Monday, September 30, 2013

Pizza Dough from Angeli Caffe in LA

Here's my favorite pizza dough recipe.  It is from the Angeli Caffe in Los Angeles, where I used to eat at least a couple times a week when I worked at Paramount.  It was right down the street and made fabulous food.  The pizza dough also works equally well just baked as bread (makes great sandwich or panini bread, too).  Yum!  The cook book is titled "Angeli Caffe: Pizza, Pasta, Panini" by Evan Kleiman.  Unfortunately, the restaurant has closed, but I am dang happy to have this cookbook of all their good things!  If you are lucky enough to live in the LA area, Evan Kleiman still does catering, and can be reached at

In a small bowl, sprinkle 1 package or 1 scant Tablespoon active dry yeast over 1/4 cup lukewarm water.  Let it fizz for 5 minutes.  In a large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp. salt (or a bit more imho); mix well.  Add in 3 T. extra virgin olive oil, 1 C. cold water and the yeast mixture.  Mix with a wooden spoon until you have a thick batter.

Sprinkle a work surface generously with flour.  Transfer the batter to the floured surface.  Knead in another cup of flour, a little at a time, into the dough, kneading for 8 - 10 minutes in all.  The dough should be soft and elastic but not sticky; add a bit more flour if needed.  Shape the dough into a ball.

Rub the inside of a large mixing bowl with a little olive oil.  Transfer the dough to the bowl, turn once to coat in oil, and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel.  Let the dough rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes.

[Preheat oven to 500 degrees, gather your toppings, then make it how you want.  Bake your pizza about 8 minutes, until the edges are golden.]

9-Part harmony Appreciation Post

This man is amazingly talented.  Listen to his 9-part harmony.  He nails it.  Yes, it's a hymn, and it's fantastic.
I would like to thank my high school choir teacher, Mr. Paul Brueggemeier, for instilling in me an appreciation for choral music of all kinds and for teaching me HOW to sing.  While nowadays most of my singing is done in the car with the windows up, to whatever is playing on the radio, I still LOVE to sing and wish I had more opportunities.  Thank you, Mr. B!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fall Gardening

I got motivated today.  I cleaned up the six 5-gallon buckets I grew garlic in this past year, put in new soil and compost and re-planted new types of garlic.  Actually, two are types I planted last fall.  One had a dozen loose cloves and one had very tight cloves.  Unfortunately, I lost the stupid piece of paper where I wrote down what types were growing in which container.  So, I have no idea what these two types actually are - they grew best of the six types I planted (though I suspect one is Killarney Red).  The others didn't do as well, and we are eating them instead of planting them.  The other two types I am growing are garlic from Champoeg (, and another locally grown type called Keith's Purple from Nettle's Edge Farm here in Eugene.  The one from Champoeg is a smaller garlic, hardneck, with white wrappers.  The Keith's Purple is a truly stunning garlic - it has beautiful purple wrappers and it's huge.  I look forward to seeing how these grow.  Someday if I ever get my own place, I hope to grow a dozen types of garlic for the farmers market and local grocery stores.

 I still have to get to the 12 x 12 garden bed and remove the old chard and cilantro.  I also will pull up the potatoes soon and see how it went.  I planted La Ratte fingerlings and Yukon Gold's.  

I have three other projects.  I have a rolling compost bin and I think I've found a source for horse manure to add to the bin, plus I'd like to add it to my second currently fallow 12 x 12 bed and sheet mulch it for next year.  The last project is to build some cold frames out front of my neighbor's apartment facing the south parking lot.  I am planning on using urbanite (recycled broken up sidewalk pieces) and re-purposed window frames.  I am hoping to keep growing Giant Winter Spinach, Vulcan Chard and White Russian Kale.  I may also try to grow some winter lettuce, but I may be out of room.   As I've never done this before, it will be an experiment

(P.S. These pictures are not mine, I am borrowing them. Wish they were mine, but I forgot to take pix before I replanted/planted all the garlic!)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

INFJ Angst

I am doing a very annoying INFJ thing today.

