hollymath: (Default)
So I had some ginger that really needs using.

And a lime...

And I thought, what do I want that I can make with lime and ginger in it?

So naturally, I thought of rum.

I googled and found a recipe for something to make at a cocktail party, but I just made it myself. Cilantro! What a good idea.

Of course, when I say I made it I don't mean I followed the recipe. I didn't have quite enough sugar, I probably had too much ginger (because it needed using up), my rum bottle was emptier than I thought so there wasn't quite enough... but it still tastes great.

And since I swapped all my potatoes and onions in the veg box this week for salad veg (and prayed for good weather! what I've got is perfect), I made a big salad for my dinner: last week's lettuce which still needed using, ridiculously fresh and tasty red pepper, cucumber, sugar snap peas (which I always get excited about when the seasonal veg box brings them to me), homemade croutons and dressing. With a Quorn-chicken fillet sliced over the top.

It all just tastes so nice, and it reminds me of how shamefully recently I wouldn't have made salad dressings or croutons and just wouldn't have eaten like this at all. I didn't grow up with any of this kind of food.

I've been thinking a lot lately of everything I struggle with or don't know how to do; it's nice to be reminded of some things I have learned.
hollymath: (Default)
So yesterday people are turning up for the wedding feast/party and milling about with drinks and such (I have now tried Pimms! it just tasted like cucumbers...) and I find myself close enough to where [personal profile] magister is standing that I hear my name so wander a bit closer and find him laughing at something someone-I-can't-remember-who-it-was said. She explains to me that she was just telling him "we'll have to get you married off", so I hide my startled open mouth behind my hand, but can't keep from giggling, and the more I think about it the funnier it gets and it takes a while for me to stop laughing.

We hadn't really thought about how this poly thing might complicate things. I only got told once that I'm probably called Janice (close enough...) and that I live in Brighouse, but people seemed to have the rough idea that we lived together and have been together possibly longer than we have. James rightly didn't want to scandalize or confuse his relatives on a day that was supposed to be about his sister, and it wasn't really a problem, but that 'we'll have to get you married off" line is still making me giggle for so many reasons.

This is the second wedding I've been to since my own and the first one I enjoyed. Probably not being invited to The Actual Wedding helped. But also enough time has passed now I think that my own doesn't make me so sad any more (I'm happy I'm married, but everything about my wedding was miserable and I hated it). I was a little wistful hearing the father-of-the-bride speech, but I realized this is more because I couldn't imagine my dad doing anything like that. I'm mostly content with the alternatives that choice and circumstance have led me to, but sometimes I I do get a twinge of longing for convention.

Then we raised our glasses in a toast to the bride and James jogged my elbow just as my glass touched my lips, sprinkling cider (we were using a lovely dry fizzy cider for champagne) all down me and, worse, making me laugh which caused more ripples in my drink that sloshed onto my borrowed posh clothes and up my nose. Yes it would be nice to do everything "right" but that's never gonna be me, and at least I was laughing.

The food was amazing. My hopes were not high when I found out it was a hog roast, but everything else was vegetarian, and there wasn't a thing I didn't devour --lentils and beetroot, new potatoes with chili flakes, green beans with some very light orangey dressing, butternut squash with a bunch of lovely stuff I don't remember (everything was really well labeled but I couldn't see the labels so James read stuff out for me and I basically forgot everything immediately after I was told), including some kind of actual nuts. And gorgeous moussaka! If aubergines were always like that, I wouldn't have to work so hard at trying to like them (I taught myself to like mushrooms cos they're in so much veggie food and that worked so well I'm now trying courgette and aubergine, with less success so far). I basically ended up eating two platefuls because James gave me his and went back for more moussaka.

Oh and our table won the quiz, much to my astonishment (not least because James, who set it, was told by his mother to fix it so someone (I can't remember who but I think it might have been the person who called me Janice) won because he'd put a lot of effort into it). We might have been at something of an advantage what with the bridesmaids being at our table so they could answer all the "how did the lovely couple meet?" kind of questions. I wasn't even paying attention because, never having even met them before, I knew I'd be useless. But my ears pricked up at the first line of Pride and Prejudice and then there was a question about Jane Eyre and the bridesmaids (and, I think, partner of one of the best mans) were dead impressed with me for knowing these things. They said if we won it'd be down to me, and indeed no one else wanted to take the wine and chocolates home so I've got them.

