Friday, March 30, 2012

Gone Dark

Thanks to Mr. I Believe Motorcycles Can Fly our internet has taken a turn for the no longer working along with the television and now, as they repair the transformer he smashed up, the power.

So this means I'm gonna be living like Abraham Lincoln for a little while, vampire hunting optional.

If you don't hear from me in a week or so, it's probably best to comb the obituaries because I'll be in jail for finishing off what Mr. Knievel started.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bye Bye Shed

You know those times when there's a sense of dread in the air? When you can feel fate pricking at her lines dredging your life in omens like it's some kind of onion ring?

This morning was not one of those times.

I was standing at the back door, watching my husband put his shoes one when a cacophony of metal smashing into metal broke from the backyard and watched as our shed crumpled and flew up like it saw a spider.

My first thought was that another tree tried and succeeded at taking out our fence again. Then the screaming started.
A motorcyclist was laying in our yard, bleeding out all over the mud patch that refuses to take sod (probably because it keeps having motorcyclists dropped on it). Luckily a cop was driving past and spun right around. Within a few minutes a horde of firefighters and paramedics were there administering to the screaming man.

We hung back, while Es dropped her ball thinking all these people were in her yard to play with her until the guy was loaded up and taken to the hospital. Then we started the damage assessment.
We have no idea how Mr. Knievel is doing, but the cops made sure to point out the pool of blood to us a few times. And then we overheard another asking if anyone had found a chunk of leg. Goody! Easter Egg Hunt!
Best we can figure Mr. Knievel hit the transformer box, flew up
Hit our fence, then the shed
And crashed into a tree which finally took him down. You do not fuck with that Ash Tree I guess.
To have kept going through that much he must have been flying, you know down a 35 mph street near a school zone. At least he had a helmet on so there was no body to clear out instead.

Actually he really fucking lucked out, we had almost nothing in our shed and are not avid saw blade collectors. He also fell or flew off enough from his bike that when that finally fell it didn't crush him.

Because it's poetic, the front tire crashed far off beside the tree to escape all damage.
And now the cleanup starts. Amazingly most of our stuff managed to escape with only minor bruises and scrapings, unlike Mr. Knievel.
Anyone know a good contractor or artist that needs twisted sheet metal? Possibly with a bit of blood and human flesh still attached?

Edited to add: I think I need to put this outside my fence:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Study in Green and Red and Orange and what else ya got?

I've been painting a lot lately. The biggest reason I've been painting a lot is to hide from editing. I keep hoping that if I don't acknowledge it, it'll get tired of being ignored and just do itself. So far this plan isn't going as well as I'd hoped.

But, you wanted to see new paintings and are probably ignoring everything I'm typing here anyway. Ham water!

This one I wanted to do some green work. Green can be tricky as it's easy to push from a nice shade to ugly without trying:

It's for that give me money thing here.

Then we got hit by a heatwave and I was sitting outside late at night throwing a dampened tennis ball by the glow of the mosquito coil. So this painting jumped into my head, sort of:
That's also up for exchanging goods for currency.

And for the last one I broke from my typical cool color palette. I haven't decided if it's a sunrise or a sunset. But I like to ask people just to watch them squirm.
 Sunny setting rise tree for trade here.

I still have about three pieces of canvas left before I have to get serious about that editing stuff. I guess.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Fried Chicken

I could probably spend a few hours typing out all that is wrong with me and still not have enough time to get the full list. Perhaps one of the lesser annoyances my apparently evolution into a cul-de-sac is an inability for my various squish GI organs to enjoy fried chicken.

I learned pretty young that if eating chicken that was fried in any way at one of those places outside the home that serve food stuffs I'd be up all night with a collicky gut. Yet, if I do the frying at home I'm generally okay. Truly it is a mystery for the ages.

Anyway, the point being if I really wanted to enjoy fried chicken I needed to figure out my own way so I did. Kind of.

  • Various chicken bits (I've just done legs and thighs)
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • (occasionally I'll add other spices, it's a hodgepodge of whatever I have in the curio cabinet)
  • Flour
  • Oh and that oil stuff for frying.

The night before I like to soak the chicken in the buttermilk. If you don't have buttermilk you can fake it. For every cup of regular milk add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Let that sit for five minutes and boom, you created a buttermilk substitute.

To the buttermilk I mix in an egg and the spices, then plop in the chicken bits and put that in the fridge. Preferably covered lest you find your tub of cream cheese went for a midnight swim.

The next day combine the flour with some additional spices, or the same garlic/salt/paprika. I'm not judging you.

Drip off excess buttermilk as you press and roll each chicken piece on the flour and then place every finished piece on a cookie sheet.

Once they're all done, put the cookie sheet full of breaded chicken into the fridge for an hour or so. This helps to make nice and crispy chicken, so if you don't want really crispy bits just skip this step and also go out and get your self examined because you must have hit your head really hard or something.

Now just fry the chicken in ~375 oil for 12 to 15 minutes. Let that sit on a nice bed of paper towels to soak up excess oil and tada.

Your own fried chicken at home that won't tear through insides like it's wet tissue paper.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Weekend Haul

Without a mage staff to keep me occupied I turned my attention this weekend back to the more classic putting paint to canvas as opposed to slopping it all over some latex abomination I cobbled together in my kitchen.

Considering how in the Frankenstein book all you know is that the doctor does all his work in his apartment, I like to think he relied on his tiny kitchen for most of the delicate stitching and did the dirty work in his bath tub. Maybe kept a few extra hands floating in a punch bowl.

