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his word-hoard unlocked

(all that you know I know)

At-con care
This year, I'm going looking for a proper babysitter/nanny for CONvergence weekend. For sure we need someone to be all-day-and-overnight with the kids (Eleanor age 7 and Henry age 2) on Friday and Saturday nights. I just need to suck it up and treat it like a proper "night on the town", like going to a play or the movies.

So now I'm kinda stuck thinking about it: I don't necessarily want to ask any of my friends/acquaintances. I need to find someone who isn't really planning to go to the con or work on it. Don't you think?

I mean, I plan to invite this person to come to the convention with us—I have an extra membership I purchased a while back exactly for that purpose. And I intend to spend some time with our kids because they love to go to con and go swimming and stuff. But there's going to be some blocks of time, and especially late night, where we need to be out of the room and this person would have to be willing to be in it, missing the party scene and stuff. That's one reason why I figured I didn't want to ask someone already planning to go to con, since they'd be missing the good stuff.

I was thinking of calling a service or going online—I'm trying not to be weirdly hesitant about craigslist. Edit: We are staying in a suite. This person would have a choice to either stay in the other room of the suite or to go to their home when we come in at night, or to take our kids back to Our house and stay there.

So internets: anybody have any thoughts?
  1. Know anyone responsible and who enjoys kids who wouldn't mind spending con weekend with them?
  2. What's a reasonable price for this scenario? Obviously the sitter would receive a badge and a place to sleep. But those are just baseline expectations any sitter should demand (ability to be where the kids are ranks pretty high in any babysitting gig).
  3. Don't sitters in these scenarios do package deals sometimes, rather than just hourly?

Lost: The End
I loved the ending. Works great for me. I'll have to post about it several times over hte coming weeks
s-s-s-spoilersCollapse ) 

one year
shtay behind my aura!
March 16 is my "abstinence date." I've now had 365 days back-to-back of real abstinence.

Since it's a little unfamiliar term (Jon's practicing abstinence? does that mean he's not getting laid anymore?) the simple analogy is: abstinence is to overeaters what sobriety is to drunks.
Get it now? Ok, neither did I twelve months ago. For the last year (8,763 hours in fact) I have been abstaining from the behavior of compulsive eating.

Instead of eating when I'm angry, lonely, tired, scared, bored, happy, sad, anxious, eager, drunk, or "no reason at all" I eat 3 meals a day + 1 optional snack before bed, with nothing in between, one day at a time. It's 3-0-1 For at least the first month that was my basic rallying cry that I had to repeat like a mantra until I really came to hear it in my bones. three zero one! And some days, that's all I go back to: three meals a day, with life in between, one day at a time.

That's the basic formula I've been blessed to follow for a year now. That's not eating compulsively, but rather very deliberately. That's it. That's my abstinence, the equivalent of my sobriety.

To help keep that structure strong I have added some support elements in a fairly simple fashion. Such details are not my abstinence, but they are supporting tools.Collapse )

So it's working. What does "it's working" look like? Physically it's been quite helpful, as I've lost 130 pounds and have—other than an old back issue and this surgery thing—so many fewer health concerns than I did (I have not yet started an exercise program. I'm not kidding.) Spiritually and emotionally I've gone through a ton of changes—and I'm feeling so much better. I have a renewed outlook, new confidence, stability, and sanity. I don't eat to avoid or hide my emotions, I just practice feeling them, expressing them, and letting go. I don't eat for any reason other than hunger and that it's eating time (thankfully, these two coincide about 5 hours from the previous meal). I have a new lease on life.

