Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Luva Abounds, Soup, And The Big O

I have met the actual Luvabeans in person! It is a weird experience to open your apartment door and have Luva walk into your living room. I was all like do I hug her? and oh shit, that painting's crooked and I like her pink sneakers and how's my hair?. I feel like the biggest dork when I first meet people, so everything was as it should be. The Fiery One made coffee for all of us (Mr. Visu was there, too), and we hung out for a while before deciding to head out for the evening. You should have Luva over, you really should, because she'll tell you that you have cool stuff and she will giggle in a super endearing fashion on your futon-cum-sofa (if you don't have a futon-cum-sofa, I'm sure she's flexible about what kind of furniture she'll giggle on as long as you're reasonable about it). The four of us went out to the pub where we met up with Friday. It was a regular blogger convention. We chatted, we laughed, we drank, and now I'm paying for it. I consumed much too much beer for a Thursday night, but staying out was worth it. Today, I can endure my headache, my overactive digestive system, and my bloodshot eyes, because yesterday, I met Luva!

Are you in the mood for a good recipe? I know I am. I don't cook nearly as much as I want to, which I am sure the Fiery One would attest to. I rotate three potato recipes and a moussaka-like everything-in-one-pot dish that mostly involves potatoes, and very occasionally (maybe once every three months) I throw together a carrot coriander or a creamed zucchini soup. I really enjoy cooking, though, so I was just flipping through a cookbook that only calls for three ingredients per recipe, and I think I will give one of them a try. Three ingredients I can do, because that's usually how many ingredients I have on hand in my cupboard, and this soup sounds yummy:
Caribbean Ginger Tomato Soup
1 can (10¾ ounces) condensed tomato soup
1½ cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (I usually just use the powdered kind and adjust the amount to taste)
Mix all the ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 3 to 4 servings.
Because I am hungry at the moment, I will share another soup recipe with you. You may scoff at the squashy-vegetable-in-a-can thing, but usually canned or frozen vegetables have less in the way of pesticides in them, because they don't get as many of the chemical treatments that are doled out throughout the shipping process to your supermarket when they're "fresh". I've never had this one either, but I would if I could:
Harvest Squash Soup
1 can (16 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 packet (1 1/3 ounces) dry onion soup mix
2 tablespoons ginger preserves, chopped (again, do the ginger bit however you can)
Mix the pumpkin and onion soup mix with 3 cups of water. Bring it to a simmer for five minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Stir in the ginger preserves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Last night, before we all went out, I had a terrible realization. It settled on my shoulders like a yoke. I did quit smoking completely for a short time, and then I lapsed into becoming one of those I-smoke-when-I-drink people. I have almost completely broken the habit of smoking every time I go outside, so that (when you accidentally space those last two words incorrectly, you get "sot hat") now when I wait for the bus or go to the grocery store, I almost never think of smoking anymore. I know that this will sound like a justification, but only smoking on one or two occasions a week is a far cry better than smoking whenever I get the chance every day. So, back to this yoke thing. I realized that I had not told the Fiery One about my smoking status. He has been gone on trips or I have gone out without him, so he hasn't had the opportunity to see me in smoking action. I wasn't hiding the fact that I have been smoking occasionally, I just didn't think to say oh, yeah, and when I was out I did this thing along with all the other things I did. After the realization, I had to confess to this error of omission, and I suddenly had guilt where I had none before. It had become a confession rather than a statement of fact. I hate feeling confessiony. It makes me feel like I'm a guilty six-year-old. So, I confessed to my Error of Omission at home, and then I apologized for the Error of Omission several times at the pub, and now I could just shake myself stupid for being all hung up on this issue, but we all know you should NEVER SHAKE A BABY.

Massachusetts has legalized gay marriage!

Monsanto has won its seed fight in Canada. The words "value-added" and "enables farmers to use more powerful weedkillers" scare me more than a little bit.

As if we all didn't know that knitting was taking North America by storm. (By the way, my poncho didn’t work out. I was a little disappointed at first, because I put so much work into it, but now I am truly inspired to rip it apart and learn how to make granny squares with my fabulous wool).

This thing about gay boy scout badges just seems a little bizarre to me. I hate knowing that we have to be so weird about knowing who other people like.

Obesity is becoming such a large health issue that the world's health ministers have agreed to a plan to fight poor diet and lack of exercise on a global scale.

Is Chalabi no longer an ally of the United States in Iraq?

News stories such as this one make me grit my teeth. The story makes it sound like Latvians are all mannerless sots. (I wonder if they wear sot hats).

It is horrifying to think that anyone would find it appropriate to send people their miscarried foetuses through the mail.

A Moroccan woman was pregnant for 46 years.

Human mad cow disease (variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease) could be much more common than at first thought.

One of the last horseback mounties died at the age of 93.

The last of the Spanish troops have left Iraq.

What I Learned Today And Good Blogs To Curl Up With, Because Today I'm All About The Lists And Oh God Help Me I Can't Stop The Linking

An Overload Of Oral Intrusion