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I hardly use LJ at all anymore. For anyone who cares, at the moment, most of my new content (if any!) goes on Tumblr.

Lady Grey progress

I've been hard at work on my Lady Grey coat since my last entry in late August. I'm really glad I chose to participate in this sew-along; I am learning SO MUCH, both from Gertie's posts and from the flickr commenters. Also, it's introduced me to at least 5 new sewing blogs that I follow. Pretty neat community! Under the cut, photos of my progress and assorted sewing-related jibba jabba. snip!Collapse )

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Keeping Myself Accountable

So... hello, LJ. Long time no talkies. Since Dec of '09, I've had a lot going on, the main event of which was foot/ankle surgery for plantar fasciitis in April 2010 and the ensuing annoying recovery period. Mom took excellent care of me during the immediate post-care time, I was back to work in 2 weeks (on crutches) and bipedal again a few weeks after that. I'm doing better now, but I still have pain if I'm not careful. Le sigh. Such is life. Sadly, my hobbies took a serious hit during this period - it hurts to stand in one place too long, so I've barely cooked or baked anything fun in the past several months. For awhile, I couldn't work the sewing pedal properly, so no sewing took place either.

Happily, it wasn't all lost. I joined the local Y and turned to swimming as a new hobby, since I desperately needed exercise and my walking/running/cycling options are limited. I'm doing a decent job of sticking with it and I can tell that my heart and lungs are happy and energized by it. ^_^

To get myself back into sewing, I'm planning to take part in my first sew-along via Gertie's awesome Blog for Better Sewing. She's doing a cute, short autumn coat and I think if I have a community of other people doing it, I'll be more likely to (a) stick with it, (b) get it done on time (nothing like finishing up a sleeveless summer dress just as summer is ending!), and (c) get it done right, thanks to her tips and community muslin reviews and the like.

Mmmmm, radishes.

I disliked radishes as a kid because the flavor was too strong for me. Now that I'm in my (late!) twenties and half of my taste buds have been scalded away by pizza cheese, I thought I'd give them another chance, especially because Dan might enjoy the spice and discover a new veggie that he's able to eat.

They're still incredibly spicy to me, so much that they nearly made me sneeze as I chewed up a slice of raw radish. However, thanks to a recipe I found in Jack Bishop's Vegetables Every Day, I discovered that roasting them helps to soften them and mellow out the spice.

Recipe, with substitutions for what I had: I took 10 adorable little radishes, wash 'em, nip off any icky ends or brown spots, and cut each in half. I put them in a small glass baking pan, tossed them with a tablespoon of olive oil and roasted them at 425 for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, I toasted up some sesame seeds in a dry skillet. When the radishes were done, I added a few splashes of soy sauce, the toasted seeds and five thinly-sliced baby green onions (it was supposed to be 2 scallions, but mine never grew that big). The result was REALLY tasty and went well with chicken.

I'm really enjoying that book! It helped me add asparagus to a magical chicken pasta dish earlier this week. Beets are next on my list to tackle. ^_^

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Vitamin Water

I don't drink "health drinks" and expect them to make me feel any better. Considering that Vitamin Water barely even has any real juice in it and plenty of cane sugar & fructose, I don't even think it counts as a health drink. Despite all that, though, this kiwi strawberry concoction has taken me from heavy-eyed, blurry vision to adequately perky and awake.

Conclusion? IT'S MAGIC. Or I just needed electrolytes and some calories in my system after exercising last night and at physical therapy this morning. ... WHATEVER. ELECTROLYTE MAGIC.

Collecting weird shit since... forever.

Every so often, I come across an object and think, "OH GOD, I WANT THAT." It's never something simple or practical, like shoes or a nice cookpot. Usually it's a horrible sort of thing where, were I to buy it, I would immediately realize it had no business being in my home. Half the time, it isn't even something real. Some of my I WANT THATs have included

* drinking horn (purchased; did not regret!)
* picnic basket (yard sale; excellent for playing Yogi and Boo-boo)
* various plants that I don't have room for
* Viking helmets (still on the lookout for a good one)
* assorted Very Bad Idea pets, such as a goat (seriously want one), a tame fox (would be so great!) and a bear (if you have never imagined riding a bear to work, then... do it. Right now. Imagine lolloping down the avenue on your grizzly! He would totally just climb over all the other cars during traffic jams. Then when you get to work, you give him a hug and say, "Here's a twenty, Friend Bear. Go and have fun at the mall. See you at 5:00!" SEE? Don't you want a bear now?! I do.)

