st_aurafina: Rainy day, person with a rainbow umbrella in the distance  (Rainbow umbrella)
I'm not doing very well. The prednisolone did not go down quietly, I had rebound inflammation and I've been back on pred once already for a massive skin flare up (let me tell you about the 1 in 10,000 chance of getting photosensitivity while taking frusemide.) The cellulitis came back and I had another round of antibiotics (let me tell you about the rare side-effect where you can taste clindamycin IN YOUR SALIVA.) I've had lots of meds changes. I feel wrung out and tired all the freaking time. I am pretty down about this. I want to feel well, and not like my skin is crawling off my body. It's busy at work, too, and that is more exhausting than it ought to be.

I've signed up for [community profile] wipbigbang and Camp NaNo, so hopefully I can get some fic posted. I wasn't game to sign up for an actual exchange, so I sadly had to miss out on [community profile] ssrconfidential. I'm starting to be more chatty on Dreamwidth, which is nice, and I did manage to do a big push on answering AO3 comments, which feels like an achievement. My only other achievement was to crochet a sock monkey hat with a big red pompom. I'm quite pleased with it, even if my sister says the button eyes are demonic. That's part of the charm, I think.

Button eyes will eat your soul, my sister says )

I've been hoarding linkspam, too, which I shall try to group in themes:

The Expanse
- From Indiewire, The Expanse: How The Syfy Series Found the Unfindable Actress (Which Means Other Shows Can, Too)
About casting a S2 character, who is apparently female, Polynesian and tall/muscular. This is what made me want to start watching The Expanse, and I'm so glad I did. (I've just finished S1, so no spoilers, please. Apart from what's in this article, I guess.)

Podcasts (mostly The Strange Case of Starship Iris)
- From buzzfeed, 27 Podcasts You Should Listen To In 2017
Which reminds me, I've been listening to The Strange Case of Starship Iris and it's really lots of fun. The first episode drags a bit, but once there's more than a cast of two (from episode two), the dialogue bounces along, and the world building opens up. The story is building f/f UST between Violet and Arkady, it has a trans character and a gender fluid character, and I really like the crew of the Rumor. Would recommend.

You can listen here: The Strange Case of Starship Iris

For non-listeners, there's a transcript of Episode One, which isn't the best episode but it sets up the dynamic between the two characters well:
The Strange Case of the Starship Iris, Episode One: Violet Liu, written by Jessica Best

There's an official tumblr, where (I presume) the author discusses world building, nuances of the alien language, and other cool stuff: [ profile] iriscasefiles

Iron Fist
- via [personal profile] netgirl_y2k, who also has an excellent post about Iron Fist, Here's The Important Stuff That Happens In Iron Fist So You Don't Have To Watch It
There were so many weird things about Iron Fist, (apart from the obvious weird thing of why they cast Finn Jones as Danny.)

brief spoilers )

Dance-themed links
- From Pointe Magazine, #TBT: Watch Baryshnikov Do 11 Pirouettes in White Nights
Because Mikhail Baryshnikov is so pretty.

And through that video, I found a slo-mo analysis of the move, which was really interesting. It's mind blowing to count those turns in slow motion.
embedded under the cut )

Speaking of ballet, the Dance Academy movie comes out next week!
Trailer under the cut! )

More Dance Academy links:
- I wish I’d grown up with ‘Dance Academy’, ABC’s beloved teen drama

- The career of Joanna Werner, and how Dance Academy remains en pointe

Other random links
- From HuffPo, Dolphins Might Be Chewing On Blowfish To Get High
Dolphins are bastards and kind of sketch.

- From Buzzfeed, 23 Accidental Google Image Searches That’ll Make You Pee A Little
Very silly. Somehow very satisfying.

- via Nalini Singh's facebook, The Moistest Chocolate Mug Cake
The word moist has ceased to have any meaning that is not disgusting, but I do like a mug cake.

- via the medical tag on Ravelry, Dressed for Success
Crocheted stethoscope sweater. CN: anthropomophising of a stethoscope. Also not addressed is how this could contribute to spreading infection? IDK. The idea is cute though.

- via [personal profile] dine, Artist Paints Realistically Detailed Animals on Smooth Stones
So beautiful!

- From The Age, Police hunt for unicorn after attempted servo smash and grab
CN: armed robbery, only extra.

12 Yarn Ball Types and How to Knit with Them
Hankenstein. Heh.

I still need to post fic here that I've had up at AO3. And get planning on what I'm going to write for Camp NaNo which inexplicably starts tomorrow omg. Tomorrow is April Fools, too. *reminds self to watch out* I always fall for stupid shit, me.
st_aurafina: A shiny green chilli (Food: Green Chilli)
Self-care Links:
From [personal profile] runpunkrun: Three LGBT romance novels from Riptide Publishing
Because everyone deserves comfort reads.

From [personal profile] lilysea: How To Get Through This: Tips From A Lifelong Depressive
(Lots of self-care and self-checks in here, cw for talking about depression)

From SBS:
Living with mental health issues? There's an app for that

Advice on evaluating apps for anxiety or depression to determine if they're good mental health and wellbeing tools. I haven't tried the apps it suggests but I'm planning to check them out.

And onto recipes! (I haven't done this in a while!)

Something I cooked recently:
Dorie Greenspan's Custardy Apple Squares
Aaaah, so good! It's very sliceable, and would probably freeze well. The custard isn't a runny kind of custard, it's more like a glue holding all the apple slices together.

