Author Archives: Jack

On Cooking

I’m good at cooking, but you know what I’m not good at? Writing down recipes.

I just don’t function in a way that is conductive to recipes.

I judge things on texture, on color. I spice things by smell.

When I try writing down something I’m making, at best I forget to write something down. At worst, I add way to much chili. It’s also just not… fun. It’s unsatisfying and not at all stimulating. Trying to write down recipes turns a magical creative thing into Work.

I still want to share things, but I’m going to have to figure out how a way to do that without the drawbacks of writing a traditional recipe.

Oh What A WorldCon


Alexandra and I had a wonderful first World Con. Everyone in Kansas City was very nice to us and the convention center had food vendors on the third floor so (despite doing a lot of walking) I didn’t have a single low blood sugar episode.

We went to some great panels and readings, but the best part of any convention is the people. There were certainly some there that are not my type of aquantance (including some drunken frat boy types who screamed in our faces), but we spoke to and hung out with the best.  It is always great to see old con friends and get the opportunity to meet new ones.

I was also glad that my Theory of Low Annoyance Selection went so well. The trick of it is select diverse panels and readings (it doesn’t work with events) while avoiding any with more than one white cis man you wouldn’t vouch for. I Googled panelists for an extra feeling of security but that didn’t end up affecting my decisions. It worked remarkably well for something so simple, but I forgot to take the audience into cosideration. A few of the panels we attended had minor  unanticipated problems with the audience but that didn’t ruin any of them for me and I would still take them all again.

I also learned that I am not very good at telling when people are famous. I almost took something for John Scalzi to sign but I ended up figuring that he wouldn’t be famous enough for a signing line. Um, turns out he is actually a Big Deal. And apparently Nora from WisCon is Hugo winner N. K. Jemisin.

I did at least know that that George R. R. Martin is a big deal, so we got books signed by him.

The Hugo awards and the subsequent parties we got invited to where very surreal. Some of our conventions friends were nominated for Hugos and people we had lunch with won. It was really amazing. And then we went to the official after party which was thrown by one of my favorite people AND had astronauts. After that the night somehow got even more fantastical since we got invited to George R. R. Martin’s Hugo Losers party where Alexandra won an Alfie.

Honestly, I keep looking at the picture of it on Facebook to remind myself that it really happened.

Well, I guess everything is up to date in Kansas City.


Oh, and I started the legal name change process so that’s a thing.

Baked Adobo Chicken Skewers



6 chicken breasts

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons adobo seasoning **

1 tablespoon amarillo seasoning **

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 orange bell pepper

** These seasonings are usually found in the Mexican/International food isle

The First Night:

Chop up your chicken into bite sized pieces, removing the big chunks of fat and trying to keep them as uniform as possible.

Add the olive oil, adobo seasoning, amarillo seasoning, salt, and pepper. Marinade overnight in the fridge.

Soak you skewers in a container of water overnight.


The Next Day:

Pre-heat your oven to 450.

Wash and chop your peppers into separate containers, trying to keep them as uniform as possible.

Assemble your skewers.

Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then turn them and bake for another 10 minutes.  Cut open the larger pieces of chicken to check doneness.

Makes approximately 23 skewers, with bell peppers left over. There are about 0.6 net carbs per skewer.

Home from vacation


My family and I are newly home from a family vacation in Omaha, thanks to my out-laws wanting to get everyone together for the Fourth of July.

I love the Omaha area so much. The Old Market is full of good food and neat art, like the odd and wonderful Garden of the Zodiac, which I love. It is slowly getting more and more overgrown and wild, and I feel like there is some sort of commentary about our culture’s use of zodiac signs and horoscopes in that.

Garden of The Zodiac

We also saw some paintings by Bart Vargas, exploring Americanism. It was really great, and I wish I had enough money that I could have bough a few. He is very clever with textures and his titles made already remarkable pieces even better. You can find his website over here.

Omaha also has a world class zoo, and there is an amazing safari park nearby so I got to take a lot of pictures of cute animals.

bear friend

The Omaha zoo is really amazing (and has Okapi, my favorite animal!). They keep making it better and better. They really understand both what visitors want and that the animals have needs too so they are doing things like building bigger and better habitats for the animals while giving the humans great views and transportation options.

Choo choo

Their train now gives you great views of the animals and the waiting area has great music. Our waiting area was right across from where the ostriches and impalas hang out.

All in all it was an amazing vacation, and I will probably be sorting pictures from it until it is time to go to WorldCon.

the mighty monarch!

On Finding Yourself In Bars

Monrey was, by all appearances, a typical Monday’s child. They lived under this impression until their tenth year when they witnessed a bully push their friend to the ground.

Monrey was so angry that all they could think was darkness. They concentrated on this darkness and three testicles appeared from nothingness and wrapped around the bully, a tiny Tuesday’s child with hair like molten gold. With a great slurp the tentacles vanished, dragging the bully into their nothingness.

From that day on Monrey felt themselves put apart from the world. They felt people’s eyes on their back like fearful knives. They heard the heavy hushed whispers whenever they walked past.

Monrey… well, they did their best with what they had left. They worked to find contentment with being a part of nobody, and peace with whatever darkness their mind could call. And if there was nobody in the world like them, well that’s the only world Monrey knew.

That is until the day they met the Other.

