I need a rain dance pls.

Why won’t it rain more?

I’m sick of it being gloomy and rainy and then sunny and way too warm for 4 days straight. Bah, I want my rain. But I can’t do much about it except wait for evening when the fog usually rolls in and it’s beautiful.

I’ve been doing a lot of knitting on my corn socks. Yes, corn yarn. It feels super soft although I’ve been warned never to iron them unless I went a hot, sticky, sugary mess….but I rarely iron my clothing unless it’s something that really gets wrinkly. I’m not sure if this book sort of sucks in terms of the editor or publisher because I know that one pattern has some serious issues and I even emailed the publishing house for the correct pattern and they totally copped out and sent me a link to a site that was basically a woman’s blog and she happened to notice some of the errors and made a corrected chart. Unfortunately, I didn’t want the chart since I had already been to that site but I wanted to check and see if there were more corrections. Bah, anyway, I’m not going to even bother with that pattern.

I’m really wondering if knitters have to play with patterns a lot or if this book just didn’t get as much attention to detail as it should have because this sock pattern is a wee bit off. And I’m totally following directions and rereading them, looking up the types of stitches to double check that I did learn the correct way to do it…and still it’s a bit off. It’s really the heel, the rib pattern wasn’t layering quite right so I adjusted it but the rib moved over a few stitches. I haven’t had difficulty with other patterns from online, magazine, or other book sources before so I’m really wondering if these designers had other people make them to make sure the patterns worked. Who knows but I really don’t want to give up on this book because it has some really interesting patterns and deals with a lot of interesting yarns instead of the regular animal fibers.

So, back to my point, my socks are coming out nicely and except for a minor flaw they look pretty good. I still have about 5 more rounds to do before I turn the heel and I’m pretty excited to be making socks for the first time. It sounds boring but if I want to start doing designs and such I need hands-on experience and besides…I love socks. I’m using Crystal Palace Yarns “Maizy” which has 18% elastic nylon which should be good for stretching and shaping….and I got it in Stormy Purple.

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Small pic, and hard to see, but the cuff has 5 cables which was rather annoying and I’m glad to be done with them. I don’t mind cables but the yarn is quite fine and doing  about 12 of them in a row gets annoying. I’m not usually a fan of multi-colored yarn but I think for some projects it really makes them more interesting. I’ll try to keep updating my progress and hopefully I won’t do something wrong and have to unravel…

In between my knitting I have made some new food although the salad was pretty basic but oh so yummy. I’ve been really scared of trying heirloom tomatoes because they look like aliens and I’m still overcoming my fear of tomatoes. Sure I eat them all the time but certain things just scare me for some reason…fried green tomatoes? I feel like there are worms in there but I’m not sure if that was from the book that I read when I was younger or if I just made it up in my head…or sun dried tomatoes…my mom used to try and force me to eat them and I would literally gag…it was like my throat would close up and I was getting sucked down a tube and my life was fading from me and then…I would spit it onto the plate rather than sacrifice my life for a stupid, nasty tomato. So I have issues…but I told myself that I need to woman up and buy them before I regretted it. So here they are…my lovely tomatoes from the farmer’s market.

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I really loved the peach looking tomato and it was rather sweet in comparison to the green one which was definitely tart and less juicy. The red one tasted a bit like a regular tomato but perhaps I haven’t developed my heirloom tomato palate. Peachy, since I didn’t look at their official names, had a beautiful marbled interior that was amazing to look at and I kept the slices large so that we could enjoy the colors as well and experience different tastes and sizes as they filled our mouth. I know, that sounds a bit pervy but I stick to my claim that most food is super sexy and we might as well enjoy it. Tried out a pretty basic recipe from one of my cook books but I only had sourdough in the fridge which made it look a bit less impressive than italian country bread that I think the recipe recommended. Basically toasted the bread in the oven and spooned the nut,garlic, olive oil mix onto it and let it toast for an extra minute. I probably didn’t need to let it toast more since the recipe used cheese which would have melted it but oh well. Totally great side dish to our dinner and I kept eating the left overs out of the bowl the rest of the night.

I’ve been really into hand mixing lately which I know is good for the food since we can better gauge, season, and handle the dish and plus it does give an organic feeling to cooking. I still use spoons to mix up the liquids initially since I don’t want my hand covered in dough but I really do love feeling doughs and foods in my hands. So, I hand mixed the seasonings and liquids of this salad especially since I didn’t want to break any of my Maters. It’s kind of silly how basic this recipe is and Nathan thought it tasted a lot like Bruschetta which it did after he said it. So basically I made a larger version of it and I can’t believe I fell for that cook’s recipe! He should have named it ‘Fancy Bruschetta’ but I’m not really all that mad but it does feel weird when we think certain foods are new and exciting and then we realize that we’ve had similar dishes before and it’s not as exotic as it initially seemed.  But maybe that’s the anthropology background I grew up around…always exotizing cultures and people…but now I’ve shifted it over to food. Omg, I’m a horrible person…

So let’s shift gears because I don’t want to dwell on my new discovery. I made some more turnovers which came out better than the originals but I still have a bit of a hard time getting them to seal. I let it defrost in the fridge for about 4 hours and made the filling…peeled two ripe pears, mixed in some cornstarch, turbinado sugar, cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg. Hand mixed again since the pears were really ripe and I thought that a spoon would break them apart.

