Of Screenplays and Sleep Apnea

First, a little bit of light reading. That’s what I’ve been up to.

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Second, I got to go have an overnight sleep study to see if I have sleep apnea. Ding, ding, ding! I do! I am adjusting to life with air.  It is refreshing. Much recommended.

Third, for the last couple of weeks I’ve been absorbed in writing screenplays. I wrote a ten minute short for one actor, and now I’m working on a full-length piece to pitch to Amazon Studios. It’s a fusion of kishotenketsu and three-act structure, which is just the kind of geeky structure nerdery that  I enjoy.

 

 

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Filmscoring, screenwriting, and ancient history, OH MY

blueberry pie

THIS IS A BLUEBERRY PIE MADE WITH A CRUST OF BUTTERED OATS AND A FILLING OF BLUEBERRIES, GROUND ALMONDS, AND SPICES SUCH AS CINNAMON, CLOVES, AND NUTMEG.

It was so good.

 

Yeah, so those are the things that have been fascinating me lately. First I got SERIOUSLY INTO SCORING FILMS. I took in a class. I re-scored a few scenes. 

Then I got tangentially inspired to write a screenplay, so I did that too. 

Then I read 100 Million Years of Food and got inspired to join the SCA.  FOR MY HEALTH.

To say a little bit more about this, the premise of 100 Million Years of Food is that we should be eating what our ancestors ate five hundred years ago. For me, that means western Europe, which, conveniently, is well-celebrated and expressed through cookbooks such as Pleyn Delit as well as Ren Faires and SCA activities.

And what did I learn about Scottish food (my family tree is squarely Scottish, with 700 years of shepherds roaming about Scotland before they crossed over to eastern Canada and then filtered through the USA)?

I learned, oats and barley instead of wheat flour. I learned berries, nuts, mushrooms, cinnamon, clove, ginger, garlic, and pepper for spices. I learned leafy greens such as sorrel, spinach, and chickweed along with herbs and aromatics such as onions and garlic. And I learned about pottage, which is delicious.

I’m only a few days into this “medieval Scottish” diet, and I can’t speak to its health effects one way or another. BUT! I can say that THIS FOOD IS DELICIOUS. So, selfishly, I’m hoping that it works wonders for me because it is both tantalizing and it tickles my nerd brain.

 

 

Camping Packing List

Today I’m driving five hours with my 5-year-old son and my husband to South Lake Tahoe, where we’ll be camping with a bunch of friends.

I don’t have much to say, except that I love the way my son comes alive at this campsite. This is the place where he learned the word “friend” and learned about the joy of jumping off of tree stumps. Every time he goes to this campsite, he feels joy. He grows. He thrives.

I’m leaving in less than two hours and I haven’t packed yet. FULL DISCLOSURE: my husband is packing all of the food and camping gear. And I already packed up my kid’s stuff. So now it’s just down to me. I’ll be gone Fri-Sat-Sun.

So I’m going to packing list at you. Just because that’s what’s on my mind.

Three pairs of underwear

Four pairs of socks

Two pairs of yoga pants

One pair of loose and comfy jeans

Three soft knit tee-shirts

One light and foldy jacket

Baseball cap

Three comfy camisoles or sports bras – THIS WEEKEND, THE GIRLS SHALL BE FREE-ISH

Sneakers

Bathing suit

Sunscreen

Shampoo

Deodorant

Toothbrush/paste

Pillow

Book for car ( Rendevous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke)

Phone speaker for Audible book (NOW SOLICITING RECS FOR BOOKS THAT WILL ENTERTAIN THE WHOLE FAMILY)

 

Am I missing anything important?

 

 

 

 

 

I tried this: Nordic Stone Age Bread

I found a recipe for Nordic Stone Age Bread and had to try it.  The result?

nordic stone age bread

Um, this is very pretty. The smell was so aromatic that I didn’t wait for this to cool; I just tucked right in, topping my slice with a dollop of cream cheese.

It was a little crumbly, but I suspect that that’s because I didn’t let it cool. <.< A visit to the loaf about an hour later revealed that the loaf had firmed up considerably.

How does it taste? Nutty. Not sweet. Not sour. Just nutty. With the spread cream cheese on top, it was a super-fatty indulgence. Just… wham pow bam, here comes the fat.

And it was super filling. A slice filled me up and left me full. Not in the “I have willpower” way, in the “I am stuffed” kind of way.

I’m seeing this marketed to the paleo crowd, and that makes sense. But I think this would make a lovely offering at a party or a potluck – it’s beautiful and unusual. If it ends up slicing well (now that it’s cooled) it might be nice with a tray of gooey, stinky cheeses and/or fruit.