I am absolutely, thoroughly, completely, utterly stressing out because I have not done enough to make the world a better place today. 

I hate when I get in this mood, but I cannot jolly myself out of it.  Coffee did not help.  I put my last $10 in the gas tank and drove around doing errands with the music up way too loud.  Music did not help.  I tried reading.   Horrifyingly, books did not help; I was too restless to sit still.  I know all INFJ’s do this on occasion, but still, I hate the fact that I have traded 24 hours of my life for… what?  An average, boring, typical day.  Yes, I went to work for a while and was a good-enough employee.  Yes, I parented my special needs kid and was a good-enough parent.  Yes, I did errands and all the things that I “should” do as a responsible citizen.  Yes, I hung out with a friend for a while and played with her babies.  I looked for karma-building opportunities.  I watched carefully for pedestrians while I was out and about to see if any needed to be rescued from the dangerous paths of out-of-control vehicles.  None did.  I did not win the lottery, so I will not be donating my winnings to my favorite charities.  I did not have enough time to donate blood.  I looked for homeless people to whom to donate my last dollar in quarters.  Even the ubiquitous homeless on the street corners of Eugene were somewhere else today.  Maybe they saw my frown and ran for cover.  The gray clouds fit my mood today perfectly.

I am very unsatisfied.  This is very unacceptable to me.  Nothing I did will matter in 100 years.  Damn it all.  I am a day closer to death and it means exactly nothing.  I give up.  I am going to take a nap. 

This describes me perfectly today:

WTH is an INFJ?

You are asking yourself - what's up with the acronyms?  WTH is obvious.  INFJ is less so.  It stands for one of 16 personality types based on Jungian theory and postulated by a mother-daughter team of Myers and Myers-Briggs (can't remember their first names off the top of my head, and my computer is acting very strange so I dare not open more tabs).  *I*ntrovert, i*N*tuition, *F*eeling and *J*udging.  I gain energy through time alone, I use my intuition to interpret the world around me, I make decisions based more on feeling than on thinking, and I like things orderly and close-ended vs open-ended and flexible.

I am an INFJ.

It also means I have the overriding goals of saving the world and becoming a better person - can you imagine two more impossible goals?  No matter what I do, I am doomed to failure and yet I absolutely MUST pursue these ends.  It's in my very nature to live an authentic life to the best of my ability, to live my life according to my very strong value system, and to make the world a better place.

Today I feel like I am failing.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Phoenix Named Shatner

I have had the pleasure of listening to Mr. Shatner speak at several different Star Trek conventions, back in the day when I attended such things on occasion.  I haven’t been to a convention now in ten years, though I am planning on attending the Creation Entertainment Burbank convention in February 2014.  I am sorry to say that I have not heard him speak in a very long time.. . then again, it’s really not all that hard to find him, is it? 

 The man is everywhere.  Priceline commercials (the “Breakout” one cracks me up in particular).  Star Trek, and Star Trek and yet more Star Trek, of course.  Boston LegalRescue 911T. J. Hooker.  Voice work.  Narration.  Countless acting parts and series.  He’s won a Golden Globe, 12 other awards, been nominated for 32 (!) other awards, including 6 Emmy Awards.   Over 50 years of work in film and television.  His imdb resume is unbelievable.  I can’t wait to own a copy of “The Captains”, a 2011 documentary he directed and starred in where he talks with the other five "Trek" captains.  He is a published author – with around 37 titles to his name.  Everyone knows who William Shatner is.  A phoenix who rises again and again.  A man with a wonderful sense of humor about it all.  He is 82 years old (unbelievable) and totally rocks Twitter.  And he has HORSES.  Beautiful horses.  When I was a nanny my first year in Los Angeles, I took my boys to see Mr. Shatner’s Hollywood Charity Horse Show at the Burbank Equestrian Center.  Beautiful  horses.

I should apologize to him, though.  Once upon a time we sent a call we got in the Deep Space Nine production office over to the offices of Rescue 911 because the nut on the other end of the phone wanted to speak to Captain Kirk and ONLY Captain Kirk.  I have always felt bad about that.  Sorry!  My bad.

