Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The One Where I Introduce Cody

First things first, it's been well over a week since I last posted and said I would post again. Here's the thing. I just had finals this past week (and I'm anxiously awaiting my grades!) and that was my focus, which is as it should be. Friday was truly the first day in which I could have posted would have been then, however I used the day to consist of not wearing pants and being a lazy lie-about.

Okay, mini-maintenance completed, onto the ACTUAL blog post.

If you actually know me, you should know that I game, in particular, I larp. (For more information on what larping is, check out Lizzie Stark who is an authority on the subject; she's even written a book Leaving Mundania: Inside the Transformative World of Live Action Role Playing Games, due out in May 2012. Get a copy!) I love immersing myself in someone else for awhile and living in some other world than my own.
For a long time, larping was a way for me to escape. To get out of my life which regardless of the fact that I have had a relatively good life, I hated. After awhile on top of the escapism (Something which I am not endorsing. Deal with your problems people, ignoring them is like ignoring the fact that you just fed your passel of Mogwai pizza after midnight and maybe they won't turn into gremlins who are going to murder you in your sleep) I started using my character(s) as a way to better myself.

Enter Cody Capulet-Kane.
Cody, left (played by me) with her 'sister' Chance, right (played by Kristin Tone)
Taken at DREAMATION 2005
Cody is a loud mouthed young woman who is a super hero. She's 5' 1" (the size of Kristin above), runs fast, punches hard and is in a near constant state of motion. She cares deeply about her family and friends. She is a woman of faith, a faith in the universe that it will make things right in the end and that she has the ability to make those things right decisions. I could go into her motivations, her loves, and her favorite color (it's a soft blue, in case you were wondering), but I won't today. 

Why am I introducing your to her? Well while I was thinking about things to blog about (see how this all comes full circle? I totally meant to do that ya know) and I started thinking about Cody and the cadre of characters who I've played over the years and miss playing (or in the instance of Cody still play to some extent). So, my brilliant idea is to start blogging sometimes as them. I'll be starting off by introducing the character (like I am doing here) and hopefully posting a piece of fiction about the character. The Cody story I'd like to share today is one I wrote back in 2005 (shortly after this picture was taken, actually). 

So in the end, expect to see Cody on here from time to time.

Vital Stats
Full Name: Cody Marie Lang Capulet-Kane
Age at Creation: 16
Current Age: 24(ish) 
Where is she from? Buffalo, NY
Game System: The Avatar System
What does she do? Cody likes to help people, more frequently by protecting them from those who would hurt them.
Hobbies: Paint, play the drum
Past Loves: Miranda "Di", Sigma Caine
Family Life: Mother raised her with the help up her older and way cooler brother along with his ragtag group of friends. When she entered game she was effectively cut off from her family and had to therefore be raised by her Aunt (who is a Goddess / Manifestation of the Nexus), a multitude of uncles, an adoptive father figure, two adoptive sisters and a six-foot tall cat.

Story behind the cut. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

The One Where I Taught 7th Graders Adjectives

First off, I am stealing the subject line concept from Friends episodes. Cope. Second off, not going to be able to blog again until at least Sunday, more likely Monday. However, I’m actually putting up a third entry in one week. I consider my plan of SpiteBlogging™ to be a roaring success.

This past semester I’ve been working with a government funded program tutoring 7th graders at an at risk school. We are there twice a week working approximately 45 minutes with two after school programs. Since we started back in October I haven’t really felt like I’m making any sort of difference with the group I’m working with in the first set of kids. I end up feeling like a glorified babysitter, not really helping any of them learn anything. Pretty much I make sure that they are working on their homework.

Yesterday however the girls were oddly subdued. They weren’t as peppy as normal and seemed rather defeated. I sat down at the table and asked what everyone was so bummed about. Apparently they had taken an English test and the average grade for everyone in the grade was a 61%. The girls were so upset and so completely overwhelmed with their work load, especially going into their winter break.

I let them talk for a bit, about their frustrations, about what they need to do to learn what they need to learn. We talked about action plans and how to not feel so over-whelmed. Eventually one of them asked for help with adverbs and adjectives. We settled in and before I knew it I had seven of them clustered around me.

We worked for a few minutes before one of the teachers came along telling everyone to put their books away because “homework time is over now”. The girls all gave me this look of “but… we need more time.” I asked them if they wanted to keep working. They all nodded with a chorus of “yes please!” I asked if they wanted to skip their activity so we could continue to work. Big nods all around. I asked who I needed to talk to about them staying, and they told me.

