vanillafluffy: (Sean bean - errol partridge)
In the spirit of back-to-school, what is your favorite book that you had to read as a student?

Treasure Island. As far as I'm concerned, that's the ONLY good thing that happened in 6th grade. Our teacher was a 24-karat asshole, I have no other good memories of that year, but the adventures of Jim Hawkins are a shining exception.

What that when my love affair with pirates started? I think so. I know the plot was all fresh to me when I read it, although I'd vaguely heard of Long John Silver in passing. Oh, the suspense as Jim hid in the apple barrel! The humor of Ben Gunn and his craving for cheese! The atmosphere of creaking sails and the scent of gunpowder---one of the enduring classics of literature for a very good reason!

I've seen various adaptations, including Treasure Planet (rather interesting, I thought), but the book is still the best. Although I still have the hardcover I got in 1974, I also have it on my Nook. It deserves to be carried into the future.

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vanillafluffy: (Sean bean - errol partridge)
In the spirit of back-to-school, what is your favorite book that you had to read as a student?

Treasure Island. As far as I'm concerned, that's the ONLY good thing that happened in 6th grade. Our teacher was a 24-karat asshole, I have no other good memories of that year, but the adventures of Jim Hawkins are a shining exception.

What that when my love affair with pirates started? I think so. I know the plot was all fresh to me when I read it, although I'd vaguely heard of Long John Silver in passing. Oh, the suspense as Jim hid in the apple barrel! The humor of Ben Gunn and his craving for cheese! The atmosphere of creaking sails and the scent of gunpowder---one of the enduring classics of literature for a very good reason!

I've seen various adaptations, including Treasure Planet (rather interesting, I thought), but the book is still the best. Although I still have the hardcover I got in 1974, I also have it on my Nook. It deserves to be carried into the future.

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vanillafluffy: (DIY -- Toolbox)
This may be laughably obvious, but I'm *trying* to get into the habit of multi-tasking, IE doing something while waiting for something else, like wiping the counter while microwaving something, or doing a few dishes while something's in the oven. I figure I'm less likely to burn out this way...much as I'd like it to all!be!clean!RIGHT!NOW!!!, it didn't get this way in two hours, and it's not going to be perfect that fast, either. Not that I think it's EVER going to be PERFECT, but you know what I mean.

Okay, now for my crazy idea, let me know what you think: My kitchen counter is fifty years old. It was originally white with glitter flecks (VERY 60s!), now it's old and mottled and just looks icky, even when wiped off. Over the years, it's been stained in places by red dye from various spilled drink mixes. I've had the daft thought that a couple dollars worth of unsweetened drink mix powder sprinkled across a slightly dampened countertop and left to dry would result in an interesting pink-tinted laminate.

Yes, I'd give it a rinse in the morning, but that stuff stains pretty thoroughly. Yes, I know they sell kits to paint laminate countertops---which I can't afford at the moment. And I certainly can't afford new counters. This, however, is cheap AND foodsafe. Doesn't take any special equipment. And I don't think my counters can look any worse....

What do you think?

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vanillafluffy: (DIY -- Toolbox)
This may be laughably obvious, but I'm *trying* to get into the habit of multi-tasking, IE doing something while waiting for something else, like wiping the counter while microwaving something, or doing a few dishes while something's in the oven. I figure I'm less likely to burn out this way...much as I'd like it to all!be!clean!RIGHT!NOW!!!, it didn't get this way in two hours, and it's not going to be perfect that fast, either. Not that I think it's EVER going to be PERFECT, but you know what I mean.

Okay, now for my crazy idea, let me know what you think: My kitchen counter is fifty years old. It was originally white with glitter flecks (VERY 60s!), now it's old and mottled and just looks icky, even when wiped off. Over the years, it's been stained in places by red dye from various spilled drink mixes. I've had the daft thought that a couple dollars worth of unsweetened drink mix powder sprinkled across a slightly dampened countertop and left to dry would result in an interesting pink-tinted laminate.

Yes, I'd give it a rinse in the morning, but that stuff stains pretty thoroughly. Yes, I know they sell kits to paint laminate countertops---which I can't afford at the moment. And I certainly can't afford new counters. This, however, is cheap AND foodsafe. Doesn't take any special equipment. And I don't think my counters can look any worse....

What do you think?

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vanillafluffy: (Tailfin stamp)
What is your best memory of time spent with your father?

This would've been sometime between 1965 and 1967, making me six or seven years old, because I remember riding in the '64 Galaxy we had back then. My dad always had his Rolaids on the red bench seat, and memory conjures up the aqua blue label on the plastic bottle their chalky-mint taste.

One summery evening, we went to the driving range. My dad was an avid golfer, and even had a trophy from the Early Bird League atesting to his prowess.

I remember the route we took to the range, South Ave, which was a wooded two-lane road in those days, and over to Richmond Ave; we came out near the produce place where my Aunt Mary went for veggies. Dad was always finding back roads and shortcuts, a trait that rubbed off on me when I began to drive.

He got his clubs out of the trunk, and went to the little building where he got golf balls to hit. They came in a round metal bucket, 40-50 of them...IDK, I never thought to count. It was only a dollar a bucket, so he often shot a couple of them.

Dad walked down the line to the far end, away from the shack. I sat down on the glass far enough behind him to be out of club's way.

