jmc_bks: (flaming june)
That sleeping woman?  Could have been me.  I think I was asleep or dozing more often than I was fully awake all weekend.  And it wasn't even a holiday food coma!  The Chemist made an awesome Thanksgiving dinner (smoked turkey breast, duck and salmon, plus sides) but we didn't actually eat THAT much.

The visit to H&A was lovely.  It always is.  We don't have to DO stuff, it's nice to just hang out in the same space and chat and cling.  Which probably entertains A.  We watched a lot of tennis and football, went for a couple of walks around the neighborhood.  Spent an awkward afternoon with dad.  Had sushi at Japaneiro's once and beer (root beer for me) at the Flying Saucer twice.  I would highly recommend the vegetable tempura and the non-alcoholic mojito (made with green tea) at Japaneiro's.  And the Chef's Nirvana, but that pretty much goes without saying, right?  Julio the waiter was awesome -- he clearly knows H&A well, to the point of chasing them down with the left over sashimi he'd boxed for them :)  One of their cats was incredibly smelly because of a diet change; he totally deserved the smelly cat song.

My YAGKYAS fic is plotted and outlined (mostly) but not written.  It needs to be written and beta'd by the 12th at midnight.  BICHOK didn't really work for me this evening -- although my hands have been on the keyboard, they've been busy typing other things.  I <3 procrastination!  

And tomorrow I'm back to work.  I didn't miss it at all.

Also, FYI, I SBD'd over at WordPress about the nonfiction I read over the weekend.

jmc_bks: (Icicle)
On the reading front, very little progress.

1.  The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell, YA gothic/paranormal, written about here.
2.  One True Thing by Anah Crow & Dianne Fox, gay BDSM, written about here.
3.  Mercy Kill by Lori G. Armstrong, mystery, written about here.
4.  Lord Carew's Bride by Mary Balogh.  Trad Regency.  Meh, written about here.
5.  Caught by A.B. Gayle, gay romance.  I tweeted a little about this, plan on writing a short post later this week.
6.  What Child is This? by ZA Maxfield, gay romance.  This holiday novella failed for me: it was too busy trying to catch readers up on older characters and also have a plot that was almost completely unrelated to them.  Plus it was ridiculously expensive for its length, which often seems to be the case for Loose Id books.


Work is kicking my ass, as I mentioned the other day.  Am spending 60+ hours a week at work.  I left private practice because I didn't want that.  Plus, I'm fairly confident that I'm just going to get grief about this project, and any good that comes out of it is going to be credited elsewhere.

Leisure:  went to New York last weekend to hang out with The Biochemist.  We clung, and went to the theater together.  I saw The Imporance of Being Earnest:  Brian Bedford was excellent as Lady Bracknell, and the set design was gorgeous.  She saw one of the last shows of Time Stands Still.  Together we saw Driving Miss Daisy and American Idiot (again).  Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones have surprisingly good comedic chemistry and timing.  And Billie Joe Armstrong as St. Jimmy is a coked up Calvin who comes across like a cheerful little perv.  Visited the American Museum of Natural History, which I enjoyed, although I had forgotten the cardinal rule of museum cafes:  the more kid oriented the museum, the worse the food offered.  After the museums, I wandered around for a bit, then we met on Amsterdam for dinner at a French place.  Can't remember the name, but it was on the corner of 79th.  Great potato leek tart appetizer.  All that was fun, but the best part was the company; I wish we could see each other more often.  [And yet I've made no effort to relocate to Texas.  Hmmm.]
jmc_bks: (GK_Bradabs)
+  \o/ for the Senate voting to repeal DADT

+  Check out this interesting discussion about whether language shapes thought.

+  Every time I've gone to B&N lately, I've bought things other than books.  When I look at books, I end up putting them on my wishlist or downloading a Kindle sample to decide if I really want the book or not.  Obviously B&N is still making some money off me as a consumer -- bought Elf on the Shelf, a puzzle, a Moleskin notebook, holiday cards, etc. -- but if I'm not buying their books, what does it say about their success in their primary market?

+  I'm contemplating writing fan fiction for the first time ever.  There's a plot bunny bouncing around my head and it just won't die.  Not even an emailed exchange with my sister got it out of my system.   I blame this tumblr.

