daidoji_gisei: (Cooking)
For many months I've been stressed out by things that were going on in my life and one of my reactions to this has been making bad food choices which leads to weight gain which makes me unhappy for various reasons which raises my stress level which...you see the pattern, right?

However some things have shifted around in my life this month and I had an awesomely fun and refreshing vacation trip with friends and so this past weekend I decided it was time to change some things. Improving my general health was near the top of the list, and since it had the side benefit of helping my clothes fit better I decided I now had lots of incentive. (Got to go clothes shopping with my best friend and spent lots of money on pretty and non-work-useful clothes. It was a blast.).

With that in mind, I opened up the MyFitnessPal app I had downloaded after getting my iPad. It had been recommended as a good fitness app, and it was free, so. It has two basic functions: tracking what you eat and what you do as exercise. As you put in your foods eaten it maintains a running count of calories, carbs, fats, proteins, iron, etc. When you log your exercise it deducts the calories you expended from the total. It also provides nutritional breakdowns by the day and by the week, which I think will be useful.

The first thing I've learned is that I have not been eating enough protein. (This seems downright unAmerican, but there you have it.) It seems that all these years I've been eating enough for the weight I wanted to be, and not the weight I really am. Oops. Even worse, I'm not eating enough sodium. This doesn't seem like a huge deal until one considers that live in a place with hot summers and I don't use air conditioning--on really hot days I can sweat a lot, and I need to make sure I replace that lost salt.

The app will calculate eating plans based on your goals, whether it be to gain, maintain, or lose weight. It won't calculate a plan to make you lose more than two pounds a week (and it's set up to *strongly* suggest only one pound a week), which I think is very responsible of the developers. I am currently following the plan to lose one pound a week, but if I can get my eating habits under control I might try for a more ambitious goal. We'll see.
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
I had a disturbing and irritating dream last night. I dreamt that I had a rental car that was stolen by some of my sister's friends and she wouldn't tell me who because defending them was more important than me getting the rental car back, because I was going to tell the police. I was like, "They stole my car!" and she was, "They were just having fun!". I tried screaming at her how much I hated her, but there was something wrong with my voice so I came out sounding all thin and screechy. It was a very frustrating dream.

The dream pretty much mirrors what kind of behavior I expect from my sister. A lot of people I know don't even realize I have one, because I haven't spoken to her in over ten years and thus don't have a lot to say about her. I don't feel like typing out the whole drama that triggered the current situation, but the final act was me having to explain to our mother on Christmas Eve that her youngest daughter wasn't going to be at Christmas dinner that night and, in fact, planned never to speak with her again. My worst Christmas ever, and that tops the one were Mom was going through chemo for her breast cancer.

It's very painful, having once had a sister who now isn't. I have many friends who have good, or at least amicable, relationships with their sisters and I have huge jealousy issues over it. I've been blessed with a friend so close we are sisters in all but blood, but as good as that is (and it is very, very good) it doesn't make me forget that void.

Worse than that, however, is dealing with the people who learn of my situation and take it upon themselves to inform me that I need to let go of the past and call my sister up and reestablish relations with her. This makes me crazy-angry on such a deep level I have trouble articulating it--which is good, as it has saved me from several situations where I might have otherwise been yelling obscenities in public. They are just another voice in the chorus of voices telling me that my feelings don't matter, my pain doesn't matter, I don't matter. (I have felt this weight for years and years, but couldn't grasp its shape until the time I was seeing my doctor about some sinus issues I was having and he said, "We need to jump on this hard--you've been in pain for too long", and I started crying out of the blue. I was not used to having my pain being an issue of concern.)

