12/21/08 10:11 - 28ºF - ID#47124
- Pre-entry commercial break: TICKETS FOR THE FIRST ROLLER DERBY BOUT OF THE SEASON HAVE GONE ON SALE ONLINE
, ALONG WITH SEASON TICKETS FOR ALL OF THE BOUTS, AND YOU SHOULD BUY THEM BECAUSE I AM AWESOME AND SO ARE MY BITCHES. Thank you, and we now return to your regularly scheduled entry.***
I'm pissed at the thundersnow because the clap of thunder this morning (well, more a roll of thunder-- in my half-waking state I thought it was a basso profundo chord on a pipe organ) scared away Chita, who had been snuggling my face and purring and purring.
I am going to be making Christmas cookies today, of at least two kinds. The cookies you roll and cut out have to have their dough refrigerated from anywhere between an hour to overnight. I have two kinds of roll-out cookie dough in the fridge now. One is the kind my mother always made, from Fanny Farmer's Butterscotch Cookies recipe. That dough is tastiest raw, and many happy childhood memories were made eating the scraps left over after cutting cookies out.
The other is Piparkukas, a traditional Latvian cookie that must be rolled out very, very thin so that it is crispy. The dough is very sticky-- there isn't much flour in it, or really much of anything except for spices. The ideal finished piparkuka (Is that the singular? I don't know Latvian) will be a whisper of crispy spiciness that melts into a sweet/savory suggestion in your mouth, and leaves a lingering spicy scent of Christmas about you.
Often when I make them they're too thick, though, because the dough is extremely hard to roll out. It's largely molasses and honey, and if it's warm enough to work, it is sticky and incorrigible. If it's cold enough not to stick, it is also the consistency of brick. I tried to cheat this year-- I spread the still-warm dough (the honey and molasses are boiled to start off with) out between two sheets of wax paper and have put it in the fridge to cool that way. Hopefully I'll be able to roll it out thinner if I start with a sheet instead of a brick.
I'm not too optimistic, however. I've been working out daily all month, because of the roller derby bout on the 3rd. I've missed probably three or four days all month. That's fine, that's good, that's OK-- I am dealing with sore muscles as I get them, and am enjoying the feeling of how strong my body is getting.
But shoveling snow makes for sore muscles. So my triceps are killing me on both sides, and yesterday while I was scrubbing the bathtub I noticed how much weaker I was than normal because I was so sore. It's not much better today.
(e:zobar) took a turn shoveling, so his arms are like noodles now.
And even (e:fi) shoveled a bit, and did something to one of her shoulders.
So of the three people in this house, none of us is really in much of a state to wrestle large quantities of obstreporous Latvian cookie dough into thin, meltingly-crispy submission.
Oh well. We're pretty much snowed in, so I haven't much else to do. Except oh yeah, maybe finish my Xmas cards.
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/07/08 01:00 - 29ºF - ID#46988
queen city roller girls' 2009 season
My team had our photos taken this past month and just got the results posted up on the inter-netz for us to look at. One of our team members' boyfriends is an avid photography hobbyist, and has been taking action shots of our bouts for a full season now. He's really quite good, and has gotten some awesome results.
He, on his own, came up with a concept/theme for this season's team photos. Last season, since we're called the Knockouts, we went with a boxing theme and got our photos taken in a boxing gym. It was kind of neat, OK, sure, cute.
Last season there were a lot of complaints that we were the most violent team, that we were thugs and we committed more penalties than other teams. The stats (and reviewing the footage) don't really back that up, but the reputation stands.
So this photographer fellow decided to take that theme and run with it. His concept was "P(r)etty Criminals", and he set up a shot with each of us doing some dastardly deed or other. (He did stipulate that there would be no conventional weapons-- I'm not sure why, but I do know our rivals' photos last season featured all of them holding weapons, so maybe it was in response to that. Or maybe he just thought it would be funnier.)
Anyway, here's mine.
OK, I've uploaded it three times and every time it says "Percent complete: 100" but doesn't put the code into the entry. I've manually put the code in in the past and it never works, so I'm just going to link to the site where the photo's hosted.
Hope that works!
If you page through, you can see everybody's photos. Mine is pretty funny, but I think my favorite one has to be Hyper Bean's. She really enjoyed her photo shoot. It's almost disturbing:
Am I scared of my own teammate?
