2024 Reading List

Welcome to the 2024 Reading List! I read 39 books last year! Very happy with that number! This year I will keep the list more orderly, with newest acquisitions at the TOP. It got messy last year! All the books brought forward from 2023 will be at the bottom, with xmess next, and so on. Here we go!

Number of novels: 8 (inc. in progress)
Number of graphic novels/comics collections: 23

Ollies Hurl Feb 2024!

Finding the Flavors We Lost, Patric Kuh. Started today. It’s a tad dry, but it is an exploration of the notions of “artisanal” and “farm to table” and how they’ve shaped the American restaurant landscape. This is my treadmill book, so it will take a minute to get through it.

The Emergency Survival Manual, Outdoor Life. Prepper guide.

Dark Tales Series
The Snow Queen, Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Emilie Majarian.
Beauty and the Beast, Jeanne-Marie Leprince, illustrated by Pete Katz.

The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran, adapted and illustrated by Pete Katz.

Fables Encyclopedia, Jess Nevins with Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham.

Four Hours of Fury, James M Fenelon. The story of WWII’s largest airborne invasion and the final push into Nazi Germany.

Bunker, Bradley Garrett. Building for the end times. This is a look at prepper communities around the world and how they prepare for the apocalypse.

Thanks A Lot Mr Kibblewhite, Roger Daltrey. His memoir.

Wonder Woman Warbringer GN, based on novel by Leigh Bardugo, Adapted by Louise Simonson and Illustrated by Kit Season. Good read! I like the story!
Continue reading “2024 Reading List”

Looking for VSG/Bariatric info?

Hi there! If you’d like to see ONLY my extensive research on Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, bariatric diet and managing GERD (reflux), you can filter out all my other posts and see just those by clicking HERE. You can see my vlogs about my VSG journey here.

To see any category (recipes, for instance), use the drop down menu to the right labeled “View Posts by Category” and select the category you’d like. Thanks for stopping by!

Rich Girl

You’re a rich girl, and you’ve gone too far
‘Cause you know it don’t matter anyway
You can rely on the old man’s money
You can rely on the old man’s money
It’s a bitch, girl, but it’s gone too far
‘Cause you know it don’t matter anyway
Say money but it won’t get you too far
Get you too far
Rich Girl by Hall and Oates

I had an exchange with a wildly out of touch rich girl the other day on FB. A friend posted this meme:

I’ll post all the screen shots at the end, but for discussion, I’ll be copying her comments [MB] and posting my retorts [AP], not necessarily exactly as I did in the original post, but mostly copied and edited w/ this: [snipped]. Anything new in my retorts will be italic. The egregious part of her nonsense I’m responding to will be BOLD. Ok, got it? Here we go!

Are you okay with taking on the liability personally. Most LLCs can be pierced. Getting a loan for an individual in the 5-16 unit range is nearly impossible -> not to mention landlords don’t understand how to manage 50 units and below > causing distress properties. A corporation provides benefits to the employees and makes profit, but for the most part they do upkeep the property > which is something an individual won’t do because they just hire contractors.
Just food for thought. You would also have a bigger housing crisis in cities without corporates because there would not be any housing. An individual can’t have more than 4 mortgages…

The corporations now own most of the rental properties available ANYWHERE and they make it nearly impossible to rent. It took my friends 18 months and thousands in application and viewing fees (non refundable, of course) to find a place. They were routinely rejected [snipped].

It is fallacy that corporations take better care of properties! They’ve had to replace a toilet [snipped] themselves, because the corporate landlord refused to fix anything.

What you are missing is that THERE IS NO HOUSING AVAILABLE because the corporations won’t rent to anyone. There are so many empty houses that squatting has become quite common. My friends had TWO different houses lined up, only to find that squatters had set up housekeeping in them and the corporation could not evict them w/out due process. [snipped] The corps don’t care if they rent the houses or not. They are just a write off if they are empty or full of squatters.

If you think having corporations control 90% of rental homes and having no available affordable starter homes is of benefit, I invite you to cruise around S Dekalb and have a look at how successful that notion really is. If we lose this home, we are SCREWED. We’ll never find another house to rent because of our credit. Nevermind that we have never been late a single time in 10+ yrs, that won’t matter at all. We can’t afford to buy when everything is $400k+++. How that is better for us and everyone else in our position is beyond me. ??

Now is where the lecturing and amazingly tone deaf bullshit begins:
Continue reading “Rich Girl”

Spring and Other False Starts

As we enter late February, we here in the South are now getting our False Springs. For those unfamiliar, False Spring™ is when temps jump up into the 70s and the sun shines and it’s just LOVELY outside. The redbuds bloom, the daffodils and paperwhites pop up and your brain says “Yay! It’s SPRING!”

Only to get freezing cold a week later and perhaps snow. Welcome to the South!

