Dear Dear Diary
Tomorrow we become a Neilson family.
I've always wanted to do that. I thought it was really cool to skew the ratings, because I know what *I* like may throw off everything. My favorite shows: The Daily Show, CSI:LV, Mythbusters, Pokemon, X-Play, and a wide variety of History shows.
Sitcoms Suck. I haven't found one I've liked in years.
Ironically enough, the past few weeks, I've considered getting rid of the tv cable. I just don't watch enough tv to feel good about paying for the bill.
There are days when it is very hard not to fight with the sweetie. Last night was one of them. I had gone to bed long before he did because I had to get up early this morning. When he came to bed, I managed an "I love you," which got the usual expected response. However, then he tried to cuddle, and no, I'm not feeling amorous or cuddly when half asleep. I want to sleep. That means I must have the blankets and sheet cocooned around me. No cold arms, no being pulled out of my cocoon completely, and certainly nothing more than that. Bugger off. I mean it. I don't wake you up when I come to bed when you're asleep, and I really wish you'd afford me the same priviledge. So when he said, "But you don't love me at all when I wake you up like this," I agreed with him. Then he got mad at me for saying I don't love him at all. How the hell else was I supposed to respond? I love him very dearly indeed, but that doesn't mean I don't want to kill him sometimes.
I know I complain about my insomnia a lot, but there is something about a three-way conversation of snoring in which I am not a participant that does tend to hinder the sleeping process, and I certainly don't improve the situation when my over active imagination behins hearing things in the inspiratory wheezing. It's two to four syllables, so it can be "Hello Georg" or "I'm not dead" or even "Love you" and I have to leave the room for fear of waking him up with my giggles.
If Jonathon Lithgow ever steps out of my pantry to offer me soup, I'm pushing him back in and demanding ransom.
I did finish reading Anthony Bourdain's "The Nasty Bits" tonight. I recommend it. It reminds me of my days as a bartender. When Jazz was a bartender and his life Before Me. And my truly seedy pubcrawling days. I have been in bars that would make Mr. Bourdain very comfortable indeed. And I think I would not be ashamed to make for him my meatloaf, or even cheese. I hope they continue his show on the Travel Channel a little longer.
I've rediscovered knitting lately. However, I have also rediscovered why I had to stop. Unless I can Get some sort of glove to wear to keep my left wrist stiff while I knit, it's going to be painful to do a lot of it. I'm already arguing with carpal tunnel and knitting does aggrevate it. Socks are kinder than the UFO afghan I've picked back up. I'm afraid to return to the Dear Jane because I worry what handsewing may do to my wrists, but honestly, that's an excuse. I hand stitched a fabric postcard this weekend and that didn't bug me at all. I have the pices for a bra cut out- now to stitch it together. I'll do it tomorrow morning, if this bit of insomnia doesn't force me to nap. I tend to not let me nap if I can't sleep the night before.
I have been slowly reading Anthony Bourdain's The Nasty Bits. The book cost the perfect price of coming free if I clicked a link at certain time frame. So I clickied. And I am not letting a perfectly good book go to waste, so I'm reading it. I admit, it would not be a book I would actually buy, as the only memoirs I have found truly endearing and enduring are those by Farley Mowatt, and not every one wants to read about a man running naked through caribou.
Although, Anthony Bourdain would definitly understand the reasons why and the joy felt in so doing.
He writes like he talks, with too many adjectives and extra clauses, and yet with a rhythmic cadence of a beat poet. It's easy to get lost in the images, but I wouldn't ever want to diagram one of his sentences. :) I can hear his voice in my head as I am reading, and sometimes it's comforting and others, well. I don't know if we'd ever have much in common if I ever had the chance to meet the guy, but I certainly like him.
This book makes me think about food in my own life and my writing about Jeannie. She is obsessed with food. Food equals happiness. For me- food equals Family. We cannot gather without a meal being involved. An excuse to gather around one table, look at each other, and talk between bites about anything. We do talk about anything. My dearest friend Cheri came to our table and discussed a summer she could not poo and the cures involved. My family interrupts with cures and other suggestions. My fabulous ex-brother-in-law was there and he turned all sorts of pretty colors and was definitely not used to it. It was fun though. But don't- oh dear god in heaven- don't ask about the quality of the food served at my mother's table. I can name one dish that I really really adored that she could make when I was growing up-- the chicken and rice dish. And I haven't learned how to make it that way either. I had to learn whole new ways of cooking to learn dishes I would enjoy eating- like meatloaf. My mother's meatloaf comes in a ring of orange grease with the only redeeming value of being *always* served with taters au gratin. I love taters au gratin. I don't care if they are a box mix, made with cheese in a jar or lovingly started with a roux white sauce and continuing on to baking for hours... although I know which I'd prefer given the chance (and it ain't the box!). I even like armoured turnips because they are just like taters au gratin. My meatloaf is a completely different animal. I don't even have a regular recipe for it. I just mix half a pound of ground chuck (get the high fat version- it tastes better), an egg, some ketchup (the only thing I think it's fit for), onion (fresh, dry, or powder- doesn't matter as long as it's lots), garlic (ditto), and sometimes Worchestshire sauce or A1, basil, oregano, or other things, and then some bread crumbs, potato flakes (yes, the instant stuff- very soft compared to the bread crumbs), parmesan, and/or ground pork rinds. Mix well by hand and layer in a bread pan with lots and lots of cheese. I love cheese. Bake for 5 minutes after it smells up the house at around 350 F. And serve with some variety of cheesy taters. Currently, I like the velveta instant. And I won't apologize for it.
