Cooking Our Kids

Happy Birthday, My Angel Boy

My oldest son turns 21 today. Yes, I know he is now A Man in the Eyes of All (except car/truck rental companies). But he was, is and will always be my Angel Boy (and the other various AffectioNames I have for him).   ^_^

He’s far away, and I’m struggling with it. I know, I know, I’ve been parenting from afar for over a decade, get over it already! I prefer to think, Dear Reader, that you understand by now that I’ve never fully adjusted to it and spend a lot of time actively not remembering that I won’t see them until ??? days pass (2 in this case).

But this milestone is hitting me super hard. I’m in the midst of planning a fun weekend with him and His Pal (Awaiting assignment by Naughty Bear of his Public Moniker.) in Philly, which will include Philly Comic-Con. Let’s be honest, they don’t want to hang with someone twice their age while they celebrate.  I know I wouldn’t have wanted my mom tagging along, and she was exceptionally cool.

Since I won’t see him until late tomorrow night, I didn’t get to bake him his traditional birthday breakfast or surprise him with balloons at the foot of his bed when he wakes.

Instead, I’m baking something for my beloved housemate Daddy G (father of another housemate). He recently had surgery and looks more thin than usual. I’ve never thought of him as frail, and I can’t let it to go any further.  I’ve decided to bake him the healthiest thing that I can think of that will tempt him into eating more calories to strengthen his body while it heals. And, oh darn! Wouldn’t you know it’s a baked item. Specifically, The Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from the recipe on the Quaker Oats box. He says the ones I made for his birthday tasted just like the ones his mom used to bake. And who doesn’t need a bit of Mom comforting your nose holes when you’re healing, whether it’s physical or emotional?

So, to my Naughty Bear, who I love The Bluest of all of our children, please be wise in your choices. You are too magnificent to waste. This world needs you as you are meant to be, whatever you decide that to be.

And, as a surprise gift for your birthday? I will no longer again say, “I made you, therefore I’m allowed to break you.”*

Love you to infinity and back again, Tiger.

I have never used the spanking method. Ours has always been a house of time-outs. It was only ever said in jest, so you don’t have to flame me about “How Bad Spanking Is!”. KThxBai

Convention Attendance Family Friends

Balticon 46 Update To Come?

Dear Readers,

My blogging process these days is lengthy now when it comes to events, as I have to journal first and try to pull all the people, memory and thoughts in and un-jumble them. My hope is to afterwards post a Balticon update, but it will be at least a few days.

A few quick thoughts:

I have too few hours with folks outside of our room, and for that I’m sorry.

For those people and events beyond me, please know that I missed you greatly.

For those that showed kindness, no matter how small it may have seemed, it all combined to cobble me together to see as many/much as I did.  I am greatly in your debt. I cannot promise that I will remember it, but I can promise that the accumulated kindnesses and after effects got/will get me through some rough stuff.

If anyone wants to help me fill in memory gaps, please email me at with stories or pictures with me and Chooch. I will give photo and story credit if used anywhere beyond my own eye holes.

And while I know that everyone only posts in Facebook now, I created a Flickr Group for photos to be collected. Facebook will not last forever kittens, share your photos in places where they can be viewed, as appropriate. Add or view at .

Also, if you come across other online photos from this year’s Balticon, please also send those along and I will try and link to them.

If you send something and you never see it used, know that it is still GREATLY appreciated. By me and Chooch both, at the very least <3

From the Post-Apocolyptic Recovery Ward,

Chooch Convention Cool Links / Clicky Linky Too Long For Twitter Uncategorized

2012 Conventions

Two things I want to announce on the subject of conventions:

My planned conventions:

Chooch and I will attend Balticon, only one week away, at the Hunt Valley Marriott in Maryland. I am shocked and gratified that this will be my 5th in attendance and 4th as a panelist!

