Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sweetened Cherry Iced Tea

This is an iced tea I fixed up today for while I worked on the gardening. This recipe is also featured in the Carnival of the Recipes at the Busy Family Meals web site.

It's simple, just a bit of improvising for the sweetener. I had some berry flavored tea, and I wanted to use sweet besides sugar. Cherry butter fit the bill and I even had a jar of it. You can find cherry butter earlier in the year (and canned, now) at farmers markets. It's a lot like apple butter only with, you know, cherries.

I used the coffee maker to brew the tea, when the maker is at it's hottest, right after recharge from morning coffee (it's a diner coffee maker thingy). But the filter drip needs to have been cleaned daily to keep out coffee taste.

Sweetened Cherry Iced Tea
  • Celestial Seasoning Black Cherry Berry tea (or any berry infused tea)
  • Cherry Butter, maybe 2-4 Tbsp
Brew tea, mix in enough cherry butter to the preferred sweetness. If you like really sweet tea, such as southern tea, you may want to add some sugar to keep the cherry from becoming overpowering.

Pour into your favorite tea pitcher, fill with ice and enjoy.


Bonus Recipe!!!

Tangerine Float

Try this for desert, easy as any root beer float. Take the ice cream out of the freezer just as you take your first forkful of dinner, it'll be the perfect consistency for this delight.
Put the ice cream into the glass, preferrably a coke glass shape with the narrow bottom. Add the cream soda, slurping the foam to keep it from overflowing. Take a spoonful, close eyes and just taste it cross the tongue.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Resting Day

The festival always takes a lot out of me, and I just need a day of rest and relaxation. I always take one extra day off whenever I travel or go to big events like this, so to veg. Call it a mental vacation.

So today I will post pictures from this mornings walk with the pup. Much larger versions of the pictures are just a click away.

Just starting the walk and passing car dealerships. They must be really hurting if they are offering 0% financing and 42% off the price.

There is a bunch of construction going on to widen Wake Forest. This is just inside the 440 loop, up on the hill the exposed building is the Courtyard Marriot. The shopping strip center behind me is getting a major face lift.

The greenway parralels one of the creeks and or drain systems. The babbling brook is where I enter the greenway off of Wake Forest.

Today we walked to the Kiwanis park. There is a big soccer field there, and shrooms were growing quite well on it after Saturday nights rain.

And while gardening in the back woods, I came across this slug. The thing is huge.

Yes, it was a very relaxing day today.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

13th NC Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

It has been a very busy weekend, starting last Thursday with the opening of the 13th NC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Local TV station NBC 17 did a feature, here.

I've been volunteering at the festival for several years now, starting as a ticket taker and manning the information booth. That is actually a lot of fun, because I got to look each in the eye and smile and basically get my face out there and become familiar. This year I was on the men's programming committee. I actually feel quite honored to have been asked to join.

Pictured here is the Carolina Theatre from Saturday night. This is between shows and the main features will be starting soon.

We started reviewing films in March, and had over 350 films submitted. Half of those were womens films, so they didn't need viewing by us. Well over half were shorts, but that is still some serious film watching. And trust me when I say that there is a fair share of them that just are not that good.

That explains why my Netflix activity is down to nothing lately. (If you aren't my Netflix friend, go here).

I had an absolute blast the entire 4 days. One of my responsibilities was to go onstage and introduce the film and welcome everyone to the festival. So here I get a chance to go in front of lots of gay men and talk to them. Talk about getting myself out there to be recognized! Another responsibility was to host filmmakers and others for the films. That meant getting them from/to the airport, and to the theater for their showings.

What made this a great weekend for me was how I was enjoying myself every minute. I was walking around saying hi to tons of people I knew, or even just sorta knew, or wanted to know. I also attended the reception this yea, my first time. I had no idea what to expect, and figure I'll be more prepared next year.

Meeting the various filmmakers and actors was also fun. The big name that we had was Randy Jones, the cowboy from Village People. When we were at the bar later and we talked, I think I was a giddy little school girl, which you know is not me. I think I was just enjoying the brownies and beer. There was the faintest of possibilities that Michael Emerson would be at the festival, because of his great part in Ready? Ok! Everybody quizes him about his role as Ben on Lost, but I didn't want to do that, so I tried to bone up on some of his other films. I had caught Straight Jacket where he is wonderful as a butler. I had 29th & Gay queued up, but that's when Netflix broke down last week.

The film selection this year was just awesome. We had a ton of films that covered a wide spectrum. From a silly teen sex farce to the artistic. Subtitled foreign films to spritual to wholesome to funny, we covered a lot.

Okay, I think Ive gone on enough. It really was a fun time, and initial figures show this festival to be the 2nd most successful season. And that's because it was fun!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Whatever Happened To....

So, whatever happened to ??? How about Danny?

I don't remember how much of this is before or after starting the diary. Danny's last name was Groves, and he hailed from out northwest U.S. Washington or Oregon. He had mentioned one time that his dad worked in computers and that is why he was assembling a computer from blueprints. To this day I keep thinking that I will find out that his dad really is Andy Grove of Intel fame.

He knew his computers and how they worked. Or I think it would be more accurate to say he knew rules and how they applied, and computers are all about a bunch of rules tied together. When we would get together for our almost weekly D&D game, he would start quoting the rules in the dm manual. But we know now that D&D doesn't have any rules. (or maybe it was a flaw in version 1 of the rules?).

Danny knew I was gay. Thom told him, just before I got back from Eagan, MN. When he told me that, I was flattened. Here I was, afraid to let anyone know becuase I could get kicked out? And Thom goes and outs me. And outs himself too, of course! And not just to Danny, but to Bill too!

According to my diary, Danny and I didn't mix too well. Oil and vinegar. And thats what I remember. But... in one entry I tell how he and I just talked one night when I needed it about me being gay. It went pretty well apparently because I failed to note any of the details. I don't remember the talk, but I feel that it's important that I had that talk with someone.

Over time, Danny became more of a recluse. He spent all of his time in his dorm room, initially studying the D&D manuals, all of them. Who know what after those were memorized. He owned only one pair of jeans by that time. They were too long but he had walked on the heel for so long all that remained was the seam. And I'm not sure when they had last visited a washing machine.

My final thoughts about him were near the time where he should be planning on what to do next, re-up or go into private sector. And he just disappeared. Poof!

And that was Danny. One day I will discover his dad really was Andy Groves, or he himself will burst onto the world scene in the computer arena. One day.