serene: mmmm, MIMP! (mimp)
Food geeking ahead; feel free to skip. )
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I'm an atheist and introvert, with partners who care about as much as I do about holidays, so in general, we don't do anything for any holidays, especially since the kid left home.

The only holiday I have any love for is Thanksgiving. It's a food holiday, not strongly religious, and about gratitude, my favorite state of mind.

Funnily enough, I like approximately zero traditional American Thanksgiving foods. No matter. I love to cook, and to feed people, and no one ever minds if I add in a few side dishes I do like.

When I was a kid, I was the only one of my mom's four kids who had any interest in cooking with her, so we did T-day together. She did the meats, gravies, and stuffing. I did the sides and pies.

I'm excited that Mom is up for doing it that way this year. She's doing turkey and ham, stuffing and gravy. I'm doing the following, with asterisks by the items I don't hate:

roasted Brussels sprouts

sweet-potato casserole, which I've never made, but which James likes

*potatoes Dauphinoise (I don't care for mashed potatoes, and Mom consented to replace our traditional potatoes and corn with this)

*maybe rolls, maybe not

canned cranberry sauce, which Mom considers essential

*Mama Stamberg's cranberry relish

relish tray of celery, *olives, and *sweet gherkins

pumpkin pie

lemon meringue pie (the thing I make that Mom likes best)

*Marie-Helene's apple cake


Sep. 16th, 2014 10:32 pm
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First, there was the adventure of leaving my trainee/successor guy to his own devices today. He rocked it, so yay!

Next adventure: rescue [personal profile] stonebender from a speeding (okay, mostly stopped) train.

Adventure #3: dinner and Opinions! with [personal profile] wild_irises, [personal profile] wordweaverlynn, and [personal profile] pokershaman, followed by melon and Opinions! with the same folks, plus bonus [personal profile] starlady.

Adventuring is tiring!
serene: I love the whole world. (love)
On tap today: )

Things that probably won't -- or, rather, may or may not get done: )
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I suppose I can stop saying I'm new to science-fiction cons now. I've been to three FOGcons, and now a Baycon. I wasn't planning to go; I had planned to go to Wiscon and see many awesome people, but plane fares ended up being prohibitive for me, and [ profile] hitchhiker asked if I was up for doing Baycon on shortish notice, so I said sure, and we went. [ profile] hitchhiker and I make pretty good con buddies—similar pace and desire to follow the music, to name a couple of things. It was fun.

Essentially, the whole weekend can be summed up as "[ profile] hitchhiker and I followed each other around to panels and concerts, drove somewhere to get brunch and dinner every day, and got slightly lost several times a day." When we'd done FOGcon together last time, we found we both liked book panels, author interviews, and anything music-related. This time, we went for broke on all counts, and it worked out great.

That's the short con report. The longer one (or, rather, the rest of a longer one) is below, under the magical courtesy cuts.

Friday )
Ramblings about filk from a former filk virgin )
Saturday )
Sunday )

In case I haven't said it enough, I had a wonderful, wonderful time. Nearly a perfect weekend, even though I was surrounded by hundreds of strangers for hours at a time. I really think I've finally found a meatspace social setting I can thrive in. This is big for me. Potentially expensive, but big. :-)

A few more random thoughts about this con, and how it compares with FOGcon:

Things I like better about FOGcon than Baycon, in no special order )
Things I liked better about Baycon, in no special order )

And then I think the size thing was a wash. I like small social environments, but I also love big crowds (though the noise can get to me after a while) because I can people-watch in relative anonymity, and I can withdraw to my room without anyone (except those I'm traveling with) noticing.

Similarly, the hotel and the location were equally fine with me.

The once and future swag )
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Lots and lots of work to do today, which of course is the way I like it.

Saw a fun performance piece yesterday with [personal profile] stonebender and Danny yesterday. Have been getting too much sun, which is kinda nice, actually.

Feeling like an alien around all the killing-bin-Laden glee.

Photo on 2011-05-02 at 07.40 #2
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The FOGcon kick-off free-food party will be from 6-8 (see for more details). At 8, we'll go someplace nearby (location TBD) for drinks, dessert, or more substantial fare. The free-food party is for members of FOGcon only, but you do NOT have to be a FOGcon member to join us after for the alt.polyflock, so please do!

I'll ask for a rough headcount in about a week, so think about it.
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[EDIT: This is now the permanent game-night post. Any changes to the game-night info will show up here first. In addition, dates for the next game nights will be posted here. So will any cancellations.]