Yes, a little bit.
I'm also fond of Liquid Courage's shot:
And Holly Lulu's is cute:
The infamous Sweet Pea:
Ah, they're all good; I shouldn't link to all twenty of them. Go and look.
Anyway, we will be playing vs. last season's champions, the Suicidal Saucies, on January 3rd. This will be huge-- we've had a rivalry with them since day one, three years ago now, and have never beaten them. Most seasons we get to face them twice, but this season we will only see them this first time unless both of us wind up in the final bout for the championship. So it's a really important bout.
The Knockouts will have a cheering section led by the Kockouts, a bunch of husbands of skaters and former skaters. Last season members of the Kockouts dressed up as characters from Star Wars. There have been air horns. There have been foam fingers. We're looking forward to seeing them again. Anyone interested in joining the Kockouts, definitely let me know.
The bouts are, as ever, at 7 pm at Rainbow Rink in North Tonawanda (101 Oliver St). I'm not actually positive, but I think we won't be raising ticket prices, which is pretty awesome given that we have regularly sold out in the past. If we do raise them, it wouldn't be by much. (Formerly, $10 advance/$15 door, available online until the day of the bout; we may close online sales earlier this year but I'm not sure. will have all the up-to-date info as well as tickets to buy.)
I do know that the venue has made a number of improvements to better accomodate the sellout crowds-- more restrooms (even if they're outdoors, they're under some cover now), more bleachers, better lighting. So that will be pretty awesome.
I hope to see some peeps there!!!! I am so excited for this season, I can't even stand it. We have a travel team! We have a fourth home team made up of rookies whose maiden bout will be vs. Rochester!! We have new skaters and old skaters and all kinds of awesome stuff!!
I am still hung over, but at least I can eat now. i'm going to bed. It wasn't a total waste of a day; I managed to make carrot ginger soup and address a bunch of Christmas cards. But it was nearly a waste-- I am going to have to not drink much anymore if I am to get all the shit done that I need to. Boo.
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/06/08 02:52 - 27ºF - ID#46986
i was hung down drung down brung down
I am almost ready to try eating food. Earlier I drank a lot lot lot of water, and took two Ibuprofin and chugged more water, and that was a mistake because I promptly upchucked the lot, but I am being more conservative now, and am thinking maybe, maybe maybe I can eat. (It was actually the least unpleasant upchuck ever because it was all just mostly pure water, still slightly colder than body temperature-- I basically just flushed out my tummy. It went out my nose and hardly even stung, the stomach acid was so dilute. Sorry if that's way TMI for some people, but the point I'm trying to make is how astonishingly not gross it was. Cuz believe me I know all about gross. See above re: April.)
So I'm thinking I could take a chance on, say, a bagel. I remember when I was little, if I'd thrown up anytime within the past day my mom wouldn't let me have any dairy products because she said my tummy had to re-grow the bacteria that digest milk, but is that even true? Because I want a little fat to soak up the acid my stomach's making now, and I want it to be cream cheese, but I don't want to make things worse. I have to be better by tomorrow because I have practice. ;)
Speaking of roller derby... of course that's who I was drinking with last night. It was a pretty crazy party. It might even have been crazier than an (e:strip) party. There certainly was a whole lot of lapdancing anyway. At one point, I was quite drunkenly watching a lap-dancing lesson being given; one of my new teammates had this move she does where she'll do a headstand supporting herself on the dance-ee's thighs, winding up with her legs wrapped around the person's neck. Another teammate was trying to learn it, but was having trouble; I think I fairly accurately assessed the difficulty's source: the teacher was a tiny slip of a thing, and the teachee was what I had formerly considered as such, but by comparison... well, let's just say the larger girl is about five-seven and a whopping one hundred and fifteen pounds. I used to think that a fairly small person, but this new teammate is... well, even smaller.
Our smallest team member now is four feet seven, I might add. She isn't the headstand one, though. The headstand one is probably five feet even and has thighs like my wrists. The four foot seven one is a Pilates instructor and recently survived a pileup in which I landed on her ass-first and rolled off her shoulder-first, crushing her the whole way; I landed really hard on my shoulder and lay there a second, then sat up shrieking "Oh my God, did I kill her?" but she had already bounced up and skated away. This is not a delicate little person, this girl.
