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Life ate my life. That is, 3W4DW took a backseat while work and illness and family and stuff took over. Yesterday (Friday) was especially hard; I was up at 1am and didn't get to bed until nearly midnight, and it was a REALLY HARD DAY!

Strangely, not getting into Cal wasn't one of the hard things. I'm happy with how things are going, and if I'm at East Bay in the fall, that's a perfectly happy outcome for me.

I posted this to my Facebook just now:
Here is my schedule as it stands for the next few months. It's very exciting to me, but I read over it and it looks like it might not look all that thrilling to other people. It's not a ton of stuff to do in several months' time, but I've managed to winnow down the things I agree to do, so that only the stuff I really want to do makes it onto the list, and this is a real step for me.

May: Work on exciting new work project. Sara Felder show ( Meriah's kid's birthday party. Bay Area Food Bloggers' picnic. Third Thursday women's open mic. Give Stay Day presentation of disability awareness training I helped create.

June: Work for an extra month (I was supposed to be on furlough) catching up on stuff that I have trouble getting around to during the school year. Register for classes at CSU East Bay. Dyke March. Third Thursday women's open mic.

July: In San Diego all month to help mom after her knee replacement (both knees).

August: Back to work at The Best Job Ever. Third Thursday women's open mic.

September: Take the GRE! Start school! Three quarters of "No, thank you, I have to study!"

Might should also have a party where I kiss all my friends good-bye for ten months, huh?
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Nice day yesterday, making [personal profile] stonebender and [ profile] tracytreefrog's Gram's potato bread. Have figured out that I'll be very sick for a couple hours following taking my new meds, so I'm trying to time taking them better. I failed at this yesterday, but it's gonna take some fine-tuning.

It'll be a long day at work with little time to stop and be online, so have a wonderful day, all, as I go about the business of shortening this pile of files on my desk!

Photo on 2011-04-27 at 07.39 #3


Apr. 8th, 2011 12:02 pm
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1) Made a batch of about 40 gougeres (minus two for each of us) for a work party. Not going in until 2pm, which is actually harder for me than leaving the house at 7 the way I usually do, because I've gotten settled in to my homebody rhythm, and switching over to workaday speed is a little tough. No big deal, but I do prefer mornings. I don't know how the hell that happened.

2) This weekend, going to the opening of a project Guy has been working on for more than a decade. If you look closely, you can see him at the left of the picture, in his shiny red wheelchair. Then I plan to spend Sunday redesigning the blog, unless some sweet soul offers to do it for me.


Yeah, didn't think so.

3) Three weeks from today, I'll find out if I was accepted at UC Berkeley for the fall. If not, I will be disappointed but not crushed, because I've already gotten into Cal State East Bay, and it's a good school with a program that sounds right for me. I am not looking forward to the long commute, but it's worth it, and I'll get good at studying on the bus, I'm thinking.
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Thank you, everyone. The day got much better as soon as my local family woke up. Several things made the day better as it went along:

The kid made me tea with milk and sugar and was sweet to me.

Both boyfriends were, as always, sweet to me. Sense a theme?

[personal profile] loracs was sweet to me.

Then [personal profile] james_huber and I took the kid to Best Buy, then the grocery store for Mom Food stuff, then home, in the Zipcar. Have I mentioned I love Zipcar?

Oh, and on the way to get the Zipcar? Dance flashmob!

Walked the 2 miles home from the Zipcar lot, bought a jacket and some burgers on the way, and just talked about how I wished I'd awakened everyone sooner to make me feel better.

And somewhere along the line, got a hint that I'm probably really hormonal today, which would help explain at least some of the crying.

And [personal profile] james_huber and [ profile] wtfpotatoes cleaned the kitchen! You have no idea how depressing it is to me when the house is a pit. It's still a pit, but at least the kitchen is lovely, so I can cook tomorrow!

Talked with the kid for a long time about how complicated her emotions about her mother are, but I interrupted too much, so I hope I get a chance to do it again soon, with more listening.

Now I'll sit and veg for a while and write a blog post or six.

How was YOUR day? Anything joyful happen to you, with you, because of you?
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I have been spending the bulk of my blogging/writing/posting energy on the food blog lately, but as it gets more familiar and I get more guest posters, that will probably slack off. Now that I'm putting up a post every day, sometimes posts get kind of buried, and I don't usually even mention them here. I am very proud of the blog, so I do want you to read it if you want, but I don't want to start pointing you there every day, so I thought I'd compromise with a weekly post roundup, just in case you're interested.

