2022 Reading List

Welcome to the 2022 Reading List! I read 35 books last year! I hope to beat that this year. :)

These are the books brought over from the stacks of last year:
Almighty, D Zak. I have begun this one. It is horribly dry despite its trying to be historical FICTION. It’s more like just historical. It is about the Manhattan Project and a recent attempt to sabotage one of the labs in Oak Ridge TN in 2012.

Jasmine, Bharati Mukherjee.
The Queen’s Lover, Vanora Bennett.
The Distance Between Us, Reyna Grande.
The Good Demon, Jimmy Cajoleas.
The Bridesmaid, Beverly Lewis.

Added from xmess and from the purge of the library:
Pleasure Thresholds, Patricia Tallman. This is a memoir of her career and Babylon 5 days. Could use some better editing, but it’s conversational and pretty gossipy, which I love. A fun read!

Alternative War, an essay collection with one of Jim Wright’s essays.
Always Looking Up, Michael J Fox. I have had this for ages and it got shelved before I read it.
Dances With Wolves, Michael Blake. Yup, what the movie is based on.
Billy Sommers, S King. The new novel, just out.
Strange Weather, J Hill. Novella collection!

Books I will acquire, they are from Obama’s reading list:
Land of Big Numbers, Te-Ping Chen
Empire of Pain, Patrick Radden Keefe
Things We Lost to the Water, Eric Nguyen
Intimacies, Katie Kitamura

Welcome to 2020 Too

Ugh. This year has started out ROUGH, my bitches. I am not pleased. I am foul.

We’ve got some fun things booked for this coming year – assuming the fucking plague eases off.

I’m of the opinion that EVERYONE will get the Omicron variant of C-19. It’s hella transmissible. The good news is that it is much milder than the original version(s). At this point, if you’re vaxxed, I think you’ll be OK, even if you get it. I think that this is the one that will actually give “herd immunity” for what that is worth. Or not. WHATEVER.

I’m tired of thinking about it. I’m tired of dealing with it. I’m just fucking TIRED.

I’ll be starting up the 2022 Reading List shortly. That is one thing that this fucking plague will NOT take from me: READING.

As for 2020 Too, it can SUCK A COCK. Here’s what’s gone wrong in less than a fucking week:
– insomnia is back (hopefully the Delta 8 gummies will help)
– GERD has kicked it up a notch
– Dept of Labor is trying to rescind my unemployment for catering
– a game rental client turned out to be a HUGE DICK; had to cut him loose (not bad overall, just stressful)
– FB has decided to fuck with me and DEMAND that I verify myself, but it will not send me a code. If I don’t comply within 2 wks, it will block me from my administrator duties on pages I manage. AWESOME. It also deleted my admin privileges from the secondary account. Of course, there is ZERO support offered. FUCKERS. I HATE FB. [Good news on this front: a friend told me to set up a Google Voice # and use that for FB, so I did and now the account is fine. But having to go through all that is some bullshit. -A]

And we’ve not even hit day 7. FML

Hope it’s going better for the rest of you. >:(

End of Year Fear & Loathing

I just found out that Nick’s work prints out all emails. TWICE.

Wow, that’s really stupid.

We are truly astounded at the level of idiocy we see DAILY in all sorts of businesses – yet they somehow manage to make money. The Japanese game people, for instance, have no website. Only FB, IG and Twitter. And yet, they book cons constantly. They are very unprofessional at the con, too, with no table, no signs, no one taking care of their games, NOTHING. And yet…

We could KILL with a print shop. But we don’t have the capital to buy one. It’s our classic issue. We have the ability to run a business, just no money to start one. We run POAS like pros: table, signage, working games, ALWAYS someone at the table, etc. Why? Because that is how you do it! We are many things, but half assers is not one of them.

The pub was a very bad idea that the Universe saved us from – for which we are forever grateful. But it sucked down most of our savings, so now we can’t do SHIT. A print shop franchise is pricey ($45k plus space, equipment, etc.), but you get some really good support, so it’s worth it the price of admission.

BUT. No funding. We could manage the franchise fee, but not the rest. We also can’t get any sort of credit with a bankruptcy on our reports. So, as usual, we are stuck. Nick has to drive an hour to work twice a day to make someone else money. Sigh.

It’s easy to start a business when your family will back you. THAT is the common thread we see with these business owners who are clueless, but manage to make money. They come from family money and/or simply buy a business.

We have no support at all. No family money, only the money we manage to save and invest. So we KNOW what it’s like to have zero support and be on your own to eek out a living. We really wanted more for ourselves, which is why we keep trying to start our OWN business! We want to put our energy into something for US, not some clueless rich white guy who has never worried about money a day in his life.

