Mary Anne Mohanraj

Journal

January 25 -- 6:02 PM

The actual new lamp. :-) I like it. IKEA's Ekarp floor lamp, Hemsta lampshade.

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January 25 -- 5:50 PM

The New Lamp

Nightmares all night, the stupid kind,
where you are late for class, or naked,
or chased by bears. The day drags.
The thought of working makes me
weep, but somehow, I manage. Children
are fed, rooms straightened, chaos
staved off for one more day. I had
such plans for today, but some days,
maintaining is the best you can do.

I accomplished one thing. A lamp, bought
weeks ago, finally installed, and a beanbag,
stolen from the playroom, tucked
underneath. It was meant for a reading
nook in my daughter’s room, but she
does not love to read. The child plays
pretend with her dolls, for hours on end.
Stories one way or another are fine
with me. Stories and light. What else
do we have, to drive out the dark?

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January 22 -- 3:41 PM

Brief diet / exercise note:

With counting calories and walking and the help of the Fitbit / Aria scale as trackers, I've lost 3.5 pounds in three weeks. I'm really pleased about this, because it's taken me back over my own personal threshold -- there's a specific, consistent weight at which I no longer like the way my face looks in photos, and now I'm back on the other side of that. Which is why I wasn't completely freaked out about having an author photo shoot today; we'll see how the pics come out!

I've been mildly hungry some of the time, but it hasn't been bad. Today I'm taking a rest day, both because I overexerted myself a bit with the excessive 17,000 steps yesterday (didn't plan on that many -- it's just how the day worked out), and because Roshani brought over her delectable pork curry, and one should not restrict the calories when offered that!

My goal for today is just to maintain; I think giving myself small, reasonable breaks from calorie restriction is essential for cheerful state of mind, and maybe also helps keep the body from switching into some kind of weird starvation mode where it tries to hang onto every bit of extra fat against what is clearly an imminent apocalypse....okay, I may be completely off base here. I have no science to back that last part up! But it feels good. It felt good to eat lightly and walk a lot the last few weeks; it felt good to eat normally and rest some today. That's a lot of what's guiding my decisions right now -- what do I do that makes my body feel good?

(Not just my mouth. My mouth is not to be trusted.)

(Okay, I didn't mean that to come out dirty, but ah well...)

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January 22 -- 9:12 AM

My preliminary schedule for AnomalyCon in Denver, 3/27 - 3/29:

Saturday 10: Overcoming Barriers
Brilliant authors talk about breaking out of the stereotypes to be successful in art and fiction.

Saturday 12: Writing Characters of Impact
Women. QUILTBAG. People of color. They all have a common trend throughout fiction: The person who gets rescued or killed at the whim of the hero or villain. We're here to change that. It's not just about strength.

Saturday 1: Author Free-For-All
Don't miss this wild answer to every question you never thought to ask your favorite authors! Twitter meets steroids.

Saturday 2: Women Are Ruining Science Fiction
Mary Shelly invented the Science Fiction genre. But we've heard that female writers are ruining science fiction. These amazing and wildly successful science fiction authors are here to put your suspicions where they belong--back in the middle ages.

Sunday 12: Social Linguistics
A discussion on the evolution of the meaning of words through their social use, as well as the development of colloquiallism.

Sunday 2: Becoming Uncomfortable
Difficult Conversations to expand our understanding of community. Being willing to ask--and answer--the hard questions.

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January 21 -- 6:48 PM

So, I said I wanted more Sri Lankan-flavored low-carb, high-protein food, so I decided to experiment. This is not that, but it is quite yummy, and now that I have a batch of green chili sambol made up, I'm going to try it in a wrap and/or salad tomorrow, I think. This is a great quick lunch at home, assuming you've grilled a bunch of shrimp in advance (I do a pound, and then throw it into things all week), and have a batch of green chili sambol in your fridge. Just take two minutes to toast your naan, assemble, and eat!

*****

Green Chili Naan, Topped with Grilled Shrimp and Fresh Mango
(makes two light servings (200 calories each), or one hearty one (400 calories))

2 T (or to taste) green chili sambol
2 oz. chopped mango
3 oz. grilled shrimp
1 slice naan
cilantro to garnish

1. Toast naan, and assemble open-face sandwich. Would also make a cute appetizer in smaller portions, though a bit messy as mango bits fall off.

*****

Green Chili Sambol
(makes roughly 2 cups, keeps for a long time in the fridge)
(200 calories / cup, about 15 calories / T)

1 c. grated coconut (unsweetened; if dry, reconstitute in a few T of hot milk)
2 medium onions
6 small green Thai chilies (more or less, to taste)
1 slice ginger
2 T lime juice
1 tsp. salt
dozen or so curry leaves

Chop coarsely, and then puree all ingredients in blender with about 1/8 c. water.

*****

I was out of cilantro, so it's garnished here with a bit of kale, but that is just for the photo's sake. :-) The kale was unseasoned, so I took it off before eating! But you could probably do a layer of kale under the shrimp if you wanted. Or, if you want to make it richer, I am pretty sure some slices of avocado would taste great with this! May make it again soon, with avocado and cilantro, so I can photograph (and taste) it properly. :-)

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