Tangled Yarns

Tangled Yarns

Friday, November 26, 2010

Run With It #2

A quick volley of texts told me that Alex was at his campus apartment. He found it more convenient for late nights and research than heading back to the ranch in outer suburbs. After packing up my computer, I grabbed my jacket and bag, and then jogged down the two flights of stairs. Classes just let out, so the stairs were crowded. I kept my eyes down and concentrated on getting outside as fast as I could. I don’t usually mind small spaces, or large groups, but too many strangers brushing against me raised my hackles. When one of those strangers stepped in my way, deliberately waiting until I met his gaze before moving, I was unnerved. It was brief, but there was something challenging in his cold blue eyes. Refusing to look back, I swore I could feel his gaze follow me out the door. I tried to brush it off as I hit the fresh autumn air, letting the anticipation of tormenting Alex cheer me.
Halfway there, my unease returned. I hesitated, trying to decide if I should figure out what was wrong, or just hurry to the safety of Alex’s. The quad was full of its normal denizens: those on their way to class navigating around the ones lounging on the grass, or playing ultimate Frisbee. As I tossed my hair over my shoulder, I noticed a broad shouldered fellow heading in the same direction as I was. Nothing strange about that, but the way he slowed when I glanced at him put me on full alert. I decided to pause a moment; pretended to look for something in my backpack while checking out the area. My suspicious friend also stopped a few feet ahead of me, answering a call. I would peg him as an upperclassman, his jeans and jacket too worn and beaten for a freshman, except the school cap had that glossy new look to it. His backpack was not only new, it was practically empty. Now that was odd. It was far enough into the semester that no student left home without provisions. Snacks, notebooks, textbooks, DS, MP3 player – every square inch of space in that bag should have a purpose. Whatever was in it, I didn’t recognize the shape. I grabbed a granola bar from the bottom of my bag, repacked and set off again. I heard the mystery man finish up his conversation as I walked past him, saw him fall into step just behind me.
Just perfect. It could all be innocent enough. Alex had snagged a two bedroom apartment just off the quad where a lot of grad students and upperclassmen lived. I tore into the granola bar packaging. The last thing I wanted to do was eat it, but it gave my hands something to do besides shake. I managed to swallow the last of it as Stalker Boy and I reached the beginning of student housing. I slid my phone out of my jacket, and texted a quick 911 to Alex, hoping he’d at least meet me at the door of his building.  Part of me wanted to turn and get a good look at this guy. Furtive glances had gotten me nowhere. The hat was too low to see his face, and he was just a bit too far behind me to see more than the shape of his brown leather jacket. I didn’t think he was much taller than me. I felt ridiculous. Just one more block away, and I could relax, laugh off my paranoia, and spend an afternoon teasing Alex about the latest editions to his research material, and the notion of him as a father. Picking up the pace, I half-jogged to corner, looking for cars as I crossed the street. Two buildings left, and relief washed over me as the door to Alex’s building opened. A familiar half-dressed form leaned out, but not the one I was expecting. Fueled by adrenaline and sheer joy, I sprinted the rest of the way.
“Cameron! What the hell are you doing here?” my momentum knocked him back a step as he wrapped me in a bear hug. From the safety of Cam’s broad shouldered embrace, I watched Stalker Boy continue on. I felt foolish for worrying about him.
Cam squeezed me tight. “Toby and I finished our project in Tokyo and flew in late last night.”
I returned the hug, thrilled to have him home after 3 months away. Firmly pushing him away, I circled him to see what changes he’d made on his journey. Cam never came back from a trip without a tattoo, especially from Japan. This time he’d had the color on his eastern dragon finished. It traveled up his spine and ended with its head peering off his left shoulder.  We met just after he’d had the outline done. The last six years was told as a story using the art on his body. I moved his elbow length auburn hair out of the way so I could ooh and ah over how well the finished piece turned out. He pulled it over his shoulder and told me which parts hurt the most. This ritual greeting of ours dulled the sliver of fear still needling me.
Sliding my hands down his well muscled back, I leaned into him, pushing him toward the door. “If you spent the evening partying with Alex, why didn’t you keep him from Sandie’s sister? Since we all know he has no impulse control, I’m holding you responsible for this morning’s assault. And where the hell are your shoes? It’s cold out here!”
He chuckled as he unlocked the door and let me lead him inside. Looking down the block one last time, I saw Stalker boy and the blue eyed stranger talking outside the corner store.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Run With it #1

