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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in pope_jackson's LiveJournal:

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Monday, October 31st, 2016
3:55 am
Stupid LJ Crashed On Me So #%?$&!!!!!!!!!!
I had a lovely entry written out about my trip to Canada, my upcoming surgery, how I saw The Accountant, and books I'd read/am reading, but LiveJournal crashed on me and apparently there's no such thing as autosave. So now I have nothing but bitterness and a desire to stab LJ if LJ was a person.

Oh hey LiveJournal, fuck you.
Monday, May 16th, 2016
2:36 am
Elizabeth Electra: or, A Small Jar Of Honey
I love the imagery that honeybees and honey evoke. I love the phrase "milk and honey" though it's probably not a phrase, but a pairing and references Moses or something. Honey and honeybees make me think of the countryside, and the countryside makes me think of England. England makes me think of the Victorian era, and while, yes, it makes me think of all those historical romances I read (that Tommy dubbed "Victorian porn"), it also brings to mind Sherlock Holmes.

I've tried to read a little Sherlock Holmes in my life, but was never able to get far. I don't like reading things out of chronological order (if I can help it) and at the time, my library wasn't going to ensure that all the books would be waiting there for me in the public stacks in order, just for me :/ I abandoned that pursuit for other things, like fantasy and small flashes of romance (Little Women and Rose In Bloom). I never forgot the man over the years, but I never did approach him again. Until now.

I'd stumbled across a title called The Beekeeper's Apprentice a while back (in a bookstore? the memory escapes me now) and discovered that it was a reimagining of Sherlock Holmes told in the eyes of a young--and FEMALE!!!--protagonist. Sherlock Holmes as an old man, living in the countryside, playing chess with his 15-year-old neighbor? Who he then takes on as his protege?! Sign me the fuck up! Except the e-book was $10 and I was (and still am) poor. I eyed it all the time, as if I was some raggedy urchin with my nose pressed up against the virtual glassfront of the bookstore. I'm pretty sure at least a year passed, and then lo and behold I bought it last night because I justified to myself that I am making a lot more money now and I could afford it. And dammit, it references bees in the title. And MOST of all, I cheated (sorry not sorry), and found a short story called The Marriage Of Mary Russell for $1.99 and bought that first, which THEN necessitated the purchasing of books 1 and 2.

I am already devouring the Beekeeper's Apprenctice, and yet at the same time savouring it. Laurie R. King has somehow managed to take this man of mythic proportions and made him simply into a man. Still brilliant as fuck, but approachable. I'm half falling in love with him, and he's 54-years old in the book!! (But I have oyaji-crushes all the time anyway--Cary Grant from Charade, Jun Kaieda from Otoko no Issho, Betty Neels' protagonists--so this doesn't bother me much). So of course I'll most likely be buying up the next books in the series (provided they don't fail me). I'm a sucker, what can I say? But if I can get more adorableness out of this brilliant old(er) English gentleman, I will happily fork over my monies. And the language! I can't describe it but it feels so poetic that I just want to fly over over to the southern English countryside and eat scones with honey and tea and tramp over fields (though I am a die-hard city girl) wearing tweeds and have my hair pinned up.

Yeeeeeep, I am a sucker.

But after all this is over, I might try to revisit the old Sherlock Holmes series once again.
Monday, March 28th, 2016
4:07 pm
I Have Long Since Recovered, And We May Rejoice
The flu is gone, months ago. It seemed to take forever, and I lost nine pounds, and people noticed.
Sadly, as my health returned, so did the weight, despite my trying to eat healthy and keep them off. Oh well.

I've had a promotion of sorts since I'd returned to work. A small area next to the Tanaksan front of the house that used to be a florist's tiny showroom has been reacquisitioned to Tanakasan and converted into a production kitchen. I am now making dumplings, shaping bao buns, and casing sausage in the space. It's called the Dumpling Pit. For all intents and purposes, it's up and running, but I am still waiting on shelving and for some kindly souls to remove the placeholder decor that's confusing people and making them think I'll be cooking and selling dumplings to the public. Silly people, think again!
We hired a new girl to be a fellow dumpling monkey (or pit wolf, as I call myself when I am feeling rather cool and accomplished). Her name is Mia, and I don't know what to think of her. I have ambivalent feelings that veer slightly into the negatives when I recall it's to be a day where I'll be working with her. I've been so used to my solitude for so long, that having a person beside me in my own space makes me a tad uneasy and leaves me feeling at a loss as to how to instruct a person on how to do things, or what to do next. Apparently the girl's only been in the industry for 5 months. I try to take that into account, but most of the time I'm just vaguely battling annoyance if the girl can't show any iniative or signs that she's thinking on her feet. She once cooked a recipe but neglected to taste the product, which would have straightaway told her that the recipe didn't include any salt. I swallowed my disdain, and we proceeded to try to solve that problem.

I freely admit I would make a shitty mentor or teacher of any kind. I don't react well to incompetency. I may outwardly seem calm and understanding, but inside I am harshly judging and condemning you. Saturday, we had a small supper party for Tommy's mom, who just had a 60th birthday. Tommy's brother Robby and his new girlfriend came over to help prep, but not only were they late (strike 1), they couldn't seem to follow the recipes I'd taped to the wall. True, I do write in some shorthand. But if you read a recipe and can't even make the connection that some of the ingredients have already been cut like 10 minutes ago and are sitting in a bowl in front of you, then you deserve to be inwardly called an idiot. But most of all, and I still have not forgiven Robby and his girl for this (and I probably never will), is when I told them I had leftover origami paper and could they make paper chains, and they went and fucked it up. Robby's girl said she knew how to make paper chains, and then proceeded to make the first cut into the paper without any regard to measuring. Robby then tried to help out by taking a stack of paper and cutting, whereupon the scissors snagged on the not-paper. Did it occur to him at that point to divide his stack into a smaller amount and cut into that? Nope. He just kept on cutting, as if persevering would somehow make the paper submit to his will. And his cuts weren't even equal in size. I mean, for fuck's sake. Tommy ended up trying to salvage Robby's failures, and that made me feel better, but if a man can't cut paper, why should I have any hope that he can cut a carrot into the size I tell him to cut? (Here's a hint: he couldn't. I let it go because some things are not worth stressing over. I mean, I'm not a kitchen nazi or Michael Pierre White or anything.)

