrow, I get a massage, go to derby, and hit up a cocktail party. And Sunday? Nothing but gaming in the evening. And I'm sure any blocks of free time I manage to find over the weekend will involve working or studio things. Waaauuuuugghh.

No complaints, though. No complaints.
What an amazing day.

With my family having been ~1000 miles away, I've spent the past 10-or-so years of celebrating Thanksgiving with other people's families. I come from a small family, so Thanksgiving hasn't typically been a big-deal, cook-at-home holiday for us, anyway. This year, seeing my own family was, again, not-so-feasible. And, well, not having a boyfriend's family to piggyback on, I found myself without plans. But, instead, I was fortunate enough to have the luxury of spending it with the family I've chosen for myself.

We wound up with 17 people congregated in this house, a blazing fire in the fireplace, a few games, a lot of laughter, and so much food we couldn't even fit it all on one table.

I had the honor of raising my glass to toast some of the greatest people I know, with words that some part of my brain had intended as heartfelt, but that more likely came out more in the realm of tongue-in-cheek ridiculous. Hey, I'd had a couple of shots, and I'm not exactly great with public sentiment. ;p

Still, I couldn't have asked for better. Not by a longshot. And it wouldn't have happened without the presence of every single person under my roof today.

I am absolutely doing this again next year. :)

March 2017

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