Friday. Worked on a freelance murder mystery expansion pack for Freeform Games. Gave up on it; it felt like pulling teeth, trying to write out character sheets for my ten characters. It seemed like such a good idea, too: motive, method, opportunity; participation in major pre-existing plots; goals; bonuses; loves, hates, knows. Sucked the life out of making up the characters, I tell you.
So I read the entirety of A Shadow in Summer in the bathtub while the water got cold and I had to pee. There's a compliment for you: not, "It was so good I stayed up all night" but "It was so good I forgot to pee."
Saturday. I went to a free yoga class in the morning. This was significant for two reasons. One, when you're done with a yoga class, you feel like you've accomplished something. The next day, you know you've accomplished something. My heart center is closed; I have no balance. Two, the class was out at the Air Force Academy. I coolly flashed my badge and drove through the gates and promptly got lost. I did find the place in time for class, though, when I remembered I hadn't turned off the main way until after the big planes on the side of the road. Pain level: 1 acetaminophen, and only today. I was gently interrupted during class by an older black woman who told me she was so flexible she was about to put her foot in my face, could I please scoot down on my mat? Sure enough, while I was at about a 45-degree angle, she had her foot on the floor over my head. She apologized profusely afterwards. I just wanted to pinch her cheeks she was so cute and nice; I want to be her when I grow up.
I went grocery shopping afterwards and ate all kinds of snacks at Whole Foods, Costco, World Market, and Target. (I also considered stopping at El Liborio, but I was tired of shopping, and Mexican grocery stores do not serve snacks. IMO, the only real drawback.) I also stopped at PetCo but did not eat any of the snacks (doggie biscuits), even though they smelled good.
I tried some pu-erh tea at World Market. Yummy. All the reviews of it call it an "earthy" tea, but I'd have to say it was more like non-bitter black tea with green-tea umami flavor. However, fifteen baglets for ten dollars is not going to fly at my house, so I snooped around online for places that carried it. It turns out Stash has more kinds of tea than you dare shake a stick at. I like their stuff whenever I get it, so I'm going to eschew smaller companies with esoteric names and order from them. However, as I have set a goal of drinking up the tea in my cuboard before I get any more, I will wait. I have about thirty bags left, plus about a pint of loose-leaf thai coconut tea and some Korean barley (?) tea from Kate. I'm not going to hold myself to drinking the last two, though. There's just too much of the thai tea, and I don't crave either regularly.
I was wondering if I'll ever get to shop at a Trader Joe's. Probably not in Colorado until the state allows food stores to sell alcohol.
I made myself a salad (Lee and Ray had gorged themselves on McDonald's earlier in the day) and took a nap. When I woke up, I decided that Saturday was not a writing day but a Day of Food Experimente and made fish tacos. Lee declared that it was another one of those dishes he doesn't like unless I make it. [Glow.] I also made the cheese bread recipe out of the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. The bread turned out not to be terribly cheesy but easily my favorite recipe to date. I think it's the oil in the cheese - the bread was much softer. But the cheese did add an element of umami, sheer deliciousness, even though the sharp cheddar bite didn't come through at all.
I watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with Ray and slept with her in bed, as Lee had declared earlier in the evening that he was going to play Fallout 3 until late.
He says he ended up killing one of the NPCs as an experiment and intending to reload to a save point afterwards, but forgot - and ended up saving over his last save game. Start over? O noes!
I'm so glad I still get good snuggle time with Ray. Everybody warned me there would come a time when she would no longer do want to do so, but it hasn't come yet. We always end up having sleepover-talks when we sleep, usually about how to deal with nightmares. I tell her they're normal, that having a lot of nightmares seems to be tied to having a very creative brain, and it's a way for her brain to complain about things it doesn't like in the waking world, like being frustrated and scared and overwhelmed. We talked about why it's hard for her to fall asleep; she says it's because she keeps thinking too much. We talked about counting sheep and how one way to fall asleep is to trick your thinking-too-much brain into getting frustrated with all the stupid things you're thinking and give up. "One sheep, baaa. Two sheep, baaa. One hundred and fifty sheep, baa. O SHUT UP! OK OK OK I GIVE UP! AAAAHHHHH!" As I type this, I realize that most meditation techniques are the three-year-old brain forcing the adult brain to break down in tears. I told Ray saying OMMM was kind of the same thing. So she tried to say it under her breath, but I told her she had to say it out loud, because when you do it makes the bottom of your brain vibrate, which your thinking-too-much brain finds annoying.
Ray: OMMMM - hee hee hee - OMMMM - ZZZ.
I couldn't believe how fast she was out. Quick, even for her.
Sunday. I woke up early and decided to get up and write. I messed around on the computer, realized I wasn't getting anywhere, gathered all the character sheets for the main-pack characters, and ran a bath. I felt guilty about it, like I'd started drinking. I worked on a few more characters, but it was pulling teeth again. And Ray was chewing on her shirt again (she's been chewing on every @#$%^&* thing she can fit in her mouth lately with teething; the second pair of teeth on the bottom are loose; she chipped one of them but isn't in pain. I have to call the dentist on Monday to see if we should just have it pulled) so I was in and out of the tub what with the exile to the room/freedom.
Eventually, I gave up and got out. I sat down in front of the computer and just started writing the actual character sheet (instead of just the stats, as it were), and it went really well, and I said, "Why was I making such a big deal out of this?" By the end of the third character, I was worn out, though. So many things to check for consistency, you know, before you start writing, or else you're just going to have to start all over again, when you've already set the character in your mind. Ugh.
As always when I write at the computer, part of the time that my brain has its little hourglass icon up, I mess around with playlists on various sites. The December 2008 playlist, for example, had a lot of the songs I listened to throughout Alien Blue. The February 2009 playlist has a lot of songs I listened to while writing the last short story, about food and death. The March 2009 playlist is very jazzy and 50's (the murder mystery is called Hollywood Lies). Lost of Pink Martini, Cardigans, and some Madeleine Peyroux, who sounds just like frikkin' Billie Holliday. She's a white girl, though. Who knew? Robbie Williams does an excellent version of Beyond the Sea.
I took another nap and some pain meds when I woke up. Damn, yoga classes are hard.
Lee put up the pot rack for me today! I must say, it looks very sexy with the pans hanging proudly. They may not have copper bottoms, but I love their curves regardless. Also, after several months of on-and-off discussion, the damn thing is hung so sturdily that Lee was able to hang from the rack without making it budge, so I'm safe. We even discussed how to prevent anything coming loose if I should bonk my head on the pots, which made me feel better. I have this fear that my clutziness will cause significant damage to myself and others; I used to panic every time I came next to a balcony when Ray was a baby, out of fear that I would accidentally fling her over the edge somehow.
Wow. There's a morbid image with which to end a blog post. Oh yeah, for supper I tried implementing the baby-artichoke plan that Margie came up with, which was to saute the crap out of quartered chokes and braise them with wine. Only I used lemon juice and water, not being an oenophile. Report: even though they are baby chokes, they must be trimmed, outer leaves peeled, and tops cut off. Otherwise it went smashingly. I got some fleur de sel this weekend, so I sprinkled some of that on top. Smashing - it isn't the taste that's different, just the texture, a non-crunchy salt explosion. Using fine salt, you end up with overall saltiness; using kosher salt, you end up with annoying salt crunchies stuck in your teeth. Fleur de sel is like the dessicated salt we used to get in the bottom of the pan of softened water we kept on the woodstove to humidfy the farmhouse, back in the day. Quite tasty.
Next week should suck, between OT and racing to meet my Hollywood Lies deadline. Oh well.