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Flash Fiction Friday #fff44

victoria  —  December 23, 2014

Late again.

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When the sky opened, I panicked and made it worse. The wind picked up and the deluge was now a low grade hurricane. The corn in the adjacent field laid itself flat having not evolved to survive straight line winds.

The house began to tremble in the wind. Hundred year old floor boards sang and popped under the stress. The windows rattled and the cat, already disturbed by the copper scent on the air and the smoke, ran for what sanctuary could be found under the couch. His whimpering was audible above the drone of the wind buffeting this whole town.

I slumped to the floor, all of the techniques I’d practiced with my Gran forgotten. The rain hit the ground harder than any Midwestern rain that had ever fallen, mirroring the tears that came hot and fast streaking my face with the eyeliner and mascara I’d carefully applied to “gussy up,” Gran’s words remembered, for our anniversary dinner.

We’d planned to drive two hours to Des Moines to celebrate ten married years. There were no children to rush off to parents and a neighbor had offered to do the morning chores so we could spend the night in the city. We’d eaten beans two nights a week for the last two months to have the extra cash.

I’d taken his sport coat, the same one he’d worn to the courthouse to get married, off the hanger and watched him put it on. I slipped my hands in his front pockets like I’d done hundreds of times before standing on my toes to kiss him. There was a crumpled paper in his pocket.

It was open in my hand before he realized I had it. My breath halted when I read the words written in a woman’s loopy scrawl. “Last night was lovely. I can’t wait for a time when you don’t have to leave before the sun is up.”

My hands had begun to shake just as the sky visible through the wide-slat windows began to darken. When I looked up into his face it was as dark my thoughts.

“What is this? Who is she? All that time you said you were helping Tom catch up on chores while his son was sick? The auction in Iowa City? You were with someone?” The words came out all at once, hardly a space between to understand.

He swallowed and said it was nothing. He was looking at the worn rug beneath our feet, at the cat, at the kitchen door, at anything but me.

“You’re lying. You always swallow like that when you lie.” There was venom in the words now, and pain. I could feel the pieces of my life slipping away from me, “when were you going to tell me?”

“Sometime this week, tomorrow. I don’t know. I didn’t want to ruin our anniversary for you. You were so excited.”

“Are you leaving then? Do you love her?”

“Yes. And yes,” he had deflated visibly with each word. “She’s pregnant.”

White anger exploded inside of me and my heart broke. A bolt of lightning crashed through the front window, searing him in the chest. The force of it threw him against the breakfront his mother had given us as a wedding present. He must’ve hit the corner with his head.

He crumpled to the floor, whisks of smoke curling off his clothes, a pool of blood spreading under him. The room telescoped away from me and my head rang from the shock of being so close to the lightning. Every cell in my body wanted to fling open the front door and run, but I knew what I had done.

The storm was taking the shingles off the roof. Some part of the house splintered as it lost its fight with the elements. The only thing that could stop this now was me. I picked myself up off the floor and crossed the room to the front door. I only had to turn the handle for it to crash inside with the force of the storm. Rain and hail invaded the house and soaked me to the skin. I pushed against it out onto what was left of the porch.

There was darkness beyond the stairs. The rain and debris being hurled about blocked what was left of the dusk light. I waited for a bolt to take me. Asked one to come for me and end this.

Instead the wind died down and the rain stopped. The storm calmed as quickly as it had come. In my resignation to die, I had calmed myself enough. I sat on or fell to the porch boards, empty.

Gran said I should never lose control. Only bad things could come of it. She also said it would die with me unless I had a daughter. I chose to never risk it and let a man love me without telling him the truth.

To the asshole on the bike

victoria  —  October 14, 2014

I really do try to be positive, but sometimes you have to call an asshole an asshole. I was walking back into the old town when I got buzzed by a guy on bike, laughing and shouting something about fat Americans. I do understand more Slovene than I can speak. Yes, I know it says way more about him than me and, yes, I know people can sometimes be awful. Here’s the thing – still hurts, still makes hot tears well up in your embarrassed face. Thank the gods for giant sunglasses and being close enough to my flat I could escape the world for a bit.

It may come as a surprise to Captain Obvious that I do, in fact, know that I am fat, American or otherwise. I’ve known it my whole life, even when I wasn’t actually fat. I am not the person in need of information in this transaction. There’s quite a lot said asshole doesn’t know about me but here are the pertinent facts:

1. I was super sickly and skinny as a child, until puberty hit at 11. From that point on I was informed by my mother and others that a woman’s life’s work is to fight against, punish, and despise the vessel she lives in. Not with a sit down talk but with every hint that I might be getting heavy (even when that “heavy” was hips and breasts that come with the territory). And with her, and by extension myself, always being on some kind of crackpot diet.

