Thursday, October 28, 2004

It's only a Paper Moon...

So, the moon. My favorite object in the sky. And October. My favorite month. As a child I told my parents stories about how I was really from the moon, and I went there every night when they thought I was sleeping, and I had a moon-mother who was a cow. As an adult, I fell in love with the month of October. I think I can credit Will for most of the falling. He did, after all, introduce me to A Night In The Lonesome October, and show me an enthusiasm for Hallowe'en that I've only seen briefly before and generally in small children who love candy.

An October Full Moon is called many things. A Blood Moon. A Hunter's Moon. A Harvest Moon. Called so because hunters and farmers have more light to finish preparing for winter.

A Lunar Eclipse is also known as a Red Moon. Called so because the earth casts a reddish shadow on the moon. Well...it's more complicated than that.

I took this picture last night, when the moon was (unbeknownst to me) already in earth's shadow, but the eclipse not fully eclipse-y yet (as always, the thumbnail is a link to a larger version of the picture):

The quality is pretty awful as I took it with a digital camera and I refuse to read the instructional booklet and I only know how to take pictures at night with a 35mm camera, damn it, so I had to lighten it up in Photoshop which distorted the beauty of the moment a little. But it gives you a nice idea, anyway.

Through the course of the evening we watched as the moon's surface began to appear duller and duller, then develop an orange sheen. There were fast-moving fluffy clouds which obscured our view off and on.

It wasn't until the moon began moving out of our shadow that the eclipse was fully visible. The moon looked...backwards. And beautiful. I did not get a picture, and am certain it wouldn't have come out if I did.

Whenever the clouds moved in front of the moon, it cast a reddish circle onto them. It glowed.

If anyone is currently shooting, say, a low-budget horror movie, and did not get good shots of the moon last night, I hope you know what a failure you are. Wait! That was mean. I'm just sorry for you, because special effects don't do that.

Speaking of special effects, Jenn came over yesterday. She brought pumpkins and we watched The Empire Strikes Back. Conclusions reached: Yoda was better as a puppet; Annika's favorite shot in the entire trilogy is still Lando bringing the Millennium Falcon around to rescue Luke.

She made these while she was here:

 

Obviously, the movie was thematic. And yes, they are Jack-O-Lanterns. We had some really amazing patterns, some from a book and some from this site. The first one is of a zombie, and not Star Wars-related at all. I am terribly impressed, though, as it appears to be a Haitian zombie, rather than a Romero zombie.

By the way, here is Will's Hallowe'en costume from the party we attended last week:


Be sure to click this one for full size.

And his secondary prop (filled with bourbon, of course):

It reads:

SECRET RECIPE

Chicken
11 Herbs and spices

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Delicious food for you! Part I.

As some of you know, Will and I watched Ringu the other night, so I am likely to be dead in about five days. So I thought I'd get a move on with the posting of recipes.

The first thing you need to know is that I don't really follow recipes. Oops. I mean, I follow them for baked goods, because you have to, but not for 'stovetop' food. That said, I'll do my best to list amounts and such.

Mother-in-Law Pizza

(I do not recommend actually cooking your - or my - mother-in-law. It's just that she gave me this recipe.)

Thin crust (makes three 12-14")

1.25 cups water, heated to about 110° f.
2 packets active dry yeast, or about 2 teaspoons
2 teaspoons sugar

mix above and let sit for around 10 minutes

3.25 c flour (I use all purpose or better for bread)
1.5 t salt

put flour and salt in food processor or mixer bowl. While mixing, add water/yeast/sugar mixture. Process/mix for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Add two to three tablespoons oil - I prefer good olive oil, but vegetable would work too - and process for about a minute, until the dough is smooth and begins to form a ball without any assistance on your part. If it is too dry you can add a little more oil. In the unlikely event that it is too wet (you do want it fairly sticky) add a teaspoon of flour at a time until it's right; you can also knead it slightly on a floured board.

Remove dough and divide into three parts. Form each into a ball, pinching at the bottom if necessary to keep dough smooth.

If you have time, flour some plastic wrap, wrap the dough balls, and refrigerate for half an hour. If starving, it is OK to proceed with dough straight out of mixer, but it will be slightly tougher to work with.

