verbicide: (shiny!!)
Poor entrée. It's almost never photographed. Ultimate culinary middle child syndrome.

But, to start: spicy cheddar straws

From Food


And to finish, Hot Chocolate Cake with Homemade Marshmallows

From Food


Have a fabulous end to 2009, and the best start possible to 2010 everyone!
verbicide: (cooking)
I knew this final week of vacation would evaporate. (I know, I have no call to boo-hoo considering all the time off I've had. But returning to work gets harder the longer you've enjoyed a temporary a life of leisure!)

Mostly I just realized that this means that the day after tomorrow is NYE. I was so sanguinely blathering about my tentative menu when I absolutely must go to the liquor store and grocery store tomorrow and start cooking. I really don't want to be stuck in the kitchen all night on NYE, so everything that can be must be done in advance. I've decided to make the hot chocolate cake because I've been obsessed with it lately. I've also decided to make Ina Garten's recipe for steak au poivre, herbed fingerling potatoes, and spinach au gratin. Ina never lets me down.

Game plan:

Tomorrow, bake cakes, make frosting (since it needs to sit for 24-damn-hours), make marshmallows, and assemble spinach gratin.
Thursday morning I will start the six-hour process of making the French onion soup and prep the potatoes. I'll need to assemble and decorate the cake.

The only thing done a la moment will be the steaks and sauce since I think they'll be done best then. I'm going to have a mise en place ready, though, so I'm not frustrated-ly juggling measuring spoons and feeling hassled.

In other news, the pasta was a hit! I loved it, and Jeff and Ellie loved it! It is so much more fun to try out new recipes with friends instead of alone! I left them the leftovers and am going to use the rest of my ingredients to make another batch for tomorrow. The only thing I'm missing is a shallot, which I need to buy tomorrow anyway. I love that you don't have to heat up an entire enormous pot of water to boil the noodles. That's my least favorite part of making pasta. This was really flavorful and easy and it's going to be a staple, goddammit! Really easy to modify to vegetarian recipe, too. Just use veggie stock and don't add the chicken! Also, this was pretty forgiving. I kept screwing things up like letting the pasta nearly burn. I then packed it up and took it to Ellie and Jeff's and then we nuked it briefly to reheat and it still wasn't rubbery or anything. Go! Go make this now!!

Here is the recipe! )
verbicide: (AHHH HAIR by breezybee)
So, I'm back! Hi!

And since I feel too discombobulated to actually write content, I share with you the Food Network's Sandra "I Can't Cook at ALL But I Am on TV" Lee and her famous Kwanzaa Cake.

I can't believe it's not a parody of her show. Except that this is exactly the kind of crap she always makes.
verbicide: (Default)
What I always forget when I'm clamoring for snow days, is that I go stir crazy after a day or so. Jeff has less tolerance than I do. He was feeling it last night. But I haven't left my flat since Tuesday.

So today's grand adventure is going to involve putting on my snow boots and walking to Safeway. And tossing the recycling.

While technically I'm on call at work today, no one is at the office, and there are no more deadlines for this year. All of Seattle is one giant ice slick. And as people out here have no idea how to drive in this weather (myself included, so I just don't drive because HELLO), everyone is at home.

So, my goals for today (which sadly are not to play Zelda: Link to the Past for 18 hours) are:

- wrap the gifts that are at home
- WRITE CHRISTMAS CARDS!
- take out recycling
- buy remaining ingredients I forgot to buy earlier
- bake the chocolate crinkles, thumbprints, and possibly iced pumpkin cookies and make the rest of the goodies for Judy/Ellen (which are a surprise, so I can't note them here yet).

I'd like to time these things properly, so that things that need to rest (like breads), can do that while I go out. And maybe I should write the cards first so I can drop them off at the mailbox when I'm out on my grand adventure?

Ideally, I'll have Judy and Ellen's gift ready for when I see them tomorrow. But worst case scenario, I have the weekend to work on them and I can give it to them on Monday before I leave town. Monday is also the day to mail Jeanne and Amy's presents and cookies.