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I actually remembered to sugar the tops before I baked them! I’m proud of myself for that since they came out a bit salty since the vegan butter I have access to has salt mixed in so I can’t control that aspect of the dough. I did omit the salt that was in the recipe but it still was a bit salty since I had forgotten to add sugar to the tops and it really did offset the salt. I’m thinking of buying another measuring tape since I use this one for baking all the time. I’m really bad with measurements…I always think an inch is way smaller which is why I keep my soft measuring tape near me when I knit because I have no concept of length. I’m still having trouble with the seal and I used rice milk which didn’t seem all that great. I usually use flax seed but I ran out and I keep forgetting to buy more so I’ll have to try that next time. Another issue which I’m sure is probably partially my fault are the layers…the foto isn’t as great but when they came out of the oven I could really see the layers but I still feel like I could have gotten more puffiness and flakiness. I may not be an official pastry student but I’ve read a lot of different sources, looked at tutorials, and watched a lot of videos on how to prepare the dough all the way to baking it…so I feel like I have a rather good grasp as to handling the dough and I chilled it a lot between the steps because it was getting a bit warm that day. Anyway, my point is that I wonder if animal fats/veggie shortening work differently than vegan butter in the mechanics of dough. Maybe I’m just expecting a ton of puffiness from my first puff pastry dough and that probably isn’t realistic. They tasted great and I would say that about half of them sealed up and the over half burst open the second I put them on the baking stone…but it was really amazing to see them puff up rather quickly. I could have over filled them too since I’m fairly new to pastries but over all it was really satisfying

To sum up the last two paragraphs…Lots of work, I’m a noob so the pastries probably didn’t come out as well but I decided to blame everything else since theoretically I knew what I was doing. Haha, now I need to make more to prove that I can make fantastic looking pastries.

Let’s see, I wonder if I have any new rants to go on about. Well, Santa Cruz has officially banned smoking downtown, west cliff, and by our area which really makes my blood boil. We’re seriously going to fine people who smoke to generate income for the county which is the 4th most expensive place to live in the U.S. When we went to Monterey I noticed they had ashtrays attached to the trash cans which was really great because people don’t have to litter. But Santa Cruz has the brilliant idea of not putting many recycling bins downtown and no ashtrays and then they decide to bitch about cleaning up. When we went up to Natural bridges the roads were all being repaved but they weren’t even horrible to begin with but lower downtown, beach hill, beach flats, and numerous other parts of SC are in major need of repair but they decide to repave the roads where there are million dollar houses. And it’s conflicting to me because I rant and rave about this but I don’t feel like I have much of a right to say anything because I don’t consider myself a local and I don’t intend on living in this city for the rest of my life. I suppose I feel like it’s appropriation if I start looking for ways to improve the city since it’s not my city.

SC has major housing, homeless, and general city issues but they never focus on these problems but instead decide to pull stupid bans that only serve to bring in money. Everyone likes to think of SC as so liberal and it is in some ways…culturally I suppose, but I feel like our civil liberties are being violated when things like this happen. They argue that it’s better for children…well I think walking by a person smoking for 30 sec is going to do a lot less damage than the fact that we’ve taken P.E. out of many schools, many children (and adults) are eating hormone-pumped, genetically modified, trans-fat, etc food, are inhaling exhaust/smog and I could probably think of a million more things.

Really, drinking coffee is probably worse than that…and to be honest I don’t think smoking downtown is that big of a problem…maybe one person for every two blocks? And seriously, how many drug deals go on that aren’t dealt with and I think that is more dangerous than this new ban.

I really hate what the U.S. is becoming…or is. And I know, before anyone posts, that we’ve been eating genetically modified foods for a long time…like corn…but that also took a lot longer and the way First world countries have forced the world to obliterate so many strains of food is horrible and dangerous when a new pest or disease worms it way into our perfect, bland food.

I really want to move away from this country but it’s going to take a lot of work and even then I know it’s not a solution and I remember criticizing my peers for wanting to do the same thing. But in a way I think I justify my desire because both Nathan and I come from families of immigrants and in a lot of ways we had very migratory lives. When people ask where I’m from I honestly don’t know what to say…I usually say ‘down south’ since it’s somewhat true but what is my hometown? I don’t know…is it where I was born but didn’t live? or The place I was at longest…well technically I suppose SC is the longest but I divide my time here by my mental well being…the first few years were really hard and I didn’t venture out or even really realize my surroundings.