I am enjoying our first False Spring™. It makes me want to actually go out of the house and do things!

It also makes me think of other false starts I’ve had. Sigh. MANY MANY false starts. The most recent being a kitchen career. I managed it for 8-9 months, and I’m proud of that, but it’s not something I’ll go back to. My hands simply cannot take cutting hundreds of pounds of produce every day. I liked the job, actually, but my old body did not. Prep is for the young! I’m not going to get into the other false starts, that will lead to a rabbit hole of melancholy and I do NOT need that.

I just took a tiny little food plating class on domestika.com. It was on sale for $7 and there’s a 25% off Rakuten, so I said WHY NOT? I was an OK class, perhaps better for complete newbs. The girl was ok but her speech pattern ended every sentence as a question? You know that kind of speech? It’s endemic in millennials in particular? Yeah. And her advice on how to edit food shots was to use a PHONE with various apps. LOL LOL LOL! I actually DID laugh at this. Yeah, sure, use your fucking PHONE for editing if you plan to use online only, which apparently is all she does. A true pro who works in REAL media would NEVER use a phone for editing. You can take pretty dang good pix with a phone, but you need PHOTOSHOP to edit. Period. She also talked too much about Pinterest. Clearly she is all about being an “influencer” which I think is idiotic. Anyway, aside from those annoyances, the class was ok. I might take another since they are, like, $5.

Got Romeo’s brakes done – to the tune of $600. My mechanic told me $300, but neglected to be clear that it’s $300 PER PAIR. Sigh. He also pulled nails out of my tires and put the worst of the lot on the back. He also diagnosed my pressure sensor issue to ONE dead sensor, which is great since they are fucking $170 ea. The tires are toast, that’s the next big expense. I don’t feel bad about this, since we’ve spent thousands on that damn Ranger. A couple of grand on Romeo for NECESSITIES is fine with me. I’m going to try to keep the tires to $500-600. I might get the Michelins I was eyeballing, if Tire Rack has them on sale or something, but I’ll probably have to go a step down from those. My main need is wet grip and a quieter ride. These crappy Tiger Paw ones are loud and have zero grip. We hates them!

I’m thinking of Dave today. No reason, really. I was thinking about automation of our house and how much that would’ve helped Dave. I really wish he’d lived to see the beauty of smart phones and how much can be done with them. I know another blind guy, and his iPhone enables him to message and use apps like everyone else. Dave has been gone over 17 years. Here is his memorial page, if you’re interested. Can’t believe it’s been that long.

Which brings me to this: APRIL 1ST, WE’LL HAVE OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY! Can you believe that?? Celebrations will be had! We got married in 04, right after buying Maplehurst. Here are a few pix and here is the VERY amusing story.

Guess that’s it for the brain dump today. I hope you enjoy the Tale of the April Fool’s Wedding and the nice weather of False Spring™ #1. :) The image is all my wedding rings! Yep, ALL of those!

Musings on Life and Everything

First off, this post is about NO ONE in particular. It is about me, and Nick as well, where indicated. But mostly me. The things I bring up are things that have been bumping around in my head for a day or maybe 10 years. SO, do not assume anything – OR if you must, then assume this is about the fucking socials – which are CHOCK FULL of Teh Stoopid™. I’m trying to get back into blogging with actual content – not only recipes or the book list. This is the first really personal thing I’ve written in a very long time. This is a muscle that will need to be stretched…

First up: I am tired.

I am mentally tired of many, many things – and physically tired, too. I’m old, I’ve been there and done that. My patience for DUMB is pretty much NIL. Let’s address the things I’m tired of first – in a nice list, in no particular order.

I am tired of:
– people who cannot or will not adult and then whine about it and/or expect everyone else to accommodate their bullshit
– people who make bad decisions but refuse to change the way they do things
– people who are fucking EVIL and think that no one knows. Uh, we KNOW, darlin’. WE KNOW.
– gender discussions (sorry, y’all, but I am)
– working for a pittance (this is mostly Nick, since I cannot do SHIT)
– having my hands be too weak to ever work in a pro kitchen again (pay sucked, but I liked it)
– not being able to get above breaking even
– pulling money from the goddam TINY investment account to keep us afloat (we’ll end up with NO investments, eventually)
– just the relentless GRIND with nothing to show for it

Money is, as always, the issue. I’m tired of this, too, but we have to live, so it’s always front and center. If we just had an infusion of, say, even $100k, that would significantly get us going. I wonder if my mother re-wrote the will to leave it all to my brother? I’m betting YES, since I am noncompliant and he is her servant. If she didn’t, it is to be split between us, which means that fucking place is getting SOLD. It’s about 10-12 acres of land in an area that’s growing like crazy. The house is a big ole ill-kept monstrosity and the out buildings (garage and barn) are shit, too. No one will want that crap, but the land is perfect for expanding the subdivision. Zillow says $570k, but the description is 100% wrong – wrong house, only 1 acre lot. I think it’ll be close to a million with all that land. It would be great if I could count on that, but chances are slim June would leave anything to me. Sigh. I’ll have to make do with the vintage vinyl records, some tchochkis and an Asian secretary (desk, not an actual Asian assistant) that I have always loved. I don’t look forward to having to deal with my brother in any case – but if it’s selling that fucking place, I’m betting lawyers will be necessary.