I peeled and cored the apples then sliced them on the mandolin, and completely did not slice off a digit. (I am very frightened of the mandolin.) We cooked it in a glass dish rather than a cake tin, and it worked fine.

A+++ would bake again. (Have, in fact, baked again. A double recipe.)

Jaffa cakes ala Bake-off
For me, it was too many bits and pieces, and I'm not fussy enough a baker to bother. But I do know a British expat who suffers from a lack of Jaffa cakes in Australia and loved the recipe. They tasted okay? But not so great that I'm craving them again.

C+ Would not bother again - too fiddly for something I don't have a nostalgic connection to.

Something I have concrete plans to cook soon:
Jam and Coconut Slice
This is a lunch box classic for our house. It's basically coconut fluff over raspberry jam on a biscuit base, and it's tasty and reliable.

Something I'm idly planning to cook in the future:
Monkey Face Biscuits *content warning: creepy puppet*

I'm transcribing this because the recipe at the site is baked by a scary puppet and I can't look at it. I have made these biscuits and the recipe works really well but that puppet is a big nope.

Monkey Face Biscuits )
st_aurafina: A shiny green chilli (Food: Green Chilli)
I'm in ur fridge, bringin' recipes back.

When we moved, I donated my muffin tin, because, for some reason, I decided I was done with muffins. This was a vast error, because I missed it immediately, and had to buy another one. I was wrong - muffins are fantastic! Muffins have been my jam all summer, as I dealt with the traditional onslaught of zucchinis. You can freeze them, and just stick them in your lunch box. Chocolate zucchini muffins microwave beautifully and make for an awesome brownie-esque dessert.

ETA: [personal profile] lilacsigil says I should explain my excellent method of zucchini squishing. If you're baking with zucchini, you need to squish the liquid out as much as possible, which I used to do by hand, or by twisting it in a tea-towel. Then I bought a ricer, so I could make my Nonna's gnocchi, and it occurred to me that it would be a good tool for squishing shredded zucchini. I use the plate with the largest holes, fill the thing with shredded zucchini, and squeeze it really hard. Green zucchini water comes out (which I should use in soup or a smoothie or something, but I never do) and you're left with fairly dry zucchini that mixes well into cakes and bread. I've actually used the ricer more for pressing zucchini than for gnocchi.

I've tweaked these recipes from the original so much that by the time next summer's zucchinis come in, I will have forgotten what I did. So I've transcribed and annotated and put them here for next time.

Zucchini and Orange Muffins )

Zucchini Corn and Cheese Muffins )

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins )

From the bag of mixed heirloom zucchini seeds, we ended up with three varieties: cocozelle, grey, and yellow crookneck squash. They were all good, except the crooknecks turned into little gourds very fast. (Also, they were warty. I want to grow heirloom vegetables, but wow, those crooknecks were ugly.)

Warty crookneck squash under the cut )
st_aurafina: Platypus headshot (Platypus)
No Frills Multi-Fandom Friending Meme, thanks to [personal profile] snickfic.

Hello to the new people! I have a sticky post with all the basics and an 'All About Where I Live' post

Hey, Aussie fats - does anyone want to try We Love Colors tights? I bought a pair in fuck-off neon yellow, and fuck-off stop-sign red, and the colours are amazing, but they don't bloody fit me around the thighs. They're fantastic around the calves, and they fit me around the waist, but they don't go comfortably over my thighs. Frustrating! They're so nice and colour-dense, and vivid and so exactly what people tell fat women they shouldn't wear, so I'm really sad. They're size EE. Free to a good home inside Australia - I'll cover the postage.

[ profile] marvel_bang goes along and along. I really wanted to have old!Peggy take a part in my mystery, and I'm writing her now, but gosh, I worry I'm not going to do okay by her. I know the things I don't want in old!Peggy fic: a cure, Peggy suddenly doing things she's really not physically or mentally capable of, sweet old lady things (because she's never been sweet and I doubt she found it in old age.) It's a matter of working out what I want her to do, what she's plausibly able to do, how she can be awesome, without her sections becoming deus ex machina or overly sickly. It's a very interesting line and I'm glad I have [personal profile] lilacsigil to bounce my draft off as I write it. And I really need to get going on the art, for both of us.

In the garden, there's finally been a bit of spare time to plant the seeds, so yesterday we put tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber (all heirloom mixes, so who knows what we'll get? So exciting!), mesclun mix, rocket, and basil. They're all in the hothouse which is nice and humid at the moment. Tomatoes need to be ready to go into the beds by Cup Day (which is the first Tuesday in November.) There's tons of bok choy in the beds right now, so I'm making ramen tomorrow to use it up. (There's stock cooking up now while I'm typing this. And I can totally soft-boil eggs now, it's brilliant.)

I finally got 8tracks to work on my laptop and now I can listen to fanmixes again. (I miss megaupload!) I really liked this mix of French rap and pop:
Player embedded behind here because the art was cute too )
Being able to interact with 8tracks makes me want to re-upload all my old fanmixes that I lost when megaupload went down.

A recipe: Lemon buttermilk donuts. (CN: some diet/'clean eating' talk in the link.) Recipe has quantities in grams as well as cups (important for me, because Australian cups are bigger) and it makes a nice small batch. I had a donut pan that I'd never used but really wanted to, enough that I held onto through the giant kitchen purge before we moved to the new house. I'm glad I tried it because it cooked these little sweeties really perfectly. Definitely going to mess around with that recipe some more in the future.

