amazon_syren: (Default)
( Mar. 12th, 2019 11:30 am)
Okay.
I spent part of this morning replacing tealight wicks.

I'm burning paraffin candles on my altar right now. That's not my ideal situation - partly because petroleum products, and partly because they're not something I made myself - but they do the job in a pinch and I'm waiting for (A) the ice to melt off my back steps, and (B) the cash to order more beeswax, before I start bashing up the last of my current order.

The tea lights I got are the one-ounce kind, which is great. But the wicks are too thin and they tend to either drown in the melted wax, OR burn a tunnel out of the middle of the candle but leave a thick wall of un-burned wax around the edges.
So I yanked out all the wicks and replaced them with the ones I use when I make beeswax candles. They're thicker and should (hopefully) do the job of actually using up all the wax.

It's nice to have the altars lit again, I don't mind telling you.

It's kind of a spring cleaning day over here. Putting books back on shelves, getting rid of superfluous paper, putting away the clean laundry, sweeping and vacuuming (the vacuuming, I still need to do - but I found the rug-beater attachment, so it can happen!)

Roll On, Spring! :-D
So!
I have some new-to-me clothes and some straight-up NEW clothes. And I also have some fabric.

I have turquoise cotton fabric to make a shift/sheath dress (same style as my pink one that I made a few years ago), turquoise corduroy-esque fabric to make a skirt - maybe one like this - and we'll see if I have extra left over for anything else.
I've also got 2m of heavy black suiting fabric with a tone-on-tone geometric glittery print, which I used to lengthen my GGLA gown, and I'd like to make a suit-like ensemble with it. A bit like if you crossed this with this and/or this.
Basically, I want a knee-length, possibly-asymmetrical, mermaid skirt with a matching cropped jacket with full-length sleeves.
I can figure out the skirt. I might even have a pattern I can tweak to get it to do what I want.
And I can probably make the body of the jacket, even if I have to do it in a fairly wasteful way where I make a boxy jacket and then tailor it so that it has a bit more shaping. But the sleeves are scaring me to death. I've only done sleeves once, and they wound up puffier than I'd like (it was for the black-net bolero/shrug I made to go with my wedding gown in 2012, so that extra poof was fine... it's just it was also not quite what I was going for and I'm not sure how to avoid that when working with heavier material).

So that's what's on my mind. >.>
Tags:
Whelp.

So, I have a cousin.
She's about a decade younger than me.
When I met her at the family reunion 2 summers ago, she pinged all the bi flags I can think of.
And the following doesn't mean I read her wrong. Gods know bi people can be pretty messed up in ways that my just-out-teen-self didn't really think about.

But my cousin posts stuff on facebook that is kind of upsetting. I mean, most of it basically gets filed under "whatever". I don't care that much that she's reposting stuff deriding people who think "Baby, It's Cold Outside" sounds rape-y as fuck in a contemporary context, or that she's posting pictures of kinky gingerbreads with "this is why I don't get asked to make stuff for the church bake sale anymore" captions without necessarily being kinky herself.

But sometimes she posts stuff that really bothers me.

So I started commenting on that stuff.
I started commenting on that stuff literally inside of the last hour. And I started out pretty... easy to ignore. I literally said "Good grief, [name]".
And I figure, if she responds to that, I can talk to her about it further, and if she doesn't, I'll just quietly keep doing that, and maybe upping things a bit here and there, so that it's not just zero-to-livid right away.

If anyone has some personal experience talking to relatives (that you want to maintain and develop relationships with) about Problematic Stuff, please feel free to pass along what has worked?


Thanks,
Amazon.
Sterilizing the pint jars.
I've thickened the pumpkin soup with some mashed carrots & a mashed potato and some more amaranth. I've also added a little bit of paprika and some coriander.
Ghost says it smells good.
All I can really smell is the mix of turkey stock and coconut milk and... it doesn't smell right to me. There should be onions in this. And some garlic. And the recipient can't eat either of those things (and I'm not buying hing when this is the only time I'm going to use it).
But I'm going to go with Ghost on this one.

