Thanks, NASA. Thanks, Cassini.
The problem is, I really, really hate non-oily fish. Tuna? Salmon? Cod? Monkfish? Bluefish? Skate? Lemme at it. But Dad really only tolerates salmon and cod, and he can't abide fresh tuna or the other oily fishes (we both hate swordfish, IDK). Living in Boston means I do have access to good white fish but... I hate white fish, and I'm doing the cooking, so I feel like I can be a little selfish here. He likes mackerel, but it's very seasonal and not something we'd cook regularly. (He also likes pickled herring but because pickled herring is an Issues Trigger for me, that's out of the question. Yeah. I'm making this harder for myself, I know.) When Dad does buy white fish, I tend to cook it with lots of middle eastern spices/flavors, so that the dressing/relish overpowers the lack of flavor & texture-- but I can't drench everything in green olives and preserved lemon and parsley and oregano or cilantro three nights a week.
Are their white-ish fishes you like that have some good flavor/firm texture and that won't kill my grocery bill buying fresh, wild caught, Whole Paycheck-style? I am OK with halibut and arctic char, but tilapia, hake or flounder is so mushy that I can't get it down. Striper? Trout? Canned sardines in some kind of salad or mousse? Particular frozen fish from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods? There's a reliable source of smoked trout that I can put on a leafy green salad with root vegs that he likes, but ... what else? I am hoping to build a good half-dozen or more dishes so that I don't have to think too much about it, or some suggestions for old-reliable sauces and salsas that are good toppings I can make ahead.
Any reliable recipes, cookbooks, or websites you like for this kind of thing? (And yes, I am mindful of the Monterey Bay recommendations about wild-caught, long line caught, and endangered fish varieties...)
I have a final interview Monday at a well-known nonprofit doing an HR Director job in a specific subset of HR that I would really, really like-- and three people I worked with at other points are already working there and I serendipitously ran into them while I was walking wtih the nice HR Director who was touring me around. So-- that would be wonderful, and I think that I could do a lot of good work there in a well-defined role with a boss who seems like she would be easy to work with. It would involve roughly an hour commute, which I could probably do on the T, and I am told by the recruiter who got me in the door that they can meet my pay needs. They have an extremely long-tenured work force-- and I've only known/heard of one person who had a negative experience there, and I don't know all the details in order to assess if I might encounter the same issues.
On the other hand, there is the possibility of a vague, undefined job in my own city that came about completely randomly-- but it has still been super vague what I would do, and I am feeling once-burned twice-shy about not having a description for what I'd be doing and to whom I would report, and so I am feeling less than 100% about taking a job that is lacking in details. I suppose I could just write up a proposal and have them adopt it (they have acknowledged they need an HR operations and policy person) but I am (perhaps foolishly) feeling like it's inappropriate for me to write my own job description-- or that it's hypocritical, or something, because one of the things I'd be doing once I was on the job would be nailing down job descriptions and making things more regimented, so that people are less politically-driven and more performance-oriented. The general outline of things they need my help for are right up my alley, but there are aspects I would need to learn PDQ-- including all the ins and outs of the various union contracts. I am also worried that I am too much of a straight shooter, and that I will be uncomfortable and feel unethical dealing with the practicalities of local politics. I think the mayor and his team are doing important work-- I just don't know if I'm the right person. I think I am being too formal and cautious about the city job, but after I leapt before looking this last time, I am extremely nauseous about the idea of ending up someplace where again I would be overworked, underpaid, and without the authority or resources I need to see things through.
I didn't get the other three positions I interviewed, for, though, one because I was overqualified, one because one of the interviewers and I rubbed each other the wrong way, and one because they went with someone with a few more years' experience-- all of which are reasonable reasons and not "blameworthy" on my part, but I'm beginning to feel more bummed and less neutral/OK with those decisions. I am therefore very nervous that if I am too cautious and don't take the city job, I will have to start from scratch all over again. Since my unemployment is still being "reviewed" because one of my former employers hasn't confirmed wages yet, I am extra nervous, because I am starting to run out of money pending unemployment kicking in.
I don't want to take the city job and then say "nope, sorry, got this other job instead," though-- I know it's OK and people do it all the time, but it bugs me. I am worried if I say "I am not ready to make a decision yet," though, that I will shoot myself in the foot and they'll change their mind about wanting me.
Argh. Fuckity. Etc.
I sort of wish that I felt compelled to write Wonder Woman (2017) fic, or something in Mad Max: Fury Road, or even to continue on from the one story I started in The Martian fandom... but I think I'm mostly just content to reblog fanart and picspam and write a bit of meta in Wonder Woman tumblr about what a great story it is. I have no fic ideas, or no prolonged ones-- I think in large part because I feel like there are no "gaps" in the stories as told on screen. There are no significant plot holes, underdeveloped characters, or dissatisfying endings that I feel compelled to fix, and it's interesting to decide that that's why I write.
MMFR generated a lot of wonderful stories, and so did The Martian. I haven't stepped foot in any of the WW fic tags, and haven't been curious to. I guess I don't want to spoil the enjoyment of the movies qua movies because I was so thrilled walking away from them on first viewing that I don't want to go back and purposefully run a critical eye over things to try to find problems I'd then want to write about to fix. All three movies have wonderful, wonderful world-building, though, and I am very happy for the people for whom those stories have created a playground to write next chapters or what-ifs. For my part, though, I don't want to poke at the canon too hard.
