It’ll be easy, I said; it’ll be FUN, I said

Earlier this afternoon I thought it would be a grand old barrel of laughs to upload my latest minicomic, Churn, to the internet. I nearly murdered myself getting it done in time for SPX 2019, and only succeeded because my boyfriend patiently and heroically kept me fed for three months over the summer while I toiled away at it. Then I moved. Then I got pneumonia. Then my dayjob picked up and I did an awesome work-for-hire gig I can’t show off yet. Then my computer keeled over. And then the pandemic happened.

Anyway, I was finally feeling feisty enough to actually wrangle technology today! Back in 2013, when I first bashed out ameliaonorato.com on Dreamhost with a dream and a blunt instrument, there was an incredible widget available called ComicCMS that took care of all the php and css and coding involved with hosting a functional webcomic on your own domain. It’s how I originally posted ROCKALL and the first chapter of Burn the Bridges of Arta, and sometime around 2015 the format became unsupported and there was no way in hell I was gonna figure out how to fix it. We all have our strengths! Computers just happen to not be one of mine.

That’s why in the ensuing years Fortes FortunaUltima ThuleSorgin, and The Eternal Rocks have all been hosted over on tumblr, since I couldn’t figure out how to make it work on my own website, haha. But it’s 2020, I’m 33, and I should probably put a little more effort into my website than a homepage last updated in 2017, featuring a burlesque lobster redirecting visitors to various tumblr pages. Here she is, by the way:

What started off as trying to figure out a way to cohesively post a 36-page minicomic on my main site turned into a massive WordPress overhaul that is probably going to be just as much of a headache, but hopefully with a better aesthetique(tm). Although my old page was a charming and unironic homage to mid-90s Angelfire and Geocities fan-shrines, behind the scenes it was a MESS. I had to update it via FTP (hence why so long between updates). I was combing through and tweaking code line-by-line like BD Wong trying to splice DinoDNA. It was inefficient! I prefer templates! Although this site definitely looks more generic now. Oh well.

For this recipe for foolproof plain couscous (a perfect base for any saucy dish!) you will need:

  • 2 cups of couscous
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (I like blends that include garlic and onion powders for extra flavor)
  • 1 2/3 cups warm water
  • 2 tbsps oil, olive or vegetable
  • 2 tbsps butter, cut into little chunks

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Bring water and salt to just the barest hint of a simmer, then pour over couscous in an ovenproof dish. Do whatever you want for ten minutes while the couscous absorbs the water.

Wash your hands for 20 seconds, then pour the oil over the couscous and use your fingers to rub it in and break up the clumps. It should become light and fluffy, and very warm but not hot enough to hurt your hands (if it is, like, you know, stop until it cools down).

Scatter the butter chunks over the top, cover with a piece of foil, and pop into the oven for about 15 minutes until the couscous is toasty and the butter has completely melted. Fluff it up with a fork and serve directly from the dish while warm. 2 cups is a LOT of couscous, but the oil will keep it moist for a few days, so you don’t need to worry about mushy or crunchy leftovers.

Stir in toasted almonds and raisins if you’re feeling fancy!

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