Fiendish Friday: Way out there

The other day I was chatting with a mom from co-op. I don’t really know her very well but she was telling about the health thing she was doing and so I mentioned I just started a couch to 5K program. Not because I think it will make me healthier but because it will help me get through the 3 miles my dog needs each day faster. LOL. So I can do other things. Like eat breakfast.

She says “oh where do you live, I’d love to run with you.”

“I live in the middle of no where.”

To which my friend says, “I just had to pick something up at K’s house. Now she lives way out there. It can’t be that bad.”

Through laughter so great I almost fell down, I choked out “She’s my next door neighbor.”

Life is so flippin amusing sometimes, I can’t make this stuff up.


Third Quarter One Page Reviews

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, Timothy D. Snyder

I grabbed this book because I am teaching 20th Century world history this upcoming year and I love new perspectives. Yeah, this was a total bait and switch book. It’s not actually about  20th century world history. It’s about drawing as many parallels between Trump and Hitler. The author adds all sorts of inappropriate commentary. This was not a historical work. This was not a political work. This was not even an academic work. It was a 100 page op ed piece. I don’t like bait and switch. Hence, a one page review.

The Swans of Fifth Avenue, Melanie Benjamin

I really tried with this book. The opening was pretentious and irritating beyond belief but I pushed on because 2 pages was not a fair opportunity. I made it to 67 when I found I would rather listen to Princess Label Maker on audio book (for the 116th time) with my son that read this. It just wasn’t compelling to me.

The Chemist, Stephanie Meyer

Um. Yeah. So someone told me the Twilight madame’s adult stuff was way better. So I downloaded this one from the library late one night when I couldn’t sleep. Worked like a charm. I was out in about five pages. But since I had it on my kindle I endeavored to read it for several weeks until the library took it back. It’s about a chemist on the run. I don’t know why. I don’t know who the chemist is. In fact however many pages I got in to the book, I did not care. It was so in the present moment, all exposition because she’s on the run and never speaks to anyone, but there was NO tension.  I totally did not care.

The Art of Character, David Corbett

Another craft book I picked up because someone recommended it to me. Could not get engaged. It’s written like a long philosophy lecture.  If you like philosophy lectures, you might find this book super useful. It wasn’t even a good cure for insomnia – every time I tried to read it, I got so frustrated, I was angry in minutes.

Addressed to Kill, Jean Flowers

Sigh. This is the third in the series, so I hoped the author would have reached her stride. I guess she has but it’s more of a zombie lurch with body parts falling off than a lope. LOL. The writing is stilted and awkward. The dialogue totes ridic. LOL.  


If you’re looking for something good to read, pop over to Amazon and grab a copy of our horror anthology, The Box Under The Bednumber 1 in new releases.

Sunday Sup: Grilling it up

I have to give credit to the basis of this meal to my friend G. She serves something very close to this every time we go to her place and I LOVE it so much, I started making my own.

Thinly slice a red onion and a red bell pepper. Begin to saute over LOW in the fat of your choice, I like butter for this one. Stir occasionally as they cook for 20 minutes or more, til soft and golden brown.

Slap a some steak on a grill. I use about a pound and an indoor grill but really scale this up or down anyway you like.  I grill at 350, five minutes each side, rotating on both sides for that lovely cross hatch effect. Medium rare, when it’s done.

While the steak is cooking, start defrosting a pound of large shrimp, fresh is awesome if you got it but frozen works just fine in this recipe.

In the mean time, steak is still cooking, shrimp defrosting, make some fresh guac.

When the steak is done, pull it off the grill and tent it with metal foil until you are ready to serve.

Throw the shrimp on the grill. Two minutes per side should give them a nice opaque color and a bit of grill mark.

While that’s cooking, open a bag of slaw mix, bowl it, and squeeze 1-2 limes over the top. Toss.

When the shrimp are done, bowl them, then squeeze a lime over the whole mess and give a healthy shake of Chile Lime seasoning salt.

Slice the steak.

Add any topping you might like as well. Sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips on the side if you dairy and grain.

Assemble: slaw salad, sauteed veggies, meat, guac, etc.

This recipe scales easily. More steak, less steak, sub chicken, no shrimp, anything goes. Just remember to add onions and peppers as needed, the one and one is for the base meat amounts I mention, so be sure up them if you change the meat.


Fiendish Friday: Things I wanted to say this week but didn’t

I am so glad you are comfortable enough here to be the worst version of yourself. Just don’t.
How’s that (liberal/conservative) Koolaid taste now? Maybe we can all stop drinking the Koolaid, detox from the sugar, and start thinking again.
Awesome job on the man bashing. Remind me, how old is your son now? Is his penis going to fall off soon or is he already oppressing you with it?
Don’t you think you should spend at as much time thinking about how to make your wife feel appreciated as you did researching that new cell phone for yourself? Or maybe you just plan to keep the phone longer than the wife.
I think I showed admirable restraint this week, yes?