I idly wondered, at one point, how someone learns such skills. I mean, how do you learn to give lapdances? Even among close close close friends I won't do it because I just feel too self-conscious that I don't know how. I dunno.
Anyway. I have decided that I need to spice up my look on the track just as much as I've improved my skating, so I'm buying a set of eyeshadows that include blue, black, and silver shades. It's going to be hot.
First bout is the most exciting-- January 3rd. Mark your calendar. It's going to be fucking awesome.
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/04/08 07:17 - 29ºF - ID#46958
(e:Fi) and I were totally riveted, and sat and watched.
The marine rescue center would pick up injured/abandoned/sick seals, sea lions, otters and stuff, and they'd take them in, give them vet care, and feed them up so they could re-release them. (If the animal wouldn't recover enough to be released to the wild, they'd euthanize it, which they did show a couple times, and it was sad. The way these shows are.)
One of the perks of finding a horribly sick/dying/injured animal was that you'd get to name it. The center had themes, usually. One volunteer was naming them all after French artists. Duchamp, Magritte, Degas etc.
One seal, they'd named "Your Mom", because it was really funny to the volunteers to say things like "Your Mom's getting fat!" Then they got another, and named it "Your Sister." At the end of the show, Your Sister was healthy enough (fat) to be released. A volunteer quipped, as the finale, "Your Sister is, once again, wild."
So speaking of Facebook (i.e. my last post on here)... My mom is on Facebook.
I can't really explain how weird that is, but there it is. My mom's on Facebook. Really!
Incidentally (e:fi) had every intention of blogging once she got to Buffalo but it turns out the computer I gave her suddenly needs a new wireless card. It works for everyone else, but whenever she uses it, the Internet dies.
Which makes two computers in this house having connection difficulties, but the Apple geniuses swear our Airport base station is totally fine. ... OK! Whatever!
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/22/08 04:39 - 26ºF - ID#46797
Anyway. Apologies in advance to all the (e:peeps) whose real names I've no idea of. Unlike on Myspace, all the roller girls are there under their real names, and it's just plain weird.
Incidentally I hurt my tailbone at practice last Sunday and I'm still in pain. Wah. So I'm a grumpy bitch on top of it all.
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/21/08 07:40 - 24ºF - ID#46790
I ask because (e:zobar) is doing it right now, because he had like half an hour to kill. I do it when I'm really at a loss for what to do next, and it helps me a lot in remembering long-term goals, and also in sort of keeping me connected to the me of the past.
I don't know, I just think it's kind of funny. But why write it in the first place if you're not going to read it again later? But then, when I'm reading it, I usually feel like kind of a freak. ...
Anyway. Z just looked over and said, "Are you blogging about reading old blogs?"
Ha. Perhaps we know one another too well.
So here's one for you: is it weirder to reread your own old blogs, or to go and reread someone else's? Food for thought.
I must get back to work. I'm stuck around 10,000 words in NaNoWriMo, have about 8 hours of embroidery and 3 hours of stenciling work to do before Sunday, have dishes to do, cooking to do, and laundry to do, and am way sleep deprived on top of that. Bleh!!!
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/11/08 11:44 - ID#46644
Oy. So I'm trying to figure out what my options are for sharing this thing. Looks like burning it to a DVD is really my only choice. But it's only 4 minutes long so I feel like a tool making a DVD of it.
I was wondering how to post a video on here... but I'm thinking perhaps it's too big for that too. I don't know what to do. It's a bummer.
I did not come here to post about that. I came here to laugh my ass off at the Mormons.
PLEASANT GROVE CITY, Utah - Across the street from City Hall here sits a small park with about a dozen donated buildings and objects - a wishing well, a millstone from the city's first flour mill and an imposing red granite monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments.
Thirty miles to the north, in Salt Lake City, adherents of a religion called Summum gather in a wood and metal pyramid hard by Interstate 15 to meditate on their Seven Aphorisms, fortified by an alcoholic sacramental nectar they produce and surrounded by mummified animals.
In 2003, the president of the Summum church wrote to the mayor here with a proposal: the church wanted to erect a monument inscribed with the Seven Aphorisms in the city park, "similar in size and nature" to the one devoted to the Ten Commandments.
The city declined, a lawsuit followed and a federal appeals court ruled that the First Amendment required the city to display the Summum monument. The Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear arguments in the case, which could produce the most important free speech decision of the term.
