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"perfect daughters"

When we are cowering children we grow clever. Grown-ups are forces of nature, and nature can't be reasoned with. Nature can only be endured. So we learn our way around them, when to tip-toe, when to run. We become smart children, wise in the ways of hiding, knowing when to swallow our pride, and how to save up our defiance for those moments when submission wouldn't do any good anyway.

And then one day we're the forces of nature, sources of fear, unreasoning, thundering, not so clever at all.

How did that happen? Where do the smart cautious children go, when we grow up?

(thoughts, from reading Hiromi Goto's _The Kappa Child_, and from listening to friends much more clever children than I -- as children and adults.)

(This entry was originally posted at http://sev.dreamwidth.org/138594.html where there are comment count unavailable comments.)

glazed pecans

latest stab at the candied pecans my household eats like, well, candy:

1/4c orange juice
1/3c dried cranberries
4T brown sugar
dash salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus some more
2-1/2c pecan halves
2T butter-or-substitute-of-choice
zest of 1 orange

Soak cranberries in orange juice. Mix brown sugar, salt, and pepper together in small bowl & set aside.

In a heavy-bottom skillet, toast pecans over medium heat until they're toasty, 4ish minutes. Add butter & stir until butter is melted and pecans are coated.

Turn heat to low, and pour in brown sugar mixture. Stir until it's evenly distributed.

Pour in orange juice and cranberries and immediately start stirring. Keep stirring until all the sugar has been taken up by the juice.

Turn heat back up to medium and stir constantly until the liquid is thick and sticky and mostly stuck to the pecans instead of beading up on the bottom of the pan.

Transfer pecans to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let cool a bit, and then sprinkle zest all over. Grind a bit more black pepper (to taste). Stir. Let cool all the way.

No matter how much pepper I put in these, Lila generally complains there's not enough.

This recipe started here: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/08/bourbon-old-fashioned-glazed-pecans-recipe.html but I'm mostly aiming for these: http://sahalesnacks.com/valdosta.aspx

(This entry was originally posted at http://sev.dreamwidth.org/138249.html where there are comment count unavailable comments.)


gf, df, almond sandies

pass 1 at a gluten-free, dairy-free shortbread style cookie. This one was a little dry, unbelievably flaky, not sweet enough. Trying again tomorrow with more brown sugar. (these may be perfect when iced. They are a very grown-up unsweet cookie as-is.)


1c white rice flour
1/2 c sweet/glutinous rice flour
2/3 c almond flour
1/4 c cornstarch
1/4 c potato starch
1 tsp salt
12 T stick-form butter substitute (I use Earth Balance buttery sticks)
2 T vegetable shortening
1/4 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. In bowl, mix white rice flour, sweet rice flour, almond flour, cornstarch, potato starch, and salt.
2. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter sub, shortening, and sugar for thirty seconds. Add beaten egg & vanilla, beat for thirty seconds more.
3. Shut off mixer. Add dry ingredients. Turn on mixer until dough holds together, which should be quickly.
4. Gather together dough, wrap in plastic wrap, chill 4hrs.
5. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
6. Take about one T dough, form into ball. Squish with bottom of glass, to a thickness of ~1/4". Put on baking sheet. Repeat until all dough is used.
7. Bake about 30 min.

(This entry was originally posted at http://sev.dreamwidth.org/138172.html where there are comment count unavailable comments.)

Gospel of Sarah

After that last post about power & sex & games, I should definitely point y'all at The Gospel of Sarah, which is currently got two weeks left on the fundraising campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/gospelofsarah

A $25 contribution gets you an actual bound book but there's also a pdf-only option, for less.

These people certainly know what they're doing on the gaming front, and everything I've seen of them suggests that they know what they're doing when it comes to the themes they're dealing with in this game, too.

(please signal boost if you think you've got people who would enjoy hearing about this. Thanks!)

(This entry was originally posted at http://sev.dreamwidth.org/137853.html where there are comment count unavailable comments.)
Many people who've listened to me rant over the years have undoubtedly figured out: power's a fascinating issue for me. So, this is probably not the first time I've essayed with the general topic of: Power Is My Favorite Toy. But I think it's the first time I've run that lens over my gaming experience (first time in writing; I've had some enthusiastic conversations, but I've found they don't stick if I don't write them down, so here I am.)

In a recent discussion on G+ I responded to a question about dysfunctional tabletop roleplaying experiences by examining them through my favorite lens.Collapse )

(at this point I think most of the gamers are reading me over on g+ instead of lj/dw, so if you've got a google+ account you might want to comment over there.)

(This entry was originally posted at http://sev.dreamwidth.org/137542.html where there are comment count unavailable comments.)

Goodbye, City of Heroes. :(

(reposted from elsewhere.)

oh, heck.

I feel silly feeling so crushed over the end of a video game, but ... here I am. I've been there since shortly after the game launched, thanks to aynjel. So it's been seven or eight years since I got my answer to "why would I want a game that lives on somebody else's server?"

It's the only MMO where I've ever gotten a character to level cap.

I've lost communities before -- I drifted away from usenet, from livejournal; my burning man friends see me rarely these days. But I don't have experience with a valued community going away before I was ready to let it go. I don't really know what to do with the big knot of sad I've got welling up in me.

City of Heroes was the one place I was willing to team up with strangers. I'd sit up half the night and just chat on the LJ global channel. I'd superjump up to strangers and tell them how much I loved their creative costumes and backstories. I shared pictures of my newborn with the Angry Angels and now that kid's five and she and I make heroes together.

