Trifecta

1. Good hair day.

2. Cute kittay.

3. Dr Zen’s book (inadvertently).

Trifecta

The War Goes On

Did you think it was over? NOPE. Check out this article.

Note: I mistakenly put the name of the artist instead of the author in my first draft and have just changed that.

Muffin-cupcake

Muffins and cupcakes are not the same thing. In the baking world, this is a common subject of debate, and the two baked goods often get wrongly equated, or are argued as separate based on trivial details such as size or frosting. [Jeevika Verma]

Size or frosting? Well, that’s just silly. I can frost a graham cracker and it doesn’t magically transform into a cupcake. Jeevika then jabbers on about how muffins are made like bread (except when they aren’t) and cupcakes are made like cake (true), but I don’t find that a convincing argument. I can take a muffin mix, same as a cake mix, and NOT mix the ingredients separately as she says is the key here, and the muffins will turn out muffiny, while the cupcakes will be cakelike.

Some restaurant muffins, especially the fluffy blueberry ones, are exactly like cake, with cake crumbs (Jeevika says crumbs are an important indication of muffinlyness), so I dismiss that argument as well. And a dense carrot cake cupcake full of nuts and raisins can be pretty freaking muffiny.

There is no bright line between muffins and cupcakes.

Yep, I said it.

Sure there are foods that are obviously muffins (like a boring yucky bran thing) and other foods that are clearly cupcakes (like a white fluffy cake topped with swirls of pink frosting), but like sexuality, the muffin —> cupcake is not a duality but a continuum.

And there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.

More Jeevika:

The amount of fats, sugars, and eggs in cupcakes is usually twice of what is in muffins. Muffins usually get their flavoring from savory ingredients or fruits and berries, which work well with bread batter. Cupcakes, like cakes, are made of flavors that are more dessert-oriented, such as chocolate or red velvet. This underlying difference in ingredients is what makes muffins, which are less sweet, conventional breakfast food whereas cupcakes are considered luxury dessert items because of their high levels of sugar.

Note the weasel word “usually” (appearing twice). Muffins have tons of fat, which is why they’re so caloriffic, sometimes even worse than cupcakes. And there are plenty of fruit-flavored cupcakes (mmm Sprinkles strawberry!), while chocolate chip muffins abound. But do you know what kills Jeevika’s argument? She calls red velvet a flavor! It’s not a flavor ~ it’s what we get after adding red food coloring to cocoa cake batter. Once I read that, I dismissed her entirely.

The war continues…

Makeover

While Slinking Away

OK, clearly I’m not going to be able to poast my three happies every night. It’ll be random and that is that.

Lately things have turned into Weirdcake. This weekend layered on the Frosting Bizarre, and yesterday an Oddcherry dropped on top. It would be a lot easier to rant and whine (however obliquely because stalkers, lurkers, and spies), but I am committed to finding three happy tidbits as I slink away from AltUni.

1. The weather is cooler and I’m feeling better.

2. I finished my project of covering the backs of my bookcases so they don’t look more boring than a boring boring thing.

Bookcases

3. My latest book Paradise ROCKS, a romance novel, is now available in the Kindle store (free to KU peeps), and it has a pretty cool cover, if I do say so myself.

PR cover

Fictional true love overcomes mobsters, arson, and sarcasm. How can you resist that? I published this as me and not Anna because I realized the narrator sounds like me, while Anna is more neutral/upbeat. I wrote Paradise ROCKS about 10 years ago when I wasn’t as controlled with my voice and snarked through a story. The other week I pulled up PR and edited it for KDP as part of my ongoing project to dump all my old writing onto the world. :)

Buy mah book! Please.

Oopsy

I was so tired last night I forgot my three things. If I do six now, I’ll be good until tomorrow night.

1. Had a very fun day yesterday at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles.

2. Stopped at a rando snack place on the way home and discovered the nommiest concoction of margarita Italian ice blended with vanilla custard.

3. Got a ton of walking exercise yesterday (for me).

4. My kitty snuggled with me all night.

5. My daughter’s new phone happies are making me happy.

6. I did not win Friday’s Mega Millions, which is great because now I don’t have to worry about how to spend all that money. Whew. I was already starting to stress about the new house I’d need to buy, and if I bought one in NorCal, would my favorite real estate broker fly up there and do the deal for me.

Ten Ten Fourteen

It’s still before midnight, whew. I might not do this three positives a day thingie forever, but it’s helping and I want to get in the habit, at least for a while.