Anyway, some of these things translate to Mia. Right now we are two girls working in the same space, and I am at a loss to teach her, so I don't really. And we are definitely not friends. I know I'm probably setting myself up for failure but really, some things are common sense, right? Work fast and efficiently as you can, write things down so you're not wasting time going back and forth consulting a recipe in a clunky notebook or a prep list on the other side of the kitchen, don't ask "what do you want me to do now?" when you can say "hey, can you talk me through how to doing _____?" I know I am coming off sounding like a complaining bitch, but really. Common sense!

Well, I am now in a bit of an annoyed mood and I still have to clean out a closet, so I am going to go now. Cheers.
Friday, February 5th, 2016
6:23 pm
The Flu, The Old Man, And Me
Whatever day Monday was (the 2nd? 3rd?), my long-standing illness came roaring back with a vengeance. I'd been struggling med-less with what I now believe is bronchitis ever since some time after the new year, after we'd gotten the cats. There are so many possible factors (drafty shelter, rainy days, chilly house, my sensitive soles of my feet, not enough rest, my own tomfuckeries, whatever) but I struggled, and coughed, and tried to work through it because it was bearable. I wasn't dying or anything. Tommy insisted I should've just called in sick in the first place, but my pride wouldn't let me. I'm a cook dammit! I don't call in unless a limb's been chopped off or something! Okay, I exaggerate, but that is a bit of how I felt. To stay home for a little cough seemed an act of sheer weakness, and it galled me.

The cough ended up never quite going away which put a damper on a lot of people's lives. Finally, after a particularly grueling night where I got no sleep, it hurt to breathe, and I'd been wheezing for what seemed like forever, and I was in tears, I finally agreed to see a doctor. I was in and out, given some antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs for my (useless) lungs. I didn't particularly get the greatest vibes from my doctor (he seemed a little high handed and slightly dismissive) but I was the wheezing fool so who was I to argue. 10 days worth of antibiotics and 5 of anti-inflamms.
And so I started feeling like I was getting better. The wheezing cleared up immediately, I was starting to feel bright eyed and bushy tailed. And went back to work, took my meds, and then went into my weekend. Saturday and Sunday were fine. I tried to take it easy at the gym, we went out to eat. Normal.

And then everything blew up on Monday. My temperature spiked, I started coughing like it was the latest trend. I couldn't work. I made another doc appointment, finally with the doctor I like (Tommy's physician), who listened to what I had to say, did a test on me and told me I had the flu.

And now here I am. By the nature of my relationship with Tommy, as we share a bed, he's got the flu too. He came down with symptoms about a day after me. Or was it the same afternoon? The days are blurring now. I let work know that I was down for the count and while I wonder if they're doing okay without me, or half destroying my station by turning it into a pigsty, I can't really care right now because I'm still miserable. I tell myself I'm getting better, since I'm no longer burning up (my temp was as high as 104.9 at one point....scary as fuck), but the coughing sucks, and there's very little phlegm to make me feel better about all the coughing. It's soul-wracking during the day, and annoying as fuck during the night. I refuse to sleep in the living room again. That shit was torture. Tommy is mad at me for infecting him.

To even achieve some semblance of sleep, I drug myself up with Delsym and a couple of Alka-Seltzer gel caps. I don't cough as much, except for the soul-shaking ones that bring up phlegm. The first time I experienced the blissful quiet, years ago with flu #2, it felt so good, and now I find myself chasing after that fleeting joy again. Part of me wonders if it's like a junkie's high. They say that druggies always are looking for the same feeling of that first hit, after all.
And now with my moments of clarity, I have sleep hallucinations. That's what I call them. My sleepiness makes all this weird stuff up and somehow it makes sense.
Apparently there's an old man of the mountain who sends travelers across the lake that is supposedly my down comforter. I am the maiden who gives passage. The tickling in my throat that makes me cough is a warning of danger, and so I must cough, and that act in itself is a call to arms, or some warning to the Old Man, to pull back the lake and withdraw passage. I cough, do my schtick, take a sip of water and lay back down, only to dream like that again. It's clarity but not very restful, though I feel no itch to arbitrarily cough nor do I feel that near constant dull pain in my rib, side, and chest from my day coughing. I have to sleep on my back for this to happen. Sleeping on my side doesn't seem to be as effective, or sleeping on my front anymore (though front is better than side).
Last night I dreamed Tommy had black trumpets growing all over him, and my dream sense told me that black trumpets were an omen of death or something, and I told the Old Man to take them away, as I did his bidding without question for so long, he could do me a service in turn. "Not him," I asked. "Place them on an old, dying granny or someone else who needs it. Not him." The mushrooms disappeared.