Off I went to find the person in question to ask if we could continue working. The look of shock and disbelief actually startled me. He said 1) of course they could and 2) that they had never asked for something like that before. I collected the girls and moved us over to another table, away from the growing swarm of hormonally crazed middle-schoolers.

I have to say that the remainder of the session was like magic. They were getting it, being engaged and honestly learning. When one of them was having trouble, I asked one of the girls who was understanding to explain it in her words and that finally helped the girl who was struggling. It was fun and productive and generally a really positive experience. When the finally stopped to go to Choir practiced they each hugged me tight and said they were looking forward to next week.

What I still don’t understand is WHY a teacher would be encouraging a group of students who are obviously working hard to STOP working hard. They wanted to continue and they did. I really feel like I helped them to succeed a little, get a firmer grasp on their studies and maybe, just maybe I may have made a small difference. At the very least, I made their Thursday just a little brighter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The One About Musical Memories

Lookie! I’m posting a second time in as many days. This must be a miracle or something. I think mainly I’m trying to keep this up out of spite. And really, if that’s the thing that’s motivating me to actually keep up with this blasted thing, then I say it’s a good reason.

This morning when I was getting ready to head out the door I decided that I just HAD to find my Seth Glier CD. Couldn’t find it so I quickly looked on the rack of CD’s (as well as the piles that seem to have accumulated on the shelves nearest the CD shelving. On sheer impulse I pulled out Sublime’s “40oz to Freedom", something that I haven’t thought about in literally years.

So away I go with my handy laptop to school in order to conquer APA style formatting (by the way, how I loathe APA formatting), popping in the CD right before I hit the highway.

By the time track two started playing I was singing along, lost in memories of the summer of 1999, when I believe I first got the album. I remember long drives in my 1991 Toyota Corolla with the windows down, a Marlboro red in my hand and the music cranked up. I actually looked up to the ceiling of my car to see what type of material it was because I was thinking about all the writing, doodles and graffiti that was the ceiling of my first car.

As screwed up as my head was in those days (and let’s be honest, it’s still pretty screwed up), I have to say that the summer of 1999 was pretty decent. I don’t think I was working much or at least I don’t remember slinging a lot of ice cream. It was also the year that I actually started playing White Wolf’s “Werewof: The Apocalypse" something which I can honestly say changed my life.

But I’ll save that for another day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's this? A Blog Post? Yea, that's right I have one of those...

It’s been almost two years since I actually wrote anything for this bad boy. Every couple of months I’ll pull up the page, read it, get all nostalgic and swear that “tomorrow I’ll write something, post it and maybe get into the swing of writing a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly/OMGSOMETIME blog. For a long time I had a draft in my email listing possible ideas for me to talk about. Like being poly or having fibro. Thoughts on Joss Whedon or gay rights or being vegetarian. But I never did. Eventually I just deleted the thing because it was depressing me.

Basically, what I’m going to do here is just start talking. Not explain anything really because my life has completely changed. For one I’m a full time student going for my BS in Media Studies. No I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. Yes I watch movies and write papers on them. I love the classes I’m taking and maybe one day I’ll be able to apply what I’m learning now to something relevant in the working world.

Today on my way to tutoring I was talking with my car buddy Yoshi (hi Yoshi! Told I’d post something!) about her blog which she recently started. It got me to thinking about this dusty old thing, about how I start so many projects and never really see them through. Hell, I just mentioned to Avie that I was writing a blog post and her response was, “you mean the one you never post to?”

Yeah, that’s the one.

So here I am at 11 at night typing away into one of my many empty word files that lie around my desktop, listening to the clicking of Avie typing away in her plush chair.

It’s Christmas time here and the house is all a bustle. Yes, I just said that don’t judge me. Avie and Vinny have been busting their asses getting all the presents wrapped, the house clean and basically being little hyper active elves on speed who occasionally run into each other, scrap, kiss and run off again to their respective Christmas cheer.

Me, I’ve been writing papers, which aside from my Management paper, I’ve been enjoying. I feel like I’m actually making sense in my film papers, like I’m not just filling it full of bullshit or regurgitating other research but actually referencing my observations and applying it to what I’m covering in class. I have to say that by doing that I feel, oh I don’t know… smarter? More like an actual student instead of an adult playing at being a student?

