Monday, November 26, 2012

Spinning Clouds into Happiness

I'm more of the 'dip a toe in the water first before cannonballing into the hot springs from Dante's Peak' kinda gal. So, when it comes to deciding WHAT THE HELL I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE, my resume is quite diverse. I tinker in something, don't love it, and move on.

My bachelor's degree is in fine art, with a minor in writing. The minor is mostly due to requirements of my choice of major (I had to choose a minor), but it is also my 'second choice', so to say. I flopped between a number of majors before making up my mind. Began in Animal Science in order to get into Biotechnology. Then I realized I am worse at math than Barbie. Switched to writing, which is what I have been told since I was young that I should be doing. I quickly grew bored of it, complete with my usual writer's block, and moved on to Political Science. Got out of that after a year of losing what little bit of rose left on my political glasses rubbed off, and went back to english. Floated there until I looked long and hard at the offerings of my university. I asked myself the big questions; if I could do ANYTHING, what do I want to do? I saw art classes. My first thought was, 'That isn't academics, that is just for fun!' Aha! If I could do ANYTHING, I wanted to do what was FUN.

So I did. Hands down, the best two years of my academic days. Best grades I had all through college. I had previously struggled to stay afloat in classes that couldn't hold my interest. But when I enjoyed and was interested in the subjects, the grades followed. English was a first choice because it has always been easy for me, not because I always enjoyed it. I just seem to have a knack for it, and am good at telling stories. Hell, sometimes I even enjoy that too! But, mostly, I have to be forced to write, either by a class or by a nagging story in my brain that wants to be told. I can't just sit down and stream bullshit without a plan, and I am terrible at planning...

My inability to plan, of course, comes back to my choice in major. Didn't quite think that one through. Sure, art is fun, but my original reason for avoiding it in college still held true; there is no future in it. It is fun. Yay. Hope you think waiting tables is fun too! That is why I originally chose a major in a budding field (science and technology) dealing with something I like (animals). Would it have been fun? Maybe. I like animals, I like computers, I like science and technology. But the reality is I wouldn't be getting paid to watch silly animal tricks on Youtube. I would be in a cubicle, or one scientist in a lab of hundreds, doing repetitive remedial tasks day in and day out. Is that better than doing repetitive, remedial tasks in a kitchen? The pay is better. But in terms of personal fulfillment... all things are equal. Both would have led to their own regrets about my collegiate choices. Damned either way, it seems. I chose the path of instant satisfaction, now I am back to where I started.

So where do I go now? I would love to get paid to tinker in someone's workshop, but that is no longer a reality for me. It isn't a realistic goal either. I technically paid THE UNIVERSITY to tinker around in their workshops, and they patted me on the head in return. I am told to just 'go ahead and do what you love.' Great, you have $35k to spot me for a workshop, a place to put the workshop, materials, and running cost to get me started? Just like writing, I sling some paint and get myself frustrated and disgusted, then abandon it for something else. So goes my life.

So here is my crossroads. I like stuff. Creative stuff. Yay, go me. I have nothing to show for it other than a few decent projects from university. My resume is a mish-mash of entry level jobs that never quite pay the bills and have only bought me time. I can blather on and on about my work ethic, my interests, what kind of shampoo I like, but it means nothing in the job world. What have I done with my life? Nothing. What do I want from life? Happiness. Everything. Nothing. World peace. Personal peace. Love. Art. Passion. Fun. But, mostly, happiness. Who cares? Not employers.

Make my own job, that is what M Monster keeps telling me. What job would that be? A courier for the clouds? Interstellar delivery driver? A server for the rich and famous on Parsonus 9? Cooking for Daleks? My head is in the clouds, and I can't get out. My happiness, my very soul of being, lies in imagination. Being everywhere but here. I can't write, I can't create, because I am too far away, floating and drifting. I suck at jobs that require me to be here, right now, because I always go somewhere I would rather be, in a time I would rather be. I float into places I don't want to be as well, and live with oogabs of regret, remorse, and pain. I can't let bad things go, and there is no room for good things to move in.

So here I am, spinning in circles, on my own cloud, on my own planet, in a solar system located in a galaxy far, far away, in the distant future a time long ago...