Oh, first they hate non-traditional marriages except for their own, and now they hate wacko pseudoChristian sects except for their own! Have fun, you fucking hypocrites.
I hope they're wetting their Magic Underpants right now. Enjoy your mummified animals, Pleasant Grove City.
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/09/08 09:48 - 35ºF - ID#46623
I didn't say I'd given UP.
Here, to inspire y'all, or make you run screaming, I'm going to post an excerpt of my novel-in-progress. This one of the new bits, not the polished bits, so it's not edited or anything, and might have some typos. But there it is. A new novel in the making.
Er, this is kind of as far as I got, too. But I know what's supposed to happen next. I just have to... write it. Which is the hard part.
The weather turned miserable in the afternoon, and we stopped to set up camp, rigging as weatherproof a shelter as we could manage and pulling the blankets, packs, and tack off the horses to keep it all dry. Their coats, unencumbered, would shed water well enough in the steady drenching rain.
I seized my opportunity to test Feliks's leadership, which was part of my mission on this particular patrol: he was to be groomed to replace me in these southward territories, and free me to return to the capital, my martial training complete, to become my brother's Protector, as he in turn was groomed to take our father's place as King. It would not be long now until Galjis grew old enough to turn over the more active pursuits of kingship to his heir, and in these more active pursuits Talus would need a god-touched bodyguard, ready to make that final blood sacrifice. I had not been born yet when my precedessor, my paternal uncle, had spilled his heart's blood in a great fountain down the steps of the king's feasting hall, and with his dying breath had put a knife in the eye of his brother's would-be assassin. Three years older than I was now, and my father a new-crowned king.
So I put Feliks in charge of the evening's sentry rota, and put myself on the afternoon watch of the southward road. I rigged myself a nice windbreak of pine boughs and had settled in for a nice meditative reflection, only to have the wind shift and the skies open, drenching me thoroughly. By the time I managed to re-rig the windbreak, I had been soaked through my second-best cloak, and had cause to thoroughly regret not retrieving my best one from Callonia.
My relief arrived at dark, just as I had given up on ever feeling my toes again, and I gratefully limped back toward the encampment. They had made a lean-to and were all squeezed under it, with a good fire going at the opening of the shelter. The wagon stood off a little ways, serving as a wind-break for the horses, who huddled together with their heads down, unconcerned but not contented either.
Feliks met me before I passed the wagon, and the look on his face was grim. "You an idiot," he said, the dialect so thick in his speech I could barely understand him. This was always a bad sign.
"Well?" I said, exasperated. It was nothing I hadn't already called myself, and worse. "What's to be done about it?"
"Don't be such an idiot," he suggested.
"I can't exactly help it," I snapped, and went to move past him.
He grabbed my arm. "You could make an attempt," he said.
"I am what I am," I said. He'd always been on my side, in any previous altercation, so I didn't know what to make of this.
"You don't have to be rude about it," he said. "You've got her all ashamed like, she don't know if what she done is really wrong, and thinks maybe you think she dirty."
"I never said that," I protested.
"You ain't said nothing," Feliks said darkly, and let go of my arm to stalk away. But he stopped short, his demeanor changing, and with my neck prickling I turned to look at what he had fixed his gaze upon so blankly.
There was a man standing there, a tall yellow-haired man, taller than I was, and thinner, his narrow shoulders held in an awkward position that suggested perhaps he was injured. He wasn't looking at us. The rain wasn't wetting him. His lips moved urgently; I couldn't understand him. I had seen him before. He had spoken words I didn't hear, had touched my face with bloody fingers in my sleep.
"You see that," Feliks whispered to me.
"Liv," I whispered. A ghost.
"Not just any Liv," Feliks whispered. I started to turn my head to look at him, but then I saw the second ghost.
It was my red-haired woman, the one who haunted my dreams every morning. She wasn't injured, she was holding out her arms as though there were an infant or small child in them, hip tilted to support the weight, but there was nothing visible there. She was speaking to him, looking distraught. He shook his head, answered her; his face was stern and grim.
She looked stricken. He leaned forward, touching her face, kissed her efficiently and pulled back as if to go, but paused. He was looking at her arms, where the child should be. Feliks's hand found my arm again, gripping tightly just above my elbow, as if he thought I would turn away. The man put his hand to the empty place in her arms, his expression softer, but then he turned away. I stared fixedly at that empty space; there had been blood on his hand.