In the last week:

Saturday: Weekend cooking: Ravioli and the Art of Doing Too Much

Sunday: Udon and merging lives

Monday: By [ profile] chrishansenhome: Mertie’s Mondays: Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without

Tuesday: OPMF: James’s potato soup

Wednesday: November Mom Food Events

Thursday: Spinach Gorgonzola and exchanging smugness for gratitude

Friday (today): French Fridays with Dorie: Hachis Parmentier

Stop by and see, if you want. And if you want to add your Mom Food stories to the mix, head over to the Contribute page!
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Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, my life was consumed with BlogHer Food, a conference for women food bloggers (and a few token men) in San Francisco. It's due to the wonderfulness of [personal profile] badgerbag that I got to go, and I talk a little about it (not terribly coherently) here:

Other stuff: Work is fine, though still backed up, and I've got extra hours for a while, so my paychecks'll be a little bigger, so that's nice.

The kid has a kidney infection. She's taking antibiotics, but they may be the wrong ones.

I had a pharmaceutical screwup that was compounded by not having any of my docs in town when I needed them, so it'll be a week or so before I feel like I'm really awake and alive again, now that I have my prescription. And I don't wanna say why in public, but [personal profile] mactavish and [personal profile] loracs were the heroes of the revolution on this one.

Mom is okay, but really tired.

My blog is still making me happy, as are my family.

And I'm home. Home home home home HOME. I have the day off tomorrow, and if I didn't HAVE to, I wouldn't leave the house. (I do have to, though, to pick up my prescription and submit to a bunch of tests. *sigh*)
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You should go read The Mom Food Project today. The lovely and talented [ profile] chrishansenhome has contributed a wonderful piece about his Mom's food failures, and what they contributed to his family's story. Serene-Bob says check it out!

(The Mom Food Project blog is ramping up to daily posts, with the help of some wonderful contributors. Maybe you want to contribute, too?)
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I'm kind of excited. I spent several hours yesterday working on a process to make guest posts to The Mom Food Project sort-of automated. Since a few of you have asked me about sharing your Mom Food (or Dad Food or Aunt Food or Mum Food or whatever), I thought I'd post the link here to my new announcement, which also contains a preview of the super-awesome avatar the kid made for my blog. There will also be one of my mom, and we'll be bookending the banner when the site gets redesigned in the next few weeks.
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As I just posted to Facebook: Lasagna is assembled; will bake it tomorrow. The house smells like my childhood. Oh, and fair warning: The kid appears to be catching a cold. Make your visiting decisions accordingly.
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Found out about this from [personal profile] hobbitbabe and it's just my speed. Because, um, I'm self-involved. Yeah, that's it.

In great detail... Questions are below the cut, one a day for 30 days -- I would LOVE to see your answers, as well. I'm going to tag them all 'IGD'. )

Day 01 - Introduction

My name is Serene Vannoy (or if you're part of my family of origin or the IRS, Sandra). I am a happy, middle-aged, polyamorous woman. I love my day job at the local university, but I love and fiercely guard my at-home time, as well. My family is large and loving, and my latest project (The Mom Food Project) celebrates the act of feeding the people we love, which may be the one defining thread of my entire life.


Aug. 1st, 2010 07:26 pm
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Mom likes the new blog, and my aunt likes it even more. The first real post is up today. If you want, you can see it at (or the feed's at [syndicated profile] momfood_feed).


Next steps: take a photography course, preferably online; buy or make a lightbox; choose or write something to archive the recipes for when I want to put them into book form
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I've been so focused on getting the new project ready to launch that I haven't been doing much else online.

Offline, I'm still on furlough, which means lots of needed downtime, and very little money. Which means that when a beloved family member's hours get cut at work, all I can offer is moral support.

Saturday and Sunday, I'll read for the Bar exam again (that is, the person I was a reader for last year is taking the exam again, and I'm being a reader-assistant again). The money's decent, and the work is easy and interesting.

Also on Sunday, the Mom Food blog launches, and I'm super-excited about that. A friend brought up an issue with the name, and I may write about it, but the upshot is that I know my experience is not universal (cf. This Is A White Blog), but it's mine, and it's worth sharing, so I'm gonna share it. And if you think I actually like said friend even MORE for making me think about that, you're right.

Then Monday, after two months off, I get to go back to The Best Job Ever! Refreshed and ready to administratively assist my little heart out!


Jul. 17th, 2010 09:49 pm
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1) Last night, my ankle popped. For less than a second, it hurt so badly I wanted to throw up, and then it was fine. And it's been fine since. I can walk! Hallelujah. I'm still taking it easy, but the difference is huge, and I'm so relieved.

2) Still having fun building the blog. LOTS of fun. (mom doesn't read DW/LJ, and it's almost ready to launch anyway). The kid is working on a logo/banner theme.

3) And even having a little fun on Twitter (@momfood). I never wanted one for personal stuff (still don't), but it's fun connecting with other food bloggers and with famous chefs and geeks.

4) Got a letter from the IRS today. The short take is they said no to seven of the documents I sent. There's a chance I could get new documents together in the ten days they've given me to appeal this, but I'm not sure I can, and I'm not going to decide about it tonight; it's not worth crying over right now.

