Reprinted and edited from a comment I left at The Belle Jar.

Every December, G. plays a part in the Mummers' Play, at the Flying Cloud Yuletide Celebration. So far, he's been the Doctor's Horse, the Fiery Dragon* (there never is a fiery dragon in the play, but the fiery dragon who isn't in the play is always the youngest child), Charles Darwin (in cotton-ball beard with a sea-turtle backpack on his back), and, this year, John Barleycorn, who brought in the evil triumvirate of Stephen Harpercorn, Dalton McGuintish, and Rob Barleyford. Every year, after the candle-light chorus sings, and the first story is read, we hear a jingling, and John the Master of Ceremonies announces the arrival of those practitioners of what he calls "socially sanctioned extortion," the Mummers.

The mummers come once a year, in the dark of winter. They don’t exist any other time. The rest of the year, they’re children and teens. They go to school. They do homework. They practice the piano or guitar. They play soccer and Minecraft. They don’t see each other, much, because their parents all live in different places.

Once a year, in the dark of winter, they tell a story. Adorned with the same costumes they wore last winter, they each act a part, familiar to us all from years of watching these same costumes, these same characters, this same story told with different words by children who know the story because they told it last year. Everyone quiets down when the mummers come into the room. We have a role to play, too. We have lines.

Here’s Old Bette. Her chin has sprouted whispers since last year; the actor who plays her no longer quite fits into the ancient bridesmaid’s dress. Old Bette threatens to kiss the men, and tells us all the story has begun. A gangly teenaged boy in an old bridesmaid’s dress, she lets us know that this is an upside down time, a time of misrule, a liminal time.

And now the story begins. Here’s St. George, brave and bold, her sword held high, bringing light to the darkness and hope to despair. We cheer for her bravery, and for her youth.

But you can’t have a hero without a challenge. In comes the fiery dragon!

There ain’t no fiery dragon in this play! choruses the audience, and the very young fiery dragon subsides, making room for a more serious threat.

In the muddled mythology of our play (which is like, yet unlike, any Mummers’ Play anywhere else in the world), St. George must face the threats of darkness, cynicism, and despair in the guise of a current known evildoer. One year it was Stephen Harpercorn. Another it was Rob Barleyford. The name doesn’t matter, so much. What matters is that this force of cold, darkness, meanness, and death will fight our brave Saint George and will not rest until St. George is vanquished. Also, he cheats.

And by treachery, St. George is slain.

Terrible horrible, see what you’ve done? You’ve killed our own beloved one!

All is not lost. A series of characters are summoned to try to revive St. George: Charles Darwin, an old man who wears the bottom of his trousers rolled cannot revive him. A wizard who pulls a rabbit from a hat cannot raise him. A series of singers fail to breath the breath of life into him. Pickled Herring (I don’t know, it’s *Tradition*) cannot entice him back to life. Finally, the Doctor comes, on his horse (the second smallest child plays the Doctor’s Horse.) The Doctor gives St. George some of his magic elixir, and St. George springs back to life, six times as strong as before. He kills the evil knight, and informs the ever-hopeful fiery dragon that there really is no fiery dragon in this play.

It’s the same story, every year. It has to be the same story every year: St. George must be brought down, be mourned, and be revived: Youth, warmth, life, and hope must fall before darkness, cold, cruelty, and cynicism, and be revived by the concerted efforts of, well, everyone. It’s John Barleycorn, Jesus of Nazareth, Orpheus, the Hero with a Thousand Faces, and it’s a story that we need to tell and to remember in the darkest days.

The mummers have gone to their pot-luck feast now, well compensated both with praise and with treats for their annual effort. The fiery dragon, who is three and a half this year, is asleep under the desserts table. St. George has put down her sword and is enjoying a half-pint of beer under her mom’s supervision. The Doctor and his Horse have gone home, bundled onto the subway by their tired parents. And we know that just as St. George rose again, so to will the sun, and that we need to wait, and hope, and hold and share the memory of warmth against the cold, light against the darkness, hope against fear, and community against the loneliness they can bring.