My favorite Shatner quote: “Oh, for God's sake... get a life, will you?”

Just kidding!  Maybe.

For real:  “But if you want to know the truth, the weirdest thing that has happened has been my discovery that people who attend the conventions are filled with love.”  ( )  [KV note: I love the juxtaposition of those two quotes!]  A wise observation, that.

Chris Pine, ironically, may have said it best:  "Bill's head space is, 'Enjoy every interaction, suck the juice out of each experience, and grab life by the balls.' We can all learn from that." (Men’s Health, May - June 2013).  I can't top that. 

Except maybe to say… somewhere along the way, before you die, make sure that you can say “I got a life.”

Links you may like:  The Hollywood Charity Horse Show

Friday, September 20, 2013

Driving Therapy

This, I understand.  
A good thing to remember going into the weekend. 
Happy Friday everyone! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Those Who Dream

"Those who dream by night
in the dusty recesses of their minds
wake in the day to find
that all was vanity;
but the dreamers of the day
are dangerous men,
for they may act their dreams
with open eyes
and make it possible." 

~ T.E. Lawrence

Hold onto your dreams.  I feel today as if I am awakening from a ten year sleep, where I allowed my dreams to slip through my fingers.  What I thought was my dream a decade ago was not what I thought would be.  Create the life you want.  Know yourself.  Hold onto those things that make you who you are.  Never stop striving for authenticity.  Never give up working to be the best "you" possible.  Do what you were meant to do, live out the reason you are here on this planet at this time.  Dream big.  Be a dangerous man or woman today.  Dream your vision into life.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Being Judged for Liking "Star Trek"

I have been trying to drum up interest in my blog and am finding ways to promote it.  I am talking with friends, acquaintances and co-workers and I get one of two reactions - either "Cool, I"ll check it out" or "Star Trek?  Are you a nerd?  Are you kidding me?"  To the first, I give out the blog address, and to the second, I question them a bit more.  Why the negative reaction to a Star Trek reference?  Usually the answer is that Trek is for geeks and nerds and they aren't interested in being called either.  Rarely do I find that the person has actually WATCHED Star Trek to reach this conclusion.  I love William Shatner, I really do, but I think his whole "Get a life!" joke has tainted Trek's reputation.  That makes me kind of sad, because the detractors don't know what they are missing.  I also find that the younger generations, the 20's and teens, are completely oblivious to any Trek but the reboot universe.  That adds a whole different viewpoint to the conversation!  I think this is part of the frustration of older Trek fans, those who are annoyed or angered at the reboot universe for leaving classic Trek behind.  Well, with all things, it will play out as it will.

This summer I have been getting involved in more social media.  I had a LOT of time to do nothing.  Therefore I started this blog AND I jumped into Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.  I like each for different reasons.  Twitter I like because I get a small dose of dozens of people I find interesting or amusing. I love Pinterest, however, and think it may be my favorite  As a scrapbooker, I find the two very similar.  I like grabbing interesting ideas and projects and organizing them for easy reference.  For instance, I find photos I might use on my blog or recipes I would like to try.  As my blog is all about words, my Pinterest account is all about visuals.  Sometimes I feel guilty for having my Pinterest bulletin boards on Trek actors since I don't like to objectify people - but it's soooo tempting when those gorgeous pictures pop up :)  Tumblr I like because it's more interactive and creative.  However, it is also sometimes frustrating because you never quite know what is going to end up on your dashboard.  I follow several dozen posters who post all kinds of stuff.

I found this quote on a Tumbler site.  I am not sure who wrote it (and if you know please tell me so I can credit them, I found it at the Tumbler account "pineism" on one of my searches for material).  I find it appropriate to this post - being judged for liking Star Trek.  I am posting the paragraph (if you can call it that) in it's entirety, as I have no idea how I would link to it.  