I'm going to try my hand at a serial story. These character have been poking at me for a long time now, it's time they come meet the world. I hope you all enjoy it! Here's episode 1 of Run with It:


Let me tell you about myself.  I’m 26, an only child with long, dark blonde hair and hazel eyes. I work as an ASL interpreter while finishing my PhD in linguistics…
“There you are! Do you know what that sexual deviant did this time?”
My chin dropped to my chest, as the strident tones interrupedt the painful process of filling out an online dating form. I couldn’t decide if I’m relieved or aggravated.
I sighed, turning wearily toward the invader: my zealous Christian colleague from across the hall.
“Seriously, Sandie, you have no business calling anyone a sexual deviant,” I said, hoping to derail whatever rant was on the way.
“Excuse me?!”
 I now had a rabid, insulted 5’3” Jesus freak standing in the doorway of my office.  Might as well keep going, maybe she’ll get pissed off enough to leave.
“You’ve been dating Brian for 6 years, but you won’t have sex with him, and you don’t masturbate. We’re talkin’ some serious deviations from sexual norms.”
Her scowl was fleetingly replaced in quick succession by shock, embarrassment, and indignation before returning with a vengeance. Well, that plan didn’t work.
“Lorelei, I’m not going to get into the reasons why one should stay chaste.”
Thank God for small miracles.
“There are more important issues at hand. That, that, hedonistic heathen slept with my sister!”
I sighed. A large number of heathens have slept with her sister, but it’s probably not safe to point that out. Back to the heathen in question. If she was coming to me, it was a specific one.
“Okay, now that you’ve tattled on Alex, what do you expect me to do about it?”
 That actually stumped her. She looked perplexed for a moment before asking, “Is beating him an option?”
“Not a good one,” That was a stupid question, and we both knew it.
“Why not?” The plaintive wail grated on my nerves.
“Sweetheart, he brought a dominatrix to Christmas. Beating him will not get you the response you want.”
She dropped into the chair by the door with a disgusted snort, rested her chin on her hand, and glared at me. I returned a level stare.
“She’s pregnant.”
 I refuse to ask what happened. I try very hard to not know what Alex is up to. It saves me from feeling the need to bleach my brain.
“And the Anti-Christ is conceived. Prepare for Armageddon.”
Sandie slapped my arm. Hard. “Be serious! He seduced her last night and..”
 “Hold on. He slept with her last night? And just last night?” I rubbed at my arm.
“She’s only been here two days. And we spent the night before at a play.”
I tsked in irritation. “It’s not Alex’s.”
“But they were…”
I cut her off again. “It takes up to a week after ovulation to implant, and another week after that for the test to be able to detect the hormones. Did you forget your basic biology?”
Sandie bristled. “I was excused from class on those days. I’m …”

“Chaste. I know. But that means abstaining from sex, not health class! Jesus!” Annoyance thy name is Holy Roller.
“Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain!”