I'm afraid of the Clarity. It's like beauty and madness encapsulated for a small space in time in me, and I get no rest, though I am able to sleep for a time. But I want the Clarity. I need to stop the pain and the petty dry coughing and wheezing. I fear all the time that my tolerance will increase and then I'll have to up my doses when I'm not supposed to. I don't want to do damage to my liver, or my blood pressure (already it feels like I'm doing something wrong when I have those stupid coughing fits, like I might have an aneurysm if I cough wrong).
I feel like if I could just have one good vomiting session, then I could truly get better. There's a stubborn phlegm in my lungs and I wish I could rip them out and scrape them, or throw them away for a new healthy pair. Fuuuuuck. Today is the first day I didn't feel like I was starving. My appetite has been so poor, I was subsisting on mere tablespoons of ice cream, and sips of juice and energy drinks. I struggled to eat a hard boiled egg. I fared slightly better with very watery oatmeal. I cried in my heart that I wanted my father near so he could make me steamed eggplant with shrimp paste and white rice. It's all I thought of for a while as I rocked back and forth with my fist clenched into my stomach. So this morning, I finally had enough and made some white rice and steamed a duck lop cheong. I fried an egg as well, but could only manage a bite of that. Oil is beyond my stomach right now, but the steamed fare went down much better.

I'm still scared about what's to happen to me, but I'm going to cook more rice tomorrow and deal with the betrayal of my own body as I can. Please let me stop coughing. Please, please, please.
Monday, January 4th, 2016
11:44 am
The Elements And The Afterlife
After what seems like forever, I had a really vivid dream last night that I wanted to post about because it was so interesting. It's quickly fading though, and while I was dreaming, it was all action and almost no plot, so how I am going to tell this story, I have no idea. Here I go....

It seems like my brain took the concept of Heaven/the Afterlife and molded it after the place described in The Amber Spyglass. A beautiful forest-like place. But whereas my shoddy memory seems to recall TAS's forest as golden hued, my forest had a clear blue sky. The trees were huge, possibly poplar-like, with trunks so large, it would probably have taken about 6 people with their arms wrapped around to cover the circumference.
The moment I saw the forest, I had about a minute's worth of observation before the dream was plunged into nonstop action. I was looking around when a movement in the sky caught my eye. It was one of the trees floating away (toward but away) in the sky. "That's...huh (weird)," I thought. And then my dream-eye panned down and the land was in chaos. The earth was sinking into the ground, and filling with water, like some pseudo-quicksand/sinkhole. The trees were being sheared at the base of the trunks and being lifted off into the sky.
In the couple of moments it took to see all this, my dream-mind processed that I was some shinigami-like person/elemental guardian. I was possibly an Earth guardian or a friend of one. I might have had a buddy with me of that element with a wolf as his elemental guardian animal. I remember one of us asking another guardian on the scene something to the gist of "Did you notice anything happening/going wrong?" and he replied in the negative. Turns out he was a liar. It was a plot to take over the land and he or someone he was working for had planted smashed these elemental crystals (that in its whole, original form, looked like jewel-colored nigirizushi haha) and planted them among the trees, which was probably the way to fuck them up good, if not kill them. There was a scene where I and a bunch of my buddy-guardians were digging them up, and I remember exclaiming, "[That dude] was a fucking liar! Even a baby could find these [crystals]!" Because a baby (okay, a toddler) was helping us dig out crystals. So I knew that guy was up to some shady plot. What that plot was, we'll never know. Maybe he wanted control of the land and his element to be in power.
At some point the team went back to the site where most of the forest had been and it looked like it had been razed to the ground and the earth turned over, like it was going to tilled and something was going to planted in its stead. And not in a good way. The sky was gray colored and it looked like a windstorm was going to pick up. There was a brown wicker shack and I and one of the wolves hid in it, as if on guard.
There's not really much else to tell about this dream anymore. The wicked plot never explained itself so I have no idea what the bigger picture was going to be. It was mostly just little details about the place afterward, like dead souls come of the land as floating pieces of white paper, and when they hit the water they fold up, origami-style, into little boats and then they floated along in the water until they hit the land and then they became birds. It didn't matter what kind of bird; I saw peacocks, I saw sparrows and finches.

Anyway, I'm losing the dream now. Other details seem extraneous and useless, so I'll end this here now. I just wanted to write what I saw because the forest seemed to beautiful and the chaos really terrible at the time.

I think I didn't have a vivid dream in a while because my brain hasn't watched much TV in a while so it didn't have many new images to process out. But I've been watching Rick and Morty and catching bits and pieces of commercials and football games on TV at various places so I guess it was time to spit out a vivid dream as a result.

Sorry this writing has no cohesion haha. I'm watching Tommy play MGS 5 and listening to music at the same time. I am easily distracted.
Sunday, May 3rd, 2015
5:44 pm
The Man Dreams Are Made Of
Right, grammatically incorrect but not caring so moving on.

Just re-re-(and probably add another re- in there--I've lost count)read Without Words by Ellen O'Connell. I'm probably super biased but I thought the book was amazing and rated it 5 stars on my Kindle, even though I know in real life no man in the Old Wild West could've ever been so perfect. It doesn't matter though. This is an Ellen O'Connell romance and this man was truly the stuff of dreams. Handsome, honorable, a little pigheaded, but thoroughly lovable. I fell in love with him myself hook, line, and sinker.

The thing with an EOC romance is that all her heroes have these same traits one way or another, and yet, they all feel new and different in each book. (The ones I've read anyway. At this point I'm extremely tempted to buy them all. I confess I probably will.) My favorite one is Dancing On Coals because it's the wildest, and I mean in the sense that it is the furthest removed from civilization, set in the sprawling New Mexico territory, and the hero is a devil of an Apache warrior.

I don't even know what to say without wanting to babble and over analyze so I think I'm just going to not wait until payday and just go ahead and buy all her books and just enjoy indulging in dreams weaved by other hands.
Monday, April 20th, 2015
12:54 pm
My "Teen-Flick" Soundtrack
Pressed my music player to shuffle.
Pressed play.

Psy's "Passionate Goodbye" feat. Sung Shi-Kyung comes on. Okay....

