Index this Time Vampire

Okay, so I said I would tell you why I’ve sucked at posting so badly of late. Truth is there are a lot of factors; I have time vampire ideas to last me quite some time. And since I will inevitably run into a lack of inspiration soon, we’re going to drag them out as long as I can. This week’s vampire: Indexing.

You’ve all used a book index before; it’s how you get valuable information out of unnecessarily dense books without having to read the whole damn thing. We’re grateful for indices, we’re glad they exist. But someone has to put them together.

Despite all our wondrous technology, someone has to come up with a list of important terms throughout the text. Then you have to reconcile said terms. Then you have to search every page of the nearly 300 page text for that term. Big publishers contract someone to do that for them (this is actually a way several intentional communities raise money) but mine just relies on free grad student labor (read: me).

So yeah, that’s where I’ve been. I’ll never use an index without whispering a prayer of support for the poor bastard who put it together.

New Official Frosting Recipe


We’ve talked about how in the great dichotomy of life I’m a frosting person not a cake person. I believe I have even mentioned my profuse love of cream cheese frosting in particular. Well I have to confess cream cheese now has some serious competition thanks to a recent discovery I can’t believe I only recently discovered.

Back story: My roommate’s birthday was last weekend. She’s celebrating it next weekend and wasn’t going to do anything special on the actual day. As her roommate, I felt it was my solemn duty to make sure she had something delicious to eat on her real natal day though. I went to the grocery store that morning and discovered brownie mixes were on sale (don’t judge), so I picked one up. Then I started feeling lame, because it was her birthday and all I was making were boxed brownies. So I started thinking about how boxed brownies could be improved and I landed on frosting. But I wasn’t sure she was a frosting person and what would she like and… suddenly it occurred to me: Peanut butter!

I’ve heard of peanut butter frosting before, though I can’t recollect having it in the past. And I thought, whether you’re a cake person or a frosting person, everyone loves chocolate and peanut butter, don’t they? Well not everyone. Nazis actually hate chocolate and peanut butter, true story. One of my students last semester wrote about his sister’s buckeye brownies (she wouldn’t give him the exact recipe) that had brownies topped with peanut butter frosting topped with chocolate ganache. I can’t make ganache that’s even halfway passable, but I figured I could handle peanut butter frosting.

Anyway, I did some googling and came up with a composite, very simple, oh so delicious recipe for some peanut butter frosting:

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 stick of butter (softened)

Blend above together in a mixer until smooth. Then add confectioner’s sugar and milk/cream/half-and-half alternately until you achieve your desired flavor and consistency. Put on something chocolate or eat with a spoon. Marvel at it’s delicious simplicity.

Did you hear that fan-girl squee?

Okay, so my first return was a little premature, here’s hoping this one sticks.

And it’s appropriate that I’m returning from a hiatus, because I am overflowing with excitement about another return. If you haven’t heard One Life to Live is coming back!

If you have heard about it, you no doubt wondered why you did not hear about it from me. The answer is this: I was too afraid it wouldn’t actually happen. I’ve been burned before. Prospect Park told us all they had saved OLTL and All My Children in July 2011, only to tell us it wasn’t happening in November. Now, to be fair, they never said they were cancelling it, they just said they were suspending production, didn’t think it was the right time, blah, blah, blah. I don’t think it was all their fault—ABC definitely played a few things underhanded that kinda screwed them—but a lot of fans, myself included, felt jilted.

So when rumors started leaking in December that they were back at work, I was skeptical. Other rumors indicated that their contracts would allow ownership of the soaps to revert back to ABC in January if nothing had been done on them, so I figured maybe they were doing just enough work to show they were still using the shows so that they didn’t lose them.

Then slowly, actors began announcing they’d signed on. I allowed myself to be a little more hopeful, because I really didn’t want to believe this company would be jerks enough to dangle employment over people’s heads just to check a box on a contract. Then studio spaces were rented. Then specific details on how long and how often the shows would be came out. Then it was announced they were going to air on Hulu. And slowly I began to realize it was probably happening.

But still I said nothing to you all (who I know were dying to know). Because I didn’t want to jinx things and I didn’t want to look like an idiot when things fell through. But… an official premiere date has been set, filming began on Monday. I’m finally ready to admit it’s happening.

One Life to Live is returning (and since it’s not going to be on network television, it’s apparently now with more f-bombs and naked time). I am a happy soap fan.

And ABC can suck it.

(PS. This now gives me an excuse for a Hulu prime membership which will also allow me to watch telenovelas till my heart’s content. In other news, I will never be finishing my dissertation.)

I’m Ba-ack!

Hey everyone, did you miss me? Don’t answer that.