So here's hoping efficiency prevails!!
verbicide: (bossa nova - by breezybee)
I mean, is this the happiest day or what?

I'm at my desk, computing. Snow is fluffily falling outside onto the gleaming white landscape. Jeff has just settled down for a nap. He's going to make pomegranate jelly later. Brutus is snoozing right behind me. I'm exchanging silly emails with a bevy of cousins--we're all excited to go to Big Bear next week. Which, will probably have less snow than we have here right now.

Love Actually is playing in the living room, to keep me company while I finish making these lemon sandwich cookies from the latest Bon Apetit. It's a recipe from Citizen Cake in San Francisco.

Perhaps later I will finish my Paper Mario game. I also need to ice the applesauce oatmeal cookies and finally bake the chocolate crinkles. And make the chocolate malt sandwich cookies.

I just need to focus long enough to scan some refi documents and the documents for my 401k. Since I am not going back into the office again THIS YEAR MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

If it's safe enough, we're going to go shopping tonight at U Village. And then, except for some homemade things, I'll be done with my Christmas shopping. I wrapped the first present and stuck it under the tree. And I'll write/mail Christmas cards FINALLY tonight! I swear! I will!

It's just such a good day!
verbicide: (Default)
Except... there's no snow. YET.

There's supposed to be a lot of it. All the Seattle schools are closed! Which means it would be highly irresponsible for me to go to work and get stuck on the Eastside! YUP!

I have to say, my gloves are wholly inadequate. As a Californian, I always thought polar fleece would be good enough for anything. But the bus was late yesterday, so I was standing outside at the stop for about half an hour and by the end, I thought I might dissolve into hysteria. I couldn't feel my hands anymore. I was kitted out in two warm wool sweaters, a quilted jacket, scarf, hat, gloves. But I was so goddamn cold. The exposed parts of my face (which was a pretty narrow strip) and my hands. I tell you, I'm the biggest weather sissy on earth. I would DIE in a real winter. As it is, I just hunker down and try to never leave my house ever.

Speaking of. It's been such a nice goddamn day so far! Jeff and I sat and lingered on the couch this morning. I kept trying to convince him to stay home or to just go get his laptop and come back home. But he's not built for sloth the way I am. Poor dearie.

Last night was a total blast. Pete came over for a final visit before his two week vacation to visit his family in NJ. I made one of Pete's (and Jeff's) favorite dishes --Ina Garten's Mac and Cheese and some sauteed zucchini to go with it. Recipe Blather ) I sent some off with Jeff today for Amy T and Kirsten, too!

Then, Jeff lit a fire and turned on the Christmas tree and it was just a lovely lovely evening, sitting around and talking.

Pete brought us his amazing homemade chocolate caramels. And I got one of my Christmas presents from him! He knows I'm crazy about these Japanese gummy snacks and there are all these flavors that are hard to get and I've never been able to try. So he went to Ranch 99 and bought me ALL of them. Mango, apple, pineapple, melon, and orange because it's my favorite. I couldn't stop squealing for awhile over that. We sampled them all and omg it was so exciting!! I think pineapple may be my new favorite!! Also, he brought over his Wii Fit for us to borrow while he's out of town! Can't wait to try it!

Pete eventually left and we went to bed. I did, however, leave an epic mess in the kitchen. But it was so glorious to get to just clean it up this morning. Everything's loaded in the dishwasher. I went to the grocery store after work last night, so I have everything I need to make all the stuff I need to make. (Except frozen raspberries, goddammit! Must go buy those and some more eggs. DOH. I should go do that this morning before the predicted weather craziness starts.)

Today I'll work from home and start the cookie baking adventure. I have tons of exciting food options in leftovers. Is a taco salad weird to have for breakfast?

In other Christmas news, I just feel so behind already. How did this happen?

I need to write/mail some cards today. And at least plan how/when I'm going to mail the few gifts that require mailing. The timing is all off, because I leave for LA for a week on Tuesday. I see Judy/Ellen on Saturday and I'm worried their gift won't be ready by then either.

But, I need to remind myself that any pressure here is my own. I may be late this year, but no one is going to really care if they don't get their cookies until I get back from LA and can have more time to bake, right?