Several of you have asked me when we're going to start game night again, and the answer is "Now". Well, sort of.

Game night at Serene's / Game night at Guy's:

When: 1st & 3rd Fridays every month, 7pm - ? (Next game nights are February 6th and 20th)

  • 1st Friday: Serene's place, North Oakland (not wheelchair-accessible)
  • 3rd Friday : [ profile] stonebender's, San Leandro (wheelchair-accessible entry; the bathroom is less so)
[If you don't know where we live, please email for directions.]

What: Games. Board games and/or RPG. (That is, we'll plan to play board games, and if anyone wants to start up an RPG alongside the boardgamers, [ profile] someotherguy has agreed to make that happen.)

Who: You and anyone you want to invite. RSVPs are very helpful, but if you forget to RSVP, please come anyway.

What to bring: You don't have to bring anything. If there are snacks/drinks/games that you especially want to have there, feel free to bring them, but we will provide substantial amounts of trashy (and non-trashy) snacks, lots to drink, and a pile of games to choose from, including Apples to Apples, Monopoly, Fluxx, Checkers/Chess, Trouble, playing cards, etc.

A note about kids: Our places are not childproofed, but they're kid-friendly. We have building toys and DVDs for the munchkins, but if that doesn't captivate them, you're in charge of entertaining your little ones.

If you have food or environmental allergies, please do let us know so that we can do our best to accommodate you.
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[no local filter, sorry]

Here's where I'll be Monday evening. You should totally come.

Monday, August 18, 2008, at 7 PM. Lesbian poet Giovanna Capone and bi poet Jan Steckel ( plus open mic at Poetry Express, hosted by Mark States, Nance Wogan and Jim Barnard. Priya Indian Restaurant, 2072 San Pablo Ave. (near University Ave.), Berkeley, CA. 510-644-3977. Bring a poem of your own to read at the open mic, especially one with a queer theme. Ask for special seating for poetry reading; 20% off dinner.

More details about the features )
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Stuff I haven't thought to mention lately:

1) Last week, I began volunteering on the phone line at the Women's Cancer Resource Center. So far, so good.

2) I am ONE document away from having everything I need to enroll [ profile] wtfpotatoes in school. Yay!

3) I may have an interview on Monday for a part-time-with-full-benefits gig working for my two favorite bosses at The Best Temp Job Ever.

4) My mom still hasn't gotten her biopsy results yet. She's worried; I'm saving worry for if it's needed.

5) My brother (the middle one, the one with 8 kids) was in town last night, and he took me and [ profile] wtfpotatoes to dinner near SFO. It was nice to see him, and I got to use my Zipcar for the first time. It was really fun, but of course, going to the city and stuff kinda wore me out.

6) I know I recommend this on a regular basis, but if you can get yourself a family just like mine, you should do it. They've been SO great to me while I've been dealing with the hip pain. They move furniture for me, get me food, and don't make me feel bad about how little I get done when it really hurts. I really am lucky. (I'm also on the mend, I think. The pain is a lot less today than the few days previous.)
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The ever-thoughtful [ profile] wild_irises found herself free tonight to go see [ profile] postmaudlin's reading at City Lights, and invited me along. Now, I had already put all the Fucking Daphne/Kissing Dead Girls events in my calendar, because, hey, Daphne, and who's a bigger Daphne fangirl than I am, but between the expense and the whole new-kid thing, I was letting it slide until [ profile] wild_irises pointed out, rightly, that I could probably use some time out of the house.

This got long... )

So anyway, I love the whole world tonight, and it's not just the caffeine in three glasses of iced tea talking.

Yummy art

Jun. 2nd, 2008 11:06 am
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[no local filter; sorry]

So there's this cool woman I met while I was volunteering (briefly) at the Women's Cancer Resource Center. Well, cool, hot, what's the diff? Anyway, she's got some art events coming up that sound right up my alley, so I'm going. Who wants to come with? I think especially my foodie friends will love this stuff.

Her name is Margo Mercedes Rivera-Weiss, and here are the two cool things. I will almost certainly be going to the film opening for sure on the 15th, good and early, and probably to the open studio, especially if someone wants to go with me. Not Saturday, though, because that's Temescal Street Fair, and we've never missed one.

Cool thing the first -- Open Studio

ProArts Open Studios - June 7th & 8th

I will be showing 11 new paintings that I made on the Big Island of Hawaii this past winter. Come see mangosteens, eggfruit,
noni, dragonfruit, guavas as well as familiar friends, mangos and papayas. Other past work on exhibit includes: peppers, cantaloupes, kiwis, pears, pineapple, bananas and, of course, platanos.