+  Mailed a package to Texas today, and it should arrive in plenty of time for the holidays.  The line to mail packages?  Only three people long.  The line to pick up packages at the other window?  Wound around the waiting room and out the door.  Fortunately for me, all the packages I ordered were delivered by UPS and my neighbor signed for them (he's retired, and takes deliveries for several neighbors).  

+  Saw an intriguing recipe for potato chip cookies, must find it again and experiment tomorrow.  Must also go get one last gift -- a gift card to a restaurant, because I'm stumped for a better gift for my brother and SIL; I did send them doggie cupcakes from here, but wanted to give them something more.

+  I've been pretty good about not buying paper books, or any books except pre-orders done pre-holidays, but I broke down and finally ordered a copy of Yo, Juan de Austria from Abebooks.  I should have bought a copy when I first saw the book more than a year ago, when I was in Madrid, but I assumed it would become available sooner or later in the US and didn't want to add it to my luggage.  Mistake.  Still not available in the US yet or translated. (TBH, I doubt it will be translated, since I'm not sure that Juan of Austria commands a great deal of attention from English speakers/readers.)  So I ordered a copy from a Spanish bookseller online.  The shipping...is ridiculous.  My own fault.

Homefront

Jul. 27th, 2010 07:08 am
jmc_bks: (h's iris)

• Met with a realtor yesterday to talk about selling my house. Banker call today to see about financing for new place. Need to arrange a week's stay to see how/if I can deal with commute change and the shift from urban to rural.

• Had lunch with the Executive Director of the nonprofit I've been on the board of for 10 years. Love the group but lack time and enthusiasm right now. Rotating off the board, but still on a committee and volunteering. Am one of two board members left from the board who hired the ED and worked to keep the organization from going under. She thanked me for that yesterday. *shrug* What else was there to do? Walk away? My modus operandi: just keep going, do the day to day work and treading water, get through it.

• Two more divorces in the extended family (for a total of four within two degrees of separation). One a surprise only that it's happening now: long separated but wife threatened suicide when papers filed years ago. Now she's filed the papers. The other is a surprise and has stepdad heartbroken.

• Stepdad's biopsy results are due back tomorrow. He says Mom doesn't need to come with him. She thinks it's because he assumes all will be fine and is being an ostrich. I think it's so he can tell her everything is fine, even if it isn't. His fatalism when it comes to his health is disturbing. Based on family medical history, he's confident he won't make old bones.

• Mom heard from cousin in Afghanistan. He says it's hot (120F), tedious, boring but still dangerous.

jmc_bks: (seagull)
Yeah, more photos. After the cut. Read more... )
jmc_bks: (Default)
Back in the day (:P to [livejournal.com profile] sarahf for the usage of that phrase!), meaning my teen years, I worked in the family seafood business, which has long since been sold.  At the time, there was a composition notebook full of recipes, long gone now and memorialized  in my cookbook based on my recollection (crab cakes, crab soup, chowders, salads, baked beans, etc.).  The kitchen also boasted a huge, perfectly seasoned cast iron skillet.  That thing was at least 20" in diameter.  I can't tell you how many softshell crabs and scallops I sauteed in that pan.  I'm not sure what happened to that pan when the business was sold.

When Mom and the aunts/uncles were cleaning out Mommom's house, she asked what I would like, if anything.  By default, all the children and grandchildren get their gifts returned.  (I received a series of magnets, pottery, and other knick-knacks from the various places I've visited.)  But was there anything else?  The Biochemist asked for Poppop's decoys.  The Computer Guy asked for Poppop's funeral flag.  I asked for photos...and Mommom's skillet.  It's a bit odd, maybe, since I don't cook a great deal.  But when I think of Mommom, she's either napping on the couch (3-4pm daily  during General Hospital, after doing other chores and before cooking dinner), or she's in the kitchen, building a meal for the extended family.  If the yellow platter that she used for decades to serve fried chicken had survived, I would've asked for that.  But the skillet is perfectly seasoned, the cooking implement that she used daily.  Breakfast (eggs, bacon, pancakes), lunch (grilled cheese), and dinner (a variety of dishes).  I don't cook a great deal, but I'm going to start using it, because a perfectly seasoned skillet won't stay that way if it's just left to sit.  Use in memoriam.
jmc_bks: (flaming june)
It's Monday, which means I should have an SBD post, but I'm struggling to write a post for Readers Gab right now. So SBD may be tomorrow instead.