I had a nice drunken conversation with the Australian bridesmaid, who seems to live some kind of complicated bi-hemispherical lifestyle, about how hard, but also nice, it is to have two places you belong. James's sister said at breakfast this morning that I'd apparently made a good impression on her, which really surprised me because it turns out losing my inhibitions only makes me talk a lot of depressing garbage these days (well, it still makes me want to kiss girls too, so there's hope for me yet), so it's nice if baffling to hear that I wasn't too off-putting anyway.

I needed a brilliant weekend, to get me through the week now ahead of me. I'm glad I got it.
hollymath: (Default)
1. Andrew's a good friend to someone having a bad day by helping them write a policy motion to tackle one of the things that made their day shitty.

(Lib Dem friends are the best friends.)

2. [personal profile] magister and I both chose the same beer with our lunch today, him because he liked the name, me because I liked the picture.



Every time we show an interest in one of the Oakham Ales, we hear about how the pub we're in is one of only eight in Yorkshire that has them, and how the brewery people come and check everything about the pub before they decide if it's worthy, and I think they like having the chance to brag so I'm happy to listen. Paranoid is apparently a beer Oakham brew only once a year, which is a bit of a shame because it's amazing and I'd love more of it. But there are always other nice beers.

3. There are always nice beers.

4. For the past few days I've been casting cursory glances at the pile of dirty dishes, the new-heights-of-untidiness in our bedroom, and the basketsful of clean and dirty laundry, thinking I know I have to sort all this out. Can't wait until I feel like that's a thing I can do.

Today, I sorted out all those things. And cleaned the bathroom. And made myself a proper dinner with vegetables in it.

(I can push myself to do a thing even if it's not a thing I can do -- sometimes things just have to get done -- but it tends to leave me neither mentally nor physically well, and I've learned that after a few days of feeling like such things are insurmountable, I'll wake up one day and just...be able to do them. I got all this done on a day when I was hardly even in the house! Whereas yesterday I was home all day and was barely able to feed myself.)

5. I watched "Baby," one of Nigel Kneale's Beasts (James was delighted that I liked The Stone Tape, which he lent me after I complained about the sexist, ableist, boringest film The Quiet Ones and I can totally see why, because The Stone Tape is basically the not-shit version of the same idea, and between my positive reaction to that and James's conviction that I need to see Quatermass and the Pit and then all the other Quatermasses, I think there will be a fair amount of Nigel Kneale in my life for a while, and on the evidence of what I've seen so far I'm perfectly fine with that.)

We talked about how good Kneale is at conveying a lot in a few words, something really admirable in any genre but absolutely great for horror. And a lot of the horror here isn't about the story's supernatural element at all, it's about the awful situation this poor woman would be in anyway, and the very mundanity of how badly she's treated by her husband, his boss, his wife, even the builders who upset and patronize her, makes it feel very claustrophobic and bleak even before the supernatural horror turns up.

This probably doesn't make it sound like much fun but I really enjoyed it, despite becoming so sensitive in my old age that I yell at Andrew for even just telling me anything that happens on Hannibal nowadays and got upset yesterday at the fate of fictional babies in an Onion article.
hollymath: (Default)
Damn, I thought. Only half an hour into this stupidly long flight, and I'm already struggling just to get to the damn menu to find movies I want to watch?

Only after a while longer did I realize I was struggling because the menus were in French. I didn't know whether to think I was doing really well considering how little French I know, or doing really badly because it took me so long to figure it out.

Despite my uselessness at French, and my dislike for Charles de Gaulle, I still think flying Air France might be worth it!

First of all, the food is actually good. (Not for the first time did I think the food on the plane is among the nicest I'll have for the next week. At least they have a vegetarian option.) The flight attendant praised my choice, risotto (I sewar they teach those ladies to flirt in flight-attendant school) and even remembered who I was enough to ask me how I'd liked it when she came back to clear the rubbish away, which made my heart go a-flutter a bit.

But what really sold me on this is that after the meal, when we were offered tea and coffee, I turned both down. I wanted some water to drink. When I saw another flight attendanct with a big bottle of water on her trolley, I opened my mouth to ask her for some but before I could say a word she said "Cognac?" I couldn't believe it. You can't even have a Heineken on a Delta flight without paying a fiver (or something) for it.

So I sat there after dinner, watching a movie (Cartographie des Nuages), sipping away, pretending I was more sophisticated than I am, like a kid playing dress-up.
hollymath: (Default)
Drinking something called North Star Porter. It seems appropriate when I'm getting made fun of for sounding Minnesotan.
hollymath: (eyebrow)
I got hugged and/or kissed by two Lib Dem councillors! Clearly a sign of a successful evening.
hollymath: (us)
Scrumpox won the pub quiz! Yes, that's the stupid name we chose this week, thanks to Andrew saying, for some reason, that there's a kind of herpes you can get from playing rugby, and this is what it's called.