In addition to original watercolor paintings in a variety of sizes and price ranges I will also have cards, magnets and Hebrew Calligraphics.

Please visit my studio this coming weekend, June 7th and 8th from 11 AM to 6 PM at 2607 School Street in Oakland. I'm 5 blocks south of the Fruitvale exit off highway 580. You are also welcome to schedule an appointment for a studio visit.

Cool thing the second -- Her short film opens!

"Mashed, Boiled & Fried" Opens
A Film about Platanos & the People Who Love Them

Directed & Edited by Margo Rivera-Weiss

My new 16 minute short film will premiere at the Queer Women of Color (QWOC) Film Festival on Sunday, June 15, 2008 at 6PM. The doors will open at 5 PM and there will be free food and live music. This film is part of the screening "Delectably Yours" - food-themed shorts. Plan on arriving early so that you will get a seat - almost all of the screenings last year played to packed crowds and many were not able to get in. The festival runs 6/13 - 6/15 at Brava Theater at 2789 24th St. in San Francisco.

Four cooks from St. Vincent to the Dominican Republic whip up their favorite version of platanos or plantains while they talk about the cultural significance of this fantastic food. We also hear from three judges who evaluate the dishes while they clue us in to their own platano history. Part cooking reality show, part culinary ethnographics, and all enjoyable.

Featuring: Amy Andre, Kebo Drew, Sandy Falby, Ana-Maurine Lara, Yosenio Lewis, Ajuan Mance & Michelle Matos,

For more information about QWOCMAP and the other films that are part of the QWOC Film Festival check out
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Reposted from alt.poly (which is why the ObPoly); thanks, [ profile] tracytreefrog, [ profile] berkeleyfarm, and [ profile] wild_irises! You all rock.

So I had this idea a month or so ago, about how to motivate myself
and my loved ones to create disaster preparedness kits for our
homes. I planned an emergency-kit party.

How it worked was this:

1) I created a list of the things that recommends for a
kit, then added a few things I thought were good ideas.

2) I opened up the party for ten kits. ObPoly, we made three kits --
two for our two-person household, and one for Carin's place. Next
time I will make a few for Guy's house. (Also ObPoly, two of the
attendees were one of Guy's sisters, and one of his oldest friends.)

3) For each kit, the attendee had to bring 10 of something on the
list. (For example, I brought can openers, sets of eating utensils,
and handwarmers; other things brought were food, paper towels/toilet
paper, vitamins, water/windproof matches, etc.) [Edit: I divvied the
list up and handed out only part of it to each person, so there
wouldn't be much duplication.]

4) I provided the containers (cheap coolers) and we divvied the
stuff up. I passed around some handouts from the site, and
put a checklist in each kit. (I also chose to give my housekey to
the two folks who are my neighbors, just in case, and we discussed a
contingency plan for what to do if any of our houses becomes
uninhabitable -- essentially, we agreed to congregate at one or the
other of our houses if it came down to it and was doable.)

5) Then we schmoozed and ate and ate and schmoozed, and [ profile] wild_irises gave
me a backrub and people gossipped about Usenet oafs, and a grand
time was had by all.

Anyway, it was a fun thing, and now we all have at least the
beginnings of an emergency kit for our homes. I recommend it.
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[I don't have a local filter; sorry!]

Any locals want to go to a cooking demo/class with me tomorrow in North Oakland? It's at the Women's Cancer Resource Center around the corner from my house, from 6-8pm. Tomorrow's class: "Delicious Curries from Thailand, Myanmar, & India". Next month (3rd Wednesday), it's "Drink up! – Making fabulous smoothies, nutmilks & juices".

I used to volunteer there, and am going to start doing so again, and the people are really great. I would LOVE some company, and I'm betting [ profile] someotherguy isn't gonna feel like it.
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1) It was Mom Food Night: Lovely lasagna dinner (well, lasagna, salad with roasted tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, fresh sourdough bread, roasted elephant garlic, steamed broccoli, and homemade ice cream -- thanks for the excellent machine, [ profile] klwalton!) with [ profile] tracytreefrog, [ profile] berkeleyfarm, [ profile] sogwife, and [ profile] someotherguy. (Charlotte, you left your wine. If you'll drink it or cook with it, I can take it by your place.) And I managed to get everyone to take a hunk of lasagna home, so there's not quite as much lurking in the fridge as there might be otherwise. That was some good shit, but then a recipe that starts out with 4 pounds of meat and 4 pounds of cheese kinda has something going for it from the get-go, huh?