Mother's Day turned out to be nice, despite an inauspicious start.  Invited Mom for dinner, had new storybooks and flowers for her.  She and stepdad arrived an hour early.  Why?  Because he thought it would take longer to get here, he said.  Because he was talking on the cell phone while driving and missed the exit to stop for one of their errands, she said.  *shrugs*  They were welcome, but I was just getting out of the shower after running errands, etc., and dinner wasn't ready.  A good time was had by all, and the Lemon Chicken with Asparagus and Rice was a hit, as was the Berry Shortcake.  The Computer Guy came over, too. 

Plans appear to sort of be made for the family trip to Ireland.  It's all in the hands of Organized Aunt.  All I want to know is if I need to get an international drivers license and be prepared to drive on the left.  And also, if I can just meet everyone at JFK on the day of the flight.

Spent 5 hours in a single meeting on Thursday and again on Friday.  Bailed on today's meeting, going back for tomorrow's.  Who hired these consultants?  Surely there are consultants out there who understand the legal process, yes?  These are accountants, which is fine, but only a TINY piece of what goes on in our group.  

How did I miss the fact that two of the Dixie Chicks have released their own album under the name Court Yard Hounds.  Anybody listened?  Opinions?  Also, I don't need to add a road trip to Chicago to see the Eagles and Dixie Chicks together, right?  Have seen them both separately.  Nothing new to see, right?
jmc_bks: (Default)
Being areligious, today has no significance in and of itself, although I appreciate the family dinner and the opportunity to eat Peeps bunnies and birds.  Except, wait, I didn't get any Peeps this year.  [Yes, my mother still makes baskets for each of her children, even though we are all past 30.  Mine included Cadbury caramel eggs and a home made butter cream egg.  I think there's an entire stick of butter and a half a box of 10-X sugar in that thing.]

Anyway, the family dinner was nice, and after we'd recovered from our food comas, we had desert.  Scratch devils food cake with chocolate butter cream icing from stepdad's mom.  Yum.  I could actually feel my cholesterol rising as I ate.

After that, we sat around and socialized.  Also went through some of the keepsakes Mom slected for us from Mommom's house.  They spent 7 hours last weekend clearing out stuff and only got through ~15% of the stuff Mommom had stored.   It isn't organized (hospital bills from 1953 in same box with christening gown, diamond earrings, box of rocks selected by a child and given as gift, etc.) so they can't just toss things without looking.  Mom found a stack of love letters from the time when Poppop was stationed in Korea; a silk bed spread and pillow shams (heavy, gorgeous silk with hand embroidery); and all kinds of old photos, including wedding photos.  One in particular was charming:  Mommom with a girlfriend, with a note written on the back by her mother-in-law, who took the photo and sent it to Poppop while he was away.  Also some photos of Korea.

Mom offered me the beautiful kitchen table and hutch, which I would love...must rethink the organization of my home.  It would take serious rearranging or purging of books and furniture to make them fit in my house.  
jmc_bks: (Icicle)
So, the holidays have come and are nearly gone.  Just a couple days more until the New Year, then the dreariness of January and New Year's Resolutions.  And since I'm sure you're dying of curiosity about how my holiday went...

On the 22nd of December I finally felt a little holiday spirit.  Maybe it was giving away all the goody bags of sweets and treats I made at the office.  Or maybe it was getting my passenger mirror repaired?  Or maybe it was the knowledge that The Biochemist and The Chemist would be arriving soon.  In any case, my goodwill toward men finally arrived.

I baked Nana's Chocolate Cake Thursday morning -- belated birthday cake.  Then I made another batch of cracker candy to take to Christmas dinner and a batch of Cooks Illustrated's soft & chewy chocolate chip cookies.  The dough made only 18 cookies but they were AMAZING.  Best recipe ever, and now the only one I will use to make chocolate chip cookies.