Starting from the center, flatten each ball with your fingers until it is approximately pizza crust shaped. Lightly oil your pans (I have pizza pans from Smart & Final, but you could use a cookie sheet) and dust them generously with corn meal (optional, but very helpful). Lay the dough onto the pans and finish stretching it if necessary. The edges should be thicker than the center. If the dough gets too thin or breaks, just pinch it back together. Magic!

Sauce

I like Roma tomatoes, but you can use whatever variety is handy. You'll need about two per pie (one if particularly large). Chop them to about 1/2 to 1 inch pieces. Saute with small amount of olive oil until soft, add salt and herbs - fresh is always better, but I use dried all the time. Basil, oregano and thyme are my favorites. I can't give you amounts because it depends on what you like, but I'd say no more than a handful, total. Cook for another minute or so, then spread thinly over crusts.

Alternately, you can de-seed the tomatoes (cut in half and squeeze over sink or trash) and chop them in the food processor with onions and basil. This is the recipe I was given, and requires no cooking, but I don't like it as much.

Toppings

Even moreso than the sauce, this really is a matter of personal preference. The one thing I always do if possible is pre-cook some thinly sliced red onions in an olive oil-butter mixture. I cook them to almost-browned; they should be very soft and starting to color, and have lost their shape. I am also a big fan of bell peppers, uncooked or roasted (preferably both), kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, and fresh basil. Sometimes I also use sundried tomatoes, or thinly sliced fresh tomatoes (I put sundried in the sauce and fresh on top of the cheese to cook more thoroughly). Will loves spicy Italian sausage. I brown it in a saucepan with a small amount of oil, then add about 1/4 inch of water and cover the pan, cooking until the water has evaporated. You can use a frying pan, but they are greasy and tend to splatter, so I recommend something with high sides for the sake of your stove/skin. They don't need to cook completely, but should be almost done. Slice thinly.

Anyway. Add your toppings in as thin a layer as possible (mine usually aren't very thin, but I try) and top with a generous amount of grated mozzerella. I add a small amount of grated parmesan as well, and slices of fresh mozzerella if I'm feeling cheeky. A really lovely pizza is just fresh and grated mozzerella and fresh tomatoes, sauce and fresh basil optional.

Bake in a 425° oven, in the lower third if you can manage it (if cooking more than one pie I just switch racks halfway through), for 18 to 22 minutes, until everything is crispy and beautiful.

Now the hard part: Let sit for five minutes.

And the fun part: Eat. I always need a knife and fork for the first slice or two, because of a combination of too many toppings and impatience for the previous step.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

A few changes.

I have (*sniff*) removed the wedding countdown from my template, replacing it with a link to the Yahoo photo site (which I am adding pictures to almost daily). I made that link a picture, which happens to be the picture I'd put in my profile, so I put the old b+w photo of yours truly back in that spot (see upper right corner).

I've left the wedding registries because there are still some things we'd like to have, and if we don't have to buy them ourselves, well, wouldn't that be nice, and Christmas is right around the corner after all. But again: PLEASE do not feel obligated to buy us anything.

I have also added a handful of my regular reads to the blogroll. It is getting out of hand, and I cannot even tell you how many blogs I have bookmarked but not linked here. I read too many people's lives.

In conclusion, two thoughts and a question:

  • Fresh flowers make me happy.
  • Telling someone you appreciate something they've done makes everyone involved feel good.
  • Would my readers like me to share recipes? That is - if I were to occasionally (say, once a week) post the recipe of something I've cooked, would you read it or just skip past it?

EDIT: I have made a few template changes as well - I was tired of the blueish links, and have made everything fabulously and confusingly monotone for the time being. Please register any complaints below.

Monday, October 25, 2004

So that's what a gibbous moon looks like...

If any batrachian-looking fellows show up, well. I think I am prepared for that.

Ahem.

The moon is lovely and a little bit creepy, and I've been reading Neil Gaiman's Lovecraft-inspired works. I also did laundry, again, for once in my life not waiting until the basket was full. And I made soup. A Cuban black bean soup that is absolutely to die for.

And in entertainment news, Joss Whedon has apparently noticed that he isn't very creative. More on that when I can get a copy of Variety.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Also.

