The outside of a pawpaw fruit is sort of leathery yellow-green-brown with lots of brown spots. The inside is creamy yellow with huge black seeds, easily removed. The texture is a bit like avocado crossed with banana, ranging from relatively firm to very mooshy/squishy, and the flavor is... hmm... kind of like banana-pear with a hint of lemon, maybe? Or mango-guava-banana? Hard to describe, anyway. It's very sweet and gets cloying rather quickly; one fruit would probably be most people's limit.
It turns out that I am mildly allergic to raw pawpaws, but not terribly so -- a single Benadryl tablet was enough to mitigate the reaction, and I didn't start getting excessive phlegm/throat-closing issues until I'd eaten nearly a whole palm-sized fruit.
I don't particularly need to eat another pawpaw ever again, but I hear they make pretty good ice cream (which I would readily believe) and they can be subbed into almost any recipe in place of banana. Miss Cactus said she used a bunch in a banana bread recipe this week and it turned out well, so. :)
( Spoilers! )
I also watched the first two episodes of Slasher, which... nah. Nicely done and everything, but it feels way too much like a regular 96-minute slasher movie, albeit a good one, stretched to a whole television season. But it's impressive what the Canadians manage to get away with putting on television screens in terms of gore.
Originally I was going to start with, "So I went to the doctor to have my heart checked ..." Which would have been foolish, because people actually care about my health. The dog cares. My wife cares. The fire department would have to set up a funeral detail if I kicked the fire bucket, so they care. My insurance company? They totally care.
In fact, lots of people care more than I do. They would have dragged me to the doctor right away if they'd known that a while back, I started getting this fluttering feeling in my chest. It was as if my heart was trying to do a Mexican Hat Dance around my major aortas. It would come around long enough for me to get concerned, then go away, at which point I did what most men do: Ignored it.
See, this is why I never bought into this whole gender equality thing: Women are clearly superior to men. They have a problem, they go to the doctor. Men have a problem, they watch football.
Anyway, I got some testing, the electrodes were cold, ripped my hair out, yadayada, my heart is fine. The problem is stress. Those of you who follow my blog may have figured that out already--it's been a rough year. My stress levels are high. Also my pain levels are high, due to chronic back pain acting up a lot more than usual, which causes stress. The other day I missed a fire call because I was on the chiropractor's table. Welcome to my fifties.
There were several related health things that could, experts say, help reduce my stress:
Lose weight. (Which would also help the back pain.) Yeah, going into winter and the holidays ... even thinking about it increased my blood pressure ten points.
Exercise. This is an awesome idea at all times. Especially when my wife's seasonal job is shutting down for the winter, leaving me without the long hikes I was taking four or five days a week. Sheesh.
Cut down caffeine. No problem, I'll just quit my third shift job, and leave behind the stresses of paying for heat, electricity, food, housing ...
Looking back on that list, I realize I've got it pretty good. Lots of people in the world have no access to Mountain Dew. Can you imagine?
But at the moment it's all about getting stress out of my life, and I take 911 calls for a living, so it's not going to happen that way. So I've cut my Mountain Dew consumption down to exactly one can a day, about a 75% decrease; I've started using honey instead of sugar as a sweetener; and we're making some wintertime exercise plans. Small steps. Also, I'm skipping all holiday treats this year.
Kidding! Let's not get crazy. But okay, cutting down.
We live in stressful times, and there's only so much we can do. I suppose I should start some new-age type stuff--breath in the lotus position or something--because, apparently, the stress is going to kill me. But since I'm not a new-age type person, I've decided to spend as much time as possible this winter doing the one thing that relieves my stress the most.
No, not that. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Writing. Not selling, promoting, or submitting, all of which increase my stress levels. (Although I do have three completed but unpublished manuscripts, so those other things have to happen, too.) Writing and reading are two things that always make me feel better. In November, especially, I hope to do a lot of writing, which will reduce stress and give me something to show for it. And take my mind off the treats.
Or my head will explode, which is very stressful.
"Belly rubs reduce stress. So get over here!"
Parker : [Laughs] oh, yeah. The word is stamina. I mean, definitely a bunny in the sack, but later on, well. You know the difference between a freshman girl and a toilet seat? A toilet seat doesn't follow you around after you use it.
Riely decks Parker who hits the floor.
Riley : (Walking between Forrest and Graham.) I can't believe that I did that.
Forrest : What the hell for?
Riley : He--he was just being so crude.
Forrest : Please. You've heard me say much grosser things than that.
Riley : I just didn't like hearing him (he pauses thoughtfully) talk about buffy that way. I think I... Well, I guess I like her.
I have said before that I think Riley Finn was a metaphor for male privilege (straight, white male privilege specifically) and this is the perfect example.
Riley is a nice guy. Decent. Works hard. Goes to church. Serves his country. And it's possible we're meant to cheer him on for decking Parker. But. The line that stands out is Forrest's:
You've heard me say much grosser things than that.