TB&TC arrived *very* late on the 24th -- about 4 hours late due to mechanical difficulties and luggage issues.  His bag didn't make their flight but was put on the next flight.  Since their flight was so delayed, they did not have to wait long for the next flight to arrive and the luggage to be disgorged.  Typically, we go to Petit Louis when they are in town; the food is very good and the wine list is excellent.  The only reservation I could get was a little late (8:30) but ended up being canceled because they were so delayed.  Instead I cooked something light (chicken, broccoli and rice).  We watched The Empire Strikes Back and laughed hysterically at the 7 part review of The Phantom Menace. (Thanks to Carrie Lofty and Kate Rothwell for the link.)  There was much clinging (sis & me) and laughing (all of us, but bro in law at us for our clinging, too).

We headed up to Mom's the next morning, where we opened presents and were gluttons. (Coolest gift ever: WTF stamp.) Then to the nursing home to visit Mommom, who was frail and tired but in good spirits:  she'd been up too long without a nap and with too many visitors, so we didn't stay long.  She loved all of her presents, though, and the attention.  On to Boy Uncle's for the family party, which included a lot of food and noise and socializing.  TB&TC stayed, but I headed back to Baltimore; it was a stressful drive between the traffic on I-95, the rain, and the dropping temperature. The multiple lane lines, painted and painted over, didn't help in the rain.

TB&TC returned to Baltimore on Monday.  We went over to Max's in Fells Point so TC could try some of their 100 beers on tap and the 1,000 bottles.  Me, I stuck with the Woodchuck Amber on tap.  Then we walked over to the movie theater to see Sherlock Holmes; I went to be social, not being a huge Robert Downey Jr or Jude Law fan.  Was pleasantly surprised by the movie, and expect an explosion of Holmes/Watson slash.  (Also, WTF!?!, Brad Pitt as Dr. Moriarty is just wrong.)  Afterward, TC took a nap while TB and I clung again.  We went to Rub for Monday Night Football.  (Enjoyed the second half, was bored during the first half.)  

They were off, back to Texas, at a beastly early hour (they left my house at 4am this morning).  The security line for the D Pier stretched to the E/International Pier, I'm told.  And the airline was permitting only 1 carry on per person.  And I was off to work in the bitter, bitter cold.  

Got home to find the CD import that was part of TB's gift had finally arrived!  Only a few days late!  It was sitting on the doorstep.  Carrie Lofty's Scoundrel's Kiss was inside, which is kind of freaking me out. Did I leave the house unlocked all day?  Did my neighbor pop in?  Did TB or TC pick it up after delivery yesterday and forget to mention it?  I don't know, and I had to check all the rooms of the house while holding a large MagLite in my hand.

Also in today's mail: the contract for my beach rental this coming summer.  Timely and cheering, considering how cold and windy today's weather has been.

Am currently reading Astrid Amara's Carol of the Bellski's...while I appreciate the Hanukkah theme, the basic set up isn't working for me.  And I'm both entertained and horrified by the disclaimer at the beginning of the book: Please do not try any new sexual practice, especially those that might be found in our BDSM/fetish titles without the guidance of an experienced practitioner.  Neither Loose ID LLC nor its authors will be responsible for any loss, harm or injury or death resulting from the use of the information contained in any of its titles.

Okay, it just strikes me as strange.  Do any other publishers of erotic fiction that includes BDSM or fetish activities include disclaimers like that?   

Uh, that's about all I have to say.  Must go drink tea and eat Nana's Chocolate Cake, then find the liner to my coat and another hat, since I've misplaced my fuzzy purple hat.

Edited for typos.

 


jmc_bks: (Default)
I haven't read anything new since K.A. Mitchell's An Improper Holiday and Josh Lanyon's The Dickens With Love were released...that's ten days with nothing new that piques my interest, despite the massive TBR!

Struggling with a topic for Readers Gab tomorrow, and may end up writing about a reliable holiday read, Carla Kelly's A Christmas Wish.

And, just to share something fun, which I may have shared before (sorry, having a KRAFT moment), here's a family portrait from 1918. The Biochemist looks a lot like the woman, and Little Brother looks sort of like the man.


jmc_bks: (blue)
Received a very melancholy email today from my mom, which prompted a call this evening to give her a verbal hug. It made her cry but also feel better, and then she shared more sad news.