 

 

Wild Hair: Plant-Designed Gardens

Yesterday I read a book by Marta Williams called “Learning Their Language.” In this book, Marta argues that plants and animals are just as sentient and intelligent, you could say sapient, as humans. That’s a novel idea.

I was considering that idea this morning, as I drank my coffee out under some grape vines, and as my gaze scanned the garden, I began thinking about how gardening, even permaculture gardening, is a way of imposing human will on green spaces.

I’ve studied permaculture quite a bit, and I love that stuff. Permaculture — it is the best. I’ve also learned some sneaky tricks for having messy, wild gardens in suburban spaces. There are two primary tricks:

  • Add hardscaping in the form of benches, paths, statuary, and trellises – both to make the spaces more useful and to reassure the neighbors that this is a tended space.
  • Make sure that there are plenty of flowers up at the front of the garden – sort of a floral misdirect. (Ignore the lettuce – look at all of these gladiolas!)

That’s when it occurred to me that we could create garden spaces in which we do no planting or tilling whatsoever. No weeding. No irrigation. Because all we’d do is set up the hardscaping – laying out paths, picnic tables, shades, and statues, and garden beds filled with bare soil…

…and then we’d let the soil plant itself. Weeds. Volunteers. Scrappy native plants. And we’d let it grow, whatever self-selects for that space.

I haven’t tried this yet.

Doing this could result in ABJECT FAILURE.

But what if it’s an awesome exercise in wu-wei? Letting go of the need to control? Abandoning perfectionism?

Also, what if it was easy to do and, ultimately, lovely to look at?

What if, instead of pulling the plants you didn’t recognize or snark at them for being common weeds, you looked them up and learned their names, culinary purposes, herbal uses, or soil enrichment properties? What if they attract butterflies, repel pests, or block the baking soil from the harsh of the sunlight?

Ultimately, this would be about honoring the wisdom that plants have, as they choose their living spaces and companions.

Allowing such a plant-designed garden (look Ma, no hands!) to evolve itself over a period of, oh, say, five or ten years, would probably result in a lovely place uniquely adapted for its weather and context – including self-seeding flowers from neighbors gardens, common weeds, natives, and weird-ass stuff that we don’t know what is.

What do you think? Could a plant-designed garden succeed as a pleasant green space for human enjoyment and plant empowerment?

 

 

 

 

 

Book Rec: Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling by Edgar Schein

I’m a smoosher. I steal this term from Emilie Wapnick, who created the term “multipotentialite” and founded puttylike.com. Basically, I take two ideas and smoosh them together to see what happens. I like to see what emerges when to previously unrelated concepts collide. So one of my go-to practices is smooshing stuff together.

One of the best multi-purpose smooshables I’ve seen is Humble Inquiry. It’s a method of communication that calls for asking sincere, non-leading questions and then being truly open to what you’ll hear back. HUMBLE INQUIRY IS MAGIC, YOU GUYS. IT IS MY HAMMER AND ALL THE WORLD IS A NAIL.

Edgar Schein wrote the book (this is not an affiliate link, it’s just a regular link to Amazon).  It’s aimed at business types, but it works anywhere. Talking to the husbeast? Humble Inquiry. Talking to a friend about her troubles? Humble Inquiry. Want to get to know a stranger. BAM. Humble Inquiry.The

The cool thing about Humble Inquiry is that it opens windows into the minds of other people. If you’re not angling for something or expecting something, you get the chance to be appropriately delighted, surprised, or responsive to what actually comes out of the other person’s mouth (or hands, if they’re signing.)

And you can smoosh Humble Inquiry with anything:

  1. Permaculture Workshop PLUS Humble Inquiry = very yes
  2. Conversation with politically different but pleasant uncle PLUS Humble Inquiry = Thanksgiving doesn’t end in tears
  3. Business meeting PLUS Humble Inquiry = a meeting in which you both understand the needs of the organization and how you can help

The options are endless, but you get the idea.

I definitely recommend the book, but you can practice Humble Inquiry anywhere you go by using the following two steps:

  1. Ask a question that doesn’t angle for a specific reply
  2. Listen carefully to what you hear

MAGIC, PEOPLE.

Today’s interests: 3-D design and printing, and berry-wine slushies

A friend of mine (Hello L!) introduced me to 3D design today, so, naturally, I went to Tinkercad and made this guy:

blog critter photo

He’s made to fit over the black key of a piano. I think I’ll use him with my piano students. SO THAT’S HOW I LOST A DAY TO TINKERCAD, THANK YOU L!

 

Also, my husband made me this wine slushy, and I am interested in it.

slushy

 

Making a wine slushy isn’t rocket science. Blend frozen wine cubes with frozen fruit. Adjust liquidity to taste. And more taste. And more different taste. *hiccup*