I even haven't gone back and watched Star Trek Beyond-- it was so very good, compared to Into Darkness and even the first movie that I don't want to find out I was wearing rosy-colored goggles and missed some real problems; which made me realize that not long ago I was recommending two books ("A Country Year," Sue Hubbell, and "A Month in the Country," J.L. Carr) to someone going through her own divorce/midlife crisis-- but I also haven't reread those books since the first time I read them and they saved my life.
I probably should talk about this with my therapist, hmm? Being afraid to make things up on my own, or re-embrace something important and meaningful because I am afraid I will just mess it up again? Urgh, fandom, this is why you're a problem. You make me think too much.
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Rating: PG-13 for homophobic and racist/ethnic slurs
Prompt/Summary: Home for the holidays in Georgia, and Leonard's mother hates Jim. They make it work, anyway.
Warnings: Homophobic behavior, anti-semitism, black humor, general family holiday unpleasantness and toxic family nonsense, too many loving descriptions of food and random tourist facts about Savannah, Georgia. This is an accidental sequel to The Taste of All in It, a modern restaurant AU.
Link to AO3 here. Paul Simon's "Something So Right" was on repeat as I wrote this.
- Generous, flattering pockets in dresses, pants and skirts
- Free shipping on orders over $25.00
- Parking space, complete with broken meter
- One full glass of a new favorite wine (whiskey, beer, lemonade)
- Your favorite actor getting great reviews for their new project
- Enough paper towels for the job at hand
- No new work emails
- New underwear
- Your shoe size in stock and on sale
- Lip balm that isn't too sticky and doesn't make you break out
- Cats and/or dogs on the street want you to pet them
- Polite, informative lady mechanics
- That Indigo Girls song
- A great new kale/quinoa/superfood salad
- Cackling at your enemies' misfortune
- Lanz nightgowns/pyjamas
- New content from your favorite creator
- Snappy banter
- A really functional tote
- Enough of your favorite pens
- When your neck and shoulders pop in the heat of the shower
It's been a few years since I felt mopey about being being separated and not being part of a couple-- the more time that passes the happier I am in my own company and the more inclined I am to do as I please and to say what I think. I've been more inclined to set boundaries, too-- "I don't think that's funny," or "That's not my job, so-and-so can help you," or "I wouldn't really enjoy that and would be a downer, but if you would be interested in doing X or Y some other time, I'd love to get together." I like that these things are now normal for me-- I generally like myself and am capable of being content being alone, and I am not afraid to tell people what I think.
I like that I'm older, and that sometimes I even know better now.
Flowers seen on my cooldown from my first Couch 2 5K run. I hate running, but it's the only way I lose weight, and I need to lose weight because work stress has shot up my blood pressure. (That, plus it's a sedentary job.)
I am going to try to plan my routes so I go by all the city's good yards, though, so that's something.
I've been listing to PHC my entire life, pretty much every Saturday night. I've seen it live three separate times. I wouldn't actually say that I am a fan. I would say that I have always valued the show for what it represents: a sense of local place, a sense of smallness, a willingness to wait for the punchline, the patience to sit through a shaggy dog story that sometimes really isn't that funny, and is pretty much the same as the last Big Story you got sat down to be told, a sense of not-really-nostalgia, but likewise no sense of needing to proceed full speed ahead.
PHC took its time. It meandered. Sometimes it got a little off course. Still, Garrison Keillor got you to the end of the ride, and in the meantime you'd heard several different things you mightnt've expected, even if you had to put up with some really lame Dad jokes.
I didn't always like the music, but I was glad it was being aired. I am not a storyteller who could go on for hours, but I appreciated the art and the practice of it. I am not a small-town resident, or a regular church-goer, but I appreciated that the smallness and ordinariness and regularity of those things as portrayed on PHC nevertheless coexisted with liberality of spirit (and politics), exhortations to be patient and kind, and an interruption of understandable cantankerousness to do the right thing.
Hearing the echoes of all that compressed meaning, rebroadcast tonight, makes me sad because I worry who will fill Keillor's shoes, especially with the insanity that is the election this year and the assault on blacks, women and queer folk by those people whose smallness of mind and of heart make it impossible for them to remember patiences and kindness. Who will take the time and make the space for slow and steady? Who will remember that a sad story is best followed by mid-tempo music, and that you've got to have at least one long-winded joke? Who will remind us that duct tape and rhubarb are treasures of the republic (or who can remind us what it truly means to be a republic)?
I caught myself feeling like an alien-- if I came here because of the Prarie Home Companion broadcasts and found that people did not sit on their porches playing the fiddle and more-or-less-tunelessly singing old hymns, wouldn't I feel very misled? Would I be consternated by the violence in deed and in word that takes up so much space, so much air?
Who will remind us to be above-average now?
When we went to Norway, I fell in love with the simple but differently spiced food.
Of course, most Scandinavian cookbooks aren't in English, or are Magnus Nilsson's doorstop, which can make it all a bit inaccessible. (At least until you realize it's all Irish cooking but with more dill/ginger/cardamom/caraway.)
Its worth it, though. Darra Goldstein's Fire and Ice cookbook has a really simple quick pickle of finely sliced rhubarb and cucumbers (these are from my garden) with grated ginger & crushed pink peppercorns. So delicious, and really crisp & tangy.
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