I think the laptop did completely and thoroughly die. This time, the hard drive should be fine, it’s just everything else that does not want to work.
I accept this (mostly). It’s almost 5 years old and in that time it has accumulated more abuse than a …oh I don’t know…Thai hooker? feedlot cow? unpopular opinion? So I’m not surprised it died, just really really pissed and mostly I am pissed because i have emotional issues and poor anger management skills…or something.
Anyway, pie.
also, i am trying to decide if it is awesome or retarded that i made a yarn color based on emperor penguins watching the aurora australis while protecting their eggs. awesomely retarded? retardedly awesome?
also, I am leaving for Missouri on Wednesday. This fills me with insanely unhealthy amounts of anxiety, but i will have my dogs with me so i guess it will be okay.
I wonder is you can make a legitimate sandwich with 2 slices of banana cream pie and a slice of blueberry pie?

Proof positive

Like you needed more proof of my insanity, but here it is….
Yesterday just before I sit down to spin up more yarn I pop a dvd into the machine. But it doesn’t recognize the dvd. poop. fine. I stick another one in and that one works fine, but I notice that my dvds are a mess and decide to clean them up. In the process I find 2 unlabeled dvds. Pop the first one in and it doesn’t recognize the format. Fine, put that to the side to toss. Put the second one in and it spins for a bit then my dvd player makes a weird beeeeeep sound, the display says “erase” and damn. ERASE??? erase what? why does my display say that? What the fuck?
Then it all dies. boom, dead, gone. Nothing. Won’t turn on, won’t eject the disk, won’t apologize to me. I dig out the instruction manual, the best it does is tell me to unplug it for 30 seconds. Okay, I know this routine. Plug it back in and still nothing. The manual says nothing about “erase” or anything like that. The manual assumes that the extent of any problem a user might have with their player is putting the disk in upside down or forgetting to plug the machine in.
I search all over the machine for the magic hole where you insert an unbent paper clip and the disk drawer is forced to open. no magic hole. I take matters into my own hands! I find a knitting needle, the ultimate tool of force and threat, and I push and cram and yell and finally force that fucking drawer open and take the disk out. But now it doesn’t want to close. So I yell AT IT! and then I force that fucker closed.
Still nothing. No amount of pleading or cajoling will help. The machine is dead.
but, it can be said that optimism and crazy are two sides of the same wooden nickel! I grab a dvd and I go to my laptop! The optical drive on my laptop died about a year ago, it just cannot recognize disks anymore. But I believe that if you let a drive sit and rest for a year, maybe it will magically recover…right?
I stick the disk in and no luck, it has no idea what it is and tries to spit it out. except it can’t spit it out because on one of the many occasions when my laptop hit the ground in an unexpected fit of gravity the case got bent right at the disk slot. When the disk is ejected it hits part of the slot and gets pulled back in. This causes an unending cycle of “hey, what’s this? oh it’s a disk! what kind? don’t know, better spit it out! hey, what’s this? oh it’s a disk! what kind? don’t know, better spit it out! hey, what’s this? oh it’s a disk! what kind? don’t know, better spit it out! hey, what’s this? oh it’s a disk! what kind? don’t know, better spit it out!”
So I grabbed a pliers and a spoon (they were within reach) and cranked the case a bit to allow the disk to come out. PowerBook cases are really soft and pliable.
At this point Ii lose it. Just fucking lose it. Everything in my head just breaks. I start sobbing uncontrollably, i can’t stop, I can’t breathe, everything is tears and snot and drool and I do the only rational thing, I call my sister.
Oh yes, my poor sister who is sick with some alien viral killbot and is hopped up on cold medicine gets a call from me all blubbery and incoherent and babbling on about everythng being broken! Poor girl. i owe her pie!
She calms me down, pointing out that sometimes $40 dvd players will die after 4 years of continual use in a house full of dogs and no vacuuming and all that. I get calmer, she makes me laugh, things are going to be okay. She’s good like that.
She’s even offered up one of her dvd players for me to use! see, awesome!
Now I must spin and spin and spin

the things that I do when I am not thinking of you

let’s look at some photos, shall we…

I made a fort in the living room last week. Maddie wanted to make sure everything was okay! Please note the absolute adoration in her eyes. She adores me despite the gigantic zit on my chin.