"it’s funny when people judge you for loving star trek because it’s seriously like “oh haha you like that one space show that’s been around for almost 60 years with all these spinoffs and is all about science and exploration and the best parts of humanity beating the worst parts. oh and it promotes tolerance and acceptance and deals with social issues that everything else avoids or before they even exist. and it’s all about how being smart and brave and kind is amazing and we should strive for that over brute strength and war is something to be avoided. hahaha nerd you’re so lame for loving that show that (has) become a worldwide cultural phenomena and inspired millions of people to strive to live better and go further in life.”

So call me crazy for liking Star Trek, but for the most part, I see a positive vision of the future being portrayed.  With the plethora of shows and movies about zombies and apocalyptic futures, I find it encouraging.  Even if those ARE in our future, surely there are pockets of us who will strive to maintain and keep those values and ethics that will pertain to the betterment of humanity.  

I will be writing on the ethics of Star Trek more in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned. Thanks for reading! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Benedict Cumberbatch on Reading

I have not read many interviews by Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness, the latest movie.  I might have to do so, if he speaks this highly of reading!  It's a simple quote, but I like anyone who reads, or encourages others to do so.  I cannot imagine a day without reading.  People who do not read or who do not own books mystify me.  Reading to me is like eating or breathing.

And now, I'm off to read some interviews, or maybe that James Rollins book I found yesterday at Goodwill for .50 cents!  <sigh> I need more bookshelves, the books are stacking up on the floor :)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Set Your Life On Fire

[Beware: I am in a mood today] 

Do something good for someone today.  
Keep it secret.  
Make a difference. 
Be kind.
Tell someone you love them. 
Be brave.
You are trading the hours of your life today for something.
Make it count. 
What you do matters.  
Who you are means something.  

When it comes time to die, what will people say about you?  

Run with me.

Happy Birthday to Walter Koenig!

Happy birthday to Walter Koenig, our original Chekov!

Friday, September 13, 2013

This Is Why We Are Marching - Nichelle Nichols

To start off this post, I simply must quote the article it comes from, because nothing else could do it justice.

“After a year with "Star Trek" as communications officer Lieutenant Uhura, she turned in her resignation. But at an NAACP event that weekend, she ran into King.

"One of the promoters came up and said someone wanted to meet me. He said he's my greatest fan," says Nichols, 78. "I thought it was some Trekker, some kid. I turned in my seat and there was Dr. Martin Luther King with a big smile on his face. He said, 'I am a Trekker, I am your biggest fan.'"

At that point, Nichols thought of herself as just a cast member on the show and hadn't fully grasped the racial implications of her part. She'd dealt with race all her life, of course, even on the set at Paramount, where a security guard hurled insults at her, but she hadn't grasped the importance of an African-American woman having a position of respect on TV.

Nichols thanked King, and told him she was leaving the show.

"He was telling me why I could not [resign]," she recalls. "He said I had the first non-stereotypical role, I had a role with honor, dignity and intelligence. He said, 'You simply cannot abdicate, this is an important role. This is why we are marching. We never thought we'd see this on TV.'"

Nichols was at a loss for words. It was the first time the importance of being an African-American woman on television had sank in. She returned to "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry the next Monday morning and rescinded her resignation.”

Discovered by jazz legend Duke Ellington, having a 45-year long career in television and film, and being an influence on the US space program - she has had an interesting life!  Sometimes I think that these 20 year old kids I run into on Trek bulletin boards or boards for various actors have no clue what has gone on before their lives even started.  They see Zoe Saldana – as the new Uhura, as Neytiri in Avatar, as Gamora in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy – and think “well, of course she gets these roles” - because she’s talented and beautiful – without realizing the debt owed to people like Nichelle Nichols, and without knowing that at one time being talented and beautiful was not enough.  

Thank you, Ms. Nichols, for being a true trailblazer, not only for women of color, but of ALL women!

What would the world have looked like today if that conversation would not have taken place?  We never would have had this photo:

What would Star Trek look like if she had walked off the show? 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Where Were You on 9/11/2001?

