• The ‘Editor’ vs. ‘MagCloud Profiteer’ Quiz

    I have written before my opinions of the impact of print-on-demand publishing on the magazine world, both for the better and for the worse. Before I go any further, I would like to state one thing very clearly: I will never be against any outlet that provides creative people the opportunity to get their work into the world without requiring any financial outlay upfront. Ever. And because print-on-demand publishing provides exactly that, I am not against it, per se.

    However, some of the people who, as a result of that outlet, are now running around bearing the self-granted titles of “editor” and “publisher” are frankly starting to piss me off just a bit. So, here’s a little quiz, some basics that really should be covered before you give yourself a title like that. read more

  • Dear Diet Karma; We Need to Talk

    Dear Diet Karma,

    I know we’ve had our differences in the past, but it’s a new year now and I feel the time has come for us to set those differences aside and work together toward a common end.  Specifically, my end.  The rear one.

    The standard science behind the loss and gain of weight is, of course, the ratio of caloric intake to caloric burn.  But the details of that seem to contain inconsistencies; for instance, number of calories in pure fat vs. body fat.  Not telling you how to do your job, just saying there’s obviously room for some discretionary allowances on your part.  That being said, I would like to request that I be given a weight-gain pass on consumption of the following items: read more

  • Chuck Norris, My Kitchen Needs You

    The other day, my holiday task du jour was to reduce 3 1/2 pounds of whole dates to a mush the texture of which would hold a spherical shape when mixed with brandy and covered with chocolate. It is my third year making this particular confection, having met with varying degrees of success in previous attempts, all of which were delicious, if not texturally and structurally ideal.

    The first year, my Black & Decker 750 watt blender proved unequal to this task; the motor is powerful enough to pull a wagon holding three small children and a medium pig, but the blade assembly is badly angled for food chopping. I did not blame the blender, and quietly reassured it that as long as it continued to make me margaritas, it would always have a place in my home and heart. I finished the job with a large knife and some of the most exquisite strings of profanity ever uttered in my kitchen, already planning how different things would be next time. read more

  • Crustless Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

    It was a very quiet Thanksgiving this year, and the thing I found myself most thankful for was the understanding of my loved ones when I said what I wanted more than anything this year was to decline all of their invitations and just stay home. It’s been that sort of month.

    I made a relatively small dinner, with one token green vegetable and far too many potatoes. I wanted dessert, but I didn’t want pie. Actually, let me clarify; if someone had shown up on my doorstep with pie, “OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE WITH THAT GET AWAY FROM ME NOW AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!” would serve as a fine example of the exact opposite of my reaction. I wanted pie just fine. What I didn’t want was to make pie. read more

  • Tiramisu Bundt with Orange Mascarpone Glaze

    Last year at about this time, my dear sister brought to my attention that November 15th is National Bundt Cake Day. A blogger known as The Food Librarian celebrates the occasion with a month-long Bundt-baking spree and encourages others to share photos and stories of the Bundts they bake. Dear Sis and I had planned to do this together, but since she was not around to bake a Bundt yesterday (she was in Italy, poor thing), I decided to go ahead on my own. Tiramisu being one of my favorite things ever, I wanted to try to capture the essence of it in a Bundt. For a first attempt of a new recipe, it was pretty darned not too bad. This recipe will be adjusted during future bakings, but here’s what happened in my kitchen yesterday.
    read more

  • Professional Courtesy 101

    Print-on-demand magazine publishing has created a fantastic opportunity for creative people to get their work on paper and into the world. It’s like the Internet equivalent of a wealthy benefactor; you invest your time and creative energies in a project, and someone else picks up the tab.

    Unfortunately, unlike an actual wealthy benefactor, print-on-demand publishing requires no real accountability and, as a result, professional conduct is falling further and further by the wayside. read more

  • Decisions, decisions…

    I’ve pondered this for a while now, and I just can’t decide which is funnier:

    Apple, using a song about a woman who is disgusted with people who think money and fancy toys prove they are better than everyone else, to sell iPods

    OR

    Lincoln, using a song about a man who dies when his vehicle fails as a result of faulty technology, to sell cars

    Deciding which large corporation’s advertising to mock never used to be this challenging.

  • Dear Fashion Industry…

    I feel as though I‘m missing something.

    I’m sure there must be some logic behind it that for whatever reason is just completely beyond my grasp; if there were not, it wouldn’t keep happening. Every year. Without fail. Someone out there must understand the very special kind of sense this makes, because I cannot recall a single year when I was not forced to grapple with the bewilderment born in my soul at the sight of…

    The Open-Toed Winter Shoe. read more

  • When Beer Ensues

    Sometimes, what you say isn’t nearly as important as how you say it.

    My love and I have been apart for a little while now and will be apart for a little while longer, due to life being life and circumstances being circumstances, but we check in with each other once or twice a day. Due to a rather large time difference, his day is wrapping up just as mine is getting started, so our exchanges consist of one recounting the events of the day as the other is laying out a plan for how it is hoped the new day will go.

    In one recent conversation, at the end of his day, his list of ‘things done’ fell slightly short of the previous conversation’s list of ‘things hoped to get done’. By way of explanation for this discrepancy, he offered the following:

    “In the interest of full disclosure, beer ensued.” read more

  • The Clanking Sheep of Norway & Other Tales for Troubled Teens

    There is one facet of the beauty in that subject line that can be seen by only two people in this world.

    The obvious beauty, of course, can and I’ve no doubt will be appreciated by millions, for who among us would not be warmed by thoughts of fjords, wandering sheep, loud clanking noises and smiling juveniles whose potential delinquency has been thwarted by fine literature?

    But only two people were there when the connection between those elements was made, only two people know how it happened and why, and these are the kind of things that make relationships worth having; not only the secrets that you share, but the secrets that you create. read more

  • My Underwear & Me

    I have no idea what company was just attempting to convince me that I should purchase what product or service.  I know someone wanted my money, and I know they were offering me something in return for it; beyond that, I can tell you nothing.  All I saw before I moved to another screen was:

    ‘What Does Your Underwear Say About You?’

    It is of course possible that this wasn’t an advertisement of any kind, but rather a public service announcement brought to us by Underwear Listeners for a Better Tomorrow or some other equally altruistic bunch who just think we should know, for our own sakes, what is being said about us by our undergarments: read more