Thanks for all the lols, 2012

Holy cow, y’all. What a year. I mean really. Just a stupendous amount happened.

I started the year off in a beautiful new house, full of happiness and relief to be leaving the shittiest shithole that was ever shat in. Turns out I’ll be leaving the beautiful new house again much sooner than anticipated, but I’ll get into that later because it PERTAINS TO THE REST OF THE YEAR.

Next, I met the best person in the entire world, only I didn’t understand it right then and we wasted a bit of time “getting to know each other” and “being friends.” Pff, whatever. We’re totally shacking up together starting in February, so that’s what “taking things slow” gets you.

After/during all that, I adopted a cat, changed jobs, started actually dating previously stated love, had to give my cat away, was told our house was being sold, decided to move in with the fella, ate a lot of great food, met some great people, had some great parties, read some great books, saw a lot of movies [see “getting to know each other” and “being friends”], had some good naps.

After enjoying this year so much, I am enthusiastically looking forward to the next one, which I expect to be filled with much more of the same, only less of the “being friendly” and more of the “being in love.”

My friends had babies, got married, got engaged, got pregnant, got books published, broke up, lost family, lost friends, learned about themselves.

A million happy, sad, important little events occurred that make the time we spend here on Earth worth it. We re-elected our President! We landed a robot on Mars! We published books and learned more about our planet and inspired hundreds of thousands of people to do good things for each other simply because they should.

I love being human. I love my fellow humans. I wish all my planet-mates a safe, healthy, happy new year full of the very best ups and downs that life has to offer.

And hopefully a few more naps. One can never have too many, you know.

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Pleasant company.

For those who might have missed it, our front door played host to a nesting mourning dove family for a few weeks. It was a delight and a pleasure. Here are the three photos I posted to instagram during that time.

Why yes, that IS a mourning dove living over our front door.
Why yes, that IS a mourning dove living over our front door.

Birdy babies!!
Birdy babies!!

And just like that, they're off for life adventures. Be safe, little birds! You were most welcome.
And just like that, they’re off for life adventures. Be safe, little birds! You were most welcome.

Desk!

So, I finally grew up and got my dream desk this weekend. It’s DELIGHTFUL. Also, enormous.

Achievement unlocked: dream desk.

It’s from Ikea! It tilts! And it’s got a broad, clean surface so I can sew and tinker and build things and destroy things and it is easy to clean [SUPER important] and I am just so happy I could burst.

Who else here has their grown-up dream desks set up? Whats your favorite part? Show me pictures!

Wondermark caption contest!

So, y’all may or may not know that I am a web comics nerd.  I attend SPX and volunteer every year [*ahem* take a look at the author of this little announcement], and my google reader feed for comics alone numbers in the hundreds.

I love web comics.

So, you can imagine my delight when I saw that David Malki ! was hosting his third caption contest!

I went and entered at least a hundred times.  Okay, so it was probably closer to twelve [ETA: I went back and counted, and it was thirty-three.  Um.  haaaaah…], but that’s beside the point.

The point is: I almost won!  I don’t even mind that I didn’t actually win, because, guys, I. ALMOST. WON.


Today is a fantastic day!  Now, all I need to do is get accepted for the Machine of Death Volume 2, and my life’s work will be complete.  WHERE COULD I POSSIBLY GO FROM THERE.

Happy Things – On a Tumultuous Day…

It’s been an emotional day, and I think I’ve said all I want to say about it so far on my twitter. So let’s jump in with some Happy Things.

love.
compassion.
peace.

What else do you need, in the end?

Happy Things – Crap, I Skipped a Few Months.

Oops! Let’s just get right to it.

teeny binder clips.
alcohol swabs.
coffee coffee coffee.
Flying.
clementines.
homemade plum gin.
comics
flan in a cup.
ribbons.
sassy hair.
ribbons in sassy hair.
the color green.
my iPod.
Mythbusters.
my pink scarf.
oatmeal.
the TRON: Legacy soundtrack.
making up stuff.
canned air.
ears.
giant fluffy akitas.
cupcakes.
Community.
the letter “V” vivacious, voltage, various, vivid, vacant, vexing, verisimilitude, verdigris.
blue mugs.
the sky:

    sky

Recipe: Lisa’s Pasta

Lisa’s Pasta
[Gluten Free if you use rice pasta or similar, Vegetarian] serves 4-5 [or three roommates with a few lunch leftovers.]

2 TBSP olive oil
2-3 large onions [or like, 4 medium ones. Use as many as you want, they’re delicious.] halved and then in thin strips
3 large bell peppers [4-5 smallish organic ones – I like the purple ones best] sliced into thin strips
3 large portabella caps, sliced into finger-size and then in thirds or quarters.
3 large zucchini [4-5 small ones – i like to mix and match yellow and green] sliced into thin half-moons if zucchini is large, or rounds if small.
1C balsamic vinegar. [this is an approximation – you may not need all of it, or you might want more. I basically pour until it’s slightly saucier than I want, and then I let it reduce for a while.]
3 TBSP pesto. [this is what really makes this dish awesome – I have gone without pesto, and it’s just not as good.]
1lb pasta [shapes work better than strands here, but knock yourself out. also, use rice pasta for gluten-freeness.]
parmesan cheese to sprinkle on.
salt and pepper to taste.