I couldn't look away. The woman pulled her cloak up, covering the empty space, and vanished. I stood staring at the space where she had been, where the child she had moved too convincingly to pantomime should have been. Feliks did not let go of my arm for some minutes, and when he did, he shook my shoulder.
"Captain," he said.
"What," I whispered, staring at the same space. A smear of blood, I thought, on my face.
"You saw all that," Feliks said.
"Did you see a child?" I asked.
"A child," I said. "Was there a child in her arms, or not?"
"Yes," Feliks said hesitantly. "A little one. Yellow hair."
"I couldn't see it," I said. "She was holding nothing-- but like there was something there." I still couldn't take my eyes off the spot. "What does that mean?" I demanded, shaking my head and tearing myself away to stare at Feliks. I was unnerved, and that made me angry, a strange little panicky anger fluttering in my gut. "What does that mean?"
Feliks's eyebrows were raised, his face much too calm. "I don't think I can answer that," he said.
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/08/08 12:45 - 48ºF - ID#46604
NaNo: not so good. Also, picture!
The first day (I started on the 2nd) I wrote like 275 words.
The second day I added another 850 or so to the total. OK.
The third day, I racked up a pretty decent 3000 words or so.
And then I haven't touched the document since. I've been busy as hell. Too much shit to do. And then I got stricken into this awful funk of depression for no reason. (Anyone who says you just got to snap out of it can go snap themselves, man. Sometimes it just hits.) I have depressive tendencies, but they don't last long enough or actually stop me from really functioning, so I haven't needed to seek therapy or pharmaceuticals. I know how bad it could get, and so I'm grateful that in my case it never gets any worse. Family members have had worse problems-- an uncle on one side, the grandma on the other-- but neither needed treatment until later in life, so I know to watch out for that, and to be careful not to become dependent on alcohol because that's also been an extended-family pattern. (Thank God no one in my immediate family has suffered like that.)
So I'm just not getting much done. Gotta clean the house today, have a busy weekend ahead. But I know me. I can do 10,000 words in two days, if I'm in the right mood. So I just need to wait for the mood, and free time, to coincide.
Anyway. And now, for something completely different.
My older sister, the one who was in the Army, is the one who has the baby, who just had heart surgery and is doing very well now thank you.
Her husband is a Good Ol' Boy from Natchez, Mississippi. In the past, he and I have Had Our Differences over politics.
I was sort of looking forward to and sort of dreading Thanksgiving, because I know my father was dead set against Obama, and I knew the brother-in-law has his own set of Differences. I like a good argument, but it can get heated.
So I was totally bowled over when my sister sent this photo, of her husband and child.
HOW CUTE IS THAT.
Baby has decided he wants his momma, hence the face and the gesture, but to me it looks like a gang sign. Like, he's in some secret babies-for-Obama gang and he's throwing the sign. I like my theory better.
edit: Agh! Why isn't it working? Wait, now it is!
OK, let me know if it isn't.
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/05/08 11:15 - 58ºF - ID#46553
"An American novelist who won the Prix de Rome and is spending the year at the American Academy in Rome sent this report of American election night, Italian style:
"We stayed up all night. The first returns weren't due until one in the morning, but no one could sleep, or some people slept for an hour or two and woke around midnight and came downstairs where some other fellows had set up a party in the high-ceilinged Salone. Popcorn, chocolate chip cookies, chianti, olives, vodka, beer. The TV was set to CNN. People wandered down in their pajamas; others wore suits. Pennsylvania was called around two in the morning and the room broke into cautious cheers. A few of us drank café correto (espresso with grappa) to stay awake; others played pool to pass the still-nervous hours. The president of the academy came in--Carmela Franklin lives next door--wearing slippers and pajamas. The sky was just turning light outside when Obama came on the stage in Chicago. We ran upstairs and woke up the kitchen's executive chef. Everyone in the salone sat glued to the TV. A lot of us were crying. Outside seagulls were flying over Gianicolo in the dawn. It was a beautiful morning, marbled blue skies. The Tiber a grey ribbon. Even the armed guards across the street who protect the US embassy to the Holy See said, buon giorno, and then added an enthusiastic "Obama!""
Location: Buffalo, NY
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