1. Opening Credits: Psy- Passionate Goodbye feat. Sung Shi-Kyung
(The song sounds peppy enough to be opening credits, but since I don't know Korean, who knows what this song is about? Okay googled it, it's kind of a breakup song but more bittersweet and focuses on good memories and stuff. Hmm.)

2. Waking Up: Epik High- Girl feat. Jinbo
(Uhhhh another breakup like song where the protagonist misses and reminisces of his lost love... Have no idea what this says of me...)

3. First Day Of College: U-Kiss- She's Mine
(Ooh, apparently this song is about a femme fatale. Basically the sort of girl who can stop traffic, steal your heart with a smirk, and she belongs to the singer so keep your hands and thoughts to yourself. At first I thought it would be cool if the song was about me but I don't like being anyone's property and I sure as heck ain't gonna claim a lady so... Yeah.... So far this soundtrack's all over the place.... -_-)

4. Falling In Love: Brown Eyed Girls: La Bohème
(Rather than falling in love, this is about how the singer is free-spirited and restless. So... If you're gonna fall in love with me, keep in mind I don't like being tied down and I'll need room to breathe and run?)

5. Fight Song: Jessica (SNSD)- Sweet Delight
(This would the most ironic fight song ever since the lyrics are about how being in love is sweet and fluffy and comparisons to cake and coffee and sweets abound. So if this song played during a muted screaming match or a physical fight scene, I would be laughing my head off. While bopping my head cos this song is frigging catchy, haha.)

6. Breaking Up: SNSD- Sunflower
(Ooh an actual fitting breakup song. The lyrics imply how the singer is "a sad sunflower in the shadow" and longing for her guy who's fallen for someone else. Well, if the mood fits...)

7. Prom Night: SNSD- Karma Butterfly
(A self-affirmation song about being awesome and emerging a karma butterfly. Cool. So, even if I don't have a prom date, I can still be awesome as fuck? I can dig that.)

8. Life Is Okay: Huckleberry Finn- Chasing You
(No lyrics found on my quick google search. So I'll just have to infer from the title and the song's tone that I'm determined and passionate, and that I'm willing to after someone will all my heart and willpower and that's supposed to fill me with strength and joy or some shit.)

9. Mental Breakdown: House Rulez- ANGEL
(This is a mostly instrumental dubstep-influenced track, so I can only imagine I might be having a grand time falling apart to this song. Montages of me binge-eating of kindle reading or some other form of self-destruction? At least it's backed up by this cool track...or not. Cos if I'm film- shooting up I'll be a tad pissed.)

10. Driving: The Pillows- 1989
(Tone-wise, this would be an awesome introspective driving song, with the wind in my hair and the sun on my face. Lyric-wise, the singer is rowing a boat, and actually being introspective. So...perfect?)

11. Flashback: SNSD- LOVE & GIRLS
(A super peppy flashback song if this is gonna apply. The lyrics are about how the singer's shiny and free and awesome. Super positive and happiness abound. I dig it, if I apply it accordingly.)

12. Getting Back Together: SNSD- Everyday Love
(Wow, actually kind of apt, even if I don't google the lyrics. Tone and title, this sounds like a really good reconciliation song. Love is special, and normal, and a day-by-day journey toward forever. So, cool!)

13. Wedding: Do As Infinity- Jidaishin
(Badass wedding song if the guitar is any indication, haha. Apparently Jidaishin means "hands of time" and the lyrics are about struggling ahead with your might and looking toward the future. So.... Badass wedding song indeed! Especially if I'm walking down the aisle in my wedding dress with pockets, little gold sandals, and leaving on my little green scooter. Ha!)

14. Birth of First Child: Casker- Missing
(Ew, kids. That said, errr... Missing? So like this kid isn't born or not there anymore? The song is ambiguous and very introspective and could be construed as melancholic. So... Um....)

15. Final Battle: Clazziquai- Gentle Giant
(LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL the most wrongest song or the most ironic battle song EVAR. Blood and mayhem backed by this song would have me horrified or rolling in my seat. I choose badass bloodthirsty awesomeness backed by a song about a gentle giant who's apparently a courageous, mighty man who keeps us away from harm and fear.)

16. Death Scene: Utada Hikaru- Passion
(Badass death song. I would be proud to have this song playing during my death scene. If I'm fighting an epic battle, that is.)

17. Funeral Procession: Miss A- No Mercy
(Title wise this would be awesome. Tone wise it might also be awesome. But I think this is a love themed song. Lemme google. A kick'em to the curb song. Hmm. Do I want to be carried away to my grave backed by a fierce song about telling a guy to take a hike after enduring enough of his shenanigans? Sure why not.)

18. ending Credits: Gloomy Cat- Spring Waltz
(WHAT!? After all these badass songs, I end my movie with this gentle delicate instrumental piece?! Wtf.... It's like my movie just had all the teeth pulled from it. Booooooooooo. Hmph!)
12:43 pm
Screw You George And Your Manipulative Ways
Just finished the latest chapter of Sweep In Peace and while I love Ilona Andrews, I am so pissed at George (the Arbiter) that I just want to rip off his face. How dare he cause death in the Inn! If no suitable restitution is forthcoming (and I don't even mean money--fuck that) a piece of my soul will lose its shit. You don't bring a bloodbath to neutral ground, just like you don't destroy someone's 40-year-old apple trees on their own property. *unintelligible choked off growling and cursing and yelling*