Next up is the potato soup.
Wish me luck, kids.

Gahds. I said I'd go to a local studio's open-house/xmas-party and I'm SO reconsidering.
I was expecting to have the soup in the jars and be well on my way to being able to leave the house (to get to this party) by 5pm.
And that's not going to happen.

I don't know. We'll figure it out.
Hallelujah!
The funding came through and I now have a short-term transcription job.
I start next week.
Five hours/week at $39/hr.
Bless.
I am so relieved!
amazon_syren: (Default)
( Jul. 1st, 2018 11:23 am)
5-7-5
Nature reference
Juxtaposition of themes
Cutting Word (to shift from one theme to the next - a pivot point)
Mandatory nature reference in each poem (refers to seasonal setting: "New Moon in Libra" would do it, but so would "service berries rot // hornets swarming in the heat // m m m m m)

Typically 100 poems long, as a cycle.
50/50 referencing death and life.


"[...] The focus on a brief moment in time; a use of provocative, colorful images; an ability to be read in one breath; and a sense of sudden enlightenment and illumination."
https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/haiku-poetic-form



"The core feature of haiku is an experience described in a concrete image designed to evoke the same experience in the reader. A good haiku is not simply a static description. Three valued attributes are:

embodiment of a transformation -- possibly with a surprising ending and/or a lingering poetic atmosphere. This may be catalyzed by describing an impression characteristic of one sensory organ through words normally descriptive of the impression through another. Images may be connected in a surprising way, possibly by changing perspectives calling for movement between them. Thinking is surprised and changes direction. Metaphors are however rarely used in haiku, because the image is expected to speak for itself and not be compared with something else in order to be accentuated or transformed in significance. However it is consequently recognized as a form that is wonderful for metaphorical descriptions. In contrast to this view, many of Matsuo Basho's haiku use metaphor and allegory to great effect [see poems].

capacity to hold several layers of meaning that may be discovered or explored -- possibly subsequently on reflection, or over a period of time. This may be achieved by using a proximate image like a fractal to imply the larger context of which it is a detail. Indirect insight is typical of haiku.

act as a container for deep meaning, as characterized by a sense of poignancy, being touched, existential tragedy, or inevitability beyond conventional frameworks. It offers a value-charged integrative perspective.

Stress is placed on the concreteness of the images. Purely abstract or intellectual concepts are not considered valid haiku -- irrespective of their conformity with the formal rules or the value of the experience they may engender. Meaningful insights overtly expressed are considered as an imposition, potentially alienating to the reader. This is an implicit aesthetic that is discovered by a receptive sensitivity rather than an invasive technique. A degree of detachment or distance is valued. Although the concrete images may be anchored in the immediate or distant past -- perhaps specifically associated with a season -- the effect sought is an experience in the present moment, the immediate here and now (cf Kate Hall, Mirroring the Moment, 2001)"
https://www.laetusinpraesens.org/musings/haiku.php#conv
amazon_syren: (Default)
( Jun. 19th, 2018 10:50 am)
I feel sick to my stomach.

For a whole bunch of reasons, that are pretty tied together.

I'm watching the stuff going on in the US and I'm wondering about the size of their army, and when it's going to start rolling over our borders, or if they're just going to "buy" a lot of stuff, demand we give it to them for free, and sue the government any time we don't want to (see: Kinder Morgan).

I'm concerned about the well being of my queer and brown relatives in New York state - though my auntie has Canadian citizenship, specifically in order to have an escape route for the lot of them, which is good.

I feel like writing to (or faxing) my own politicians is unlikely to do anything. I do it anyway, but I feel a bit like it won't do much beyond establishing a paper trail that says "I'm already disgusted with you, Justin Trudeau, you lair" and won't make a lot of actual change happen.