In some ways abstinence has been the equivalent of four full time jobs (full time job = 2080 hours/year) and it's the bottom line thing for me. I know that sounds like a pretty narrow scope, a pretty short horizon but so be it. I'm alive and I'm getting better at living. And thank God too, not a moment too soon. I've been helped by so many people—I know I haven't done it alone. Which is why it's such an incredible gift: it's been done to me as much as something I've done. I've participated in it, but I sure haven't done it all—or really feel like I've done any of it—on my own. It's like the whole world, from the Creator on down to family, friends, and some near-perfect strangers all got together and said: let's give Jon a gift he's really going to love. And then gave it every day. Day. Day. Day. Thanks everybody, that's a tremendous gift and every day that goes by, I feel the reality that I'm worth it, and for that I'm even more grateful. One whole year gone by.

is this thing on?
wow, do you guys still use this thing? hi livejournal, how's teh dramaz? I gotta change that user pic. Maybe I should write something, I pay for this shit...

Cecil B. DeMille's Saturday Night, movie poster, 1922

this is ripe for a space lounge poster next year

"could you just use bacon fat and red wine?"
so hungry
Joel Robuchon appeared on Top Chef recently and I had a sudden heightened understanding of something that's nagged at me for a while. I put this in a comments thread on facebook, but I wanted to capture it here in one place.

Robuchon was tasting what a chef called "deconstructed bernaise" and was praising the dish. But he used the word "décomposée" for the sauce. It would seem that the French, who know a thing or two about Deconstruction (a Frenchman having invented the concept), use the phrase "décomposée" to refer to the action American chefs call "deconstruction," the breaking down and recomposing a dish from its elements in order to evoke both the original form and delight the diner with something different . Bryan and Mike I. did a wonderful job on the "deconstruction" (here is the recipe)

But what Everyone Else calls "deconstruction" the Chef of the Century calls "décomposée." This should Not be overlooked!

It is a significant reframing of a major culinary trend of the last several years: chefs are Not performing deconstruction, because Deconstruction is a literary and philosophical movement, not a culinary one! Deconstruction concerns itself with identifying the logocentric nature of texts (and granted they extend "text" to all corners so that a recipe Could be a text) and shearing the words off from each other as the dominant center becomes alienated from the peripheral Others.

Decomposée on the other hand does almost the Opposite of deconstruction because while it identifies a center—in last night's case Bernaise sauce—its intent is to actually reify that center through the constituent parts. Décomposée as performed by chefs reaffirms the primacy of a recipe and invokes its core emotional impact through the reframing of its ingredients. Deconstruction deliberately sets out to imbalance and overthrow the center, and is, as currently used by many cooks, inappropriate for culinary context.

I've never been able to put my finger on why "deconstructed" has felt like such an inadequate—inaccurate!—term in the mouths of chefs. Until Robuchon showed me the way by his fundamentally more accurate description using the term "décomposée."

I believe I lack the cooking skills to conceptualize how one might deconstruct a dish the way one might a literary text. I mean I barely understand basic concepts of literary deconstruction! But it would be an exercise worth considering. I'd like to eat some more foods done décomposée, but I'd also like to see someone take the dare of trying actual deconstruction.

Perhaps for starters it would be very difficult to do properly in a fine dining context because once you start the deconstruction process, you're going to rapidly run into the cultural price paid to enjoy the surroundings . . .

six is a preview of sixteen
As of today I've been in the program for six months—I'll get a medallion for it tomorrow, actually. I'm working through step eight, and the spiritual part of my life is enlarging a fair amount. It happens I've also lost ninety-three (93) pounds in that time.

When you get a certain amount of abstinence, and you begin feeling physical recovery, and you get through "digesting some large chunks of yourself" (particularly the fourth and fifth steps), you kind of get to start over. You start over, in a manner of speaking, where you left off. More or less at the time when your addiction first manifested as a means of stuffing away facing problems or feeling real emotions. In my case this is somewhere between six and nine. I feel a certain accord with my child, believe me, and sometimes have a sense of... anguish, strong emotions, even the occasional tantrum. I'm also practicing some weird things I never did before—weird for me, I mean. These include not apologizing much anymore. And an awful lot of live and let live. I'm strangely unconcerned about some things (also, not-strangely-at-all, quite concerned about others) that used to really bother me. I am stronger in a lot of dimensions, and off kilter in others. I'm like a kitten (with a lot less noms) or maybe a calf or a juvenile robin. Yes? I've been singing more.

