In which I venture to the Japanese supermarket and experience Great Sadness, then discover a wealth of vegan items closer to home + try the Beyond Burger. Also, miso ramen and vegan tonkatsu! Kind of.
I thought I was done waking up at 3:45 AM due to the time change, but alas, this morning marked another early wakeup and general refusal from my body and brain to return to sleep. As today was Parent/Teacher Conferences and my last day at work, I took advantage of the extra time to (a) write thank-you cards to parents, (b) cook up some goodies to keep me alive and semi-coherent during conferences, and (c) stare into space for long periods of time while wondering what it must be like to sleep past 4 AM.
Donuts and coffee are always provided for conferences, so I brought along a chocolate mug cake so I could join in on the sugar intake and general glorious unhealthiness. I also brought a non-dairy grilled “cheese” sandwich, which involved spreading my version of Cheap Lazy Vegan’s tofu cheese recipe over toast and pan-frying it, and that made for an excellent hobbity Second Breakfast.
Conferences went very well, incidentally – it seemed like a fitting way to end my tenure at this school, getting to meet one-on-one with parents and rave about their kids (plus gently offering a few “things we’re working on” :P). Many of them took time out to say kind things about my contributions to their kids’ development, and overall, it was just a pleasant, positive, hopeful sort of day. (And let’s face it, chocolate cake tends to improve just about any experience.)
Upon returning home, burdened by a full-sized keyboard, giant backpack of stuff, and a gift bag packed with homemade cards and lovely little presents, I had some lunch and flopped onto the couch to drowse and watch HGTV. I spent much of the afternoon dozing with cats on either side of me, and I really can’t recommend that manner of spending an afternoon highly enough.
For dinner tonight, I tried my hand at a vegan mac and cheese, which I ate far too much of and which has led to a somewhat unhappy stomach and entirely unrepentant tastebuds. (And it must’ve been good, because Darla is currently up on the stove licking up a little spill of “cheese” sauce from the countertop. Weird, weird cat.)
Anyway. It’s now nearly eight PM, and despite my drowsy afternoon, I’m more than ready for bed. With that in mind, I shall bid you adieu for now, and hopefully have more to report on – possibly in wacky video form – at a later time. :P
So, as it turns out, dumping loads of corn starch into a sauce simmering in your frying pan is not a great idea. :P
There’s a staff meeting at work tomorrow, and that means pizza (because when you’re an exhausted, hungry teacher who’s been changing dirty diapers all day and now has to stay at work even longer for a staff meeting, you need some damn pizza). So, naturally, I had to make some pizza of my own to bring along, because sitting in a room full of people who are eating pizza and not eating pizza is just far, far too tragic. Thus! Homemade vegan pizza.
This is a tandoori naan base (dairy-free) with pizza sauce, a slightly adjusted version of Cheap Lazy Vegan’s tofu cheese recipe (I add vegan mayo to the mix , because deliciousness), and a variety of vegetables (tomatoes, red bell peppers, baby spinach, black olives, and roasted eggplant). I baked the whole thing in the toaster oven for ten or fifteen minutes, and bam, delicious vegan pizza.
Of course, due to my recently deceased food processor, I was left with no choice but to try to make the tofu cheese in the blender, and that was not ideal. I had to add a splash of almond milk so there would be enough liquid for the mixture to blend, and that altered the taste of the “cheese” a bit, sadly. Probably won’t matter when it’s covered with tomato sauce and veggies, but my stab at pizza perfection has, alas, fallen short. Still, not a bad attempt overall, and this may perhaps give me further motivation to get a new food processor. Someday. Eventually.
Anyway, YAY, pizza!
In which the time change turns me into a hobbit and I discuss five pretty awesome vegan cookbooks.
So…yeah. It’s been a while.
To all those impatiently tapping their feet, looking at their watches, and saying, “What kind of time do you call this, then?” I can only offer the excuse that I’ve been buried under piles of crazed and lovable children, struggling to complete my MFA, and spending the rest of the time sleeping.
The good news, however, is that I’ve actually managed to complete my MFA with a Hermione-worthy GPA (insert smugness and general academic fatigue here), and my tenure as a teacher of preschoolers is wrapping up in favor of shifting gears to writing, editing, teaching, and (hopefully) recovering somewhat from my eternal and unceasing state of exhaustion.
In any case, because so very much has happened since my last update sometime in the Mesozoic Era, I offer you updates now in the form of a handy list:
Greetings, friends and tumbleweeds. As it seems my last post was in the bygone days of September 2016 (a simpler time), I thought it might be a fine plan to make another post just to assert the fact that I am still among the living (just not among the living who have time for frequent blog updates).
So, yes. I LIVE!
Not much else can be said of the last year or so, except that I’ve been working hard imparting knowledge and sarcasm to the two-year-olds in my class, making my way bit by bit through an MFA program so I might one day aspire to my dream job of Cool College Professor With Old-Timey Blazer (or Roger Radcliffe-style vest), and fighting off various bouts of bronchitis and other ailments granted to me by my lovable but germy students.
I’ve also, it must be said, been making incremental progress on my gay fantasy epic, Chosen, restructuring and rewriting and cramming as much glorious gay into the story as I possibly can. Lucas in Book Two, for example, now has two moms (both of the awesome variety), and his major love interest is a gangly, awkward guy from school instead of Random Pretty Girl #5. Lucas has always been bisexual in the land of subtext, but it’s nice to bring it firmly into the realm of the textual via a dorky/awkward school romance that simultaneously enriches his life and puts it in horrible danger. (That’s the way we do things in Chosen-land.)
And, of course, the main character in Book One is trans, which has been fascinating to explore from the perspective of a society where (a) being LGBTQ+ is no big deal due to the existence of queer gods and goddesses in their primary religion, and (b) magic exists, so it’s technically possible (though highly difficult/expensive) to alter one’s body to better align with gender identity.
So, yes. Life at present consists of work, school, and sporadic bursts of writing, hopefully culminating in eventual financial security + a finished and not-awful manuscript. And until then, I’ll try to check in here from time to time, hopefully with something interesting to say (though no guarantees on that front).
Until next time~~~~~!