On Camera? Hmmm…

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Too Long For Twitter

I just picked up my new script, a 7 day pain patch. It’s to help with pain, since no other daily preventative has worked. At least I don’t have to choke down more pills. This takes the place of a 3-a-day pill I was on until November, when the lack of impact on my shortened wean off (Thanks, Furlough! I had a refill right after it started, and at $90 a month I decided to see if it makes a difference. New baseline, which I was due for anyways.) made me realize it was causing more side effects than symptoms it was treating.

My pain has increased since then, steadily, as we moved from Fall to Winter. We have been in the grips of a record-breaking winter in our area and the pain in crease in the cold weather has been immense.

So, new pain meds are here and as I open the pack and I jokingly said to Chooch that I should apply the patch after we record our Consumption ‘Cast (with friends P.G. Holyfield and Christiana Ellis) youtube episode since I have no idea what the side effects may be. C’C is a weekly gabfest about all the media we are or aren’t consuming. Tonight we have J.C. Hutchins on, and I can’t wait to chat with him – he’s always so fun to talk to and it’s been too long. He’ll be talking about his body of work and his new project, The 33.

It occurred to me that, for reals, I had better read the possible side effects before applying.

I read them aloud:

  • Drowsiness (zzzz…whut?);
  • Euphoria;
  • Vomiting;
  • Restlessness;
  • Headache (already have one, lol);
  • Dry mouth (thanks, Vic!);
  • Low blood pressure (prone to);
  • Blurred vision (thanks, nonexistent glasses!);
  • Feeling of general discomfort.

Chooch’s response? “So, thirty minutes before we go Live, right? You gotta show that.”

That’s love, guys. That’s love.

Sorry, no can do. My inner fan girl gets to come out tonight with J.C. on the show. He’s my FIRST (podcast novel AND trilogy author), EVAR!

And really, those dragon boots. *swoon*

Confusion and Communication

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Soulful, Too Long For Twitter

From Facebook

The first half, I totally agree. When people, circumstances or both dry up all the kindness out of you, always be kind to yourself first, until you feel back in balance there again, IF you ever do. Think of the air mask on an airplane safety schtick, they instruct you to secure yourself so that you can provide assistance to others. If you do the 2 kids first, you may not get to the second kid OR yourself. How’s that image for your kids to grow up with after you die? 

But the second half seems passive aggressive for me. My point being: I do not like withholding when others do it to me, nor do I like to do it to others. Fear of rejection plays into the timing (usually delayed), but dammit, I’m human. Sometimes I am simply wrung out and I struggle to react, no matter how powerful what I am presented with is. For various reasons, many of them relationship based, I’m exhausted from self-inflicted and collateral damage from Other People’s Drama and am taking a vacation from those people. It’s a necessity if the ebb and flow of our relationship will ever flow again.

I dunno, am I thinking too hard? I’ve been working on healing myself to be able to be kinder in our shared world and to smooth the paths of others, wherever possible. It’s not a religious thing, it’s a philosophical thing. I don’t see a difference in praying the Catholic rosary vs. a Buddhist chant vs. guided imagery vs. tranquilly watching birds eating birdseed vs. a conversation with a deceased beloved vs. a song that makes you THAT happy. A mini spa-day for the soul, invigorating you for your next foray into the breach. 

And some things I don’t share from these feeds for various reasons, on seeking a kind and peaceful path (crucial for neurological symptom management, YMMV), but with this one I am stuck. Is Mandy subtly attacking by withholding? Trying to “teach someone a lesson?” That is a kindness to no one. If stinky stuff doesn’t get aired, it will always be stinky. TRUST ya girl on that one.

 (And as we all know the Silence will fall.)

Metric’s “Gimme Sympathy”

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Too Long For Twitter

My current earworm (thanks to Donna Mugavero’s recent post in Facebook, don’t know her? You should. You’re welcome.) is from Metric. Yes, we can consider my having crossed over into obsession. It’s cool. I’m in until the songs stop fitting. It’ll happen some day, don’t rush it.
“Who would you rather be?
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?”

So, tell me. Who’d YOU rather be: The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?” For your own reasons that you may share if you so choose. 

The lyrics continue:
“Oh seriously, you’re gonna make mistakes,
You’re young.
Come on baby play me something like
Here Comes the Sun.”