My life is completely different than it was a year ago. Almost entirely for the better.

makin nice = bullshit
crankiest. evar.
I was all set to embrace Joe Wilson's apology.

Joe, you are a complete asswipe if you think we are going to take you at face value when less than 24 hours after you apologize you go on Sean Hannity to get your ego stroked and post videos about how you're going to "keep fighting."

To me, your behavior counts, and your behavior is that of a person who A) acted like a BABOON, then B) made an apology for acting like a BABOON, then C) imfuckingmediately went on a right wing talk show to talk about how you're going to keep on fightin. This is hipocrisy, and it renders your apology completely disingenuous. Fuck you Joe, I'm going to "keep attacking" like the rest of the so-called "Left." Fuck you.

At heart, I'm an immature teenage boy. Thank you Joe, your behavior permits me to let this part of my id continue to act like one in your direction you warthog-faced buffoon.

"There has also been a proposal for a tax credit that would help people buy coverage from the exchange who couldn't otherwise afford to do so. But the House bill specifically says illegal immigrants aren't eligible for that credit, and despite Republicans' claims, there are mechanisms in place to enforce that restriction." -Salon article, emphasis mine.

Joe's apology-cum-defiance is the moral equivalent of the following:

St. GermainIA!
I love the elderflower liqueur St. Germain. We recently tried their own recipes for the
French Gimlet
2 oz. gin
1.25 oz. st germain
.5 oz fresh lime juice

and the
St. Rita
1.5 oz. tequila
1.5 oz. St Germain
.5 oz fresh lime juice

Both very fun twists on the original. I also use it lightly in several other cocktails. It's quite sweet, almost cloying. But right now the big news is that Liquor Barrel in Golden Valley has St. Germain for about NINE DOLLARS less than the cheapest places I've found in the Cities. Get thee there to try this gorgeous, unique spirit. The fin de siecle bottle alone is worth half the price!

The Lucy Ricardo
1 oz. light whisky (I used Powers Irish)
1 oz. akvavit
3/4 oz. fresh orange juice (may go as low as 1/2 oz)
1/2 oz. dry vermouth (may also use lillet blanc)
1 dash peychaud's bitters

Shake with ice, strain over a few cubes of ice in an old fashioned glass.
Then I used a syringe to gently dress the drink with
5ml Macallan's Fine Oak scotch


I feel like I finally got the balance right on this one. Other variants included 1.5oz akvavit (too much) and subbing rye for the irish (imbalanced), more bitters (2 large dashes was too much) and the original left out the scotch. However, stealing from the Bradstreet the use of a scotch to insert some interesting aroma and other elements.

we're like drunks
Completely oblivious to our own simultaneously hilarious and horrifying stumbling and staggering around, unable to keep basic facts straight, ready to do anything—even, and especially, to lie—to get some mean little satisfaction. Madness. Every president talks to kids. Bush I made an address to the schools. Bush II liked to read them stories. Come on, America, sober up and calm down.

The Exposition

A new drink I'm really proud of--I guess I'm doing my own mixology Monday. Wonder what the topic is.

I like the name Exposition, and I think it's apt.

The Exposition
1.5 oz akvavit
.75 oz dry vermouth
.5 oz Ginger infused gin
Half a Valencia orange
4 basil leaves-1 large, 3 small or to taste

Prep ahead of time: To make ginger gin, peel and shred about 3 inches of ginger root into 12 oz of gin. Rest for at least two weeks at room temperature, stirring every couple days. Strain and store.

In mixing glass put orange half (cut into four pieces) muddle with torn large basil leaf and one small one. Add ginger infused gin and muddle a little more to mix. Add ice, akvavit, and vermouth. Stir or shake until well chilled. Strain. If desired up, strain into cocktail glass, smack remaining basil leaves and garnish.

OR smack basil, drop into an old fashioned glass along with ice, strain cocktail into glass and top with soda. Extremely light and refreshing!