Is there any hope of every finding anyone else out here? Of finding my place, a sense of belonging, a home? Or am I going to be spinning these clouds for the rest of my life, laboring away for nothing in return?

At least I wrote something today, even if it was just another ridiculously fantastical and ramble-y blog post. I created something tangible... at least, as tangible as these things can get with me. Today was a good day.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Asian Glass Noodles with Tofu and Wood Ear Mushrooms

I went to the farmer's market today and found... FRESH WOOD EAR MUSHROOMS!

I had no idea what to use them with! But a generous basket for $3.50 was too great of a deal to pass up on a hard to find item.

I googled some recipes, and came up with mostly soups. I finally found this recipe on, and liked the sound of a good stir fry for dinner!

Add on the fresh carrots, onion, garlic, and green onion from the farmer's market, homemade chili oil with garden-fresh hot peppers, homemade veggie stock, and we had a really awesome garden-fresh Asian stir fry!

-150g Glass Noodles
-1 package (14oz or so) of extra firm Tofu, pressed, and thinly sliced into roughly 2 inch long strips
-1/4 cup or so of thinly sliced green onion leaves
-1 - 2 carrots, julienned
-3 tbsp minced garlic
-1 large onion, thinly sliced in roughly 2 inch long strips
-1 loosely packed cup of wood ear mushrooms, thinly sliced in strips
-1 bay leaf
-2 tbsp annatto seeds
-2-4 cups veggie stock
-3 tbsp sesame oil
-2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (I had a nice red pepper version, but regular is fine too!)
-4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp vegan oyster sauce (I was out of the vegan type, but it exists!)
-1-2 tbsp hot chili oil (use more if it is weak stuff, less if it is strong)
-garlic salt, to taste
-fresh black pepper, to taste

Add sesame oil to wok on low-medium heat. Add annato seeds and cook until the color has left the seeds and gone into the oil. Remove the seeds with a slotted spoon.

Raise heat to medium-high and add tofu and garlic. Cook tofu until it is golden brown and crisp on outside. Reduce heat to medium and add onion. Cook until transparent. Add carrots, soy sauce, and oyster sauce, and fry about 1 minute.

Remove everything from pan and set aside. Add 2 cups of veggie stock and bring to a boil. Add noodles and bay leaf, reduce to a simmer, and cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Check often, stirring as needed, and adding more stock as needed to keep noodles wet.

Remove and discard bay leaf. Add veggies and tofu back in the pan, along with mushrooms, chili oil, garlic salt, and pepper (to taste). Cook on low heat about 5 minutes, adding more stock if noodles dry out. Deglaze with rice vinegar in the last minute. Remove from heat and immediately stir in green onion leaves. Serve hot and fresh!

M monster went gaga over this! He loved it! We had the nice vegan fudge for desert. :) Perfect!

Vegan Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Ok! So I modified a recipe I found in the penny saver. It has peanut butter, one of M monster's favorites :)

The recipe was called 'Terrine' and not 'fudge'. After looking up what Terrine is, I decided that was a horrible name. I am calling it fudge, even though it certainly is nowhere as sweet as fudge.

I contemplated whether or not to even adapt it to vegan. I had enough ingredients to make some reasonable substitutions, and vegan would be a bit tough. But I figured, hell, if I am already having to make substitutions, I might as well just go all vegan!

That was a good call, because I need the eggs for thanksgiving dinner tomorrow :)

So, here is my best recollection of what I did. As usual with me, I tinkered a lot with this, so the proportions, especially of the oil, margarine, and sugar, are most likely not quite right. I adjusted everything as needed for texture and to taste. I aimed to keep the recipe from being overly sweet, like fudge tends to be, and I think it turned out quite well balanced!

-4 oz Baker's unsweetened chocolate
-2 oz vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
-6 tbsp all natural smooth peanut butter. Look for the unsweetened, unsalted, smooth, roasted type. It is surprisingly common and easy to find in all stores these days! A few brands make them, I used Trader Joe's crunchy cause that was all I had! The easiest way to find the right peanut butter? Read the ingredients. All that should be in it is dry roasted peanuts. Done.
-5 tsp egg replacer + 2 tbsp vegan margarine
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 cup coconut milk
-3 tbsp or more of coconut oil, melted
-2 tbsp sugar
-2 tsp lemon juice


-3 tbsp cocoa powder
-2 tbsp vegan margarine
- ~2 tbsp homemade 'corn syrup' recipe to follow

Line an 11x7 inch pan with plastic wrap.