On this day Monrey, yearning for even the slightest crumb of human society, makes their way to a dark bar on the corner of Lafayette and Third. They sit in the darkest corner, their burnt clay hands clasped too tightly together, and wait for the stares to reach them.

And they wait.

And they wait.

But they don’t feel the prick of eyes and look about the room. Absolutely nobody in the room has yet noticed them, instead they are looking at the Other who smiles a smile that does not reach their eyes.

It is perhaps typical, Monrey thinks, for smiles not to reach your eyes when you don’t have any. But does the Other have eyes? They are easy to look at but hard to see. Something about them shifts and swirls, obscuring the very them of them. It is an effect as dizzying as peering down the side of a cliff only to see yourself smiling up at you.

Smiling. The Other is smiling at Monrey now, the kind of smile that makes the sun rise, the earth spin, and Monrey’s stomach to feel like a ship lost in a storm.

Should they smile back? Wave? Worse yet, say something?

Before they can decide, the Other is there, sliding a drink towards them.

“I know what you are,” the Other whispers.

Their voice is so smooth, the type of voice that should be reserved for snakes who whisper gardens, but Monrey shakes their head, rejecting the notion.

“I am a person, and people aren’t whats. They’re whos.”

And thus the night ends like many other nights will end. Monrey goes home alone, feeling less alone.


Steak Tips & Mushrooms

steak tips and mushrooms

Serving size = 1 cup. Makes about 4. Each serving has approximately 9.75 net carbs


splash of olive oil
1 medium white onion (equal to about 2 cups)
2 cups steak tips
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
4 cups sliced mushrooms
Powdered beef bouillon, equal to 1 cube
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
2 tbsp sour cream
3 tbsp heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp parsley
1 cup frozen green beans


Slice your onion. I tend to cut it in half and then slice it into strips but if you want to dice it, that works too.

Microwave your frozen green beans for 2 minutes.

Wash, rinse, and drain the mushrooms.

Round up your spices and measuring spoons/cups.



In a large pan with a lid or a large pot, heat your oil and swirl it about in the pan.

Set to medium heat and add your onions. Cook them until they are nearly translucent, which might take a while. Be sure to stir frequently because onions like to get stuck on the bottom. This might take a while, I’m sorry.

Add your meat and the salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar. Brown the meat on each side.

Add your mushrooms, bullion, Worcester sauce, sour cream, cream, parsley, and green beans. Stir well.
Cover and cook for 15 minutes.



If you can’t find steak tips/don’t want to put that much money in it, any cut of beef trimmed and cut small will work, but if you’re using tougher meat like stew meat you will want to lower the heat and add another 10 minutes to the end.

You can buy pre-chopped onions.

If you use frozen onions, you will have to defrost them and then drain them.

If you use canned mushrooms you still have to wash and drain them.
It’s fine if you use an oil other than olive oil. There will be a change in taste but not enough of one to really matter.



Well, you can see I didn’t meet my New Years posting goal. There are two big reasons for it.

The first, and probably biggest, is that it is hard to speak when nobody is listening because it is hard to know if what you are saying is worth it without feedback. I have a lot of insecurities/worries about not being good or worthwhile enough and that quickly turns into wondering why I bother, which turns into not bothering.

The second is that my tip jar has my legal name on it. Having my legal name where people can see it is so very dysmorphic, but at the same time I need the tip jar because if I’m going to be providing content, my broke ass needs a way to allow people who like it to pay me for it.

I’m back because I had a great WisCon. I talked to a lot of people I tend to feel are too cool for me and it turns out that such a thing is probably all in my head. I’m even Facebook friends with some of them now.

I’m going to look into more ways of getting eyes on this blog and that should help the first one. Hopefully after this year’s WorldCon I can get my name changed and fix the second one. But there is going to be a lot of sucking it up and a lot of pretending that I think I am good enough.

New Year’s Goals

Unlike some, my new year’s goals are not set for the new calendar year but rather the anniversary of my birth. Since my birthday is this Sunday, it is time for me to gather my goals.

1) Post to my blog once a week
2) Control my diabetes enough that I can stop taking Januvia and then get it back down to non-diabetic numbers again.
3) Spend 5 minutes every day exercising in one of the following manners: treadmill, weight lifting in in-between moments, awkward dance parties, wii fit
4) Reduce soda intake to 1, with a +1 allowance for stressful days and a Fuck It allowance for eating out.
5) Get one of those Rode ID medical tags for my fitbit
6) Color more
7) Write more

So they aren’t the most fun goals, but they are designed to be very achievable and produce welcome results.

Written in Shaky Hand

I’ve never thought my writing to have any merit.

I’ve been told that it is graceful.
I find that doubtful.

I’ve been told that it is a mixture of printing and cursive.
I find that plausible.

When I look at it, all I see is a man whose hands shake.

A man who rushes rushes rushes with neither goal nor dream.

When I look at my writing I find a man who cannot choose, whose style whirls and teeters without the slightest hope of balance.

Maybe some day I will see a man who feels no need to choose, who glories in his momentum- moving for the glory and the pleasure of it.

Yet even then my hands will still shake.

Poem: Arania

The weaver wears the night like a cape
and twirls the stars into her hair.

Her lips still boast of
a goddess’ curse,
a remnant of her mother’s pride.

The weaver spins the stories of old,
bright tales of rainbows bold
and gods more cruel than man.

Pallas sits in parlors,
her patron now,
but sins of pride
not even time
may unravel.