At this point, I’ve not received my official schedule, but as of now I know that I am scheduled to be at:

  • Friday’s Meet and Greet
  • Saturday at 8 pm (I believe) in the Derby A Live Recording of Presents – Beyond the Wall: A Game of Thrones podcast. Come join our entire ‘cast cast as we explore the HBO series “Game of Thrones” as well as the book series. We vigilantly try to avoid spoilers, but either the cast or the audience may drop one or two. Based on our recordings to date, expect more F-bombs being dropped than spoilers. *It is known.*
  • Sunday at 10 pm in the Chase, I will be joining authors Barbara Friend Ish and P.G. Holyfield as we do readings from our works. Nothing makes me more nervous than a reading, but I hope to do it up right for my breast cancer anthology, with a tentative July release date.
  • When feeling up to it, my standard meeting points are the foyer, the bar, the courtyard or the Dealer’s Room.  Is it true there is no

I will be attending Philly Comic-Con, June 2 and will remain in Philly until the 4th for a private celebration. At this point, it appears that work obligations make keep Chooch away for this one.

We hope to make the trek to Dragon*Con for Labor Day weekend, but we will not know until closer to September if we will be able to attend or not.

TuacaCon, hosted by P.G. Holyfield and presented by is a virtual convention with writers, artists, musicians and performers giving their all with no travel costs! The date has yet to be determined, but the last two years was great fun and free! It is rumored that it may occur in Northern Virginia this year, and have even more folks in the live audience than ever before!

Also, if we meet at Balticon, Philly Comic-Con, Dragon*Con and/or TuacaCon, please know that for many possible reasons that I am sometimes easily confused or overwhelmed, hopefully due to one or all of my Health Blahs** or treatments. Please do not take offense if you get a negative vibe from me, in nearly all cases I can assure you that it is not you. It’s me. I am posting this here in case I have trouble verbalizing or am unaware of the issue. I don’t want a fuss made, I just want to avoid causing any misunderstandings.

Otherwise, I’m shy but say hi if you recognize me. Or leave a comment, @ me on Twitter (@VividMuse) or whatevs to let me know if you will be at any of these and maybe we can meet up!


**Health Blahs – my term for my small collection of non-life threatening, yet problematic maladies.

Fibromyalgia Vestibular Migraine Whining

My Review of The Avengers **Spoiler: I Haven’t Seen It and I’m Whining About It**

Boring backstory:

Having been dealing with neurological issues for over 2 years now, and with the Fibromyalgia diagnosis recently, I have finally yielded in the struggle against my limitations in the arena of movies and video games. Lookit, I hung in there a lot longer than I should have. I saw Scott Pilgrim vs. The World THREE TIMES in movie theaters, in spite of migraines, dizziness and nausea. And I never even saw the end boss fight with Gideon until a few months ago on a crappy old CRT television. I had always, in the theater and on high def screens, had to cover my eyes.

“Just keep closing your eyes on those scenes,” you say. “Big deal, buy your ticket and quitc’her whining!”. And I do. But, as my eyelids are not light-proof (yet), the flashing battle scenes pulse, muted, through my lids into my noggin and it hurts. Bad. And usually for a long time after.

So I have resigned myself to only putting myself through it in case of extreme emergency, like Harry Potter’s final movie installment. After watching multiple trailers, I decided I was going to have to wait until this one hits the small screen.  But I have been house-bound for the better part of two weeks, and am nesting in our new space. As a result, Chooch saw The Avengers with housemates Phil and Tina on Sunday, after dropping me at a nearby Target.

Guys… I was able to spend their entire viewing time… shopping. This does not sound like a big deal, but bear in mind that I am not driving right now. The combination of my symptoms, medications, side effects and onset of more Fibro issues make it unwise, in my opinion, and I’d rather be hobbled than risk injuring anyone.

Today I got everything I needed for this phase of rebuilding after the sale of our old home, and for preparation for LT’s arrival next month. Yes, I said LT’S ARRIVAL NEXT MONTH! The ticket has been purchased, and we are hoping for a wonderful fun-filled summer with him.

Back in the car after they picked me up from my shopping excursion, I felt a LOT of pain, both migraine and what felt like every joint between my toe nails and my hips. But it felt so good not rushing in an effort to prevent delays for the person driving. And it felt good to feel like I accomplished some things, even if they just moved from one category to another on the to-do list. This has really become a Big Deal for me. I usually hook a ride with people going here or there, and cram all I need to do in a short time.  I invariably forget things and it becomes a hassle, so shopping has become a big stress for me.  Shopping with a 2.5-ish hour timer? Heaven.