“Believe me, Sandie, that was a prayer for patience. Y’know what, I don’t have time for this. Alex isn’t the father. Go catch up on 7th grade sex ed and we’ll talk later.” I dragged her out of the chair and shoved her out the door. Leaning against it, I glared at my laptop. Suddenly finding a date didn’t seem so interesting. I grabbed my phone. Time to find the other sexual deviant and give him the news. I smirked. Alex as a dad. I was going to enjoy making him squirm.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Book Review: Intercourses

Book Blurb:
First introduced in 1997 to rave reviews and now an international bestseller from the US to Australia, The New InterCourses: an aphrodisiac cookbook includes more than 145 aphrodisiac recipes for love and romance. Couples everywhere love this book for its romantic results, not to mention its sensual images of food set on the backdrop of the human body, tasty recipes home-tested by couples across the country, and thorough appendix with recommended aphrodisiac vendors, recipes for edible massage oils and bath salts, and charts for choosing the right aphrodisiac for the season of year, time of day, or even stage of the relationship.
InterCourses is organized by foods that have been considered aphrodisiac ingredients throughout history—chocolate, asparagus, chiles, coffee, basil, grapes, strawberries, honey, artichokes, black beans, oysters, rosemary, edible flowers, pine nuts, avocados, libations/alcohol, and figs. Each chapter begins with a photograph of food on the body—an asparagus skirt, a maillot of pine nuts, a tribal necklace of figs. The images bring the food to life in a fresh light, transforming ordinary foods into extraordinary aphrodisiacs.
That’s what InterCourses is for us: an introduction to the experience of aphrodisiacs. It’s an experience for anyone who can believe in the magic of food combined with a little bit of ambiance or love. With sensuality or eroticism. With simplicity or grandiosity. From the anticipated anniversary dinner to the unexpected glass of fresh-squeezed juice, the act of preparing food for another (or with another) speaks louder and clearer than most words. It says, with no exceptions, I love you. I want you. I care for you. You are worth the effort.
May InterCourses help you say what needs to be said.
Bon App├ętit

My Thoughts: Ok, one last book in the foodie category for a bit. But this one is just too good.
I'm a visual person. I hate cookbooks that don't show me a picture of what I'm going to be eating. In this case, I may not get pics of the finished product, but the gorgeous imagery more than makes up for it. Besides, the pictures include the main ingredient, all in very lovely, very artistic, very erotic photos. Some of the ingredients may be hard to locate - like the edible flowers - but it's worth the foreplay forethought. The recipes are all relatively simple, which is good, because it's easy to get distracted when you think about the finished product. I can personally recommend the Champagne laced with Raspberry, French Toast baked in Honey-Pecan sauce, Easy Strawberry Empanadas, and the Chocolate-stuffed Crescent Rolls. On my list to try are the Honey-drenched Figs, and the Rosemary-scented Lamb over pasta. You'd have to ask hubby what his faves are. This book is often pulled out when we discuss having a romantic evening.
You're pretty much guaranteed to be moaning in ecstasy, even if it's only over the food.

Publisher: Terrace
Release Date: January 1, 1997
This book is owned by the reviewer

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Contemplation

Sitting alone in my kitchen, listening to the rhythms of the house. The whir of the refrigerator. The hum of the laptop. Dryer rumbling in the room next door, its bass notes out of time with the high pitched squeak of the washer.  There is a whoosh as the heater kicks in. It makes me realize that I’m cold.
I should be writing.
I should be reading.
I should be cleaning.
I am just sitting. Taking it all in. Or ignoring it all. Depends on how you look at it. It doesn’t really matter.
The shadows are lengthening outside. The glare of early afternoon is giving way to the dull glow of early evening. There is no revelation during this trance, this melancholy meditation. No sense of peace or enlightenment. Only a hollow resignation.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Book Review: Good Eats, The Early and the Middle Years

 I never used to like to watch food shows. Ever. My husband can live with the cable permadialed to The Food Network. A few years back, I turned the tv on, and (surprise, surprise) he had left it on The Food Network. Not interested in the station itself, I began to flip through the online guide, futilely, when I realized that I was actually chuckling at the show currently on.

