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quickly changing things; a cake







I wish it weren't so hard for me to post now. It's as if I've lost the knack. How can something that was once natural become no longer natural? Because that's what it feels like: like there was a fluidity and ease before, and now there's not. I have some theories on the why of this, but they're not very coherent.

Meanwhile, I had photos stored up on my camera. Some evanescent things, like my neighbor's pussy willows, already transitioning from shiny grey buds to delicate, fringed, minute flowers:



And a minor snow (on the day that dumped more of the stuff on Boston), melting away, shielded by the shade of the lattice on our porch:



And I built a cake from pancakes for the tall one, whose birthday was the other day. Here are the pancakes, being made.



I layered them with whipped cream and frozen strawberries**, then covered the whole thing with whipped cream. It formed this impressive hulk:



Cutting into it was fun--there were all these tiny layers, like sedimentary rock, or like something from an actual cake shop (in spite of amateurish exterior). It was pretty good, except for the aftertaste from the strawberries.

**Unfortunately, without noticing, I'd bought "lite" strawberries. I realized this when I took a swipe of the syrup and tasted that unmistakable aftertaste of artificial sweetener. In the past few months I've accidentally bought zero-calorie yogurt and "lite" jam, both times only realizing it when I taste that telltale taste. Behind mango, apricot, and strawberry, there it is. The moral of the story is, be very, very careful about the item you reach for on the shelf.


Comments

( 48 comments — Leave a comment )
yamamanama
Mar. 24th, 2016 12:15 pm (UTC)
I love the first two pictures.

Why even use artificial sweetener with strawberries?
asakiyume
Mar. 24th, 2016 04:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah-why??

But really I know the answer: sometimes you want sweetened strawberries (I did, for instance, at that moment), but if you're diabetic or have other conditions, you can't have the sugar/calories. So that's why. I just have to be careful about what I pick up.
yamamanama
Mar. 24th, 2016 04:57 pm (UTC)
I guess that makes sense.
puddleshark
Mar. 24th, 2016 01:54 pm (UTC)
Lovely, lovely evanescent things. I especially love the Snow creating Great Works of Modern Art, briefly.

Yes. So often a careless moment in the supermarket can result in sweetener ambush.
asakiyume
Mar. 24th, 2016 04:23 pm (UTC)
Snow on the Porch: A Collaborative Artwork
galestorm
Mar. 24th, 2016 02:02 pm (UTC)
Pussy willows and lattice-work look fantastic! As does the pancakecake! :-D
asakiyume
Mar. 24th, 2016 04:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
sartorias
Mar. 24th, 2016 02:35 pm (UTC)
Could it be like a writing ebb tide?

I love that top photo.
asakiyume
Mar. 24th, 2016 04:25 pm (UTC)
In some senses, yes: that's part of it. But I think other things come into it. But it's okay--I'm going to keep on posting! It's just that I can see that it's less than I used to.
athenais
Mar. 24th, 2016 03:14 pm (UTC)
I miss the long posts, but one does what one can. I appreciate when you do post, even if it's chiefly photos, because those are also communicative. I love the powdered sugar snow!
asakiyume
Mar. 24th, 2016 04:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks. You're right; we do what we can. Sometimes I get glass-half-empty about it, but the glass is very definitely half full, too, and I do enjoy it.
joycemocha
Mar. 24th, 2016 03:55 pm (UTC)
I'm running into the same thing. I don't know if it's because I'm then trying to crosspost across several platforms or if it's just that the dynamics of writing and daily life have changed. I know there's things I want to blog about, but at the end of the day...I've not done it.
asakiyume
Mar. 24th, 2016 04:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, changes in the dynamics of life are definitely part of it for me, too. And I've long noticed in other people that as soon as LJ becomes a place only for Deep Thoughts or Important Things (which it tends to become when they're siphoning off their one-off, whimsical thoughts or whatever to some other place, like FB or Twitter), then their posts become fewer--how could they not! Suddenly there's a whole burden of this-needs-to-be-important weighing down the concept of posting. And maybe I'm feeling a bit of that now. But on the other hand, I do like coming here just to chat, too, so... yeah; it's complicated.
sovay
Mar. 25th, 2016 04:34 am (UTC)
And I've long noticed in other people that as soon as LJ becomes a place only for Deep Thoughts or Important Things (which it tends to become when they're siphoning off their one-off, whimsical thoughts or whatever to some other place, like FB or Twitter), then their posts become fewer--how could they not!