To begin with the least serious, Henry, stepdad's retriever with a beautiful plumed tail that gets noticed everywhere -- I swear that dog knows how beautiful he is and is vain about it -- was hit by a car. Fortunately, his legs were dinged up and bruised but not broken. Unfortunately, his tail was detached from his pelvis and now droops straight down. The vet is going to give another week, then may have to amputate it.

Aunt's father was in a serious car accident on Wednesday...but his wife didn't think to notify any of his kids, even though they all live within 30 minutes of him and the hospital. He was stable enough to operate today, so they put a pin in his leg. Not sure what other procedures may be necessary.

Stepdad's 18 yo niece was in a car accident this week; she and a girlfriend are hospitalized, while another person in the car with them (not clear if he was driving) was killed. Alcohol was involved.

The thing I'm struggling with the most is this last: after treating symptoms, Mommom's doctors have determined that her malady is not a viral side effect of the flu shot, but one of three possible immune problems. As I mentioned before, Mommom isn't willing to attempt (or, to be honest, healthy enough to endure) the biopsies necessary to confirm this or the subsequent treatments. After her transfusion yesterday, Mommom told Mom that she doesn't want anymore transfusions or treatments, just to be comfortable for however long she has left.

Thanks :)

Nov. 24th, 2009 08:27 am
jmc_bks: (Default)
Thanks for the holiday and travel wishes! I'm excited about the trip.

Despite the excitement, I'm feeling also feeling a little weird and whiney. Monday was my birthday, and it was maybe the 2nd or 3rd (out of 36) that I spent away from my twin sister. Usually, even if we aren't together on the actual day, we celebrate it on Thanksgiving. (Yeah, it doesn't matter what anyone else wants to do, Thanx is our holiday. Often we are just couch potatoes and book consumers together. Go to the movies, watch football, etc. As Mom puts it, we cling.) Not this year, though, because it was actually cheaper for me to fly to London than to Houston. (What is up with that?) I'm going to have fun, I know it, it's just different.

Anyway, I hope everyone (who celebrates it this week) has a happy Thanksgiving!




Photo courtesy of www.thanksgivingideas.com.
jmc_bks: (h's iris)
Mommom is doing better, is able to feed herself and walk around. Her platelets keep dropping, though, from 40 to 32 to 28. The best way to diagnose her would be a bone marrow biopsy, which she declined. Which is just as well, since she does not react well to anesthesia.

There are a few possible diagnoses:
leukemia -- she would not survive the treatment
aplastic anemia -- same
myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) -- she could be stabilized and improve, but would not be cured

One last possible diagnosis, not dependent on a marrow biopsy, is a virus. The doctor thinks this is a possibility because her symptoms began not long after a flu shot. And it's treatable by treating the symptoms, I think.

She has accepted that she cannot go home right now, because she needs 24/7 care and no one in the immediate family is in a position to give her that kind of attention, in terms of their own health/family/work situations, and is willing to go to a nursing home or assisted care, at least until she's in a better state. But she seems to be stabilizing, in part because she's receiving platelet transfusions. She's not in pain and she's in better spirits than she has been in awhile. [In fact, she's harassing Mom to get more details about my upcoming trip and doesn't understand why Mom doesn't nag more info out of me.] While talking about potential treatments today, Mommom mentioned her own mother (Little Great Emily), whose life was extended by a couple of years via some very unpleasant treatments: Granny doesn't want to be the same way.

Mom asked the doctor what he would do if she were his mom, and his answer was to make her comfortable if it was any of the first three. If it's a virus, treat and then release when her platelet count stabilizes.

Typing those words makes me sad. Intellectually, I understand that Granny is almost 80 years old and has been in poor health for 20 years or more. She suffered a brain embolism (I think that's the right word?) 30 years ago, and surprised her doctors by surviving it. Her lung capacity is diminished, a function of pneumonia as a child and years of breathing second-hand smoke. She's diabetic, and disinterested in modifying her diet. But in my head, she's the woman who organized the life of her husband, kids, and grandkids for decades, the woman I remember as being always in motion (except during her daily General Hospital nap).
jmc_bks: (star fort kinsale)
Happy stuff for the weekend:

~ Marg at Reading Adventures is organizing a Terry Prachett 2010 Reading Challenge. I'm embarrassed to admit that although I've some Pratchett TBR, I've never read past the first 20 pages. Perhaps I'll join up :)

~ The last bit of The Biochemist's birthday present has arrived, so I can wrap everything and mail it on Monday.