1. I just finished a book that restored my faith in romance novels: Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James. The setting was 1799 England and the story was full of interesting, complex characters. The plot centered around social mores and such; and though we of course knew it had to end with an HEA, there were many clever twists along the way.

2. My landlord was super-great (earlier this week), coming right away when I texted him to fix my ceiling fan light switch. I’m very happy here.

3. I’ve removed myself from a social group that had been causing me some anxiety for several months. I finally remembered that you can’t change other people, only yourself, and I feel a huge sense of relief knowing this is done.

The Power of Three

Apparently focusing on positives rather than negatives gives your brain a happy. I knew this, but haven’t been doing it. Been doing kinda the opposite actually. The lovely lizard has once again inspired me and I’m gonna poast three good things for today.

1. My new book is finally in publishing status after over 12 hours of being “in review.” I’d been worried it would get blocked for a too-sexy cover. I want it to hurry and go live so I can change the cover anyway. Yay!

2. I have the sweetest, cutest cat in the world.

3. I don’t have a headache today.

I thought of deleting yesterday’s poast, since it seems so downery… but maybe it isn’t really. I went alone to face a thing I thought would be difficult, but it wasn’t, and I’m fine. That’s the positive spin and I’m going with it.

Bonus: this three thing thinger thing gives me a reason to hang around my blarg.

Three Years Blood Moon

OK. I have a few things left to say after all. :)

Three years ago today was the last time I saw the man who broke my heart.

Officially, we broke up Sunday, October 9th, 2011, when he called and we argued about the day before and everything else. But because the number 8 played a huge role in our relationship, I consider 10/08/11 our break-up date. He walked out on me when I was crying, to go sign papers for his new BMW. Oh… it’s been three years, so it’s time for a new BMW. How about that?

I haven’t been able to feel anything for anyone since then. For a while, I could sometimes feel a bit of a spark that I tried to believe was more, but it never was. And now even this doesn’t happen. I accept that. My broken heart piled on top of my crashed and burned marriage = done. During the past three years a steady snowfall has covered the whole bloody jagged mess, burying it, freezing it so deep that nothing will ever melt all that. OH WAAAH. No, it’s actually a good thing. I’m tired of the drama. I’m done. I can’t connect, and it is OK. Romance causes more harm than good in my life, so I’ve stopped trying.

This morning was blood moon and I woke up while it was still dark out (I don’t sleep well anymore), but I didn’t feel like going outside to see. I should have, but I didn’t. Sometimes it takes such an enormous surge of energy for me to do anything I don’t have to do… that I just don’t do things. Maybe I’m depressed, idk.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about returning to the restaurant we used to go to all the time. Not the foofoo goat cheese place (lol) ~ we went just there the once. This one is Peruvian, called Inka Grill, and we went two or three times a month. The reason it’s been on my mind is because since I’ve moved, I pass it on my commute. I thought of going alone, to see if I feel anything, and then I thought of taking someone, someone new, with the vaguely creepy idea of transferring  any emotion onto him. I put an ad on Craigslist, but as you might imagine, nothing comes of it. I realize I need to do this alone.

I want to go to Inka Grill on a Wednesday, the night we normally had dinner together each week, and I note Wednesday, October 8th is coming up. Clearly this is the day! I wear the kind of typical skirt/sweater combo I would have back then, and do my make-up the same. I eat a light lunch and spend the latter half of the afternoon hungry, but skipping a snack, because it’s Date Night. As 5:30 approaches I feel a little nervous excitement, like I used to when meeting a man I was into. This is interesting. Is it the preparation for meeting, and knowing there’s a date, that generates the nervous excitement more than the thought of the person? Because obviously I am not meeting anyone, but physically I feel I am. Weird!

I leave work at 5:30, just like I used to for him, and drive to the restaurant, park facing the Del Taco just like I always did. This time there is no one to greet and kiss, so I walk inside, with my trusty blue notebook.

I sit in the back, which isn’t where we usually sat, because the place is busier than I remember. The blonde waitress we always had isn’t there. I get bread, spicy green sauce, and an iced tea. As I’m looking at the menu, “I Will Survive” comes on. The whole time I’m there it’s all disco music. I don’t remember that either.

My favorite steak and basil pasta isn’t an option because I’m a semi-vegetarian now (only the occasional cooked fish). I order fisherman’s stew, which we had sometimes. While I wait, I eat two pieces of bread and spicy sauce. I’m not really hungry anymore. Oops, I forgot to tell the waiter to leave off the cilantro, like we always did, but then I remember I don’t hate cilantro anymore. I did when I first moved to California, like most Easterners, but I don’t mind it now.