With me the problem isn't having another platform to post quicker thoughts on, it's that the gradual dissolution of LJ has left both fewer commenters and fewer readers who feel like commenting, so I feel like I am putting time into posts which no no one reads—which isn't quite true, I keep finding out that friends of mine have read my posts, but how am I supposed to know when they don't say anything about it? At the moment it is feedbacking into an especially nasty spiral with my self-esteem, so I am trying to make a point of posting, even if I know that maybe three people tops will leave comments nowadays instead of a dozen. It is important for me not to be silent. I have lost enough ways of communicating already. I need at least to write.
asakiyume
Mar. 25th, 2016 04:41 am (UTC)
Yes: absolutely this too. I can't assent hard or fast enough. The dissolution means that there's somehow not a critical mass; people aren't hanging around reading and commenting anymore. As you say, it's not that one's friends aren't reading--they're just not commenting anymore, or not commenting quickly. And I've become one of those people while simultaneously feeling bereft for that very reason. And yet, I can't complain about it because the people who do read and comment... do read and comment. So complaining is like being the priest who complains about people not coming to Mass.

I can't quite articulate the everything-ness of it. Now, I feel like the people who read my journal are all people I have a personal relationship with. That's what you wanted, isn't it, Asakiyume? Personal relationships?. Yes, self, it is; sure. Or it's one thing. But I also really loved the richness and fullness of an online world where I wasn't just talking to my personal friends, either on my own pages or on theirs. Where friendly strangers, or friendly acquaintances, interacted enthusiastically. Where we followed each other to one another's pages and chatted. It's a thing that takes more than the goodwill of friends. More in a minute; I want to post this.
sovay
Mar. 25th, 2016 04:44 am (UTC)
Where friendly strangers, or friendly acquaintances, interacted enthusiastically. Where we followed each other to one another's pages and chatted. It's a thing that takes more than the goodwill of friends.

It was nice to feel that the world was full of conversations. And I suppose it still is, but now they are mostly on Twitter, and that is (a) not a platform with which I can interact healthily, so that even though I know I am already being left behind in the technological backwash, it's just not an option (b) not a platform designed for the kind of conversations I like, which are much more that 140 characters a shot and don't need a Storify to put them all in narrative order. When I get strangers on LJ/DW these days, I am delighted.

[edited for correct tense]

Edited at 2016-03-25 04:44 am (UTC)
asakiyume
Mar. 25th, 2016 04:53 am (UTC)
I'm on Twitter, but I can't do it. I read my family and a few friends every day, and the rest just washes over me. I can't keep up. And whereas here I had something that drew people to me, there I don't. For one thing, I don't offer anything! Here I still do, even if it's minimal.
khiemtran
Mar. 25th, 2016 05:56 am (UTC)
That's an interesting observation... One thing I've noticed about lj is that there's a bit of a pattern where a post will kick off a bunch of one-on-one conversations, but not the salon-style discussion that you might find on other forums. That's not always true, of course, but it is something that I miss from the usenet days, where sometimes a thread would end up in astonishing places because of all the different people who would jump in.
asakiyume
Mar. 25th, 2016 11:38 am (UTC)
I think you're right about several one-on-one conversations as opposed to a salon-style discussion, although back in the day you did sometimes get that here on LJ too--I'm sure I've seen it happen and participated in it on, for example, Sartorias's page, back about ten years ago. Part of it maybe is interest in the conversation rather than just the person? When you're interested in the conversation, then you're interested in everyone's (or anyway, many people's) contributions to it, rather than than simply in responding to the initial poster.

