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Posts Tagged ‘yay’

“Life, a good life, a great life is about “Why not?” May we never forget it.” 

― Danielle Steel
Original Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Oh look, I’ve used this quote before. Guess it must be true:) Bonus quote!

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

― Shel Silverstein

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As I’ve mentioned, I sometimes see the world a little sideways. It helps me find the fun in functional and the butterfly in the weeds. It also means that some days, a perfectly normal breakfast can turn into something a little more elaborate.

I mean, there I was this morning, producing multiple batches of colored liquid: bananas and tofu, spinach and avocado and green tea, blueberries and strawberries and cranberry juice, hemp seed and turmeric and more. It’s paint by any other name. And so, smoothie art.

Fun, right? And bonus points for edibility!

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Sunday flowers, for you!

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* Editor’s Note: Welcome to Lunchtime Clickbait, where we test oddly specific headlines establishing implausibly sweeping claims for oddly specific life strategies. 

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Sure, it’s only been two days, but I can unequivocally say that smoked oysters have changed my life.

Photo by Thomas John on Unsplash

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How do I know for sure that smoked oysters are the best thing since sliced bread? Well, three days ago I had ideas as usual, but little energy for action. Sure, I got my work done, but then, meh.

For the past two days we have had smoked oysters for dinner, and for the past two days I have had far more energy and verve than usual. I think the connection is obvious.

Yesterday? I did all of the things. Work, yes, but also house and writing and creative fun stuff. Also peaches.

Happily tucked away in the freezer, waiting to become sorbet.

Today I’ll do that and more, and I’m sure that it’s all because of the smoked oysters. What’s not to love?

Will smoked oysters work for you? Maybe, and unless you have a shellfish allergy, they can’t hurt.

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Now, do I wish they didn’t come in cans designed to slice my fingers when taking them to the recycling bin? I do, but I also have a solution.

I mean sure, you could still cut yourself if you tried hard enough. So maybe don’t?

And many of the readily available options are from halfway around the globe, but it would be great if increasing local popularity also encouraged more local production.

It’s also encouraging to see the shells used as material for educational and shoreline reclamation projects like the Billion Oyster Project and the Tampa Bay Estuary Program.

Still not convinced that smoked oysters are right for you? What else does a sweeping claim for dramatic outcomes based on one small lifestyle change need for maximum reputability?

A Top Ten List, of course!

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Top Ten Reasons to Eat Smoked Oysters

10. They are great on salads, on pasta, in soups, on picnics, or straight from the can when you don’t have time for niceties like plates.

9. Canned, they are shelf stable to the Apocalypse and beyond.

8. Oysters purify water, are terrific for shoreline health, contribute to restorative aquaculture, and in a well-managed fishery are a great addition to a sustainable food system.

7. They remind me that the history of cities like New York is tied to the oyster. 

6. Smoked oysters give an average day a bit of fancy dancy je ne sais quoi.

5. Oysters are rich in protein, good fats, iron, zinc, and copper. Eating them makes me feel practically electric!

4. Smoking takes away that weird sliminess of raw oysters that some people love but, well, I don’t. (Although maybe I haven’t tried enough of the good stuff, like those from High on the Hog‘s TheRealMotherShuckers.)

3. I still have warm fuzzy feelings from childhood, sitting in the living room recliner, reading, and eating after-school oyster stew.

2. Lord, I don’t know, isn’t this list done yet?

And finally, the number one reason to eat smoked oysters…

1. They are affordable, accessible, and Costco sells these babies in eight-can packs!

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Yes, these oysters are the squishy kind, but the picture is pretty. Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

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I may have understated things a little yesterday, when I said that my bug bites were just “extremely itchy.” They were driving me crazy, especially the freakishly large spider(?) bite that made my wrist look like a poorly-maintained baseball bat. I had some anti-itch stuff and it worked, but for short periods only, and the wrist had a puffy red circle that was three inches wide and still growing.

Not cool.

Cue dramatic rescue! My sister-in-law saved the day. Her recommendation? Vicks VapoRub. The full course of action was peroxide to clean the area, then apply a mix of Vicks and salt.

Being a science-minded sort in possession of a bumper crop of bug bites, I decided to conduct a little experiment.

Super official test protocol: Some spots got Vicks only, some got the full treatment. I won’t lie, the salt scared me a little. It seemed a bit too much like scratching an itch with your nails, deeply satisfying until the blood starts to run, the area resembles a monster-movie prosthetic, and you regret your life choices.

Ahem.

Results: I wasn’t 100% wrong about the salt. Scrubbing the swollen area rode a fine line between satisfaction and pain, and I could almost see the little grains scraping an already sore spot. (It was also a bit awkward to apply to and remove from non-wrist areas.) But! Once I stopped rubbing it in, I was able to leave it at that. No obsessive need to keep scratching even as the voice in my head said, “For the love of all that’s holy, please stop scratching!” Was it nerve overload, increased Vicks penetration, or…? I don’t know, but I liked it.

