Sunday, 25 December 2011

Catch Up

Alrighty, during generalised fretting and getting distracted I got halfway through writing this handful of posts and I've only just now got my arse into gear to finish and post them.

And I figured seeing as I bothered to finish them I should bother to point them out.

So, yeah, I wrote some things.

26 January - Iron Maiden!

05 March - Soundwave!

13 March - Take No Prisoners, Show No Mercy, Leave No Witnesses

19 March - Dot Dot Dot Dot Dot Dash Dash Dash Crash

2 April - One Or The Other Or The Other Or The Other

10 April - Where To? Where From?

16 April - That's SIR Terry Pratchett, I'll Have You Know

24 April - The Enormity Of Everything

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Secret Family Recipes!

This Tuesday I drove to my aunt's house where she, my cousin and I started assembling one of our family's traditional Christmas dishes.

It's one of those 'nobody ever writes anything down' sort of sets of recipes where you just have to keep turning up year after year to help until you start to remember how it's done.

You know how it's supposed to taste because you've been eating it every year for your entire life but it takes a while to work out how to get it right.

It probably would be easier to write everything down but where would be the fun in that?

All the rolling, blending, chopping, tying, stirring, tasting and seasoning is fun all by itself.

All the yelling at each other over the sounds of the kitchen, asking for consensus, making everybody else taste things and give advice and take turns at things is fun too.

This year only a few of us could make it for one reason or the other but it's different every year.

There's no set time, there's no set procedure.

Every year is different but every year is the same.

The recipes are secret not because it's that different from what anybody else can do.

There are probably plenty of similar recipes in cookbooks and being handed around by other families, amongst themselves and out to friends.

It's secret because then it's just something we do together.

It's secret because then it's special.

It's slightly different and it's all ours and it's just a hell of a day and damn if it isn't delicious every single year.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Health Update

It's been a bit over a year since my body betrayed me with all of my various composite bits staging seemingly independent but actually interconnected rebellions, and since then we seem to have arrived at a truce.

As a result of my immune system and other various bits agreeing to end the strike combined with the healthy eating habits and sheer amount of walking I've incorporated into my life, I feel pretty normal for the most part and consider myself to be exceptionally lucky.

Recently, I've had another round of blood tests and the news is decent.

Various scores that were up and shouldn't have been are continuing to head downwards in an orderly fashion, and are almost where they should be, and the most important score has taken a step in the right direction so I'm no longer right on the borderline where relapsing into an inflammatory condition seemed like a question of which way the wind was blowing.

Of course, the most important score is the one my doctor has warned me may never completely recover. She described it as being like a marker that shows something has happened to me, much like an X-ray will show a healed fracture.
As a result, barring some Wolverine-esque recovery it looks like I'm a teetotaller and decaf drinker.

I'd be more upset about that if I hadn't decided right from the start to treat the situation as if it were permanent.
That way if I was wrong, rejoicing!
And if I was right, well then, I'd be used to it.

I don't have to miss coffee and tea too much as I've found some tasty decaf versions and have a whole range of hippy-dippy herbal teas available to me.

I know carob in no way replaces chocolate but I've always had a bit of a Stockholm Syndrome for carob thanks to my primary school canteen and I've recently discovered that you can get caffeine-free chocolate, no idea what it tastes like yet but we'll see.

So the big'un is alcohol. Alcohol-removed wine smells like wine but mostly tastes like grape juice so it's not the replacement that decaf coffee/tea is. I can cook with alcohol as when you cook things properly the alcohol evaporates off leaving you with tasty foods.
Of course, considering I didn't start drinking until I was 19, I was late to the game and leaving it just makes it feel like a phase I was going through :-P

I do miss alcohol and chocolate but thanks to my scare I have absolutely NO TEMPTATION to have any because if I got sick again I'd probably get RSI kicking myself at which point I would hire other people to kick me. Forever.

A lucky feature of my weird memory and my adaptive personality is that it's been a year since my last drink and I just about can't remember what being drunk/tipsy feels like. I have this vague impression but it just doesn't seem to actually have anything to do with me. Booze still smells delicious but as far as taste* and effect go it's almost like thinking about something that I've read about but never experienced.
Thanks, weirdo brain! That's actually a huge help!

I'm going to keep taking care of myself and appreciate every day that I feel good because worrying about what might happen later down the track is just a waste of what I have now and I am certainly not about to take that for granted.

All in all, things are going well, so hooray for that!

*As long as I don't actually stick my nose in a glass or bottle of something and take a big sniff at which point my tastebuds start excitedly explaining how they remember it tasting and getting nostalgic.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Ricochet's Random List Of Slightly Unconventional Men That She Thinks Are Tasty

Disclaimer #1: The men themselves may not be unconventional but they're not dudes I routinely notice other people phwoar-ing over. I know many of these fellows have their admirers but they're usually not as vocal as the admirers of others. So here I celebrate them.

Disclaimer #2: Yes, this is a pictures instead of words post.

Disclaimer #3: Despite the use of the word 'tasty' I still respect them as unique and complex human beings. Who are tasty.

Richard E Grant

Matthew Willig

Oliver Platt

Sean Astin

Grant Imahara

Stewart Wright

Alan Rickman

Richard Ayoade

Martin Freeman

Andy Serkis

Paul McGillion

Seth Green

Peter Lindgren

Clancy Brown

Danny John Jules

OK, I'm going to stop now before Google Images takes out a restraining order against me.