Sunday, April 25, 2010

Riding the productivity wave with a vague feeling of dissatisfaction.

I've already got a bunch of stuff done today. I posted some flash fiction earlier, in spite of my mortal dread of putting my baby out there for consumption (go nuts with the constructive criticism, folks!), did some tidying, made soup, fed the worms, gave the plants some love (& worm pee) & so on. I'm also finalising a back-to-school application by putting the finishing touches on a portfolio of writing, and I actually feel kindof satisfied with that.

It's 2.24 pm. So why the hell do I feel like I have accomplished nothing of worth today? This isn't even a rant. When I fail at ranting, I'm really failing. I can always rant.

I do not like my brain chemistry, because my brain chemistry does not like me. Fuck you, brain.

May I present...

So, apricot chicken is one of my all time favourite home-foods. I'd say 'dinners', but since I'm bad at actually having dinner at dinnertime and frequently eat this for breakfast, we'll go with foods. Foods is good.

Anyway, it's not just my favourite 'cause it tastes awesome (and it does taste awesome), but 'cause it's cost-efficient in many ways. I'm cheap, and pretty much always buy meat on special (and in bulk-ish amounts), and on top of the actual money cost efficiency going on here, this doesn't take long to prepare, and is basically a one-pot meal. It's also an incredibly easy way to feed quite a few people - the amounts in this recipe easily feed 6, and the last time that happened we still had plenty of leftovers (mmm, breakfast chicken). Anyway, this is how I do it:

Take enough chicken for the number of people you're going to feed. I prefer thigh fillets for this, but it's up to you. If you're using thigh fillets, chop 'em in half. Season some plain flour with whatever you like (my seasoning tends to be salt, pepper, cayenne, sage, basil), and coat the chicken pieces. Grab some veggies (enough to balance out the meal - I tend to use carrots & parsnips, root veggies seem to work best) and chop into sticks. Slice an onion and some garlic. Layer it all in a casserole dish, and cover it with apricot nectar. Or you can go half & half chicken stock / nectar, but straight apricot is very tasty. Put the lid on the pot (or just cover with foil) and stick it in the oven. Cooking time will depend on the amount you're making, but it'll take at least 45 minutes. The flour you coated the chicken in will cook into the liquid, & it thickens up into a really tasty sauce; the chicken won't dry out, and the veggies add some variation. You could even stir some bok choy or other suitable greens through and let it stand for a couple of minutes before serving, just to up the veggie content a bit.

I serve it with rice, but if you've used lots of substantial vegetables, you might not need the accompaniment. Rice does help with the sauce, though.

If you only want to make enough for, say, one or two meals, you can stick it in a loaf tin, cover with foil and cook - this doesn't have to produce a massive amount of food. On the other hand, it's an awesomely easy way to produce a massive amount of food. If you've got a slow-cooker, you could set this to cook overnight or before you leave for work, or whatever.

In the absence of rant, stories!

I'm trying my hand at some flash fiction - 300 word snapshots of story. Haven't decided yet if they'll be self contained, ongoing, both... we'll see.

When my dad comes home, I go to bed. Our driveway’s long – the headlights give me enough time to brush my teeth. When I was little, I’d be waiting for him, and I’d ask and ask for an ‘aeroplane ride’ to bed. Sometimes I got one, and he’d swing me up into the air between his hands and fly me around the house, and when he put me into bed he’d kiss me, and his beard tickled and smelt of books and coffee. Sometimes he’d buy a packet of jam tart biscuits at the servo on the way home, and mum’d make some tea and a little mug of warm milk for me, and I was allowed to stay up a bit longer for a biscuit, but I had to brush my teeth again before I went to bed.

I don’t wait for dad to come home any more. He doesn’t like me to be up when he gets home. Mum told Nanna once that he works late so everyone’s asleep when he gets home, but she didn’t know I heard. Mum doesn’t mind if I roller-skate in the hallway, ‘cause I cook tea when I get home from school, and the floorboards aren’t polished anyway. Dad doesn’t like the noise while he’s watching TV. Sometimes he checks where the roller-skates are, to see if I’ve been using them in the hallway. He says they damage the boards, but I don’t think they do. I hide them under the old shoes at the bottom of my wardrobe so he thinks I haven’t been skating on the floorboards. He hasn’t noticed yet.

When dad comes home, I pretend to be asleep. He looks in when he walks past my room, but he hardly ever checks to see if I’m still awake.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Things We say...part 24

So upon hearing that they are, in fact, making a new Free Willy movie - you know, the movie about the killer whale that gets captured and then set free...this comment was made:

X: if this whale gets caught one more time, we're going to give it to the Japanese for 'research'. I mean...really.