One good face snuffle to make sure I am okay and then…

She goes on guard duty!

hee hee hee piggotail!

I kept trying and trying to find a way to dye my roving in this splotchy manner without having to lay it out and squirt the dye on it. I wanted a quick and easy way in the crock pot. Most of my attempts made solid color roving. Quite by accident I got this when I pulled the roving out of the crock pot this morning. Happy.

Yellow roving and green roving to be spun up and then plyed with white for my ‘Creamsicle’ collection (ha ha ha I decided to have a ‘collection’. awesome)

This is the first Creamsicle batch done up in orange

lots of Creamsicle!

This is a blue and purple yarn I call HippoMoon

More HippoMoon

Noodly purple stuff that needs to be soaked and hung up. Still unsure about what I will do with it.

It’s like chest hair for Grimace!

oh my god! I love my moon boots!

How could you not??

Even Maddie loves my Moon Boots!!!

Today, Maddie turns 8 years old. You wouldn’t know she was 8 when you hung out with her. She is bright and active and definitely outliving most shar pei expectations! Happy Birthday, Maddie! Eight years old is BIG GIRL TIMES!

I still miss you

Oh two years on and still the pain is amazing and sharp. Right there behind my breast bone, lodged and unmoving. It’s more compartmentalized now. Grief of loss. Missing you. I’ve accepted that I will never see you again, but acceptance is a responsibility, not a panacea. I still want you back, I still imagine going back in time and changing just one thing. Any single thing would have made the difference and you would still be alive. I accept that I cannot change any of those things. I will always have gotten off the phone when I did, I will always have started the walk when I did, the walk would end at that precise moment. 5 seconds earlier and you would have made it safely across the street to see the man who was walking by. 10 seconds later and you would not have even seen the man at all and you would not have run like that.
15 seconds longer on the phone? A few extra minutes to walk an extra block? I don’t know. I cannot change it. I accept that everything moves ever forward.
Tonight, distracted by the pain of today, I cut my finger rather badly. David wrapped it for me. It’s wrapped in the leftover pink medical tape that we got to dress your ear after your surgery. How fitting that such an amazingly painful wound would be dressed in your bandages; that you are still somehow comforting me.
I often try to avoid comparing my relationship to you to that of a parent and a child, but if I’ve learned anything these past few months it’s to own your emotions. You were my heart, my grace, my redemption. You taught me patience and loyalty. From the moment I brought you home, all little and shivering, I wanted to spread wings around you and encompass you within me. I loved you fiercely and viscerally and and more deeply than anything else in my life. This pain I feel is equal to the depths of my love for you.
I miss you, I love you Ghengis