We tell this story every year because it’s a story that must be told, to remind us that spring comes from winter, that life comes from death, and, above all that life isn’t a tidy narrative. Most stories we encounter are: they have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and by the end the lesson is learned, the problem resolved, the loose ends woven in or cut off. The Mummer’s play is not that kind of story. It’s the story of the year: summer and harvest cut off by winter, then born again, and we wind up back where we started, except a year older. The year itself isn’t a unit, separated from previous years by a beginning, a middle, and an end. Well, it is, but that’s just convention: the earth, the weather, and we ourselves don’t observe these arbitrary demarcations. So open the door for the Mummers:

A merry Christmas and a happy New Year,
A pocket full of money and a cellar full of beer,
A penny in our palms won’t do us any harm,
May your days be merry and your homes be warm

Our Mummers' Play is written anew every year, always using the same cast of characters and structure, but with political content relevant to the past year. Here's a database of historical mummers' play scripts, for your interest

* This was the year I learned that we'd lost the Fiery Dragon costume at 9:00 p.m. the night before the play. I won some sort of good parental-adjunct prize, coming up with a tail and a toothy hood out of red scraps. I was not gratified to hear a voice from the audience complain "But the fiery dragon is supposed to be green!" If I'd known before the fabric stores closed, we might have had a green dragon. Folkies can be such traditionalists.
zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
( Mar. 4th, 2012 10:28 pm)
 A little bit ago, [personal profile] commodorified  held a Food Security carnival, with lots of lovely posts on cooking, shopping, and eating. I've posted a lot about cooking in the past, but missed out on this one. Tonight, though, I tried a new recipe and I was pretty happy with the results. It occurred to me that being relatively simple, relatively inexpensive, filling, and yummy, it would be a good one to share.* 

Herewith, then, I present to you White Lady's Aloo Channa. It's based on this recipe,  but because I don't have a have a pressure cooker, and I was short some ingredients, I created a simplified version. This goes nicely over rice, so put a cup of rice on to cook when you start chopping, and it should be done by the time you're ready to eat. 

1 tbsp cooking oil, 1 tbsp butter
1 cooking onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
2 heaping tablespoons prepared Indian curry paste (or follow the instructions in the linked recipe to make your own). I used Patak's mild, and it was fine, though next time I'll start with spices and work from there. 
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 – 1 tsp red pepper flakes. If you want it hotter, you can used chopped hot peppers of whatever variety you like, but I didn't have any to hand. 
1 tsp ground cumin
 2 potatoes (fist-sized, roughly)
1 large fresh tomato, chopped OR 1/2 can tomatoes
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed
Chopped cilantro (optional)

Chop the onion into roughly 1/4-inch pieces. Scrub and chop the potatoes into 1-inch cubes
Heat the oil and butter in a deep frying pan over medium heat.

1. Heat the oil and butter in a deep frying or medium-sized saucepan pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, curry paste, and mustard seeds, and cook until the onions are clear, about 10 minutes (but go by the clarity of the onions, not by the clock. If the onions start to brown, turn the heat down).
2. When the onions are clear, add the ground cumin, and cook for 30 seconds. 
3. Add the chopped potatoes, and stir to coat with all the fragrant curry goodness. Add the tomatoes. If you're using whole canned tomatoes, smoosh them with a wooden spoon to break them up. Add the chickpeas. 
4. Cover your frying pan, and let everything cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20–30 minutes. When it's ready, garnish with the chopped cilantro, if you're using it. 

This makes enough for two or three people, but it scales up quite easily. If you're being very economical, use a cup of dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked in place of the canned. It tasted pretty good this way, but I imagine it would be even better with turmeric, garam masala, and curry leaf, instead of prepared curry paste; I just didn't have the spices on hand, and I did have a jar of Patak's, so that's what I did this time.

zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
( Feb. 22nd, 2011 01:54 pm)
If you have at any point kept a toothbrush at my house (and are not sabotabby, who lives here), please be advised that as of today, I am throwing out all the toothbrushes. The next time you need a toothbrush, you may take one of the new toothbrushes that I have purchased from its sealed package, use it, write your name on it in Sharpie (I shall provide a Sharpie, writing names for the use of), and leave it in my toothbrush basket for your use whenever you are here.

I am nearly sure that there were toothbrushes in that basket that had not seen any use in the past three years, and I have quite forgotten whose is whose. So, I suspect, have many of the original toothbrush owners.

For the record, mine is the small hot pink toothbrush.