So that’s where I’m at, posting randomly on a Tuesday night when I really should be curled up in bed or working on a conclusion to that damnable Management paper. I wanted to send something out there to the internet that other than Facebook or Google+, I have other thoughts. Other stuff is happening with me other than being a flibbity jibbit.

I’ve played with some of the blog links (like removing the character blogs which are pretty much defunct) and blogs I don’t read anymore. I went ahead and added Yoshi cause I could as well as “Hyperbole and a Half”. Maybe I’ll add my facebook info as well as my Google+, though not tonight, it’s already late and like I said, sleepy time!.

So theres that. Let’s hope I keep this momentum going actually do something with this space. Or maybe it’ll be another two years till you hear from me. Who knows.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Adventures in Cooking, Part 2

Success! I did not poison us! I did not burn the onions! There was minimal raw potato! I totally count last night as one of my better cooking nights AND the food was tasty! So what if dinner didn't get eaten until 8:30 at night. Who cares if I was still hungry afterwards (though I suspect that is purely me and not the fault of the cooking)? I know I don't.

4 Onions, sliced crosswise
5 med. potatoes sliced and quartered (I used Klondike Gold - either red or Yukon gold potatoes would work.)
5 large-ish Carrots, peeled and coined
3 Celery Stalks, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
10 Greek Olives, pitted and diced1/4 cup finely chopped, re-hydrated sun dried tomatoes*
Sun Dried Tomato Juice*
1 tbs olive oil (I used Australian Olive Oil)
1 1/2 cups of cooked lentils
3/4 tsp Sea Salt (I only say Sea Salt because that's all we use in our house and I'm not sure if other salt would change things or not.)
Lemon Juice, about one lemon's worth
2 Bay Leaves
Feta Cheese or Goat Cheese (optional)
Note: We cooked this with our heavy roaster pan on two burners. This yielded about 4 and 1/2 servings. I swear to you, I would not have been able to do this without Avie. Seriously. She is an amazing cook and really has a flare for knowing what to put into things when all she has to go with it is, 'I feel like we need more color'. Everyone should have an Avie is their home; but you can't have mine. Anyway, onto how to get this sucker made!

*** IMPORTANT! ***
Make sure that everything is prepped and ready to go. I made the mistake of chopping up the onions first and tossing them into the pan before having everything else prepped.

* Add your olive oil to the pan and let it heat up before you add the chopped onions. Give them about 5 to 10 minutes to simmer saute on high heat. Keep an eye on them and stir as needed.
* Add your potatoes and salt after your onions are slightly brown. Let them sit and think with the onions for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring as needed.
* Add your carrots, celery and garlic. Leave for about 5 minutes, stirring as needed (noticing a pattern yet?)
* Add your lentils, stir.
* Add your sun dried tomato juice and sun dried tomatoes. Stir and simmer for a few minutes, making sure that the juice and tomatoes are spread through out.
* Add the two bay leaves and the lemon juice
* Stir everything and let sit for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and serve with some creamy feta or goat cheese.

How to Make Re-hydrated Sun Dried Tomatoes and Juice/Goop as per Avie:
* Fill one pint jar to top with dried tomatoes.
* Add boiling water.
* Store in fridge overnight
* Ignore the fact that the jar that now looks like a jar filled with blood with 'bits'
* Voila!

All in all, I feel that it's a pretty good recipe, though it will need some tweaking the next time I do it. Like I said, Avie was a HUGE help in that she kept suggesting stuff to put in it. Plus, she was giving me on the spot lessons (like how to handle the potatoes) which was very helpful.

I think the best part is that I get to have it for lunch tomorrow -- wahoo!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Adventures In Cooking, Part 1

I have never been an adventurous cook. Hell, years ago I couldn't boil water.* When I moved up here I did little things like Mac & Cheese with cut up Hot Dogs. We're talking real elegance here. I got braver and for my birthday one year I got a lot of student cookbooks. They were all vegetarian or vegan, which incidentally is what helped in my transition from eating chicken and pork to a completely meat free diet. **

I went through these books and discovered that it's not hard to cook. I know, crazy right? Putting onions, peas and feta cheese over pasta is in fact easy! Astounding! It took me awhile but I learned how to cook somewhat and even took photos like the big dork that I am. I'm pretty sure I still have them, collecting dust on my hard drive.

Anyway, these books were really terrific. The ones that really helped me were
Student's Vegetarian Cookbook, Student's Go Vegan Cookbook and The Starving Student's Vegetarian Cookbook. Though the first two were by the same publisher and had some of the same recipes, I still thought that they were the cat's meow. They even have permanent creases so they stay open easily when I'm cooking. I highly recommend these to ANYONE who knows next to nothing about cooking.