This is a favorite song that I love to ponder. I almost want to ask the question as soon as I meet someone, to do my own personality test. What that would be, I have no idea, but it may be akin to the “What are your five favorite LP’s and why?” aspects that would be covered. Random tangent…

 

 

Sopapillas, Finally

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Cooking

I’ve been wanting to master these for decades, the need heightened after making a few “sopapilla cheesecakes” and wanting something better than croissant rolls for the base of the dessert.

An opportunity arose and I’m taking it as  chance to take on two long-delayed nommies. The first, sopapillas. I hunted down this recipe in AllRecipes for sopapillas  and skimmed through the comments for potential issues. It had over 150 reviews with almost a complete 5 star rating. I’ve had great luck with their recipes in the past, so jumped in.

Because of carb doom lately, I only made a half batch to test and play with the techniques. The comments indicated that temperature was key at 375fahrenheit / 190celsius. Luckily, I had recently discovered my hot oil/candy thermometer. I bought the Crisco (I follow them to a “T” before making alterations to recipes.) and waited for the perfect window of moderate pain and empty kitchen and started in.

Batch A (on the left) rested for the recipe instructed 20 minutes, then rolled and cut with a pizza cutter (easier for my hands) and dropped in to the waiting oil at the perfect temp.

Batch B (on the right) was surprisingly easy to accomplish at the reviewer-recommended 45 minute dough resting time. I had finished Batch A and cleared the counters with time to spare for Batch B to start.

What I learned from my test:

  • I should have re-measured the temperature, I believe the oil was too hot at the end of both fry batches.
  • A wider pan would have been awesome. I could only do 4 at a time of the approximately 2″ x 2″ squares in the medium pot I was using. I dream of the giant 5″ x 3″ sopapillas of my favorite childhood restaurant, but I won’t ever bring myself to use that much oil for a sporadic-use recipe.
  • I’d dust each piece before dropping it in the oil. I ended up with the blechhhh of brown burned bits in the oil. Not cool, man. Not cool.
  • After the dough is dropped in, it sinks to the bottom. As it cooks, it rises, on its own, to the surface. It seems that the more surface exposed to the air, the more it would expand, or pillow out further. A few tests proved this to be true. The few that look circular are the ones I played the most with this effect the most.
  • I am also testing how they old up to storage, since the next batch will be made Saturday. 
  • Alongside another dessert, this half batch made PLENTY. So, a complete fresh dessert for $4 for honey, $4 for Nutella (World Nutella Day is NOT a weekend!), 2 cups of flour, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of baking-something, 2 quarts of frying oil (although I’ll make use of this for other things, once I strain off oil through a cheesecloth).

I plan on inserting the recipe to prevent a frequent problem I am running in to, dead links. I’ll try and insert an image of the recipe here, if I can catch hubby’s eye for a few minutes. You can find the link above.

 

EDIT, before going in to make the final batch:
Note: I hated the oil flavor on the sopapillas so am switching from canola to coconut. Healthier anyways and I got a vat of the good stuff on sale at Costco. (Marry me, Costco!) Also, I’ll be putting the sopapillas directly ON the paper towels this time to drain. Every little bit of oil removing absorption. NECESSARY!

The State of The Muse Address

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Family, Hauntings, Health, No Whining, Too Long For Twitter

Chooch and I have been at a marathon pace of giggles (and pain) the last few months, with a nice 2 week bout of illness in there. We are trying to regain balance in our lives after, essentially a three week uprooting of our schedules.

There will be many posts about Hawaii, if I haven’t said so already. I have many thoughts and house rules now, because of my love of the natural beauty they protect so well on the island of Kaua’i, if not all the islands of Hawai’i.

Our middle son T, now 17 years old, looking out over the beauty of Hawai'i as we drove through Waimea Canyon.

Our middle son T, now 17 years old, looking out over the beauty of Hawai’i as we drove through Waimea Canyon.

Until I can manage the mischief, I am doing a lot of picture posting (visuals are my best communication tool at the moment) at my Flickr site, and because I haven’t bothered my most wonderful husband to help me get this blog, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook to update. And prolly G+ since I am resigned to our future Skynet overlords.

My handle at Flickr and most other sites is Vivid Muse (with or without spaces). I do filter pix of our kids and of the minor children of friends. You have to ask for me to not let a solo photo of your child be public, it truly is a big exception. If anyone finds that I’ve slipped, please message me and I’ll correct asap.