I apologize to any who may have loved their original toothbrushes. The situation in my toothbrush basket was getting out of control.

That is all.
For human_loser, who recently bemoaned the lack of good chili recipes on the Web. This is how I make chili, in a Crock Pot. You can use a pot on the stove, but if you do, you probably should go off to yoga class or to sleep while it's simmering. This makes a lot of chile. You can make less chile by halving the recipe. You can also get creative with the additions. I have added chopped carrot, green pepper, various types of hot pepper, and cubed firm tofu. I really like the way red lentils make the chili thick and hearty, especially if I'm not adding fake ground round.

1 medium sized cooking onion, chopped reasonably fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 2 tbsp chili powder (yes, you can make your own, but this is just simpler)
Optional: 1 package fake ground round, with or without Mexican seasoning*
3 or 4 chipotles, chopped
2 or 3 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 cup cooked red kidney beans)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 cup cooked black beans)
(You can also use chickpeas, red lentils, and/or pinto beans)
1 can chopped tomatoes (you can also peel, seed, and chop 8 large tomatoes, if you really want to or think tinned foods are evil)
Oil for cooking the onion

Optional additions:
1 chopped red or yellow bell pepper
1 cup frozen corn niblets
A few handfuls of sliced button mushrooms
Spicy pepper sauce
Tomato paste

Start your slow cooker warming up. Add your tomatoes and chili powder.

In a large-ish frying pan, heat the oil (about 2 tbsp) on medium heat. Add the onions and cook them until they are soft and transparent. Add the garlic, and fake (or real, if you must) meat, and turn down the heat, cooking until the garlic is cooked and the fake meat is "browned." Remove the frying pan from the stove (turn the stove off!), and put its contents into your slow cooker.

To the tomatoes, onions, optional meat (fake or real), and garlic, add the chili powder, chipotles, jalapenos, beans/lentils, optional mushrooms, and a bit of salt. Cover. Turn the slow cooker up to high if you have not already done so. If it looks too full of beans and stuff and not sufficiently sauce-y, add a tin of tomato paste and some water. If it looks too watery, add a handful of red lentils.

Go away: go to sleep, or to work, or to yoga class, or to anyplace that will take you away for several hours while your kitchen and home fill with the smells of cooking chili.

When you come back, peep into your burbling slow cooker. Taste the results. If you like it hotter, add some chili sauce. About 20 minutes before you want to serve it, add your corn or bell pepper, if you're doing that.

Serve with warm corn bread.

* If you want meat in your chili, substitute ground beef. Brown it after you've clarified your onions.

zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
( Jan. 8th, 2011 10:59 am)
Last year captainmushroom gave a home to an amaryllis plant. We watched it grow until finally, in February, its crimson blooms burst out and brought a bit of breathtakingly lovely colour to the February greyness.

So when amaryllis bulbs went on sale this Season, I decided Dictionopolis could use a bit of colour and brought one home. Today, it repaid my $6 investment and benign near-neglect*:

Pink and white amaryllis flower in full bloom. Flower is placed against a greenish background. Shot shows stalk and leaves as well as bloom.

Extreme close up of the inside of a pink and white amaryllis, showing stamens. The sun is lighting the bottom right of the bloom.

*Seriously, these things are incredibly rewarding plants, even for black-thumbed people. All you need to do is put it somewhere the cats won't eat it, water it when the soil starts to feel dry, and marvel as it grows really blessed quickly. I swear, I could see the flower unfurling when it started to bloom.
And the Toronto Choral Society, in which both [personal profile] neeuqdrazil  and I sing, is performing Handel's Messiah. We don't suck this year,* so if you like listening to large choirs, or the Messiah, or large choirs singing the Messiah, and you have the evening of Wednesday, December 15, free, you should consider coming to hear us.

Here is a link, from which you may order tickets. Tell them I sent you, please.

If you do not like to buy tickets over the Internets, I will be happy to take your money, buy your tickets for you at choir practice, and leave them at the door on the night of the concert.

If you are very broke and cannot buy a ticket, you have my complete sympathy. If you still want to hear us perform the Messiah, let me know, and I'll put you in touch with the concert volunteer coordinator, and you can hand out programmes or do other front of house things, and hear the concert.