Each swing of the club sent a ball lofting out into the distance. They went so far---I could see that not everyone got that much distance. I always thought Dad must be the best golfer in the world. (Today, watching pro golfers, they seem so effete. Dad's swing walloped that sphere; it wasn't one of those strokes that looks like a wind-up toy.)

That evening, I got a special treat: A dime, to spend in the Coke machine. This was when a dime actually bought something of value, and Coke really tasted like Coke, that brown-sugar undertone that lingered on the palate. Granted, it wasn't a very big bottle---8 or 10 oz, the cute little baby size---but it was something I sseldom if ever got at home. It was fun to open the narrow glass door and pull out the bottle. Then the opener on the side of the machine helped me pop its crinkled cap.

He gave me a dollar to go get another bucket of balls, which made me feel important, walking up to the window with the empty bucket and the bill and exchanging them for a full one.

I know we were there until nearly dark. I don't really remember the drive home. But that evening, sitting on the grass and watching my dad swat golf balls as I savored my Coke---that's a memory that burns brightly in my heart.

(I miss you, Dad!)

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vanillafluffy: (Tailfin stamp)
What is your best memory of time spent with your father?

This would've been sometime between 1965 and 1967, making me six or seven years old, because I remember riding in the '64 Galaxy we had back then. My dad always had his Rolaids on the red bench seat, and memory conjures up the aqua blue label on the plastic bottle their chalky-mint taste.

One summery evening, we went to the driving range. My dad was an avid golfer, and even had a trophy from the Early Bird League atesting to his prowess.

I remember the route we took to the range, South Ave, which was a wooded two-lane road in those days, and over to Richmond Ave; we came out near the produce place where my Aunt Mary went for veggies. Dad was always finding back roads and shortcuts, a trait that rubbed off on me when I began to drive.

He got his clubs out of the trunk, and went to the little building where he got golf balls to hit. They came in a round metal bucket, 40-50 of them...IDK, I never thought to count. It was only a dollar a bucket, so he often shot a couple of them.

Dad walked down the line to the far end, away from the shack. I sat down on the glass far enough behind him to be out of club's way.

Each swing of the club sent a ball lofting out into the distance. They went so far---I could see that not everyone got that much distance. I always thought Dad must be the best golfer in the world. (Today, watching pro golfers, they seem so effete. Dad's swing walloped that sphere; it wasn't one of those strokes that looks like a wind-up toy.)

That evening, I got a special treat: A dime, to spend in the Coke machine. This was when a dime actually bought something of value, and Coke really tasted like Coke, that brown-sugar undertone that lingered on the palate. Granted, it wasn't a very big bottle---8 or 10 oz, the cute little baby size---but it was something I sseldom if ever got at home. It was fun to open the narrow glass door and pull out the bottle. Then the opener on the side of the machine helped me pop its crinkled cap.

He gave me a dollar to go get another bucket of balls, which made me feel important, walking up to the window with the empty bucket and the bill and exchanging them for a full one.

I know we were there until nearly dark. I don't really remember the drive home. But that evening, sitting on the grass and watching my dad swat golf balls as I savored my Coke---that's a memory that burns brightly in my heart.

(I miss you, Dad!)

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vanillafluffy: (Writing vs carpentry)
As ganked from [livejournal.com profile] karaokegal.

How about headcanons? Reply with a name, along with a topic, or word and I'll tell you my head-canon for it.

List of fandoms I've written for at one time or another is on my profile page, and interests may also suggest topics. Please bear in mind, some fandoms may have fallen by the wayside and I'm not necessarily current with them (I stopped watching House MD, for instance, during the Tritter arc).

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vanillafluffy: (Writing vs carpentry)
As ganked from [livejournal.com profile] karaokegal.

How about headcanons? Reply with a name, along with a topic, or word and I'll tell you my head-canon for it.

List of fandoms I've written for at one time or another is on my profile page, and interests may also suggest topics. Please bear in mind, some fandoms may have fallen by the wayside and I'm not necessarily current with them (I stopped watching House MD, for instance, during the Tritter arc).

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vanillafluffy: (altonfish)
If you ate school lunches as a kid, what menu item did you most dread seeing on the week's menu list? Or, if you more often brought a lunch from home, what did you hope wasn't inside your lunchbox or bag when you opened it up? What made this item so revolting for you?

Mostly, I brown-bagged it. Sometimes I'd have school lunch (You could sign up ahead of time, and I'd nag my mom if there was something "good" on the calendar). I avoided the Salisbury stead, but I adored fish sticks. And it seems to me that the chicken was pretty good. Alas, somewhere around seventh grade, they stopped cooking in the cafeteria and brought in pre-made meals ala TV dinners.

Unfortunately, my mom wasn't terribly inventive when it came to lunch. Peanut butter, peanut butter, peanut butter! (and jelly). Not every day, but an awful lot. It was years before I could eat peanut butter after grade school! Or, worse, a slice of American cheese between two slices of white bread. Ugh! Nasty yellow wax! Sometimes there'd be leftovers, like a roast beef sandwich, or meatloaf. Those were the good days!

I liked tuna, but she was always worried that it would spoil if the weather was warm. This was long before the days of insulated coller bags and those plastic freezer cubes. I did have a wide-mouth thermos, but it tended to leak, so that didn't get used much.

And now I'm craving fish sticks, which I don't have on hand....