In a stainless steel bowl (or double boiler), combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and 2 oz of margarine.  Place the bowl on top of a pot of simmering water, taking care to not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until everything melts. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth.

Warm 2 tbsp of vegan margarine in the microwave until it is melted and warm (not hot!) to the touch. Whip together with the egg replacer and sugar. Whisk slowly into the chocolate mixture in three equal additions.

In a separate bowl, combine the coconut milk, sugar, and lemon juice. With blender on high (you can also do this with a food processor, or I used a handheld dressing blender) begin whipping the milk. Slowly drizzle the coconut oil into the bowl as you mix. We want this to emulsify and combine. Continue to whip until milk becomes thick and creamy, adding more melted coconut oil as needed.

Fold your coconut cream into the chocolate mixture. Pour mixture into plastic lined pan, and refrigerate for 4 hours. (or, you can cheat like me and freeze it for one hour!)

As fudge is cooling, let's make the glaze.

High-fructose free 'corn syrup' substitute

-1/2 cup water
-1 cup sugar

Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and turn on heat to low. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. It should begin to melt and simmer quite quickly. Keep and eye on it, and heat it until it sticks to the back of a spoon. I like to get some on the spoon, then blow on the spoon until it is cool and touch the syrup to see if it is tacky. It should be the consistency of a really chewy, sticky candy when cooled. You can cook it less if you want a thread (which is what syrups are usually cooked to), but for this recipe, I liked the soft ball stage. You can use a candy thermometer for this if you are new to candy making-- I just winged it! You will have extra, and since it is syrup, it will keep for a long time if properly stored. Once cooled, I stored mine in a mason jar in the cabinet!


-3 tbsp cocoa powder
-2 tbsp vegan margarine
- ~2 tbsp 'corn syrup' substitute more as needed!

Warm the vegan margarine and corn syrup. Combine together with cocoa powder. Add more 'corn syrup' as needed to get the consistency pourable, but not so thin it will all run off the fudge. You want it thick enough to stick to the fudge, but thin enough to pour on and spread all over.

Once the fudge is in the fridge is solid, remove from pan and flip over on a piece of parchment paper and remove the plastic. Transfer back into pan, paper side down so it keeps the pan lined, and drizzle/ spread the glaze over the top. Return to fridge for about any hour. Keep fudge in fridge, as it is super melty and will melt all over if left out!

I had all the ingredients here on hand, as should all aspiring vegan bakers! This fudge will surely impress all your dark chocolate loving, non-vegan friends and family!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer Squash and Harvest Grains Succotash-ish

I just got back from a roadtrip with my best friend. She sent me home with a bag full of fresh veggies from her mom's garden! I didn't really know what to do with the remaining eggplant and crookneck yellow squash, as Mulch isn't much of a fan. Yesterday, while making some vegan Panang Curry for dinner, it occurred to me; Succotash! I have never made Succotash before, and looked up recipes. They all sounded so... plain. And I was looking to make something that was a whole meal. Then, I came across two recipes that provided the answer. One used pasta, the other had veggie broth. We have a freezer full of amazing, flavorful, homemade veggie stock, and I have plenty of harvest grains in the pantry that need to be used! PERFECT!

Now, I didn't really measure this recipe. I just diced the squash I had and threw stuff in as it looked good. So, this recipe turned out HUGE. Plenty of leftovers! This is a rough recipe from memory, adjust proportions as needed for taste.

I HIGHLY suggest making your own veggie stock. We save all the ends of veggies, wilted or limp stuff that that didn't get used in time, stems and ends from herbs, etc. in a gallon bag kept in the freezer. Once we have two of those, they are thrown in a stock pot with a nice fresh bunch of parsley, some carrots, celery, and onion if there isn't much in the bag, some garlic, dried Italian herb variety (sage, basil, oregano, whatever you have on hand!), 8-10 whole peppercorns, and filled to the top with water. Bring to boil, simmer for about an hour, allow to cool, and strain. It is super easy and hassle free if you eat a good variety of veggies and have a nice rounded mix in the bags-- when you do this, all you add is some herbs and spices to the water and you are all set!