It's why (when I get myself into the mood for commenting on LJ) I like to not only read someone's entry, but also all the comments (heh, like you've done here) and respond to interesting remarks there, too--because that **does** spark a bigger conversation, or at least, it can. But only if people are available to respond back, and I know, speaking from the other end, that sometimes I'm not, even when people say really interesting things. I think oh, cool, yeah, I want to reply to that. But if it takes me six hours or a day, then it's not going to help with keeping a conversation popping. (Which I mention just to say that I recognize that anything I'm complaining about, I'm also guilty of, these days.)
khiemtran
Mar. 25th, 2016 07:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, I guess that's also why I'm finding myself being drawn more and more to Facebook (despite my misgivings). It's so much easier to just hit like and move on, so you get much faster reactions to things you post. Even though the interaction isn't as deep, it feels much more immediate.
asakiyume
Mar. 25th, 2016 04:51 am (UTC)
I mean, sometimes I want to shake myself. I have four comments that came in during the day (including your earlier one) that still linger unanswered. I'm going to answer them next, but two years ago, and more so four years ago, I would never, ever have left them unanswered for so long. But there's a lethargy that's settled over me.

And yet I still love visiting my friends' pages, reading their stuff, and commenting. It's just that it's a different sort of an action from what it once was. There's less spontaneity about it.

Did you ever read The Empty Schoolhouse? For the longest time I felt like the main character in that story, doggedly hanging on and reading and commenting and posting in what felt like an empty schoolhouse. It wasn't empty, of course. A few others were still hanging one--you, for instance, and other of my friends who comment here. Some of them posting more than I do. But the feeling of loss did/does contribute to my current problem.

And the (or anyway, an) other thing is personal problems, which I'm working on addressing, but which are hugely psychically demanding. I can't (and so don't) really talk about them, but since they're a very big component of what's on my mind at any given moment, it cuts down on what I can post.
sovay
Mar. 25th, 2016 04:53 am (UTC)
Did you ever read The Empty Schoolhouse?

No, but it sounds like a very apt metaphor.

I can't (and so don't) really talk about them, but since they're a very big component of what's on my mind at any given moment, it cuts down on what I can post.

I understand that. I'm sorry to hear they are a factor. Is there anything I can do to help, concretely or at a distance?
asakiyume
Mar. 25th, 2016 04:59 am (UTC)
Believe me, you're doing it. But I've found that talking about my problems just contaminates things, if you know what I mean. Not that it wrecks friendships or anything! But that I then feel demoralized before the people I've told. Like, shit, now I had better get my life together. They know. And it's not just me who's open to judgment, it's others...

People who are grieving sometimes report feeling expected to get over it, already, after a certain period of time. I feel that, too. Like I should have gotten over it, but haven't. Like people might think, why is this still a preoccupation or problem for you? Like if it is, I'm doing something wrong. Which all feels like maybe my own judgment of myself, which I'm putting in other people's mouths and harassing myself with. But you can see now why I don't go into specifics ... if I once open up, there's all this.

But anyway. Having occasion to talk with you about films and other things makes a huge difference in my life.
sovay
Mar. 25th, 2016 05:05 am (UTC)
Like, shit, now I had better get my life together. They know. And it's not just me who's open to judgment, it's others...

I think that is actually a form of Tiny Wittgenstein rather than a realistic reflection of other people's assessment of you and your family: being known is not the same thing as being condemned. I do not want to set off any chain reactions of self-harassment, though.

Having occasion to talk with you about films and other things makes a huge difference in my life.

I'm glad to hear that. I am being repeatedly told by rushthatspeaks and others that I don't have to be useful to go on existing, but I find it helpful to know that things I am doing make a difference.
asakiyume
Mar. 25th, 2016 05:08 am (UTC)
I think you're right about the Tiny Wittgenstein, but that guy can be tough to dislodge. Writing all this out does help shoo him away, though.