eating and running

Still on track to cook tasty dinners regularly! It feels good. Unfortunately it’s cutting into my fiber time. Balance! We will find the balance.
Tuesday’s stir fry!
I took the second half of the pork tenderloin (used the first half on monday with the risotto) and marinated it in a mixture of (all measurements approx) 2tbl course dijon, 2 tbl black bean sauce, 1 tbl rice vinegar, 1 tbl fresh grated ginger, 1 tbl sesame oil, 1 tbl soy sauce, 1 tsp chili oil. I just threw all the ingredients in a ziploc freezer bag, tossed in the pork and shook it up. It marinated for about 6 hours.
I roasted it in the oven at 325 for about 30is minutes. I put it on a cookie rack in a baking pan so it wouldn’t get soggy on the bottom. Everyone hates a soggy bottom.
Then it was the last of the CSA cauliflower and broccoli along with peas and carrots and the 2nd half of the butternut squash from the night before all chopped and ready to stir fry.
The sauce for the stir fry was (approx) 1 cup orange juice, 1 tbl soy sauce, 1 tbl fresh ginger, 1/2 tbl sesame oil, dash of chili oil. I think there was something else in there but I forget. I just start grabbing things and whisking them in. I set that to the side and started cooking the veggies. When they were done I poured in the sauce, brought it to temp and thickened it with a cornstarch slurry.
All of this was served on bean thread noodles.
Last night!
Anna and I got together for our weekly get out of the house and do something day. We decided to go out in search of a chinese buffet that wasn’t fartbox. Unfortunately, the one we found was pretty crappy. I mean I know, chinese buffets are pretty crappy, actually most buffets are crappy, they have to be in order to make their profit margins work, but still…
Anyways, there we were! In the suburbs no less! and as i was loading up on suspect proteins in multicolored goo I got to listen in on the conversation at the table next to the buffet. So we’re in the suburbs at a chinese buffet located kind of by one of those nondescript angular office ‘complexes’ populated with people who shot for the corner office downtown but landed in a cube farm by the freeway interchange. All cheap imitations of what they imagine business men look like based on whatever popular weekly drama is currently depicting business men.
They were upset. Like really really upset. How could Obama have won? How could that happen? Now what? Hell in a handbasket I tell ya! These people just don’t know what they’re in for electing a guy ‘like that’ into office.
They were polite enough. They never mentioned race and if you pinned them down on it I’m sure you could learn that each of them has lots of black friends…well, not friends – people they know….well they don’t KNOW them but they talk to them sometimes…well, they don’t really talk to them so much…well, they don’t talk to them at all unless shouting at the tv counts.
After lunch we got coffee, celebratory ice cream (OBAMARAMA!) and beer (YEAH) and headed home.
Then I taught Anna the basics of pasta dough! We made up a batch of my pumpkin pasta dough which Anna shaped into cencioni (I looked up pasta shapes to find the one it matched!).
My pumpkin pasta goes like this…
put about 2 cups of bread flour or 1 3/4 cup all purpose and 1/4 semolina flour into the bottom of a big wide mixing bowl, make a well, drop in about 3/4 can of pumpkin (straight up pumpkin! not pie filling). You can do the thing with flour on the counter and not use the bowl but I find the bowl captures any mess and cuts down on swearing immensely! To the pumpkin ad 1 tbl pumpkin pie spice and 1 tsp cardamom (or 1 tbl garam masala), 1/2 tbl salt
With a fork slowly stir and incorporate the flour into the pumpkin. Continue adding flour until you can’t really stir it and then start working it by hand. You want to knead it and continue to add flour until it stops being sticky. There’s no good ratio for that, last night we added a LOT more flour than we expected and still it was sticky, it was just that humid in the house. You shape the cencioni by hand and your best bet is to get Anna started on that right away (after the dough rests). Remember to toss the newly made pasta with cornmeal to keep it from sticking together.
Crush some croutons until you have about a cup’s worth (I like salt and pepper croutons), set aside. THINLY slice 1/4 green cabbage, Medium dice a couple anjou pears. In a large frying pan (or wok, this is really easy in a wok) melt 6 tbl butter over med high. Once it foams add about 1 big handful of pecans to it (I added 2 but I have freakishly small hands), toss those around in the butter. This is where you want to watch the butter…you want the butter to start to brown but you don’twant it to burn and those moments can be very close. Once it starts to brown toss in the crushed croutons (or bread crumbs) and 1/2 tbl rubbed sage. Mix it up, kill the heat, add the pears and mix it up again. Put this to the side.
Start up a big pot of water to boil. Help Anna finish shaping the pasta in order to avoid being killed as she will realize that hand shaping pasta is kind of tedious (less tedious than the constant rolling and folding and rolling and folding when you use the Atlas). Once all the pasta is shaped and the water is boiling hard, throw the pasta into the water along with the cabbage. Put the crouton mixture back on the heat.
The cabbage will cook fairly quickly, with a big slotted spoon start scooping that out of the water and tossing it into the crouton mixture. Within a couple minutes the pasta will float to the top. Floating pasta is fully cooked pasta so start scooping those out with the big slotted spoon and toss them with the cabbage etc. The smaller ones finish first so mostly you just scoop them as they rise instead of draining the pot. Also, there’s probably a fair amount of cornmeal at the bottom of the pan and you don’t want to dump that down your drain (dump it in the toilet, trust me!).
Toss all the pasta and cabbage and crouton mix together, divide and serve!
I was also going to write an angry little screed about the various gay marriage bans that passed on election night, but it is after 9am and I have things to do! So I’ll get to that later but let me be really judgmental for a minute. If you voted to pass a law or amendment that would in any way limit the rights of homosexuals to marry, adopt children or otherwise enjoy the same freedoms you enjoy then you are, in my mind, a selfish coward. That you would choose to limit the freedoms of a group of people is low and shameful. You yourself do not deserve the freedoms that you would take from others.