Though, I'm almost totally done with my Christmas shopping. And the rest should be finished in one more quick trip to U Village! In exciting news, I was able to get Jeff's Christmas present done yesterday on my lunch break. The smaller gift is en route from Amazon and the bigger one (which is sort of a Christmas/birthday hybrid gift, since his birthday is in January), is hiding in my car. I'd like to wrap them and stick 'em under the tree by tonight! I hope he likes!!

Sarah and I are exchanging gifts/having dinner on Friday, before she leaves town. I've asked for her big gift to be expedited; I just hope it gets here on time!!

Whee!! This is why I love the holidays!!
verbicide: (christmas!)
We got Jeff his first real Christmas tree today! Growing up, his fireman dad wouldn't let them have one! So we went to one of the local tree lots and bought a gorgeous Norwegian Spruce. We ran a whole mess of errands--grocery store and Fred Meyer for tree stuff. Jeff was extra sassy today which kept cracking me up.

We started the day at the Mad Greek in Ballard which has really terrific food. I'd forgotten how much I love their gyros. Jeff kept asking, "How did you find this place?" And his tone smacked of betrayal that I'd hidden it from him so long; that I would take him to Georgia's when I knew the Mad Greek existed. As we passed by Georgia's later on, Jeff shook his fist at them, "You're dead to me now!"

Lugging everything upstairs and putting it all away was less fun, but the tree is up! And there are twinkling white lights! I ran over to Jeff with a small wrapped present:

Me: I got you a little something!
Jeff *glower* WHAT!? Why?
Me: NO YELLING. I think the new rule is that you should look at what it is before yelling at me.
Jeff: *sheepish* Okay. (he unwraps a small wooden bear ornament). Awww, it's a bear!
Me: See! This is why you should look at the things I give you before yelling at me!
Jeff: I didn't yell...
Me: You had Yell Face!
Jeff: I did have Yell Face. Hee. But someone's got to keep you in line!
Me: Uh HUH.

[Jeff, who is the biggest lunatic I have ever met about receiving presents, complains I get him too much. Which, I don't. He's just certifiable.]

We are both totally sacked out now. I'm obsessively reading The Pioneer Woman's blog and Jeff's watching Hannibal. We're going to a party one of his co-workers is throwing (my former co-worker and friend, too). The theme is tacky Christmas sweaters. We got Jeff this fur-lined vest-monstrosity that can not be believed. I'm going to wear more along the lines of a ski sweater that doesn't have reindeer or Frosty or similar. I've got the pomegranate martinis ready to go. Though I have to admit, I'm so tired I could really just curl up and watch TV for the rest of the night by the light of a roaring fire and twinkling tree lights. That can be tomorrow. It's something really nice to look forward to.
verbicide: (I love my damn cat)
...and all through the house, Brutus was snoring, dreaming of leftover mouse.

ANYHOW. I am working from home today. Because YAY. And also YAY. I know it's only 10, but the day goes by faster when I'm working from home!

Things I MUST do today:

- lift weights at the gym
- visit Henry and Bailey and give them kitty smoochies and food
- buy rolls for Thanksgiving from Ballard Market
- donate some stuff to Goodwill
- do another test run on the dishwasher that Jeff has magically repaired*
- (if/then) cancel the appointment with the dishwasher repair person

These are the Musts. And accomplishing them affords me the privilege of sitting on my butt and reading my Ruth Reichl book. Because that's all I really want to do. Preferably in front of a roaring fire.

* Just want to note that if this tech writer thing doesn't work out, Jeff has a future career as a plumber. This will mark the third misbehaving water situation he's fixed. First there was the Errant Disposal. Followed by the Shower That Won't Drain. And now, Dishwasher: The Undraining Pool of Ick.
verbicide: (Default)
LA Times report: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-giftcards10-2008nov10,0,2342051.story

Beware when buying gift cards to stores this year or things that may need to be returned/exchanged to a particular store this year.

