Dec 302012

So a few weeks ago, chaos bought me an ice cream maker, and it was supposed to be a Christmas present, but he isn’t skilled enough in the art of concealing-things-from-Jen to be evasive when I ask tricky questions like, “Is that an ice cream maker for me? For Christmas?” So I got it early. Having made ice cream with it twice, I am now obviously an expert, ready to leave the Cuisinart recipe booklet behind and start making shit up! So, before I roast a chicken, curry some veggies, and devil a dozen quail eggs, I am attempting vanilla-orange sorbet.

Why vanilla-orange? Well, I found this recipe for Fresh Orange Sorbet and I have fresh-squeezed oranges but no rinds.* So I glanced around to see what else I might have, and lo and behold, whole vanilla beans!** I sliced two of them lengthwise and dropped them in the simple syrup, which is now simmering on the stove.

The vanilla-sugar smell is amazing, and the vanilla in the syrup is reminding me of how, as a kid, I only liked vanilla ice cream if it had real vanilla bean specks.*** Now I know where those specks came from! I can’t wait to find out how this tastes when I freeze it.

ETA: Curry-deviled quail eggs were a bitch to peel but tasty, the chicken was perfect and has been entirely consumed (gratifyingly). Sorbet has been run through the ice cream maker and is in the freezer. It is SO PRETTY but doesn’t want to freeze. FURTHER-ETA: The sorbet turned out delicious but a little syrupy.

* this is sort of a lie–the oranges I have aren’t nice enough to use the rinds
** from when I was screwing around making klava, which is delicious, but it turns out to be a pain in the ass to clean eggshells, so it didn’t make it into my regular coffee rotation
*** this phrase must be uttered with all the gravity of an eight-year-old who is deeply impressed by something that sounds fancy and mysterious

Dec 222012


Improve your chances of success with an Extreme Smile Makeover at Screamy Dental Associates!*

Smile with Whiter! Brighter! Healthier! Teeth!

After undergoing our Extreme! procedures, your teeth will be so bright they cause photokeratitis! Your teeth will be more dangerous than snowboarding!! Not EXTREME enough? How about exploding fillings!!!**

SMILE until you are so PRETTY and HEALTHY that your body assumes a kale smoothie form!!!

Your teeth will be STRAIGHTER and SHARPER than ever before! SCREAMY DENTISTRY is like a sweater vest and ammo belt for every tooth!

Say, cowboy, are those AMERICAN TEETH?!


Pull the Teeth of Success out of the Lake of Extreme Dentistry and prepare to RULE CAMELOT!!***

Our dentistry is so extreme it has been banned in 13 states! What do you mean you don’t think that is a good metric for health-related procedures? Are you going to let those commie pussies in Oregon tell you how Extreme! your dental care should be?! OH HELL NO!!

Dentistry … without a parachute!

Dentisterie … sans frontières!!






* Name changed from the junk mail that inspired this.

** Patient assumes all liability for injury or distress to patient and others.

*** Screamy Dental Associates does not guarantee a golden age.

**** Not really. We got carried away. Make your appointment today!

Dec 212012

I spent last weekend in Red Lion, PA, partly because I enjoy spending time with my parents, and partly to display to my extended family that I’m perfectly fine even though the traditional aspects of my life have gone awry this year. Oh, also to celebrate Christmas.

My mom (or Vintage JoAnn if you’ve ever shopped her store or seen her sweet self-designed forearm tattoo) has this style that words fail to describe. I think everyone would enjoy touring her house, and if I had a little discipline and an advance, I’d write a book about her. Since I don’t have the latter to generate the former, I spent the weekend sending cameraphone pictures to the internet.

Twitter and the service I use for pictures are shitty means of archiving, though, so here’s the whole set of them on flickr, with the tweet text and bonus further commentary!

If going through the pictures and reading all the captions is tl;dr, the most important bit is this: “I think we all grow up conforming to/rebelling against some standard of beauty and Vintage JoAnn’s standard is breathtaking in scope. This is why I’m confident & pretty.”