Variations to try: 1oz vermouth, less orange, more basil, ginger liqeuer, whisky instead of akvavit.

A little fussy, but very summery and fun.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.


ELCA votes, no one notices. Yet.
the ductwork
The distance between fornication (of any kind) and sexuality is almost so vast as to be immeasurable. The ferocity of our doctrines are simply not reflected in the deep lacunae of our scriptures, despite efforts to make them so. The scriptures do repeatedly condemn all manner of actions. Time and again, and with an almost calculable glee, the bible in many iterations attacks and describes the wrack and wreckage of God's devastation and condemnations of abomination.

They are silent like the stilled storm, however, on the subject of the whole person who has a sexual identity. Identity in our texts is a much broader, deeper wellspring: people of God, chosen, called, redeemed, shibbolethed and circumcised, numberless like the stars. Old Adam and New Adam, killed by letter and made alive by spirit, dead and alive, sleeping and awake, first and last. Eschatologically entitled Son of Man. These are the threads of identity the scriptures spin, which we are summoned to weave.

We are graced with skilled hands to do so, and set to our painstaking work by a Spirit that demands—and creates a faith to receive—no less than total. faithful. action. to make incarnate the reality that there are no accidents, there is only a love that makes reality real which is itself determined to love the littlest and least, so determined that it would rather not exist than exist as anything but love for you. That work is so deliberate sometimes, and so many grow so impatient with our fumbling fingers.

Forgive our delays, brothers and sisters. We were staring into the void, and we forgot who we were.

lucky 13
so much
I'm in a much different place than I was six months ago. This is a big year, and our marriage is in a much better place than it was. This is not bragging, this is an acknowledgement of facts. (the bragging comes later) Anyway, it's kind of been the best year of our marriage. I hope we make it at least thirteen more, gawsh! (I'm hoping for at least four more 13s. With medical science, maybe six!) I'm really excited about all this.

This is not an official announcement... (that's already been made)
You might have heard there was a big change in CONvergence and MISFITS' relationship. You heard right—we voted unanimously (that is, 12-0) as a board of directors to spin off CONvergence from the Minnesota Society for Interest in Science Fiction and Fantasy (MISFITS) into its own 501c3 organization. The details of these changes will be worked out by January 1, 2010. A set of changes to the bylaws have been officially submitted to the organization (it requires 30 days minimum review before such changes are completed). After 1/1/10, management of each organization will no longer be overseen by the board of 12. Revenue donation will continue at current levels at least through the 2011 convention cycle .

Someone asked me (in private so I won't say who) what the "party line" was going to be on this decision. There is no party line, only a decision by each of twelve different directors, very likely each for their own reasons.

Instead of feeding you any party line, I'll tell you the truth: 1) I made the motion to divide into two and set the timeline; 2) I submitted the draft revision of the bylaws; 3) I not only voted for the motion (obviously since it was unanimous), I spoke passionately in its favor. I'm not trying to take undue credit, I just want it known where I stand.

This is going to be big, people.

I keep saying how I haven't watched many movies in the last several years, but this year is different. I have gotten to watch more thanks to Netflix.

I haven't kept studious track like my friends do (like with #s and everything? jesus, you guys!) but it's gone up. And I've gotten to be fast and loose with it too--some serious shit, some crazy shit.

Like today. Today I watched The House Bunny. It was exceedingly predictable and formulaic. You know what? I didn't care. You know why? Anna Faris. a) she's super talented. She did some really tremendous acting with her face, her commitment and her voice. and b) she's pretty smokin hot. But she's not alone. I'm really quite charmed by Tom Hanks' kid, and that Emma Stone gal who was also in Superbad. So on the balance, worth netflixing.

This is good. I feel like I'm sorta...human again...