In case you haven’t seen elsewhere, I stopped all assistance to Ditched by Kate in April of last year. I finally admitted that I simply was not physically or mentally able to be representative of their image, so I resigned. Chooch also left the band, months later, for unrelated reasons. Our friendships with the band remain, which was a goal from the very beginning. I’m very grateful that’s happened. I will never forget my part of DBKhaos and wish them all the best, sincerely.

I have so many things to express, but am needing to organize them. The biggest thing I have to say is about the Charity Cancer Anthology, (title TBD) and my inability to publish it.

I have been battling ever-worsening invisible (mostly) chronic pain for four years now. There are different aspects and associated issues, but basically, my body is hindered by pain, and my mind is hindered by fog and long periods of inability to focus, remember and/or communicate coherently. I am not the person to do this job the way it deserves to be done. However, it must happen. For my Mother’s piece and the other pieces that will be included have amazing messages to share. And because cancer will not stop, neither can those that fight it.

Because my Health Blahs, as I call them, are chronic and not alleviating, I must assume that I must find someone willing to take this on. Chooch is unable to do it for work schedule and personal reasons of his own. Cancer is a common word in our lives, suffice it to say. Too soon, doesn’t begin to cover it.

I will be reaching out and seeking advice on getting someone else to re-promote, take additional submissions, edit, publish and market the book along with Chooch. I have stipulations, because of the excruciating personal nature of this publication, but he will be the one in charge of those.

Please contact Chooch or I at Viv@VividMuseCreations.com if you have suggestions, criticisms, or services you’d like to donate, since this is a non-profit charity book, and also if you have services that you think will help us spread the word far and wide to raise the greatest funds possible to wish this evil disease into the cornfield.

My deepest and most sincere apologies to those that in some case have been waiting years for this anthology to be published. It is in your honor that I show my gratitude with this public apology and embarrassing level of detail of by failings. Please direct any response to Viv@VividMuseCreations.com with ideas, criticisms, requests to add more selections, alter/add to your current submission or any other matter.

Please know that I’ve let myself down more than I’ve let anyone else down. In moving out of cocoon-mode, things have to be completed this year. Nothing that lingers because of fear/embarrassment/pain will see the dawn of 2015. This is my goal. (Warning: As part of my typical foolishness, I will be channeling Mabel Pines from *cough*Disney’s*cough* animated series, “Gravity Falls,” by embracing awkward and embarrassing things and putting them in my rearview mirror. I’m human. I make mistakes. I’m moving on. Feel free to join me.)

As a result, I have something similar to Write or Die in mind for this blog. I have to schedule the post when I begin writing it. I have 1 to 4 hours to hone it, since I get lost in Fibromyalgia Fog frequently or migraines take me down. If necessary, that means posting before proofing. (I can’t wait to see if I screw that one up. Future half sentences ahead!)

And I’m tired of looking at super short thoughts that I’ve captured that I feel like I have to expand on into a more coherent post. I am rarely coherent. If you know me in real life, you know this already. So, my misfires are a part of my “voice” or POV. (We’ll see how long this lasts. I’m coming off a great weekend.)

I think this will help with the 70 or so pieces of thought and 4 journals full of thoughts. Lose all my baggage and keep our beloveds and keep our human and material treasures close.

Oh and we my do a new Into the Blender Podcast, soon-ish. We did a google hangout on Nov 1, 2013, our 10th and 11th anniversaries, but the audio isn’t up yet. We will hopefully be able to do an occasional episode the same as PG Holyfield and Chooch produce our SpecFicMedia.com shows. Record a live show in Google+, while broadcasting live to YouTube channel and then strip out the audio and post in our podcast feed.

And because of another kind nudge, this time from Dave Slusher, I’ll attempt to talk into a microphone soon for my stale, sporadic at best Girl’s Rules Podcast. I have little control over whether or not I’m physically able, but I will try.

Maybe something will come of it that others can relate to and also help with my successful-to-date fight against isolation.

Happy New Year, kittens.
*rooster crow*

Knitting Loom and Hair Vanity

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Knitting, Too Long For Twitter

I got a round knitting loom (cheap rig) and decided to just practice the stitches to see if/how long I could do it, since I’ve had to give up most other crafts and my purple yarn stash is too pretty to give away.

It took over a week, and my “tennis elbow” is aggravated (definitely a contributor, as was baking cookies and taking pictures on vacation) to the point of tears, but I made it. I was going for a “muff” by just knitting a tube, just until the skein ran out.