In other news entirely, Shouty Neighbour Man, the owner of STFU Charlie, spent about 10 minutes this morning singing to STFU Charlie, and crooning STFU Charlie's name. "Chaaaarrrliieee... Chaaarrrlieeeeee!" This caused STFU Charlie to bark (of course. Everything causes STFU Charlie to bark, as far as I can tell from this side of the shared wall. The subway rumbling underneath us. The wind. Invisible, inaudible alien presences or aetheric disturbances. And bugs.), whereupon he shouted (of course) "STFU CHARLIE!!!"

Okay, then.

*This? This is why I don't have a career writing marketing copy.

Come! Sing! Bring your musical instruments! Bring a sweetie! Bring a snack!

Saturday afternoon, 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., or whenever. Meet at Dictionopolis. Adjourn to Withrow park, if the weather is nice. Make a joyful noise!
In which a cycle hoyden bemuses Insurance or possibly Investment Dudes. An exchange in one Scene.

: The elevator in the Tower in the Wasteland—a boring, office-tower elevator.

ENTER: [personal profile] zingerella . She is wearing cycling shorts and a purple t-shirt. Her hair is in a long braid down her back, and is, frankly, a mess. She carries a pannier/shoulderbag. She pushes 5, and proceeds to remove her cycling gloves.

ENTER: Dude in a Suit 1. He hits 2.

ENTER: Slightly more middle-aged Dude in a Suit2. Z. has seen him parking in a reserved spot in the garage. He hits 3 (the same company as Dude in a Suit 1.

DiaS1 nods Hello to DiaS2. They exchange banter.

The elevator doors close.

To Z. Do you pay for parking here? 
Zingerella: Nope.

: Hmph. So do you ride far?

: Yeah. Pretty far. 

DiaS2: Eyebrows raised Really? Where do you come from?

Zingerella: Oh, Pape and Danforth.

A pause.

DiaS2: Sticks out his hand. Wow. That is really far. That's very impressive.

Zingerella bemusedly shakes his hand. Yeah, I guess. It's not too bad.

Elevator: *BING!* Second floor. Going Up.

DiaS2: Well, have a good day. To DiaS1 You too. Leaves, and goes to his job selling investments, or maybe insurance.

Dias1: Snrk. There's no way you should pay for parking.

Elevator: *BING!* Third floor. Going Up.

Dias1: Have a good one. Leaves, and goes to his job selling investments, or maybe insurance.

Zingerella: You too.

Elevator: *BING!* Fifth floor.

Exit Zingerella, turning right.

Thing is, I can't figure out DiaS2. Was he planning to tell me I didn't ride that far? Or was he comparing my commute to his morning run? All I know is that he looked at me with far more respect after I told him where I started in the morning.



Community sing this Saturday, 14h30–17h30 at Chez Mushroom. If you need directions or details, e-mail me (thisusername at gmail dot com), and I will make sure you know where you are going. 

BYO: Songbooks/songsheets, comestibles, instruments, Bollywood dance routines.

In other news, the horny trees are making some very improper suggestions to my sinuses, and while I understand and respect the biological imperative, get yer spiky pollen out of my nose, trees!


Is that so much to ask?

So I've concluded that it may be time for me to buy a new bicycle.

I love my bike, I really do. I rode it almost all the way home from Ottawa. But I'm forced to admit that she's a heavy bike, and she's not doing me a lot of good. My fingertips get tingly when I ride for too long. And I ride a lot. Also, this year, I'm probably going to have to replace the tires, pedals, seat, and possibly the gears, by which time I might as well have a new bike, really.

My Current Ride
Grey and blue 2002 or 2001 Giant Sedona DX hybrid bike parked outside Grahame's Bakery in Kemptville, ON. Bike has fully loaded panniers and a front bag. Weather is overcast.

My current bike is a 17-inch Giant hybrid, designed specifically for commuters, where by "commuters," I think the bike companies mean "someone who hops on their bike and is at their workplace within half an hour or so." It's a pretty decent commuter/hybrid bike. It has mostly mountain bike features—wide tires, wide handlebars, lots of gears, some suspension in the front forks, and a wide seat—with a more upright, comfortable frame and posture. It handles reasonably well on lots of different terrain, and it's comfy and durable. Really. I haven't managed to break the bottom bracket on this bike, even once. So it's a great bike for someone who rides every day, and who doesn't stick to roads.

