Sometimes It's the Little Things

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:36 pm
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
It doesn't take much to improve my mood, a lot of the time.

Today it was a surprise short story royalty check in the morning mail.

Not a large one . . . given that most short story payments are lucky if they make in into the low three figures, most short story royalties tend to be in the exceedingly low two figures. If that. (If a short story payment is a tank, maybe two tanks, of gas, then a typical short story royalty check is maybe a couple of quarts of motor oil.) But still, a royalty check is a royalty check, and not yet another piece of junk mail from Capital One, trying to sell me a credit card.

As they say back where I come from, it beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
malkingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] malkingrey
And then there are days like this.

This afternoon I decided, for good and sufficient reasons, that it was time to use one of boxes of brownie mix that I've got in my pantry stash. (Every so often, the grocery store puts them on sale for a dollar, and when they do I stock up.) This process, let it be known, is not rocket science: Prep the pan, empty the box into a bowl, add the oil and the water and the two eggs, mix, pour into pan, and cook. Even a functioning maladroit like me on an off day can manage it, and get chocolaty goodness at the end of it.

All went well until it was time to mix in the two eggs. I took the first egg, and tapped it on the tabletop to crack it, as one does . . . only this egg must have had a super-thin shell, because it didn't just crack, it burst all the way open all around and left me with a raw egg lying on the tabletop and dripping onto the floor.

Cleanup operations ensued.

Once the floor and the tabletop were egg-free again, I went over to the refrigerator to take out another egg, in order to replace the one that never made it into the mixing bowl. And yes, I know I should have taken the egg box all the way out of the refrigerator, instead of merely lifting up the lid and reaching into it, but in my defense, I've performed the same move dozens of times without having the egg roll in my fingers and slip off them onto the refrigerator shelf . . . and then evade my fingers a second time and crash onto the floor. (Yes, maybe I could have grabbed faster, but the way things were going, I would just have ended up with a fistful of liquid egg and broken shell.)

More cleanup operations ensued.

Then, finally, I was able to finish mixing the brownies and get them into the oven. From which I have just removed them, and they are done and awaiting cutting. And the oven is now heating up the half-ham I bought last Wednesday, which will be tonight's dinner. Probably with raisin sauce, because raisin sauce is dead easy.

(But then, I thought the same thing about cracking eggs.)


Sep. 13th, 2017 01:00 pm
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[personal profile] malkingrey
Hotel reservations at the Westin for Arisia opened up yesterday.

This morning, they are already sold out.

Isn't That Always the Way It Goes

Sep. 13th, 2017 12:45 pm
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[personal profile] malkingrey
I found a recipe the other day for slow-cooker ratatouille that comes out properly thick and not like soup.

Because I like ratatouille†, I made it for supper last night, and it came out just right and was delicious.

So of course, I'm the only person in the house who really liked it, which doesn't make it a contender for the regular-rotation list. Maybe the Fridays-in-Lent list, though. (I've got a number of veggie recipes on there, since I kind of agree with the guy who commented that given the price of seafood these days, fish for Lent was less of a fast and more of an indulgence.)
When I first left Texas and came north to Philadelphia for graduate school, I spent my first night there at the house of the rector of the Episcopal church on campus -- I knew absolutely no one in Philly at that point, so in a fit of desperation I'd written to the campus Episcopal chaplain, who was at least a co-religionist, asking for advice on where to stay -- and the rector's wife made ratatouille for dinner, and it was the first time I'd ever had it. So ever since, the dish is associated in my mind with travel and adventure and kindness and new beginnings.


Sep. 10th, 2017 12:58 pm
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[personal profile] malkingrey
A few years back, I found what was, for me, the perfect denim skirt -- the Provencial Denim Skirt from Roaman's. I happily bought several iterations of it,purchasing new ones as the older ones wore out. So of course, now that my current set are starting to show some wear, when I go back to the site to check on the current prices, that skirt is no longer there.

This is the way it always goes, with women's fashions. Men's clothing changes maybe once a generation for everybody except the real clothes horses; if a guy finds a suit coat that he likes, he can probably count on buying its clones for the next forty years. If you're female, you're lucky if you can get even half a decade out of something.

Another Grey Day

Sep. 9th, 2017 11:26 am
malkingrey: (Rain)
[personal profile] malkingrey
It could be worse. I could be living in Florida -- I was born there, after all, and didn't get out until I was almost thirteen.

In the meantime, though, I've got a cold. It crept up on me this past Thursday, and chased me hard all day yesterday, finally putting me down for the count about 9:30 last night. Today I feel . . . well, not good, per se, but better than yesterday. I'm helped by the fact that I've declared this an official I Don't Have to Do Anything day. I plan to take aspirin, drink lots of hot tea, watch mentally undemanding video, and maybe if I'm feeling ambitious I'll run the dishwasher.

Every Once in a While...

Sep. 6th, 2017 01:10 pm
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
...I run across something that makes me wish for a moment that I'd stayed in Academia.† Like this call for papers:

Inside Out: Dress and Identity in the Middle Ages, the 38th Annual Conference at Fordham University's Center for Medieval Studies.

Not that I'd have anything to present -- material culture was never my field -- but my word, the papers should be fascinating.
Not often, though, or for very long. I got out at just about the same time as Academia started devouring its own young.


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