So seeing my humble beginnings as a cook, you should get a decent picture of what I'm capable of. My history is rife with unnerving cooking disasters like the non water boiling and setting a steak on fire while in the broiler) which all make for really great stories.

My point is that I have started to evolve in my cooking skills. I've made a killer aioli that I got from the 'bible' at home (you'll know it better as the Veganonmicon by Isa Chandra & Terry Hope Romero. For those of you non Veggieheads out there, this is like Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I. It's wicked hard sometimes but totally 100% worth it for the stuff that you can come out with it. Seriously. If you don't have a copy and enjoy cooking, or eating for that matter, go and get it.) I've broaden out somewhat to picking up stuff and throwing it in and praying.

But tonight, oh tonight, I shall be trying uncharted waters for me. I'll be cooking something that I've created the recipe for (with some help from my Girlie). It's crazy but when I got home from class last night and after I'd taken my shower, the Food Network was on. True, I ignored most of it because I had my nose in my latest book obsession (re: The Twilight Saga. I swear to you it stolen my SOUL). Right after 'Ace of Cakes' came on this AWESOME show called 'Chopped'.

Chopped is a game show were seasoned chefs compete to win money. They get surprise ingredients that they MUST use. They only have 30 minutes before they need to plate their food and pray that they don't get eliminated. I was immediately sucked in because one of the contestants was a vegan chef. It was pretty cool, even though she was knocked out after the first round. But there was this one dude, Sandy, who was this laid back Texan. He did this thing with duck, potatoes and honey and I swear to god I was salivating, which is impressive given that I like ducks waddling and not roasting.

This got me to thinking. I mean tonight was my turn to cook and I had nothing planned yet. I started talking to Avie about it before we finally conked out and she thought it was a great idea. This morning I started putting it all together and I'll be trying it tonight.

I have to admit, I'm a wee bit nervous but hopefully I won't kill the two of us. Maybe if we're lucky, I'll post the recipe tomorrow, providing that I don't have food poisioning.

[* Seriously, true story. I was dating this guy back in the day and for some reason I decided that I was going to make pasta or something for dinner. I don't remember what were doing but I decided that if we're having pasta we NEED to have garlic bread. Nothing says romance like garlic brea(th)d. Being the food connoisseur I was at 19, we stopped at the store and picked up frozen bread already pre-made with garlic and butter. We get home and I bound into the kitchen with my pasta and frozen bread. I throw the bread in the oven and set a pot on the stove on a low flame. For those of you who know ANYTHING of physics, you'll see the error in my ways, but for the sake of those out there who are really like me, I'll explain. Water needs heat to boil. Lots of heat, so putting it on a low flame to start means that boiling will occur in approximately never. The rest of the relationship, he never let me live that down. I was just glad he Mother wasn't home.]

[** Though that makes me wonder something: I still eat eggs because with the Fibro and the Crohn's it's an easy source for protein. The 'meat' of eggs… is that actually meat? I know that if I could give up eggs, I probably would except that… it's like I said, an easy source for protein for me if I have a bunch of hard boiled eggs all set and ready to go. Anyone have any thoughts?]

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


The other night I dreamt that I was with a former friend from high school. Janie (no, that isn't her real name) was a vegetarian and for some reason was eating chicken. I asked her why she was eating it and that I thought that she was a vegetarian.

"Yeah, I'm just eating chicken. Chicken is vegetarian."
"What? No it's not. I'm vegetarian and I don't eat chicken."
"Well you're vegan."
"But I like cheese!"

At this point the dream switched over to a pagan/library/costume shop which my Aunt was running.

I have weird ass dreams

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A update? Damn...

I've been a bad little blogger. I've been bad in that I started this thing and I have touched it since? Not one little bit. To be honest, it hit the guilt pile.

So Today's List:

  1. Don't draw attention to the fact that's its been 20 months since I've posted.
  2. After failing item one, write new blog post to distract myself from the 20 month thing and move the blog out of my guilt pile.

Okay, #2, I can do. Intrepid reader, since last I wrote, my world has kept on spinning. We've run a few awesome conventions, I asked Vinny and Avie to marry me (just sliding that one in there) and we've gotten kittens. I gone to quite possibly a billion and one doctors appointments and I've cut out pretty much anything that isn't natural in my diet. I've taken up yoga and knitting, though not simultaneously. I also wrote a really long, too-cutesy, entry about why I haven't posted. I tossed because hell, I don't think *I* would read that!