But over long distances, this bike has some serious drawbacks.

Cut for OMG bicycle geekery )

Still with me? Ring your bike bell if you've made it this far!

What I Want

Okay, so here's my list of specifications for a bike:
  • Good fit, which probably means women's geometry, though I'm willing to try some unisex models
  • Lightweight, which probably means road-style, though I'll entertain flat handlebars as long as the bike's geometry takes the weight off my wrists and hands, and the posture isn't too upright
  • Tires that are a reasonable compromise between stable enough for some unpaved roads and smooth and narrow enough to reduce some of the resistance I currently encounter. This means that the wheels need to support a slightly wider tire
  • Strong enough to withstand some time on unpaved roads, and to be fully loaded for travel
  • Eyelets on the rear wossname (the thing that houses the axle and holds the wheel in place) so that I can put a rack on my bike
  • More than 10 speeds. I use all 18 on my current bike, but I admit that I don't use the very top or very bottom very often
  • A less upright posture so I spend less time fighting the wind
  • Ideally, one of them there modern steel frames, so that I can have some shock absorption without needing actual shocks. Aluminum is light, but tends to be really rigid. Your modern light steel gives a much gentler ride, I'm told

This leads me to believe that I need either a cyclocross bike or a touring bike, probably. There are one or two hybrids I'll try, but most hybrids seem to assume a more casual rider than I tend to be.

And Here's the Feminism

So, recognizing that I really want a Terry Bike, but cannot right now afford the price tag on such a beast (and also, Terry seems to have discontinued the Madeleine, which really looks like the bike I want, oh yes she does), I wandered over to my favourite bike shop to see what offerings they have.

Cut for disappointment. Sad cycle hoyden is sad.  ) 

I guess women are just a niche market.

So, if anyone finds a used or new Terry Madeleine with a 26-inch step-over (which probably means a size S frame), let me know, okay?
Possibly lost true love. The Terry Madeleine, a relaxed touring bike in light blue and white paint, with drop handlebars.
And if I come into a sudden windfall? I'm so going custom.

Two things:

1) Saturday afternoon, 14h30 community sing, Dictionopolis. E-mail me if you don't know where that is. Read a few posts back if you don't know what that's about.

2) It's St. Patrick's Day. Oh Danny Boy is still not a very accessible song, but it's appropriate:

I haven't posted about the wedding in Ottawa, mostly because other people have, and I've been swallowed by my life.

I received the beautiful invitation from [personal profile] commodorified , [personal profile] fairestcat , [personal profile] random , and [personal profile] rayne in the mail, after [personal profile] mycrazyhair  warned me it would be coming, and I arranged to take two whole days off work to travel to Ottawa with her, despite my trepidation about travelling the week before the Dance Flurry, meeting new people in general, and weddings in general.

We had an awesome trip. I am really glad I got to see the MacFlails get married, to dance with them (and with [personal profile] dagibbs—finally!); and to visit [ profile] audrawilliams and see [ profile] human_loser once more before he vanished back to the west; to experience the most breathtakingly epicurean vegetarian cuisine I have ever eaten, to hang out and breakfast with [personal profile] toft , [personal profile] curgoth , and [personal profile] neeuqdrazil ; to meet whole bunches of very interesting, kind, funny people; and to dress up pretty and dance with my girl.

To the MacFlails: It was lovely to meet those I met, to spend some time with you, to witness your marriage, and to laugh and danc

Thanks to the MacFlails for inviting me, for having an awesome wedding, and for providing me with an opportunity for such a very enjoyable weekend. [personal profile] commodorified , you sure know how to make a girl feel welcomed and appreciated (or at least ogled). You are a lovely, lovely family, and I'm so glad to have witnessed your beautiful wedding.

[personal profile] dagibbs , after all that geeking out at various parties, it was lovely to finally dance with you—thanks for taking me out on Saturday night. Thanks to [personal profile] neeuqdrazil  for driving us all home.

And [personal profile] mycrazyhair  wins an AWESOME SWEETIE award for organizing everything, and being generally awesome.

My life, it does not suck.

She's totally right:
Comic below cut. )
Bad grammar kills the mood.

I link because I care.