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
~2 lbs summer squash (I used two baby eggplants and a couple crookneck yellow squashes. Use your favorites!)
~ 20ozs frozen shelled Edamame (soybeans)
~ 2-3 ears fire roasted corn, cut from cob (Peel the corn and stick on the grill for a few minutes each side. You want is a little black and blistery. I cheated and used frozen fire roasted!)
~ 3-4 bell peppers, variety of colors, sliced in 1cm strips (I used frozen bell peppers we had on hand)
8oz Israeli Cous Cous (Israeli is a larger grain cous cous, and I recommend it over the smaller grain kind)
8oz Quinoa
~3 tbsp sesame seeds (this was a happy mistake as I mistook them for Quinoa at first. It ended up a fantastic addition!)
4 cups veggie stock, unsalted if possible
a good handful of fresh or dried leaf Oregano, minced or crushed. I had some dried homegrown Oregano on hand!
salt and pepper to taste. I also added a bit of Trader Joe's 21 spice salute-- my secret ingredient in everything!

Get a nice big stir fry pan for this recipe. You can also use a large casserole dish that is safe for use on the burners. Add the olive oil and brown the onion on medium high heat for a couple minutes, until it starts to smell all tasty! Add the squash, cook another minute. Now, dump all the remaining ingredients in, stirring well to mix everything. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the grains are soft and cooked and all the liquid is gone. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

As this was cooking, my mind was filled with thoughts and fears of how bland and boring this would be, and how I could spruce it up with some flavor. It didn't need ANYTHING! I am one of those people who loves to over spice things. I love lots and lots of flavor. The strength of this dish is how wonderfully the subtle flavors of every veggie comes through, and the veggie stock provided the perfect amount of flavor that complemented everything in this dish. Spectacular! What a wonderful light, yet very filling lunch this was! The soybeans are much sweeter than the bitter lima beans in traditional Succotash, and provide tons of protein to make this a complete meal! All the bitterness of the squash is gone, and they became simply creamy and delicious! The harvest grains with a touch of sesame is slightly nutty and very filling.

Try this recipe! Super simple, almost everything can be found at a farmer's market or in your friend's garden :) The rest is all at Trader Joe's!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Ingeminate Epiphany

I need to go back to school. There is more I need to study, and I was just hitting my stride when I graduated. I had just found the place I needed to be. I had lost just enough weight to have my life again, and be able to exercise and move around day day to day. Enough to hold a normal job. I had found the major that I loved, and the environment that I loved to be in. I was so, so happy looking at and exploring art, being constantly emerged in it. I was constantly inspired to spend long nights working on my own art.

I just... can't find it any more. I try to sit down and create, but nothing comes to me. Little joy comes of it. I don't have to inspiration to work on a project for hours and days. I get frustrated and lost easily. I am gaining back the weight I lost, and can't motivate myself to change it.

I visited UC Berkley a couple years ago. It was like, for the days I was there, I had found it again. I felt so alive wandering the gorgeous campus and the surrounding town. I remembered the creativity, and longed for it again.

I want to study art again. I need to study art again. I need to explore other people's ideas and creations, and I need to explore my own ideas and creations. I need that energy instead of this slow retrogression.

And I keep coming to this realization. But reality of my current life keeps pulling me back. I just keep trudging forward, day to day, waiting for an opportunity... of some kind.

I don't even know where to go to school. I suppose that is part of this vague 'opportunity' I am waiting for... I know what kind of art I enjoy. Set design would be great fun. But I wouldn't mind studying more sculpture work either.

My job also likes to transfer within the company to other properties... so I guess I am hoping I can work that angle to my advantage. But I have to get myself in a much better position first. And I am not getting younger, or healthier, while waiting...