Pedras e Nuvens
Pedras e Nuvens
1 oz. cachaça
1 oz. gin
1/2 oz. St. Germaine
1/4 oz. maraschino
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
3 dashes orange bitters swirled in cocktail glass
stir with ice until chilled, pour into glass

Light, fruity, nice balance of rough & smooth, earthy and floral. might try with different citrus and/or more flavorful gin (might work loverly with one of those novelty lime gins or with Hendricks--which is not to be thought of as a "novelty gin" I realize)

I was thinking of The Sugarloaf since there's a granite & quartz mountain in Brazil, which appeared in Moonraker I believe. Or The Corcovado, which is the mountain where the Christ the Redeemer statue stands in Rio. The Corcovado would reflect the Brazilian character of the cachaça as well as the light airiness of the drink (and I suppose the clouds and pristine stone of the statue). The evening started as further exploration of The Aviation, remember...

#1 with a bullet!

From Twitter 07-19-2009

  • 01:23:49: omg, I cannot wait to see @wilw on Leverageߞwhere've I been? I've always loved Timothy Hutton, but damn, that's a fine piece of television!
  • 15:56:37: RT @thaco Just heard that THACO came in a (very) close second for an Origins fan favorite award. Congrats to The Gamers: Dorkness Rising

Tweets copied by twittinesis.com

In newer news
Please consider joining our conversation about the next possibilities for our diverse community. This touches the participants in CONvergence, Anime Detour, MISFITS, Marscon, Minicon, Gaylaxicon, Mn-Stf, Omegacon, and more and more. . .


We began talking about big inter-community projects this year. There have been conversations at MN Society for Interest in Science Fiction and Fantasy open meetings. There have been conversations at closed meetings too. There was a wonderfully interesting panel at CONvergence last week on the subject of a "geek community center." That panel will likely make an appearance at other conventions.

Well we also want to have a public conversation with the members of the communities in which we are active. About joint efforts, about structure, about autonomy and interdependence, and about where we go from here. About what we could do if we start dreaming out loud.

That conversation lives here for now: http://leagueofwonders.wordpress.com and I invite you to take part. Share this info with others and get in on the action. Today!

Let's get this started!
so much
Okay! So, I suppose if I find the time, I'll write more than one of these types of posts, expanding on my issues, over the next several days. The usual disclaimer applies: YES, I am a director of the CONvergence convention. NO, my statements below do not represent official CONvergence policy. YES, I recognize that this does not absolve me of making misstatements or troubling claims. But you must know that the following is not official. Not by a long shot. Yet.

CONVERGENCE IS DEAD. Long Live CONvergence!Collapse )
If high unpredictability and ambiguities really truly will not work for you... honestly? This is probably not your convention.

But if you really think CONvergence is broken? If you so don't like something that it shatters for you any possibility of our con being a good con? Well giddyup and make a choice from at least these three options: Work to change it, examine your own expectations, or go somewhere else.

oops I missed my planned update by a couple...
27 days until CONvergence

This is the one.


Tell your friends.

budget saving ideas
The MinnPost listed this address in an article recently where they said "He even said there's the public to advise him: People can send their thoughts on what should be cut to budgetideas@state.mn.us." So I did. Here's what I just sent to the address in question:

Governor Pawlenty,

Here's my ideas
1. Cut the governor's pay
2. Remove the governor's motor pool
3. Eliminate the governor's health insurance
4. Reduce any matching funds for the governor's 401K or other retirement accounts
5. Restrict the governor's travel allowance
6. Reduce the governor's paid vacation days
7. Reduce the governor's paid illness days
8. Reduce the governor's staff
9. Eliminate exterior lighting on the governor's mansion
10. Eliminate the governor's mansion entirely and request that he telecommute.
11. Ask Grover Norquist for a loan, he apparently is writing the rest of your policy decisions, so he must be very important and therefore wealthy.
12. Replace the governor with the current Secretary of State

Governor, I really loathe your policies and I hope this is the end of the line for your political career.

Jon Olsen

An icon-relevant observation
shtay behind my aura!

In Zardoz, the tiny projection screen from Arthur Frayn's ring showed a list of Vortex needs. The words had different spellings, phonetic, use of z for plurals. So the movie actually prefigures our present day alterations/distortions of the language! We got there hundreds of years ahead of schedule!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.