I became a (very low-budget) monthly donor to the First Nations Caring Society because a big part of their mandate is to keep indigenous kids out of the foster system and to reunite the ones who've been taken with their families & communities.

I don't know if No One Is Illegal still has an Ottawa chapter (their website hasn't been updated in 2 years), but the Toronto site is still being updated. If you want to get involved in peace activism locally (Ottawa, ON), the Network to Oppose War and Racism site might be one to check out. Not sure if their most recent organizing meeting was early May of this year or last year, though. >.>

You might also be interested in groups like White Noise, which is a group for white people who want to build strategies for leveraging white privilege in order to act as "accomplice[s] to race-based resistance here in Ottawa" and to challenge white supremacy in white spaces.
Tags:
Made a chocolate mousse cake today.
It was marvelously easy.
And delicious. (I printed the recipe off the internet):

10 egg whites
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
+
10 egg yolks
1/2 C granulated sugar
+
2C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C salted butter
+
Butter to grease the 9" spring-form pan
Cocoa to dust said pan


(1) In a pot on the stove, melt the butter and chocolate together over low heat (melt some of the butter first).
(2) Beat the hell out of the egg whites & cream of tartar - add the 2tbsp of sugar once it starts getting opaque and keep beating until you have some very stiff peaks going on.
(3) Blend the egg yolks and sugar until "lemony".
(4) Continue blending the egg yolks (on the LOWEST speed now) while adding the melted chocolate.
(5) Add the egg whites to the chocolate-yolk mixture (in batches). We used a spatula to fold them in, but you could just continue using the hand-mixer on LOW.
(6) Grease the pan and dust it with cocoa (I think both are probably important here, just because it'll give the mousse a tiny bit more structural integrity around the edges, and it will make it easier to shrink away from the sides of the pan when the cake is cooling).
(7) Put the pan on a cookie sheet, fill the pan with mousse.
(8) Bake at 350F for 40 minutes.
(9) Remove from oven. Allow to set for 10 minutes.
(10) Put the cake in the fridge for 10-15 minutes, just to let things get on with it a bit.
(11) Take the ring off the spring-form pan.
(12) Cut the cake and devour it.

You can theoretically top this with dulche de leche, whipped cream, a dusting of icing sugar, or some kind of fruit coulis, but it's also just lovely all by itself.

It's marvelously easy! :-D
And very tasty! :-D
And not overly sweet! :-D

Also, if you need something that's gluten free AND okay to bring to, like, Pass Over, this would (uh... I think?) work for that quite nicely.


I'm currently making dulche de leche in the slow-cooker (meaning that I've got an un-opened tin of condensed milk covered with water in my slow cooker, as it has been since about 4pm, and I should have delicious, fully-cramelized dulche de leche by the morning).
Reply to this post with "EWOKS!" and I will pick three of your icons for you to talk about in your own journal, and then keep the meme going by making this offer on your post.

Muccamukk picked "blessed are the whores and witches" (which I'm using for this post) as well as "sexy librarian" (part 1) and "tarot icon 1" (part 2). I don't know how to add media here, so I'll just post them one at a time and use the icons in question when I do.

This is a picture of me and my now-wife, Ghost, at Toronto Pride 2010. Our first summer together. We're walking in Dyke March, wearing matching ensembles of Not Very Much At All. I'm carrying my red umbrella (sexworkers' rights symbol). She has a cutting on her sternum that I did that morning in the (accidentally very fancy) hotel we were staying at.

This picture is one that we downloaded off the internet, because it was taken by a sun media photographer for their web coverage of the march. We were internet!famous for a day and were asked to pose for group pictures with a LOT of tourists. (I sort of suspect they thought we were drag queens?)

I think this may have been the weekend that our "glamazon twins" thing (also seen at Annie Sprinkle's Wedding To The Snow) came into being.