Speaking of manipulative ways, Tommy is teaching me to play go. Teaching being an operative word because it's more like throwing me to the lions and not even waiting to see if I'll be able to claw my way out, and when I come out the den, missing a limb and an eye and bleeding everywhere, he tells me what I should've done instead. *unintelligible choked off growling and cursing and yelling*
I have no problems playing with him. But I do get annoyed when I lose, and when he points out faults, or when he does his wishy-washy "Ummmm you really wanna play there?" and points out an alternative. I hate charity like that. He says it's not charity, it's teaching, but I say it's kicking me while I'm already down. Or when the game is over, it's rubbing my nose in my own shit. It infuriates me. On a tiny, infinitesimal level I am grateful, but in the beginning I am mostly enraged.
When I win (so far only twice but that's not the point), it goes a long way to soothing my battered spirit. Winning a game ensures I'll be more receptive to playing future games. Winning a game ensures I won't be tossing game pieces and fighting the consuming urge to upend the table in frustration. I am a terrible example of sportsmanship. I am a really horrible version of John McEnroe. ("Oh, come on!!!!!!" *unintellible choked off growling and cursing and yelling*)

Well, that's life so far in a tiny nutshell. I hung out with Home Remedy's Sara at the Cantina on Friday. That was fun. I am still socially awkward and very naïve and I still prefer to read my kindle at home than sit and watch television. Speaking of which, Tommy went to get a haircut yesterday and told the chick cutting his hair that his girlfriend "likes to sit in the closet and read her kindle."
*angry pause*
That STUPID, MOTHERF...(*unintellible choked off growling and cursing and yelling*)
Monday, February 2nd, 2015
11:30 am
A Familiar Taste

Dreamed I had a cake that I haven't had since my mom made it last. In Chinese it's called "dailumkum" but to the best of my knowledge, the English equivalent that I stumbled upon was called butter mochi. Mom's version never had butter in it, but I digress. The details of the dream are hazy now but I remember finding a plate of the butter mochi cut into perfect squares on a plate. Maybe in a fit of culinary inspiration, whoever cooked it also went the extra distance and fried up those squares so the sides were crispy too. The inside was lightly sweet, like my mom's used to be. They were not as chewy, which you usually attribute to age, so either they'd sat out a bit or the frying dried them out? Either way, I still ate one. I woke up thinking about my mom.

I should attempt butter mochi.
It's a bit too early for mom's death anniversary but could the mild spring-like weather be triggering thoughts of my mother? Who knows. Not that it matters. Dreams of my mom are few and whenever I can glimpse reminders of her I cherish them. I have to, since I didn't cherish my mother when she was alive. I loved her but took it for granted that she'd be there forever. So now I must take what I can from flimsy memory.

Sunday, July 20th, 2014
12:44 pm
The Happiest Ending

Holy crap. An amazing, weird, sweet dream that would normally have me quaking over all of it.
I'm probably not because it wasn't actually about me, but the dream me, where I was certainly not Chinese me. I think I was tall, still black haired, but white. Like Demi Moore but not her, of course.

Here are the essentials because I can't remember much else:
- I had a lover, and we might have had the closest thing to a marriage without it really being a marriage: tattoos and a son. If that doesn't scream, "COMMITTED!!!!!!!!" then I don't know what does.
- I think we were in Greece.
- I learned to be a bit wild and uninhibited. Before the kid arrived, I managed at least one sexy, brazen, public shower. At some point I was naked, but then I think for decency's sake I showered through a thin striped dress and my tan pseudo-satin panties because dream logic said that those dried fast even if I wore them.
- my lover gave me that tattoo. At some point he might have looked a bit like Alan Rickman, in a deep velvet voiced with beaked nose kinda way. Or it could have been a smoldering young version of him. But dream ID said he was mine. It was his idea for me to get a tattoo. We traveled up a mountain side town and somewhere near its highest point, he inked the tattoo on my upper arm. It spanned my bicep and was like an aerial scene of the mountainside steppes we'd climbed, but looked abstract depending on the angle it was viewed from. It was colored mostly black with some yellow, but over time (possibly 12), it had faded to that matured grayish green-blue that tattoos have.
- we had a son! We loved him dearly. Despite my lover and I having the occasional tumultuous argument, we stayed together and by the time the dream was at its current state, he was this nearly half grown thing. Whenever lover and I fought, he'd run away and climb the mountain steppes to hide out so we'd find him. The climb to get him would reconcile us and make us laugh and teach us to love eachother again. Then we'd laughingly collect our wayward boy, and then let him scamper home while we made love on the secluded mountainside (it was implied).
- lord, the love was quite palpable and heady. I never felt the pain of the tattoo, only the joy of wearing it. And every time I saw it on my arm, I felt this welling of great love. It was the sweetest affirmation that a man truly loved me, and was deeper proof than some stupid wedding band. It was almost a primal feeling. That and having the son (which dream did not subject me through childbirth. He just kinda showed up). I remember the vagueness of his tattoo needle on me, but dream muted it. Still, the love was overwhelmingly there.
-Esther from avec made a cameo, I think. Plus someone I don't know but have seen on fb cos he's friends with Rachel and Esther: his name is Jason Chan.

Well, that's all I can really remember but it was the stuff that counted. Now Tommy's getting impatient on me so we can head to a wine fest. Cheers!

Saturday, July 12th, 2014
11:49 am
Captain Philips Falls In Love

Just had a dream that was so vivid, it was practically a movie. And it was! Tom Hanks was in it, playing a taxi driver who looks, well, pretty normal and mundane. Except the rest of his family (as is soon revealed) are brilliant scientists and scholars. He's smart too. Except compared to the rest of his family, he's pretty ordinary. On the weekends, he goes to facilities to test his aptitude abilities (like taking SATs and stuff).

Then there's this actress who might be Kristen Wiig. She's delightfully normal and just adorably pathetic in some ways. She tries to be brilliant and smart and poised and it comes back to bite her teasingly in the ass. (There's a crying scene where she's in the passenger seat of Tom Hanks' cab and she's crying while eating an ice cream cone. She bites her ice cream instead of licking it, and meanwhile there's a hole in the bottom of her cone and melted ice cream is dripping into her lap. The scene was supposed to be touchingly funny.)

