Saturday, June 30, 2007

My monitor broke last night, and until we get it replaced I'm using the tiny, old CRT from the music computer. It feels like I'm trapped in the late eighties/early nineties. Looking at Warcraft on the tiny, curved screen feels like looking through a bizarrely distorted time-warp -- because it's Warcraft... but... it's fifteen years ago... Woah.

Although, weirdly, Warcraft almost looks better on the tiny CRT than on my giant flat panel. The curve of the CRT and the fact that it has a physical depth to it creates the illusion that I'm looking into a tiny world contained inside it. Like a diorama. Whereas, the world of Warcraft is clearly fake and virtual when displayed on some giat, flat screen; although, the details are sharper.

Friday, June 29, 2007

I have decided that cashews are my favorite nut.

My dad loves pistachios, and I like pistachio ice cream. However, I think I like the artificial pistachio flavor, because I was not so crazy about the really high quality Haagen Dazs pistachio ice cream that actually tasted like pistachios.

And, I do like almond flavoring in all kinds of things... but that's because it tastes like maraschino cherries. (Which were invented in my home town and generally don't taste right in California.)

And there's no better flavor to add to hot chocolate than hazelnut. Not to mention that the trees are lovely and grow all over in Oregon.

And, of course, macadamia nuts can be particularly tastey covered in chocolate. Also, I do think of them as having the most sfik, nutwise.

And, to be fair, peanuts are by far the most useful. But who ever picked a favorite based on what's most useful?

No, when it comes to eating them straight -- no chocolate covering, no honey roasting, not baked into anything, nor extracted and turned into a flavor -- then I choose cashews.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The spirit of fire vanity pet from the most difficult of the fire festival quests does not look like a miniature fire elemental. It looks like a red wisp. I'm not disappointed. Really I'm not.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Winterson and I were talking about his plans for research and paper writing on the way down to Oregon for the weekend, and his ambitions pushed me into reevaluating some of my own. I've been working very slowly but steadily on my novel for the last five months, hoping to finish it before Tanaris arrives -- or at least hit 40,000 words. Well, I should hit 40,000 words within the next few days, however, I'm probably still 10,000 away from the end of the storyline. Between the snail's pace I'm writing at and the five weeks until Tanaris is due -- there's no way I'll finish. I've known that for a while, and I've been accepting it, figuring I'll just continue my snail's pace after Tanaris is born.

But, like I said, talking to Winterson got me rethinking that plan. If I revved up my speed... Planned on burning myself out... Well, maybe I could actually finish my novel before Tanaris is born. I'd be writing much faster than is long-term maintainable for me, but a break after finishing a novel isn't such a bad idea anyway.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I was reading Brideshead Revisited during the slow parts of tutoring yesterday, and I came to a lovely passage about the narrator and Sebastian discovering wine-tasting. It's not a subject I know anything about, except through the movie Sideways. At any rate, the passage described how Sebastian and the narrator would start with three bottles and three glasses each and would compare the three wines; only, as they kept tasting them, they'd get the wines mixed up and eventually would end up with the six glasses all passed between them and being poured into from any which bottle. Meanwhile, their analyses of the wines would grow more and more... well, influenced by the intoxicating effect of the wine. Here, the passage broke into dialogue, the two characters tossing back and forth sillier and sillier metaphors for describing the wine.

Ending with: "Like the last unicorn." I have to wonder, did Peter S. Beagle read Brideshead Revisited and discover that phrase for the first timethem having been inspired by Peter S. Beagle's work. They're just such striking words. It does make me wonder.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I feel like I've been life tapping, and so I'm almost out of health, but my druid healer is busy tanking things in bear form, and I haven't got any mana either, because there are mana wraiths everywhere casting mana steal.

Friday, June 15, 2007

We had Ramoona over tonight, and the three of us watched the Warner Brothers cartoon "Feed the Kitty" right before taking her home. I mentioned that we had it checked out from the library, and Ramoona wisely pointed out that it would be best watched around 4am after we'd eaten lots of sugar. (Sugar form: homemade chocolate banana milkshakes and brownies, from a box mix.)

This was the first time I've seen "Feed the Kitty" since I was, oh, I don't know, five? Basically, I was young enough to find it powerfully, powerfully moving. It was, and remains, the saddest thing I'd ever seen. (In an absolute sense, I may have seen sadder things -- but in the relative sense that allows for how they affect me, nothing is likely to surpass the effect of "Feed the Kitty" on a kitten and cookie loving five-year-old.) Basically, it's the story of a big, ugly bulldog who becomes absolutely smitten with a tiny kitten who curls up in the folds of skin on his back. He brings the kitten home and has to hide it from his master. The kitten ends up stuffed into the flour box right before the master decides to make cookies, and the bulldog is unable to rescue the kitten before the flour is dumped into a mixer, flattened by a rolling pin, chopped up by cookie cutters, and then baked in the oven. Of course, the kitten escapes before all this happens. But the bulldog doesn't know that! At the age of five, I was absolutely horrified by the pain the dog was feeling. I empathized with ever moment and fiber of it. It was his kitten, and he'd hidden it in the flour... And... And... It was just so sad.

The final twist of the knife is when the master tries to cheer the sobbing bulldog by offering him a cookie... A cookie shaped like a kitten. This is where, absolutely moved by the memory of a cartoon I hadn't seen in some twenty years and a bit addled by being up way past my bedtime, I tried to repeat that last phrase to convey the true pathos of it to Winterson and Ramoona. Instead, I flipped it around, exclaiming: "The kitten was shaped like a cookie!" Hysrerics ensued.

Even having watched this momentous cinematic achievement tonight, I don't think Winter and Ramoona really got it. I have to admit, it didn't hit me as hard this time either. However, it's still a really cute and sweet cartoon. And, it truly is heartbreaking when the bulldog tries to nestle the kitten-shaped cookie in the folds of fur on his back. Nothing could be sweeter relief than the bulldog feels when his kitten shows up again. Not mixed, not rolled, not chopped, and not baked.

The saddest thing: a cookie shaped like a kitten.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

I can now testify first-hand that there is indeed a Westfall chicken quest. I'd always kind of suspected it was a rumor. However, yesterday, a couple level 40s were /chicken-ing the chickens while I was turning in The Killing Fields, and one of the chickens turned green. I managed to catch the quest before it went away. (The chicken didn't stay green long.)

Now, my non-demonologist warlock has a Prairie Chicken vanity pet. I've won WoW. (Don't worry, I'll keep playing. If I stopped playing, I wouldn't get to enjoy the Prairie Chicken.)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

We've decided to bring Tanaris up bilingual...


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

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Sunday, June 3, 2007

The verdict on grilled eggplant burgers? Pretty good. The eggplant is oddly squishy for being a burger substitute, but I do like the flavor. So, it works. I would happily eat them again. And I may, seeing as we have another eggplant left over from last week's Iron Chef battles. And it's too hot to cook anything inside, so food must be either uncooked, microwaved, or barbecued. Thus, grilled eggplant.