This is how ours came out )

I found something to nominate as a microfandom for this year's Yuletide: Find the girls on the negatives. I love the photos - so beautiful, so mysterious - and I think there's lots of potential there for fic. Like, femslash (since it seems possible that each woman photographed the other, right?) Or mermaid femslash - they're going home together at last! Or, really, anything.

Other random things:

- 51 facts you probably didn't know about the Great British Bake-Off. The audition process sounds intense.

- Via [personal profile] conuly, The Disastrous Australian Emu War. I should add that emus don't tweet, they make a thumping drum noise. BOOM BOOM BOOM.
st_aurafina: Comic of Scully, saying "I detest dancing" (X-Files: Scully detests dancing)
Did you know Kate Beaton drew an X-Files Pride and Prejudice AU?
House Full of Mulders
Darcy!Scully is incredibly hot. *points to icon*

I made this. Because I noticed it and now cannot unsee:

I have become trapped by the kitten game. (The kitten game, but fair warning, it's addictive. Try to hold 2K catnip for each kitten, or tragedy awaits you.)

Wednesday has become cooking day - we make lunches, cook dinner for a few days ahead. Today, in an epic cook fest, we roasted a huge piece of beef, fried up some more zucchini for putting in pasta and salad over the next few days, and toasted a batch of almonds.

Also made Brioche, though to be fair, I started that last night. I'm hoping for nice leftovers to use for French toast over the Easter weekend.

And Chocolate zucchini cake. This made a ginormous bundt cake. Like, it's huuuuge. It's a huge bundt. I love saying 'bundt'.

Hot cross buns this weekend! I'll start the dough tomorrow night. Must put the fruit on to soak tonight.

Agents of SHIELD, 2.15, One Door Closes )

Easter is coming. Work is going to suck, but then it will be done, and I can make hot cross buns and eat an Easter egg.
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
Footy season started, which means I get to sip my coffee and relax a bit at work. I don't like football much, but I'm grateful for slightly slower Saturdays. And coffee. Always grateful for coffee.

ETA: Apparently not football yet? IDK where are the people?

I have been in a bit of a slump, brain-wise, but I'm coming up out of it now. (I'm starting to see a pattern via my tumblr queue - I drop posting down to three per day because it's just too hard to keep that queue topped up, then slowly it fills up again as I have more concentration and energy. When I've got 100 posts in the queue, I up the rate to ten per day. It's an odd but definite pattern.)

Today is officially one year since we put the sticker on the sign for the new house. We've been in for six months. It's a lovely house for summer, as it turns out, and catches cross breezes beautifully. The veggie garden went in late, but we've had oodles of zucchini, peas and basil. Only one tomato, unfortunately. It was delicious but tiny.

Cooking has mostly revolved around zucchini, and the question of how we can get more zucchini into each meal. (Chopped and sauteed with garlic goes well into a toasted cheese sandwich, for example.) The Courgette tag at BBC Good Food has been a wealth of fun. Courgette and Orange cake was the recipe I made the most often, I think, though I make it with an orange glaze because [personal profile] lilacsigil doesn't like cream cheese icing.

Fannishly, I consumed much:

Agent Carter was beautiful and amazing and perfect for me, if not perfect overall. I hope, hope we get a second season. I hope I get a chance to contribute to viewing statistics in some way soon. (I furiously liked things on Facebook, for the little good that does.) I want to write fic. Dottie and Peggy and Angie fic. Le sigh. So many women. Plz come back, writing mojo.

Person of Interest S3 was this amazing blur of femslashy moments, and finally clicking with Reese, and loving all the dystopian AI storylines, and adoring Root in god-mode. And sad about Read more... ). I'd love recs for fic that's non-spoilery past the S3 finale, if anyone has any.

I am inspired by many gifs on tumblr to give The 100 a try again. Much femslash, actual queer content, wow.

But I've given Gotham the flick - it got too nasty. And spoilers )

The Great British Sewing Bee - I'm almost finished. Just the final to go. It was a great season!

The Comic Relief Bake-Off - there was this one amazing episode, with Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders, Lulu, and Dame Edna Everage. It was like the best episode of AbFab EVER. It was amazing. I love Comic Relief Bake-Off anyway, but this was unusually epic and amazing.

Broadchurch - I have no idea what made me suddenly watch this show - I'm not really fond of that particular style British grim crime drama. I think the small-town angle caught me. And Olivia Colman is ace balls. I'm in the middle of Season 2 right now (so much shirtless James D'Arcy, wow.) spoilers ).

So, anyway. This is me. I am here! And feeling better. And hopefully back to fic soon. I have a build-up of fic feelings.
st_aurafina: A shiny green chilli (Food: Green Chilli)
Tonight's Monster of the Week X-Files rewatch is Teliko, aka the one with the melanin vampire. It is dire.

I bought some ginger cordial to mix with vodka tonight. Genius. That's not a recipe, as such. More like life advice.

Something I cooked recently:

Chargrilled zucchini (and some meat, in case that's something you don't want to look at) )

We brushed it with olive oil and grilled it until it was soft in the middle. It was very tasty!

Panini bread

Honestly, I didn't see much difference in this to my regular pizza recipe, despite it being a long and complex recipe involving a starter sponge and a whole lot of mess. I was anticipating something with a more open texture, like a ciabatta. I wouldn't bother with all the mess of the very sticky dough again, for what I got out of it. It tasted okay, though. But my pizza recipe would have worked just as well.

