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Liz A. Vogel
24 September 2016 @ 10:11 pm
Hammond's Pigs N' Taters

Where Bought: Cracker Barrel

Aroma is weird; bacon and potato chips and chocolate half-cancel each other out, so there isn't much smell and what there is can't decide if it should be sweet or savory.

Smooth melty chocolate with lots of crunchy crispy bacon- and chip-bits.

Flavor.... I'm not sure what the flavor is. Bits and chocolate seem to be half-cancelling each other out again. Nice salty aftertaste, though.

Overall: It's not bad, and the housemate quite likes it. Probably get some again, if only to try to figure out what I think of it. Would certainly try other flavors by the same brand.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/155713.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

Current Mood: amusedperplexed
Current Music: Middleman theme
Liz A. Vogel
08 September 2016 @ 11:59 pm
Fifty years ago today. Whoa.

I'd feel bad for almost missing the date (luckily I just happened to be wearing a Star Trek shirt today, and someone mentioned it), except that I was up late last night writing cheesy Star Trek fanfic, so that's all right. ;-)

Star Trek was my first fannish love. Over the years, that love has gotten encrusted with frustration, disappointment, and occasional just-plain-no engendered by the various newer series, but the classic show remains secure in my heart. It's like a comfy blanket I can snuggle up in any time -- because yes, that is how computers sound (bleep, tu-wheet!), and that is what starships look like. And if we're very lucky, the future might come out a little bit like that.

So tonight, we watched "The Apple". Not anyone's claim for Star Trek's finest hour, but really quite a fun episode, and I'd been wanting to rewatch a certain scene anyway. And now I feel all cozy, wrapped in my blanket of Trekkishness.

For holding up for 50 years and counting, you can't ask for better than that.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/155449.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: the theme song, of course
Liz A. Vogel
27 August 2016 @ 02:51 pm
However, the much-deprived cat squirting out the door just as the thunderstorm breaks can keep me from getting anything else done for the next couple hours.

Stupid fuzzbutt. I'd strangle him if I wasn't so glad he's back and okay.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/155274.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

Current Mood: relievedrelieved
Liz A. Vogel
27 August 2016 @ 12:52 pm
Neither rain nor lack of sleep nor desolation of cats who want to go outside shall keep me from getting this damned lawn mowed.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/155015.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

Current Mood: productivedamp
Liz A. Vogel
11 August 2016 @ 10:19 am
Dagoba Lavender Blueberry (59%)

Where Bought: Foods For Living

Lovely tangy aroma; the lavender and blueberry scents mix nicely.

Hard to bite, a little flaky in the mouth (the lavender and/or blueberry bits make the chocolate around them crumble), but melts well once chewed.

Flavor is a pleasant medium chocolate, with a very subtle underlying tang. The blueberry & lavender don't come out nearly as well in the flavor as they do in the aroma. They're adding a breadth to the already-good chocolate, but they're very much background players.

Overall: Not bad, but not as exciting as it could have been.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/154776.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

Current Mood: hothot
Current Music: NIN, "Deep"
Liz A. Vogel
05 August 2016 @ 12:16 pm
I realized the other day that not having a novel I'm actively working on was making me sad. The whole point of saying I'd finish some short stories first was to get some easy wins under my belt, which since everything I tried turned into a horrible sucking mire was not serving its purpose.

So, I pulled up the Mars novel and am gradually getting reacquainted with it. Not much word-count level progress, though I tweaked a word here and there, but I'm feeling better already.

Also feeling better about the currently-in-progress short story, now that I'm not forcing myself to work on it when I'd rather be looking at something else. ;-)

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/154555.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

Current Mood: artisticartistic
Current Music: Elton John, "Bennie and the Jets"
Liz A. Vogel
03 August 2016 @ 12:31 pm
Went for a jog today, for the first time in weeks. Still not winning any races, but I rather love that I can jog 21 minutes without stopping, even in this heat, even though I haven't been keeping up on it, and still have some capacity left at the end if I needed it.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/154235.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: Diamond Rings, "Runaway Love"
Liz A. Vogel
Hagensborg Wild Boar Santo Domingo (70%)

Where Bought: Marshalls

Single origin dark chocolate. Bar is amusingly shaped with a couple of "bites" out of the edges, and a cheerful boar and "chomp gobble munch" embossed on the front.

Aroma: intense dark cocoa. This bar ain't fooling around.

Texture is dense, seemed hard at first but once it yielded, nicely melty.

Flavor is seriously cocoa, rich and fulfilling. There's just a hint of sourness, but it's an accent, not a main player, and serves to highlight the sweet darkness. Reminds me a bit of a really good flourless cake. On further acquaintance, also reminiscent of dark chocolate fudge. Good stuff.

Overall: Yeah. Not a light snacking chocolate, but definitely good. Would happily buy again.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/153861.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
Current Music: Placebo, "Pure Morning"
Liz A. Vogel
05 July 2016 @ 01:00 pm
I think I need to get this cartoon on a t-shirt, so I can wear it to next 4th Street.