None of them ever wonder why my sister doesn't grow up and rejoin the human race--no, I'm the one who is somehow at fault here. When I was seven and she was six I can see the value of holding me up to a higher standard of behavior, but when we are both in our thirties I think we should have a level playing field. I haven't changed my phone number since we last spoke, she can call me if she wants. I'll hear her out, if only because I'm gruesomely curious as to why she couldn't have sent her cancer-striken mother a get-well card.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Wow. Last week was one that I hope to not repeat soon. My assistant manager was taking some (well-deserved) vacation time, so I was down 40 labor-hours. To make things more exciting I also had to shut down dayside operations for one day so that we could repair the floor tiles in one part of the bakery production area, so we were also missing a day in which to work. The repair was important but not critically time-sensitive, and had been scheduled before Sandra scheduled her vacation, so I suppose I could have tried to move one or the other, but then I would have run into other scheduling issues. So I just decided to tough it out.

Which I did, kind of. I had some really long days and not everything I wanted to happen did, but we got through. My day-time staff was their usual awesome selves, which made it possible. I am told that some managers don't like to hire very competent people because they fear being replaced, and the longer I work as a manager the more convinced I become that these people are crazy. Hiring good people makes your work go easier and gets you the reputation for training good people, which is a win-win in my book.

On the personal side, I am looking into getting a DSL connection. I realize some people reading this are probably going, "Wait. Dial-up still exists?", but I've always had dial-up and have mostly been happy with it. Having dial-up means I am totally safe from that time-eater known as youtube, and after I got my laptop I could just take it to work and use the fast internet there to download pdfs from AEG or software updates.

But over the last few months I have become more aware of the idea of the internet as a source of music. Setting aside the classical part of my collection, most of my music was bought back in the 80s. Most of the remaining non-80s music is by artists I first started listening to in the 80s. Now I love my 80s music, but it seems to me that there must be currently active artists making music I would like if I could hear them. And the internet offers ways of finding such music.

It would also make it easier to grab podcasts. I've never been a huge fan of podcasts--an outgrowth of my general coolness towards talk radio--but riding on my exercise bike has shown me that I can take about a half hour of talk on a subject I am interested in, and that I get horribly bored on my bike with no entertainment. There are only so many times I can rewatch the Star Wars trilogy or Princess Tutu, so podcasts fill a need.

In the meantime, I need to go wash some dishes. This coming week looks to be as busy as the last: Sandra comes back, but Easter is next Sunday and there will be a lot of baking to prepare. I need to get as much done around the apartment as I can now, as I suspect I will not be coming in home in the mood to do a few loads of laundry and bake bread.

Saturday

Apr. 9th, 2011 08:17 pm
daidoji_gisei: blooming tree branches against blue sky (Color of Sky)
Today was warm. Like, really warm. Like, upper-80s lower-90s warm. A few days ago our highs were in the 40s--welcome to springtime in Nebraska. I celebrated by virtuously hauling all my sheets to the laundromat for washing, and then taking off to my favorite thrift store for some warm-weather clothing. I am not in dire need of new clothing, I just wanted the excuse to be outside doing something frivolous instead of inside doing housework. I ended up picking up a black straw hat, a handful of summer dresses and blouses, and a pair of white dressy sandals, all for under $15. (This is why I try to have all my retail therapy sessions at thrift stores.)

I also spent some time gazing rapturously at my garden. My peas, kale, kholrabi (spellcheck! kholrabi is a word!), mustard, cabbage, and lentils are up now. I am especially looking forward to watching the lentils, as I have never grown them before. I have no idea if the harvest will be of any useful size, but I figure at worst I will have improved the soil in that patch of garden. My spinach, mache and broccoli have not appeared, and I fear they are not going to. I am especially sad about the broccoli, as it is one of my favorite vegetables. I've already bought and planted a 4-pack of broccoli seedlings from a local garden center; if the seeds don't sprout by the end of next week I might go buy more.

I put clean sheets on my bed and cooked dinner, but that may be the end of anything usefully domestic out of me tonight. I really want to take a bath and wash my hair, and after that rewatch Advent Children. I haven't seen a good swordfight in ages.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
This afternoon I painted on myself.