Anyway, I will finish this book, and probably give a better review later. I just find it hard to read without my baggage getting in the way.
I love you, Mom. Even if we both don't like each other's cooking much, I still treasure your company. So there. :)
“Knock, knock,” Dawn said, before entering the doorway carrying a tray.
Stave leapt up to take the tray from her and set it on a low table between the couches.
“That’s 3 bowls,” she said, “and 2 spoons.” She set one of the bowls so that wolf could easily dine from it. “It’s a nice stew. I hope you don’t have sensitive tummies, because I forgot to ask.”
“It should be fine,” Tyrrae replied. The three bowls looked to have the same stew in them, and she did not feel they would poison her deliberately. She picked up a bowl and spoon and tried it. “It’s actually rather tasty. Thank you.”
Stave tried it too, and pretended to like it.
Mollified, Dawn departed. “I’ll collect the tray before supper, but you’ve been invited to the bonfire and dancing after dinner. It should be loads of fun.” She exited, presumably to find her own lunch.
Stave waited until he was sure she was gone, and conspiratorially whispered, “Aren’t you worried about being poisoned? You’re supposed to be a sworn enemy.”
Tyrrae allowed a small smile. “They are feeding the wolf the same food as us. Sure, she could have put something in my bowl specifically, but you handed the bowls out off the tray, not her. And they will not harm the wolf. He is one of their guardian spirits, I am sure, and right now, he is guarding me. He would not let any harm come to me through the food.”
The wolf wagged his tail as he finished his bowl.
“Bah!” Stave said. “This has too much vegetable and not enough meat!”
Tyrrae chuckled. “I thought it had rather a lot of meat in it, and a flavor I don’t recognize. We eat a lot of mushrooms where I come from. Meat and fluids are precious. This is good.”
“You can have the rest of mine then. I’ll have some of my trail rations.” Stave put his bowl down on the tray. He got up and went behind his partition.
The wolf looked at it and whined.
“Go ahead if you’re hungry,” Tyrrae told him. “This will be plenty for me, especially if there is another meal coming.” She finished her meal while the wolf polished off the other bowl.
“Hello?” came a voice from the doorway. It was Tira.
Tyrrae looked up and smiled. “I take it the Loremaster is ready for me.”
“Yes,” Tira confirmed. “Only we’ve included a lot of other people so it will be more like a sharing of the lore than him just telling you. I hope you don’t mind.”
“Not at all.” Tyrrae gracefully stood.
Stave burst out of his room. “Is…” He started coughing.
“Oh!” Tira said, and blushed. “Could you introduce me?”
“I am not the proper person to introduce…”
Stave interrupted Tyrrae. “It doesn’t matter here, as long as someone else does the introduction.”
Tyrrae shook her head. “It isn’t proper. If anything goes wrong, I would be blamed, and I do not wish that stain on my honor.”
Tira laughed. “An introduction doesn’t guarantee that anything will happen at all!”
Tyrrae looked at her sharply. “From what I overheard, you are interested in him. From what I have observed of him, he is interested in you. Had you been my sister, I would be shocked with your forwardness. You are too eager and you are running ahead full speed without a thought of consequences.”
“I am not your sister!”
“For which we are all grateful. Your parents are the appropriate ones to introduce you to this man, not someone who is viewed as a sworn enemy of your tribe! Cannot you see that?”
“I hadn’t thought of that angle,” Stave said. “You are likely to be perceived as a corrupting influence.”
“Oh,” said Tira, clearly disappointed.
“Besides,” Tyrrae said, “you already know each others’ names. What’s the point of an introduction?”
“It’s how things are done,” Tira explained.
The wolf had finished his second bowl and was sitting back on his haunches, smiling.
Tira turned on him. “You can introduce us!”
The wolf shook his head.
“Why not?” Tira demanded.
The wolf barked.
Stave said, “It’s a tame wolf that understands us, but it can’t talk.”
“He’d find a way if he really wanted to,” Tira said. She pointed her finger at the wolf. “We’ll have words together later, mister.” She turned in a huff. “Come on, Tyrrae. We’d better go to the meeting.”
Tyrrae nodded a goodbye to Stave and followed her back across the bridge. Tyrrae noticed some of the areas had changed hands with different goods advertised.
Stave was seated on one of the couches. The wolf was curled up on the other end of it. Tyrrae sat on the couch opposite.
“Tyrrae,” he said in greeting.
“Stave,” she replied.
He grinned. “So they were talking about me!”