Mergatrude's Super Easy Butter Cake

[Disclaimer: the recipe is good. The baker suffers under a curse.]

I followed the recipe faithfully, and it all looked good when I put it in the oven. After the alloted twenty five minutes, it felt suspiciously liquid, so I left it for another ten. By then, it had cooked on the outside, and smelled amazing, but still felt a bit... sloshy. I used a skewer, which came out clean (OH TREACHEROUS SKEWER!!), and it was getting very brown on top, so I took it out. I let it cool in the pan, then I turned it out, and like the Titanic, it broke in half. Unlike the Titanic, it oozed raw cake batter. Oh, the humanity. It was a terrible caketastrophe. No, actually, the bits that cooked were really freaking tasty. But my shame and disappointment left a bitter aftertaste.

I think that either my oven is misbehaving (in which case, I've got a thermometer to check what the actual temperature is) OR I had it on the wrong temperature. The markings on the dial are getting smaller and smaller as time goes by. (Solution: get [personal profile] lilacsigil to check the setting, because according to the optometrist, she has the eyes of a ten year old.)

Something I have solid plans to cook soon:


Strawberry Cream Cheese Ice-Cream, only with mangoes. Because I walked into the greengrocer this week, and the mangoes smelled amazing. I think it should work well? All of the ingredients taste good on their own, and that's usually a good sign.

Something I'm idly thinking about cooking in the future:

The zucchinis are coming. I think we're going to get four or five this week. Big ones. Hence:

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini Bread, which is more like a spice bread than a bread bread. It makes a good teacake.

We're going out to dinner on Sunday night with my brother and sister in law, and our two nephews. I am trying to be less socially anxious about things. I wish I knew how to go about being less socially anxious about things.
st_aurafina: A shiny green chilli (Food: Green Chilli)
It's so much cooler now. The sky is eerily orange from the fires in the Grampians, but there's nothing close to us at the moment. It's nice to be able to open up the house and get some fresh air into it. Now I'm watching [personal profile] lilacsigil play Lego Marvel Super Heroes. She's driving in New York. We couldn't figure out why everyone was on the wrong side of the road. Hopefully, they will just assume that Tony is wasted. It seems reasonable.

We ventured into the garden for the first time this week, and holy cow, the zucchinis are coming. THE ZUCCHINIS ARE COMING! Fortunately I have been stashing zucchini recipes on Pinboard, so I am ready. The basil is looking awesome. There are tomatoes everywhere but all still green. The pumpkins have gone ballistic in the heat - huge leaves, lots of buds. Watermelons are looking a bit sad; I think they were still a bit small when the heat came, and even though we had plastic over them, they've suffered a bit. The cos lettuce has bolted, but the other lettuces are doing well, and so is the spinach. Peas everywhere! So many peas! And beans! And the eggplant tree is looking alive, at least, even if there are no blossoms. We just can't eggplant here, and it's so sad.

Recipe Friday! Let's make it happen!

Something I've cooked recently:

Braised leg of lamb:

Basically, you get a leg of lamb, preferably with the bone in, stud it with garlic and sprigs of rosemary, and rub it with olive oil and sea salt. Then put it in a cast iron pot. Add a brown onion peeled and cut in two. Chop a head of garlic in half and throw that in, with a bunch of rosemary and thyme. (And maybe some peppercorns, maybe a bayleaf, maybe some brown sugar or honey, but this time we didn't bother because we'd left it too late in the day to be fussy.) Pour white wine over the lot, cover and cook it in the oven at 150C for five hours. Check it occasionally to make sure there's still liquid in the pot. Take the lid off for the last hour. It's done when it can be flaked with a fork.

We did this ahead of the heat, knowing we'd be unlikely to cook this week. The lamb, and some pumpkin rolls from the bakery did us for lunches, and with rice and veggies for dinner on a couple of nights when we were really flaked out from work.

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas:

I was totally inspired by the chickpeas in my Harvest Box last week - all the toasted lentils have been really tasty, and we always have a can of chickpeas to throw in curry, so it seemed like a good option. They were terrible! I don't think it's the fault of the recipe - the spices tasted great, but the chickpeas tasted like ass. I think I'll try soaking my own, maybe? Or a different brand of chickpeas? The problem is that the canned ones always smell really bad to me, and I could totally smell that bad smell, even covered in a billion spices and salt. I need to figure this out, because I love chickpeas, and I want to try hummus again soon.

Something I've got concrete plans to cook soon:

Well, we're going to chargrill the first zucchini tomorrow. The Weber barbecue is working out great! We bought outdoor furniture to go with it - I sit there with my iPad, reading fic and grilling like a boss, while [personal profile] lilacsigil potters in the garden. We chat over the balcony. It's really nice.

[personal profile] mergatrude's Super Easy Butter Cake:

Part of my quest for an easy cake - that recipe I linked last week was actually pretty complex, so I abandoned it. I will have cake that is tender and has a nice rise and doesn't taste like dry paste. I will achieve this. I will be precise. As [personal profile] ducened said, "Cake is your finicky English teacher who marks you off for forgetting the Oxford Comma."

Something I'm idly thinking of cooking in the future

Homemade Vanilla Bean Chai Syrup

This could be nice, right? You basically grab a can of sweetened condensed milk and stir in a whole bunch of spices to make a spiced syrup, then when you want chai, you stir some of the syrup into some black tea. It sounds like a good idea on paper, and I've got everything I need to make it on hand, so I'd like to give it a go.