Not just any paint, I should add. The good people at the Dharma Trading Company sell a line of Temporary Tattoo Ink which, as one would expect from the name, allows you to paint tattoo-like pictures on skin. In this case, mine.

I had gotten the paint a few summers ago for Gencon and then wheedled my long-suffering friend Brent to paint the Daidoji mon on my arms. I hadn't used it since, and I've gotten tired of it mocking me from the bathroom shelf I had parked them on after my move. Unfortunately, Brent lives in a different time zone so I had to paint myself this time. The results were not pretty: I look like I was attacked by a seven-year-old armed with a watercolor set. But I had to paint by looking in the mirror at what I was doing and half the time I was using my off-hand, so I wasn't expecting a great result. My hope is that if I start practicing now then by the time warm weather rolls around and I am wearing shirts that would allow my efforts to be seen they will be worth looking at.

Since this was all experimental I did random stuff: I have the constellation Orion on my upper left arm, a rose and three cornflowers across my chest, and a wheatstalk-poppy-cornflower bouquet on my upper right arm. Next time I try this I am going to put the complicated design on my left arm, so that I can use my right hand to paint with. Also, I need more paintbrushes. And I need to order something in the yellow or gold range, because green wheatstalks, while possible in nature, look drab when paired with green stems and leaves.

Now I will see how long they last. The Dharma website says 24 to 72 hours, but I recall they lasted longer than that at Gencon. You can take them off with rubbing alcohol, but water doesn't affect them much: I took a bath this evening and it did nothing to them. I don't think any of my winter blouses will show them; otherwise I will have some explaining to do. I wonder, could I keep a straight face long enough to convince people they are permanent?
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
I had some minor pain today, but nothing like my pre-doctor visit days, so I am ok with that. I might hope that after 18 hours of treatment all of my symptoms would go away, but I wasn't exactly holding my breath over it. Still, I had enough energy this evening to start the allergy test for my hair-coloring; some thing I have been meaning to do for a couple of weeks now. (I plan on being a red-head for my Chicago trip.) Assuming I don't break out in hives or something, which I never have before, I'll do the coloring Sunday night.

This morning I gathered up my courage while getting dressed and stepped on the scale. To my amazement I had lost a few pounds since the last time I checked, meaning that I have now lost over ten pounds since Christmas. I hadn't been riding my bike since I started feeling ill, but I have been trying to maintain healthy eating habits, so I guess that was enough to carry the day. I am planning to start riding again, at an easy pace, tomorrow though. My blood pressure was "average" according to the nurse, but checking the Mayo clinic site it is higher than ideal, so I am curious to see how much my 30-minutes-per-day goal helps if I am dedicated to it.

Looking up

Feb. 10th, 2011 11:37 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
Today was delightful.

Yesterday I finally decided that I didn't have to live in pain and made an appointment to see my doctor; and his office was able to get me in this morning. I explained my symptoms and what I had and had not done, and he diagnosed a sinus infection and prescribed a steroid to de-inflame my sinuses and an antibiotic to clear out the infection. He didn't do any lab tests, but maybe when the patient complains of constant crawling pains up and down the sides of her face lab tests become unnecessary. At my request he also wrote down his recommendation of a humidifier or vaporizer, so I can use my flex plan money for it.

While I was there I discussed my health-related (irrational) anxiety with him. He agreed (in a nice, reassuring way) that my paranoid anxiety really was far-fetched and unworthy of worry. His opinion was that it would probably fade on its own, but if it did not then I should talk to someone about it. He also said he could write me a prescription for something to get me 'over the hump' if I needed, and if I do end up seeking therapy I will be sure to discuss this with my therapist. If a medication can get me some breathing space while I develop some healthy coping strategies I'd be a fool not to use it.

I may not need to, however. I took the first steroid at lunch and the first antibiotic at dinner and the change is amazing. I still have little twinges of pain in my face, but they are pale reminders of what I have been living with. And it is amazing how much my outlook on life has improved now that I am not in constant pain. It's magical!