Dec 122012

Comments! Positively-worded links on teh twittars! I feel so successful. *preen*

I figured out how to turn off avatars, which I have done for the following reasons (presented as percentages, but you can feel free to picture a pie chart):

4% — Grim said to do it, and I always follow my cat’s style advice.
17% — I prefer text to pictures for a cleaner look.
79% — Can’t figure out how to use an avatar myself.

Speaking of turn-offs, I believe I have turned off comment moderation. Thank goodness. I <3 comments like anything, which is funny since I go through a tortuous internal logic informed by my social anxiety's dislike of being displayed in public any time I wish to post one somewhere else. (With that in mind, my determination to keep this blog at all is funny, but somehow having the tagline about hating my own opinions on the internet helps with this.) I want to figure out how to post a picture, so I'll end this with a couple pictures of my avatar from Glitch (the casual MMO I loved playing that shut down forever the other day; I've replaced it in my life with volunteer distributed proofreading.) [caption id="attachment_54" align="alignleft" width="172"]My glitch wore this swishy coat often, with many hats. Ramen hat, purple coat, bunny slippers[/caption]

Punk princess is the last outfit I played with.

Tiara, pigtails, bustier, cargo pants

Dec 102012

This morning I got up, made coffee, assembled a breakfast of a hardboiled egg and freshly baked christmas cookies, and started scrolling through the twitters. I saw this tweet, felt crotchety, and fired off a tweet of my own: Does Patton Oswalt realize this joke is where the fake geek girl myth comes from? I was disappointed, because I like that guy’s stuff, and I usually identify with his jokes, because they feel like in-jokes for me and my crowd. Then I still felt crotchety, so here we are.

I’ve seen this general thing in a few places lately on the internet, this idea that sci-fi/fantasy, fan space, and the internet are things by and for virginal men. Which makes about as much sense to me as saying that they are by and for only cat lovers.*

This image of “geeks” being unfuckable troglodyte males has really got to go! Was this ever true? I don’t know, maybe, but not in my time in fandom. I’ve spent my life having numerous friends both in and out of fandom, with no particular gender divide. That is, if the stereotype were true, all my nerd friends would have been male, and that just isn’t the case.

And I’m not exactly a snot-nosed baby millenial here, either. I’m in my thirties. I may not be familiar with all of fandom history – I’ve never seen a mimeographed fanzine, for instance – but I do have a little bit of time and a lot of grey hairs on my side. When I found fandom fifteen years ago, it was like water for a dying houseplant. It was energizing, diverse, and fun. If it had been a collection of unattractive males living in their parents’ basements that I had to break into by trickery, sluttiness, or a cold slog of paying dues, I wouldn’t have loved it and I wouldn’t have stuck around. So yeah, maybe this icky fantasy of a stereotype was once true for some people, but if so, we are way beyond it now, so can we toss that baggage off the Cliffs of Insanity already?

You know what traits most geeks I know have in common? They’re enthusiastic, smart, and laugh a lot. In fandom spaces and on the internet, we’re conversing, socializing, making jokes, and having ideas, even though some of us are introverted or have social anxiety or both. There’s so much joy and laughter in our shared culture, that it makes me angry when people label it in hideous ways. The “sex-obsessed untouchable” part of the stereotype enrages me more than the “all males” part, because it is more personal and cruel.

Know what the joy and laughter of shared culture can lead to? Love, friendship, sex.** Know what misrepresenting yourself and your culture as a homogenous blur of vaginaless cave-dwellers leads to? Sitting around in a dark hut with all the other dwarves eating stale straw and turnips.*** I think I’ll just frolic in a circle around those jerks, thanks.

* Which I also actually saw in the wild recently! That expose-y article thingy about the Oatmeal mentioned that the creator had a dog comic that he wasn’t going to post because the internet only likes cats. I think that’s how it went, anyway, and I don’t want to look it up to check.

** Love and friendship don’t “lead to” sex. Many people don’t even have sex as a goal. These are simply three possible outcomes which are related to, not dependent on, each other.

*** Not to malign turnips, a perfectly cromulent vegetable. Also, don’t get pissy with me for using something out of the Last Battle if the reason you don’t like it was that you got tricked by the series and felt betrayed when it turned out to be all Christian allegory. I first read Narnia in my church library between activities on Sunday mornings, so I always knew what it was.