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vanillafluffy: (altonfish)
If you ate school lunches as a kid, what menu item did you most dread seeing on the week's menu list? Or, if you more often brought a lunch from home, what did you hope wasn't inside your lunchbox or bag when you opened it up? What made this item so revolting for you?

Mostly, I brown-bagged it. Sometimes I'd have school lunch (You could sign up ahead of time, and I'd nag my mom if there was something "good" on the calendar). I avoided the Salisbury stead, but I adored fish sticks. And it seems to me that the chicken was pretty good. Alas, somewhere around seventh grade, they stopped cooking in the cafeteria and brought in pre-made meals ala TV dinners.

Unfortunately, my mom wasn't terribly inventive when it came to lunch. Peanut butter, peanut butter, peanut butter! (and jelly). Not every day, but an awful lot. It was years before I could eat peanut butter after grade school! Or, worse, a slice of American cheese between two slices of white bread. Ugh! Nasty yellow wax! Sometimes there'd be leftovers, like a roast beef sandwich, or meatloaf. Those were the good days!

I liked tuna, but she was always worried that it would spoil if the weather was warm. This was long before the days of insulated coller bags and those plastic freezer cubes. I did have a wide-mouth thermos, but it tended to leak, so that didn't get used much.

And now I'm craving fish sticks, which I don't have on hand....

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vanillafluffy: (Scenic)
If you could live one day over without the consequence of changing the future, what day would it be and why?

I had to think about this one for a few minutes. My first reaction was, What the hell would the point be of going back WITHOUT fixing anything? I can think of a few tipping points that could've gone another way, IF ONLY....

A few things surface that I might do differently, but which wouldn't affect the future as far as I know, mostly vacations where I didn't take advantage of some of the opportunites I had, where I didn't go places because I thought they were too "touristy" or didn't take pictures because I thought it would be touristy, hence uncool.

I think I'd pick one of the trips to Lake George (New York) with my Aunt Mary and Uncle Al. I was too young at the time to care if something was touristy; I had fun, it was ALL cool! I'm sure we didn't do it all in one day, but those trips are a happy montage of playing mini-golf, licking cones of soft-serve ice cream, of spin art, the penny arcade and souvenir shopping. We visited Gaslight Village, Fort William Henry and Storytown USA. There were days swimming in the lake, motorboat rides, dinners out. The sound of locusts was a constant whirring accompaniment, but it was never hot---although it cooled down enough at night to need a blanket.

I'd love the chance to spend more time with Mary and Al, both of whom have been gone from this earth for a long, long time. Too, it would be nice to take a vacation without worrying about where the money would come from, which is why I haven't really had one in twenty years. I can't imagine not even glancing at the prices on the menu (although most of the time I ordered a hamburger, so no big deal anyway).

I never used to understand grown-ups saying that someday I'd look back on childhool and think it was great. No, I still haven't gotten to that point, because quite a bit of it SUCKED. But some of it, like those Lake George jaunts were pretty darned wonderful.

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vanillafluffy: (Scenic)
If you could live one day over without the consequence of changing the future, what day would it be and why?

I had to think about this one for a few minutes. My first reaction was, What the hell would the point be of going back WITHOUT fixing anything? I can think of a few tipping points that could've gone another way, IF ONLY....

A few things surface that I might do differently, but which wouldn't affect the future as far as I know, mostly vacations where I didn't take advantage of some of the opportunites I had, where I didn't go places because I thought they were too "touristy" or didn't take pictures because I thought it would be touristy, hence uncool.

I think I'd pick one of the trips to Lake George (New York) with my Aunt Mary and Uncle Al. I was too young at the time to care if something was touristy; I had fun, it was ALL cool! I'm sure we didn't do it all in one day, but those trips are a happy montage of playing mini-golf, licking cones of soft-serve ice cream, of spin art, the penny arcade and souvenir shopping. We visited Gaslight Village, Fort William Henry and Storytown USA. There were days swimming in the lake, motorboat rides, dinners out. The sound of locusts was a constant whirring accompaniment, but it was never hot---although it cooled down enough at night to need a blanket.

I'd love the chance to spend more time with Mary and Al, both of whom have been gone from this earth for a long, long time. Too, it would be nice to take a vacation without worrying about where the money would come from, which is why I haven't really had one in twenty years. I can't imagine not even glancing at the prices on the menu (although most of the time I ordered a hamburger, so no big deal anyway).

I never used to understand grown-ups saying that someday I'd look back on childhool and think it was great. No, I still haven't gotten to that point, because quite a bit of it SUCKED. But some of it, like those Lake George jaunts were pretty darned wonderful.

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vanillafluffy: (Smiley)
What's the most embarrassing moment you've had to live through? Do you look back at it now and laugh, or do you still cringe when you think of it?

The year was 1989. I'd lost quite a bit of weight over the course of about a year, going from 315 pounds down to 230ish at the lowest. I don't recall *exactly* how much I weighed at the time of this incident, but it was somewhere on the sunny side of 250.

I was working the night shift at an answering service, and frequently stopped at one convenience store or another to pick up a cold caffeinated beverage on the way in to work (Start time, 11PM).

At the time, I didn't have a washing machine at my house, and I hadn't been to the laundromat for a while...long enough to be down to the rattiest of the old panties at the bottom of the drawer.