Kristen Wiig's character is a lowly receptionist or secretary-sort who works for a government contract firm headed by someone who looks like Melissa McCarthy or something. Except McCarthy has a squashier face and the actress in my dream movie had sharper features and a straighter, beaker nose. Any hoot, she might be a villain with some nefarious plan. The dream didn't focus on her much because it was selling the movie to be a romantic comedy of sorts.

Kristen Wiig's character is brilliant. It's not revealed yet as to what her talent is, but whatever it is, it apparently will take Tom Hanks and their supposed falling in love to reveal it. Also wanted to point out that Tom Hanks' character isn't some bitter type with complexes over his family. It seems as though his being a taxi driver is an act of cheerful defiance. Basically Tom Hanks plays his charming self like he did in You've Got Mail. Hmmm maybe instead of Kristen Wiig, it can be Meg Ryan...? Nah, it was a younger-ish actress (compared to Hanks).
They meet cute in a doctor's office or a dentist office or a testing facility (not sure which).

I just remember the dream being absolutely charming and humorous and it made me want to see it. Older couple romances are delightful and the dream was selling the courtship as humorous and charming and delightful.
Jaysis the way I dream up movie plots, I might as well learn to screenwrite so I can try to sell the movies....!!!

No idea what the the title of the movie was going to be, but hot damn, Tom Hanks as the lead in a romantic comedy geared to older folks? And it's funny and charming? Hell yeah I'd run off to see it!

Thursday, June 5th, 2014
7:50 pm
Lord Chaos

Oh jaysis, I frittered the day away to read more of that book about Loki and now I'm half in love with him and all my common senses are screaming, "NO YOU STUPID IDIOT, DON'T DO IT!!!!!!" but my heart and hormones are squirming on the floor in heated embarrassment and protest: "We're mixing him up with Tom Hiddleston and we can't help that he's an antihero and misunderstood!"

Argggggghhhhhhh. There's so much I want to say and can't because none of this is real. I've been reading way too many awesome romances where some tortured, honorable hero (or usually antihero) falls in love with some purehearted, honorable, tough-as-nails young woman and I wish something like it could happen to me.

Don't mind me, I am on the tail end of a hormonal crimson rush. That's the only explanation I can think of to explain my behavior as of late.

2:23 am
Latest Interests
Bullet points:

-Sky Ferreira: dark eyes, platinum blond hair, channeling 80s Madonna/Cyndi Lauper/Fiona Apple, all around catchy. And I think she's pretty. (And for some reason I feel like a creeper cos she's only 21...)

-Loki: I'm reading a book where he's the protagonist. I still keep thinking about Tom Hiddleston. The two intersect and both are very, very hot. Please let there be some hot makeout session with our heroine Amy at some point. Also, the book is primarily set in Chicago right now WHICH I LOOOOVE.

-Baking: last week it was thumbprint cookies. This week is nut butter chocolate chip cookies. Later this week will be a walnut cake for Tommy's team. And my candy thermometer just came in so at some point I will practice making buttermilk fudge (and black licorice taffy).

-Hot cocoa: We bought Callebaut and we love it. We like Trader Joe's as well. Ghiradelli is deep and chocolate-y, but very one note. Guittard rouge cocoa is interesting but pricey for what it offers. Scharfen-Berger cocoa is disappointing despite its regular chocolate being so good. I can't wait to finish what we have so we can start ordering from our Amazon cocoa wish list (yeah we are big on cocoa in our house).

-Perfect hard boiled eggs: Start in cold water, let boil 3 minutes. Let cool. I like to eat them still warm with a pinch of kosher salt over the kitchen sink (and skirting the whole danger zone bacteria shenanigans).

-Meat braised with mustard and sambal olek: A magical combination.
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
5:18 pm
Bluegrass This
A thought occurred to me as I am listening to Fiona Apple's song, Criminal: the Dixie Chicks could and totally should make a bluegrass cover of this song. Just cover this song. It has shades of Sin Wagon sassiness to it. I would totally love to hear their take on this... Just sayin'.
Wednesday, April 16th, 2014
3:08 pm
The Wickedness Within

Something must be wrong because this is the second night in a row I've had an unpleasant dream. The first night ended with me walking alone at night along a dimly lit sidewalk, with an unidentified man in a black (low) top hat and black cloak across the street walking parallel to me. There was a feeling of malevolence and suspicion welling up inside me and I tried to not panic at my growing unease. He crossed the street unhurriedly toward me and I knew he was after me. As I tried to lose this pursuit (but of course, I can never run away or fast in dreams), he quickly came upon me, and as I desperately tried to swing my fist at his face, screaming, "Mom!" Or "Mama!", I woke up. Not a pleasant thing to wake up to.

Last night I ended up dreaming about a mysterious man who looked like Jason Statham, who apparently was a hitman or something of that nature. He was looking for something that I (or a member of my family) had in our possession. It was either a golden bracelet of the zodiac, or a carved pendant of some importance. There was this underlying feeling that he had no trouble killing us for it and that he was acting under someone else's orders. I think we were aware that we were being targeted but not sure how. Luckily, we had cleverly hidden the bracelet/pendant in plain view and tried to plant a couple of red herrings in the room. We were also vaguely aware we might be harmed for doing so. Unbeknownst to us, our enemy had rented an apartment across the street from us, and while we had our blinds drawn and he couldn't exactly see where we'd hidden the thing, he was able to observe where we hadn't hidden it. Just before I woke up, the man had entered our house and he was confronting us with an unspoken casual menace. We tried to plant another red herring: false documents that looked genuine. I'm not sure he was going to fall for the trick as I was about to wake up but he definitely had one of my family members in his clutches as I woke up....