The name of the icon (that is written on the icon) is a line from a Cathrynne M Valente story (from the Omikuji project). Ghost has those words tattoo'd down her side. We liked it, because it's us.
Tags:
Reply to this post with "EWOKS!" and I will pick three of your icons for you to talk about in your own journal, and then keep the meme going by making this offer on your post.

[personal profile]muccamukk picked "tarot icon 1" (which I'm using for this post) as well as "blessed are the whores and witches" and "sexy librarian" (part 1). I don't know how to add media here, so I'll just post them one at a time and use the icons in question when I do.

This is a picture of the High Priestess card (herein called "Inner Voice") from the Osho Zen tarot deck.
It's the deck I've been reading with for a solid ten years now. It has its biases - as all decks do - but it's beautiful and colourful and not super hetero and has a lot of PoC in it, all of which is nice when you don't know who you'll be reading for. I also like that all of the cards have a name - "Inner Voice" is one, sure, but, for example, the four of fire is "participation", the knight of earth ("rainbows" in this deck, for some reason) is "Slowing Down" - which made it way easier for novice-me to get the hang of what the cards were about.

I made this picture into an icon because - for a very brief while, at the beginning of 2016 - I was doing a "daily (ish) card" thing where I pulled a card out of my deck and then blogged about what that card meant in my own understanding. I think I just happened to have a good picture of this card in my files already - took it for a reading I'd done at the end of 2015, I think - and went with it.
Tags:
Reply to this post with "EWOKS!" and I will pick three of your icons for you to talk about in your own journal, and then keep the meme going by making this offer on your post.

[personal profile] muccamukk picked "sexy librarian" (which I'm using for this post) as well as "blessed are the whores and witches" and "tarot icon 1". I don't know how to add media here, so I'll just post them one at a time and use the icons in question when I do.

So. About nine years ago I took part in a pin-up calendar. It was some sort of fundraising thing for an punk/art website. I don't even remember now. It might not even exist now. But I was trying to build my modeling portfolio, had just done a burlesque class, and was Very Excited about working with a queer-looking lady photographer.

It was a fun shoot. I got to be a vamp and joke with the photographer. It wasn't paid (other than t4p) but it felt good and I got to practice flirty eyes with someone who wasn't going to expect me to go anywhere with it.

This icon is a crop of the image that went into the calendar (I think I was Ms March).
Tags:
amazon_syren: (Default)
( Aug. 13th, 2017 03:44 pm)
So I have the enviable problem of needing to use up last year's frozen fruits and veggies in order to make space for this year's frozen fruits and veggies.
Oh, darn.

Which means I'm finally (finally) getting around to making preserves out of 2 bags of wild-harvested choke cherries + a pint of farmers' market "please just take it away, so we don't have to bring it home" black currants that were definitely past their best, but not by much.

What this amounts to is:

1L jar of chokecherry purree with onions and whole cranberries and some left-over plum jelly. I need to add [1/2 C vinegar, 1/2 C granulated sugar, a diced apple, some dried fruit - like a couple of well-chopped prunes or something (more likely dried cherries, since that's what I have) - and maybe another diced onion] to this in order to turn it into 4-5 cups of choke cherry relish.
+
750mL mix of black currant purree (about 1C) and chokecherry purree (the rest of the jar) to be mixed with 6 eggs, 3C sugar, and... a quantity of butter that I should really double-check before I start this business... in order to get about 3C of vividly purple fruit curd (this stuff is delicious with both choke cherries AND black currants, as well as with cranberries, so... It'll be good!)
+
1L jar of choke-cherry purree, black currant PULP, raw frozen berries (grocery-store cranberries given me by a friend, a grocery-store mix of blueberries, blackberries & raspberries + neighbourhood seriveberries and neighbourhood (alley, not back-yard - not this year, anyway) raspberries)

That last one is currently on the stove with the addition of: a glug of (fake) vanilla, a somewhat larger glug of vodka, a dusting of ground cloves, a pinch of salt, 4C granulated sugar, and a splish of pomegranate-flavoured balsamic vinegar--> Making it this year's version of Goblin Fruit Jam.


