You know, no matter how often I see video footage of bears running down deer, elk, whatever, I still can’t believe it. It’s just such a visually unbelievable sight. Deer look fast. They’re all whippy and delicate and have those long, knobby legs. Deer should be able to run. Deer are the act of running, with antlers.

Bears, on t’other hand, look about as aerodynamic as a boulder. They’re meant to slap salmon out of streams and other such pursuits.

So watching these giant slabs of muscle actually run down deer is just the most alien thing to watch. It’s like the laws of physics wander off somewhere, Andre the Giant suddenly outdistancing Secretariat. You can’t believe what you’re watching. It’s real and all, it just doesn’t look right.

Culinary Adventures

So, as you all know, I’m having to learn to cook.

I started before the move, while I had James around to advise on such matters as “Yes, that meat is done,” and “No, you throw away that bit.”

So far, I have been suprisingly successful. I have made quesadillas that were actually pretty good, something called a “south-of-the-border wrap” that wasn’t terrible, cooked a baked potato without casualties, and marinated a pork loin.

Tonight, I take a stab at pasta with mizithra cheese and sauteed garlic. I’ve never actually sauteed anything before, so wish me luck. Should it prove successful, I will prepare it Sunday night, when James is coming over for dinner, but I figure I better test it out first.

What I Have Learned:

-Cheese makes anything edible.
-Sour cream makes anything better.
-There is a reason that tortillas are a dietary staple for large sections of the world.
-Mild canned green chilies are actually pretty good, but how you use a full 4 oz can of the things before they go bad, I have no idea.
-Marinating a pork loin is like playing with a sea cucumber with garlic stuck to it, except without the exciting possibility that it will fling its internal organs at you.
-Fresh herbs are great, but if all you need is a teaspoon of fresh cilantro, what the heck do you do with the rest of the bunch? Does nobody market the one-meal-sized fresh herb pack? Why can’t I buy just two green onions, instead of a dozen? Is the point of growing herbs yourself not actually to have what you need, but not to have what you don’t need?
-Bell peppers are too big.
-Garlic never hurt anything.*

My cooking adventures are a peculiar combination of the bargain basement and sublime. I think I’m alternating between “cooking” and “refueling.” Refueling can be done with frozen schtuff. Cooking involves fooling around with herbs and olive oil and mincing garlic and all kinda craziness.

I have not yet actually cooked anything in a skillet. I am a little worried, but we’ll get there eventually.

*Except vampires.

So things are looking okay financially–moving was direly expensive, and February and March are always dead months for sales, so I was getting pretty worried there,* but between royalties off Digger and the sale of the Spawning Wall painting, with the usual supplemental sales, I should keep pretty well above water, hopefully until the advance on Nurk comes through.

One major source of stress–arguably the major source of stress for an artist on her own–temporarily off my mind. (Money concerns for artists are never vanquished entirely, I suspect.)

“Good ol’ Sofawolf,” I found myself thinking, “good ol’ fans, they always take care of me.”

And this is a great truth.

And then I found myself thinking, rather wryly, “Good ol’ Digger! And good ol’ Gearworld–they’re taking care of me, too.”

It’s a weird thing to be grateful to one’s own creations, and yet, not a bad sensation.

*James would never have let me starve, of course, but there’s a point of pride involved. I’ll let him buy me sheets, but making my rent myself is important.

So, I’m in my new apartment.

Everything’s moved, almost all the art is hung, and…here I am.

It’s still a little weird. Whether it’s weird from not having James around, or from living alone for the first time, period–hard to say. Weird, though. Definitely weird.

The first night was pretty rough. I should probably have called someone, but I didn’t, because my sniveling was annoying to myself, let alone somebody else. Although I have plenty of friends and a coupla relatives who are very supportive and have told me repeatedly to call at any hour of the day or night, I still generally feel about midnight sob-fest calls the way I feel about muggings–they happen all the time, but it’s still an imposition. So James, who’s a pretty smart cookie, had our old buddy Alan call me. Alan’s a good guy, and also knows me better than anyone else I haven’t lived with, so that helped.