So there I was at like, 10:45 at night, back near the cooler grabbing a big ol' Diet Coke, when the saggy, stretched-out panties succumbed to gravity and dropped down around my ankles without any prompting from me.

I was the only one in the store, not in line-of-sight of the cashier, but I had a feeling that trying to retrieve my undies might have made me a tad conspicuous. I abandoned them, paid for my drink, and got the hell out of there. I felt awfully drafty that night at work, but nobody noticed,or if they did, they didn't say anything to me. I blush to think of what whoever found those raggedy drawers thought!

It was probably about 15 years before I went into that particular convenience store again. I've also learned to cull my lingerie before it gets THAT bad.

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vanillafluffy: (Smiley)
What's the most embarrassing moment you've had to live through? Do you look back at it now and laugh, or do you still cringe when you think of it?

The year was 1989. I'd lost quite a bit of weight over the course of about a year, going from 315 pounds down to 230ish at the lowest. I don't recall *exactly* how much I weighed at the time of this incident, but it was somewhere on the sunny side of 250.

I was working the night shift at an answering service, and frequently stopped at one convenience store or another to pick up a cold caffeinated beverage on the way in to work (Start time, 11PM).

At the time, I didn't have a washing machine at my house, and I hadn't been to the laundromat for a while...long enough to be down to the rattiest of the old panties at the bottom of the drawer.

So there I was at like, 10:45 at night, back near the cooler grabbing a big ol' Diet Coke, when the saggy, stretched-out panties succumbed to gravity and dropped down around my ankles without any prompting from me.

I was the only one in the store, not in line-of-sight of the cashier, but I had a feeling that trying to retrieve my undies might have made me a tad conspicuous. I abandoned them, paid for my drink, and got the hell out of there. I felt awfully drafty that night at work, but nobody noticed,or if they did, they didn't say anything to me. I blush to think of what whoever found those raggedy drawers thought!

It was probably about 15 years before I went into that particular convenience store again. I've also learned to cull my lingerie before it gets THAT bad.

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vanillafluffy: (Turkey)
You're having guests for the weekend -- what one local restaurant is at the top of the list for your visitors, and what dishes will you be recommending? (Links to the restaurant's website always welcome, in case readers are ever in your area!)

I had to stop and think about this one for a little while. Because the honest truth is, I tend to go to chain places, and while there are a few non-franchise restaurants in my repertoire, I'm not sure I'd claim any of them as exceptional dining experiences. Furthermore, I tend to stay within my comfort zone---driving 20 minutes or more for food doesn't entice me, either.

Since the demise of Fat Boy's BBQ---and I really miss them, they were GOOD---there's Kay's Place, which is okay, but not spectacular. My fav is the Monday lunch special of beef-tips and gravy over noodles. That's sentimental, I confess; I used to meet Kat there for lunch on my days off and have the beef-tips. Other BBW joints are Woody's and Sonny's---I prefer Sonny's for brisket, cornbread and OMG-corn-fritters!!!---which I was chagrinned to find are both franchises.

That doesn't leave a lot. There's a Chinese buffet called New Century on Merritt Island (no website, sorry) that's not bad for economical face-stuffing. I'm partial to their peanut chicken or the duck, when they have it. They do a bacon-wrapped chicken that I'm always up for. And, when the machine is working, there's soft-serve ice cream for dessert!

I can think of a few Mexican places: Chaparral, La Bamba and El Charro. El Charro has been around the longest---at least 20 years in the same location, and they're pretty good. (They're also the priciest.) La Bamba's been around for a few years; I've been there a couple times and always left happy. Chaparral is fairly new, about a year, and I'm not overwhelmed. I'd recommend La Bamba as tasty, clean and affordable.

If you want something with a little atmosphere, you might enjoy Ashley's, which has been a restaurant for as long as I can remember. The building is formerly a train depot---and downstairs tends to be crowded. Sit upstairs, though, and enjoy its funky charm. They have a bare-bones website: http://www.ashleysofrockledge.com/ They're a little on the pricey side, but the appetizers will make a meal if you're on a budget. I'm fond of the Irish nachos (made with thin-sliced potatoes instead of tortillas), the southwestern eggrolls, the teriyaki wings or if I'm feeling particularly affluent, the smothered steak.

What can I say? I don't get out much, and when I do, I tend to stick to known qualities so I feel sure I'll get my money's worth. It doesn't help that a number of places that were good have closed due to the economy. Theoretically, the ones that are left ought to be the best, but they tend to price accordingly.

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vanillafluffy: (Turkey)
You're having guests for the weekend -- what one local restaurant is at the top of the list for your visitors, and what dishes will you be recommending? (Links to the restaurant's website always welcome, in case readers are ever in your area!)

I had to stop and think about this one for a little while. Because the honest truth is, I tend to go to chain places, and while there are a few non-franchise restaurants in my repertoire, I'm not sure I'd claim any of them as exceptional dining experiences. Furthermore, I tend to stay within my comfort zone---driving 20 minutes or more for food doesn't entice me, either.

Since the demise of Fat Boy's BBQ---and I really miss them, they were GOOD---there's Kay's Place, which is okay, but not spectacular. My fav is the Monday lunch special of beef-tips and gravy over noodles. That's sentimental, I confess; I used to meet Kat there for lunch on my days off and have the beef-tips. Other BBW joints are Woody's and Sonny's---I prefer Sonny's for brisket, cornbread and OMG-corn-fritters!!!---which I was chagrinned to find are both franchises.

