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Monthly Archives: August 2009

I’m making some healthy, vegetarian lasagna with some friends tonight.  Since this is the Vegetarian Ninja Librarian’s blog, I think I’m within my rights to post recipes as well as book lists.  This one is based on a stuffed shell recipe I saw on the Food Channel years ago, and maybe from a South Beach recipe, but I don’t know.  I’m sort of making it up, so bear with me, or don’t, your choice.

Whole wheat lasagna noodles

half a bag of broccoli florets

one medium red onion, sliced thinly into semi-circles

1 or 2 handfulls of sliced kalamata olives

1 medium zucchini sliced into thin coins

sliced mushrooms(optional)

olive oil

tomato sauce(might make some, might just buy a nice basil tomato sauce)

1 cup? low fat ricotta cheese(you can mix in a teaspoon of basil for extra flavor)

about half a cup of shredded low moisture mozzarella

parmesan cheese for top

2-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced or crushed

salt to taste

large frying pan, wooden spoon, and lasagna pan(13×9 or similar size)

Preheat oven 350.

Cook the noodles according to package.

In a large pan, caramelize onions with broccoli and garlic, and no more than two tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the zucchini and mushrooms when it is almost done.  Last, add the kalamata olives.

Pour a little tomato sauce into the bottom of the pan.  Then add first layer of noodles. Top with caramelized veggies and sauce, then add a layer of ricotta.  Continue layering until you’ve put on the last layer of noodles.  Top with just  little bit of sauce, then the layer of mozarella and parmesan.  Bake about 45 minutes(I might pull mine out at 30 minutes because I’m impatient, and it’s all cooked anyway).

Changes may be added to this after I actually make the lasagna and figure out what I’m doing. 🙂

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Okay, so this is only tangentially related to librarianship, but who cares?  I did go partly to promote the Tucson Festival of Books, which is library related.  But mostly I went to ask questions about publishing creator owned comics, and to be a ginormous fangirl.  After several weeks of various trials and tribulations, here is a synopsis of San Diego Comic-Con:

So Nick, Heather, and I flew into San Diego on Thursday.  We dropped our stuff at the hotel and went out to eat the only real meal we were likely to get that day.  We looked around the exhibitor booths a little, and I ran to grab a collectors item for a co-worker, only to find that the limited edition, Comic-Con exclusive silver astronaut Snoopy had been held up in manufacturing, and might never become available.  So I got a limited edition astronaut Snoopy tote bag instead.

Nick and I on the plane.

Nick and I on the plane.

Then my friends and I split up.  I went to a panel on writing with J. Michael Straczynski, and stayed for the panel after about making creator owned comics with Image.  At this point, I decided that the headache that had been bothering me all day was turning into a migraine, and I popped an Imitrex.

Then I went to talk to Brom, the amazing gothic fantasy artist turned writer, about why he should come to the Tucson Festival of Books.  He signed a couple  copies of his first book, The Plucker, for me.  He was very nice.  Not even remotely creepy, despite the author photo in the back of The Plucker. I’m hopeful that he will come.

Me + Brom!

Me + Brom!

Lucky for me, the Imitrex kicked in just in time for the Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog sing-along.  There was a booklet with lyrics, and call backs like Rocky Horror.  During the Bad Horse chorus, we were all supposed to bounce up and down, and the floor started shaking.  Little bit scary.   And I’ll tell you what, knowing the lyrics to Commentary the Musical makes it a lot more interesting.

Heather tries on the paper Dr. Horrible goggles.  Why is everything she does so cute?

Heather tries on the paper Dr. Horrible goggles. Why is everything she does so cute?

We all crashed hard in our hotel around 1 am after our 20 hour day, then got up four hours later so that we could rush back to the convention center.  Nick got in line for a portfolio review, while my other friend waited in line with me for tickets to the Coraline signing.  My wonderful friend Heather had graciously agreed to give me her Coraline ticket if she got one, since she wanted to go the Guild panel, which overlapped with the Coraline panel, and she’s not even a fraction of the Neil Gaiman fan that I am.  Like a panicky school of fish, we all hurried outside  as soon as they announced the ticket drawing, and got in line.  I didn’t get a winning ticket, but Heather did.  She quickly passed it off to me and I left triumphant with a wrist band to watch the Coraline panel.  Thank you Heather!!!  A few hours later, I was standing in line with my books and eagerly awaiting my thirty seconds of personal time with Neil Gaiman.  To my surprise, it turned out that the signing also included Terri Hatcher, the brilliant director Henry Selick, and Keith David, the voice of the cat in the movie.  Keith David has an amazing voice, and has a special place in my heart as the voice of Goliath from the cartoon series Gargoyles.

Terri Hatcher, Neil Gaiman, and Henry Selick

Terri Hatcher, Neil Gaiman, and Henry Selick

Terri Hatcher, Neil Gaiman, Henry Selick, and Keith David.

Terri Hatcher, Neil Gaiman, Henry Selick, and Keith David.