And I entirely agree with you re: feeling useful. Things like what you said in your original comment help, too.
sovay
Mar. 25th, 2016 05:10 am (UTC)
I think you're right about the Tiny Wittgenstein, but that guy can be tough to dislodge. Writing all this out does help shoo him away, though.

*passes philosopher-sized flyswatter*
asakiyume
Mar. 25th, 2016 05:12 am (UTC)
*flattens him*
osprey_archer
Mar. 24th, 2016 04:23 pm (UTC)
I think the posting problem is partly one of habit; I know that back when I posted every day, when it was just part of the day, it was easy to do. But a post that would have been quick and easy to write then sometimes seems insurmountable to start now, because I'm out of the habit.

I do love the picture of the snow left behind in the shadows of the lattice.
asakiyume
Mar. 24th, 2016 04:35 pm (UTC)
Habit does have a lot to do with it. And things change! Things change. I'd like to be more easygoing about it than I am. I need to keep reminding myself that just because how or how much I blog changes doesn't need to mean DOOM.

But yes, I have that feeling of insurmountability sometimes, and also, more self-consciousness than I ever used to feel. I never worried about something seeming dull or pedantic or oversharing or any of those types of things (not to say that I didn't choose not to post things in the past--of course I did--but it just felt way less self-conscious and self-judging).

Thanks! I liked the effect in that snow scene.
pameladean
Mar. 24th, 2016 04:56 pm (UTC)
I always love your photos. I too struggle with posting -- in my case I always have to overcome the fact that, while I can organize a work of fiction into essentials, as opposed to Everything You Always Wanted to Know About This World, when recounting things that happened I never want to leave anything out and I cannot organize it.

I am so sorry about the artificial sweetener. I was always getting caught by that myself, for years; in the 1990's I think the problem was worse in Britain, which we were fortunate enough to visit several times. However, aspartame gives me migraines, so I've learned to read lists of ingredients all the time. It's astonishing what artificial sweeteners are in and how seldom they tell you. The company we order our groceries from has three kinds of bread-and-butter pickles -- two State Fair-winning recipes commercialized by a grand old pickle company, and the house brand. The house brand is much cheaper, so I took a look at the ingredients. And it had sucralose rather than sugar -- which is fine, but WHY NOT SAY SO IN LARGE FRIENDLY LETTERS. People who can't have sugar need to know too.

The cake looks amazing.

P.
asakiyume
Mar. 25th, 2016 05:03 am (UTC)
Yes! I have a fear of talking too much--so then I end up saying hardly anything, and sometimes feeling dissatisfied with what I do say. I used to not care!

Ughh, the thought of bread-and-butter pickles contaminated by the taste of sucralose--that was what was in these strawberries! As you say, put it in big letters! Because the people who need it, really deserve to know. And those of us who want to avoid it really would like to know too.
sovay
Mar. 24th, 2016 05:13 pm (UTC)
I wish it weren't so hard for me to post now.

I'm glad you are still posting. I like the way you look at the world.
asakiyume
Mar. 25th, 2016 05:04 am (UTC)
Sometimes I have to wade through my own self to find that viewpoint these days. But it is still there.
sovay
Mar. 25th, 2016 05:07 am (UTC)
Sometimes I have to wade through my own self to find that viewpoint these days. But it is still there.

I like one of the ways you look at the world, then, and I am glad it is still there.
cmcmck
Mar. 24th, 2016 05:25 pm (UTC)
Pancake cake is a bit of an Italian thing!