This was my introduction to Good Eats and Alton Brown. I have had lots of fun over the years watching his antics, skits and silliness. With episode titles like "School of Hard Nogs (homemade eggnog, yum!), Fry Hard and Wonton Ways - how can you not have fun?! I have had even more fun trying out the recipes on the show. The great thing about Good Eats? He explains how to use certain techniques and why, in a fun and easy to understand way. In his own words, Alton said the idea behind the show came down to three names. Julia Child, Mr. Wizard and Monty Python. This show isn't just about Good Eats. It's about good times and good fun. And gadgets. (But never a unitasker. The only unitasker in the Good Eats kitchen is the fire extinguisher.) Alton Brown has the best freaking toys.

So last year, the first book came out. And it's a doozy of a cookbook. (Most of mine are hand-me-downs or bought at garage sales, so I may have a skewed view.) 3 lbs 8 oz of entertainment. Seriously, you can sit and read this book, or at least enjoy the pictures. Not just of food, but of a brilliant maniac in crazy costumes.
But I held off at the time. And now book two came out. There is just as much zany nonsense in this one, and just as many great recipes. Each chapter, in both books, is based off an episode. Many of the great tips, tricks and bits o'trivia are in there, like how to "octo-sect" a chicken.

I totally caved. I don't regret it at all. I now have some of my favorite recipes in a book, rather than searching through the Food Network every time I want to make Hot Cocoa Mix. (It has cayenne pepper in it! I love the kick.) Some of my favorites are not out yet. One more book to go. Next year can not come quick enough! I still want to get all the seasons on DVD, because the books cannot portray the hilarity of the skits. And some of the instructional material is easier to mimic when you can watch what he's doing.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

'Is This Real?'


Song: Lisa Hall - "Is This Real?" Video by lanlailaala


I arrive at the appointed hour, using the code left on my desk to unlock the heavy door. The foyer holds only a small table with a flickering black candle the only light. It’s as if nothing exists outside the wavering circle of light.  I turned and locked the outer door, heart pounding as I commit to the evening. No stopping now.  My body shivers.  Not quite fear, but a delicious hint of it.
 I slowly unbutton my black trench coat, marveling at my hands' steadiness. My sure movements belie the turmoil in my head. Anticipation. Apprehension. Longing. Shame. Skin flushing, I am pulled toward the items on the table. Thick white parchment with red writing demands my attention. Gliding my fingertips over the bold script, I can hear his dark voice commanding me.
 Shoes off.  
Legs trembling, I slide my silk clad feet out of the red heels and leave them neatly under the table.
Coat on the table.
Take up the mask.
I shrug the coat off, shivering again. Focus on making the movement graceful. Pleasing to his eyes, even in his absence. Folding the coat, exchanging it for the satin mask on table. The motions set the candle flame dancing. Tendrils of smoke writhe, like a shadowy promise of what is to come. The warmth flickers against my skin through the lace lingerie, a caress from an invisible hand. My body tightens, longing driven by nervous anticipation. I lift the delicately embroidered mask to my eyes. My pulse races.
His phantom voice whispers instructions once more.
In your place.
 Unthinking, my feet bring me in front of the next door.  My body remembers well where it belongs. Sinking gracefully, gratefully to my knees, sitting back on my heels, I follow the last of his commands.
Wait.
Always the most difficult to obey. The anticipation was delicious, but patience is a virtue I will never claim. My hands twitch as they rest on my knees. I want to touch and be touched. I still the mutinous thumb stroking the inside of my leg. The dark, the silence, they don’t bother me – I can hear him in my thoughts. Picture his presence.  The lack of physical stimulus torments me. In time, my legs numb to the hardwood beneath me. I am floating in the stillness of the room.
I focus on the aching desire, letting it fill my mind and skin. An internal flame licking through my body. Let it distract me, consume me.  The intensity swelling until I whisper, “Unreal.”
Strong fingers bury themselves in my upswept hair, pulling my face and breasts against a powerful, leather clad thigh.
From above, a deep growl, “Oh yes, pet, this is real.”