Time to get ready for work. Back to the grind. And the waiting game. Hoping this afflatus doesn't fizzle in the process...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I haz none. I want to do everything, be everyone, see everything. I am constantly inspired, but never act. I make time to sit down and act on inspiration and find none. Ideas constantly swim through my head, loaded with a long path to follow to take my ideas anywhere.

I want to make music all of the sudden. Me, who is musically retarded (the technical term). I took lessons for guitar a few years ago, don't remember a lick of it. I have trouble keeping a beat. My boyfriend tried to teach me, failed miserably. But music constantly flows through my head, it just doesn't translate back out of my fingers. Practically every style interests me in some way. Lyrics are few and far between. I believe in using them only as necessary. Music is more powerful when the sounds invoke emotions, instead of being TOLD what you should feel. It is more universal to not have a language barrier. Plus, I suck at poetry :p

I have been working on a screenplay/ novel for a long time... almost 10 years. It isn't even a rough draft. It is mostly just notes of what I *want* my little universe to look like, feel like, how the politics and technology works, random quotes, scenes, etc. All I will say about this one is it is sci-fi, but not really weird 'out there' stuff. I am aiming for a very believable, plausible future. No aliens, no strange technology. Just us, as we are... but later. Same bullshit, more powerful technology, bigger and more insidious power vacuums. An exploration into depraved spirals humanity and individuals take, the small and large signs of hope and humanity left, the everyday subliminal balance, delves into the depths of insanity amongst the chaos and uncertainty. Oh, and guns, actions, and awesome costumes and styles and eyecandy that I adore :D The subtext is thick as molasses in this piece. It is about me in many, many ways. My own head, how many different directions I am always in, and basically what this post is about... but dramatized and in the future :p It is like the 101 hats of kita...IN SPACE! It has a long way, and it is like my big, huge piece that I expect to spend another 10+ years on before I even get a rough draft I am happy with.

I also am bouncing around a TV show idea. It also is in the conceptualization stages, just random scenes and episode ideas, quotes, personalities, etc. This one would be the first one I would be able to get off between the two writing projects. It is broad enough to be able to have a writing staff help me with episodes and keep enough pumping out to produce regular episodes and seasons. I just need to get down the key 'main storyline' episodes that would drive the story forward. Once I get a main story and characters down, getting the rest of the show together is just a matter of finding someone to pick it up. It is a great show idea, appeals to a wide audience and the target demographic, is mostly comedy but with some RL drama and sad stuff mixed in. It is about everyday joes in settings that are decidedly less so... but still just 'life is funny like that'. I don't want to give my idea away, so I am being vague :p But this one is awesome!! I know comparing it to two wildly popular shows is just egotistical and ridiculous of me, but it is the closest hint I can give... my main inspirations are 'Scrubs' and 'That 70's Show'. There are particular things from both that are strong elements in this show... and I am trying to make it a gut buster like those two as well :p

Writing... in general. Like this blog. Yah. :|

I want to get into politics... because I have this naive idea that I can fix it all. Because I want to fix it all. I hate to see people suffer and fight, and to see the bullies get away with shit in front of our faces. I hate feeling helpless and so disconnected from my country, politicians, their decisions... They know SO LITTLE outside of how to play the game, they don't take the time to LEARN about the people and issues they are representing, or to LISTEN to those who know better! Because the money always has their ear first and foremost. And that KILLS me. Whether the politician is corrupt or not, the MONEY always gets their vote one way or another, whether through direct bribes and influence, or controlling the information trickled through to them. I have been a 'Non-Partisan' since I registered to vote. I won't be changing it in the foreseeable future. Y'all are being represented by idiots. And you are only part of the problem if you think *this* time, *your* candidate will be different than every OTHER disappointment from your party, or the other person's party. Which flavor of otter pop do you want, red or blue? Because the ingredients are identical, they just have different food colors in it. How about you try an apple for desert for once... because I can promise you the otter pop will always taste the same, and continue to give you the same result; a dyed tongue and a fat ass while leaving you feeling unsatisfied. But it is the one you have ALWAYS chosen, so why change? *sigh* I am tangenting and getting myself upset spinning my wheels on this one. I won't ever go anywhere with this, as much as I REALLY want to for the fact I am NOT a politician. I don't have vested interests. I vote with my brain, not my wallet, friend's best interest, or family tradition. I make a point to have far and wide interests in order to spread my spectrum of knowledge as far and wide as possible. It also gives me limitless ability to LEARN, GROW, and, most importantly, UNDERSTAND the information given to me.

