topaz119: (bats!)
Helllooooo, happy-almost-Halloween!

We did do the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot last weekend, and ended up really doing 3 fairly full days in the parks + the drive to/from, so this whole week has been an insane exercise in trying to catch back up. Work is also crazy-busy and now my f-i-l is in the hospital with an infection from a nasty cut he got out on the farm. I am indulging myself with a long and rambling Disney post, cut for your skimming convenience.

cutting for Disney planning contortions (non-food) )

okay, *now* for the food! )

If you read all that, you're awesome. (Even if you didn't, I am, as always, available for WDW consults. ♥)

round up

Aug. 18th, 2014 09:07 pm
topaz119: (BlackHawkBW)
The last few weeks have been a little more bonkers than usual, including the weekends, so when I say I didn't do anything but mess around in the kitchen and listen to podcasts and poke at various writing projects this weekend, I don't think it really conveys how truly excellent it felt to have a quiet couple of days.
In the kitchen, I finally used all the blueberries the boys have picked recently to make Martha's Blueberry Cobbler. It's a biscuit-y cobbler top (though biscuits made with heavy cream, so it's not like it's particularly light) but it was easy enough. To go with it, I made a Ben & Jerry's vanilla ice cream made in the food processor, as described on Food & Wine, which worked out super well. And since I was on a roll, I also tried the sliced-frozen-banana + food processor=soft-serve banana ice cream trick (I hesitate to call it a recipe, as it is literally just frozen bananas) and despite everything looking like a gray, glue-y mess at the start, it did actually turn out to be an unqualified success. I added about a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa and whoaaaaaaa, it was awesome. I feel that there are many occasions when chocolate-banana ice cream w/no dairy or sugar or fat would keep me from a screaming fit. (I feel like I should also mention that the HoB gave multiple thumbs up for this, too, and you know damn well they could care less about anything but the taste, so I assure you this isn't an instance of 'this tastes okay for what it is' but rather that it really does taste awesome (if you like bananas, obvs.))

I also kind of fell down the Disney World fandom abyss and somehow ended up listening to about 3 hours worth of speculation about what might or might not be coming in the next few years. (Bottom-line, there are gonna be lots of construction walls but Hollywood Studios might actually end up being navigable and StarWarsLand is coming. Also, Anna and Elsa are never ever going away, but you probably knew that already.) I find I still could care less about the actual events of Avatar (not the last Airbender Avatar, but the Pocahontas-in-space one) but I am still surprisingly excited to see the world around the events. There might also have been a few additions to the bad-for-you-but-hey-it's-vacation list of foods (BLT-ranch fries, BabyBoy is ready to go now) and some preliminary discussions about the plan of attack for the Food & Wine Festival this year. So, yeah, not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning while the laundry was trundling along.

…and writing… My [ profile] marvel_bang is progressing (which is good news after having lost a thousand words and then getting caught up in the mess of school starting again/#2 finishing a semester.) I think it's falling into a three-part structure and the first part is almost done, the second is solidly in progress and I at least know why the third part happens. So that's good.

In the same crash/reboot/crash sequence, I also lost almost everything I had on a [ profile] be_compromised ficathon prompt, and that really stalled everything out there, but I did have fun with the three-sentence mini ficathon, and ended up writing a bunch over the weekend (all Clint/Natasha)---

The Female Gaze (prompt: these hips don't lie)

between the rock and the hard place (prompt: nowhere left to run)

nerds in love (prompt: Movie night: Star Trek or Star Wars?), plus [ profile] alphaflyer (whose prompt it was) responded with a little bit more, which I also added to.

the family that spies together (prompt: Everybody just assumed that Natasha didn't want/couldn't have children)

trust fall (prompt: being forced into corporate teamwork event)

It's been a long time since I've done one of these. Aside from how I haven't lost my love of run-on sentences (look away, [personal profile] without_me, look away!), I'd forgotten how much fun it is to try to distill a story down this far.
topaz119: (wdw)
I haven't fallen off the edge of the world or anything, I'm just really behind on everything fannish and am trying desperately to avoid spoilers in multiple fandoms.

But! we're back from spring break and I have plans to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier this weekend, so that should alleviate some of the craziness. (I'm seriously not checking in anywhere, not even fb.)

Anyway. Disney World is still there and for the Disney-philes on my flist/circle, I will add that the new Festival of Fantasy parade at MK is fabulous (semi-decent pictures here and here on tumblr; having lunch with an Imagineer is pretty cool even before you add in good food at the Brown Derby; and Morgan Freeman now narrates the updated, actually-bearable Hall of Presidents presentation. No naps were taken! This trip turned into the restaurant tour, which you all know is not ever going to make me sad, so that was fun, too. (It's hard to top a window seat at the California Grill on a clear evening, but Be Our Guest gave it some good competition. I'll never eat at the Castle again. Also, the Kobe burger at Yak & Yeti is seriously awesome--yes, D orders burgers everywhere, but you knew this already. I think I have to give the lowest marks to Le Cellier, which was not bad, just didn't knock it out of the park food-wise and had nothing atmospheric going for it.)

Alsoalso, the third-party vacation club broker worked out perfectly, which let us snag a savannah view studio at Kidani Village for approximately the price of a moderate-resort room. Many thumbs up and I'll be happy to provide links if somebody is thinking about taking the plunge.

Actual fannish content to follow soon, promise!