5) The kid has been making real money doing commissions for people on DeviantArt. She is a professional artist! She's amused and a bit turned off by the themes of some of the drawings, but she takes the work seriously and spends a lot of time and effort on them. You can see some of them at

6) Things have been REALLY rough in [personal profile] stonebender's side of the family. Seems like there's never a time when all three of them are well at the same time. I wish I had a magic health wand, you know?
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I didn't tell you all about my new project yet, did I? I got to watching Mythbusters with the boyfiend and one thing led to another, so anyway, here it is!

Momma Duck, if you're reading this, don't click here unless you want to spoil your birthday surprise. If you do, I won't be mad or anything, just fair warning. )


Jul. 11th, 2010 05:59 am
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1) Can't decide if the injured ankle is a blessing or a curse. Well, it's both, I guess. I'm getting LOTS of rest, but I'm also getting cabin fever. First world problems.

2) Having a ton of fun building a new project. It will get its own post today, under access lock, because even though mom rarely reads my journals, I don't want her to see what her birthday present is.

3) Anything I planned to do today (really, just housework) is officially cancelled in favor of the MythBusters marathon! Well, maybe I'll do a little housework on the commercials. Or not.

4) I used to like to sleep. I used to do it a lot. Nowadays, though, I sleep maybe 5 hours, wake up at ungodly hours of the morning (today, it was 3am) and just stay up. I get so much done while everyone else is sleeping that I actually don't mind this, but it does mean I'm wasted by 9pm.

5) Made my first rib roast last night. Called mom for instructions. Came out GREAT.

6) Little things that brought me joy yesterday, even though I wasn't feeling all that hot:
  • the new water bottle [ profile] someotherguy bought me
  • playing games with the kid, who is always really pleasant for a few days after we have an argument and the world doesn't collapse (she's afraid of parental anger, and who can blame her, but we actually argue well, without being very mean to each other)
  • dinner: the aforementioned roast, mashed potatoes/carrots/cauliflower, gravy, and steamed green beans. Yum.
  • a phone call from [personal profile] stonebender while he was out and about, just because
  • honeydew from the farm box: sweet and ripe and delicious
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Not ready to talk too much about my new blog project yet, but it's combining some of my lifelong passions: Food, hospitality, writing, family, and embarrassingly amateurish photography. (No, wait, that last one is a lifelong apathy; I may have to work on that.)

(In order to work on this, I have to push through some shame about not working on reviving the magazine, but I'll just have to sit with that for a while. I'm not ready to pick that back up, but I want to do SOMETHING creative, so this is what I've settled on for now.)

Good day

Jun. 29th, 2010 09:12 pm
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What a nice day we had. The kid and I had planned to go to the Youth Jobs Program thingy (she could go alone, but she has understandable anxiety about going new places on the bus), and when we got downtown, it was lunchtime, so we ate lunch, went and got her an intake appointment, then sat in Peet's for an hour or so having a nice companionable conversation about everything and nothing, while she drew sketches.

Next, we stopped at the Korean grocery store, where she was *fascinated* with the live Dungeness crabs, which were very inexpensive as such things go, so I agreed to buy some for dinner. Since [personal profile] wild_irises was coming over to drop off Costco butter anyway, I decided dinner time would be the perfect time, and she and [ profile] abostick59 came over and shared our crabs and butter and oven-fried spring rolls and cherries and pistachios and sorbet with us. Lovely dinner, lovely to see our friends again. Very funny and macabre to watch the kid do the actual work of killing crabs for our dinner.

Tonight, we'll work on the kid's application for the jobs program (her appointment is tomorrow), and I'll start playing with my own projects over the next few days:

1) Getting my new blog up and running (more about this later)
2) Getting my poetry chapbook together with the help of some wonderful friends who have offered to read some of my stuff
3) Knitting the rest of [ profile] someotherguy's Doctor Who scarf

Well, maybe first I'll take a firehose to my house to clean up the utter crab mess. :-)
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So I know one can forward a domain to DW, but I'd like to see it in action. Anyone know of any blogs that are doing this? And, my darling DW geeks (i'm looking at you, [personal profile] piranha & [personal profile] damned_colonial, etc.) is there a DW community where this question would fit? I read the official-comm list and didn't really see an appropriate question-asking space.
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Okay, I've asked this in the past, but it's been a while and I'm working on a new (and exciting-to-me) blog project, so here goes:

DW? Wordpress? Typepad? Something else? (LJ is not an option.)


I think I want the thing on my own domain, which I've already secured, but I'm willing to be talked out of that idea.

I want to be able to choose either an ad-free blog or one on which I choose which ads are displayed. No automatic Google adbar, or anything like that.

More customizability is better, but since I'm really not a very good web programmer, it doesn't need to be down to the command line or anything. I'd love to be able to use custom CSS (I am pretty sure both Wordpress and Typepad offer that), and to view stats, but neither of those things is essential.

It doesn't have to be free; affordable is good, though.



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