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go outside and look at the moon!

Panda Whut
It's pretty. Slightly spooky, but pretty. The bright orange dot northwest of the moon is Mars.

I'll head back out in a few to get more photos. They probably won't turn out well either, but it's worth a shot.


this vid fractures me every time I see it

Cat Paws
I know I've shared this before, but the laughter at the end of the video is similar to mine when Bubba joined me on the yoga mat this morning.

Little troll.

5.1 earthquake in La Habra

Do Not Want

I live a good twenty miles from there, so I felt it, but it was far enough away that it felt like a gentle rolling that intensified, slacked off, intensified, and ssslllooooowwwlllyyy slacked off. Went on for about a minute. But we're fine; the cat freaked out, I went to a doorway, and Mom stayed on the sofa. No damage, nothing knocked over, just grumpy from being scared. And slightly seasick for a moment.

Local friends, are you okay?


the best chocolate chip cookies I ever ate

Panda Whut
I call this my recipe because its final form is due to me tweaking and experimenting, but it's actually 92.5% from this recipe, with advice from here thrown in. And a food blog post I found via Tumblr. And this vid. I stand on the shoulders of giants.

Splurge on good brands of butter and chocolate if you can. It's definitely worth it. Find a finely ground sea salt or Kosher salt instead of table salt. Or else put some Kosher salt in a sturdy plastic bag and pound the shit out of it with a hammer until it's fine enough to use for baking.

You can beat the ingredients as long as you like until you start introducing flour to the batter; after that, mix as little as necessary. From the second article: "The liquid in the dough will activate the gluten in the flour and the more you stir, the tougher your cookies will be. Make sure the flour is fully incorporated, but be careful not to over do it."

This recipe makes about 24-30 three-inch cookies. Measuring and mixing take about half an hour once your butter is room temperature, and baking will take about an hour. Ideally, these two steps are at least a day apart; see #6.

2 5/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups regular semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup large bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light or dark brown sugar, tightly packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt with a whisk and set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing for about ten seconds and then scraping down the sides in between.

4. Add vanilla, then scrape down the sides again.

5. Sift a cup of the flour mixture in, then blend until it looks incorporated. Scrape down the sides. Add another cup via the sifter, blend, and scrape. Sift in the rest of the flour and dump in the chocolate chips (and nuts, if you're using them) at the same time. Once the flour looks mixed, turn off the mixer. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl, and work any flour in by hand until it looks completely incorporated.

6. COVER THE BOWL AND LET IT SIT IN THE FRIDGE FOR UP TO 36 HOURS. 36 is the best, but 24 or even just overnight will do. Yes, you can bake them right from here, but the taste and texture both improve if you chill the batter for a while.

7. Preheat your oven to 375 F. (190 C = gas mark 5)

8. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough by hand into 1.5-inch balls. Place them three inches apart on the parchment.

9. Ovens vary, so start by baking them nine minutes. You want to take them out of the oven when the very center looks a little under-done, and the edges of the cookies are starting to get golden brown. In some ovens, it's nine minutes; in others, it's closer to twelve. I set my microwave's timer for 10:45, and they come out perfect. If your cookies look more done than that, remove them immediately to a cooling rack; otherwise, let the cookies sit on the sheet for about ten minutes before moving to the cooling rack.

I like my chocolate chip cookies big, thick, soft, and chewy, and these fit the bill perfectly. The semi-sweet chocolate chips I used a few weeks ago are a Valentine's gift from Mom; See's is one of the best chocolate companies in America, but a pound of their semi-sweet morsels goes for about $7. That's almost twice the supermarket price. Mom sent me ahead to buy athletic shoes and lingered in See's to buy a bag of chocolate chips for me. The nice part is that sixteen ounces by weight turns out to be almost three cups by volume, which is -- TA DA! -- the right amount of semi-sweet chips for this recipe. The bittersweet chips and the salt provide a nice contrast to the sweetness of the rest of the cookie.

yes or no

Meme Sheep
Stolen from teddyradiator

1. You can ONLY answer Yes or No!
2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages or comments you and asks! Feel free to request any further explanation.

Now, here's what you're supposed to do, and please do not spoil the fun. Copy and paste this, delete my answers and type in your answers. Then see what happens. Read more...Collapse )



Mom forgot her towel before getting in the shower, so I went in as soon as she closed the curtain. I put her towel over the bar just as she squeaked.

Me: What is it?

Mom: I forgot soap, too.

Me: Here. [hands a new bar of Mom's soap around the curtain] I thought it was the spider.

Mom: WHAT?!