The horrible thing about the signing was that the crowd control people came out and told us that only one thing could be signed.  One.  The line started freaking out, and I looked through my bag at the books I had brought: two for me, and two for a friend who didn’t make it to Comic-Con.  How could I choose?  Then the crowd control people amended: one signed item and one picture, or two signed items and no picure, just don’t slow down the line!  I breathed a sigh of relief, and chatted with the guy in line in front of me.  Then they passed out a limited edition Coraline card to be signed.  When I got to the head of the line, the woman there told me I had too many items.  I told her the Coraline cast could sign the card, and Neil Gaiman could sign my two books:  Two items.  She said no, that’s too many.  I started to panic.  Then she pointed out to me that the guy in front of me had only one item, and if he was willing, he could get it signed for me.  I thrust my book at him and asked if he would get it signed for me.  And he did, and I wish I knew his name, but he disappeared after the signing!  Thank you sweet pre-med student!  Neil signed my book, and I gave him a flyer and a card for the Tucson Festival of Books.  He gave my card back with his assistant’s email.  It took all my strength and willpower to remain standing and speak mostly coherent words at him.

Next I went to give some more info to Brom about the Festival, and then I met up with my friends and we walked around the exhibitor space for a while.  I got some art books signed by the creepy artist Mark Ryden, who was not very creepy at all, and even had his children with him.

Then we went searching for Jeff Jacques, so I could buy things from his booth and support his comic.

Heather arrived back from the Spartacus panel, and we went to meet R.H. Stavis, Steve DeKnight, and Adam Archer.  Heather was interviewed by Starz about her fangirl opinion on the new show Spartacus.  After that, the plan had been to get in line for the Dollhouse panel two hours before hand, but it turns out the line was three hours long.  That’s right, three hours long.  We were already too late to get in line, and I’m not sure I’m a big enough fangirl to wait in line three hours for any kind of panel that doesn’t come with a signing.

Adam Archer, Steve DeKnight, and R. H. Stavis.

Adam Archer, Steve DeKnight, and R. H. Stavis.

So we went to see Jane Espenson at the Browncoat booth.  Usually, she works with Joss Whedon, and I think she’s a really fantastic writer.  One of the best, very funny.  And very nice.

Jane Espenson + me!

Jane Espenson + me!

Then Heather got a call from a friend, begging her to go find Peter S. Beagle and get a signed book from him.  Peter S. Beagle, the guy who wrote The Last Unicorn!  We rushed to find his booth,  and I was very excited to meet him and buy several signed books.  I gave him some info about the Tucson Festival of Books too.

Peter S. Beagle... and me!

Peter S. Beagle... and me!

Then we went on probably our third quest to find Jeff Mariotte and his wonderful wife, Maryelizabeth Hart.  This quest was successful, and very relaxing among all the stress and excitement of the con.

Jeff Mariotte, Nick, Heather, Me, and Maryelizabeth Hart.

Jeff Mariotte, Nick, Heather, Me, and Maryelizabeth Hart.

Finally, we ended our day by heading upstairs to meet the cast of the Guild, so Heather could give Felicia Day some tiny gaming dice as a fangirl gift.  Felicia and the entire cast are all so sweet and friendly.  Felicia was really excited about her dice, especially when she managed to roll a natural 20.

Felicia Day and Heather

Felicia Day and Heather

Me + Felica Day!

Me + Felica Day!

At last, dinner and bed, just after midnight.  And up again at 6:30 to eat breakfast and head back for our last day of con.  I went to see Terry Moore speak about Strangers in Paradise and his most recent project, Echo.  Both have been nominated for Eisner Awards, and Strangers won.  Apparently the producer of Watchmen just bought the rights  to Echo(not optioned, bought), so this movie might actually happen.  Being the big Terry Moore fan I am, I’m pretty excited.

I got a text from my friend Nick then, who said he’d gotten a call back on his portfolio from Marvel!  He had a review with them in the afternoon.  We went down to the exhibitor hall for a while to buy stuff, then back upstairs to watch Brom’s art presentation.  He had fantastic stories about each piece of artwork in his slideshow, and he has done so much professional work it’s unbelievable.  Then we met up with Heather, and went down to stalk the exhibitor booths some more.  Eventually Heather and Nick went off to the Monster Mash panel, and I went to the writing panel with Marv Wolfman, writer and creator of Teen Titans.   He gave an excellent talk about characterization, and I introduced myself afterwards to ask a few questions.  Then I sneaked in for the end of Ray Bradbury’s author hour.  He’s hilarious, and one of my heroes.

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury

As it turned out, Nick didn’t get a job with Marvel, but they said he has a good chance next year.  So Heather and I went to see if we could get into the Dr. Horrible signing, and Nick went to discuss his portfolio with Jeff Mariotte.  Heather, in all her great and cute Asian glory, got us into the signing and we were among the last few people to meet Joelle Jones, Maurissa Tancharoen, Zack Whedon, and Joss Whedon.  They were all very nice, especially considering I had absolutely nothing for them to sign.  I never thought I’d get into the signing at all!  There was no Dr. Horrible merchandise for sale at the Darkhorse booth, and I had to make do with a comic poster and a Serenity lunchbox.  Somehow, through my trembling fangirl joy, I managed to invite Joss Whedon to the Tucson Festival of Books.  He looked at the brochure for a moment, then told me he probably wouldn’t have time.  I said something like “I know, but I had to ask.”

Joss Whedon + me!  Yeah!

Joss Whedon + me! Yeah!

We flew back on Sunday morning.  It was a pretty awesome weekend, and I’m thankful to everyone who made it so awesome.