After that, it’s improved, and the addition of the internet helps a lot. (Distraction! Glorious distraction!)

Ben handled the move with his typical aplomb. I don’t know what kind of life he’s led, but I get the impression he’s moved around a lot.  He scouted the apartment out with professional calm, took note of litterbox and food locations, identified the sunny spot by the window, and settled in.

He did have to make some adjustments–I only have a loveseat, rather than a couch, so when I take a nap on it now, his usual footwarmer position is not available. He now curls into a tight ball, like an armadillo, and fits himself into the space between my waist and the back of the loveseat. He’s got to be kind of squished, but apparently abandoning me during naptime is not to be considered.

On the bright side, from his point of view, there is now a whole full-sized bed with only one person in it. Ben approves of this. I woke up in the middle of the night to discover that I had been shoved over into the last quarter of the bed, about to fall out on the floor, while Ben took up most of the middle. While I am desperately grateful that Ben is around–having another living being around the place is worth a lot in terms of emotional support, particularly when they snuggle*–it would still be nice to have at least half the bed. Even a third. Is a third so much to ask?

*Less so, admittedly, when they decide to play “grapple-the-ankle” because they’re bored

We gots internet!

We do not, however, have cable. The cable guy left without checking to see if it worked, and it doesn’t. I am currently on hold waiting for them to arrange to send out a repair guy, and there are coaxial cables presenting serious hazards to navigation across the living room.

Still, of the two, internet is far more important. Must…have…link…to…rest…of…world!

More complete saga to follow.

Okay, world! The computer’s bein’ transferred, and Das Internet’s not bein’ hooked up ’til Wednesday. I’ll be around briefly Tuesday night on James’ machine, but otherwise, I am AFK for the duration.

Take care, and try not to wreck up the joint while I’m gone…

One of the anenome bulbs I planted last fall came up and flowered in the backyard!

I had mostly forgotten about them–I’ve had Other Things on my mind, as one might expect!–but I saw a flash of deep pink out the window yesterday, and went down to investigate. Sure ’nuff, the anenome has bloomed, despite cold and neglect and everything else. I’m proud of it. Go, little anenome! I can’t pronounce your name consistently twice in a row, but I’m glad you made it!

And now…back to the moving.

Still moving.

Still weird.

The apartment’s a little less alien, now that I’ve got art leaning against the walls, and presumably it’ll be better when it’s hung. I got a few pieces up already.

It’s funny, but a lot of what I’ve got up now are gifts–a lovely little pencil sketch by Kyoht, “Naked Mole Rat Steals The Noble Lima Bean Spirit”  that I traded sketches for, the print of Smilegod, a carved Barong mask sent by a friend. And the whole place smells faintly of the cool bubble bath Eve sent me.

Bought a floor lamp with a cheap faux art-deco glass shade, which warms up the light in there a lot, and turned the heat on. The windows go nearly to the floor, with low, broad sills, perfect for lounging cats. And duck decoys. So that’s kinda neat.

It’s still weird, and probably will be for awhile, but as with everything, just gotta make the best of it.

Well, inactivity would kill me more surely than sleet and freezing rain, so I started moving. I always move in the rain, it seems–no reason this should be any different.

I tell myself that I’m a woman out on her own for the first time (embarassing to be nearly thirty and in that condition!) and I’m gonna move like a ninja. Quick. Efficient. Travelling light, with a coupla swords and a lot of tea.

Travelling light.

Yeah.

Which doubtless explains why my first load over included a stuffed wombat and a duck decoy.

Some ninja I am…

I woke up this morning, blinked blearily at James, and said “So…if you ate plastic explosive, and then got electrocuted, would you explode?”

It’s still bugging me.