In other vaguely related news, a team of researchers at King's College, London, have failed to find experimental support for the existence of the G-spot. They studied 1,800 women. Half of the women were pairs of identical twins; half were pairs of non-identical twins.

If one [G-spot] did exist, it would be expected that both identical twins, who have the same genes, would report having one.

But this pattern did not emerge and the identical twins were no more likely to share a G-spot than non-identical twins who share only half of their genes.

I'm not sure about the methodology of this study, though. If you're dealing with a subjective mechanism for gathering data—individual reports of personal experience—how do you control for differing sexual experiences between women (even—gasp—women with similar appearances)? Presumably the breadth of the study would in some wise address this. Among that many women, researchers might expect some trends to emerge, I guess.

Personally, I like what Dr. Petra Boynton (who appears to be the Beeb's pet sexologist; whenever they report on G-spots or other aspects of women's sexuality, she seems to give them a nice quote) has to say about the entire question of a G-spot: "It's fine to go looking for the G-spot but do not worry if you don't find it."

Other research suggests that some women do have a G-spot and some don't. A much less comprehensive Italian study in 2008 used ultrasound to locate an area of thicker tissue in the vaginas of women who reported having powerful orgasms when that area was stimulated. The study examined 20 women (I did say it was much less comprehensive! However, it wins skience points for using ultrasound.)

Ultrasound was used to measure the size and shape of the tissue beyond the "front" wall of the vagina, often suggested as the location of the G spot.

In the nine women who reported being able to achieve vaginal orgasm, the tissues between the vagina and the urethra - which carries urine out of the body - were on average thicker than in the 11 women who could not reach orgasm this way.

Again, Dr. Boynton gives sensible advice for those worried about their girly bits (or those of their partners):

"We're all different. Some women will have certain area within the vagina which will be very sensitive, and some won't - but they won't necessarily be in the area called the G spot.

"If a woman spends all her time worrying about whether she is normal, or has a G spot or not, she will focus on just one area, and ignore everything else.

"It's telling people that there is a single, best way to have sex, which isn't the right thing to do."
zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
( Dec. 15th, 2009 04:25 pm)
If I were superstitious, I'd be feeling very nervous about tomorrow's concert, right now.

Last night's dress rehearsal went really well. I'm kind of excited about tomorrow's performance. The soloists are excellent, the ensemble sounds good (even if we don't have any tympani), and the choir is pretty darned good, if I do say so myself.

The superstition goes that a good dress means a bad opening night. I don't buy it one little bit. It's such a relief when a good performance follows an awful dress that I think people remember those instances, and have, by process of inversion, created a superstition around the q. In consequence, I'm just plain happy to be singing this great music and sharing it with people.

(If you're in Toronto, you really should consider coming. Really. There are trumpets!)
If these things get any bigger, I'm going to have to rent a church kitchen. Since I love having everyone over to cook, I think this might actually be worth it. When we rented this place, we thought the lovely kitchen would be big enough, but, well, not for 12 people, 7 of whom are actually cooking, and the rest of whom need burners to warm their offerings, oven space, and a place to sit. We used every plate Sabot and I own, as well as most of the bowls, pots, and pans. Clearly, I need more dishes.

Sabotabby has posted pics and her recipe.

Dramatis Personae:

Yours truly: Quinoa stew and gluten-free vanilla cupcakes with raspberry glaze.
[personal profile] sabotabby : Chipotle lasagne
[personal profile] mycrazyhair : Mushrooms with rice noodles
[personal profile] curgoth : Moroccan lentil stew
[personal profile] neeuqdrazil : dumplings!!!!!!
[personal profile] toft: ... something else with lentils (???)
captainmushroom: baked garden veggies
picturegal (non-lj work friend): something with carrots, something with beets
thegiantkiller ... I'm sorry! I don't remember!
craftygal (other non-lj work friend): portobello burgers with onion jam and some sort of yummy yoghurt dressing
[personal profile] graydon : chocolate nemesis, with raspberry sauce; also maple-garlic-orange sauce (not part of the nemesis dessert!) (he has made Nemesis before, but hey, someone wants to make a decadent chocolate dessert and feed it to me and my friends and I am going to complain whyfor?)

If I've missed anyone, please comment and I'll correct!