Start the water for pasta and before everything else. I like to add lots of salt and garlic powder to my pasta water before the pasta goes in.

In a large skillet, saute the onions in the olive oil until caramelized. Anyone in the house with you will wander into the kitchen and miraculously keep you company the rest of the time you’re cooking. You’re welcome.

Add in the bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini and let cook for a few minutes until things start to soften.

Add the vinegar until it’s a tad saucier than you want. Let things mellow for a few minutes with a lid before adding the pesto. Add some cracked pepper and salt if you think it could use some more – just wait until after adding the pesto as it is sure to be salty.

Side note – I make a batch of pesto and then freeze it in ice-cube trays for individual servings. This recipe works best with 2 cubes, which I’ve calculated to be roughly 3 tablespoons. The more the merrier, though. This dish can only be improved by it, and I really believe you can’t add too much.

Let everything hang out for 10 to 15 minutes on low heat with a lid, stirring occasionally.

Serve over pasta with copious amounts of Parmesan cheese.

The Makings of Lisa's pasta
I know the photo is terrible, but when I’m hungry I’d rather be cooking than taking arty food shots. *shrug*

It was time.

Attired to please herself: no gems of any kind
She wore, nor aught of borrowed gloss in Nature’s stead;
And, then her long, loose hair flung round her head
Fell carelessly behind.
~Publius Terentius Afer

I got my hair cut this weekend. All of them, actually. The story in photos after the jump.

Waterfall of Hair.
An idea of the size of the pony tail I was lugging around. [This was taken by my mother whilst I was getting my most recent tattoo. That’s right, my mom is That Cool.]

Pony Tail.
And that same pony tail in the hands of my hair stylist, Laura.

High off haircut endorphins!
A bit of the Crazy Eyes going on here. I WAS REALLY EXCITED.

Take me to your leader.
The Alien Invader portion of the day.

Pleased!
Laura is doing a final shoozsh of my hair. She was extra-happy to get to do some major chopping after so many small trims. She’s always said I’ve got enough hair for three people, and she kept exclaiming at the diameter of the pony tail once it had been cut [which took 3 passes of the scissors to get all the way through].

Ramona Flowers.
I’ve been calling this my “Ramona Flowers” ‘do. I wish I had a giant hammer to lug around! Photo credit: Tom Price, my pops.

All together, I donated 10+ inches to Locks of Love, which manufactures free hairpieces for children that are disadvantaged and suffering from medical conditions which cause them to lose their hair, such as alopecia areata and cancer treatments. I am extremely proud to have been able to help an organization whose sole purpose is lifting self esteem.

Happy Things – January times

Alright, let’s just dive right back in here with a Happy Things list!

new bed frames.
clean sheets.
smelly candles [but only cinnamon, vanilla, or eucalpytus spearmint.] [maybe sometimes gingerbread.] [chocolate is nice, too.]
Robots.
snowman pencils.
wild hair.
small children that shake hands when being introduced.
calvin and hobbes.
brand new journals. [I have a journal problem.]
my dog. [he’s been huddling into a nest on my bed every morning when I leave for work.]
herd immunity. [whatever, you all knew I was a nerd.]
ramen noodles.
my kindle.
my family.
my friends.
cherry coke.
yoga.
sweet-tea flavored vodka.
new tattoos:

    Taurus!

science.
you all. <3

My Very Own Recipe: Butternut Squash and Mushroom Peanut Butter Soup

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Peanut Butter Soup
Gluten-free, vegetarian, could be vegan [if you’re into that sort of thing…] All measurements are fairly approximate. I was just throwing stuff together that sounded good.

Giant butternut squash, peeled and chopped into two-inchish chunks
3 small onions, sliced up nice and thin
3 portobella caps, sliced up pinky-sized and then in halfish.
1/2 C peanut butter
3/4 C apple or pear cider
1/4 C milk
palmful of curry powder
palmful kosher salt
palmful ground black pepper [white or pink would be lovely, too]

I mix the seasonings together and keep them in a bowl next to the stove. You’ll probably end up using all of it by the end.

Whack the squash chunks on a baking sheet with a couple teaspoons of olive oil, a bunch of the spice mixture. Roast at 350 degrees, stirring a few times, until knife tender. Turn off oven and let it chill while you do other stuff.

The other stuff: in a heavy pot with a lid or dutch oven, caramelize the onions in 2ish teaspoons of olive oil. Season with more of the spice mixture. Once onions are nice and browned, add the ‘shrooms, a bit of the cider, and the milk. Add the rest of the spices, and let the mushrooms get all soft and squishy while you are doing more Other Stuff.

The other other stuff: In a large food processor, puree half of the squash, drizzling in some of the cider as you go to help things smooth out. Dump into the pot with the mushrooms and onions. Puree the second half of the squash with the peanut butter, again adding the cider. Once that’s all smooth and creamy, add it to the pot and stir in the rest of the cider.

Let things hang out for a bit on low heat. If making earlier in the day, just leave it on the stove until you’re ready to serve or take it to your potluck.

Goes really well with bread, or a grilled cheese sandwich with apple and honey.

Peanut Buttery Squash Soup [with mushrooms]