This is a very childish instinct, but I don't think I'm going to outgrow it. Today, Dan mentioned that one of the weapons in Warhammer is a "filth mace". Its attacks are poisonous and under the right circumstances, can inspire terror in enemies. Come on, man. A FILTH MACE. That is amazing. I would jog through ANY Baltimore neighborhood at night if I could do it with a filth mace. I would take it to concerts and use it to make my way to the front. But obviously, I can't have a filth mace. But oh, how I want one. I wonder - do most people have impulses to buy stupid stuff like that? Do you ever buy your insane impulse items? If so, do you have buyer's remorse?

Toys tonight!

Oh man. OH MAN. Sometime today, I'm due a shipment from Toys R Us of Buneary and Wobbuffet plushies. If you squeeze 'em, they taaaaaaalk. I AM SO EXCITED. OH LORD, MY EMOTIONAL CAPSLOCK BUTTON IS STUCK AND I AM KANYE WESTING ALL OVER THE PLACE ABOUT POKEMON TOYS.

Also, for the first time in ages, I had a sound night's sleep. ^_^ 11pm to 7:30am, no waking up. I think it's partly because I worked really hard at physical therapy (fixing my aggravated plantar fascia) and wore myself out. Also, I bundled up in thicker jimjams, so maybe staying warmer helped. I don't know the reason and I don't care - it's just nice to not feel bleary.

Amusing conversation

Awhile back, Dan and I went on a movie date to different movies. I didn't grow up on G.I. Joe, so I figured the film would be packed with in-jokes that would go over my head. I do, however, like food porn, which Julie & Julia had in spades. The two films started within a few minutes of each other, so we bought tickets, kissed goodbye, and split up for our separate features.

On the drive home, we played Who Had to Sit Through the Worst Previews, which led to the following [approximate] conversation:

Dan: Oh, but they showed a trailer for 9. I'm excited for that.
Stef: What the hell?! The Nine trailer looked pretty stupid to me.
Dan: What?! How can you say that?
Stef: I know how much you hate Chicago and Moulin Rouge, so I'm doubly surprised that you're interested in Nine.
Dan: Moulin Rouge? 9 is set in a post apocalyptic world full of mechanical monsters.
Stef: ... are you serious? Bullshit. Then it was the fanciest apocalypse ever.
Dan: No, it looked pretty grim. The main guy looks kind of like a Sackboy.
Stef: No, he looked like a regular guy. With a bunch of strumpets on trapeze. I think I saw Fergie. And Judi Dench.
Dan: Judi Dench?!
Stef: Yeah, that was her.
Dan: Where?
Stef: In Nine!
Dan: It's all computer animation, though. Nobody looked like Judi Dench.
Stef: Are you sure you're talking about Nine? Perhaps it's meant to be pronounced "Ni-neh" or something. They never really said it aloud.
Dan: No, it's a numeral! 9!

Arrival at home, followed by a quick trip to IMDB, revealed there were TWO films coming soon called 9/Nine. Not to mention District 9, which came out shortly thereafter. BE MORE CONFUSING, HOLLYWOOD. I DARE YOU. I hope next year, they simultaneously release Citizen Keane, which will be a Very Serious and Weepy Drama about somebody with a wasting illness, Citizen Keehan, which will be a romcom set in Ireland, and Citizen Keen, which will be a superhero action flick a la Black Dynamite.

Trying garlic... again

So garlic this year was a pathetic disaster. But I've learned a few interesting facts that I hope will improve my harvest next year!

(1) I planted in early spring. WRONG. You're meant to plant garlic in the fall! My new plan is to get some new garlic bulbs and replant the biggest cloves in individual cut-off 2-ltr bottles on or around Columbus Day.

(2) You need to cut off the scapes when they straighten out, or else all the plant's energy will go into making big foliage rather than swelling the bulb as big as it can. This makes total sense, now that I think about it. Didn't my pepper output suffer while the plants were trying to grow taller? Didn't my basil give wimpy output until I nipped the tops and let it turn bushy?

Duh. ^_^

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Dentist!

I just got back from having a cavity drilled at my dentist. Because I hate needles, I customarily request that they drill without Novocaine. Does choosing 10 minutes of drilling over 15 seconds of jabbing make any sense? Probably not. But whatever. It's interesting to see your own reaction to pain - what it feels like, how much you can take, how still you can remain, etc. ... and now I've just PROVEN that I'm a weirdo.

I let them numb me today because I want to get over my needle fear. I forgot how freakin' weird it feels! It didn't help that I accidentally licked the topical anesthetic they put on my cheek before the jabbing (I maintain this is not my fault because it tasted like a pina colada), so my tongue feels sort of tingly and beehive-shaped. My teeth and gums are numb, which is fine, but so is my entire left cheek. I look like I have Bell's palsy.

Next time, I might go back to my no-numbing plan. This disembodied face feeling is too much! Better yet, I won't let there be a next time. Self, you'd better floss. Yes, I know it's gross and a pain and takes forever. DO IT. RAAARHHH!

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