Fwded from a friend:

"If you tend to give gift cards around the holidays, you'll want to be aware of the following store closures as the cards may not be honored after the holidays. Stores that are planning to close after Christmas are still selling the cards through the holidays even though the cards may be worthless January 1. There is no law preventing them from doing this. On the contrary, it is referred to as 'Bankruptcy Planning."

I checked the following information out on Snopes.com (http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/storeclosings.asp). Some of the information may be out of date, but the general concept is true. Check out the link at Snopes for information on specific stores.

Some consumer advocacy groups are fighting for better protection for the buyers of GCs, but until then, I think it's going to be the rare gift card that I'll be tempted to buy.
verbicide: (I love my damn cat)
Dear Self,

Just because it was not raining at the precise moment you left your house this morning, does not mean that it wasn't going to be raining on the East side or later in the day. Just pack the freakin' raincoat already.

Shiveringly,

Me

Dear Self,

The insane deadline is at hand. Batten down the hatches and prepare to work nights this week. You love this sort of adrenaline mad thing, so roll up your sleeves and get to it.

This means less time on LJ, right?

Kisses,

Me

Dear Self,

Despite your apparent hopes, the fridge/freezer are not going to clean themselves out by themselves. You're running out of room. Please remove all the dead things tonight so you can actually find the food that is still edible!

Exasperatedly,

Me

Well, at least my Sunday was superfantastic.

Zee Details )
verbicide: (Default)
YAY BRUTUS IS BETTER!!!!

Jeff called this morning to say that he meowed for some food and has kept it all down. We're really hoping he's turned the corner here!

I didn't write any holiday cards out yesterday. Bad me. I must do that today! Now, even!

I did bake three out of six sets of cookies. I'll do the rest today. I'm also going to run to JoAnn's in Ballard after meeting Kirsten for lunch, and then hopefully do a lap around Greenlake, come home and finish the other three sets of cookies and have them packed and ready to go by tomorrow. Wooo.

I also need to wrap Kirsten's birthday present. I'll have to deliver her cookies via Amy T. tomorrow since I'm not freaking done yet.

And I forgot to hit send, so I just got back home!

JoAnn's had all the cookie tins I needed, in the right sizes, so yay! I had a great time lunching with Kirsten at Paddy Coyne's. I hauled my ass to Greenlake, where it was bone-chillingly windy and cold. But I ran into Lisa, running around with Keaton! So that was very cool!

I'm going to finish baking and then write holiday cards out. Tomorrow I have lunch with Amy T. and I need to buy presents for all the babies. I totally forgot to buy presents for the nine million people I know who have recently acquired offspring. Eek. I need to hit U Village tomorrow anyway, so I'll buy books for the wee ones. Hopefully I'll actually start Milo's quilt some time this year. It's all ready to go, just need to get my machine on line.

I've also decided to try my hand at making preserves this year. So once today's cookie batches are done and packed, I'm going to make a batch of oatmeal raisin for my big brother J and then also these nectarine preserves I just found a recipe for. And also also maybe this cardamom coffee cake. For I AM INSANE.

Anyhow. I wish I had a fire log, dammit. I so regret not buying a case of Java Logs at Whole Foods when Jeff and I went. Maybe I'll trek over to Safeway and buy one for tonight. It's my only night at home this week and it would be rather serene to sit in front of the fire accomplishing things.

Okay, enough babble! I need to get it together here!
verbicide: (AHHH HAIR by breezybee)
God. The house is such a spectacular mess. It's like Christmas threw up everywhere. Boxes and boxes and boxes. And I've been so swamped that I haven't been able to keep up with everything! And then when there is chaos I get all deer-in-the-headlight-y!

So must set some goals NOW and not stare in confusion.

Priority for today is baking! I hurled myself into the kitchen, and even though it's a mess in there, started a batch of the cranberry shortbread. While that's baking I'm going to prep the second batch of it and decide what cookie to make next AND more importantly, load dishes into dishwasher!

Days like yesterday, I can be super organized. Days like today, there's so much to do, I just need to flail myself into a starting point so I don't freeze up in a panic!

