Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Rainy and warm
Yes, folks, that’s what I used to think “Boxing Day” was called: “Booksing Day” – the day where you sit around and read the books you got for Christmas.
Later, when I found out it was really called “Boxing Day”, I thought, “why would people want to go around hitting each other when it’s supposed to be ‘peace on earth, goodwill to all’?”
Yeah, that’s one of the things where I was a bit slow on the uptake.
But I still like the idea of having a “Booksing Day”.
Unfortunately, I have to go in to the theatre today.
The holiday was lots of fun. You get an idea of the feline entertainment value from the Dec. 25 photo sequence. Elsa is the oldest cat in the house; yet she’s still the most playful.
And the food was delightful.
Roast pork marinated for 48 hours in a garlic/red wine/mustard sauce with scalloped potatoes (thanks, Brandy) to which I added rosemary and shredded cheese, red cabbage, and a green bean with tarragon casserole. Chocolate pudding for dessert, with stollen later on.
Roast turkey with apples, raisins, parsnips and carrots added to the herbed stuffing, all so tender it nearly fell off the bones. Which is a great taste, but a real pain in the patootie when you try to get it from the roasting pan and onto the platter and it’s falling to pieces all around you. Elsa ran away with a stray wing. I’m sure I’ll find the remains under the couch in, like, March, when the smell becomes unbearable. Mashed potatoes, peas, and my special parsnip and carrot sauté.
Plum pudding once we recovered from the meal.
We narrowly escaped an emergency when I put something in the microwave to defrost. Now, when a plate has marked on the bottom “Microwave safe” – to me, that means I can put something on the plate, stick it in the microwave and heat it up. It does NOT mean that the plate will melt, the frozen thing will burn and melt into what’s left of the plate, and the apartment will fill with toxic black smoke – which is exactly what happened.
Fortunately, we turned off the microwave, opened all the windows (avoiding a visit from the fire department, who would never have let me live this down, in light of Thanksgiving 2002), let the mess cool, then peeled it off the microwave and disposed of it.
So much for “microwave safe”.
This is why I only use the microwave for popcorn.
The gifts were all lovely and thoughtful, and there were books, which always makes me happy – cookbooks, blank journals, and my friend Artie tracked down all three of the Diana Tregarde novels. I’m very excited.
I finished reading the Jimmy Charters memoir. And, while it gave me the inspiration for the short story “Illuminated Nude” – well, those people may have been struggling artists and writers and whatever in romantic Paris, but they were often MEAN to each other. Not good-natured practical jokes, but thinly veiled hostility. I think there are very few I would have liked as people, no matter how much I might enjoy some of their work.
Read most of The Trollopes, which is an interesting group portrait. I hadn’t realized how unhappy Anthony Trollope was, or how set in his Victorian sensibilities he was – caught in his time. For some reason, because of the satirical quality of much of his work, I always thought he was a man outside his time, not mired in it. I have to re-read his work now, with a fresh eye, and see if I agree with the slant the biographers took.
And I moved back and forth amongst the books received, but mostly read French Women for All Seasons. The books truly is mostly common sense – don’t eat like a big, fat pig; keep your clothing simple and tailored; when in doubt, eat chocolate and drink champagne. I pretty much do that already (although I am fond of jeans, both for comfort and because it’s the best thing to work in backstage and on set). There are some spectacular recipes in the book, though, and I look forward to trying them out.
However, that de-tox weekend of leeks-only soup?
I’ll have a de-tox weekend of champagne and smoked salmon pate instead. With Godiva chocolate for dessert. THAT is MY personal style.
Speaking of pants (and I was, at any rate), I’m in search of dress slacks. Most of my pants are jeans; I had a few nice wool pairs of pants, only I no longer like the style (pleated, which makes it look like I’m transporting a small village just below the pelvic bone), so I got rid of them. And I’ve been in search of decent dress slacks ever since. Unfortunately, most of them are unnatural fibers. The type that make me shriek and drop the offending garment right back in its place on the rack, because it is certainly not going to touch my skin. The fibers and cuts I want tend to be in the $480/pair range and up. Call me weird, but for $480, I can purchase a plane ticket to someplace I’d rather be, and I’d rather do that then spend that sort of money (even when I have it) on a pair of slacks. Especially when I can go to the fabric stores in the garment district and get lovely fabric at decent prices and make myself a (not perfectly, but decently) tailored pair of slacks, lining and all, for about $60.
So now we know how I’ll be spending those cold winter days.
If it ever gets cold again.
And yes, I wrote: worked on both Token and Affection, but mostly, Warmth of the Hearth. The latter is turning out to be much more complicated than expected, from a thematic and character point of view. Makes the piece richer, but prevents it from being a quick holiday let’s-knock-it-out piece.
Made a few submissions and, due to the loss of my submission log earlier this year, submitted a piece that I realized, after it was sent, is NOT available; I have to write to the editor and pull it, apologizing profusely. I feel like an idiot, and it made me realize how dependant I am on that log. And vow to print out a hard copy of it every month, just in case.
Worked on the GDRs for 2007 and finished up the 2006 evaluation. Thank you notes written and will be mailed today on the way to the train. Birthday cards written for the first two weeks of January, and also going out today.
There are lots of birthdays I’m missing, so I’m going to have to track down friends’ birthdays once again. I’ve slacked off the past year and change, but the 2007 datebook has the room to add in the birthdays again, so I want to catch up.
So . . .when’s your birthday? ;)
What a difference a year makes. One year ago, on Christmas, we were frightened and depressed, with thugs pounding on people’s doors on the holiday, trying to terrify them out of the building. A year later, we are dealing with The Sequel, but we’re much stronger, both singly and together, it was a blessedly QUIET two days,
Hope your days were merry and bright, with or without the Christmas being snowy and white.
(With apologies to the song “White Christmas”).
Token and Affections - 31,325 words out of est. 35,000
31 / 35
The Warmth of the Hearth – 6,825 words out of est. 25,000
6 / 25