Morning, munchkins. …

Morning, munchkins. Ooh...I'm groggy. Last night there was a birthday party for four of the department people; good shindig. I brought a big tray of sushi and it got devoured. Makes me happy. I'm mildly proud of myself because usually I just roll up a bunch of stuff and cut each into six disks -- functional, but not so exciting. I got fancier this time. Made several rolls, but cut the edges off on the diagonal and then cut each piece so that it had one flat end and one diagonal end. Made fewer pieces, but much prettier for arranging! I used cucumber and avocado and pickled red ginger and radishes for those, varying the fillings fairly randomly. Then I boiled some shrimp (sorry, Karina) and made little mounds with the seasoned rice and spread a little wasabi on them and then a shrimp and wrapped it all in a piece of seaweed (it is *much* easier to get strips of seaweed by cutting them with a scissors than a knife, I eventually figured out). Worked fine, and now I know that should I get the urge to make raw fish sushi, I can make the pretty arrangements that you see in actual restaurants. And finally, I took the leftover rice and the leftover vegetables, mixed them all together (to make what's called chirashi-zushi, I think), and used them to fill little sweet egg omelettes. Those were really tricky -- the recipe claimed that 4 eggs (plus a little salt, sugar and 2 T cold water) would make 8-9 omelettes. Not in my kitchen. Mine came out too thick; I could use them, but not particularly well. I was a little impatient, though, 'cause Buffy: The Musical was about to come on and I didn't want to miss any of it. Maybe if I went very slowly and carefully on low heat and oiled the pan before each bit of egg went in. Anyway, I did manage to get four functional egg packets out of it; wrap some chirashi-zushi in egg (like an envelope) and wrap another seaweed strip around that. Very pretty. Sorry I didn't take a picture of the whole arrangement; I was pleased with myself. :-)

Buffy was, of course, fabulous. I would comment more, but no spoilers for poor Karina, trapped in her backward country so many months behind in their Buffiness.

I spent a little while this morning trying to get a poem onto a mug. The process I attempted went like this:

  • grab poem out of Word
  • paste into Quark, format to the right size and pretty font, layout
  • save as EPS
  • use EPStoPICT to convert to PICT
  • use GraphicConverter to convert PICT to GIF
  • crop extra stuff, increase resolution from 72x72 to 200x200
I knew that last step was iffy, but I need that resolution for Cafe Press. I suspect I should be fixing the resolution somehow earlier? The final result looks like it's probably not very readable -- it's hard to tell from the picture, but I'd be happier if the picture looked sharper. In the end, I may have to order a mug to know for certain, but I think I'll mess around some more first.

It also looks a bit bare, with just black text on white. I could put a colored background rectangle under the text, but that would just look kind of blocky, don't you think? I could also add a tiny image, and wrap the text around it -- do you think it'd look better with a tree in it? Maybe I could use that photo of the tree swept by wind from a few weeks ago... Hmm....details, details. It's a good thing I'm not a graphic designer; I could fiddle for months over such tiny little things. Well, maybe not -- I'd probably get impatient after a few days and say -- "Good enough!" Or, more likely, "Help?!" :-)

12:45. Very slow morning. Umm...talked to David for a while, had a big lunch (feeling stuffed) of leftover Thai green curry and bread, drank tea and read more of Kate Elliot's Child of Flame -- yet another Humongous Fantasy Series. Let's see -- at the moment, I'm in the midst of George R.R. Martin's (waiting for him to write next book), Michelle West's (ditto), Elizabeth Haydon's (waiting for third book to come out in paperback) and Kate Elliot's (reading fourth book presently; will then wait eagerly for final (supposedly) book). And I wonder why I fall behind in my critical theory reading...

Speaking of which, this is what I *should* be doing this weekend:

  • lots of lit crit reading
  • revise intro
  • send intro etc to Melcher
  • revise "The Emigrant" and send out
  • work more on Christmas story?
  • watch Spanish movies, tv in prep. for exam
  • put together POD manuscript
  • draft POD contracts
  • send out POD contracts
  • do Heidi's recommendation
  • write to Jason
That's what I ought to do. What I want to do:

  • keep reading Kate Elliot
  • cook something delectable (I have leftovers, so *that's* not going to happen)
  • drink tea
  • play The Sims
  • chat with people on the phone
Heh. We'll see whether duty or pleasure wins out today...not that duty isn't sometimes pleasurable...

Before I go...a question? Are y'all still out there? I mean, I know that my RL friends are still reading, if somewhat erratically. But there used to be at least fifty other people out there, and it seems lately like I'm not hearing much from y'all. Do y'all *sniff* not love me anymore? Am I writing too long entries? Too boring? Write, write! I'm being hit by a sudden attack of insecurity, out of nowhere...

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