~ I've gotten slightly organized and boxed up about 50 books to take to Good Will for donation. (My local library branch isn't taking donations right now.) Two small packages of books will be mailed out for an informal bookswap, too.

~ A beautiful quilt in green and blue, made by [personal profile] doctoraichafor the Save Dave auction, arrived yesterday.

Not so great stuff for the weekend:

~ Granny is back in the hospital. She was severely anemic, and her doctor believes she may have developed an autoimmune problem because of the rapidity of the drop. [I'm a little peeved because Mom asked the nursing home to monitor her blood because this was a known concern after her last hospital stay, but the nursing home said it wasn't necessary given her age and general state of health.] The hospital is limiting patients to two visitors due to the flu risk/spread, so I can't visit.

~ Someone broke my car's passenger side mirror. It was fine Friday night. This morning, I saw that it was broken. My car was parallel parked at the curb -- it cannot have been hit by a passing car, but had to have been broken by a person on the sidewalk. And they had to have noticed when they did it, since it took a bit of force. I'm thinking it may have been the same neighborhood hoodlums who smashed my neighbor's pumpkins and stole her flower pots.
jmc_bks: (Icicle)
I can remember doing math homework at the kitchen table when I was in middle school and then high school.  Mom usually tried to help, but was the first to admit that her math skills were deficient once you got past basic math.  Algebra and geometry were beyond her; in fact, she told me once that she mostly sat and drew still life portraits during geometry in school.

Fast forward.

Mom has gone back to school and selected a business program which requires four math classes.  I spend at least an hour each week on the phone doing algebra homework with her, usually Sunday evening.  And my sister often does the same.  Mom is very diligent -- she does the work, then calls us and gives us the problems and her answers, asking us to double check.  Sometimes she's got it right; sometimes not.  But she REALLY doesn't get some basic concepts, or the ideas about isolating variables or what slope actually is.  It worries me, because her methodology for solving some of the problems is to just start plugging in numbers and seeing if they work...sometimes this works, but it won't always, and it is going to become a problem if/when she moves on to the next class.  And converting decimals to fractions is like a foreign country.

Our biggest problem on Sunday was converting an equation from the format of y = mx + b to Ax + By = C.  I think she was near tears at the end of that one, and while I could give her the answer, I couldn't explain to her in a way that made sense how to get to that answer.

Is this what parents feel like when they are helping their children with homework?
jmc_bks: (Default)

I'm back home -- I decamped for warmer and calmer places during the inauguration.  It was 2F in Baltimore when I left on Saturday and 70F in Houston.  The return wasn't quite so bad (70F -> to 30F).  Security was a little tighter than usual for the return -- TSA was checking ids at the security lines and again at the gate.  Or it was for all flights headed toward DC, at least.

The flight to Houston?  Packed.  I sat next to a sweet boy named Shane, who was on his way home after a trip to NYC.  He reminded me how fun Go Fish can be, and taught me to play Speed.  I totally kicked ass at that game, btw.  He also recommended some things to do if I ever visit Vegas, checked out my musical taste, told me that an iPhone would be better for me than a Blackberry Storm, and told me that NYC is his favorite city ever, but that he was glad to be going home.  [Very opinionated, not at all shy, but sweet.]

The Biochemist and The Chemist are doing well, if worried about the layoffs at his company.  He ran the half-marathon, and we went to the movies (Last Chance Harvey was pretty good).  For the first time in ages, we didn't go to Japaneiro's.  The Chemist and I were supposed to go while The Biochemist did a fan-girly FOB thing, but he was feeling under the weather, so instead we hung out and watched football, ate carry out.  Generally speaking, we were couch potatoes, although I went for a walk each day around the neighborhood, which keeps growing.  The newer section is markedly different -- much younger trees, no detached garages, slightly different architectural style.  I tend to like the older houses best, although I'm not thrilled with the landscaping.  I still haven't made it to a Sonic, although I intend to every time I visit -- people keep telling me I must; the only one near me is on the way to the beach, and I missed it last summer.   Maybe next time.