The other thing that made this day good was that I wore the shirt that I had embroidered, and collected a lot of nice comments on it. In the afternoon a co-worker with a cell phone that could take pictures and email them took some photos of it, so I can post them later. This is doubly exciting, as it means I can finally put something up on my deviantArt account; until now I've only used it to keep tabs on a few artists I like.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Yesterday ended up being ok, I guess. I spent the most of the day been fretful and vaguely unhappy, which was partly because of the waking-up-with-mysterious-blood thing but probably more because I was in day 3 of being cooped up alone in my apartment, and with the weather being gray and foreboding to book. So, I did some dishes and made some progress on a story, but I didn't change the sheets, do more embroidery, or get on my exercise bike. *sigh*

BUT! In the afternoon I had a lovely long phone call with Yoon, which cheered me considerably. We spent some time commiserating on writer-things, and it is such a pleasure to talk writing with another writer--I think that is one of the things I miss most about my old writers group. We also discussed arts, child-raising, names and how people mispronounce them, levels of formality, and killing and eating chickens and sea urchins. As you can see, we covered a lot of territory.

This morning is still gray and foreboding, but it doesn't seem to be actively horrible so I will probably load up on clothing and go to Mass. I am looking forward to being in a room with other people in it; it will be quite the novelty. Then it will be more story-writing and dish washing.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I got up this morning, went into the bathroom to do stuff, and discovered I had a little smear of blood on the left side of my chin. As you might imagine, this is disturbing. I dabbed the the blood off and found some skin breakage below. It's probably nothing more than me scratching a proto-pimple in the night, combined with all of the aspirin I took yesterday enhancing the bleeding, but still mysterious bleeding really isn't the kind of thing one wants to wake up to.

I am now in the process of trying to convince myself that I do not have a rabid bat (or mouse? What else gets into houses in the winter?) hiding somewhere in my apartment because having gone through rabies shots once that is where my mind goes. Mind, why must you demand that I prove that something doesn't exist? It is so very irritating. Although I recall reading that bat bites (at least, the bats typically found in Nebraska) do not leave blood, or much of a mark, but still.

In less dire but still irritating news I discovered yesterday that I am already missing a part to my new pressure cooker. I have used it twice. The missing part goes in the handle and helps the lid lock down on the pot, sealing in all the steamy goodness. I am planning on making a diligent search of my kitchen today when I wash dishes (something I let slide badly this week; when I am sick housework is the first thing to get neglected), and failing that I am going to write to the manufacturer and see if I can get a replacement part. Failing that I suppose I could see if I could lock down that side with a c-clamp--all the missing part does is lock down the lid, so all I need to do is find a way to reproduce its function, correct?
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I got up this morning at 5 and did a load of laundry before breakfast. After breakfast I gathered up all of my sheets plus my bedding and took them to the laundromat. This is far more sheets than I usually deal with, but between the weather and New Year being on a Saturday I just hadn't gotten them washed before now. I filled 3 double-load washers.

After getting home (and doing another load of laundry) and having lunch I did some reading, hung out on the internet until Fred sent back my story with his suggested edit, fixed it and sent it to Shawn, and then started cleaning and rearranging my living room. This was kind of a way of not doing my dishes, but since I really do need to clean and rearrange my living room I decided this was an allowable dodge.

While at the laundromat I had finished crocheting a shrug that I've been working on forever; all I need to do now is sew up the sleeves and its an article of clothing. (Though I really need to wash it before wearing.) It felt good to get one of my projects done and I suspect that helped feed the living room frenzy because it sure would be nice to have a place to sit and do handwork projects, doubley so since I have found my embroidery stuff.