Panini bread

We've got the sandwich press out, and I'd forgotten how nice it is to just squish good things into bread and toast it. I'm going to make some nice panini-style breads to toast. To follow on with [personal profile] ducened's analogy, unlike cake, bread is your mellowed out art teacher who wants you to get your hands dirty and feel for the right texture.

I've been trying to get this into a post but keep backing out of it: our elderly cat is on the decline. Cut for talk of ailing pets )
st_aurafina: A shiny green chilli (Food: Green Chilli)
Recipe Friday. I made it up.

Something I've cooked recently:
Ricotta pancakes with fig jam.

These were good! Not really a pancake person, but we had these for breakfast on Boxing Day. They were fluffy and thick and not too sweet. You really do need to have two pans going at once, though, for adequate pancake to person supply.We didn't have fig jam, so I used raspberry. (Fig jam! Always cracks me up. Fuck, I'm Good, Just Ask Me!)

Nigella's Sticky Gingerbread

This was the breakout recipe of Christmas 2013 for us. It's so good! So treacly and sticky and tasty and also huge. (You bake it in a roasting dish!) It seems to keep well, too. I'm definitely going to make this again, even if it's not Christmas.

Something I've got concrete plans to cook soon:
Chocolate Pound Cake

With no substitutions, not overbeating, using Australian sized measuring cups for an Australian recipe. Basic cake, you will be defeated. By me. Eating you.

Something I'm idly thinking of cooking in the future:
Orange and ginger glazed pot roast

It's going to be super hot for the next week, so I won't be wanting to put the oven on at all, but after that, I'd like to try this in my cast iron pot. I love pot roast, and it makes such nice leftovers for the rest of the week. And we have a jar of marmalade in the cupboard which needs to be used up. It's lemon, but [personal profile] lilacsigil's dad made it and it will probably be pretty good.

In the garden, we have our first zucchinis! It's very late, because it's been a really cold summer for us. The rest of Australia has been in a massive heat wave, apparently. We've had hot water bottles and long sleeves and gale warnings and mud. Caterpillars are sorted, thank goodness. Peas are advancing. Cucumbers are flowering. Pumpkins are growing like weeks. Tomatoes still green. Lettuce still weird and bitter but I kind of like it. We've got a few hot days up ahead, and I'm hoping it will resuscitate the basil.

[community profile] fandom_stocking is live! I didn't hang a stocking, but I wrote some fics:

The Long Game (777 words) by st_aurafina
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Regulus Black/Severus Snape

The night Regulus was named as a traitor, Severus wrote two lists.

Two-in-Hand (735 words) by st_aurafina
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Sleepy Hollow (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Abbie Mills, Ichabod Crane (TV)

The crisis is over, and Ichabod is in the stables.

Flying Lessons (551 words) by st_aurafina
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Twelfth Doctor/River Song
Characters: Clara Oswin Oswald, Twelfth Doctor, River Song

The Doctor's regeneration brings chaos to the TARDIS, and Clara searches for help.

Naked in Barings (812 words) by st_aurafina
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Sanctuary (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Nigel Griffin/James Watson
Characters: Nigel Griffin, James Watson

Nigel wakes up naked and chained to a bed in Watson's cellar. Things could be worse.

Thanks to [personal profile] medie for another great year. I love this fest!
st_aurafina: A woman in a top hat and veil dominating another woman (Kink: top hat)
Ugh, I think I have a virus. I'm running a temperature and I have a scratchy throat. I am Friday-night drunk and cranky and happy is haaaaaaard.

*works hard* Um, um, um.

1. Paranormal Activity 4 is on, and it's surprisingly not handheld. Spooooky times.

2. I pulled a muscle in my groin working out. (I think my groin might be my Achilles' heel!) But it got better through the day, and I think I'll be able to work out tomorow.

3. Yesterday on ABC FM, Emma Ayres referred to Tchaikovsky as "Tchaik". G'day, Tchaik, mate! Bonza symphony.

4. We have planted cos lettuce and peas in the garden. The peas are in little biodomes made from Sprite bottles.

5. [personal profile] lilacsigil made me a hold-all for my crochet paraphenalia:

She's also making cushions out of the groovy orange and beige fabric )


- [community profile] femslash_kink, has opened prompts for filling on the 2013 kinkmeme. The masterlist is here. SO. MANY. PROMPTS.

- Flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake. But I'm probably going to make lemon and blueberry bread this weekend because I have a bunch of lemons and limes to use up.

- Birds like this guy is why we need to keep our garbage safely inside the wheelie bins, and not have any poking out over the top.


Okay, I'm going to bed now. Today wasn't awful, and tomorrow will be better.
st_aurafina: Puffin, walking tilted forwards, expression of great purpose (Puffin: srs business bird)
1. It was a beautiful spring day today - all warm breezes, daisies coming up in the lawn, and green, green grass. We pottered in the garden and planted some garlic chives. Our non-garlic chives have come back from their winter holiday, and I had some with my lunch snipped over goat's cheese on the bread I made last night. It was very civilised, even if I will be complaining about the heat in what feels like no time.

