Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's Time for . . . Randomness!

by Stephanie Black

Bloooog desert here lately. Let’s see . . . Kerry and Sariah are both moving. Rob has strep. And I'm guessing Jeff is either traveling or he sprained his wrist signing a multi-million dollar book deal. It's not easy being both brilliant novelist Jeffrey S. Savage AND brilliant novelist J. Scott Savage, so we'll give him a pass if he gets confused and misses a blog.

Since we’re short on blog posts, that gives me license to be random today. That way, you can pretend each unrelated paragraph is a mini-blog, and it’ll be, like, wow! The Frog Blog has a bunch of new posts!

*First, our exciting event for the week: my daughter, her friend, and I went up to San Francisco to see novelists Dan Wells and F. Paul Wilson. We had a great time at the booksigning and were even there early enough to get front row seats. Woot! It was fun to see Dan again and to meet F. Paul Wilson, even if I did end up smiling at him with blueberries in my teeth from the incredibly delicious frangipane tart I ate for lunch. I also ate a ham and cheese croissant that was to die for, which I might, because it probably had a whole stick of butter in it.

*Does anyone else out there spend undue amounts of time searching looking for something else to add to your cart to bring your total up to $25 so you can get free shipping? Must spend more money so I can . . . um . . . save money!

*My son is having a great time learning to play the trumpet. I’m thrilled to see him so enthusiastic about learning a musical instrument (and the neighbors are excited too, I’m sure). He took piano lessons for a while, but never liked them and never wanted to practice, so—surprise!—he didn’t make a lot of progress. But ever since he's started the trumpet, he’s been blasting it daily and is learning fast. What’s not to like about an instrument you can blow so loudly that it knocks the paint off the walls? Bonus: it also involves spit.

*In other musical news, I debated buying a new violin bow, since my old bow is cracked—has been for thirty years. When I was in elementary school, I was walking out of a room and caught the bow in the gap between the open door and the doorframe—oops! Fortunately, the break was repairable, so my mother glued it back together, with the thought of buying a new bow when I started junior high. But the bow kept working, and I kept using it. When I tried out a few new bows a couple of weeks back, I liked the feel of my old one better. I asked the guy at the violin shop if it could be rehaired, and he said it could, so now my bow has new hair, and, somewhere, a generous horse is missing part of his tail. Our December symphony concert (I play in a community orchestra) is all Beethoven, which is awesome. It doesn’t get better than Beethoven.

*Last night’s black bean chicken chili was really tasty. It was also Monday night’s chili, which I'd cooked in my favorite pan, the Blue Pan of Happiness. We had a lot left over, so I served it again Tuesday night. Chili is always better the second day, and this was even better better, since I added a square of unsweetened baking chocolate. Oh yeah!

*Other chocolate news: I lamented on Twitter that I was out of chocolate, and chocolate guru Annette Lyon sent me an easy recipe for a cake that calls for cocoa powder. Isn’t that the nicest thing ever? I’m eager to get my hands on Annette’s Chocolate Never Faileth cookbook. The real question is—will I wait for my birthday (in December) or Christmas? Or will I lose patience and rush to buy it for myself?

*When we arrived at the elementary school grounds this morning, we saw some little girls jumping up and down and cheering, “Finally!” My son remarked, “They’re probably excited about the Apple Keynote today.” Har! Good guess. He’s been beside himself with excitement over whatever Apple is planning to announce, and would love to stay home from school so he can watch the announcement. Dream on, tech-boy. He said when he gets home, he’s going to zoom to the computer so fast that he’ll leave smoke in his tracks. That’s my kid.

*We watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Why do I like that show when it's so depressing and I'm a happy-ending person? I think it must be the combination of nostagia--we watched it when I was a kid--and the fact that it's just so Halloweeny, with all the fun autumn-Halloween-looking graphics.

*What I wish I had right this minute: an omelet.

How about you? Any random thoughts you'd like to share today?


At 10/20/2010 2:54 PM, Blogger Michael Knudsen said...

Had to laugh at the reference to Amazon's $25 free shipping policy. It's no mystery why so many books seem to be priced at exactly $12.49.

At 10/20/2010 3:36 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

My wife usually adds pens (red, of course!) or post-it notes, or some other little office supply.

Also, I just have to say: chocolate in chili is just unnatural. Don't say "mole" either, still not for me. Best thing for chili is some bread to dunk in it! Wendy's used to sell croissant breadsticks with salads, and those were AWESOME for eating with their chili. Mmmmm.

*random: if I look out my office window, I see the motocross track that my company created for the annual party. The MTV guys from Nitro Circus parachuted in, and then did amazing stunts that I didn't see because I was home fuming over a work-related personnel issue. And now I get to see the track anytime I turn to the right. *grumble*

*random2: I just finished reading a book of short stories from Stephen King (seemed appropriate for October) Oddly, only 3 of the stories were what I would call horror, and only two of those were supernatural. The rest of them were all "slice of life", character-intensive vignettes leading up to some sort of "a ha!" moment. All in all, very enjoyable. Collection was called "Just After Sunset" and the cover art was amazing, in that you felt like your eyes were blurring.

*random3: Does Gwyneth Paltrow's child attend your son's elementary school? ;)

At 10/20/2010 6:32 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Michael, I can just see myself spending fifteen bucks to make up for a two-cent shortfall so I can get my free shipping.

But Jon, it doesn't taste chocolatey. Just . . . tasty.

Ooh, croissant breadsticks.

Bummer about not getting to see the cool parachuting.

Ha ha, no, that's not the Apple that interests my kid.

At 10/21/2010 9:43 AM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

So what was the Apple announcement? :)

At 10/21/2010 9:47 AM, Blogger Annette Lyon said...

Realized after I sent the recipe that I should have sent a quicker one that's one serving (the microwave cake). Oh, well. :) (Enjoy either way--it's still chocolate!)

As for random--I've been on a weird Cafe Rio kick lately. I crave their chicken salad all the time.

At 10/21/2010 10:47 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Heather, I had to ask my son--he said they announced a new iLife, a new Mac OS, and a new MacBook Air.

Annette, there's nothing weird about a Cafe Rio kick. Yum! Every time we visit my parents in Utah, we go to Cafe Rio.

Mmm, a one-serving cake--that could come in handy!

At 10/21/2010 11:56 AM, Blogger Kate said...

I keep a whole list of books in my Save for Later basket at Amazon. I'd rather pay for a book than shipping. You could put Chocolate Never Faileth in there . . .

At 10/21/2010 11:50 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Kate, great idea!


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