More pictures are up! Right here. Many thanks to Sean, who took and uploaded them all.

It's unpossible.

And yet, it's done.

But first, the bad news: Will went back to work today. POOP! At least it's only one day on, then two days off. YAY! Weekend!

Anyway. To celebrate my first day back as a housewife, I did the laundry. ALL of the laundry. If I couldn't see it with my own eyes (and boy can I - I haven't put any of it away yet) I wouldn't believe it.

Wedding presents keep showing up. The apartment is completely full, yet more stuff is coming. This is, of course, totally awesome. I can't help but notice, though, that no one has purchased the Very Sharp Knives we registered for. Do you suppose that, in their silence, my loved ones are trying to tell me something? Like maybe - "Stop playing with sharp things!" Because really, my kitchen injuries are all burns. I never cut myself. Or anyone else, for that matter. Anyway.

I really, really love all the presents we've gotten, but my cousin Mike's pretty much takes the cake. The original Star Wars trilogy on DVD. Yes, the version you cannot get on DVD. I can't say anything further. The FBI may be watching. (Dear FBI: it's totally legal! No, really - it is. Just perhaps a smidge dodgy.)

Speaking of cake, my fridge is still full. HELP! I am so fucking sick of wedding cake!

In other news, it turns out that I cannot, as the internet hinted, just say that my last name has changed and have it be so. The bank is giving me grief. I hate the bank!

Argh.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Holy Shit! (Now with even more photos.)

Being married is awesome.

...OK, it's almost exactly the same as not being married, but with more jewelry and a new last name (which won't be legal until god knows when, with California being so very weird about marriage licenses).

But it's still awesome. So there.

While it's entirely possible that I will write an actual entry describing the events of Saturday, I don't want to risk my normal laziness and will therefore make a brief list now of some highlights.

  • Look, I don't expect anyone to believe me, but nothing went wrong. The site coordinator was a little late to let us in due to car trouble, but that's seriously the only problem we had on the day.
  • The Bride walked down the aisle to Queen. Oh yes, I did.
  • I practically whispered my vows. I think only Will and Justin could hear me. Which is probably exactly how it should be.
  • Shockingly, I did not cry. I have cried at every wedding I have ever been to (as an adult) except for my own. I did, however, suffer a jaw injury from smiling so damn much. I was really fucking happy/excited all day.
  • Will cried teared up a little.
  • We made faces at each other through part of the service. Apparently, it was noticed by, like, everyone.
  • When Justin said "You may now kiss your bride," Will whispered "I love you" before kissing me.
  • I am only aware of one person that I may not have said a single word to at the reception. Mark, please forgive me. Unless, of course, I did talk to you and just forget.
  • There were some really truly painfully adorable little girls there. I felt pangs of sadness that we had no flower girl, but the two girls tied for the position were in Vegas anyway, even if we'd thought of it ahead of time. (And frankly, I just couldn't ask that of any child; it would be so BORING.)
  • Speaking of flowers, the folks who did the bouquets quoted me around $300 for stage decorations. Cassie went to Trader Joe's and bought sunflowers and calla lilies for probably around $20. Eat shit, wedding industry!
  • Lots of people traveled considerable distances to be with us, and I am truly appreciative.
  • Lots of people couldn't make it for one reason or another, and I missed every one of you.
  • I hear the food was awesome. And I did eat, but pretty much just veggies. I'd gone too long beforehand without eating (except for a piece of bread just before the ceremony which I begged off the catering staff - bless them).
  • In addition to K and Darren, Cassie and Shelby were a tremendous help to us and Jenn was possibly the greatest friend who ever existed. (She's still great, but I was AMAZED by the way she held everything together on Saturday and still did my hair and make-up.)
  • Best wedding I've ever been to. And I know I'm supposed to think that, but it really, really was.

Oh, and pictures will be up shortly are up. (Not the official ones taken by Dee, but some stuff from my parents at least.)

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Honest opinions, please.

Does this ring make me look fat?

Sunday, October 10, 2004

To do.