2. I faced my fear of dealing with the crocheted afghan today, largely because [personal profile] lilacsigil practically frogmarched me through it. I am a chronic non-finisher of craft projects, and the urge to stuff this thing in a dark corner and forget about it was strong, but the steely eyes at the other end of the craft table kept me soldiering on. Now it's blocked and drying on a big towel, and hopefully the wonky corner will vanish and a nice rectangle will emerge ready for trimming.

Behold, the quadrangle )


Actually, watching the fish and shrimp and tube worms going up the vacuum was hilarious, and I would watch that every day. They were so surprised! You just don't expect that kind of thing on the sea floor!

4. While I'm waiting for my perfect rectangle to form, and for more yarn to finish my pom-pom hat, I'm making a coffee sweater, which is more of a coffee cardigan, really. I just liked the buttons! I like crocheting rib - it's easier than I thought it would be, and it looks really good.

5. Closing tabs. A good feeling.
From tumblr:
- [ profile] a-dinosaur-a-day. Keeps the... Time Lords away?

- Vintage Stamp Designs. I feel, like, some left-over gen-x guilt at how nice the stamps are from the former Communist countries. I remember they were very desirable at stamp club. Oh, god, I went to stamp club. I had forgotten that.

This weirdly makes a lot of sense to me, but I can't explain why:
- What Do London Underground Stops Taste Like? - London Underground, from a synaesthetic point of view.

Things to make in Skillets:
- One Hour Skillet Focaccia sounds good.

- Emergency Small Batch Brownies. Emergency! Somebody make me a brownie!
st_aurafina: (Work)
1. Unexpectedly sunny weather, which was unexpectedly pleasant, especially because work wasn't too busy. At this time of year, Saturdays alternate between frantic and dead, depending on whether the football game is home or away. I did have to make an ointment, though. I hate compounding, and am delighted by the proliferation of compounding pharmacies so I don't have to, but this one was so basic I was too embarrassed to refer the patient on. But I got it all done, and with minimal suffering, despite the utter grossness of lanolin. Ugh, and it's so hard in winter. Like mashing cold butter, only so much stinkier.

2. I've ordered seeds so I can start this year's tomatoes. I got green zebras, because I was depressed about global warming, and then I thought "Well, if it's going to get warmer and warmer, I'll grow tomatoes that need warmer weather, damn it." Green zebras are tasty, if we can get them to ripen. And if I've now jinxed myself into a cold, wet summer? See what I did there? Ha!

The other variety I ordered was called "Camp Joy Cherry" which sounds absurdly rude for no actual reason. I get my seeds from Forget Me Not Heritage Seeds, and they've never let me down.

3. I haven't said much about the casting for the new Doctor, but I'm pretty happy with Peter Capaldi. Like most people, I'd love a woman, I'd love a POC, but I'm happy postponing that hope for a new showrunner. When I heard what Moffat said about the Queen, I thought he was calling for a succession, and entertained a vague daydream where he gets put in the Tower for treason.

4. I've made the bread for lunch tomorrow. That means I can sleep in a bit more, since I don't have to get up and get it going in time. This also means the loaves will have cooled properly before we slice into them, unlike when I grab them hot from the oven. I can never wait - I hack into them when they're far too hot, and they collapse. (It's Honey Sunflower bread again. It makes the nicest toast.

5. Cool things in fandom:

[ profile] xf_is_love is running the X-Files Love Month: ...a month-long multimedia celebration of X-Files where each participant claims a date and then posts some new X-Files related fanworks (which can be fic, graphics, icons, vids, essays, a memoir of your days in the X-Files fandom, or pretty much anything as long as it's new and original) on that day. You can do as little or as much as you want - the day is yours!

Sign-ups are here, and there are still days free.

[personal profile] havocthecat has a great post on femslash: What do I want from femslash? I'm in it for the characterization.

[ profile] thekimonogallery for beautiful vintage kimono, and other picspams of Japanese culture.
st_aurafina: A shiny green chilli (Food: Green Chilli)
1. Helped my little sister with cooking adventures over the phone. When she was visiting in June, we did some baking and tried out some low-FODMAP recipes. She wanted to have a go on her own, and she did great! She made a great risotto, and a chocolate almond slice, and she's taking them both back to university. She can provision herself, yay!

Conversations we had: how to roast pine nuts, how to cut up pumpkin, how to chop spring onions. (Onions are generally out for low-FODMAP eaters, but the green parts of spring onions or leeks are okay for low-FODMAP, according to Monash's FODMAP app.)

These were the two recipes she made:

Gluten free, low FODMAP chocolate almond slice

Spinach, bacon and pinenut risotto, which she made without the garlic, and with only the green parts of spring onions.

2. Genine's August calender August calendar was a bit too dotty and busy for me to use on my desktop, but I found a nice alternative, with a cabbage moth, here. Moths! Seem to be a bit of a theme for me lately. Genine's calendars are normally a favourite, though - she uses a lot of handcarved stamps in her art, which I love.

3. My knee is, if not much better, definitely not worse. I'm moving around, and I'm hoping it will be okay for aqua aerobics tomorrow, even if I take it a bit slow. Cutting for body image talk )

4. I got my new crochet project started - it's a baby blanket, with a kind of a lacy structure. (It's here on Ravelry, if you're interested: Ocean Tranquility afghan.) It's the first time I've worked with something that wasn't acrylic or wool-acrylic blend, and it's a bit tricky. Definitely less grippy, if you know what I mean. I'm also not sure the colour is right for a baby's blanket - I'm using Claudia and Co's Cotton Ball in Whirled Peas, a variegated green which turned out to be a lot more olive than mint. But I'm pushing on - I got the first six rows done and it's certainly eye-catching.
st_aurafina: Rainy day, person with a rainbow umbrella in the distance  (Rainbow umbrella)
1. It's raining like the dickens out here. Sideways rain. Sheets of water on the road. Bluster and wuthering and thunder and hail. All the cracks in the lawn are gone, where it had shrunk away from the curb has all filled in again. I look forward to a month or two of mud, and farmers finally complaining that the rain had better stop.