We're pretty bad at coming up with names, but even so I cringed to think that this is the one under which we won, after many weeks where we used to come dead last back when our team was half as big. Now augmented by Andrew's brother (who knows about good music and weird random things), his girlfriend (who's good at pop stars and people on TV) and Andrew (who knows everything nobody else knows), we have been getting better week by week and this week the pub quiz gods smiled upon us.

I know none of you care about that, but a few of you might care about this: I now have in my possession a gallon of beer! Well, tokens for eight pints. They have to be used by next Thursday, and I'll never manage that in that time. Who wants to help me out?
hollymath: (eyebrow)
You know how there's a point, the day after a party, when you're walking along or listening to music or doing something totally normal and not even thinking about the previous night's party and suddenly you remember something you did and you cringe and think, Oh god, did I actually do that?

I don't actually know about that inasmuch as it's never happened to me (I don't get very drunk very often, and I'm a sleepy drunk anyway, likely to do little more than sit in a corner and be entertained by everybody else). But I've heard about it.

So I think I recognize that as what happened to me Sunday (I know that's a long time ago by the standards of my LiveJournal; I just haven't had a chance to write it down since then). I was at work, actually, and suddenly I thought, yep, Oh god, did I actually do that?

Did I actually go on about Xena (and what a stupid name that is, and how it has a better name now) and why Pluto shouldn't be a planet. And isn't.

Contemplating this, the only consolation I can offer myself is that I will get exactly that excited and ranty even when I haven't had three hiking-in-the-Lake-District beers..

([livejournal.com profile] shinydan also tried to console me by saying this means I've done my bit for bisexual activism because of this very thing, but I'm not sure how any of that is related to transparent ribbons, which was actually his idea. But it was nice of him to say so anyway.)
hollymath: (tanpint)


I chose this one because it's called "Signs of Spring," and I'm all for that.

I'd just walked past two girls in short skirts licking ice creams. That's a great sign of spring too.
hollymath: (tedium)
I got some ginger ale because I am sick.

On top of the bottle was a special cap you can use to measure a, well, measure when you're mixing drinks. I was bewildered by this.

At the bar of life, I'm the one blinking in confusion at the noise and flashing lights and people having things with a twist or on the rocks (or, these days, probably double skinny half-caff) and saying "but the mixers are just fine on their own!"

Edit: [livejournal.com profile] donttouchmyhat wants me to ask you who you are at the bar of life (note: this is not anything like a real bar, or else I wouldn't be getting anything involving a mixer at all, as I like ale and am confused by cocktails). So c'mon, my round, what'll you have then?
hollymath: (minnesota)
"I have to go," Mom said after a few minutes. "Here's your dad." Pause. My dad, obligingly: "Here I am."

I grinned.

My dad is never a big talker; usually my mom calls and tells me everything that's happened during the week and my dad and I talk about sports or weather for a minute or two. My dad and I get along better, but we don't do it by talking. So it was quite impressive that we chatted for as long as we did. I have nothing to say as nothing happens to me, but Dad kept bringing up random things. Sometimes a little forced, but still great.

He mentioned watching a couple of things on PBS. He had to explain to Mom who Crosby Stills Nash & Young are after telling her they're touring ("Remember, the sixties?"). He says he wants a Ravi Shankar CD (except he couldn't remember the name). He tried Guinness, which he'd never heard of before he saw me buy some, because he wanted to know what I liked so much about it (verdict: he asked me if it was more alcoholic than the beer he was used to, and concluded that it was probably something you had to acquire a taste for).

That made me grin, too. My dad is so cool about new things; he's a good sport and he gets so excited. My mom hates pasta so when we went to the Green Mill once and he ordered chicken ravioli, it was totally new and thrilling to him. As was my creamy spinach whatever-it-was; he said he wanted to try that next time. (Meanwhile, Mom was asking me "How did you ever get so into this stuff?"* What stuff, Mom? "All this ... pasta.") I think nothing of ravioli or Guinness, but Dad makes me appreciate these things more.

And it makes me appreciate how far I've come. Sometimes I forget I'm from a family that thinks it weird that I like pasta.