  • programs
  • lobby artwork
  • King's
  • pick up rings (!)
  • Will's haircut
  • pack hair stuff & make-up
  • pack for wedding night
  • get car washed
  • put together favors
  • make day-of list
  • vases, cake cutter
  • eat

(note to concerned readers: I have been eating, though perhaps not as much as I ought to. I'll cross it off when I've remembered to eat the day of.)

Not a creature was stirring...

Will's gone to bed. In the time that it took me to tuck him in (which consisted of him reading me tonight's chapter of A Night in the Lonesome October while I gave him a foot massage), K had put herself to bed in the living room. It is very quiet. The pumpkin lights and the scaaaaaaaary ghost's eyes are the only sources of light besides my monitor. (That's a lie; I have a lamp on next to my desk. But it sounded so neat the other way.)

Obviously, we have decorated for Hallowe'en. We already had several goodies, and I think we spent about a billion dollars today at Target. (Another lie.)

I have not forgotten the picture challenge. I just haven't taken the pictures yet. Well, I've had two separate goes at "Breakfast" for Pat, but keep losing my resolve (or camera) before lunch. I promise to get those up soon.

...And when I say "soon," it should be read with the fact that I am getting married in less than six days kept firmly in mind.

Speaking of the wedding, we have completely changed our minds in regard to the processional music. I was opposed to getting my own music, as I do not think that the bride is any more important than, say, the groom, but it has worked out that I will have it whether I want it or not. And the music we've picked is SO PERFECT that you will not hear me complain. At least not about that - a whine or two may escape my mouth about the fact that I have five days to get used to the shoes that seemed like a good idea at one time but are in fact very high heels with very little support. Eek. I just hope my knees don't lock during the ceremony. Though I suppose that would be good fun for pretty much everyone except me.

Pressies have begun arriving in full force. And I confess, I check the registries pretty much daily to see what to expect. My favorite gifts, though, are what I have termed "Old Lady Checks," the monetary gifts from older relatives. The fact is that I find a $25 check extremely generous, but it can't be denied that it's a little bit humorous. And it was a challenge when I remembered that it's tradition to mention what the money was used for in the Thank You note, but we've managed to figure that out. (But not actually write the notes. I am already behind on that.)

K arrived yesterday, as was probably evidenced by the fact that I already said she is downstairs sleeping. My Feeder instinct keeps kicking in, and I am struggling to suppress it. I can't play hostess when I have so much to do, but it is my nature to do so. Besides, I don't want her to have a rotten time.

I have some of the best friends on earth. I never forget that, but don't really mention it often enough.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Welcome to the world, Baby Girl.

My dear, dear friends Jimmy and Joni have a new baby (and their son Teddy has a new sister)! Teresa was born on September 29 and is presumably perfect.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Woo Hoo! Caffeeeeeeeeine!

Alternately: Don't harsh my buzz.


So, I haven't been drinking coffee lately. (I know.) I stopped when I was so very ill, and then when I wasn't ill anymore I wasn't addicted anymore either, so I stuck with tea. It's so soothing.

But now it is 5:00 and I am drinking a cappuccino. I feel so naughty! And also nervous because when I had coffee last week I slept terribly. But that time it was at about 7:30, and I'm sure those two and a half hours make all the difference.

Dirty Word of the Day: Fandom.

If I feel like it, I'll be implimenting the Dirty Word of the Day as a regular (if not daily) feature. It will be comprised of words I wish I'd never heard. Discussion may accompany, but probably will not.

Um. I thought I had material for a long post, but it turns out I've got nothing. Mea culpa.

Love and Marriage...

I am Italian. (Well, Sicilian.) Will is a cowboy. His family is from Texas. Our lovely caterer is preparing a Spanish feast for our brunch reception.

Do you know what this makes our wedding?

That's right - a Spaghetti Western.

If Tomas Milian (star of Compa´┐Żeros, Run, Man, Run! and Django, Kill... If You Live, Shoot!) shows up, I will know that I have died and gone to heaven.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Isn't it dreamy?

marquee

That is a photo taken at the very place where we will be getting hitched. In two weeks.

Edited because Mindi raises an excellent point.
The people in the photo are (obviously) Cory and Jeffrey. I met Cory because she found this very blog while searching for the Silent Movie Theatre to find goodies for her wedding, which was last Sunday. She emailed me and we've chatted a few times. Her blog can be found here.