I'm... I've got a couple of hours of work I need to do for a friend. If said friend is coming over to catch up tonight, I will be holding off on the fruit curd and the relish-type-thing for later this week BUT I need to get to it sooner, rather than later, because I don't want it to go bad now that it's thawed out. :-\


In other preserving news:
Diced, blanched, and froze a bunch of zucchini (About 3.5 whole zukes - enough to make 6C frozen diced veggies, at any rate). I've got five left in the fridge, and being able to put up another 3.5 of them this week would not be a terrible thing.
If the Herb and Spice still has butternut squash on super-reduced-to-sell discount, I may pick up a couple of those and do the same to them. We shall see.

Also: I keep the diced stems of chard, kale, mustard greens, and similar in a bag in the freezer and chuck them into stews and braises as needed. And I decided to ferment the entire bag today and see what kind of a Weird Veggie Pickle I could make in the fermentation crock my friend gave me.
Ingredients (more or less) are:
Diced leafy-greens stems
1 red onion, finely sliced into ribbons
A bunch of fresh sage, sliced into ribbons
Whole coriander (cilantro) seeds (some dry, some still green - all from the garden)
Whole mustard seeds
LOTS of pickling salt
Dusting of ground nutmeg
3 bay leaves (for tanins - may shuffle off and see if I can't add a wodge of grape leaves - also in ribbons - to this mixture for the same reason plus the handy addition of Moar Greens)
2 whole cloves of garlic, pierced a few times with a sharp knife
5 frozen bird chilies

I'm hoping it will be delicious and also slightly less watery than the spring Wild Greens ferment I did a few months back. We Shall See.
amazon_syren: (Default)
( Aug. 13th, 2017 03:44 pm)
So I have the enviable problem of needing to use up last year's frozen fruits and veggies in order to make space for this year's frozen fruits and veggies.
Oh, darn.

Which means I'm finally (finally) getting around to making preserves out of 2 bags of wild-harvested choke cherries + a pint of farmers' market "please just take it away, so we don't have to bring it home" black currants that were definitely past their best, but not by much.

What this amounts to is:

1L jar of chokecherry purree with onions and whole cranberries and some left-over plum jelly. I need to add [1/2 C vinegar, 1/2 C granulated sugar, a diced apple, some dried fruit - like a couple of well-chopped prunes or something (more likely dried cherries, since that's what I have) - and maybe another diced onion] to this in order to turn it into 4-5 cups of choke cherry relish.
+
750mL mix of black currant purree (about 1C) and chokecherry purree (the rest of the jar) to be mixed with 6 eggs, 3C sugar, and... a quantity of butter that I should really double-check before I start this business... in order to get about 3C of vividly purple fruit curd (this stuff is delicious with both choke cherries AND black currants, as well as with cranberries, so... It'll be good!)
+
1L jar of choke-cherry purree, black currant PULP, raw frozen berries (grocery-store cranberries given me by a friend, a grocery-store mix of blueberries, blackberries & raspberries + neighbourhood seriveberries and neighbourhood (alley, not back-yard - not this year, anyway) raspberries)

That last one is currently on the stove with the addition of: a glug of (fake) vanilla, a somewhat larger glug of vodka, a dusting of ground cloves, a pinch of salt, 4C granulated sugar, and a splish of pomegranate-flavoured balsamic vinegar--> Making it this year's version of Goblin Fruit Jam.