I'll survive; I'm wearing my big girl pants and I'll stop sniffling eventually. I'll look back on this as just another step in learning the art of losing. But I'll don't think I'll ever be able to love a virtual space with the same kind of abandon. I managed to let myself forget, for a little while, that the code lived on somebody else's server. So I'm feeling the loss of some innocence, today.
So, I'm sloooowwwwly decommissioning my website. However, it's been pointed out to me that in at least some cases the stuff I've been pulling down is exactly the stuff that's still getting read, and it's going away because I'm not entirely comfortable being represented online by things I wrote a decade ago. So I'm republishing selectively.

So.  Following is the essay which starts "I collect labels..." from 2001.  I have resisted the temptation to edit it, other than to remove most of the images & links that don't go anywhere.

I collect labels; currently, I can describe myself as ... Collapse ) (This entry was originally posted at http://sev.dreamwidth.org/137341.html where there are comment count unavailable comments.)
Gluten-free, dairy-free baked goods are a pain to find, and once I find them, they rarely live up to my (admittedly extremely picky) standards.  And I have not enjoyed my DIY endeavors so far; there's been an awful lot of experimentation and preparations with twice as many steps as their dairyful+glutenful counterparts, for mediocre results.

And so I cast my mind back, to the Cookbook of Unreasonably Rich Desserts and Fatally Flawed Recipes.  Once upon a time, a decade or more ago, I got this cookbook.  I think it came from a garage sale.  Filled with fancy cakes.  I tried a few of the recipes and it didn't take long to discover that each recipe had something skipped -- some place where the author undoubtedly assumed her audience was going to be experienced enough to know, for instance, that she meant what I'd call 'simmer' when she said 'boil' (to take the example I marked up in black ink in my copy).

And I've got a favorite recipe in there.Collapse )
(This entry was originally posted at http://sev.dreamwidth.org/137081.html where there are comment count unavailable comments.)


  • geeks & kinksters.  For the second time in seven months (okay that's not all that often) somebody has claimed that there's vast quantities of overlap between the geeky & kinky communities.  While most of the kinksters I've encountered are geeky, many of the geeks I've encountered aren't kinky.  I guess it's possible they're just not *out*, but I suspect that's not the thing.  I do suspect that the respective sizes of the communities is relevant, here.  But there's all these cute geeks that I'm disappointed to find don't share my proclivities... (ahem)
  • writing the Other, part zillion: I don't need to write this, because I'm sure it's been written.  The one where you explain to white authors that never explicitly stating the race of your characters doesn't mean your characters are race-less.  Pretending you're not participating in your surrounding culture while not actually doing anything doesn't mean you're not steeped in that culture, y'know?  I guess the only reason I want to write yet another iteration of this is an author I respected tweeted the fallacy and I'm disappointed. 
I may or may not get around to the post where I enjoyed the Johnson and Morden PK Dick Award nominees and then ruminate to what extent does the main character have to rock before you call a Mary Sue...

...but I *will* get around to the writeup of the recent game of Microscope I played at Story Games Seattle, because if I make sure every game I'm in gets written up I can pretend it gives me license to get stroppy about other people's missing writeups. (though I'll post it over there, not over here.)  I want to know what happens in your games, people!

In case y'all were wondering what I was doing instead of posting here.

(This entry was originally posted at http://sev.dreamwidth.org/136957.html where there are comment count unavailable comments.)
For the first time ever I'm going to read the P. K. Dick award nominees *before* it's awarded.  I figured I could commemorate this with short commentary.

I will note that these first four books are the ones that didn't have a long hold-line at the library -- this suggests that the ones I *haven't* read yet are the ones which are especially beloved.  

Deadline, by Mira Grant:  Really tried to keep an open mind while reading this -- I don't usually like zombie stories.  But the protagonist in this one was a metaphorical zombie.  Early on, he makes it clear he's sleepwalking through life, waiting for revenge, and has nothing else to live for.  And I couldn't hold on long enough for him to develop into anything more. Got bored, put it down. This is a rare response from me, but a noncompelling protagonist *and* zombies was just too much for me.

The Company Man, by Robert Jackson Bennett: my favorite of these first four.   Steampunk noir alternative history in the pacific northwest with just a frisson of horror.  Populated with actual three-dimensional characters, for the most part.  I'm disappointed that something historical set in this area only managed a bare two sentences about the Duwamish.  I realize this is faint praise, but both steampunk & alternative histories are notorious for genociding people of color or otherwise not bothering including them in the story, and this book didn't go that far.

The Other by Matthew Hughes: This book *nearly* examined the power-structures behind self/other.  Maybe the subtext -- the protagonist was thoroughly Other on the planet he found himself, but never stopped reminding himself that he's the cosmopolitian, they're barely-civilized and backward -- was intentional.  And if I squint a little, it's a tale of colonialism and what happens to the people left behind once the colony's resources are spent on the exploiter.  But I suspect that the tale I enjoyed wasn't actually the tale I was reading.

The Postmortal, by Drew Magary:  I realize I'm a bit behind the times but this shallow faux-irony doesn't do anything for me.  The first-person real-time narration hides any complexity the main character might have.  The men in the story are barely two-dimensional, and the women are so flimsy as to be practically nonexistant.  The novel's schtick is a metaphor for abortion, complete with clinic bombings and public controversy, but it was impossible for me to care because there wasn't a single character whose fate I bothered to wonder about.  Didn't finish this one either.

I hope that the library's hold system has accidentally crowdsourced some information about quality, here.  That would mean the other nominees are better, and that's why there wasn't a queue for these.

Or perhaps I'm just hopelessly parochial in my speculative fiction tastes. (This entry was originally posted at http://sev.dreamwidth.org/136548.html where there are comment count unavailable comments.)