These are the things in my head as we wrap up 2021. The pandemic has sucked 2 years out of our lives so far and 2022 will be another gone. I am OLD. This is wasted time for me. I am worried that we’ll never be able to have our OWN business, for ourselves. And that, my friends, SUCKS.

The games are fun and all, but make no money. AND we are too old and broke down to shlep them more than a couple times a year. POAS is strictly a side hustle and will remain so. BUT a print shop would be the perfect biz for us. With Nick’s extensive printing expertise (he is the Print GOD) and my admin expertise, we would KILL IT.

But it all comes down to money. Of which we have little. We are ok day to day, but don’t have much extra to go into savings or investments. I don’t see how we’ll ever be able to be on our own. And that is a real buzz kill.

THAT is why I’ve just lost all motivation and deal with depression and/or anxiety (depending on the day) constantly. We are looking at never retiring and always having to work shitty jobs we don’t want. I like MY job, but it’s extremely p/t and that will not change. I’d LOVE to take on more restaurants to admin, but that’s just not in the cards thanks to fucking Covid. Catering is done as well. I am at a loss. Nick hates his job and can’t quit. IT SUCKS.

So, hey, happy holidays and all that shit.

I’m just not into it. I’m too distracted by all of the above. I’m OK, but not OK, yanno? I keep doing the next thing on my list, but I feel 100% stalled. Like everyone else, I imagine.

BUH.

Sorry for the fear and loathing post, but I had to get it OUT.

//end whining

Potato Casserole

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Potato Casserole

This is a really great way to jazz up potatoes! It is almost a souffé, since it has eggs in it and it does rise a little. It can also be made ahead, which is great for holiday cooking!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword chayote casserole, potato, potatoes and cheese, souffle
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author misangela

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs Russet (baking) potatoes (3 large) Yukon Golds are fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, whole
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbl cream optional, use more half & half if skipping
  • 3 Tbl butter
  • 1 cup shredded gruyère cheese use whatever you like
  • 4 scallions, finely slice on bias both green and white parts
  • 1 tsp thyme fresh is best
  • 1 Tbl parsley, minced fresh is best
  • 1 tsp salt might need more, CHECK before baking
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese for topping

Instructions

  • Peel and cut potatoes into 2" cubes. Boil in heavily salted water (should taste like the ocean) with the whole garlic. Cook to fork tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  • If you have a stand mixer, use it! If not, get a large mixing bowl and put in 2 eggs and lightly beat them. Then add half & half, sour cream and cream, and stir together.
  • When potatoes are done, drain them and pull out the garlic. Smash the garlic and add to ingredients. Turn mixer on to stir and add hot potatoes a few at a time (slowly, so you don't scramble the eggs). Add butter in pats while stirring.
  • When potatoes are all in and mixture is getting smooth, add cheese, 2/3 of the scallions, herbs and S/P.
  • Pour potatoes into a 2 qt (9x9) baking dish and top with more cheese and the remaining scallions. Make sure to taste for salt levels!
  • Bake at 375ºF for 45 minutes, until brown on top. Add about 10 minutes if you're starting with a cold casserole.

Notes

This is a really great recipe for the holidays, because you can make it a day (or two) ahead. 

Almost Thanksgiving!

This year has screamed by. I swear it was May just last month!

I am happy to see my blog getting busier with people googling recipes! Mirliton casserole is especially busy, which is great, because it is a SOLID recipe. :)

I’m hosting just a few friends this year and here is the menu (available recipes linked):
Deviled eggs 2 ways: dill/caper and kimchi
Ham spiral sliced
ham gravy
cornbread stuffing w/sage
corn casserole
squash casserole
potato souffle (recipe not published yet, sorry!)
green bean casserole is being brought by Heather
buttered mint peas
glazed carrots w/dill & orange
roasted lemon butter asparagus
Roasted acorn squash with goat cheese and pecan stuffing (a surprise for my vegetarian neighbors)
lemon curd tartlets w/ whipped cream
pecan pie (made with Steens!)

If the wayward bartender I invited shows up, he says he’ll make hot buttered rum! Otherwise, the booze will be wines, beer, sweet tea and soft drinks.

I am stoked to be cooking! I can put together the casseroles and baked things in advance, so Thu will be baking things all day. I’m borrowing a couple of cambros (large insulated container used to keep food hot for catering) since I only have one small oven. So many casseroles AND a ham will require TWO! LOL

I just love cooking for people. It truly is my happy place. Too bad that doing it professionally is not in the cards – although I think that doing it professionally would likely ruin it for me anyway.

So, I hope everyone has a great Turkey Day! Eat too much and watch football if you have network TV! (I DO miss live sports A LOT, but I refuse to pay Combastard for their stupid cable package and HD antennae don’t work well here.). I guess it’ll be movies for us.

Cheers!!