Me: Tiny spider. Cute spider. A body smaller than a grain of sand spider.

Mom: Okay.

Me: The big one is just outside the window.

Mom: WHAT?!?!


concrit request for fanart

Panda Whut
I put the actual entry a few weeks back because I don't want to crap up anyone's flist, but I'm asking for fanart concrit. It's a wishful-thinking moment from after Sherlock series three, so don't click if you haven't seen all three episodes. Spoilers and a few big images on the other side of this link.



Anxious (Linus)
I seek feedback for a BBC Sherlock fanart rough draft. I have the rough draft of lineart almost finished, and I just want a second pair of eyes to look at the scale. I have a tendency to make faces and noses too long, and hands and feet too small. I haven't bothered with some of the details because I'm fairly confident I can manage those in one go. The bits I've done look okay to me now, but I'd like a second opinion before I transfer it to poster board and break out the colors.


Anonymous comments enabled. Original idea, reference images, and a big rough draft image under the cut.Collapse )

Dec. 4th, 2013

Squee (Ewan)

AND THIRTY S3 SHERLOCK PHOTOS WERE RELEASED!!! Spoilers via the link, obvisly. And in the comments of this entry, so be warned.

If you click, look at what Molly is wearing in her first photo. *more happy dancing*

That is all, thank you.


I'm going through books that boss-man JT wants me to order. One's title is Dictionary of Shipping Terms.

I immediately thought, Well, there's OTP, BroTP, and OT3 ....

television meme

Meme Sheep
• Bold all of the following TV shows of which you’ve seen 3 or more episodes.
• Italicize a show if you’re positive you’ve seen every episode.
• Asterisk * if you have at least one full season on tape or DVD
• If you want, add up to 3 additional shows (keep the list in alphabetical order).

I added Kingdom and A Bit of Fry and Laurie. (No, I'm not a Stephen Fry fan, not at all.)

Read more...Collapse )


Blergh (Bertie)
It's been a lovely TRHS run, though it felt too short. (I think that's because of my cold last month, which cut my involvement with the play into two segments instead of a six-week whole.) I knew my time was running out this weekend, so I danced, sang, and yelled as many audience callbacks as I could from the lobby when I wasn't needed elsewhere. Closing night, at least four of us jammed into the tiny lobby and flailed along with everyone onstage during the Time Warp. It was glorious.

And after the last performance, Michael (Frank-N-Furter) walked straight up to me and hugged me for about fifteen seconds. I would travel for days to see that man perform again. Hey Chief I might be wrong, but a post on Facebook makes it look like he and a couple other cast members will be in a production of Hairspray. I hyperventilated at the thought of seeing him as Edna, even though I don't know if that's his role or even if it's really happening. I shall keep an eye on Facebook and make a fuss if it happens.

Hanging out with ronfaure on Sunday was great, too. We went out for lunch, and I dropped her off six or seven hours later. Par for the course when we hang out; neither of us particularly wants to go home, so we keep finding other things to do. I found some under-bed storage boxes, a close match for a lipstick Avon discontinued a while back, J. J. Abrams's book, and metallic grey eyeliner, among other things. I spent the evening watching Sherlock and loading music into my laptop so I could put each CD into storage, and they'll all eventually go under the bed. Except for the good stuff, which can stay out for public perusal.

Now that TRHS is over, it's time to think about the holidays. I've started buying non-perishable foodstuffs in preparation for Thanksgiving. TURKEY!!!

This isn't a proper happy list, more a rehashing of the weekend and looking ahead, but most of it's happy, so it works. Happy Monday/Tuesday!


Panda Whut
Only on Halloween (or, technically, the early hours of November 1st) can you see a tall, gangly dude dressed as a nun skateboarding out of a gay bar and not do a double take.


oh, well

Blergh (Bertie)
I have a cold. Yay. It's been a few years since I had one, so it took me a while to realize what it was. At first, I thought I'd inhaled a feather at the Mysterium. (Lots of feather boas shedding shit everywhere.)

Three things for which I am grateful:

Paid sick time.

Not a bit of friction with Mom this weekend, and she left the Chinese leftovers here for me, which was sweet.

I tried a yummy cherry pie bar recipe this weekend!

I have called my boss to let him know I don't want to contaminate my coworkers with this dreaded lurgy, eaten soup, and taken a half dose of NyQuil. I shall grab the cat and go to bed. When I wake, I'll watch Elementary so I can send those DVDs back to Netflix.

Happy Monday/Tuesday!