2. I stopped eating for a year in high school. I got skinny. I mean really skinny. Skeletor in a bathing suit, rib counting, ass too bony to sit on anything but a cushion for more than five minutes skinny. I also started blacking out when I stood up. My fear of being locked up in the mental ward was stronger than my fear of being fat so I started eating again.

3. When I came to Slovenia to live, I had a roommate who in many ways finished the work my mother started. She thought she was trying to help by pushing me to get in shape (be thinner) and commenting on how I dressed (too slutty), ate (too slowly), and existed (too cluelessly and naively). I spent the entire year feeling inadequate and undeserving. And confused. I didn’t have any trouble getting dates and I had friends, etc.

4. Much angst ensued for nearly twenty more years. The number on the scale went up and down. The pant sizes went up and down. I made a career where I was around food all the time to the point of not really wanting to eat it. I woke up every morning, not grateful to be alive another day or realizing how amazing my life was, but promising myself that day was the day I would get skinny again so I could do all the things I wanted to do.

5. Maybe two or three years ago, I had an epiphany of sorts. My life really was pretty good. Good job, amazing kids, smart and sexy husband. I was writing again, more seriously. I had a long chat with my NP about my weight and she said that all my numbers are good, I get exercise and eat well, and I don’t smoke (except occasionally on vacation). She wasn’t worried. I decided I did still need to change something. And that was this conversation I’d been having with myself for as long as I could remember. There was no point in waiting for some miraculous new body to show up so I could do the things I wanted to do. There was no point in hating the body that worked and carried me and had carried and fed a child. So I basically said, fuck it. This is me. No amount of someone else reassuring me was going to ever be enough (though it is so very nice when your husband looks at you and smiles like that). I had to accept me and think I was deserving of my own respect.

So, I’m here. In a place I have dreamed of returning to for twenty years. I walked eight miles yesterday total, including a trip around a gorgeous alpine lake. I’m older, I’m fat, and I am happier in me and in my life than I have ever been. Did it still really hurt when that asshole got his rocks off by being a complete jerk? Yes. I haven’t gotten this being cool with myself thing down 100% all the time. I probably never will. But I do bounce back much faster than I used to.

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I came home from work early because I was coughing and sneezing and have a headache in my face. Keifel picked this particular ick up somewhere and passed it along to Julian and me. Julian has a brand new job at POP and he’s working on the Biscuit Love food truck, so he can’t really afford to be sick. I have a stack of work as we get ready for our national conference, so it’s particularly inconvenient to be sick. Alas, it is what it is. I’m eating oranges and drinking gallons of water. And going to bed at 9 p.m. And Julian has a day or so to recuperate (I’m too much of a ServSafe stickler to let him go to work sick).

I had great plans to clean out the fridge (it’s my chore of the day in the cleaning rotation I put together in my attempts to do less housework and more writing), make a big salad for dinner, and get some editing/writing done on the Slovenia project. My focus isn’t very good. Instead, I found myself perusing Pinterest while watching Midsomer Murders (I’d say it’s a guilty pleasure but I don’t feel particularly guilty about it). Dinner reverted to leftover homemade mac and cheese.

Pinterest is full of recipes to make ersatz things out of cauliflower. Pizza crust. Mashed “potatoes.” Couscous. Even “mac” and cheese (can food be blasphemous?). Also, roasted, baked whole like a great white brain, sautéed, and available in gold, green, and purple like a cauliflower mardi gras.

I’ve tried to love cauliflower. I’ve tried it roasted and pureed and in soup and raw and steamed and covered in cheese. I’ve tried its particolored cousins.

I have given up.

My last, best attempt to kill it with curry.

My last, best attempt to kill it with curry.

I can eat broccoli until the cows come home but I’ll be leaving the cauliflower for others. For the life of me I can’t get past the fact that it smells of wet socks and tastes of creeping damp.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand est tout ce que Game of Thrones est. Bien qu’il ne soit pas placé dans un monde fantastique vaste et intéressant, il est situé dans la Rome antique. Rome antique est tout aussi rempli d’intrigue, de sexe et de trahison que Game of Thrones est si pas plus. Surtout avec le sexe. Si prudes cliquez sur leur langue à Game of Thrones pour ses scènes de sexe graphique, je pense que la nature à peine au-dessus de la pornographie de Spartacus: Blood and Sand peut très bien leur donner une crise cardiaque. Cependant, que pouvez-vous attendre de la Rome antique, un temps connu pour leur hédonisme et la débauche.