As for physical, aside from my hands that are toast, we’ve stopped drinking during the week and that seems to be helping with sleeping, a little. I bought some herbal tinctures from Apothekary which are supposed to help you not want a glass of wine. We’ll see. It’s pricey AF, so I doubt we’ll use these constantly, but I thought it was worth a shot to get us off the wine.

We have decided to try to make more connections this year. We are on the path of establishing some good connections with old and new friends and that has us excited. I am particularly excited to be able to GO to someone else’s house rather than be the constant host. Being the constant host is exhausting and kind of expensive, too.

I love my reading list and I’m happy to have kept it up for so long! Looks like 2017 is the first full fledged list, with a gap in there for 2019/2020. Lots of books read, with short reviews. Here is the category.

I’m poking around for a p/t WFH job. There are a million listings and most are CRAP. Sigh. We need more money and I need to find something to fucking DO. Fuck.

We’re not coming into this year with a lot of enthusiasm. With the election looming, it’s more trepidation and anxiety than anything else. That fucking orange shitgibbon will run. YOU WATCH. And if he wins, we are FUCKED – ALL OF US. Not the rich as much, but still.

If we could flee, we would, but we cannot. We have no fat stax in the bank and we’re too old. Many countries have age and income requirements and we don’t meet them. We could go illegally, but then what? We don’t have money to live on for several years while we get established in a foreign country. So we are trapped here, with Gilead coming in hot. Hey, at least I can be a Martha since I can cook.

So yeah. Not a chipper post, by any means, but I guess it could be worse. We are mostly healthy and the cars mostly run. I think that’s about as good as it’ll be for us for the foreseeable future. We’re trying to get our shit straight and be more present. And pray the cars don’t die. Happy fucking new year! LOL

Indian Long Pepper Chicken


Indian Long Pepper Chicken

I got a packet of Long Pepper for xmess, so I went on a search for recipes. I found an ancient recipe (h/t Indiaphile.info) and used it as a starting point. My recipe is significantly different, but still easy to make, homestyle and comforting. Long pepper is a delightful spice; it is lighter than black pepper and a bit floral. I highly recommend trying it! NOTE: you'll need to get it ground or have a spice grinder - the pods are VERY tough.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword chicken, Indian long pepper, long pepper
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author misangela


  • 2 large, boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1" cubes about 1#, sub chicken tenders
  • 2/3 cup whole milk yogurt or whole milk greek yogurt, DO NOT sub low fat here, it will be cooked at the end!
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground long pepper use a spice grinder or buy ground
  • 1 Tbl ginger paste found at Indian store, frozen at grocery or microplaned fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic paste found at Indian store or paste up fresh garlic
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric optional, I like the colour and it adds a bit of earthiness
  • 2 Tbl ghee or sub butter
  • 10 whole long pepper optional, if you have the whole ones
  • 1 tsp whole mustard seeds black ones if you have them
  • 1 lime sub lemon
  • 2 Tbl whole milk yogurt or whole milk greek yogurt
  • 2 cups basmati rice, prepared or any rice you like, or use naan


  • Combine yogurt, salt, long pepper, ginger, garlic and turmeric in a bowl big enough for the diced chicken. Stir chicken into marinade and hold in fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
  • In a large skillet, melt the ghee or butter over med high and add mustard seeds and long pepper pods (if using). Let them sizzle a couple of minutes.
  • With tongs, take the chicken from the marinade and tap off as much marinade as you can, then put into the skillet. Set aside the remaining marinade. You should have one layer of chicken, if there's too much chicken, cook in batches to get a little colour.
  • The yogurt marinade will melt off the chicken and create a nice cooking sauce. Cook the chicken about 4 mins on each side. If the sauce gets too dry, reduce heat a little and add a bit of water to loosen it up.
  • When the chicken is cooked, turn down the heat to medium and add in the remaining marinade. Stir until marinade melts a bit.
  • Turn off heat and add another 2 heaping Tbl of fresh yogurt and the juice of half a lime. Check seasoning.
  • Serve over rice or with naan.


This recipe was a surprise! I really enjoyed the long pepper and yogurt. It is a very simple recipe w/out too many ingredients so you can really taste the delicate flavour of the long pepper. 
This type of Indian food is my preference. It's homey and warm, but not too heavily spiced. If you like homey Indian, try my dal and kadhi recipes, too!