* Doesn't it sound like she should be asking me about cocaine or a gang or something? Punk rock, at least?
hollymath: (sparkly)
Courtesy of the [livejournal.com profile] evil_grapefruit, who's just figured out how to post images on the internet! Yay!

Aw, isn't that sweet, they're holding hands.

Check out those crazy sleeves! They hung down all the way to the floor. People said I looked like a witch, or a fairy, or "some kind of Renaissance thing." They drove me nuts at first--it was so disorienting every time I moved my arms--but I grew to like them and now I'm bummed that I'm not supposed to wear that dress any more. I'd take it out for Halloween or something, but I bet my mom has already had it shut up in a box.

Oh, and you can almost see my engagement ring, which is on the second finger of my hand because it's too big for the third finger now. (I still wear it, but on the other hand now so the two rings don't clink together all the time.)

I grabbed Andrew's hand not out of a desire to be romantic but because I hoped he was okay. He wasn't happy about being in a church or "having to wear a noose!"

This is [livejournal.com profile] evil_grapefruit, [livejournal.com profile] mllesarah and James, at my bachelorette party.

Notice that I am not there. I was, in fact, more than a hundred miles away, playing games with the people who were staying at my parents' house. These three got drunk--in my honor, they assured me--anyway.

(The next day, Jenn looked like something Death dragged home, making it all the more impressive that she was able to successfully apply my makeup and beat the veil into submission.)

My favorite thing about this picture is that they're drinking their ... their whatever-they're-drinking out of yogurt containers.
hollymath: (orchid)
Yesterday Al came over randomly--a joy in and of itself--and eventually informed us of her desire to "watch Donnie Darko and drink wine" that evening. Donnie Darko is a movie I've heard a lot about but never seen--despite [livejournal.com profile] soltice and [livejournal.com profile] ismelljello's intentions of making me watch it (back when they lived in Morris ... those were the days).

I've heard vague but interesting things about the movie, and Al kept saying it was the kind of movie during which drinking wine would be good, which is also intriguing to me.

So the three of us went to Glenwood--to The Grog Shop, a name we love--and Al bought some roset. Sarah bought some Smirnoff Ice. I didn't buy anything. On the way back, it occurred to us that my and Sarah's work schedules for the evening were completely incompatible, and that, while we might have time to watch the movie before Sarah went to work if we started it immediately upon our return, as Al pointed out, "I can't drink wine at 3:15 in the afternoon!"

So we ended up watching it without Sarah, but it was still great fun. I liked the wine, I really liked the movie. And I really liked the idea of watching Donnie Darko and drinking wine. It was beautiful.
hollymath: (Default)
If Jenn and Michele get their way, I may be the only living organism in this house that has not consumed beer tonight. I mean, now that they're trying to force-feed it to the cats (or force-drink? that doesn't sound right...what do you call it?) and it was established this afternoon that Jenn's spider plant and Ralph, Michele's plant, are dead.

Michele came downstairs where I was eating, Erin was watching TV, and Jenn was dealing with the aftermath of the waterfall that had gushed from our bathroom down into the dining room and into the box containing all the bills and other papers important to her. She was peeling them apart and hanging them places as if they were damp laundry. Anyway, Michele came downstairs holding her plant and said, "Do you think Ralph's dead or is this just a normal part of the life cycle?" Erin and Jenn immediately voted for dead, but I really thought it'd be funny if that state was part of his normal life cycle.

Michele went into the kitchen to throw Ralph in the garbage and then commented that he wasn't the only dead plant in the house. To prove it, she showed us Jenn's spider plant. It looked really bad, but Jenn insisted it would be fine if she put some water on it. Michele decided to water both plants (she had to fish Ralph out of the garbage) and put them on the windowsill next to each other. She said they could keep each other company. I still think they're both dead.

Which means it's just Erin, Jenn, Michele, the cats and me. The three humans have had at least two beers apiece, Jenn and Michele, who haven't had anything to eat in a day or three, are rather drunk. It's quite amusing. Being around drunk people is a bit of a novelty to me, as is enthusiastically being encouraged to drink.

"I'll even make it green, Holly!"

"That's okay. I don't like beer."

"You could have a baby!"

"I don't want a baby!" (If you don't know what we're talking about, read this.)

"You know," she said, stumbling into our room, "Michele and I figured out that it's not just the green beer."

"Really. What is it?" I asked, as if I needed to.

"It's spring break!" she said. I guess for someone who'd been advertising the fact that she'd been going to have sex over spring break (and not at any other time between January and May) this makes sense.

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