Hearing them describe the movie, I was more saddened than at any other point, especially as Tina described how there are some movies you just have to see in the theater for special effects, and I do and always will agree with that sentiment whole-heartedly. I just wish there was also a less-spiffy version for those of us that can’t handle all the special effects and high volume soundtrack at the same time, but would happily spend money seeing it on opening weekend. I have always been willing to ante up for 3D and IMAX when worthwhile? Well, now, I’d pay extra to see a visually muted version. (Insert the “Praise Baby Jesus, it’s not cancer or lupus” mantra here.)

It’s a hard thing to settle for, but I am the mom that had her husband and two sons take her to Iron Man on Mother’s Day, years ago. I miss midnight openings. I miss the kerfuffle.

I kept asking for more details from them about The Avengers, and I became aware that although I was very jealous as a result of my necessary decision, I decided to feel satisfied that I accomplished useful things today. I think this is what “Realizing Your Limitations” feels like.  It’s something I’m supposed to be doing. And, in truth, it’s helping me get through the day, but I sure as hell don’t like it.

Firsts Friends Too Long For Twitter

Big Adventure

Edit: Written on March 24th, this has languished in my drafts folder. Here it is, stale, mostly unedited and, for me at least, sparkly.


Sorry, Dear Reader, for the delay in posts, but it has been the most exciting/chaotic 2 weeks in the last several years.

First, we sold our house. And it was excruciating up until the moment the buyers signed off, over half an hour into settlement. I’m in the process of deciding whether or not to post some writings I have done along the way, but suffice it to say it stressful.

Second, there has been a blur of time spent in the company of some of my favorite people on the planet, lots of music by my favorite band and more laughter than is good for a throat, if current feel is any kind of a judge.

I was feeling particularly emboldened when I made plans on Thursday to do something completely out of my comfort zone on Friday. And I was anxious, and panicky, but necessity made me strong enough to follow through, thank goodness(?).   I had some particularly strong joint pain, persistent dizziness (I did not take medication as it makes me sleep. Enough sleeping!), nausea and my now-almost-constant fatigue from the pain. I soldiered on, Robot Girl style. *beep*bop*boop*

I had no idea that immediately following attainment of much need help for Chooch’s slumber (blog post, Chooch?), plans would change in such a way as resulting in what was already destined to be a successful and fun day, into a magical, healing and nurturing day. I did not expect such peace and tranquility amongst unfamiliar new friends. I was out in nature, and this was bold because we found yet another tick on me a week or so ago. I’ve eschewed nature since the RMSF diagnosis, deeming it Highly Hazardous to me.

But I ended up in this serene and beatific wooded and landscaped spot in heaven and rejoiced in the choices I made that led me to that afternoon of giggling, beautiful young girls (aka fairies) dancing and playing with flowers and leaves, pausing briefly to study a water fountain as they seek twigs and branches for the bonfire.

And to think, I almost chickened out of what ended up being a once in a lifetime afternoon.

Chooch Firsts Too Long For Twitter

You know you are an annoying “Shmoopy Couple”* when…

… standing at a self-pay kiosk awaiting delivery of cashback from a clerk (No, I don’t know why it doesn’t spit money at you.), you are approached by an employee asking to take your picture because “you two are soooo cute!”. Apparently, our snuggling to keep ourselves entertained while we waited, caught the attention of this person and they just couldn’t resist. I handed over my camera and the picture was snapped. I could not stop laughing at the flattering absurdity of it, forgetting that I didn’t even have make-up on.

Dorks in Lurve

The funniest part of all this (to me) is that the employee was very masculine and buff, late teens/early 20’s and, in my opinion, possibly on something.

Now, be honest, did we turn into the old version of the couple in “Up” when I wasn’t looking? If so, we best get to travelin’!

Best to get a passport, just to be on the safe side.

*Shmoopy Couple is a reference from a ‘Seinfeld’ episode in which Jerry entered into an annoyingly affectionate rela… You know what? If you don’t know the reference, I can’t help you.  I don’t even feel like I know you anymore.