But there I go off topic. Paintings, right.

The first was another old tree one, this one with a moon and shining and it seems to be almost impossible to photograph. Black's a tricky thing at times, all that no letting light in and brooding in the corner.

I have that one up for sale here, though for now it broods on my wall.

The other was born of a night when I finally talked my husband into started Mass Effect 2 and I needed to paint something.


And out came this little space dodad.
I've actually got that one listed too because I've been on the ball with this stuff as of late.

Well, I guess that's it. I should probably go comet all the blood stains off the linoleum anyway, Frankie said he should be done with the laundry room soon.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Swedish Meatballs

Regretfully, I come before to confess that I have never created nor consumed meat in any sort of spherical shape.

There were no balls formed from some protein that passed my lips or dropped magically from the sky and caused major meatball damage to the chassis of the car.

Thus, I have decided to try and rectify my past mistakes with a head dive straight into Swedish Meatball land, Thor and Billy Bookcase sold separately.

I got the recipe from here, but of course tweaked a few things.


  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs (see Tip)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
  • 8 ounces ground turkey breast (yeah I used a lb of hamburger instead because it's cheaper and easier to get)
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth (for that I, oh you'll see)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lingonberry or seedless raspberry jam (No no no, no sweet meat)


My meatballs are trying to tell me something, the aliens are coming and they're extremely anal.
  1. Combine onion, bread crumbs, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, nutmeg and cardamom (if using) in a large bowl. Add turkey and pork; gently mix to combine (do not overmix). Using a scant 2 tablespoons for each, make about 20 meatballs.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally and reducing the heat if the pan gets too hot, until almost cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add mushrooms to the pan and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until their liquid has been released and evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Whisk broth and flour in a bowl and add to the pan along with the meatballs. Bring to a simmer and cook until the meatballs are just cooked through and the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add sour cream, parsley, jam and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to the sauce; gently stir until combined. 
Instead of chicken broth I used beef. There isn't really a good reason for it, it was simply all I had in the house. Also I figured it would work better with the hamburger instead of their turkey/pork abomination hybrid. Stop playing God, EatingWell!

It was a good comfort food for cold or bad days, cardamon and nutmeg always work well in meat without overpowering it.
 And I was happy without the lingonberry sauce, which should only be enjoyed on toast or eaten straight out of the jar.
 All in all I give the Swedish Meatballs four toes up and half a carbuncle.

My dog also approved as she watched from her vantage point waiting to swoop in in case I should need assistance eating anything that fell onto the floor.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Ice Staff

    Last year I got two of those plastic clear christmas bulbs because I wasn't certain which side would fit best on my first attempt at a mage staff. So I wound up having a second flapping about, taking up valuable "just dump crafting stuff here," space.

    So I did the only logical thing I could, I made a second mage staff.

    My first was all fire and wood, so for the second I wanted to go more ice and stone and I also wanted to make it light up.

    Which meant that I needed to come up with a way mask a 9 volt battery and the connector. This is the scourge of all home haunters, where to hide the cursed power switches.

    After painting the bulb with a blue enamel paint, working the LED's inside and gluing the whole thing together; I shaved and shaped down some styrofoam and cursed a lot waiting for the liquid nails to hold it to a 5 foot section of PVC pipe.
    While that dried I used old photoshop to whip up some little spike dealies to adorn the headpiece. I printed them out on cardstock, glued and cut it out another three times or so to beef them up and then jammed them in.

    To beef out the rest of the head piece I used tin foil and wrapped and shaped it to, well you'll see.

    After covering the ball in protective saran wrap, I began the arduous task of latexing. (If you're curious how one goes about adding latex to things, you take a paper towel, drag it through liquid stinky shit, drip all over every surface you have, have your hands stick to the wall, curse ever being born, kick the bucket over, and get drunk.)
    Slowly I worked down the staff, adding more tinfoil layers where I wanted some texture and then covering all that in more latex dipped paper towels.

    Once that was all done, and I made sure it still lit up, time for the painting.

    I started by covering the whole thing in a base black, a watery base black. Then I did variegating sponging of blues, white, and some black again.

    To add a finishing touch, I wrapped some tennis tape around where someone would hold it and again painted that black because apparently people only sell white.
    Unfortunately, because it's about 5 feet long it's hard to get a good picture of the entire thing.

    And that's how I made my second ice staff. It's not too hard, just a lot of tedious work cursing at latex and then peeling layers of flesh off your hands each time you finish.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Two New Trees

    For whatever reason I've been on a bit of a painting bender lately (which means I've been making them not that I've been shredding them on top of my morning cereal). Long dormant synapses have been firing pushing me to focus that creative energy that should be spent editing that ol' 100,000 words or so I have cluttering up my hard drive into pigments and canvas.

    This is only a problem when I want to try to accomplish something specific, normally I just strap myself in and hang on for the ride.

    The first tree is a silhouette by a humongous pizza pie, I mean moon. I need to stop confusing the two.

    It's another 12X12 one that I'm selling so I can afford new canvas to make more paintings. I'm rather proud of the moon and the blend of fractured blues.

    The other is a very rare 18X24 tree. I say rare because I hate having to clear off my painting table to be able to make these suckers.
    It's also actually listed for sale because for some reason I've been on the ball with this.

    If you like my trees but not these two specifically there are a few others floating around in my store and I'll do just about anything on commission provided I can still wear a turkey hat while doing it.