And if I move I know there is that criticism of wanting to move to a European country…as if I’m falling into that colonial state of mind in that I want to become like them and be the white colonial power. But I think it’s wrong to think in that old frame of mind because we’re neglecting to see the millions of post-colonial subjects that live in the EU and who have voices and communities and are very much trying to claim their right to be there. And to be honest, certain countries seem easier to move to…like not learning another language is a plus but this is still a dream of mine that I’m attempting to research so as to make it a reality. But it’s problematic because I know there are conflicts wherever I go but perhaps I want to choose which fights I can join instead of feeling tired of having to justify why I don’t want a huge house or why want to part of the traditional working sector.

I think I realize as I grow older how hard it is for people who have moved a lot to claim an identity. If I move to another country I’ll finally have a more solid identity…as a foreigner…an ex-pat, and American. And I’m not saying I want to become some huge nationalist to a new country and go on about how much better it is than the U.S. (although I think most countries have many and different aspects that are better) or that the U.S. is a horrible place but instead I just would like to live somewhere else. If someone moves cities it’s not a big political deal but saying I don’t want to live in the country has so many ramifications on both the nationalist and post-colonial sides. I’m screwed either way. I also don’t want to erase my history or identity but sometimes I feel like I can’t relate to most people because I’ve had such a mixed history. I had to learn how people acted in different parts of the state and then in C.A. and to adjust to that and then to figure out my own cultural identity which is at times insane. I’m not latina enough and I’m not white enough which is fine but I don’t want to justify myself by knowing big fancy spanish words.

I remember when I was at a conference in Honduras and it was discussion on Women’s rights and many of the ‘liberal/intellectual’ women were using very academic language that I couldn’t understand but of course I knew my spanish wasn’t as great as a native speaker. And yet at one point some women interrupted and they said they couldn’t understand and basically accusing them of patronizing them (or perhaps matronizing?) with these huge terms because they were indigenous and relatively poor in comparison yet they still wanted to organize. I felt really good after that because I may not have great skills but it’s very much apart of me and even though I do want to learn more I still know more than most people think. I have dreams in spanish and I think about my experiences all the time and that won’t ever change. But at the same time I have to recognize that I can’t really share the same experiences with other Salvadorans/Latino(a)s/Indigenous people because many of them have a collective memory or experience. Many lived in poor areas, or at least in the same community where they faced racisim together or perhaps had to leave their home country because of war but I feel like there is always something that binds them even if they still have their individual differences. And I know collective organizations/communities are problematic because one way or another select ideas/agendas/experiences get promoted over others so I know just because someone grew up in South Central L.A. doesn’t mean they feel connected to their community for that sole geographic/cultural reason but I think most times it does.

So where does that leave people like me or that minority of minorities that doesn’t feel connected? I don’t think it’s wrong to want to live a life that a person chooses, especially if we keep thinking about why we make those sorts of choices. I like to believe that I think more about what I do and don’t do than many of the world’s citizens but again…I’m privileged enough to get to questions and make choices and for that I’m grateful but it doesn’t mean that I owe this country my loyalty when it’s oppressed, murdered, enslaved, and generally stomped on my ancestors and others without a second thought. Where was the reflection and questioning of our governments? It still continues with us blindly agreeing that going to Iraq was important because somehow the attacks of 9/11 were directly linked to Iraq…

It’s really hard writing and hoping that people can read through my sarcasm, my exaggerations, my moods, and my political bull. Half the time I write without realizing that people will indeed read this but I try to be careful not to turn this into some sort of diary. I’ve never been very good at diaries actually so maybe this blog is really lame and meaningless. But I suppose in the grand scheme of things our lives are pretty mundane when we think of the plants and stars and the evolution of life…I think I’m becoming too self-reflective. I think being a libra amplifies this tendency because I try to be fair even though I’m far from it.

Anyway, I’ll sign off before I start questioning why I’m not going to continue to write. I’m posting this show that is super funny that I found on netflix and I can’t wait for the 4th season. The IT Crowd…just a clip but super funny. Just for context…Jen gets a bit of an ego after getting ’employee of the month’ and she doesn’t really know anything about computers…

Update: Embedding disabled but hopefully those who want to view it can still be viewed by clicking through to Youtube. Sorry ’bout that >.<


2 Responses to “I need a rain dance pls.”

  1. 1 m
    26 October, 2009 at 3:42 am

    we should start a band called “Stormy Purple.” I want to meet whomever thought up that most amazing yarn name.

  2. 2 xxxicana
    27 October, 2009 at 5:07 am

    yummy yummy tomatoes!! 😀
    Love your sockies!! amazing what can be made out of corn!! Let’s give praise to the deities and Xmucane (first midwife) for the gift of maize!! Rant some more!! We need more rant and moral outrage! I’m so tired of complacency. big hugs!

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October 2009
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