More recently, this past week has been crazed. First Vinny fell prey to the creepy crud (better known as The Flu From The Icky Depths Of Hell™). Talk about timing being really poor. Since July, Vinny has been running full tilt between New Client and our other Big Client, essentially working two full time jobs. Luckily we have a really terrific friend in Alex and she's been coming down from Massachusetts to train the New Client.

As with most blessings, ours were mixed last week. Monday, when Alex rolled into town, she brought more than her luggage, knitting and laptop. She brought along her husband's cold. We're usually really happy to see Alex. This time, we're wondering if she could have left her lungs at home.Vinny had been fighting a bug and was losing the fight. He came home feverish Monday night with accompanied by a hacking, coughing Alex. By Wednesday afternoon, I was down with some mutant love child of both their germs. And Alex and Vinny were both down for the count. We don't know whose germs dealt the final blow, but Avie was the only contestant to stay standing. To add insult to injury, we have DREAMATION in two weeks and that means Vinny running a fever is really bad. 4 days later, I'm back at work feeling a lot better with the other two still unwell and working crazy hours.

It's been a bit crazy around here, that’s for sure.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

First REAL post (since I'm writing over that lame ass test post. Ain't I cool?)

Don't you hate those? The first posts of a brand spankin' new blog and there isn't much to say. I've been doing some research lately on what other people have done and what seems to be the norm when starting up a new, non LiveJournal blog.

And let me tell ya, there aren't many options.

I popped over to Miss Doxie's page and discovered that when she restarted (she apparently had a blog before the current incarnation) she started it with 'Ouch'. How can you top that? Seriously? You can top this woman! She mooned Atlanta for crying out loud!

Terry Moore had some random person telling us all that he isn't Terry Moore, nor has he ever been Terry Moore, but this person is setting it up for him. I can only assume that this is Madia, his webmistress.

Jane Espenson (she wrote for Buffy and Angel) had a big ole welcome, announcing her new blog and such. Then again, Ms. Espenson is a crazy good writer (I write good too!) and word smith and even thoguh I just popped over there for like a second, it looked interesting!

Joss Whedon is too cool for blogs and just abuses Whedonesque, making the poor mods wondering how the heck he uses a web browser. (Note: Love Joss to bits, but really he has a hard time with their software. I'm not sure if its intentional or not but its damn funny!

Neil Gaiman, just like Terry Moore didn't even do his first post. Slackers.

So really, having done said research and wondered for, oh, 5 minutes, I realized that I'm not famous. Yet. So really, why am I fussing over what the hell to blog to the wilds of cyberspace and to no one yet because, really only two people know of this blog's exsitance.

Though I suspect that once people start reading this I will have a readership of like 5, one of which being my Mother. That is if she can figure out the internet. (Hi Mom! I know you can work the internet! I'm just kidding!)

Woo. Now that we've dodged THAT bullet!

I feel that it is my duty to write something profound and earth shattering; something deep and meaningful about myself. Like the fact that I am a tattooed, queer girl with a love for frogs, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and cheese. I have this desire, nay burning need to tell the world that I run gaming conventions in New Jersey with my partners (didn't tell you WHAT kind of queer girl I am!), hate my job and am currently attempting to try to do college.

I have responsibility to the blogging community to be witty and sweet and to win you over with this single post that will have you all running back to this page every ten minutes, hitting refresh and anxiously awaiting something to happen.

Ya know first posts are kinda daunting like that. It's like writing in a new journal for the first time. You want to make sure that your handwriting is perfect; your sentences well structured and are full of witty remarks. Like this:

"Dearest Diary,

Today was beautiful! The birds were singing their beautiful songs and the sun was shining from the heavens like a gift from God. I ran to the stop of the hill and sang my little heart out! 'The hills are alive!' I chorsed!"

But really after the third entry your hand has gotten a cramp and you're just slapping anything in there.

"Dude. Today was the shittest ever. I so stubbed my toe on the bed frame again and I think the cat puked. It was nasty!"

So I suppose that I should start this bad boy off like I'm going to be handling most entries: snarky.

Dear Readers:
While my people are stuck in the wilds of Manhattan, I am entertaining myself by figuring out how to blog like a grownup. Bye-bye LJ, helllllo blogspot.

I'm so clever. I'm so clever that I stole that from my girlfriend. Ha!