It looks yummy.
asakiyume
Mar. 25th, 2016 05:04 am (UTC)
I didn't know that about it being an Italian thing! Cool.
amaebi
Mar. 24th, 2016 07:10 pm (UTC)
You remind me that I need to look at our pussy willow! Though it won't happen today, because our great big bludgeoning indelicate snow. :D

And that is a fantastic idea for a cake. I think I'll make one for our Easter breakfast. Or maybe the weekend after--it will be better if I use Spectacular Cream From the Dairy.
asakiyume
Mar. 25th, 2016 05:06 am (UTC)
How much bludgeoning indelicate snow did you get?

We were supposed to have something tomorrow (today, now)--but then the forecast changed and now it will be rain.

And yay! I'm glad I've inspired something good for Easter.
danceswithwaves
Mar. 25th, 2016 05:34 am (UTC)
The pancake cake sounds awesome (minus the artificial sweetener, but sometimes it happens). I've always been an infrequent poster, but I find myself now with so much to talk about that writing it out seems daunting, even if I want to talk about it.
asakiyume
Mar. 25th, 2016 11:45 am (UTC)
I haven't done so much of the very in-depth personal LJ writing that you've done (though I like reading it, when it's from people I know, like you). The dynamic there must be somewhat different? (You'd have to confirm/deny/explain for me.) You post mainly locked, right? So you have to have developed a community of friends who you trust to (a) read and (b) respond in ways that aren't destructive. I like having a community of known friends, but I like the idea of my journal being open to all comers, too--but nowadays I think pretty much the only people who are reading are known friends. Which is very preferable to having no one read, or having just random strangers read! Absolutely. And I really, really like my online friends. There are people whom I've never met personally who I'm very close to. But it's a smaller world than it once was. I try to say that just as an observation, not as a lament, but the lament note does creep in.
danceswithwaves
Apr. 1st, 2016 04:12 am (UTC)
You're right, the dynamic is a bit different. I've been trying to figure out exactly what that is, and moving people around a bit on different friends lists. But I definitely moved someone into a less exclusive list after a discussion I had on a post of his. Nothing inherently bad, but he disagreed with my perspective enough (about something I thought was important) that I didn't want him to see the really personal stuff I post.

I've been considering friending more people to try and create a wider LJ community, since most of the people I started on here with aren't posting anymore. I'll probably do it slowly, and I figure I'll start by asking my friends who they think I should friend. In the same way that you often absorb new friends in real life because they're friends of friends. I totally understand that lament note, though.

I used to post more open things, but LJ has slowly turned more and more into an actual journal (or at least, somewhere between a journal and a late night slumber party discussion), and my open postings have gone off to live on other blogging platforms that are easier to post spontaneously. (For instance, I always found it time consuming to post pictures to LJ, so I've never posted many pictures. Tumblr, on the other hand, is easier.)
xjenavivex
Mar. 26th, 2016 12:44 am (UTC)

The cake sounds awesome.


It was hard for me to continue posting after things kept happening personally and professionally. It was difficult to find the words.

asakiyume
Mar. 28th, 2016 04:43 pm (UTC)
In your case, there've been a surfeit of things :( It's hard when stuff gets heavy and doesn't let up.

The cake was very fun to make :-)
(Deleted comment)
asakiyume
Mar. 28th, 2016 04:44 pm (UTC)
I hope it turns out for you! It's very pretty to see all the layers made by the pancakes.
mnfaure
Mar. 28th, 2016 03:25 pm (UTC)
Beautiful photos. Thanks so much for sharing them and not letting them fade, forgotten on your camera.

And ick for the Lite crap, because, yeah, crap is what it is. :P
asakiyume
Mar. 28th, 2016 04:44 pm (UTC)
I made up for it by buying plain strawberries and cooking them up in water and SUGAR dammit. Sugar.
syomsong
Apr. 6th, 2016 01:09 pm (UTC)
There are times, when things usually fluent and easy become tasky. I cannot catch the old way of writing, and don´t know the reason either. Things change. But what is real is not bad. :)

Thank you for your lovely photos! I´d love to eat the cream and strawberry cake!!

Edited at 2016-04-06 01:12 pm (UTC)
( 48 comments — Leave a comment )

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