The only thing different is that Riley happens to like Buffy. The whole of the cold open is a lengthy frat-boy-ish objectification of women. And Riley never speaks up.
I wish they'd done more with him. I can't even tell if the metaphor was deliberate, or if they just took the most basic template possible to create him, and the metaphor was built in.
However, it's useful. (Also see Xander of course.) Because in creating him, they essentially made Buffy date the Patriarchy. And the Patriarchy couldn't hack it and ran away.
But... they never really made the Patriarchy face its issues. Maybe they couldn't. Maybe that would have been a step too far for Joss... (*SO* not surprised at his ex-wife's allegations.)
And so it goes. From the Weinsteins and the Trumps at the top, through the Whedons and the Gibsons right down to the guy on the bus who puts his hand on your knee.
Because all the Riley Finns in the world just laugh when their friends are crude.
Not because she's your sister, your mother, your daughter, your girlfriend. Because he is your brother, your father, your son, your friend.
(ETA: Much like white people need to tackle racism, and straight/cis people need to tackle LGBT+ bigotry.)
While defending President Donald Trump's "brave" condolence call to a Gold Star family, Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly attacked Rep. Frederica Wilson, calling her an "empty barrel." Lawrence O'Donnell explains why Kelly was noble and cruel all at once.
This is 19 minutes long, but it's worth it. And it's what we need more of - straight white guys calling out their own.
Surgeries: Emergency gall bladder surgery about 15 years ago.
Broken bones: No
Shot a gun: Yes
Quit a job: Yes, several.
Flown on a plane: Yes
100+ miles in car: Many times
Gone zip lining: No
Watched someone give birth: Besides, myself? No
Watched someone dying: No
Ridden in an ambulance: Not an ambulance per se, the paramedics in the fire truck thing.
... Canada: Yes
... to Europe: No
... to Washington D.C: Yes
... to Florida: Yes
... to Colorado: Yes
... to Mexico: Yes
... to Las Vegas: Yes
Sang karaoke: It was dark, I was drunk. *whispers* yes
Had a pet: Yes
Been downhill skiing: Yes
Gone snowboarding: No
Ability to read music: Yes
Rode a motorcycle: I was a passenger
Rode a horse: Yes
Stayed in a hospital: Yes
Ride in Police Car: No
Driven a Boat: Yes, sailboat, speedboat and fishing boat
Seen a UFO: No
Been on a Cruise: No
Run out of Gas: No
Eat Sushi: Yes
Seen a Ghost: Only in my dreams
But seriously, this is a call for all of you who've read our books to please, please, give us a review. Amazon, Goodreads, wherever--authors these days live and die by reviews, and hey--I don't want to die. Not without a review.
(I've heard Amazon is zapping reviews that aren't "verified"--in other words, from Amazon buyers. I guess that makes Goodreads a place to go for getting them counted.)
There are several websites I've checked out, with the idea of posting ads for our books on them; especially Radio Red, the newest, which has been getting little traction even though my publisher has it up on the Simon & Schuster website. (If you're not aware, they're a very big publishing house, which is distributing all my romantic comedies via e-books.)
The problem is, websites devoted to helping writers with publicity are being overwhelmed with requests right now. As a result, many of them won't take on your book unless it has a certain amount of--yep--reviews. In other areas *coughAmazoncough*, word is some websites use algorithms that keep your book from getting noticed until, well, it's noticed, and reviewed. Catch-22? Yep. I wonder how Catch-22 would have done in modern times?
I guess I could have just shortened this to: Please, send in some reviews of whichever of our books you've read, and make sure they're honest ones, no pulling punches. I have zero dollars in my bribery budget, so we might as well have the truth. If we get, say, ten new reviews overall, good or bad, I'll ... I'll ... hm ....
Oh, I know! I'll record a video of me reciting one of my own poems, and post it for all to see. Yep.
Guess I'd better go write a poem now, just in case.
Very short at 76 minutes, especially since the ending comes very abruptly and I'm not sure it works. But up until then it's got a really nice gothic mood, washed-out New England winter and smelly shuttered rooms, lots of little details that makes me want to rewatch and look for clues, and a growing sense of unease and unreliability that seems to be going somewhere really good until it... doesn't. A pity. 15 more minutes and this could have been really neat.
Another classic: Sleepaway Camp is one of those movies I have to rewatch regularly, because it's just so fucking weird. I'm still not sure if it's in a good way or a bad way.
I'm pretty sure you couldn't make this movie today, which is probably a good thing. The actual young teens (star Felissa Rose was 14) playing actual young teens in not-very-appropriate situations, the camp staff who openly lust after their charges without anyone raising an eyebrow, the wild overacting, the queerness that's so overt that everyone missed it in 1983, THAT twist at the end ... And at the same time, the twist works (maybe just once, but that one time it's brilliant), the kills are inventive, and the sheer oddness of it does create a pretty disturbing atmosphere.
There are a couple of sequels which actually aren't half-bad, starring Bruce Springsteen's little sister if you'll believe that. But the original ... it's something else entirely.