The stew is delicious, but I have a hard time eating very much of it. He used to think I didn’t eat a lot because I was upset about something ~ and it’s true that during the last year we were together I was pretty much always upset with him. But it’s also true I can’t eat much, especially at night.

I ask for the check and pay with my VISA. It doesn’t feel strange to pay; no one pays for me now. I leave a tip so that the total is a round number, as I like to do. The service was great ~ I never find I’m treated badly as a woman dining alone. Must be an urban myth. As I leave, “Another One Bites the Dust” plays. I grab a peppermint from the bowl on the way out, because we always did that. I used to put my wrapper in his pants pocket, but now I just stick it in the pocket of my car.

I drive home.

I feel nothing.

My Memorable Migraines

[Oh hai, I'm back. For a minute.]

1. 1977, my friend Kate’s house in Cary, Illinois. We were making Tollhouse c00kies and nomming on dough. Suddenly I had this blinding pain in my right temple and had to go lie down. I was so naus and dizzy. Couldn’t drive home. She drove me home in my car, stayed with me until my mom got home, and then her mom picked her up. This may have been my first real migraine, though I had plenty of “normal headaches” before that episode.

2. 1983, on the plane from Chicago to Los Angeles. I got such a sick migraine moving out here that I thought I was having a stroke. I could hardly walk off the plane I was so dizzy and shaky, plus the sunlight was beastly. I don’t think I’ve felt well since.

3. 1984, alone at Beverly Center watching Mike’s Murder. Got a splitting pain in my eyeball plus felt a weird claustrophobia from being in a crowd of people. I think that was the first time. I walked out of movie into main mall area and felt I was smothering from the crush of noise all around me. It was really hard to drive back to Burbank with one eye shut. I haven’t been good with big crowds since.

4. 1987, Burbank, migraine on date with guy who became ex-husband. For some strange reason, he thought I should eat a cheeseburger. It helped. During my marriage, eating salty/greasy/meaty things, like cheeseburgers or nachos, usually cured my headaches. They don’t anymore. I also took a lot of Rx drugs for migraines during my marriage, which may have had something to do with keeping them tamed. I can’t take any of those drugs anymore because they make me too stupid to work.

5. 50th birthday, Huntington Beach, with my daughters. I’d had Bailey’s on ice cream the night before, so I blamed that for waking up with a headache Saturday morning. I began throwing up and couldn’t stop all day. My girls drove me to the doc where I got an anti-nausea shot and pain meds. The girls thought it was a psychological reaction to my milestone birthday, but I still blame the Bailey’s (I had QUITE a lot, for me) and haven’t had it since.

6. This past weekend. Got a stiff neck Thursday night while watching Cocktail (fun movie) and a headache began soon after. I just went to bed without taking anything ~ I’ve been trying to stay off OTC pain meds because of tummy upset. Woke up with horrible migraine Friday. Threw up. Went to work anyway, but had to leave at lunch. Came home, threw up, went to sleep for hours. Was sick all night. Went to doc Saturday morning for anti-barf shot… had to pull over on the way and throw up again. That shot plus a shot of Imitrex kept the migraine away for four hours, but I knew it wouldn’t last. Did a bunch of errands while I could, then came home to go to sleep. Was in miserable pain until 7AM Sunday. I did the “thumb pinch” thingie for one minute on each hand and the migraine faded away. Not sure if it’s coinkydink because the weather had also changed at this point. But I will be trying that again, just to see.

Aren’t you glad I returned to make this fascinating poastie? :)

Splainy Thingie

Seems like things have become a bit light around here (har)… guess I don’t see much point in continuing to blog at Light Motifs these days when I’ve been writing more as Anna and trying to do a little promo for her stuffs when I can. Selling yourself as a writer is apparently a full-time job, and since I already have one that actually pays the bills, I need to really budget my time.

My book reviews and random jabber about romance writing and such will now be at Anna Fondant, exclusively. Please mosey on over when you get a chance.

Unfortunately for the cupcake review lovers, I have been focusing on better habits and it’s been months since I’ve had any cake. I am mostly vegetarian now (occasional tunafish snadwich excepted), have been avoiding fat-laden desserts and junk, and recently eliminated artificial sweeteners.

Good for me, bad for blog. Thank you to my loyal readers (all 3 of you). :)

A Sweet Year for My Peeps

Rosh Hashanah