Now I'm off to check Google Reader and placate The Goofy Cat.

ETA:  I forgot to share my glee over my Xmas presents!  So, when TB&TC were in town over Thanx, I mentioned that I don't own a pie pan, and just use a round cake tin to make quiches.  And then we made Nana's Chocolate Cake, which calls for sifting -- yeah, I don't own a sifter, so we ended up with lumpy icing.  Which wasn't a problem, really, since the cake doesn't linger in the kitchen.  I think this may have appalled The Chemist, who could have a second career as a pastry chef.  Srsly.  So for Xmas, they got me a sifter!  And a pie plate!  And Mad Libs, which I love.  And, coolest of all, autographed photo/cards of the guys from The Cab.  Well, 3 of 5, because the other two were lost...or maybe picked from TB's pocket in the crush of the Rock Band Live show.  Still, they are matted and framed, and they totally rock.  TB&TC are excellent gift givers.

ding dong

Oct. 27th, 2008 08:13 pm
jmc_bks: (meninas)
Sometimes you do stuff just to be nice. And sometimes people go out of their way to do nice things for you. After a grouchy day (rainy, cold, bad things at work), I trudged home wanting only put on fuzzy jammies and curl up with tea and a book. What did I see when I opened the storm door but a new doorbell! It's been broken for a bit, but I hadn't gotten around to fixing it, because I'm phobic about anything that involves electricity and wiring of any sort. The Computer Guy noticed when he was over for dinner, and swung by today while I was at work to replace it. Not exactly a random act of kindness, since it was specific and directed, but an act of kindness nonetheless.

And just in time for Hallowe'en, too!

Speaking of Hallowe'en, Beth has put out the call for SBD: Hallowe'en recommendations. I got nothing. Used to love horror -- books, never movies. Now not so much. I'm not sure what happened, turned into a weenie, I guess. Watching or reading about things that go bump in the night leaves me sleeping with the lights on, after doing several circuits around the house to make sure all the doors and windows are locked, shades pulled.
jmc_bks: (h's iris)
+ The Biochemist sent me info about their trip to town for Thanksgiving week. Yay! We don't usually do really exciting stuff, mostly watch football, go to the movies, eat out, hang out. Which leads to two more happy things...

+ Petit Louis has returned cassoulet to the menu. Mmmm. Does anyone really *need* sausage, duck, butter, and beans all in one dish? No, but it isn't about need, it's about want and the occasional indulgence.

+ Montgomery Alehouse & Cinema has opened. Planning a test run before TB & TC visit.

+ At my local Target, the Sony Reader and Esus minicomputer were set up on adjacent endcaps. The reader was pretty, but with such similar price points, I would go for the multifunctional device.

+ There's an article on transgender children over at The Atlantic that is worth checking out, if you're interested.

+ The book that KristieJ adores, Broken Wing? Bought a copy after reading her review, finished it last night. Very good book, an epic historical that seems a bit like a throw back to older historical romances. My admiration was not quite as unreserved as Kristie's, though, because there was a lot of telling rather than showing. Also, I thought Sarah was a bit of a Mary Sue, which normally would bother me, but I was fascinated by Gabriel and didn't mind how unbalanced the story was in that respect.
jmc_bks: (meninas)
~~The escape? That was predictable, given that this is the beginning of a series. [I'm assuming. Is it a series? Open-ended, or a trilogy?]

~~The other thing, which I'm not going to describe because it could be considered a serious spoiler? Didn't see that coming. Blindsided. But it actually makes a lot of sense, in retrospect. And just adds a little bit more to the fucked up nature of the characters. Yes, vulgar language, but no other word really describes them.

~~I'm worried about The Biochemist. She and The Chemist should be safe in San Antonio soon, if they aren't already -- they had planned on going there for the weekend before the whole Hurricane Ike problem. Their home is on relatively high ground outside of Houston, more likely to sustain wind damage than flood damage, but their work places have been shut down because they are in more vulnerable locations. Hope they've arrived safely, and that the traffic from the Brazoria County evac wasn't too horrendous.

~~Dear Mystery Author, please to be updating your website. The "blog" link takes me back to the home page. Also, your next book is listed as having a street date of October, 2008, but arrived on my doorstep on 9/8.

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