My recipes:
Recipes hereunder! )
* Karina's blog, Karina's Kitchen, is my new favourite food blog. Gluten-free, soy free, often vegan recipes by someone who loves food and loves cooking. Baked goods that are not about penetance! I feel like sending her (gluten-, soy-, dairy-free) cookies!

Re-posted from Facebook:

Notwithstanding my own questioning whether Emma Lee and the singer-songwiter ilk really count as "folk" musicians ...

and other ruminations, shared by many others, about the nature of folk music. )
I love this song, love this woman's voice, and want to spread some of her magic.

Or "What I Did on My Summer Vacation, by Zingerella"

Flew Porter Airlines to Ottawa. Here are some things you should know about flying Porter with a bike:
  • You don't need to dismantle the bike before you get to the ferry terminal to go across to the airport. So don't. It's much easier to take the bike across, intact, then ask the agents how they want to stow it in the luggage hold.
  • In general, according to the agents there, you don't need to take the front wheel off, or unscrew the pedals. You may have to unscrew the handlebars in order to turn them sideways.
  • You definitely need to pack your tools and some tape in the pannier you intend to check.
  • Of course, if your flying into and out of the same place, it's still best to pack your bike in a hard case, but I was not doing this.
So, while I could have cycled to the ferry and taken my bike to the Island, I did not.

Instead, I did things the hard way. )

Flying Porter is a most civilized way to get to Ottawa.

In Ottawa, I reassembled my bike and cycled from the airport to Audra's house, committing the first of many wrong turns while cycling. Lost my cellphone at Audra's house, pretty much the moment after I arrived.* Had a lovely visit with Audra: pancakes! kittens! movies! chatting!

Monday, after a prolonged, and not very interesting wrangle at the Bell Mobility franchise, I bought a new cellphone, and set out.

Day 1: Ottawa to Kemptville

I followed this route out of Ottawa, with a few cursings and wrong turns, where the directions and the roads didn't seem to match. My ability to follow directions was not helped by the fact that there's a lot of road removal going on in and around Ottawa right now. Some photos and commentary from Day 1 )More photos later, or you can check them out on Flickr.
zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
( Aug. 14th, 2009 11:34 pm)

I'm home!

Not squashed!

Ontario is very big! It is full of water, and rocks, and trees, and swamps, and farms.

Trucks are very scary.

The Waterfront Trail is a lie: It isn't really a trail and it doesn't go along the waterfront very often.

Rural people have a bizarre penchant for novelty mailboxes.

More later! I have to let my mom, grandmom, and great aunt know that I am home, alive, and in one piece. And sleeeeep.

Thanks to [personal profile] neeuqdrazil 
zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
( Aug. 6th, 2009 03:33 pm)
Some of you have heard this already, but here is where I'm going to be, next week, and what I'm going to be doing.

Cut for them as don't much care )
zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
( Jun. 16th, 2009 10:30 am)
Cycling through the valley, this morning, I noticed the unmistakable squoodgy feeling of an incipient flat in my rear tire. So I found a long stretch of path through a meadow, where people could see me from both directions, and where there was some space to pull off the path, stopped, and checked.

Sure enough, a tack had buried itself in my rear tire, from which the air was gently, but assuredly, hissing.

Took off the pannier, and found the patch kit. Disengaged the rear brake. Flipped the bike over and took the rear wheel off. Started to pull out the inner tube.

A grizzled cyclist in spandex shorts stopped. "Everything okay?" he asked.

"Yep," said I, "just a flat. No biggie!"

"You sure?"

"Yep, thanks!"

He cycled on. I extracted the inner tube, and found the puncture. Opened the patch kit. A cyclist in a bright jersey and mirror sunglasses slowed.

"Need a hand?"

"No, thanks! I'm good!"

"Okay!" He cycled on.

I roughed up the area around the puncture. Dabbed it with glue. Waited for the glue to dry. A couple of old guys with stuff lashed all over their bikes stopped.

"You need a hand?"

"Thanks! I'm good!"

They cycled on.

Another guy stopped as I was putting the newly patched inner tube back on the wheel, to ask if I needed a pump. I had one, but thanked him. Someone else offered me a hand as I put the wheel back on the bike.

All in all, in the 20 minutes or so that I was stopped by the side of the path, calmly patching my tire, at least seven people stopped to make sure I was okay, and to offer help.

I love my town.


zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)


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