Spartacus: Le sang et le sable donnent vie à l’histoire du gladiateur de Thrace Spartacus qui a mené des esclaves dans la rébellion pour ravager les morceaux méridionaux de l’Italie. canada goose femme Cette incarnation particulière sur l’histoire classique est lourde sur le sang et le style d’une manière qui le rend très semblable au film 300. Si vous aimez Game of Thrones pour l’intrigue et des parcelles dans les parcelles, il ya beaucoup de celui trouvé parmi les Romains Quand ils ne sont pas occupés à avoir des orgies ou à regarder leurs esclaves se tuer brutalement pour le sport. Ils sont constamment dans une lutte pour gagner le statut social et en cherchant à ruiner ceux qui se dressent sur leur chemin.

Les Tudors, en quelque sorte, ressemblent presque exactement à Game of Thrones. En fait, il ya même quelques vidéos de l’ouverture The Tudors mis à la musique Game of Thrones. Quand The Tudors a pris fin en 2010, beaucoup de leurs fans intrépides ont trouvé le solstice dans Game of Thrones. Peut-être vous êtes un de ces fans déjà.

Sinon, ce drame historique suit le règne tumultueux du roi Henri VIII d’Angleterre. Si vous n’êtes pas familier avec l’histoire, le roi Henri VIII était désespéré pour produire un fils afin qu’il puisse avoir un héritier. Sa première épouse avait seulement réussi à produire une fille et il voulait se remarier à quelqu’un qui pourrait produire un fils. Le problème étant que l’église de Rome interdit les divorces. Henri VIII a défié l’église de Rome et divorcé ses épouses pas une fois, mais quatre fois pour produire un héritier. Les Tudors sont remplis d’une rébellion religieuse, à la fois de roi et de pays, de femmes trompeuses et de complots détournés.

Comme dans les Borgias et Spartacus: Blood and Sand nous revenons à la ville de cette série HBO ‘homonyme Rome. Il n’y a pas de meilleur endroit pour les complots détournés que dans la Rome antique. Cette série suit la transition de Rome de la République à l’Empire sous le pouce de Julius César. Fait intéressant, cette série a historiquement eu lieu juste après la révolte Spartacus de Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Cependant, cette fois, au lieu de se concentrer principalement sur la classe des esclaves inférieurs de Rome, ce drame historique suit la vie astucieuse de la classe supérieure.

Nous savons tous combien la classe supérieure de Rome est méchante. Ils sont tout aussi vilains que la classe supérieure de Westeros dans Game of Thrones. Le meurtre, le sexe, l’intrigue, tout ce que vous attendez d’HBO et la série est à nouveau présent à Rome tout comme il est dans Game of Thrones.

Les Borgias étaient la réponse de Showtime à Game of Thrones. Les deux séries ont commencé en avril 2011, donc ils étaient dans la concurrence rigide. Bien sûr, Game of Thrones a gagné, mais The Borgias n’est certainement pas une mauvaise montre. En fait, les parcelles des spectacles sont assez similaires. Les Borgia suivent la maison de Borgia de l’Espagne qui résident à Rome. Après la mort du pape, le chef de la famille Borgia, le cardinal Borgia, croit être le nouveau.

Cependant, il n’est pas le seul cardinal qui veut prendre cette place. Dans ce genre de drame historique, le Vatican se transforme en atterrissage du roi un peu trop vite avec tous les assassinats et les parcelles affamées de pouvoir.

Sans doute si vous regardez Game of Thrones vous probablement déjà regarder AMC The Walking Dead. Cependant, sinon c’est un excellent choix pour occuper votre temps libre de Game of Thrones. Alors que l’histoire est assez simple et ne dispose pas de plans massifs en profondeur pour le pouvoir qui peut être trouvé dans Game of Thrones, c’est une histoire puissante de la famille et la loyauté.

The Walking Dead a lieu dans le monde moderne après l’apocalypse zombie. Il se concentre sur l’ancien shérif de la petite ville Rick Grimes dans sa lutte pour garder sa famille et un petit groupe de survivants vivants à travers un temps où le reste de la vie sont tout aussi dangereux que les morts-vivants de la faim de la chair. The Walking Dead peut avoir des paramètres différents, mais il ne partagent un thème commun Tout le monde meurt. Vos personnages préférés peuvent être abattus par des survivants ou embusqués par des morts-vivants et mangés.