Absolutes for today:

- BAKE as many cookies as humanly possible
- Write and mail as many holiday cards as possible

I'm also making Jeff pasta puttanesca tonight and taking it over to his house. Poor Brutus is still under the weather, and Jeff's gone home to be with him and monitor him. Please send Brutus all your good kitty thoughts for today. He's not in immediate danger, but we're hoping this isn't the start of something more serious.

So you see, I don't have time to sit around and dither!! No dithering time today!!

*whipcrack* Back to the kitchen!
verbicide: (I love my damn cat)
I keep kissing and hugging my cat and serenading him with Queen's You're My Best Friend. Is that weird?

He seems to like it.

OMG so much baking to do! Must stop saying that and actually START BAKING!!! And the holiday cards are NOT going to write themselves, missy!! But it's so cold and I'm snuggled in my pink fuzzy robe with my kitty and movement just seems wrong!!

And yet, I'm still hyper!

bounce!

Dec. 15th, 2007 09:31 am
verbicide: (hobbsie love)
I had such a freaking blast last night. Sarah and Richa came over and we ordered pizza. Richa hadn't seen the LotR movies, so over Thanksgiving we watched Fellowship, tonight we watched Two Towers, and for New Year's eve, we'll watch Return.

Sarah brought over a firelog and Richa brought us some spicy Thai soup and ice cream. That girl can handle her spices, that's for sure.

We had a funny incident with Romio's Pizza. I've been ordering from them quite frequently for about two years now. Last night was the first time my pizza arrived squashed into a corner. So I called them and the woman who answered the phone was appropriately horrified and got me a manager, and we had the nicest chat. He said nice things, I said nice things. It was all very friendly. He said he would immediately send out a replacement. So we waited, which was a mild nuisance. The delivery guy called up and he's one of their least friendly delivery people. I thanked him for bringing it and asked if I could just check the replacement. He surled at me, "You can't expect delivery to be perfect." I think I said something like, "You are stupid and rude, go away." But then I was appalled enough that I called the manager and we had another friendly chat. He's going to have a talk with the guy and I have 25% off my next pizza. So ridiculous.

The movie ended around midnight and I was about to fall over dead. Sarah and Richa left before I actually passed out, and I am really looking forward to NYE fun with them.

What was also nice last night was that I hauled Hobbsie to bed with me. And he stayed! So often he endures my affection and schleps off to sleep in the closet. But he stayed all night! It made me very happy to wake up to his incredibly stinky breath.

About that stinky breath. I am still conflicted on what the best solution is for Hobbsie. His mouth is in bad shape. I honestly didn't think he was going to live this long, and a part of me is still poised for the next seizure and/or death. I can't help it. Also, dental work is about $400-600. And with his heart murmur and other problems, he could just die on the table. He could drop dead from a seizure two days later. But bad teeth are a big quality of life issue. I'm just so unsure of what the right thing to do is here. This isn't something insane like brain surgery. This is a dental cleaning that will make him feel better and give us the chance to fix something that is definitely wrong. I'm trying to see the $600 as a peace-of-mind thing. And Dr. Henkle is going to let me do some sort of a payment-plan. Even if it can't guarantee a prolonged life for him, I'm gambling on making the rest of what life he has better. I'm convinced that he's either going to die on the table or five days later. But the thought of him limping on with an owie mouth giving him low grade infections just kills me.

He's such a good, good cat. I hate that he can't just live for another 50 years with me.

This morning Sarah and I are taking Henry to see Dr. Henkle and then picking up my car from Les Schwab. The rest of the day is open! I am going to see if I can run over and visit my nephew. I'm supposed to start baking today and am hopeful that I'll at least get started today. I can't believe I have a month off. It's going to go by so fast, I just know it! But I'm so grateful for it.

I can't wait for the twelve thousand boxes that are due to arrive from Amazon on Monday. It'll be nice to have everyone's gifts wrapped and labeled. I need to go buy containers to put my holiday cookies in, too. I'm hoping that Monday will be my last day of shopping and spending.

Oh crap, must stop nattering on. Sarah's going to be here in 15 minutes!
verbicide: (Default)
So, back in September, I bought Sarah a 7-cup Cuisinart for her birthday. Shortly after it arrived, I learned about the existence of Rome 2, and went shrieking into the night to buy that instead.