2) Caught up with an old friend ([ profile] misanthropoid, do you remember Jake from the old listserv?) and that was just lovely. We always manage to pick up where we left off, and there's a lot of love there.

3) Gonna do some experimenting with my diet, starting tomorrow. If I decide to write about it here (may or may not), I'll likely create an opt-in filter.

4) My kitchen looks like something exploded in there. It may take me a full day to get it clean again. It was totally worth it.

5) Once again, I am faced with a bunch of plans for the weekend, and a possibility that I'll blow off some or all of them. Such is life.

Hope everyone out there in LJ Land is doing well. I'll try to catch up with your doings tomorrow. Today was all about the lasagna. :-)


Oct. 16th, 2007 11:14 pm
serene: serene (ooh)
[Posted to my personal journal and [ profile] serenecooking]

The other day, I had three bananas that were about to be too ripe. Three bananas, in my childhood lexicon, means banana bread, so I wanted to make some. [ profile] someotherguy, not surprisingly, was all for this plan. I remembered I had saved a recipe to my memories section that sounded good. It turned out to be this outstanding recipe from [ profile] snippy. The cake part of this is so buttery and delicious, but still really lets the banana flavor shine through.

Tonight, [ profile] jwermont was coming to dinner, and I wanted to make dessert. I didn't have bananas, but I did have a bag of frozen berries in the freezer (blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, I think -- whatever the mixed-berry bag at Costco contains). So I mixed some berries with a little sugar and let them mostly thaw while I made the batter (minus the bananas, and with the addition of a little milk -- maybe a third of a cup -- to thin the batter a little). The batter was still pretty thick. I put the berries in the bottom of a tart pan, spread the batter over them like thick frosting, and baked at 350F until the top was brown and some of the berries were bubbling around the edges.

Oh. My. God. It's so good.

[ profile] jwermont and I nearly demolished the whole thing, but I've saved a slice for [ profile] someotherguy to have tomorrow, if I don't cave and eat it first.
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[no local filter, sorry]

September is almost over, and my halfway-successful attempt to cut back on social obligations draws to a close. I've decided not to pick up craft night again, but I will doubtless be sending out personal invites to those of you who are craft-nighters, so that we can continue to get together, 'cause I like ya. I just need a break from hosting for a little while longer.

As always, we have an open-door dinner policy -- every night but Saturday, you can come and eat with us, no notice necessary. Dinner's at 7. Let me know if you need directions, or want to be on our drop-ins filter (I already have all the known Bay Areans on there, but I'm bad at matching people with usernames). The filter has so far been used to announce what's for dinner (when I know ahead of time), and to let people know when we won't be home at dinner time.
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While I'm thinking of it (may not think of it tomorrow), Monday is Craft Night. Munchies and crafting and schmoozing. I have hemp cord for bracelets. I have paints and modeling clay. Bring anything you want to work on, or just bring yourself. If you need directions, let me know. (Time is 6pm until folks go home, which is usually around 10.)
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Lovely weekend so far. Last night was gonna be bachelor night (in which [ profile] someotherguy and [ profile] sogwife spend the night at her place and I stay up way too late reading and posting to Usenet, but [ profile] someotherguy was totally into his game, so [ profile] sogwife and I went and saw the Pirate movie. Well, okay, *she* saw it, and I saw most of it. I kept falling asleep, not because I wasn't enjoying it, but because it was late at night and sometimes I just can't stay awake for movies. I haven't been on a date with [ profile] sogwife in a long time, and it was sweet holding her hand and watching pirates be silly.

Then today, we all (that's me, my three partners, and [ profile] loracs) went to the Temescal Street Fair and got lots of sun. I also ate my weight in fair food. I was there for about four hours, and this is what I ate:

Grilled-fish taco
Elote (corn on the cob covered in a spicy mayo sauce and sprinkled with cheese)
Bottle of water
Strawberry shortcake (shared with [ profile] someotherguy and [ profile] sogwife)
Slice of veggie pizza
1 1/2 truffles (1/2 of a dulce-de-leche-with-chili, and a whole peanut-butter-caramel)
1/2 of [ profile] loracs's garlic fries, and 1/2 of her knish
Most of a mango smoothie

I decided walking home from the fair would be a better idea than getting a ride home and exploding in the car. :-)

Then [ profile] someotherguy and I went and did our laundry, which may not sound fun, but always is, bought some more Joe Sayers and some dollar-store items, and came home to veg out.

I'm really in love, really happy, and REALLY tired.


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