I'm... I've got a couple of hours of work I need to do for a friend. If said friend is coming over to catch up tonight, I will be holding off on the fruit curd and the relish-type-thing for later this week BUT I need to get to it sooner, rather than later, because I don't want it to go bad now that it's thawed out. :-\


In other preserving news:
Diced, blanched, and froze a bunch of zucchini (About 3.5 whole zukes - enough to make 6C frozen diced veggies, at any rate). I've got five left in the fridge, and being able to put up another 3.5 of them this week would not be a terrible thing.
If the Herb and Spice still has butternut squash on super-reduced-to-sell discount, I may pick up a couple of those and do the same to them. We shall see.

Also: I keep the diced stems of chard, kale, mustard greens, and similar in a bag in the freezer and chuck them into stews and braises as needed. And I decided to ferment the entire bag today and see what kind of a Weird Veggie Pickle I could make in the fermentation crock my friend gave me.
Ingredients (more or less) are:
Diced leafy-greens stems
amazon_syren: (Feast Icon)
( May. 5th, 2017 05:04 pm)
So I'm having some people over tomorrow afternoon. Funnily enough, the person I was originally doing the event for is off sick with strep throat, so probably won't be joining the rest of us. But fingers crossed.

My plan is to make some kind of sour-milk-based coffee cake (as I am wont to do), and also offer this bean dip with "toasts" - like, sliced of bread cut into strips or quarters, brushed with some oil, and broiled for a couple of minutes.
It'll do.

It's not hummus. If only because hummus at least needs to have chick peas in it. But it's one of those type things. :-)

~*~

BEAN DIP

1 onion, diced and fried in oil
Garlic a-go-go (see above)
1 tin red kidney beans, well-washed and drained
2 beets, peeled, diced, and boiled (or use a bunch of pickled beets, and skip the vinegar)
Red wine vinegar (see above)
Thyme
Coriander
Cloves

Combine everything in a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve with “miniature toasts” (brush with olive oil and put under the broiler for a bit).

~*~

I'm kind of hoping it'll be an amazing shade of magenta. :-)
Tags:
So....
I have a question for people who have recently, or not that recently, imported All THe Things from LJ.

I have LJ-RSS feeds of wordpress blogs that I would like to delete.
I have an lj community that I (have finally successfully imported and) would like to delete.

How do I do this? Particularly the RSS feeds?

Anybody know? The Google-Foo is not strong with me today.
amazon_syren: (Default)
( Apr. 13th, 2017 06:29 pm)
Well.
No more cross-posting for me.
Meditation Thing from the Queer Body Love Series (Michelle Murrain's talk, specifically).

May I Be Happy
May I know my true worth
May I know that I am loveable
May I love and be loved with ease


Neuroplasticity for the win? :-)
So...

Motherwort to hold us.

I want motherwort in front garden. It's sometimes called Lion's Tail, I think. It's a wild mint-family plant with pinky-purple flower stalks and sharp-toothed leaves. It grows all over the place. It has anti-anxiety properties, is an anti-coagulant (so, if you're at risk for blood clots as well as panic attacks, this might be a good one for you), and is apparently good for fertility? Or maybe not? I'm not sure...
I'd also like to grow skullcap (like motherwort, it has anti-anxiety properties - it's also, iirc, shade-lfriendly AND it has pretty BLUE flowers, which I want more of!)

The big, spikey plant that's taken up residence in the front corner of my garden is, aparently, Viper's Bugloss and is a relative of borrage (so: Yay, food for bees!). You can make a red (ish?) dye from the (very, very deep) tap root. Associated with frost giants and other weather-people? Iiiiinteresting.


I need to go and do the laundry. It's just past 1:30. Need to strip the bed, sort the wash, figure out what gets washed vs what is going to have to wait. I think I have enough for three washes + an hour of dryer time, but I need to check that. Better, if I can fit things into two.

Power Exchange Stuff: Learning new things about stearing my Horse. More than two things on a to-do-list is overwhelming and she'll stall into inaction, dig her heels in, go and hide in her hobbies. We shall see if sticking to a Two Things rule will help on the Getting Shit Done front. <*fingers crossed*>
.

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