As the enormous Amazonian box sat in my office, tripping me daily, I kept vascillating on whether to just return it or keep it for her Christmas present. Mainly my indecision was based on a vague memory of what Sarah had said about them. I couldn't remember if she desperately wanted one, or if she'd decided she didn't have the kitchen space for it.

When we met for coffee today, I blurted out my dilemma, Sarah juggled with the option of getting a present NOW versus a wrapped surprise in December. Ultimately, she went for curtain A, and I told her, and she was excited!

So she drove around to the front of my office and I heaved the enormous thing at her with a tiny bow on top.

As cooking is a new passion for Sarah, I continue to be vicariously giddy at her enjoyment with it. Also, she's kind of a natural. Her cooking is always terrific. I'm excited that she's excited about a major cooking appliance. I would give anything to give 15-year old Sarah a window into 25-year old her excited about something that will chop, dice, and prepare pie dough.

And giving presents is exciting, and now I won't trip over that huge box anymore!
verbicide: (hobbsie love)
Note to self: Safeway is not going to be open at 5PM on Christmas, so next year, don't run out of basic food items by Christmas Eve.

I will say, I'm glad the employees are not stuck working such a shitty shift.

Slept gloriously in this morning (though Mr. Hobbes did not approve at the delay this caused in his breakfast), forced myself out of bed to dress nicely for Christmas brunch with the bears. I've gone from largely hanging out with women to largely hanging out with men, and the contrast has been interesting. (And nicely so --but nothing against women.) The funniest thing is watching them be polite In the Presence of a Female and like, try to hold back on swearing. At which point I have to rapidly KICK Jeff under the table before he spits his drink out guffawing and outs me as the potty-mouth I am. It's very sweet, gentleman-ly behavior.

I drove out to Jeff and Chris's and Chris drove all of us to brunch. I felt bad for Craig because he clearly has been to this place before with great results, but it wasn't what he expected. The food was only just okay, and he has great taste so it must have been fabulous when he'd gone before. He apologized --but it was totally unnecessary. (It was the restaurant at the Doubletree by SeaTac.) I don't think anyone really cared because the point is Togetherness and Love. Which there was plenty of.

Afterwards, Craig and Greg had bought us all tickets to see Dreamgirls at Pacific Place. I generally don't care for biopics and this wasn't a movie I would have gone to see otherwise--BUT, I'm really glad I did. It was very well done, the singing was amazing, and it had that big production feel that is perfect for a Christmas movie. One of the things I didn't care for (and this is not a plot spoiler, so I'm not cutting it), but the singing a la musical --while very well sung-- didn't work for me. It took away from the emotion of the moment in what were some very important scenes. The minute the character would start to sing, it felt like a musical number and diminished what was authentic and sometimes very painful for the characters. But some great acting, incredible singing, and I thought they did a good job of filming all the singing sequences to keep it interesting (at one point you see the girls reflected in someone's glasses, and the effect was cool).

The last couple of days have been super social and I am tired and very glad to be home with my creature. There was an e-mail from my SIL asking if I wanted to join them for dinner, and I would have if I only hadn't changed into my pajamas. Once the pajamas are on, it's all over.

Yesterday's party was great, but I'd had a nasty scare in the morning. Hobbsie has kitty-epilepsy, and he used to have seizures about once a year. He really hasn't had one in the past few (that I've seen, I realize he could be having a dozen while I'm at work). He'd seemed very punk-y in the morning, so I picked him up and stuck him on my lap... where he stayed, pretty listless for a long, long time. He moaned a couple of times, but was so inert. It's always so terrifying. I never know if it's going to be it... if he's going to die and as much as I struggle to keep calm and focused on him, I can feel panic just below the surface. He slowly got up and had a seizure (which involves throwing up and making the most god-awful howling ever heard). He loses coordination and after it's over, wants to lie on a cool surface (like the kitchen floor) and not be touched for awhile. I watched him the rest of the morning and he was seemingly 100% by the time I left for Jeff's. I almost dropped the breads and cookies off and came back, but he was so normal by the time I left, I knew that would be silly. That said, I went to Jeff's, helped them set up, stayed for the beginning of the party and then came home early, neurotic that I'd come home and Hobbsie would be dead. Which, thank merciful Zeus, he was not. And he's back to normal now, so that is going to be this year's Christmas miracle.