That doesn't leave a lot. There's a Chinese buffet called New Century on Merritt Island (no website, sorry) that's not bad for economical face-stuffing. I'm partial to their peanut chicken or the duck, when they have it. They do a bacon-wrapped chicken that I'm always up for. And, when the machine is working, there's soft-serve ice cream for dessert!

I can think of a few Mexican places: Chaparral, La Bamba and El Charro. El Charro has been around the longest---at least 20 years in the same location, and they're pretty good. (They're also the priciest.) La Bamba's been around for a few years; I've been there a couple times and always left happy. Chaparral is fairly new, about a year, and I'm not overwhelmed. I'd recommend La Bamba as tasty, clean and affordable.

If you want something with a little atmosphere, you might enjoy Ashley's, which has been a restaurant for as long as I can remember. The building is formerly a train depot---and downstairs tends to be crowded. Sit upstairs, though, and enjoy its funky charm. They have a bare-bones website: http://www.ashleysofrockledge.com/ They're a little on the pricey side, but the appetizers will make a meal if you're on a budget. I'm fond of the Irish nachos (made with thin-sliced potatoes instead of tortillas), the southwestern eggrolls, the teriyaki wings or if I'm feeling particularly affluent, the smothered steak.

What can I say? I don't get out much, and when I do, I tend to stick to known qualities so I feel sure I'll get my money's worth. It doesn't help that a number of places that were good have closed due to the economy. Theoretically, the ones that are left ought to be the best, but they tend to price accordingly.

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vanillafluffy: (altonfish)
What food traditionally considered to be a delicacy are you quite sure you can live without ever trying? Similarly, what food or drink have you always wanted to try but haven't had the chance to yet?

Spare me anything on the half-shell, and you can throw in escargot for good measure. Also, I'm underwhelmed by the idea of eating anything's liver. Yuck.

I'd like to try more kinds of fish. I've heard of tilapia, orange roughy and mahi-mahi, but I couldn't pick them out of a lineup. The only fish I'm really familiar with are tuna (canned), salmon, and cod ala fish sticks. Nothing exotic, like swordfish (although I hear mercury can be a problem with that one, so moderate moderation) or shark. Heck, I've barely even tried common catfish!

I'm self-taught when it comes to the consumption of mushrooms. Growing up, my mother was highly suspicious of any such fungi, and they did not appear on our table in any form, not even white buttons. Finally, during my twenties, I realized that I'd never heard of anyone croaking from eating cultivated 'shrooms, and I got tired of picking them off my pizza. I even progressed to the point of liking grilled 'shrooms with a burger, or stuffed at a buffet and occasionally sampling a grilled portobello. There are others out there, I know, what I'd love to try some day: shitakes and criminis and chanterelles. (Now I'm thinking about that organic mushroom risotto again....)

I'd also like to sample interesting veggies prepared by someone who knows what they're doing. Things like jicama, which is fun to say---is it as much fun to eat? Or fennel, which I hear has a mildly licorice flavor, which predisposes me to like it anyway. I've never had eggplant, but with a layer of parmesan, sure, bring it on. I wouldn't mind investigating various kinds of squash, or root vegetables. Maybe I'd even like sweet potatoes if they were prepared and presented in an appetizing way.

That's kind of the point: I'm clueless when it comes to cooking fresh veg, and I watch all these cooking shows wistfully thinking that they make it look so easy. They make all these "Mmm nommy!" noises as they taste their creations, and I feel like I'm missing out. My attempts are clumsy and disappointing; in the immortal words of George Carlin, "Is there a picture of it in the cookbook? I bet it doesn't look like that!"

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vanillafluffy: (altonfish)
What food traditionally considered to be a delicacy are you quite sure you can live without ever trying? Similarly, what food or drink have you always wanted to try but haven't had the chance to yet?

Spare me anything on the half-shell, and you can throw in escargot for good measure. Also, I'm underwhelmed by the idea of eating anything's liver. Yuck.

I'd like to try more kinds of fish. I've heard of tilapia, orange roughy and mahi-mahi, but I couldn't pick them out of a lineup. The only fish I'm really familiar with are tuna (canned), salmon, and cod ala fish sticks. Nothing exotic, like swordfish (although I hear mercury can be a problem with that one, so moderate moderation) or shark. Heck, I've barely even tried common catfish!

I'm self-taught when it comes to the consumption of mushrooms. Growing up, my mother was highly suspicious of any such fungi, and they did not appear on our table in any form, not even white buttons. Finally, during my twenties, I realized that I'd never heard of anyone croaking from eating cultivated 'shrooms, and I got tired of picking them off my pizza. I even progressed to the point of liking grilled 'shrooms with a burger, or stuffed at a buffet and occasionally sampling a grilled portobello. There are others out there, I know, what I'd love to try some day: shitakes and criminis and chanterelles. (Now I'm thinking about that organic mushroom risotto again....)

I'd also like to sample interesting veggies prepared by someone who knows what they're doing. Things like jicama, which is fun to say---is it as much fun to eat? Or fennel, which I hear has a mildly licorice flavor, which predisposes me to like it anyway. I've never had eggplant, but with a layer of parmesan, sure, bring it on. I wouldn't mind investigating various kinds of squash, or root vegetables. Maybe I'd even like sweet potatoes if they were prepared and presented in an appetizing way.