So what's up with these two unhappy dreams? Why do I feel like I've got some sort of trauma I'm not aware of that might surface? Am I being "haunted" by a stress I've unknowingly forced myself to forget? I know I'm in debt but I'm waiting until payday to pay off this Monty's loan. I've paid the electricity bill and I'm sure I can handle the gas bill. Am I unconsciously worried about the dip in my pay after my upcoming Portland trip? Tommy says he can help me with that if need be, so I technically shouldn't be worried. Do I have any fears concerning my father? Of course, but those aren't really new. I'm a little at a loss. I want to be suspicious but it very well could just be coincidence.

Anyway, I've recorded it for posterity. Let's hope this all comes to nothing and that I am not my own personal oracle.

Sunday, April 13th, 2014
3:55 am
A Family Lineage

Zomg Georgette Heyer is KILLING me. Thus far, all her books have been winners. Even Convenient Marriage, which has been the weakest one to date, had its charm (I just cannot stand all the powdered wigs and face patches and gem encrusted heeled shoes). I just finished These Old Shades, which was set in France during the time of King Louis XV, and despite the powder and patches (which isn't so prominent here), it was really enjoyable. Charming and quaint. Léonie could've gotten on my nerves, but somehow never did, even when she was being impudent.

I'll say one thing though: so far, all the book I've read have featured romances with significant age gaps. I'm starting to ponder if I'm not missing out on some wonderful whirlwind romance with some gentleman rake 10+ years my senior.... Lord Damerel will always have a place near and dear in my heart. The Duke of Avon might be next. I almost want to jump into the sequel, Devil's Cub just because I'm curious about the Duke's and Léonie's son....but I think it's time to go to bed. Good night!

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
12:55 pm
Even Loli Hunters Get The Blues

Scrolled through my fb feed and it looks like Andy Kim is departing avec. We weren't close but he was part of my avec family at the time.

I'm getting another case of the homesickness blues. Everyone is moving on. Does anyone ever think about me? Am I just hanging on sleeves like a hungry ghost?

Always at times like this I wish I had friends here. I don't work late enough to have a drink with friends. I don't work long enough to get close with anyone. I live too far away to run off at the drop of a hat (though with the 255 it could be possible maybe).

I miss cooking buddies. I'm lonely. I don't want to rely on my boyfriend's companionship all the time. I really am throwing bottles out to sea when I'm writing letters.

I'll pass this bout of homesickness soon, but it will come back again. Chicago is in my blood after all.

Monday, April 7th, 2014
4:03 am
Your Hand In Mine

It's the middle of the night but it's not stopping me from reading books. Reading under the covers is one of my favorite things to do. I build myself a warm cocoon and read with the light of a very good flashlight.

But anyway, I've just finished Georgette Heyer's Venetia, and holy crap I am in raptures. It's freaking awesome. Where can I find a Lord Damerel of my own?! I thought Sylvester was cute and Georgette Heyer a Regency genius, but Venetia stole my heart. I'd like nothing more than a Venetia sequel where she and Damerel do nothing but hold hands and smooch and make googly eyes at each other. I know it's not possible since the author herself has been dead since 1974, but still! Someone other than my overactive brain wanna fill in the gaps for me? And Venetia can wear that flimsy lace and gauze dressing gown she saw her mother was wearing! Victoria Alexander! Get in on this! I know you could make it good!

I wish I could buy A Lady Of Quality, but it's not (only available in Russian—DAMMIT) and the only copy I know of is in the KCLS. I shall spend my whole Tuesday with my head in that book. Mwhahaha I cannot help but chuckle at how awesome this book was. Romantic! Funny! Dramatic! I think the next book on my list will be another Georgette Heyer. Hahahahahahaha!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
3:21 am
I Am Thinking Of You

There's a contest at work and I've entered it. Apparently they're asking for new pinch bun ideas and winner gets to be on the menu. Asian Chris (I'm not sure what his nickname was... Pretty boy? Playboy?) said he was going to win it, and a part of me flared up inside at such arrogant audacity that I put my name down (despite my inward initial reluctance to join the competition). I realize now he was probably joking but at the time I was miffed at his manner. I thought, "oh no you don't muthafugger! I'm going to win this contest and wipe that smug grin off your face!" Wow, I guess I was filled with arrogant (self-righteous) audacity, too haha!

Actually I'm grateful to Chris. That little flare up in my heart is what compelled me to try to stake a claim on the menu. Usually I'm not so ambitious! But the way he laughingly said that his win was in the bag made me defiant in the name of all girls who work in kitchens. I felt indignation. Why should girls have to take a backseat yet again?! And so, here I am, brainstorming an idea for the menu contest. My first (not very serious) idea was to pay homage to Chicago with a Chicago dog pinch bun, but it can't happen. For one thing, I didn't want to contribute another sausage to the menu (we had a duck sausage) and second of all, it's kinda lame. How am I going to make my own bright green relish? No thanks. I wanted something unique. Somehow I thought, "I wanna red-cook something!" I was thinking about my one-time attempt to make something like the momofuku buns and red cooked beef shank. This time, I wanted another bold flavor (I didn't feel like fighting with a shank bone) and decided on another favorite underdog of mine: tongue. What can I say? I like tongue. It appears in one of my favorite books, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. And I think it's criminally under-appreciated. So my idea is to braise it. Serve it sliced & seared & brushed with sesame oil (and maybe chili oil though I haven't decided when to apply it) and topped with a niac (stole that from Michel Bras) of pickled snow fungus, and garnished with cilantro and green onion (and maybe this is where I maybe sprinkle a little chili oil—another niac).
I've braised the tongue and it's to sit marinating in its own liquid for 2 days. Now I have to figure out how to pickle a snow fungus. And then fiddle around with the chili oil. Should I do a sesame/chili combo? Should I brush sesame on the meat, and drizzle oil on the pickle? We shall see. Deadline is next Monday.