Tyrrae felt he didn’t need to know the details of the conversation. Instead, she asked him, “What is the difference between elf and not elf?”
He laughed. “Besides the ears?” He fondled his own smaller round ears.
“For one thing, we tend to be heavier and more robust. I can carry more than the average elf, and I tend to be more energetic. Most of these folks will take a nap after lunch. I won’t need it. But they have time to spend napping- elves tend to live about 10 times as long as the average human.”
“That’s what I am, sweetheart.” He grinned again. “We can out breed the elves too. Most elven couples only have 2 children or so. Humans like larger families.”
“Like flies, compared to bats.”
“Uh, yeah.” He stopped grinning at that.
“Why are you here?” Tyrrae asked.
“Do you know, not one person has come right out and asked me that?” He laughed again.
Tyrrae found his emotional displays wearing. No wonder they were discouraged.
“I came for adventure. Because I want to know if the stories are true.”
“If elven women are as beautiful as they say,” he leered at her.
The wolf growled without even lifting his head.
“And so far,” he continued, “I do believe they are. Particularly that young lady you named as Tira. I hope to meet her properly.”
“Where I come from, a young man does not approach a lady. He requests his parents negotiate with her parents for their betrothal. Any contact with a maiden casts suspicion on her firstborn and is not to be tolerated.”
The wolf lifted his head and looked at Tyrrae.
“Where I come from a young man picks any woman he pleases, and nobody blinks at first born or otherwise.” He stopped smiling. “But there is much to be said of friendship between a man and a woman, and these may transcend things like love or dalliance.”
“I am going to need a new dictionary,” Tyrrae said. “You seem to make sense, yet you use words which I cannot comprehend.”
“This is rather a bit of culture shock for you.” He laughed. “To think a Dark Elf in the home of one of the Wood Elf tribes! Don’t stay too long or the High Elves will come down from their Tower and scourge you!”
“Go slow for the sheltered then. What are these labels for elves? Do you mean the Divide?”
“Of course!” He laughed harder. “Centuries ago, maybe millennia, we don’t know! The elves were one people. But long before humans came into being, they divided. We are among the wood elves now- the tree dwellers, they seek harmony with nature and all that entails. These can interface with the occasional human that enters their land, and their welcome is standard. Go in peace, stay in peace, leave in peace, and these elves don’t mind. Occasionally one or two will get wanderlust and travel, but most cannot abide towns or ocean travel. Can’t get a dwarf on the ocean either, and I don’t blame them either.”
Tyrrae wanted to ask what an ocean was, or a dwarf, but she’d started him talking and felt she’d learn more if he continued.
“But the High and Mighty Elves! Oh, they are terrible. They live for themselves, for their arts, and for their mischief. They do not leave their tower often, unless exiled. Then they are bitter, haughty, and rude. They are taller and slender, and if anything paler than the wood elves. As white as you are black, I think. I am glad I don’t know a lot about them.”
Having minor computer issues with the other computer... No email available for one thing, and all of my text files for DDD and Tyrrae are on it. Will resume the usual irregular posting when I get these things fixed. We apologize for the inconvenience.
I think I first realized birthdays stink when I realized one cannot possibly wish anyone Happy Birthday! right back like you can happy holidays. It's a holiday All About Me, and I'm not as good at that as some. I would rather have a holiday I could *share*. So I'm going on the weirdest sort of double date tonight. Jazz (of course), John, and my niece, and we're all going out for Sushi, then coming home to enjoy some tiramisu I made last night. Neither John nor Suzi have had fishy sushi, so it'll be an education for them.
John actually wears cologne I can't smell. That's two perfumes out there that don't bother me! The other one is worn by Caryl, and she buys it special in New Orleans. Unfortunately, John's hair gel does set me off. Oh well.
These three days between the New Year according to the calendar and when my Birthday actually is tend to pass in a shadow. Something horrible often happens to me now, and I try to keep my hopes low and my head down, but these things do not slow the danger. Perhaps it's the paranoia, but I seldom have happy birthdays, and I have dreaded the day for years. Colin needing to be put to sleep last year was probably the worst ever. Yes, that even tops the year *everyone* but my best friend and my boyfriend managed to remember and call me. No cake, no presents, no cards. And that's really never good for an angst ridden teen! So now I don't tend to tell anyone when it is, and try to let it think it doesn't matter any more.
This year, I hope to go out for my birthday. And it looks possible. And yet, I fear the shoe dropping like it oh so often does. I'll never fear the fact of getting older- I don't. I wear my years well and am rather proud of what I have learned from them. I'll be 38 tomorrow.
But my birthday means the new year has truly begun, and I'll be the same age through the rest of the year. The advantage of being born so early in the calendar year- if I remember my age, I can tell you the year. :) And the holiday season is completely over, unless one celebrates Epiphany.
I like epiphanies. And I will raise a toast to Cheri on the feast thereof, since her birthday is 6 days after mine, but we remember Epiphany to celebrate each other- a pleasant thought. One should always have a friend to celebrate, just for Joy.
I hope it's Japanese. I'd like some sushi.