I took a bath tonight and so I will be clean, wearing a freshly-washed nightgown, and sliding into freshly laundered sheets. This experience is one of my favorite things, and pretty much justifies dragging my sheets through the snow this morning.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Well, so far the new year has been mixed, mostly in a ordinary fashion, but probably more on the positive side. On New Years Day one of the local thrift stores had a sale with all clothing for 99 cents. I got six nice shirts and a really nice brown linen skirt that kind of flares out at the hem. I love sales like that, because at that price I can think of them as rentals--I can wear them until the season, or my size, changes and then just donate them back to the thrift store to sell again. Everyone wins!
On Sunday I cut my left thumb while trying to make breakfast, forcing me to attempt to spread peanut butter with my right hand while holding my left hand, thumb swathed in toilet paper, above my head. This was not at all enjoyable and I do not recommend it. Then I spent a lot of the day fruitlessly searching for my embroidery supplies. I remember exactly what tote bag I had them all in, but it defies location. It's so frustrating, because I feel like it should be so obvious where it is and if I just bend down at the correct angle or look at a corner of a room over a shoulder or move a box slightly it will just pop into view--but it never does. I could go out and buy a hoop and some floss to get started with, but all my design books were in that bag, including the Dover book of Pennsylvania Dutch iron-on transfers, which is apparently out of print.

On the positive side, on Sunday I realized that the straw-yellow cashmere sweater I had bought at a thrift store with the intent to cut it up into fabric was a men's medium, not a woman's medium. I tried it on and, sure enough, it fit. It didn't fit great--the bust was a little tight, and the sleeves were a bit too long, but I wasn't going to quibble. On Monday I paired it with the brown linen skirt and felt so sophisticated I hardly knew what to do with myself.

Monday was a lot of running around depositing paychecks, mailing rent checks, and the like. I also found two flowerpots for the geraniums I need to repot. And then I got a call from Yoon and we talked for an hour or two. Calls from friends are always good. A call from Yoon is extra-good because we can talk writing-stuff together--she's reading her way from Gold to the current story arc, and I can hardly wait for to hit my stuff, to see what she thinks of it. I mean, I know that she generally likes my writing, but I'm curious to know if she spots any persistent technical flaws I need to address.

Tuesday I was back at work, and my thumb was annoying me again. I was wearing a band-aide, a finger cot and a glove on my left hand, which was a little bit of overkill but as the store's Safety Office I feel obliged to model good behavior. If all goes as planned, I am going to hang out at my desk tomorrow and work on inventory; then I'll only need the band-aide.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Empress (Empress)
On Tuesday and Wednesday my birthday and Christmas gifts from Karin and Ami arrived: a shiny new kitchenaid mixer and a box of attachments. Squeeeeeeeeeee! It was black, the color of several of my favorite dresses. The enclosed gift card apologized for not being able to find one in a rose print, a comment which is only funny if you happen to have been listening to Karin and I shop for clothes last summer.

(In my defense, I'd be quite happy to obsessively collect clothing in something other than floral prints, but it is quite rare to find items with a star motif designed for middle-aged women. I have one--count it, ONE--casual summer shirt with a star print pattern. And swords? Forget it. I'd even settle for battle-axes [now that I think about it, battle-axes would be kind of awesome] but until Coco Chanel gets reborn as a D&D player I think I am out of luck.)

After getting my new toy home I cleared off a section of the counter that runs along the west wall of my kitchen. My clever plan is to give my mixer (and other random small appliances) a permanent home on the counter; this will encourage me to use them because they are right there in the open while discouraging me from piling random junk on the counter because I have appliances sitting there. I have now christened that section of my kitchen 'Battleship Row'.

Then I spent some time petting it. I am pretty sure that most people, upon getting a kitchenaid, says something like "Wow, it is so big and powerful". My reaction was "IT'S SO SMALL AND CUTE!" This is what your brain is like when your workplace has a mixer that is almost as tall as you are. While googling for recipes I came across the information that the original kitchenaids had been manufactured by Hobart, the same company that makes the mixers my bakery uses, which amused me.