Things have been insane here and the ten minutes or so I spend writing most of my blog posts (10 minutes of typing, often following at least 45 minutes of staring at a blank screen) have just been ten minutes I have not been able to spare. I won’t go into details other than to quote one of my colleagues and say, “The only thing worse than working for an idiot, is working with an asshole for an idiot.” (In case you were wondering, I’m not either of those).

But yay! I’m back! Huzzah!

And I have nothing to say.

Like nothing.

I could give you the standards spiel about how I hate daylight savings time, but I think you all know that about me.

I could elaborate on what I’ve been doing, but I’m saving that for Thursday since it’s my time-vampire week.

This is the story of my life—the minute I have time to write, I have nothing to write. My muse is a catty bitch.

So for tonight, I’m going to say I missed you all (all five of our readers) and that I hope to be writing more regularly.

Two Things I’m Not Posting About, and One That I Am

What I won’t post about?

1) Stupid drivers.  Because every single one of them apparently decided to get out on the road today.  A left hand turn from the right hand lane?  REALLY?  And just because of the volume of snow?  Doesn’t mean you get a license to drive down the middle of the street when there’s on-coming traffic, asshat.  And if you’re going to tail-gate, at least don’t do it on the cell phone (and when that cop stops you, don’t look so shocked about it).

2) Sequestration.  Because it’s been a term I’ve had to deal with for over a year due to the nature of my bill-paying job, because too many people have presumed to know what I think about it, and because all of a sudden today everyone from the ladies in line at the cutting table at the fabric store, to talking heads on the news, to the politicians from the two major parties, to an inordinate percentage of my normally party-politics-quiet twitter feed is pointing mother-fuckin’ political fingers!  If you think either major political party holds the blame for this, I’ve got some ocean front property in Arizona I’ll sell you for a song.


What I will post about?


This is the primary reason for my having missed so many posts.  We kinda got smacked.  Twice.  In two weeks.  And it was snowing again today (thankfully without any real accumulation).  It’s not that I live in an area that’s a stranger to snow, it’s just that we’re more used to it being parceled out in 2-3 inch increments, rather than a foot in a single go.

So, there’s been a lot of the death-defying commutes through white-outs, the lost time at work, power outages and the annoyance of dealing with the aftermath of a snow-plow when you just spent 2 hours clearing your drive….

And then there’s the good side:  the crazy, fun stuff people do with a shit ton of snow.  I haven’t seen a snowstorm yield this much activity out of people in a long time.  Maybe it’s the lack of snow last year and for most of this winter that drove people out to do something with the white stuff when we finally got it.

Up the street someone constructed a snow-castle that, before it began to subside was basically a story and a half high on it’s highest side (it was built on a slope), and big enough to park a car in it.  Seriously, it was amazing.  Even the igloo someone built on Barksdale field while I was at W&M was nothing compared to this perfectly constructed castle tower.  They even put up a tarp roof on the thing.  All I can think is that I must have missed one hell of an interesting snowball siege earlier in the week if that kind of fortification was developed.

I saw a brief bit of a battle (probably un-related to the castle, though I think some of the kids involved may have come from that end of the street–it’s not easy to tell when they’re all bundled up like Randy from A Christmas Story) out on the streets during the previous storm. Snow still falling, the street nearly full of snow after the plow had made its one pitiful pass hours before, there was a gaggle of kids advancing on a group hunkered behind the growing mounds of snow surrounding a going-nowhere Mustang in a drive way.  The advancing group thought they had the numbers, but they didn’t see what I did–that the kids by the Mustang had two teenaged older brothers lurking around the corner of the house behind what I first thought to be another mound of snow, but which turned out to be an arsenal of snowballs.  The battle was short, but heated (cooled?).

Someone across town sculpted bears in the yard.  And I don’t mean added bear-like features to snow-men, I mean actually carved out two bears about 7-8 feet high (they’re up on their hind legs, with fore-paws out in front of them), with sculpted fur and realistic features.  Menacing, but damned impressive.  Another house across town had formed some sort of large flower, which wasn’t all that cool, unless you drove past a night, when they had the thing lit from the inside.

Then there are the kids with the videos.  I’ve seen some pretty impressive footage from 10-year-olds mounting cameras on their helmets before saucer-sledding it down an area hillside. The coolest was when the camera-kid wiped out and was looking back up the hill in time to catch his little buddy–coming down right behind him–make the jump and sail right over the camera.  I’m sensing future camera operators for action films coming out of this.  Or, y’know, in some cases it’s more like Jack-Ass, The Next Generation.

We can get big snows into mid-March around here, but it’s likely this last blast will be it for the snow-ball and sled set.  I may not have enjoyed dealing with the snow from my own perspective of having to deal with it in getting out to go to work, but I can’t complain about what I’ve gotten to see other people do with it.