And then the swelling went down, the redness receded, and the itch went away. There’s still a little redness, a tiny bump where the demon venom spider fangs went in, and no real urge to scratch. The Vicks-only bumps are similar, so my guess is that the menthol etc. in the mix does most of the work. I’ll probably use that straight next time.

My verdict? Best sister-in-law ever:)

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Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

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* Note from the future: After more experimentation (thanks, backyard bugs!) I’m shifting my position a little. Salt helps, and the peroxide (or other cleanser) seems sensible if you’re going to use sharp crystals against your skin. 

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Happy Fourth!

I’m out enjoying a beautiful Fourth of July. Hope you are too!

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Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

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This is one of the coolest projects I’ve seen in some time:

The cities of Vilnius, Lithuania and Lublin, Poland—which are 376 miles (606 kilometers) away from each other—unveiled their futuristic portals this week… allowing a real-time feed of whoever is in front of the portal to be transmitted between the two cities via the internet.

— Vilnius and Lublin Unveil a Futuristic “Bridge” Between Cities

It’s not quite Stargate, but “it’s a bridge that unifies and an invitation to rise above prejudices and disagreements that belong to the past.” (Benediktas Gylys)

So cool. Here’s the project home: PORTAL

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I’m a little bit beat. I know it’s May the Fourth and therefore Star Wars Day, but I’m not quite up to a long-form essay on all that this world has meant for me.

Suffice it to say, I’m a fan.

If you’re in the mood for a quick recap of the main movies (or an introduction, I won’t judge!), here’s a quick summation by Star Wars actor Daisy Ridley, with a little help from Jimmy Fallon:

If you’d rather go back to the beginning and study the source, check out this piece on the first movie’s script:

Star Wars: A New Hope Script — Screenplay Analysis and PDF Download

We’re going to break down the essential aspects of the Star Wars script, and how George Lucas made a science-fiction classic.

Buckle up, we’re going into hyperdrive…

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Photo by Honza Kurka on Pexels.com

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The folks over at Boing Boing have listed last night’s 2019 Hugo award winners, complete with links:

Best Novel: The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
Best Novella: Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells (Tor.com publishing)
Best Novelette: “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again,” by Zen Cho (B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, 29 November 2018)
Best Short Story: “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies,” by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine, February 2018)
Best Series: Wayfarers, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)
Best Related Work: Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
Best Graphic Story: Monstress, Volume 3: Haven, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
Best Professional Editor (Short Form): Gardner Dozois
Best Professional Editor, Long Form: Navah Wolfe
Best Professional Artist: Charles Vess
Best Semiprozine: Uncanny Magazine
Best Fanzine: Lady Business
Best Fancast: Our Opinions Are Correct
Best Fan Writer: Foz Meadows
Best Fan Artist: Likhain (Mia Sereno)
Best Art Book: The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition, illustrated by Charles Vess, written by Ursula K. Le Guin (Saga Press / Gollancz)
Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book: Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt / Macmillan Children’s Books)
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Jeannette Ng
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman, directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman (Sony)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: The Good Place: “Janet(s),” written by Josh Siegal & Dylan Morgan, directed by Morgan Sackett (NBC)

So excited to see my favorite Murderbot and the Wayfarers series get some love, and I’m looking forward to checking out some of the others on the roster. For more reading material, check out Tor.com’s full list of nominees. Enjoy!

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It’s summer and I’m enjoying a bit of vacation time (yay!) and what do I spot on my new Asclepias tuberosa? A monarch butterfly caterpillar!

 

I’ve seen a monarch or two in the neighborhood this year but not many. (Not like during my childhood down south, when my mother used to pull the car over just about anywhere to find caterpillar-rich milkweed by the side of the road.) There’s a reason why these butterflies are listed as at endangered in Ontario:(

That said, awareness of the issues around butterflies and their disappearing habitat is rising, and it’s not all bad news. I’m happy to see milkweed left to grow by the roadside, to find native milkweed varietals at the garden center, and to watch butterflies flitting in the park. If we had more sun and space I’d plant a butterfly meadow, but for now, we went with butterfly weed. Glad we did:)

As an added bonus, I also saw fireflies in the yard a couple of weeks ago for the first time north of the border:) Here’s wishing you a happy and constructive summer!

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Hooray, my space pirate draft is complete! At almost 18,000 words, it’s the longest “short” story I’ve written to date. Ok, fine, it’s a novella and I’m ok with that.

I’ll need to go back over it, check a few things, get a degree in orbital mechanics (not really) and answer that age-old question, “Do donuts stay fresh longer in space?” Inquiring minds want to know! In the meantime, the draft is on its way to beta readers.

I like it, hope they do too!

 

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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