Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Full-Contact Housecleaning

(Steps gingerly over a pile of ancient lumber formerly known as a workbench) You know, a crowbar makes an excellent tool for tidying up around the basement.

As does a pair of vise grip pliers. (Pulls a dozen humongous staples out of a sheet of plywood)

But at times like this I do rather wish for the use of a pickup truck. No garbage collection till the far side of the weekend.

Oh, well... I'll just use this here circular saw. After I've salvaged the good stuff from the old bench I'll chop up the leftovers, box them up, and take them to the dump in My car.

(wonders to Herself if a 4" belt sander would do a good job on the floor...)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Takk fyrir, Jólasveinar!

I'm sitting here with a nice hot cup of coffee, munching candy and pondering this year's haul of goodies.

As all of the humans in the household received clothing (Me, a pair of slippers with penguins on them; Red, a new shirt; Chala, a hat), the Yule Cat left us in peace.

Until the turkey came out of the oven, that is. (dives behind pot of wild rice as eight free-range felines converge on the dinner table in search of prey)

In addition to the slippers, I also received the following:
  • A hunter dragon (henceforth known as 'Hunter'), who has already found a cozy spot on top of my Fedora Core 6 Linux box;
  • One of a pair of dragon-silhouette prints, both already installed in the stairwell;
  • A new jigsaw;
  • An automotive creeper, for doing renovations while lying supine in low-clearance areas;
  • A truly frightening amount of chocolate (red, green and white Mini-Eggs, some caramels, some macaroons, and *meep* a one kilogram Dairy Milk bar);
  • Lavender bath stuff.
And for Myself I bought...
  • A new clarinet ligature (Bonade inverted);
  • A new violin bow, lighter and weighted more to the frog;
  • And a paperback copy of The God Delusion.
But the best part about today is... I don't have to go anywhere or do anything in particular until Thursday morning or so. Just taking it easy for a couple of days. Ahh... (settles back with coffee)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Gleðileg Jól!


The Yule parties, yes, parties, are over for another year. We had two because all the guests from Party #1 had departed by the time the last group of visitors arrived.

We didn't get around to bottling the mead, and the orange cake and the crab-stuffed mushrooms have been deferred to a later occasion -- Probably Hogmanay. Rather than engaging in a no-holds-barred Cookie Rant with six or seven different varieties of baked goods, I restricted Myself to three dishes: Honey-garlic chicken thighs; gluten-free brownies; and almond butter-crunch candy. (Oh, and I mixed up the chip dip, too.)

But that's fine, because Red did the rest. Spicy chicken drumsticks; meatballs; spare ribs; sautéed mushrooms; potato salad; lemon squares; chocolate chip cookies; and a giant apple pie thingie which stayed in the fridge because we had Way Too Much Food for eleven people.

Especially after the cheese, crackers, salad, crudités, potato chips, second container of chip dip, and two bottles of wine showed up.

I reiterate: Oof.

Happy Yule, everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Yule baking and cooking

We are officially underway with our preparations for this year's Yule party. Red and I went shopping this afternoon and picked up a trunkful of ingredients. This is how the menu is shaping up so far:
  • Brownies (done)
  • Almond/chocolate butter crunch candy (done)
  • Lemon squares (done)
  • Orange cake (I'll probably bake it Wednesday night)
  • Skor cookies
  • Macadamia chocolate chip cookies
  • Meatballs
  • Honey-garlic chicken
  • Caribbean spice chicken
  • BBQ ribs
  • Potato salad
  • Crab-stuffed mushrooms
  • Assorted chocolates
  • Chips and dip
  • Pretzels
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Mead (still to be racked and bottled)
  • Assorted veggies
  • Butter tarts
  • Apple pie
  • Possibly apple cider (peeks nervously into fermenter)
  • Coffee, tea and pop
And I keep thinking I've forgotten something...

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Lakshmi Project

My environment is changing, one scrap of paper at a time.

I'm straightening out My workspace, putting away CDs and books, and generally cleaning house. This rather uncharacteristic madness does have a rather serious purpose: Making room for visiting goddesses and their garudas and elephants and Significant Others so we can all sit down and have a nice cuppa.

(runs paper shredder to dispose of some old paid bills and bank slips)

I, Myself, am rather fond of collecting Stuff. However, when one's primary workspace is weighed down with a Spike Milligan boxed set, volume three of Buntús Cainte, and no less than 33 CD's, something's gotta give.

Oh, look! Here's one of the elephants now. Sit right over there between the drum pad and the stapler, little dude.

Já, this feels better already. (starts transcribing a poem She found on the back of an envelope) If this keeps up I'll actually be able to get to my study window by New Year's...

...Without having to step over half a dozen cardboard boxes. W00t!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cold call


A confession here: Until age eleven or so, I was friggin' terrified of telephones. You couldn't pay me to dial one. Until I was about seven or eight, the thought of even speaking into one was nigh unthinkable. Somewhere around 1968 or so I did manage to get my act together so I could call my friends at home.

As with the man who got polymorphed into a newt, "I got better." Did switchboard stuff and reception, and actually developed a rather pleasant telephone manner.

But it's still nerve-wracking to just pick up the telly-o-phone and call a complete stranger.

On my morning coffee break, as I sat reading the paper, I noticed a want ad from an agency specializing in the medical field. I didn't want the job they had to offer, but I do want to be considered as a candidate for Bigger, Better Things.

So I called, mentioned where I'd heard of the company, and obtained a contact name for resumé-sending.

Which means that I'll soon be using my word processor for something other than NaNoWriMo. What a bizarre concept...