I want to travel. A lot. I want to see EVERYTHING. I want to see ruins, forests, towns, cities, plays, concerts, EVERYTHING! I have left this timezone once when I was 14, and another time as I wandered around half the country for a month. That's it. You can see how well THAT is going...

Art... oh gawd where to begin with that! Paintings, in all levels of progression, from conceptual to needing a few final fixes. Undrawn LG comics. Helmet sculptures I want to make. General sculptures I have the parts for but don't know I want to make yet... *cough*

Sewing projects. I began curtains for blacking out our windows. Those WILL get finished by summer, because I will hate life if I don't :p Beyond that, I have some absolutely LUXURIOUS fabrics I bought 5+ years ago for some patterns I bought at the same time... and never made. I am too scared of messing up the nice stuff. My skills are teh suck, as is my machine. The curtains look like shit with all the snagged stitches where it bunched up etc. It is... an *antique*...

A garden... though I have started on that! I have grand ideas for it. I know they will all be forgotten as soon as I mess up the basics and get only two tomatoes for the season from my 8 tomato plants...

Video games, some that have been unopened for 5 years, waiting for me to sit still long enough to play them (or save up enough to buy a new PS2 to replace the one that shit out... >.<) Actually, I am not buying a PS2 on principle. Because I WANT a PS3, but NOT if it doesn't play PSone and PS2 games. What a crock of shit! *gives the finger to Sony* Ya, I haven't bought any of your fucking games since you jackasses did that. And I won't until you reintroduce backwards compatibility. Fuck you very much. I have been happily feeding my gaming budget to Blizzard, Nintendo, Valve, and smaller computer game companies. Suck it. When you guys crash and burn, I will be STILL ALIVE, playing games, laughing at your dumb asses for alienating your base for a few fickle casual gamers that are jumping off the Sony ship en masse. My favorite game companies and franchises will find new game company homes, so I am not at all worried, nor will I miss you. </3

Techie stuff. Began to learn how to code apps for android, got distracted and wandered away. Typical. I want to learn how to run servers and master linux. But I get distracted and wander away before I get far... Various editing tools on my computer I want to learn how to use. I know my way around photoshop well enough, I could be better. I need to learn vector. I have some 3D rendering stuff I want to learn. I have video and audio editors I want to learn. Etc, etc.

Cooking. There is a mile long list of recipes I want to try, I want to blog far more about cooking and get a cookbook going. I want to learn more advanced things, get better at baking (ESPECIALLY bread!!), etc. etc.

I know I forgot some, I will trip over some more on my way to bed. I can't look anywhere around where I live without seeing unfinished projects... it is horribly disheartening and frankly crippling. I don't have energy, I just feel sapped of motivation to work on them. So I waste my days... waiting... for something to change... maybe for myself to change... I don't know :/ Sometimes I wish I had someone who was super motivated around me to drag me along with them to experience life and rub some of their motivation off on me. Cause I wouldn't say no :)

Monday, January 9, 2012


I am attempting to make a post using the voice recognition is my second attempt is the first time for some reason didn't type anything I guess I wasn't talking or something.

Wow that was amazingly accurate I guess it they have gotten a little bit better with sucks um anyways I find using the of voice recognition a lot easier than actually typing these posts I'm a specially with the boat which is what I am on right now I'll be asleep on a long time is the texas exestential ramblings Kirk well I am driving um I don't have the mad skills like some people out there who can totally text while I drive.

Yeah I guess that last batch wasnt quite as accurate as the first 1. That pretty much answers my question about the accuracy of this. I may have some post using this method Or just leaving east coast as is for the long.

Lol, ya. Not as accurate as I would like. It has gotten better than when I first got this phone, however. The lack of punctuation is pretty funny too... much more accurate to the stream of consciousness that would be pouring out of my head for these posts. As I was trying to say at the end, I may make some more voice posts and leave them as is for the luls.  They also may make more sense than my original stream did :p