And now, to eat some randomly assembled food and possibly watch another movie in front of the fire with Hobbes.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
verbicide: (Default)
Because I went to bed early, it followed that I woke up early. I talked with Alain and then darted off for a day of errand-running. Cookies were mailed to family. I discovered that I could handle going to a new post office and didn't drive out to Ballard. Then I dropped off presents and cookies at KC and Jen's house. I'd left my cell at home, so it was a day of either leaving things on doorsteps or springing myself onto people unannounced. I drove to U Village and bought gifts for my brother, SIL, and nephew-to-be in all of 15 minutes flat (not kidding). I hastened out of there to get my hair cut, and I rather like it. It's short but swing-y and bouncy. And easy to manage, so hurray. I wrapped gifts in the car and then drove over to OB's house. I continue to marvel at having them so close where such random-stop-bys can actually happen. It is glorious. They seemed really happy with their presents (because I demanded that they open them immediately). And I managed to inherit OB's old dvd player for my bedroom. Bonus.

And then back home to grab Sarah's cookies, and to briefly preen at new haircut, before driving over to her place to help her pack and straighten her place out before going away FOREVER. Well, until the 31st. It is just tragic when half of your social life goes far, far away, dammit!

I borrowed half of her video and book library and we grabbed a quick bite at Gordito's, which is tragically going out of business on the hill. So sad. Then more hanging out and jabbering until I left and she is undoubtedly showering as I type, before her exciting red-eye flight tonight.

And now I am giving up on all pretense of restraint and going to put on Final Fantasy 12, for which I have waited, nay, hungered, lo these past many years. Wannit NOW!

The only thing wrong with today was the lack of Jeff, but as I explained to him in our parking garage on Thursday, we are going to be hanging out, because he has no choice. And then there is lots of Christmas-y fun to be had with throngs of adorable Bears. And more cookie baking for parties. Whee!
verbicide: (daydreamy - belle)
I have about twenty minutes to go. Then? Vacation. For two whole weeks. I sort of can't believe it. I have no idea what I'm going to do with myself for two whole weeks. With no travel. No responsibilities. Rien.

This place is pretty empty already. I'm just sort of hanging out waiting for Jeff to finish up. I did have a project to finish today, which has been maddening, because it required way more thinking than I was willing to do (and had to do anyway).

But it's almost over. I'm waiting to hear back from one of the developers if this last bugfix needs to be included in the release notes, and that's that. Anything that happens after today will fall into poor Bill's lap. Pete left around 1. He gave me the most spectacular gift --it's called Wicked: A Grimmerie. It's this gorgeous, padded book on the making of the Broadway musical. Someone created that thing with a lot of love, because it's simply gorgeous. I didn't even realize it existed. He's gone for two weeks and I'm going to miss him and our movie nights.

Judy and John stopped by with their gifts (and Rob and Kelly's) --they got me a fantastic pizza pan and cutter and a gorgeous throw for my couch. Rob and Kelly found the most gorgeous calendar on Paris as well as this little Parisian-looking scented glass-candle. Also, Judy had made some cookies herself, and I had me some fabulous peppermint bark!

I can't believe the day is almost over. I cleaned my office and packed everything up. It seems inconceivable that I won't be back until January 4th.

Tonight will be nice and mellow, but tomorrow I'm getting my haircut and a pedicure--maybe even a manicure if I'm feeling spend-y. Dinner and hanging out with Sarah before she takes off for her trip. I need to do another round of baking for Christmas Eve with Jeff and Chris.

I have so much stuff that needs to be done. No idea if I will do it, or just play video games for 12 hours. I finally ordered Final Fantasy XII and am very curious if I'm going to love or hate it. Mostly I just want to start Psychonauts over again.