You gotta ask it too, I mean, what is up with that whale being captured. (I know it's the same whale for the first two movies...but even if it isn't, I thought killer whales were meant to be intelligent pack hunters...>.<)

Clear Skies~V

Saturday, April 17, 2010


L: It's like having a baby bird on my head! And you can rub it!

This post could technically be labelled as 'things we say', 'things I think', 'things I overanalyse', or maybe just 'hyperactive sleep-deprived ramblings'. Think I'll just go with 'random'.

So. It turns out, I have a complicated relationship with my hair. Well, since my hair is only a few mm long, it's not so complicated right now, but it's anybody's bet where that goes from here. This is very likely an unwarranted piece of navel-gazing, but I feel like blathering about it, so there.

(Yes, I'm hiding behind my pillow, and yes, all my bedding is blue. Yes, I'm aware that blue is the favourite colour of depressed people. Your point?)

I didn't realise that shaving my head would enable me to examine my neuroses quite so effectively. I'd've done it years ago, except... well, I was to gutless to do it years ago, and I doubt I would've learnt much from it then, anyway. (Aw, L feels like she's gettin all growed up! Actually, that's a lie.)

Ahem. So. I started thinking about all of this when it was commented upon that perhaps shaving your head (especially when you are a person of the female persuasion) is not the most obvious way to go about being inconspicuous. This is apparently hilarious, since I loathe the thought of being noticeable - or indeed visible - in public. Since then, I've been thinking about this whole melange of stuff, including: why does it have to be so much more 'normal' to make a decision to alter your personal presentation for charity, than because you felt like it? Why does it have to be particularly weird for a girl to shave her head? Why must people assume that I'm broadcasting something about my status because of my hair? Why have I found it so bizarrely reassuring to realise that I can in fact tell when people are out-and-out staring at me? And why am I so much more worried about my Mum's reaction (when she finally sees it in person) than anybody else's?

It's anybody's guess. But these things are indeed occupying my brain-space. I'm finding it particularly interesting that shaving off my hair has enriched my life in so many random ways. It's cut down the resources I use - no more hair-washing showers or products, so the water shortage and my budget are both fans; no more agonizing over what to do with it, so more time and less image-consciousness, and a whole lot of interesting revelations about body image and public perception.

I have to admit that there was one downer - Empire Records lied to me. It is not that easy to shave your head.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

OMG I need a drink!

Wandering around town today, having run some errands, and I've got this thought running through my head as I'm sitting on the bus on the way home: 'God, I could use a drink'. This of course, made me go O.o, because I've rarely actually had the whole 'OMG I need a drink' thing going on, and this lead me to consider whether or not the I should have a drink when I got home. The funny thing is, I now understand the habit my father is in of having at least one whiskey-soda on the rocks every day after work; you'd think, having spent nearly a decade making them for him, I'd have gotten used to whiskey sooner, but no, vodka was always my preferable poison. Recent change of heart has lead that to shift towards the whiskey. Dad's birthday was yesterday...I was really tempted to include a 'Hey Dad! Whiskey rocks!' line in it, but somehow I wasn't sure if the tone would go down well, being just words and all. The last thing I want is to get an email (or a call!) inquiring into my drinking habits - though 'habits' might be a strong term, but lets not dwell on that.

I will always insist that being irresponsibly drunk is a bad thing, and it is; the first time I got drunk...yeah, let's not go there, that was a bad idea and I regretted it violently the next day (and I think L took particular pleasure in attempting to feed me banana muffins - which I'm sure were delicious, but OMG NO!). So yeah, nooot doing that again...seriously, mixing frozen berries with champagne is no go.

And thus I end my little randomnessity for the night...



Clear Skies~V

Random Pretty

This is RJ (A's adorable lil boy) giving Valerian (V's SL Avatar) a biiig smoochie!
Yayy I gots kisses!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Things We Say...part 24

X: brb. More zombies.
This is not something I expected to hear from my SecondLife partner.

Clear Skies~V

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Things We Say...part 23

(when I said something silly after shaving my head)

V: Are you sure you didn't shave part of your brain?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Things we say part 22

A: Hmmmm cereal
V: Hmmm JD and coke

A: Too early for me
V: Better illustration of opposite sides of the world? I think not!

Long story.

Clear Skies~V

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hey Ma, I'm a cueball!

So, for quite a long time I've toyed with the idea of shortening my hair... radically. Last night, after an Easter spent visiting family (not at all traumatic, oddly), the hair got the chop. I left it uber short & fuzzy for a while (and may have walked around the supermarket giggling and rubbing my head like a crazy/silly/silly-crazy person), and then decided to go the whole hog & shave it all off.

Behold, my shiny egg-head:

Good thing it's coming in to winter, 'cause the sunburn, I do not want!