I don't get it

Dunno (Ten)
So I wore my comfy, grotty jeans, an old denim jacket, black flat snow boots, and a black sequin tank top to the Mysterium Friday night. I just didn't care; I was in it for the comfort. (Except the sequins; they're itchy.) I got appreciative looks from half the people I encountered and was called sexy (that's a first) by two people.

Armed with self confidence, I dressed with care Saturday: green button down shirt, black pencil skirt, black nylons, and mid-height black patent heels. Yes, I have a big belly and a thick waist, but I have decent cleavage, a large but decently shaped arse, and shapely legs. Not a word.

Then I showed up Sunday in a Beatles t-shirt, pinstripe blazer, grotty jeans, and the snow boots and got compliments again. No "sexy," but compliments nonetheless.

What the hell?!

book rec!

Bookstore Shiny
So there's been a lot of fuss over the lovely Thoroughly Modern Monsters anthology over the last few weeks, but that isn't the only book that's come out recently that's an author's first leap from fanfiction to original published fiction. This is a review I wrote at Amazon yesterday:

All Dr. Emily Daggett wants is for her computer to work, to get tenure, and for magic to be real.

One out of three isn't bad.

There were moments when I thought of Stef from "The Goonies" saying, "Where are you?! You're in the clouds, and we are in a basement!" A big chunk of the book literally takes place in the basement of a college building in Iowa. It's about as unremarkable a setting for a magical story as one can imagine, which makes it the ideal place for a mysterious wizard -- or as he prefers it, convincer -- to hide. Emily inadvertently discovers Alexander Hartgrave's secret and learns that magic is as real as she'd always dreamed, but did her only source of information really have to be the grumpy guy from the IT department?

Colleen Cowley has written a charming and fun debut novel. It's a story that's infuses fantasy into the real, everyday life we all slog through on a daily basis. I enjoyed reading it and highly recommend it.

And who is this shiny new author?


Deeble, who kept me on tenterhooks for two months by updating "What E'er Therein Is Promised" every other day. Deeble, who has made me laugh with her shorter stories, especially "Thinking Fourth Dimensionally" and "Nothing to It."

Hartgrave is clearly inspired by Severus Snape, and it was a thrill to recognize his influence in this book. At one point Thursday night, our Frank-N-Furter came upon me hunched over my Kindle and giggling uncontrollably while I read. (What can I say? I get excited by my friends' successes as much as my own.) The book isn't flawless, but it's a fun and tense adventure with a satisfying ending.


You can read an excerpt from the book on her website:

If you want to buy it, go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble via this page:

Many of you can spare three bucks. I got a free copy ahead of time so I could leave an honest review (Deeble's words) online, but I did buy the book last night, both for a more easily read text (the PDF is tiny on my Kindle) and to support a friend.

Once you've read it, you can review it at Goodreads:

And LibraryThing:

If you buy the book and you like it, please review it and spread the word. *sighs happily* And now I can finish reading Thoroughly Modern Monsters so I can review that, too.
Panda Whut
Yesterday, I had no appetite, my back and neck hurt like a sonofabitch, I had Rocky Horror music stuck in my head all day, and I misplaced my glasses. Sucked all around.

Today, I ate a decent breakfast, the chiropractor had time in his schedule for me, I listened to the Romy and Michelle soundtrack on my way to work (current earworm is "Karma Chameleon"), and Michael had my glasses. I left them there when I went to help him set up a new quarterly spreadsheet; he thought they were his (senior moment) and put them safely in a drawer. He laughed and handed them over when I asked him if he'd seen them.

"This too shall pass" isn't a cure for everything -- sometimes things change irrevocably, and you have to fumble your way to a new normal that includes something really shitty -- but it worked this week.
Hmph (Jo)
Maybe later.

Andrew trying not to be sarcastic

hot damn

Yay (Martin)
Last night, I said good evening to a handsome but ordinary looking man in a plaid shirt, cream jumper, and dad jeans. An hour later, he dominated the stage in a pearl choker, fishnets, a teddy, and sparkly six inch heels. He must have flipped some switch inside, because he has a certain louche quality onstage that's entirely appealing. And what a voice! Ladies and gentlemen, our Frankenfurter is amazing.

So is our Columbia. When she's dancing, you can't look anywhere else, not even at Frank, and her voice is as extraordinary as her feet. She holds nothing back. She takes up so little room on stage physically, but her energy just flows out and feeds everyone around her. She's fantastic!

The rest of the cast is good overall, but these two are king and queen of this year's The Rocky Horror Show at the Mysterium.

Opening night is Friday. I can't wait!


Panda Whut
Trina Dubya

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April 2014


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