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

I was working that day.  "Work" meant working as an Executive Assistant at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, 2nd floor of the Schulberg Building, in the Feature Production department.  We were sitting around drinking coffee, talking, taking calls and starting our day of production details; I recall it being rather slow.  The VP across the hallway, Mark Bakshi, urgently called us all into his office - we crowded in around his television to watch the details unfold.  Since many folks in production have worked both coasts and are familiar or from New York, the room was filled with horror, fear and quiet panic.  Eventually, we got the call that the Studio was being evacuated.  The Studio feared that it might also be a target, as Paramount is the only actual movie studio *IN* Hollywood.  The fear was that since the financial center of the US had been targeted, maybe the entertainment center would also be hit.  And so, we were all sent home.

While I didn't lose any friends that day, I did know a producer on Frasier who died in the second plane to hit the tower, and a gay couple and their toddler son who were on the first plane.  I've never been to New York, but I would like to someday.  I would like to pay my respects.  

And on a more cheerful note, happy birthday to Roxann Dawson, who played B'Elanna Torres on Star Trek: Voyager!  Hope your day is great! Roxann is now working as an actress, producer and successful director - check out her info on the imdb -  I never really got to know Roxann, I think I actually only spoke to her a handful of times, but of all the folks who worked on Voyager, I think she's probably proven to be one of the most interesting and talented of the group in the long run.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Road Trip!

I have 500 new miles under my new tires.  Yeah!  I have new wheels.  Bought a truck from my step-mom - a nicely-taken care of Toyota RAV.  Pretty sweet.  Much better than my falling apart minivan.  

It was really nice to hang out with our extended family members, especially since we haven't seen them in over a year and a half.  What the new truck means is that we will get to visit more often!  

This is what we woke up to at my mom's house one morning - the neighbors had a yard full of wild mustangs that came down from the hills.  A small herd - a stallion, two mares, two yearling mares and a very cute buckskin foal.  How fun is that?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Three Out of Four

Three out of four ain't bad!  I have (some) of my books (and will be getting more of them later in the week),
I will soon have time to read again (when the boy returns to school in a week).  I have a few friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin.  I just have to work on that last one.  That's the tough one.  The one I put off, the one I avoid.  Why?  Do I really want to be alone forever?  Do I really want to reach the end of my days and never have given away the love in my heart?  I don't know why I hold back.  It may be because I have high standards, after all, I seek someone kind and generous and brave.  Those are not qualities that society rewards.  It may be because I think I will never find anyone who could possibly tolerate my eccentricities.  It very well could be because I never leave the goddamn house :)

Sylvia Browne the psychic says that when we incarnate we choose two Life Themes - a Primary and a Secondary.  My primary life theme is that of a Catalyst.  She describes someone who functions as a Catalyst as "These are society's "spurs" who are here to inspire, mobilize and make things happen.  They're the first in the group to say, "Let's stop talking about it and just do it," and they especially excel under stress. Their biggest hurdle is trying to feel at peace without a project to take on and accomplish".  That about sums it up for me.  This is my purpose in life.  How I choose to define and act that out are reflected in my goals.

We also choose a secondary Life Theme.  This is the major conflict that we each have to overcome during our lifetime here.  The choices are health, spirituality, love, social life, finances, career and family.  When I look at that list I see moderate to stupendous success in all of the areas but one.  Love.  Love eludes me.  I am at a place in my life now where I feel I would like to be challenged BY love instead of being challenged by a LACK of love.  I guess we will see how things play out.  I have tossed it out there to the Universe and undoubtedly things are happening in the wings, no matter how lonely it still looks to be the only one on the stage that is my life at the moment. If something happens, great.  If not, I am no worse off than I am right now.  Right?  Right?!  I guess that's why it is called a challenge and a conflict.  Something we have to work at.  

In the meantime, I highly recommend the book "Life On the Other Side" by Sylvia Browne, if you are at all inclined to pick up her book without prejudice.  Some of my readers will be horrified that I read a psychic's work.  I, however, prefer to think of it as finding truth wherever it is hiding.  I would suggest that we do not judge a book by it's cover :D