2008? Already?

victoria  —  January 4, 2008 — 1 Comment

I am sitting here on my couch (love, love wireless) and watching The Martha kit out a craft armoire. As if. My house is the size of a perfectly cozy postage stamp. I have a craft gift bag shoved in a closet near the sewing machine about which Keifel likes to remind me that I never use. Be that as it may, I am pondering how it got to be 3:30 on a January day when just yesterday I was busting my behind trying to get all my orders done for Thanksgiving and then Christmas.

I have been insanely busy but happily so. Classes are about to ramp up in Murfreesboro and then the following week here in town. I have a day job lined up in February and work on a new project that I am really excited about and will let you know about here when it is ready to go out in public.

Many people find January depressing because the fields are long brown and spring seems a long way off, but I love the winter (though I am not crazy about the cold feet my new house offers). It is an excuse for long cooked things when you don’t care that the oven has been on all day heating up the house. I love wintery salads with bitter greens and oranges and the exotic fruit that shows up in the market. Blood oranges, meyer lemons and other unique citrus fruits are in their brief seasons. It’s a good time to plot summer gardens and projects for the year. It’s also a good time for lighter fare after the excesses of the holidays.

Admittedly the holidays don’t have to be excessive, they can just be nice. Here’s a photo retrospective of some of what I got up to for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Boxing Day.
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A big little turkey, some pumpkins and leaves packed for a trip
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A non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner with a pork with mole, pablano corn pudding and avocado salad
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Christmas cookies getting ready to go to Keifel’s work

A winter wonderland birthday cake for CSG’s work buddies and my first use of edible glitter
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Boxing Day spread
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Boxing Day dessert spread

Best Wishes to everyone, whichever winter holiday you are celebrating. I say celebrate them all : ) Have a wonderful long weekend with nearest and dearest and eat fabulous food and drink fancy drinks (but not too much). Love love.

Foodieporn will be back next week with pics of what I’ve been up to.

I have some pictures I took that I wanted to include in the blog and just haven’t gotten around to it. So here is a mish mash of the Foodieporn/Ars Culinaria summer experience.

We took a little vacation the week of the Fourth and went to Des Moines to see some old friends with a newish (she turned two while we were there) pumpkin whom we had not yet met (I know, bad friends we are, but Iowa is far). While we were there O and I went to the justly famous Des Moines farmers’ market. Such beautiful produce and organic meats and breads and all kinds of goodies.


I bought an herbed lemonade and some Raspberry Chipotle Sauce from this stand.


I bought amazing pecan raisin bread from here.

In my journey I also bought some Dutch letters (big, cinnamon filled S cookies), some plain chevre and something else that escapes me at the moment. If you get the chance to go, go. It is big (several blocks) and there’s everything from cut flowers to lamb chops. Seeing friends and this market made driving through corn for 6 hours so worth

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We got another new digital camera which Keifel was playing with and took these shots of my dinner a few weeks ago. It’s just a Boca burger on a toasted bun with lettuce and tomato and grainy mustard.



There is almost something sinisterly shiny about this one… too much flash.

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And finally, a shot of our basket two weeks ago. This week we got tomatoes and cucumber. Lovely.

In fact I seem to be up to my eyeballs — writing lectures, going to the grocery four times a week for classes and for us, ferrying the child hither and yon. But it’s a happy busy and when I get a longer minute I will catch up with the blog. Sorry for the bumpiness of late.

I will get back to posting at my semi-regular irregularity. My computer bumped its head during the move and is off now be cared for by men and women in white (or at least I imagine them that way). It’s a pretty major boo boo, so my hard drive is living in a sled attached to Keifel’s monitor array and I have to sneak in when I can.

For those following along, the kitchen is unpacked but for one box and I have been cooking, both for us and prep for my classes which have started.

It’s all been a great adventure and in hind sight it is difficult to imagine why I was such a stress monkey. I love coming home to putter in my kitchen. It is different, when it it’s yours.

The good husband and I have put a bid in on a house, a house with an amazingly lovely kitchen I might add. We are both nursing a serious case of hippo-sized butterflies and both decided we needed a drink this evening to settle those butterflies into at least a false sleep.

If you are of the school of finger crossing, please consider it for us over the next week.

UPDATE: Foodieporn HQ will be moving at the end of March. We are the proud owners of an adorable little jewel box of a house. Please, bear with us as posts may be even more infrequent than usual.