Jeff has promised to come over with his truck and his manly muscles to help me get rid of the hated closet doors, move the bedroom furniture so I can paint trim, and come with me to IKEA to buy (FINALLY) a new bookshelf for the bedroom. I love him for always having time for me. And for making me feel equally needed in his life.

I also need to fix my sewing machine and get cranking on some quilting projects, along with knitting Jeff's scarf, and studying French.

What am I talking about? Two weeks is going to FLY by. I just want to start the clock already.
verbicide: (I love my damn cat)
Vacation needs to start already, dammit! This week has been so confusing. I'm so mentally checked out. But there are these pesky deadlines! So I have to focus. But don't wanna!

Life is pretty damn good right now. The house is clean, there's a roaring fire, and a purring kitty by my side. And tomorrow? Last day of school! I mean work. Whatever.

Work, except for those silly deadlines, has been fairly hilarious. Because no one wants to work.

Pete got me the most fabulous book --it's called Wicked: The Grimmerie. And it's freaking beautiful. I want to read it cover to cover. (It's a gorgeous detailed book on the production of the Broadway musical.)

Tonight was our department's holiday thing. It was at Tallarico's in the land of Far, Far Away. (Also known as West Seattle.) I like West Seattle, but it feels like another planet. Both Jeff and I are utterly discombobulated by it. So I drove, and he had to navigate. And somehow, we made it there in decent time and didn't get lost. We have a pretty great department, and so we all packed into booths and I got drunk after three sips of my incredibly potent beverage (hilariously titled "Dirty Girl Lemonade"). Jeff took one sip and turned and told me that I was so not allowed to finish it. I forgot that my stomach was empty and kept sipping away and then I realized that I was sky-high. I managed to not pass out or drool and appetizers were ordered, and then pizza.

And then, afterwards, I dragged Jeff back to my lair because I actually couldn't handle it anymore and needed him to open his main Christmas present. I got him a nice coat from J. Crew, because he really needed one. He has some casual jackets, but needed a more dressy one. He looked gorgeous in it, and apparently had been eyeing that same jacket the previous week but wasn't willing to buy another jacket. So that was very, very exciting. I also got to show him my new shiny, saucier from Sarah and he was as impressed with it as I am, because it is really, really damn nice.

Back home. Again, glorious roaring fire. Very content kitty. And very content me.

Friday is going to be lovely. I'm getting my hair cut and then I'm going to get a pedicure. And then, I'm going to swan around for two weeks doing whatever the fuck I want.

Life? She's a-good.
verbicide: (Default)
Sarah came over for a day of baking fun. We made our way through half a dozen recipes. I didn't make as many this year, and except for family, really won't be able to mail 'em out, because there just isn't enough time, but it was fun. I had run out in the morning for ingredients and also very cute, cheap cookie tins at JoAnns.

I tried all new recipes this year, and it went pretty damn well. We made cranberry shortbread, caramel cashew nut, double chocolate chunk, chocolate crackles, chocolate-malt sandwiches, and pumpkin spice with brown butter icing. The final recipe, raspberry cream sandwiches, didn't get made because I forgot the damn raspberries and white chocolate. I'm going to pick that up on my way home tomorrow and hopefully finish the last batch.

Sarah left around 8:30, and I just finished baking the last batch. The dishwasher's loaded and mostly things are clean.

OMG --in super exciting news, we also exchanged presents early on account of... well, we just couldn't wait, dammit! She got me a much-needed, very cool, retro ice cream scooper and a glorious, glorious 10-inch All-clad saucier. I think I can officially die happy now. I can't freaking wait to saute something!

I can't believe there is work tomorrow. Four more days before vacation and my brain is no longer capable of focusing (except, apparently, on cookie-making).

I'm meeting Judy and Ellie out for dinner tomorrow and I have to get their cookie boxes assembled, their presents wrapped, and also Rob/Kelly's cookie box assembled and their gifts wrapped because Judy is going to go see them on Tuesday and this saves me a trip up to Everett. I don't think the raspberry cream cookies are going to make it into their boxes, unfortunately.

Oh oh, also watched Survivor tonight and damn near cried with happiness --but that's another post for another day when I'm actually conscious.

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August 2011

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