Ciao, bellas!
topaz119: (A-Babies!Nat)

So, I'm writing an Avengers/Agents of SHIELD/Hawkeye Clint/Coulson that I've wanted to write right from the start of AOS, and I'm posting it a chapter at a time, because that's the only way I can reliably finish anything these days... and that got long and boring )

...and that was probably 100x more than what you signed up for around here, but it feels like I just freed up my brain to keep going on the writing, so cut-text it is.

I feel vaguely guilty for doing anything but trying to write on this thing (I, er, underestimated how long it was going to take to claw out of the angsty hole I dug for everyone, so instead of a nice 15K fic, I'm about to crack 25K and still have a third of it to go, whoops), but I have managed to read a couple of books (I finally realized I could put my iPad in a ziploc bag and read in the bathtub, which makes life SO MUCH BETTER, duh.)

What I've Just Finished
So [personal profile] poisontaster not only sorted me out on where to start with Barbara Hambly, but also loaned me her pick, so Bride of the Rat God, it was. I enjoyed it immensely, especially the setting and atmosphere of 1920s Hollywood, which was vivid enough to be a character of its own. So, that was fun.

And then I resolved to actually *read* some of the sale-of-the-day e-books I compulsively buy, so I dove into the first of the Phryne Fisher mysteries, Cocaine Blues, and didn't come up until I'd gone through Flying Too High and Murder on the Ballarat Train (and #4 is on the way from the library.) I think it's safe to say I enjoyed the series--it's nice to read something outside the usual post-WWI setting of England/NYC (these are set in Australia) and Phryne is entertaining enough in her own way. Plus, dear lord, the *clothes*. I find myself googling her designers and imagining my grandmother (who was a knockout in her day) in various and assorted outfits. The mysteries are fine -- I never bother trying to work out who the villain is when I read these things, I just float along and (if all is working right) am entertained by the spectacle, which these are doing nicely.

What I'm Reading Now
Nothing, at the moment -- or, well, cookbooks as I sit around assorted therapist/orthodontist offices. Canal House Everday and Bouchon Bakery (which qualifies as strength training, too, as it is huuuge.)

What I'm Reading Next
Phryne Fisher #4--I can't remember the name, just that it's waiting at the library and tomorrow is conveniently enough a work-from-home day, so I can grab it on my errand run around the little town we live near.

Other random stuff
Spring break -- I am experimenting with a third-party broker for Disney Vacation Club properties and have a savanna-view studio reserved for approximately the price of a moderate-resort room. (This is mostly so that #2Son can hang out in the room and have something to see if the rest of vacationing gets to be too much for him.) I will report back on how it all turns out, but so far it's been pretty painless. I also started making dining reservations in November, as soon as D confirmed that the varsity team was playing in a WWoS tournament, so I'm holding Saturday evening fireworks-timing at the California Grill, a reasonable time for dinner at Le Cellier, and an actualfax dinner table at Be Our Guest. (My squee is only barely contained at this trifecta of Holy Grail restaurants.) The Flower & Garden Festival is doing food booths again this year, so that's cool; the new MK daytime parade starts in about a week (and has so many steampunky elements I might have to see it more than once); and the construction walls are down from around the Seven Dwarves Mine Train, with the possibility of it being in soft-opening by the time we get there. For this being my 4th trip in 9 months, I am ridiculously excited by all of this.

TV -- Behind on everything except for SPN but that's only because BabyBoy has caught the bug and watches it in the morning before school. I was very happy to see who I saw this week, even if I'm seriously ready to start smacking some sense into people named Winchester.

Movies -- We finally (!!!!) coordinated schedules and went to see The Hobbit last weekend, and all I can say is that I have given up trying to be rational about those movies. As soon as the score begins, I just fall into this place where I'm catching up with friends I haven't seen in decades and while I can objectively see where the first part was a little slow, I honestly didn't care. I think we're trying for the Lego movie this weekend; I have promised not to make loud comments about Manic Pixie Dreamgirls while there (note the 'loud' part, because that's as far as I was willing to go.)

Anyway. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I'm still here (and on tumblr and twitter and goodreads and pinterest -- come see me if you're hanging out there, too!)
topaz119: (Default)
Thank you all for listening to me whine about what are (at base) fairly inconsequential things--I really do appreciate your kindness.

computer-related sadface )

and! this is an actual (ridiculous but fun) thing we did while hanging out at Disney World over NYE--Me + 6 adult kids + my best friend from college (2 of the kids were hers, 2 were mine, 2 were L's) fighting our way through the hordes of kids at the Lego store to make custom Thor 2 minifigs to go with my Dept 56 Royal Observatory. also behind the cut because the picture is biggish )

and that is my fannish fun for the day!
topaz119: (celebrate)
We had 5 different dinner reservations but then we found a little bar tucked behind the bandstand at the Grand Floridian & we've been here since it opened. There are balloons waiting to be dropped at the appropriate time. Very exciting!

we've been collecting the glowing ice cubes for days now )
topaz119: (wdw)
...and then it was Monday and cold and raining and there was work and school and it was Tuesday and I had an all-day training class. But now I'm home and in my pajamas and trying to decide if I am motivated enough to go get some wood for a fire to brighten up the rest of the day...

Back in the Land of Mickey )

Tomorrow, I will have recs and other fannish content, but for now I think I am going to go hide under the covers and pretend like I don't still have to clean out my inbox. Ciao, bellas!

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