2. I'm limping because my knee injury flared up this morning, to the point of needing maximum OTC painkillers, and not being able to walk without a limp. Not sure why - weather? Overdoing it with the personal trainer? But I'm looking after it in a much better way than when I originally injured it - I have a tendency to freeze up and protect the part that hurts, which leads to more tension and stiffness and pain. This time, I'm icing it, and keeping moving even if I'm awkward and clumsy, and I'm stretching. Stretching is honestly the best thing I learned from the original injury. It's so important for me!

3. We made bread for lunch tomorrow, an awesome recipe that has become a favourite: Honey Sunflower Bread. Thanks, [personal profile] vass, for putting me onto this blog - so many good recipes there.

4. It's going to be a king tide at our house this weekend. Our cycles aren't in sync, so it doesn't happen very often, but when it does, we cook lots of meat! We're slow cooking a leg of lamb this weekend, which we will then fall upon like savages and devour.

5. Speaking of carnivores, our Hannibal rewatch reached the second last episodes tonight. Ack, so tense. So nearly there, and then I can talk about it with [personal profile] lilacsigil who is seeing it for the first time. *clutches self*
st_aurafina: Rainy day, person with a rainbow umbrella in the distance  (Rainbow umbrella)
1. I finished my beanie!

I love my big gay beanie! )

Next, hopefully, a baby blanket for our locum pharmacist who is expecting in October.

2. Beautiful sunrise this morning - all pink and orange clouds, and a rainbow. Of course, then it rained on me, and my fitball made the passenger seat of the car wet, so I eventually arrived at work with a wet backside. But it was a beautiful sunrise.

3. It rained pretty much all day, and this reminded me to call the plumbers. We want to get a rainwater tank installed before summer, so we can water the garden from it. I'd like to get it in while it's still rainy, so we can stash as much water as possible before it gets hot.

(Note to self: gotta start tomatoes soon!)

4. I had lasagne for lunch today - made with slow cooked beef ragu and roasted vegetables and herbs from our summer crop. It was so good! People from the front of the shop came down to ask what smelled so delicious. We're going to make some more next week, because it was awesome.

5. The Great Australian Bake-Off is lots of fun! I was expecting it to be cringe-worthy, because Australian reality TV is dire, but it's following the British formula and keeping the focus on the cooking. I think I am about one degree of separation from Sara-Jane Smith - she's in Aquaporko, she's queer, and she looks awfully like a fandom-type person. If I don't know her, I'm pretty sure I know someone who does.

Hi Sara-Jane! I'm pretty sure you're out in DW/LJ somewhere! I think you're awesome!
st_aurafina: lotsa little rainbow hearts (hearts: lotsa hearts)
- As predicted, I did wake up cranky and weepy and stressed after the past few days. I am proud to have seen it coming, and for not beating up on myself for things like leaving my bed unmade and not really doing much today. Must remember to tell my therapist. I like to tell her when coping strategies are working.

- I left my bed unmade until I felt like making it just before lunch, so it was in full sunlight when I pulled all the blankets off. Baggins leapt up and was ridiculously adorable in the sunbeams, so I lolled around with him and had epic, epic cuddles. I have been fully kneaded by giant paws.

- my mum is being super weird and making oblique references to the dinner with [personal profile] lilacsigil's family without actually saying anything outright. My auntie was visiting them today, so she must have said something. Mum's the one that had freakouts whenever I tentatively mentioned [personal profile] lilacsigil's family. I wonder where she thinks [personal profile] lilacsigil came from? Under a cabbage? Anyway, I'm listing this as a good thing because I'm not feeling in any danger from it, I guess. She can't do anything or have any effect on me without directly saying what she wants to know. So she can play her weird mind games and chase her tail around and around, but the basic fact is that I had a good time and I was glad my auntie did, too.

- I baked ANZAC slice for the third time, and got the baking time just right for my oven. If you're trying it yourself, you'll want to underpitch the baking time - take it out just before you think it's done. If it's solid but very squishy, it will set with a lovely chewy texture. And I remembered to put some sea salt in the recipe this time - it really makes a difference. Or at least, it does in my mind!

- I am making this hat - Waving to Granny Hat - only in wild rainbow colours like my tea cosy. I'm up to the even rounds now, and it's turning up at the edges just like in the picture. I love it when that happens!

- Back to work tomorrow. I must be a grown-up, since I'm listing that as a positive thing.
st_aurafina: lotsa little rainbow hearts (hearts: lotsa hearts)
Because I've been reading [personal profile] torachan's for ever, and every day I say "I really should do that."

- all the virtual hugs from my last post. You guys. *big smooshy virtual group hug*

- I had a great workout this morning. I have an awesome, awesome personal trainer right now, and I'm doing things that I never would have thought my bad knee could handle. We meet at the netball courts at 7:30, and I bring my purple fitball, and we do stuff with weights and boxing gloves and stuff. Man, I get seriously high on exercise. I am really, really good at endorphins, as it turns out.