So this weekend I start using it! We made macaroons at work today, so I brought home 18 egg yolks. I don't remember how many the Yolk Cookies in the Joy of Cooking uses up, but I can always increase the recipe size. And I can use some to make a really big batch of spritz. This is going to be so much fun!
daidoji_gisei: Rukia being her normal delicate self (Delicate)
I get cramps about once every two or three years. So why do I have to have them *today* ?
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
A number of my co-workers know that I moonlight writing for a game company, and a few of them have expressed interest in seeing my stories. I am compiling here links to a handful of my L5R fictions, with some notes on their context to help readers unfamiliar with the game make some sense out of them.

"L5R", by the way, is the community's shorthand for "Legend of the Five Rings", a game line that started (and remains) a collectible card game and also has a role-playing game based on it. I dabble in writing on the RPG side, but mostly I do fiction and card-related writing.

L5R is sometimes described as being based on Japan's samurai era, but it is much better described as being based on the samurai movie genre. It is a glorious (or horrifying, depending on how you feel about such things) mish-mash of Asian history and culture, containing Tokugawa-style samurai, Heian-style courtiers, Mongol-style horse warriors and the kitchen sink. Oh, and ninja. (That will be important later.)



These stories are all set in Rokugan, an imaginary land where the Great Clans (Crab, Crane, Dragon, Lion, Mantis, Phoenix, Scorpion, Unicorn) make up the Emerald Empire. The Clans cooperate to keep the Empire running, but they also struggle for power among themselves. Individual members of the clans have their own struggles. As most of the adult men of the Empire and an appreciable fraction of the women are running around armed with 3' long razor blades this creates a certain amount of drama.



First, a story from the last Crab-Crane war. There are two minor characters, Hiruma Aya and Daidoji Kojima, who in a previous story were shown to have a "relationship".
The Flowers, The Snow


I think this story pretty much stands on its own, but it is helpful to know that in Rokugan there exists a supernatural disease called Taint. Taint is essentially uncurable (though not completely untreatable) and if left unchecked it devours both the body and soul of the infected and turns them into an enemy of everything they have ever valued. Seriously bad stuff.
Legacies


The following story concerns the conflict between Shosuro Jimen, the Emerald Champion, and Kakita Noritoshi, daimyo (lord) of the Kakita family and the Empire's greatest currently living duelist. Jimen became Emerald Champion (the Empire's chief law enforcement official) by hook and by crook, touching off a bitter feud with Noritoshi in the process. I have written at least 4 stories in this plotline, but I think this one stands alone the best of the group.
Consequences
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
Today I was having a conversation with a co-worker and it suddenly crystalized for me that there were all kinds of places in the world for women who wanted to lovey-dovey, fuzzy-wuzzy, in-touch-with-their-goddess-natures, but there is no place for women who think of themselves as intellectual creatures and are comfortable with that.

Now I'm going to spend the rest of the day faintly irritated.

airfoils

Oct. 8th, 2010 09:56 pm
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
Today's xkcd is on why airplanes can fly and it annoys me, because at one point I know I knew this completely and now I have forgotten it. I suppose there is something to be said for being able to forget more physics than most people learn in their whole life, but still. I'd be happier if I could have easier recall of it all.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
New color choices for my journal! Whoo hoo!

I actually read the DW announcement this morning and idly wondered if the new code push had any new colors for my layout. Lo and behold, there was! Several, actually, but I'm really not into green so the other two didn't do anything for me. This one, however, I thought was pretty nice. It's called "Tea Roses", which will probably get me razzed if certain people should ever learn of it, but oh, well. It makes me happy, for "Messing around with my journal" values of happy.

Now if only I could find an icon community that I liked. Obsessive Icons on LJ seems to have faded away, and I haven't yet found anyone with their cleanness of style. Granted, I haven't looked that hard, and for the last year I haven't looked at all, but you know.