And because I'm part time, I've decided to contribute a second entry. This one will be in "collaboration" with my workmate, Alma. I told her about my lengua idea and mentioned that tongue and al pastor are my fave taco choices. I'd been half joking that Alma should enter as well. Surely there are things she'd want to see on the menu that she could contribute. Anyway, we were talking about al pastor and I thought, "why the heck can't there be a tanakasan style al pastor? We Asian-ized kielbasa and Nate's cheese sauce is BARELY Asian! So why can't I fiddle with Mexican cuisine?" I told Alma I'd work on it and present it under her name (with me).
Well, I've looked into it and al pastor has some unforeseen difficulties that make me reluctant to go with it. I hate to totally fuck around with a cultural dish so I wasn't going to try to cheapen it by making it a braised dish with a pineapple relish (my original half-assed idea). Al pastor is waaaay to fucking good to mess with like that. But even if I did cut it all the meat thinly and slow cook it, the pick up would be weird because the sliced meat is irregular and I don't even know how to set it up. So, I'm working on another Mexicanese dish that caught my eye. Pork cooked with orange juice. Except I think I WILL make it braised. In fact, I think it'll be a pulled pork that will have chunks of slow cooked oranges it. Small bits of orange pulp to temper the slow heat of chilies (guajillo, ancho, chipotle) and the warmth of five-spice, cinnamon, and maybe cumin and achiote. The niac will be a wedge of charred orange to squeeze over the meat, like you do with a lime wedge when you've got a taco. I'm debating the slaw: thin sliced cabbage or fennel in a pickled mustard seed mayo infused with Chinese mustard powder, and garnished with thinly sliced red onion and cilantro.
Hmmmm sounds good. My only concern is the pulled pork part. Is that too...easy? Is it cheapening puerco en naranja? Hope Alma doesn't shoot offended eye lasers at me...
Because I'm (again) channeling things I love: braising, pulled pork, BBQ, Mexican food. And the charred orange and super thin sliced red onion is a nod to avec.

I'd been thinking about these two dishes all day. I love thinking about food. The thought process puts me in a not-too-unpleasant tortured state that leaves a furrowed, thoughtfully pensive look on my face. Whether it's dinner or this contest, I love to think about food. Tentative food ideas float in my head all the time. Possible flavor combinations: dark chocolate-avocado oil ganache (I have to ask Tommy if he was even aware of the avocado oil), marshmallows with jam or lemon curd centers (this idea is still pending), thumbprint cookies with pumpkin butter. I love to ponder,"will it work?"

I would like to win. I want to win. I want to win in the name of girls, and I want to win for me. I want to show that I have hidden depths even though I choose to be a prep cook. That I'm an assassin. That I can reinterpret but be respectful.
Fingers crossed!

Oh, and just as I am grateful to Chris for emboldening me to enter, I am grateful to Will who pointed out the contest for me. He was the one he nodded his head toward the wall with the poster on it, and also told me to put my name down (he'd hilariously signed his "Big Willie Style"). I think Will might be an assassin too. I'm not concrete on this, but it's a gut feeling that he's got the qualities. I wanna be friends with him.

Anyway, tomorrow: off to buy achiote, anchos, and oranges! (And pork shoulder and fennel and more mustard seed for pickling...)

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
1:11 pm
Baduk And Phantom Investigator

So many dreams, none that I really remember. Except for two. One was like a fusion sageuk drama, with Shin Mina and Lee Seung Gi in it. Mina's character played a mysterious champion baduk player who may or may not be from this place, or even this world. A glimpse in the dream reveals that she might have a piece of porcelain or some weird shard with markings on it imbedded in her body (not that it hurts her. It's like those spirit pieces that go inside you) as well as grains of rice. If they were in fact grains of rice. Was she a doll come to life? Was she an alien? There was a scene where she and LSG are in her room and it's supposed to be an intimate scene, in the sense that men did not just hang out in girls' rooms,but they're talking with a low able between them, and the baduk table is over to her right.

Another dream had cameos of people I knew. Dan dressed in a white sweater and dark pants. Alma and I possibly sharing an apartment, the building was large and rambling and possibly housed a department store but parallel in spirit or in reality, there was an apartment building. The back stairs were winding, the elevator confusing, and the landings were full of junk. I found 3 Gibson ukuleles that looked good, but upon closer inspection, were broken.
At some point the dream transitioned into that of some ghostly investigator's story. He was tall, thin, with a true blue coat, vaguely military style or regency English or something. He had black hair, possibly chin length. Can't tell if he was handsome, or if he was a cartoon. He lived with his charge, a niece or something, who also had long black hair and wore a pink dress... But possibly was not what she seemed. At first I thought she was alive and could see spirits. And then at some point I thought she was dead too. And then a twist came where maybe she was an malevolent spirit that had skinned this girl's face and cleverly sewn it onto its own, and the investigator was just starting to realize. It was... Confusing, and intriguing. The malevolent spirit, who may or may not have been, actually had red hair, and was quite bloodthirsty. There was a scene of it in the kitchen, chopping something up and eating it raw. Not saying it killed something. Just saying it could've been a piece of meat it didn't cook.

Meanwhile tommy told me this morning that he had a dream where he met the devil incarnate in female form and went to bed with her. It's funny how varied our dreams are....

Two nights ago, dreamed a vaguely horror-sequel dream where I went to Africa to investigate diamond mining that was actually covering up human experimentation. Or resurrecting bodies. I saw my grandmother (but not my granny) up and shuffling, but they had reattached her arms upside down. People "asleep" with their eyeballs pulled out of their skulls and resting on their foreheads. Others in the same condition, but their brains exposed and resting on them...
Chilling.

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