- We got the car serviced, and it only needed two new tyres. (Country roads are really hard on tyres and we usually need to replace a full set every year.) Also, now when we head to Melbourne to visit my grandparents, I'll know the car is in tip-top shape.

- ANZAC slice is seriously delicious. It looks very plain, but it's all golden oaty buttery deliciousness. NOM.

- I just found out, via Welcome to Night Vale, how you guys in the US say 'nutella'. You guys. I love you guys. ('Noo-tella', for those who haven't made this amazing discovery.)
st_aurafina: A shiny green chilli (Food: Green Chilli)
I pulled a muscle in my groin doing sidekicks in the pool yesterday. Today I am walking like a penguin.

I've started using Spotify. Not sure how to make best use of it, though, especially finding friends. Should I let it have access to my Facebook? Do I want my family knowing what music I'm listening to? Do I want to know what music they're listening to? One of my brothers-in-law and the only one I know for sure uses Spotify, is a big Daft Punk fan, and I'm not, particularly, so I'm undecided on the matter.

Anyone here on Spotify? Can I, like, add you or whatever? If I can figure out how to do that. So far, I've just been throwing random artists I like at it and seeing what it spits out, which is working okay, but I'm sure I should be doing more or something.

Book signal boost:

Death By Silver by Amy Griswold and Melissa Scott, aka [ profile] amygriswold and [ profile] mescott.

This book is heaps, heaps, heaps of fun! Murder mystery set in Victorian-era London, with magic as an everyday kind of thing. Queer representation, public school beatings, and magic teapots. Harry Potter meets original flavour!Sherlock Holmes. Go buy it! This book needs a fandom of more than me. (There are ebooks coming soon, or so I believe.)

ETA: It's also available at Book Depository with free international shipping.

Recipes cannibalised from other recipes so I can cook it properly next time, part two:
Beef and Kidney Bean Stew

Despite the titillating mention of cannibalism, there are no actual kidneys in this recipe )


May. 21st, 2013 09:38 pm
st_aurafina: A shiny green chilli (Food: Green Chilli)
I've been making my own granola for a while now. It's lots of fun to pile heaps and heaps of stuff in a bowl, like a bucket of horsefeed. And it makes the house smell amazing.

I keep tweaking online recipes to my own tastes, and then forgetting my tweaks, so I'm writing this one down. This is mostly based on Andy's Fairfield Granola, with extra stuff.

([personal profile] lonelywalker, basically everything in this recipe can kill you, so please never make it.)

We're going to need a bigger bowl... )
st_aurafina: (Yuletide: Super Secret)

My nominations:

?! Dance Academy:
?! Katrina (Kat) Karamakov
?! Sammy Lieberman
?! Lucy Raine
?! Tara Webster
(This was hard! I wanted to nominate ALL the characters. Also Miss Raine's name is Lucy! LOLOLOLOL. Lucy!)

?! Candle Cove (as in creepy pasta Candle Cove because I think it will make a great short fandom option. Also, I saw a lot of ABC/BBC children's dramas that could have been this show.)
?! Pirate Percy
?! Horace Horrible
?! The Skin-Taker
?! Janice

✔ Twin Peaks:
✔ Laura Palmer
✔ Audrey Horne
✔ Dennis "Denise" Bryson
✔ Donna Hayward
In the plan [personal profile] heartequals and I cooked up, we will conspire to nominate all the awesome women of Twin Peaks. It is a somewhat haphazard plan, which is how I came to duplicate her nomination of Denise. (Also, is it weird that I find the way Denise's name is tagged really annoying? Like, shouldn't it just be "Denise Bryson"? She does say that she prefers to go by Denise.)

Hey, if you use yahoo mail, you might want to change your passwords. I'm seeing a lot of freaky messages in my inbox. [ profile] bewize, [personal profile] layangabi, and a couple that have emailed me with what I presume are your IRL names. Scary.

I have signed up for [community profile] femslash12. I'm not sure if this is a wise thing to do, given the NaNoWriMo/Yuletide rush that's coming up, but it's a fun exchange.

Today was baking day! Our Relay for Life team is having a cake stall in ten days, so I wanted to try out a couple of things. Also, there were teenagers in the back yard (because Project Wasteland, aka our back yard renovation, has kicked off again. Teenage boys = bottomless pits of hungry, as far as I can tell.)

I made this really easy but tasty cake into tiny chocolate loaf cakes. And tried out this one, for coconut jam drops. (They were kind of dry. As it says in the comments. Which I failed to read before launching into the recipe. *sigh*) The chocolate cakes must have been okay though; one of said teenage boys crammed a whole one into his mouth. (They're about the length of your palm.) I asked him if they were good enough for the sale, and he said "Mmmf." Which, I guess is teenage boy for "Good!"?

ETA: I've just been talking seventies TV with [personal profile] lilacsigil - remember CATWEAZEL? That was some terrifying stuff. And The Magic Fucking Roundabout? I had Zebedee nightmares for years. I didn't get over that fear until The Goodies took the piss out of it. Giant Dougal for the win!

And HR PUFNSTUF - Witchypoo, and that fucking flute! Everyone had such sad, sad eyes. And the Banana Splits? And those weird bears. I had a jigsaw puzzle of those bears and I deliberately never finished it because those bears were evil, and they were coming out of the frame the minute I put in the last piece.

Okay, going to bed now!


st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)

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