Friday, October 15, 2010

From My Reader: The Bloggess

This week's From My Reader highlights the whimsical stylings of Jenny, The Bloggess:

The Bloggess is a crazy prolific Blogger who in addition to her personal blog writes an advice column, a sex column and column on being a mother. Most of these are satirical rather than serious, which makes them even better. Also, she has a very cute six-year-old and a husband who is equal parts amused and bewildered by her thought processes, both of which are frequently featured in her posts. Her advice column is one of the best I've long as you don't expect there to be any advice you can use.

Some of my Favorite Posts:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Recipe: Apple-Dijon Pork Roast

Recipe: Apple-Dijon Pork Roast

1 boneless whole pork loin roast
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1cup unsweetened apple juice
½ cup dijon mustard
6 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons water
Cut roast in half; place in slow cooker. Combine the broth, apple juice, and mustard; pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 4-1/2 hours
Remove roast and keep warm. For gravy strain cooking juices and skim fat. Pour juices into a small saucepan. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; gradually stir into juices. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with pork.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Review: Out of the Dark by David Weber

Out of the Dark is the first book of a new series by David Weber. Set in a near-future earth, Out of the Dark is a glimpse at an apocalypse brought on by alien invaders.

One of the qualities that helps to make Out of the Dark stand out is the use of the Alien invaders as viewpoint characters. I loved how the cultural differences between the aliens and humanity colors the interactions.

As much as I loved the Alien viewpoints, I had a hard time connecting with many of the human viewpoints. Until the end when all the viewpoint characters came together it was was to keep them straight and that made it difficult to care about what they were doing.

Despite the difficulty I had with some of the points of view, I had trouble putting Out of the Dark down. I loved how Weber treated the invasion and the destruction of civilization. It definitely made me think about how I would survive (or not) in the situation presented. Would the city I live in/near be one of the ones destroyed in the first waves of attacks on major population and technology centers or would it be one of the ones destroyed for resisting?

Despite the generally dark atmosphere of the novel, it ended with hope for the human race and the promise of more books to come as the human race speeds to rebuild and catch up to the rest of the populated universe.

I don't think this was one of Weber's better books but I did enjoy reading it and will definitely catch the next book in the series. I see a lot of potential for this new series.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

SteamCon Preparations

I'm getting super excited for SteamCon (even though their system won't let me purchase tickets for special events because it can't find my order number...) and am getting prepared with a whole new costume. My first big sewing project ever...

I chose a full set of patterns from Truly Victorian.

First step is the Petticoat, pattern #170. Currently Complete; pictures to come later.
Next, the underskirt, a lovely Fantail Skirt; Pattern #225. Currently In Progress.
Next, the Overskirt, pattern #326. Not Started yet.
Finally, the bodice. I plan on doing the lower square neckline with 3/4 sleeves. Not Started Yet.
So this is what I'll be doing over the next month or two. Plus knitting a shawl, putting together a new fascinator, going to the Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree, Swing Dancing at least two nights a week and National Novel Writing Month in November. I have my work cut out for me!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Recipe: Chipotle Pork Tenderloin

This recipe is a family favorite! The meat is tender when it comes out that we never need to use a knife on it!

Chipotle Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin, 1.5 to 2 pounds
1 - 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 cups Chipotle salsa
1/2 cup chopped onion


Place pork in crockpot; sprinkle with onions, add canned tomatoes and chiles, and top with the chipotle salsa. Cook on Low 8 hours. Meat will be extremely tender!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Abney Park: Circus at the End of the World

My first foray into Steampunk music was the Abney Park concert in Portland last Saturday; and it was Awesome!

If you haven't heard anything by Abney Park (and you should), their music is kind of like a hybrid of bellydancing music, celtic, and rock. Strong beat, lots of energy and featuring some atypical instruments: Violin, Harmonica, Banjo.

Between sets there were performances by hula hoopers and fire dancers/eaters. The fire dancers were thrilling and definitely entertaining.

As much fun as I had, I learned a few things too:
1) Dressing Steampunk is great for going out on the Town. Pockets are way better than carrying a purse.
2) Wearing heels to a venue that you haven't been to is a Bad idea.
3) I've become a dance snob. Drunken flailing is equal parts entertaining and horrifying.
4) Having a fever and going out to a concert in a bar is a very bad idea.

All in all, I will definitely look forward to hearing them at Steamcon!