Saturday, September 29, 2007

Book Review: Writing My Love

I just finished reading a cute, charming lesbian romance novel called Writing My Love by Claire McNab (Tallahassee, FL: Bella Books, 2006). The premise is an author wooing her editor by writing a romance novel with thinly disguised versions of themselves as the lead characters. It's as much a comedy about the writing process as a romance novel, and as such it's hilarious with its digressions on the use of italics for emphasis, rhetorical questions, alliteration, telling vs. showing, and so on.

Some of the literary jokes are subtle. Wandering point of view is a common problem in novels, and the novel that the character is writing is full of awkward point of view shifts. However, the main story is perfectly solid in its point of view, proving that McNab knows what she's doing. Also, the character's vehement protests against the accusation that she writes purple prose are written in the deepest shade purple I have seen in a long time. That's just a tiny sample of the delights that permeate this book.

Recommended highly not only to lesbians looking for a sweet romance story, but also to all writers, gay and straight, with a sense of humor about the creative process.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Root Beer Milk, Part II

Well, my attempts to mix my own root beer milk have been met with epic failure. Even though I used the finest ingredients--farm fresh milk and upscale all-natural root beer--I couldn't get the taste right. The sweetness of the root beer is not by itself enough to make the beverage as a whole sweet. So I'm guessing that Burbach's dairy adds sugar to offset the non-sweetness of the milk. When I added a spoonful of sugar to my cup, the flavor was almost right. However, the sugar didn't dissolve fully in the cold liquid, and thus my drink had texture. Eeek!

So I'll just buy the Burbach milk when I want a treat.

Ten Pennies

Taking a walk this afternoon, I came across a stack of ten pennies. It's like finding a dime, only less convenient.

The thing is, someone went to the effort of stacking the pennies and deliberately leaving them along the edge of the walkway.

Why? Seriously, why?

Not that I'm complaining. I'm ten cents richer, and that is always a good thing.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Root Beer Milk

I've recently gotten into the farm-fresh milk in the heavy glass bottles, because it tastes far and away better than all the standard brands of mass-distribution milk. Around my part of Omaha, I can get milk from two local Nebraska farms--Burbach and Legacy. Both are wonderful. Definitely worth the extra cost. I'll never go back to Robert's or Blue Bunny again.

Anyway, these local farms also put out some flavored milk, as well. Chocolate and strawberry, of course, are essentially standard milk flavors. Delicious, but nothing to blog about. However, for today, as my birthday present to myself, I have a bottle of Burbach's root beer milk.

It is brown, a shade or so lighter in color than chocolate milk. Since the base is whole milk, and I'm used to skim, I expect it will be much richer than I'm used to. I'm going to start with just a little tiny cup of it . . .

I'm shaking it first, of course.

Smells good . . . smells really good . . . the root beer smell is very strong, with a powerful dairy current running through it. The scent seems much more like cream than milk.

It is delicious, like a root beer float that has been thoroughly mixed together after all of the ice cream has melted. Honestly, the root beer flavor is not as strong as the scent led me to believe. I could do with a bit more root beer.

On my second cup now. There is . . . not so much an aftertaste as a coating on my tongue. I expect that's more due to the use of whole milk, which is so much thicker than I'm accustomed to.

Final verdict: Good stuff. A little weak for my tastes, but a nice treat.

Although next time I'll just get plain milk and mix it with cane-sugar root beer until I get the flavor balance tuned to my tastes.

Onto my third cup, and now it's time to post.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mysterious Phone Call

I had a bit of an odd experience last night. I was sitting on my couch playing video games. My cell phone, which was in my pocket same as always, rang. Granted, it was an unusual ring, not the tone I have programmed for incoming calls. The display screen announced that the call was from my grandma. When I answered, she seemed a little bewildered. Never in my memory has she called without a specific purpose in mind, so I thought it was odd that she seemed to have nothing in particular to say. After a bit of confusion, we discovered that she thought I had called her and she was waiting for me to get to my point! We talked for a little bit, and afterwards I checked my phone message history. The call was logged as outbound rather than inbound, so it definitely originated with my phone, even though I hadn't touched it.

Has anyone else ever had a cell phone spontaneously make a call on its own?

I hadn't been talking out loud, and the volume was low on the TV, so it shouldn't have been any kind of voice activation thing. Barring supernatural explanations, the best I can come up with is interference from some other device in my home, such as my wireless PlayStation controller or the cordless phone which was off but laying nearby on the table. I suppose if one of my neighbors had something putting off a strong signal, that could have done it, too.

Anyway, it was so strange!