Fiendish Friday: Polar Bear

I find whenever I talk to someone I haven’t seen in a while or a friend I’ve known forever, they always ask if I am happy. What I want to say is yes, I am happy and sad and annoyed, angry, joyful, excited, tired, irritated, frustrated, cheerful…these are emotions, which come and go and I feel them all at various times.

I think what they really want to know is am I content? And I am. I have an amazing life which is nothing like what I ever imagined for myself. And I think that’s why people ask if I am happy. It’s not what they expect to see for me. It’s not the world they expected me to live in.

But I feel like a wild animal who once caught and put in captivity, adjusted and has now realized, it’s not so bad here. No one is hunting me. I am well fed. I have things to play with and people who play with me. People routinely line up to admire me.

I am this polar bear.  polar bear

His world maybe be concrete and limited, but the water is cold, it is snowing, and all is well for him in this moment.

Side Note: I actually had this awesome video of him swimming laps I took at the Berlin zoo but WordPress wants me to give them more money to be able to show videos. So you get a still shot. LOL

Fiendish Friday: Berlin

So after Amsterdam we went to Berlin. I liked it a lot. Then again no one was smoking marajuana on every street. Things always look rosier when you aren’t going to vomit any second. That said, Berlin is a total foody town. Gluten free was everywhere, which makes it so easy to feed the kiddo and myself. Their public transit system was awesome as well. Even at peak travel times you could still find standing room on every train we needed.

Berlin Zoo, totally fab! I like zoos. Visit them everywhere I go. This is top 5 easily, maybe top 3. They put some serious time and effort into designing the enclosures for the animals both from the perspective of what the animal needs and viewing for people. Example: The Mountain Goat enclosure had a 50 foot high mountain in it for them to climb. I have never seen anything like that for goats. Plus their kids’ playground was way cool. Tons of things that never happen in the US for safety reasons. Snort.

Allied Museum: Museum dedicated to the Berlin Airlift. They have a plane from the airlift on the grounds which you can go into, if you’re there at the right time of year. We weren’t but it was still way cool. No barriers. So I got to walk under that huge beautiful plane. sigh. Lovely.

churchDDR Museum: hands on, interactive museum about life in East Berlin when the wall was up. You can ever “drive” the one car that was available in East Berlin in a 3D virtual street reconstruction.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.

Yes, I went to a church. The thing is, this one got bombed in the war and rather than demolish and rebuild it, they restored it just enough to keep it from falling down as a memorial to those who died in the war. It looks amazing as it is.



Jute Backeri: Gluten free bakery. So good. Seriously. It might have been better than Kyra’s. Maybe. LOL.

Things that made me sad:thewall

“The Wall.” There is a mile long stretch of the wall called the East Side Gallery. Artists have been invited to paint murals regarding their experiences in the DDR. Half the strip is protected by a fence. The other half is tagged to hell with graffiti. It made me very sad that they have to protect “The Wall” with a wall.


Checkpoint Charlie: Oh dear god. It’s all reproduction. And it’s like Time’s Square meets bad Hollywood repro. Picture the scene, KFC on the left, McDonalds on the right. CC in the middle, complete with Germans pretending to be American soldiers in uniform, manning the checkpoint. Shoot me now. The real stuff is in the Allied Museum.

The kiddo had a brief desire to move to Berlin. I think he liked all the gluten free food availability. The fact that we never got stuck in traffic. And the amazing museums. He was particularly taken with the Pergamon and it’s amazing set up of the Ishtar Gate. He and his dad are currently building one in MineCraft. LOL

Book Review: The Crossing PLaces

I reviewed The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths a few weeks ago, liked it a lot. I grabbed the follow up to that book, Smoke and Mirrors, shortly thereafter and it was awesome. So of course I grabbed the first book in her Ruth Galloway Mystery series, The Crossing Places.

I am less enthusiastic about this series. It is still very well written and I quite like the lead character. Ruth Galloway is independent, intelligent, and a total introvert. She is a professional forensic archaeologist who teaches at Uni. She has an Indiana Jones poster in her office for the humor of it. When the book starts she is asked to evaluate some recently found bones for the police. This is a new direction for her. As the book goes on she finds lots of parallels between what an archaeologist does and a detective’s job.

It’s slower moving than the Magic Men series. And it is a bit darker. I liked the feel, the slow, creepy, languid pace. Although, I did know who done it before Griffiths revealed it. Maybe that’s why I am less enthused.

On the other hand I downloaded the next 2 books in the series for my upcoming trip.

℘℘℘℘ – A sold four pages. I can’t wait to see where the series develops.