That's kind of the point: I'm clueless when it comes to cooking fresh veg, and I watch all these cooking shows wistfully thinking that they make it look so easy. They make all these "Mmm nommy!" noises as they taste their creations, and I feel like I'm missing out. My attempts are clumsy and disappointing; in the immortal words of George Carlin, "Is there a picture of it in the cookbook? I bet it doesn't look like that!"

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vanillafluffy: (Likes/Loves)
What's the worst case of "buyer's remorse" you've ever had? What were you hoping to get out of your purchase but didn't?

Boots. I spent an unholy amount of money on eBay for what looked like an adorable pair of boots. I hadn't/haven't had a pair of boots in years, and these were cool. I was looking forward to being a genial badass in these strappy little cognac ankle boots.

Alas, they didn't fit over my Clydesdale ankles. I still have them, though. Hope springith eternal....

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vanillafluffy: (Likes/Loves)
What's the worst case of "buyer's remorse" you've ever had? What were you hoping to get out of your purchase but didn't?

Boots. I spent an unholy amount of money on eBay for what looked like an adorable pair of boots. I hadn't/haven't had a pair of boots in years, and these were cool. I was looking forward to being a genial badass in these strappy little cognac ankle boots.

Alas, they didn't fit over my Clydesdale ankles. I still have them, though. Hope springith eternal....

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vanillafluffy: (Naked cellist)
Toby Keith singing Ke$ha? Kenny G saxing it up with Megadeth? Pick an artist to cover any other artist's song -- who would be singing what? Why would you find this mix-up so amusing, amazing, or just plain weird?

For starters, this is kinda seasonal, but every December, I long to hear Dropkick Murphys cover the Irish Rovers's song Christmas in Killarney. Because I want to hear that pumped up to 20 and stomped on. The original is perky. I want to hear it badass.

Speaking of badass covers, I just got through watching The 2Cellos, Sulic and Hauser*, covering things like Smooth Criminal and Welcome to the Jungle. I'd love to hear them cover Crazy Train, which would be fierce. Or Iron Man. Or any song I really love: I can think of dozens. Whatever they do would definitely be kicked up a couple notches in a surreal kind of way.

o = o = o = o = o = o = o

* Check them out on You Tube, they're awesome.

.
vanillafluffy: (Naked cellist)
Toby Keith singing Ke$ha? Kenny G saxing it up with Megadeth? Pick an artist to cover any other artist's song -- who would be singing what? Why would you find this mix-up so amusing, amazing, or just plain weird?

For starters, this is kinda seasonal, but every December, I long to hear Dropkick Murphys cover the Irish Rovers's song Christmas in Killarney. Because I want to hear that pumped up to 20 and stomped on. The original is perky. I want to hear it badass.

Speaking of badass covers, I just got through watching The 2Cellos, Sulic and Hauser*, covering things like Smooth Criminal and Welcome to the Jungle. I'd love to hear them cover Crazy Train, which would be fierce. Or Iron Man. Or any song I really love: I can think of dozens. Whatever they do would definitely be kicked up a couple notches in a surreal kind of way.

o = o = o = o = o = o = o

* Check them out on You Tube, they're awesome.

.
vanillafluffy: (Candle loses nothing)
What subject(s) do you think kids should be taught more about in school? What do you feel gets too much emphasis already?

Let's start in preschool, and teach them consideration for others. I know, this is the sort of thing parents ought to be dealing with, but apparently, THEY DON'T. Teach them that their actions can affect themselves and others in ways that can change their lives for better---or worse. Think of all the bullies who never got this message, all the messed up kids who never learned how to make friends or how to BE friends. Introduce the Golden Rule: Treat other people the way you would like them to treat you.

Expand that. As they reach grade school, broaden the concept from the playground to the community. Teach the importance of responsibility, stress that the world is NOT all about them. Encourage social activism and helping others. Can you imagine how much better the world would be if this was what the next generation accepted as normal behavior? That would give us older folks a lot to live up to!

Discover and develop an individual's natural gifts. Reward creativity, the fine intellect, the natural athlete, talented performer, the born nurturer. Find a way to make the passion the profession. Similarly, instead of teaching "The Test", and harping on degrees and higher education, institute vocational training so that no child will be left behind in the career arena. Not everyone has the inclination for college, and the world needs people in medical, technical and service industries. At the very least, everyone should graduate with a trade that's in demand and will earn them a living.

Today's educational criteria seems to be more geared toward test-taking and less toward preparing young people for the world after school. While it's agreed that students should be able to demonstrate proficiency with basic math and language, the trend has been to dumb things down to the point where most grads are communicating at what would've been considered a 5th grade level two decades ago. We need to expect more, not less. Academic ability is one way to determine whether a student would be best suited to a vocational program. If they disagree, then they should be prepared to work for higher education.

TL; DR: Let's concentrate on life skills, not test results.
.
vanillafluffy: (Candle loses nothing)
What subject(s) do you think kids should be taught more about in school? What do you feel gets too much emphasis already?