ETA: Though I'm not sure it doesn't need a comma between "Yes" and "well". Opinions?

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/153652.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

Current Mood: amusedliterary
Current Music: The Kaiser Chiefs, "I Predict A Riot"
Liz A. Vogel
24 June 2016 @ 04:37 pm
4th Street was this past weekend. And I am almost recovered enough to string two sentences together.

It was a terrific con, probably the best one since the first year I went. Pretty much had non-stop good conversations from the moment I walked in until I finally pried myself away from the last few goodbyes. Got very little sleep and definitely over-caffeinated, and I'm not the least little bit sorry. ;-)

I made an effort to pace myself before the event so as not to arrive already exhausted before it even started, despite the overwhelming pressure of the to-do list. Those who know me will appreciate how dubious was my success when I say that I managed to leave without putting maps in the car. Luckily I had my own written directions, and I could probably do the route from memory by now anyway.

Had a great time reconnecting with the Intermediate Writers crowd, even though we didn't officially have a gathering. (Which was only because no one stepped up to coordinate one; guess what I'll probably be doing next year?) And with the consuite crowd, and the smokers' lounge crowd, and assorted other cool people.

The seminar was interesting and well-run, though most of what I came out of it with was the conclusion that I just don't learn well in a seminar format. (And that my process is non-standard and weird, but I knew that going in.) I also came out with what I thought was a good way to ask for help on something I've been struggling with, but I tried it out on two very different groups and it failed utterly, so I guess not. It did kick off some good discussions, though.

My 4th Street tradition continues of there being one or two panels that I don't think I'll be that interested in that turn out to be utterly fascinating, and one or two that I think are going to be right in my wheelhouse that leave me cold. This year, the example of the first was "Large-Scale Structures and Series Planning"; I'm not a big series writer and usually veer away from long tightly-connected series as a reader, but a lot of the stuff about planning and consistency and leaving tools (and toys) for yourself for later was not only really interesting but actually something I could connect to my own work. And the panel on "Writing As A Light Trance State" was deeply intriguing, though I still don't think I came away with an understanding of the difference between trance and just concentrating on what you're doing.

Unfortunately, "The Tropes of Emotion" was one of the latter category, mostly because they did a lot of high-level meta discussion and very little granular, boots-on-the-ground how-to. Which is a pity, because I'm working hard on a bit of how-to in the current revision pass, and I'd have liked some pointers. The other one that left me cold was the That's a Different Panel, which this year ended up being "Clues And Signaling" -- basically, how do we tell readers things -- the very topic I most hoped they'd choose. It would probably have done more for me if they hadn't spent half the panel going on about paratext -- because I am functionally blind to paratext. (No, really. One of the books they cited was one that I read fairly recently and remember well, and they went on and on about the ways paratext was used, and I have no idea what they were talking about.) And what wasn't about paratext was again high-level and meta, not practical and how-to.

(I've realized that when it comes to writing stuff, I do not learn well from getting the big-picture view and trying to apply it to specific usages; I'm much better off with using a specific example in my own work, and reasoning from that to the general principle. I'm not sure if that's how I learn non-writing things as well, or not; I'd need a specific example to consider. Which may answer the question right there. ;-) )

The cookies went over well once again. The dinosaurs were even more popular than I expected (I suspect it was the glitter), and the "writer's toolbox" joke went over well. (Oddly, it seemed nobody wanted to eat the hammers; they were always the last to go. Don't know why.) For future reference: I made 4 batches of dough, but only ended up decorating about 3 batches worth. 3 batches was plenty, enough to stock Friday evening, Saturday mid-day, and Saturday evening, and still have a few left by Sunday. Next time, figure on making ~18 of each shape; that's enough to cover breakage and a few to share pre-con, and still have a dozen+ for the consuite. Which actually is enough, if you're making enough shapes to use up 3 batches of dough.

Drive there was good; the threatened thunderstorms didn't materialize, and I actually took breaks when I was getting dozey, and pulled over for the night when I was tired but not exhausted. Only trouble was that there still isn't a sign for a Caribou/Starbucks/etc. for about three hours past the point where I need one, so I once again arrived at my traditional gas-and-lunch stop rather desperate for coffee. But still overall a nice trip.

The car turned 200,000 on the way, which was cool.

Drive home was much the same; I turned the need to stall for a while to avoid Madison rush hour into a nice long lunch break, and pulled over for a walk and cold beverages when it seemed like a good idea but not yet a dire necessity. Got home around 2am, tired but still functional.

The cats were happy to see me. :-)

And now it's time to get back to normal, although I'm hoping to reboot "normal" to a slightly more satisfactory version. One that involves more sleep, writing, and exercise, and less unrelenting to-do list.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/153472.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

Current Mood: tiredtired, but happy
Current Music: Peter Gabriel, "Come Talk To Me"