Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Recipe: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (GF, Dairy-free)

Adapted from Oct 2016 Cook's Illustrated

4 T Spectrum palm shortening
5 t blackstrap molasses
1 1/4 c raw sugar
3/4 t salt
2 T coconut milk
1 T water

1/2 c raisins

1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 c oil
2 medium eggs
1-1.5 t butter-vanilla emulsion
3 c old fashioned oats
3/4 c rice flour
1/4 c potato flour

Put the shortening, molasses, sugar, salt, coconut milk and water in a saucepan.  Boil for a few minutes, until most of the sugar is dissolved.  Add the raisins, stir, turn off heat.

Mix the rest of the ingredients together, then stir in the hot oil/sugar mixture.

Divide into 20 balls. Flatten onto parchment paper.  Bake at 350 or 375 F for 8-10 minutes.

(CI version has 4 T browned butter, no coconut milk or water, and regular wheat flour. Also, 1 lg egg + 1 yolk.)

NOTE: Almost all of these ingredients can also be found at Walmart.  Yes, butter-vanilla emulsion is tastier than just vanilla; no, it does not have any actual dairy ingredients in it.  Yes, you can substitute ingredients, but it probably will turn out different.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Oh the Irony

I currently have three departments discussing my teaching availability for next semester. You know, teaching: the thing I decided was never going to happen and so I went off and worked for industry.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Job Qualities

There aren't a lot of job openings around here.  But even so, whenever I see something, I ask myself: is this better than nothing?  I don't need to work, so will this job improve my net quality of life?

Two hour daily commute: Worse than nothing.

Primarily customer service: Way worse than nothing.

Pays less than $25/hour: Probably worse than nothing.

Local: Odds increasing of being better than nothing.

Local, but in [department redacted]: Definitely worse than nothing; they interviewed 20 people in person for a low-level retail job.  No, really.

Local, but [job I applied for two years ago]: Working with these people is -100 points worse than nothing.

Local, but part-time and always last-minute: Who can say?  Oh wait, this IS my current job.  It is fine once they sort out the contracts (note this happened 15 days before classes started, this year).  The inevitable scrambling for childcare is extremely frustrating, but the job itself is not terrible; it has 1) zero room for change and 2) zero room for advancement, but it's better than being stuck at home with my children all day..

(This is all theoretical. I am still stuck concurrently in Knife In Ear Headache Land, and Dead End Adjuncting.)

Friday, September 02, 2016

Friendship, Part 6: From the Other Side

When I first moved here three years ago, I was very bored and lonely and also floundering in a sea of doubt, uncertainty, and everyone's-job-related woe.

My job-related-whatever continues, but meanwhile, I do have part of a job.  (It pays well enough to be worth the boredom and uncertainty - at least for now.)

It is the season of Floundering New People arriving.  There is an annual Faculty Picnic, to which we are mandatorily invited.  There are new people all over town.

There were two people at Local Music Thing who introduced themselves and their cruising-about cute smiley baby.  (I asked the dude if he was visiting or permanent - there are 40 visiting faculty and 4 TT faculty hired per year - and he replied "I'm a professor."  I nobly resisted the urge to roll my eyes and say "Me too, honey".  He seems a bit of a tool.  His wife is very nice and asked for my phone number.)

Some of this herd of New People are doubtless lovely,* and I might really enjoy knowing them.  But I am so worn out and exhausted from being ill, I have to juggle the schedules of five people and go be On Stage three times a week** and I have no energy for new people.

I'm torn between a desire to be pleasant and friendly, and a feeling that all docking slots are occupied.  I'm sorry, new people.  I don't have time for more friends right now.  Ring back in six months, please.

* Patchouli-scented white lady with dreads, at the library: probably NOT

**If I weren't doing this, I'd be unhappy and bored about my lack of a job, so a net positive, but still takes energy.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Return of the Book Review

Daughter of Mystery (Jones): Fantastic.  Fantasy in a quasi-historical setting, but the women are firmly their own people.  A+, would buy again (I paid ACTUAL MONEY for this one, dear readers).

Emperor's Agent (Graham): Pretty good.  A compelling alternate-Napoleonic setting.  Fewer women, but they have an interesting story line.

Death of the Necromancer (Wells): Set in Ile-Rien, story about a group of thieves.  I cannot bear the Raksura series, but this was ace.  (I've read the rest of the Ile-Rien ones, in the distant past.)

Trafalgar& Boone (Cannon, a dude): Steampunk-ish story of women archaeologists in a magical world.  Okay, but nothing to write home about.  Think I got bored and never finished it.

Orffyreus Wheel (Wilson, also a dude): Was in the bundle.  Fanboy conspiracy theory Da Vinci Code wanking.  Boring, did not finish.

Cold Magic & sequels (Elliott): Young women in a vastly different alternate-history.  The very best I have ever seen at doing a believable quasi-historical world that has richness of ethnicity and custom, while not oppressing women, and while giving the female characters agency and power.  (Though they do seem to escape from places with tedious regularity, which continues through all three books.)  Delightful ending. Recommend.

Black as He's Painted (Marsh): Re-read.  Mystery, minimally gory; certain colonialist attitudes of the 1940s are on full display and are partly examined, but also ingrained in the author, which makes it strange.

Assorted Georgette Heyer mysteries: they're okay.  Recommend rereading Grand Sophy instead.

Just City (Walton): Interesting premise: people praying to Athena are kidnapped back though time to a utopian city.  Probably ends badly, but I got bored after the first 50 pages and couldn't tell you.

Thirteenth House (Shinn): re-read.  A mainly gentle and somewhat fluffy fantasy novel with light romance.  Soothing to read. I recommend the whole series if this sort of thing is your cup of tea.  Many interesting, dimensional female characters doing cool stuff.

Unseen Academicals (Pratchett): re-read.  Academia most thoroughly satirized.  Entertaining.

Hat Full of Sky (Pratchett): re-read. I'd forgotten how amazingly dark and depressing this one is.  Oops.

Anything you'd like to recommend to me, dear readers?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

My non-vaccinating SIL now thinks her MLM essential oils and energy drinks helped cure ("cure") her father's stage IV lymphoma.  I've never been so glad they're 7000 miles away.

It's a trifecta of NOPE.

Bless. Her. Heart.

Monday, August 15, 2016


Tonight I sat at the table and seriously considered getting the awl out of the toolbox and poking just a little hole in the back of my head.  Because it might feel BETTER.

My In-Laws

Me to Dr. S, a few months ago: "Dear, sometime we should talk about what your parents are going to do when they can't live in that giant house any more... which will be in a few years because of [assorted preventable health issues, history of CANCER!! (it was Stage I, ten year life expectancy is unaffected), and a neurodegenerative condition].

Dr. S, very huffy: "I don't see the point!  They won't listen to me anyways and we'll just deal with it when we deal with it and it won't be your problem anyways." [Stomps off.[

Dr. S, this week, after visiting his parents: "Dear, we should talk about what my parents are going to do.  My dad had a fall and eventually they won't be able to live in that big house any more."

(Readers, I RESISTED the urge to say I Told You So.)