Let's start in preschool, and teach them consideration for others. I know, this is the sort of thing parents ought to be dealing with, but apparently, THEY DON'T. Teach them that their actions can affect themselves and others in ways that can change their lives for better---or worse. Think of all the bullies who never got this message, all the messed up kids who never learned how to make friends or how to BE friends. Introduce the Golden Rule: Treat other people the way you would like them to treat you.

Expand that. As they reach grade school, broaden the concept from the playground to the community. Teach the importance of responsibility, stress that the world is NOT all about them. Encourage social activism and helping others. Can you imagine how much better the world would be if this was what the next generation accepted as normal behavior? That would give us older folks a lot to live up to!

Discover and develop an individual's natural gifts. Reward creativity, the fine intellect, the natural athlete, talented performer, the born nurturer. Find a way to make the passion the profession. Similarly, instead of teaching "The Test", and harping on degrees and higher education, institute vocational training so that no child will be left behind in the career arena. Not everyone has the inclination for college, and the world needs people in medical, technical and service industries. At the very least, everyone should graduate with a trade that's in demand and will earn them a living.

Today's educational criteria seems to be more geared toward test-taking and less toward preparing young people for the world after school. While it's agreed that students should be able to demonstrate proficiency with basic math and language, the trend has been to dumb things down to the point where most grads are communicating at what would've been considered a 5th grade level two decades ago. We need to expect more, not less. Academic ability is one way to determine whether a student would be best suited to a vocational program. If they disagree, then they should be prepared to work for higher education.

TL; DR: Let's concentrate on life skills, not test results.
.
vanillafluffy: (LMAO)
April Fool's Day pranks -- love 'em or hate 'em? What's the best (or most annoying) prank you've had played on you, or that you've played on someone else? (Was jail time involved?)

Well, there was the time at a prior job, when the office manager circulated a memo saying that the head office was instituting a policy of drug testing, and the schedule for each of us to report. I wasn't fussed---many long years since I did any of that crazines---but she had to 'fess up to it being her own little hoax, or half the office wouldn't have come back from lunch!

I'm not much of a prankster myself; I can't keep a straight face and so I give myself away.

.
vanillafluffy: (LMAO)
April Fool's Day pranks -- love 'em or hate 'em? What's the best (or most annoying) prank you've had played on you, or that you've played on someone else? (Was jail time involved?)

Well, there was the time at a prior job, when the office manager circulated a memo saying that the head office was instituting a policy of drug testing, and the schedule for each of us to report. I wasn't fussed---many long years since I did any of that crazines---but she had to 'fess up to it being her own little hoax, or half the office wouldn't have come back from lunch!

I'm not much of a prankster myself; I can't keep a straight face and so I give myself away.

.
vanillafluffy: (Depp kiss)
Friday's Kitchen Nightmares had Gordon Ramsey saving a Mexican restaurant, complaining that the cochinita pibil was bland and too dry...but at least he didn't shoot the cook. During my OUaTiM* phase, I made puerco pibil several times, and correctly made, it should be neither bland nor dry. Ever. It certainly was a blast from the past, as that fandom was what got me writing again after a long draught.

Saturday's mail brought a notice from the electric company that they're going to be installing one of the new smart meters soon. (As recently discussed in a Question du jour) According to the card they sent, I'll even be able to check my power consumption online. Oh goody, a way to check it with and without A/C usage.

I knew exactly what I was going to wear to church tomorrow, but NOT if I'm going to be visited by Aunt Flo. Pink chiffon is NOT the thing under those circumstances. And remind me to check for mold before placement....

o = o = o = o = o = o = o

*Once Upon a Time in Mexico
vanillafluffy: (Depp kiss)
Friday's Kitchen Nightmares had Gordon Ramsey saving a Mexican restaurant, complaining that the cochinita pibil was bland and too dry...but at least he didn't shoot the cook. During my OUaTiM* phase, I made puerco pibil several times, and correctly made, it should be neither bland nor dry. Ever. It certainly was a blast from the past, as that fandom was what got me writing again after a long draught.

Saturday's mail brought a notice from the electric company that they're going to be installing one of the new smart meters soon. (As recently discussed in a Question du jour) According to the card they sent, I'll even be able to check my power consumption online. Oh goody, a way to check it with and without A/C usage.

I knew exactly what I was going to wear to church tomorrow, but NOT if I'm going to be visited by Aunt Flo. Pink chiffon is NOT the thing under those circumstances. And remind me to check for mold before placement....

o = o = o = o = o = o = o

*Once Upon a Time in Mexico
vanillafluffy: (Blue letters)
I'm furious that LJ has discontinued the Writer's Block question, so I have one of my own.

The other night, J and I were watching a story on the local news about one of the Florida power companies installing "smart meters", which can send data on power consumption wirelessly. It also does things like temporarily turn off power to high-load appliances like a refrigerator at times of high demand.

I've watched The Crumbling of America---more than once---so I'm aware that this would be A Very Good Thing with regard to our nation's struggling power grid. It would also reduce the need for meter readers to go traipsing through my yard.

According to the news story, there's a public outcry that this will lead to the power companies "spying" on us, which is patently absurd. Unless, of course, they're operating some sort of mega-consuming set-up like a grow house. That would be fairly obvious, and law enforcement would be able to close them down. All the more reason for the new tech, I say.

J, on the other hand, thinks the new meters are a terrible idea. She says new technology invariably has problems, and she's concerned that the wireless units will be full of errors and screw up everyone's bills and accounts and so on. I think that's unduly pessimistic.