Speaking of icons, this week I found a music vid that made me wish desperately I knew how to cap vids and turn them into icons, because I'd love icons from it. But it's not going to happen: I don't have the skills now, and I'm not going to invest the time just for journal icons.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
This morning I had the dream where my alarm clock was ringing and I couldn't find the switch to turn it off. None of the controls would do it, and even unplugging it didn't help. I find this dream very irritating, because it always occurs when my alarm is, in fact, going off, and nothing is helping because I am acting in the dream-world, not the real one. Granted, at the time I was in the middle of a dream involving having a man tied to my bedstead (which was highly peculiar, because I don't have a bedstead, but I must admit I preferred this dream to the one I had over the weekend when someone broke into my place and tried to steal my purse)--but that really isn't an explanation, because this is not the first time I have had this dream and I never remember that this is a dream.

The other my-alarm-is-going-off-dream has me on a starship where the emergency claxon is sounding and we need to evacuate the ship. I find this one less irritating, possibly because I don't expect to be able to turn off an emergency claxon with a flick of a switch. But alarm clocks ought to be obedient, right?
daidoji_gisei: blooming tree branches against blue sky (Color of Sky)
I do not want to go to work today. It's not the job itself; I'm not expecting anything too horrible today (other than possibly the Deli manager deigning to answer my email from last Friday). No, it's the weather that pulls me. It's raining slightly and the air is that almost-never-felt perfect cool-but-not-cold temperature and the breeze is active enough to be bracing without threatening to blow away any of the stacks of paper on my desk.

In short, I don't want to go sit in my windowless office for eight hours. *gloom*
daidoji_gisei: Rukia being her normal delicate self (Delicate)
I grew up with the understanding that my feelings only mattered to me, and since I was unimportant my feelings were likewise unimportant. As a result, it can take me a long time to realize that I am angry, or unhappy, or in love, because strong emotions can take a really long time for me to process.

Most of my co-workers, who are way too deep in the touchy-feelly end of the spectrum, would consider this horrible and start recommending therapy for me, but I feel the need to point out that there is an upside to this. Take this morning, for instance, when I learned that one of my fellow managers had not only unilaterally made a change of policy regarding something that affected his department tangentially but had a significant impact on two other departments (one of them being mine, as you might guess)--he didn't bother to inform anyone in the other two departments of this. We found out about it via a customer who was expecting us to follow a policy we didn't know existed. You might say I was unhappy about this.

But I didn't do anything then, because I was still processing. I finished bathing the lemon-cake-to-be in lemon syrup and then went up to my desk and sent out a carefully worded email to Mr Unilateral, the other affected manager, and the level of management above us. I expect that there will be discussion on this on Monday (and if there is not there will be another, even more carefully worded email), but by then my rage will have peaked and I will be able to discuss things without battling the urge to lace my sentences with profanity. So you see this disconnect does have a certain utility.

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE--I tested two cake recipes today and they were great. The first was a spice cake with applesauce that was beautiful: richly spiced, tender, and so so moist. I might have to tweak the spice level down a bit, because sometimes the flavor grows as it ages, but everything else was perfect. It's now undergoing the fridge test, so we can see what kind of a shelf life it has. If that works out I'm going to put it into production.

The second was lemon cake, which I'm building as a variation of the Gateau au Yaourt we are already doing. I used lemon oil instead of vanilla extract, bathed the baked cake in a lemon-sugar syrup, and frosted it with a white frosting I had lemoned up a bit. It was...lovely. I could not keep my hands off of it. Which was ok, because no one else could either. Sampling cake makes you pretty popular with the staff, let me tell you. It is also going through the fridge test this weekend, and it it works out I might put it into production Monday because I have dreamed about having a lemon cake for years and now it is almost within my reach. A Sith Lord might wait patiently for years, waiting for the perfect moment to introduce a cake flavor, but when that moment comes they strike with absolute power and ruthlessness.

....yeah, it's been that kind of week. I think I'll go work on my dinner. Bacon and tomato sandwiches, made with a Cherokee Purple tomato from my garden. And a slice of lemon cake for dessert.

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January 2017

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