Last Friday marked the end of my contract to Centrelink, so once again, I find myself with enough time to think. But when you’re stuck in a small, disintegrating house 15 miles from nowhere in particular, your books and DVDs still packed away after eight months and with nothing to watch on television but ads for the pettiest debasement of democracy the country’s ever seen, this isn’t necessarily a good thing.

I told myself that I’d take a quick break from bitching, but there, I’ve started already. Better, perhaps, to focus on other things, like what I’ve achieved lately:

  • I finished reading Delta Green: Targets of Opportunity. Not a bad effort overall, and still worth the wait—Arc Dream’s latest update suggests they’re due to ship any day now—but I wasn’t greatly impressed by the chapter on the Cult of Transcendence. I liked the Innocent (the Cult’s answer to Kaspar Hauser, I guess), but by-and-large, the chapter read like a Mage: the Ascension splatbook. Maybe it was because it was difficult to read on an iPhone, or because I read it whilst taking scopolamine to deal with pancreatitis, or maybe because it’s become dated since it was written and a bunch of Bernie Madoff lookalikes with kewl Mythos powerz just don’t cut it any more. I’ll give it a fresh read when my print copy finally arrives, and see if my opinion changes.
  • I finally deleted my two old blogs from Blogger: The Magical Misadventures of the Black-Clad Bodhisattva and the aborted-at-launch Tales of the Great River. Most of the posts from the former were ported across here when I started Mim & Dave, and the latter, well… I’d laid some groundwork early last year to set up a Tribe 8 blog; however, with all of last year’s troubles and travails, Tales got put on the back burner and didn’t get taken up again. Maybe I’ll revive it in future.
  • Yesterday, I tried to make Mim a flan de naranja—or orange-flavoured crème caramel—but the oven thermostat doesn’t work properly, so the flan failed to set and ended up a delicious (but altogether less aesthetically satisfying) orange custard instead. At least I know how to make orange custard now.
  • On a slightly more positive note, after years of searching, I finally found roasted onion flakes with which to make Danish hot dogs, one of my favourite childhood delicacies. And then ate them all. Nom nom nom.
  • Mim had a rough day today, so I took over this evening’s dinner duties. She’d planned on rump steak with steamed carrot, corn and potatoes, but I thought I might do things a little differently… I finely shredded and squeezed out the potato, then fried it up with the  corn kernels (I don’t really know what to call this—at the moment, it’s taterkraut, as it looks a bit like sauerkraut when it’s done); soaked the steak for an hour and a half in a marinade of ginger, Chinese rice wine, soy sauce, egg white, oil, cornflour and mustard seeds, then cooked it medium-rare; and blended the carrot with some pickled gherkin relish, red wine vinegar, oil and sugar to make a side sauce for the steak, complete with a little serving spoon carved from carrot. I winged most of it—nonetheless, “Dave’s Steak and Three Veg” (better name coming soon, I promise) was a huge hit. So much so that I don’t have any pictures.

And that would appear to be it for the moment. I’ll be cooking more in the coming days, and I’m thinking of catching up on some writing projects and maybe even breaking out the paintbrush in the near future. So much to do! If only I had time to be unemployed!

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