What do you think?

.
vanillafluffy: (Blue letters)
I'm furious that LJ has discontinued the Writer's Block question, so I have one of my own.

The other night, J and I were watching a story on the local news about one of the Florida power companies installing "smart meters", which can send data on power consumption wirelessly. It also does things like temporarily turn off power to high-load appliances like a refrigerator at times of high demand.

I've watched The Crumbling of America---more than once---so I'm aware that this would be A Very Good Thing with regard to our nation's struggling power grid. It would also reduce the need for meter readers to go traipsing through my yard.

According to the news story, there's a public outcry that this will lead to the power companies "spying" on us, which is patently absurd. Unless, of course, they're operating some sort of mega-consuming set-up like a grow house. That would be fairly obvious, and law enforcement would be able to close them down. All the more reason for the new tech, I say.

J, on the other hand, thinks the new meters are a terrible idea. She says new technology invariably has problems, and she's concerned that the wireless units will be full of errors and screw up everyone's bills and accounts and so on. I think that's unduly pessimistic.

What do you think?

.
vanillafluffy: (Fucking unicorns)
What is the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked?

Not necessarily weird, but certainly unexpected.... For a few glorious months, I worked at an adult emporium. The first job they set you at when you start is doing pricing, shrink-wrapping and attaching inventory control devices behind the scenes to expose you to the products and give you an idea what the costs are like.

So there I was, second or third day, back in the stockroom, being very industrious and not paying the slightest bit of attention to the conversation going on amongst a gaggle of my (male) coworkers across the room. Then one of them hollered at me, "Hey, Fluffy---do you like big dicks?"

I thought about it for a count of three, and replied, "Depends on where it's going!"

To which he responded, "Oooh! Me too!"

Absolutely true story; I'm just sorry I couldn't send to to Reader's Digest.

.
vanillafluffy: (Fucking unicorns)
What is the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked?

Not necessarily weird, but certainly unexpected.... For a few glorious months, I worked at an adult emporium. The first job they set you at when you start is doing pricing, shrink-wrapping and attaching inventory control devices behind the scenes to expose you to the products and give you an idea what the costs are like.

So there I was, second or third day, back in the stockroom, being very industrious and not paying the slightest bit of attention to the conversation going on amongst a gaggle of my (male) coworkers across the room. Then one of them hollered at me, "Hey, Fluffy---do you like big dicks?"

I thought about it for a count of three, and replied, "Depends on where it's going!"

To which he responded, "Oooh! Me too!"

Absolutely true story; I'm just sorry I couldn't send to to Reader's Digest.

.
vanillafluffy: (Default)
What name do you wish you had?

I've never much cared for my first name; I defaulted to my middle name in high school, fiddled with the spelling a bit, and gone that ever since.

I've considered changing it, and who knows---maybe I will one of these days. The two hottest contenders are Lillian, because it's a family name AND makes me think of 19th century BBW celeb Lillian Russell or Clancy, which has a completely different vibe. It's clearly Irish, reflects a female metrosexual image, IMO, and calls to mind Hayley Mills's character in The Trouble With Angels.

I seem to be on the cusp of reinventing myself; I'd like to see my 60s, thanks, and maybe even my 70s. It may be a matter of, who do I have to be to do the things I want to do. There's an 80s Oingo Boingo song that asks "Who do you want to be today?" that I've often asked myself while getting dressed. I think that's expanded to, "Who do I want to be for the rest of my life?"

.
vanillafluffy: (Default)
What name do you wish you had?

I've never much cared for my first name; I defaulted to my middle name in high school, fiddled with the spelling a bit, and gone that ever since.

I've considered changing it, and who knows---maybe I will one of these days. The two hottest contenders are Lillian, because it's a family name AND makes me think of 19th century BBW celeb Lillian Russell or Clancy, which has a completely different vibe. It's clearly Irish, reflects a female metrosexual image, IMO, and calls to mind Hayley Mills's character in The Trouble With Angels.

I seem to be on the cusp of reinventing myself; I'd like to see my 60s, thanks, and maybe even my 70s. It may be a matter of, who do I have to be to do the things I want to do. There's an 80s Oingo Boingo song that asks "Who do you want to be today?" that I've often asked myself while getting dressed. I think that's expanded to, "Who do I want to be for the rest of my life?"

.
vanillafluffy: (Girlpower)
Who or what is your fashion icon?

Auntie Mame. Partly because Rosalind Russell was divine, partly because I adore the character of Mame Dennis. She manages to be both stylish AND eccentric---can't top that, IMO. She's not afraid to reinvent herself periodically. She marches to her own drummer, although in her case, it's more along the lines of shimmying to her own sitar player.

Mame is complex, running the gamut from being scatter-brained to being extremely focused. She's vain enough to lie about her shoe size, generous enough to endow an orphanage. She'll call a bigot on his bullshit, risk her life on horseback to save face with the man she loves, and change her hair color and decor simultaneously. She's always fabulous.

Mame can do classic without ever making it look frumpy, boring or old. She can also pull off flamboyant---kimonos, saris---and I'm certain that if she was around today, she'd give corsets a shot. She always finds a way to make whatever she wears work for her (with the exception of a certain pair of riding boots). She's stylish without being a slave to trends.

That's something to aspire to.

.

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