I ended up with the equivalent of a large sleeve. I may seek the other skein of that color and make another. Connected the right way, and with some luck, it’s a kind of a shrug, lulz.

Taking a break until my elbow recovers, learning left-handed was pointless, I am right-dominant. Even with the left-handed method, I was doing most of the work with my right and had to repeatedly correct. If it continues to be a problem, I’ll just go right and consider it exercise.

I just shared a photo on Flickr and figure it’s a good point to take opinions on what to do with my ‘do?

Good pic to start the debate on whether to dye my hair again or let it grow out salt and pepper?
FWIW, I’ve vain about my hair and love the color my Goddess/Hair Stylist uses. But in saving funds for Hawaii adventures, I skipped a dye or two and am eyeing my roots now with doom in their future, but… should I let it continue to grow? It’s been 4 months almost. Maybe it was just the beauty overshadowing everything else in the picture, but I didn’t give a damn about the gray showing. I was like a kid with a bad haircut, completely immersed in what we were doing.
So much silver, but it’s kinky and coarse. I’d either end up chopping it or dredding it during grow out.
Thoughts?

Help, I’m Alive by Metric

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Music, Too Long For Twitter, Whining

Diving in to their discography, I’ve found the lyrics and energy of the band Metric exceedingly cathartic. Just now, while I was stuck in my head again on a sadness (a while back), I started playing on shuffle again, and because I’m crazy as a loon, I haphazardly decided that whatever song they played, I would take it in and seek catharsis on it through their lyrics. View it through Emily’s lens, so to speak, since she has so often said what I needed to hear. Here’s what they served me up with:

“Help, I’m Alive”

I tremble
They’re gonna eat me alive
If I stumble
They’re gonna eat me alive
Can you hear my heart
Beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer

Help I’m alive
My heart keeps beating like a hammer
Hard to be soft
Tough to be tender
Come take my pulse the pace is on a runaway train
Help I’m alive
My heart keeps beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer

If we’re still alive
My regrets are few
If my life is mine
What shouldn’t I do?
I get wherever I’m going
I get whatever I need
While my blood’s still flowing
And my heart’s still
Beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer

Help I’m alive
My heart keeps beating like a hammer
Hard to be soft
Tough to be tender
Come take my pulse the pace is on a runaway train
Help I’m alive
My heart keeps beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer

If we’re still alive
My regrets are few
If my life is mine
What shouldn’t I do?
I get wherever I’m going
I get whatever I need
While my blood’s still flowing
And my heart’s still
Beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer

Help I’m alive
My heart keeps beating like a hammer

(Lyrics provided by www.azlyrics.com)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Resulting Mood: Being zinged by loved ones is something I was raised on. I’ll survive this. In fact, I called its certainty ages ago and have been upgrading my emotional armor. I just thought dark times had passed and that the sun was starting to peek out of the clouds. Silly optimist is silly.
Silver lining: No more energy/love wasted where it’s not appreciated. And yes, I know I’m nothing special. Just your average everyday human that is happy to know where she stands with people. 
Lesson re-learned: I simply must listen to my instincts, they rarely steer me wrong, in hindsight. Stop being afraid to reveal my super embarrassing non-traditional geeky side. Those that reject don’t get to laugh over it with me. Always give a second-chance (or third, or twentieth), so long as it’s DESERVED.

And Then There’s This

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Too Long For Twitter

This is why we eat so late: me, doing dexterity new-to-me exercise, round loom knitting. I then get get shiny object syndrome and take a picture because I love the natural shape of it and the colors, too. Then, hubby snatches my camera and nabs the image and is now playing with that. I love how he makes me feel about myself. Going to keep knitting, I guess. I think this is the thing he’s working on, but I’m not sure.

I have so many thoughts after our visit to Hawaii, for two whole weeks on the Garden Isle, Kaua’i. I fell in love and dream of returning to it again, and also making my way to active volcanic sites, because why not?

The biggest change is done. Only my forgetfulness will ruin my intentions: No more plastic bags from stores. Reusable or paper ONLY. I’ll happily remove that from this household whenever possible.

I won’t be embarrassed using a WalMart bag at a Harris Teeter, I just don’t care. I’m taking this wee step in the hopes that the garbage cycle is a little lighter for this change.

I have some photos posted in my Flickr feed, only a very few will go into Facebook. As I’ve been doing for almost six years now, my pix will remain there until they piss me off enough to take them down. 🙂