Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Rock Out

Dropped Kate with her dad and went to a show with Chris last night. We'd had tickets for weeks in advance because the last time Chris had tried to get ticket at the door for an Epoxies show it had been sold out. Turns out we needn't have worried this time as there were a bunch of competing shows in Seattle last night (even Chris had two he wanted to see) and El Corazon felt downright spacious.

I've come to really like El Corazon as a venue. I dig the all ages, bar with ID places, but El Corazon's bar-with-live-video-of-the-stage set-up is a nice touch. I love the pinned up notices, like "If you can't be recognized because of make-up of face paint, you will not be served at the bar". I love that they know enough to frisk the crowd before a Casualties show, but welcome the neo-New Wave nerds with smiles.

As Pramas and I walked up to the venue, I noticed some hipsters sitting right in the street. "Wow," I thought to myself, "look at those hipsters, sitting right in the street." I find I have to stifle my inner Mom Voice at these shows sometimes. We strolled right in and had plenty of time to grab a little something to eat at the attached restaurant/bar before the first opening band hit the stage. We moved out into the stage area and grabbed a spot against the rail on the second level, where we stayed most of the night. Looking on stage, who do I see but the kids who were sitting in the street... turns out they were the members of Speaker Speaker, winners (as they go on to inform us) of The Stranger's Big Shot contest 2006. I fell in love. They were just so cute (I know, I keep saying that about all the shows, I'll muse more about that in a bit...), and so earnest, playing like they were in front of an enthusiastic crowd instead of 30 mostly-apathetic people. I was immediately charmed. The bassist in particular struck the same stance as my ex- used to when he played and I was reminded of good times watching his old college band (except these guys actually have talent). I'd happily go see them again.

The gathering crowd was of great amusement to me. More and more often, I find myself just smiling to myself as I watch the crowd. The cute little boys with their braces and spiky hair, the guys doing their best to pull off Elvis Costello's look circa 1977, the neo-New Wavers with their checkered Vans. I suppose if I go see The Business in June I'll see if I have the same response to the Oi crowd but so far I'm finding that my recent enjoyment of the shows I've been to has been doubled because the crowd watching keeps me so amused. A couple of examples from last night: looking over the rail where I was standing, I found myself directly above two guys who spent the entire lead-up to The Epoxies sitting against the wall reading comic books (Tank Girl, and something X-Men). They were also both carrying collapsible light sabers, which they busted out for one impromptu "battle" before the laughing security guy insisted they knock it off. I watched those guys half the night, until they stashed their bags of comics and light sabers behind the "safety" of a trash can to go bounding off into the crowd once the Epoxies hit the stage. Or the utterly adorable girl in corset and knee hi Chuck Taylors who kept happily bouncing all over her boyfriend in the red plaid pants. Or the gangly white guy in the red Miller shirt who kept doing the stoner-white-guy dance.

And it was a good thing for me that the crowd proved to be so entertaining, because the next band, theSTART, were insufferable! They seemed more popular with the crowd at large but I really didn't like them. They took forever getting set up, with multiple keyboards, six or seven guitars, blah blah blah. Reminded me of listening to the interminable sound check they year They Might Be Giants played GenCon. Finally the singer took the stage and Chris correctly remarked, "Oh, we were waiting for Precious." It made perfect sense when they revealed they were from L.A. Their stage patter came off as smug and insincere. Their songs were more like The Epoxies than Speaker Speaker without being as good. They had all the look, they had the five guitar changes, the sexy female singer with the Siouxsie eye makeup, and they completely failed to engage me in any way. Chris observed that their singer was exactly what Roxy Epoxy isn't: where Roxy's stage moves seem like unashamed goofy good times, Aimee Echo's vamping was completely self-aware, every move intentional and designed to manipulate the crowd. When they asked the crowd if they should play an original theSTART song or a cover for their finale, I begged for a cover! (Hell, the Casualties set was saved for me by covers last show...) From the gaggle of admirers chatting them up in the bar after their set, I'm going to guess I held the minority opinion, but I was glad to see them finish. On the other hand, the candid video on their MySpace site of them trying to get their equipment to the studio after a snowstorm in Lawrence, KS is pretty amusing. I'm sure they're a nice, hard-working band. Maybe their studio stuff is more fun.

Thankfully, The Epoxies came out and finished up strong. The guitarist and bassist had green laser pointer lights emanating from their instruments. The keyboardist was dressed like a caveman. (The drummer, like far too many drummers, sat in the back and banged away like a champ, but who ever notices, eh?) Roxy's got the pipes and I'm reminded again and again of other great female singers like Penelope Huston. The Epoxies our touring like maniacs the next two months. Catch them if you can!


Grandma News

My grandmother went home from the hospital today! I was shocked: on death's doorstep a week ago, home today? But it's true. They've determined she's stable, she's coherent, she's still weak and sleeping a lot to regain her strength, but the crisis has passed. The family is greatly relieved.

To celebrate: a music meme. Albums I've played the hell out of over the years.

Create your own Music List @ HotFreeLayouts!


He's a lumberjack...

A couple of months ago, we introduced Kate to Monty Python and the Holy Grail. She's just about at the right age, imho, and she's been exposed to so many of the elements out of context through conventions (and so also guys dressed as monks chanting and whacking themselves in the head, plushy killer rabbits andholy hand grenades, and Knights Who Say "Ni!"). In fact, when the scene where the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch is brought out, Kate exclaimed, "Hey, I've seen that thing!" Ah, context.

At the end of Holy Grail, Kate was indignant. "That's the end?! That's it?! That's a TERRIBLE way to end a movie!!" It still makes me chuckle.

Anyway, last night I noticed the TiVo had, of its own accord, decided to record And Now For Something Completely Different. It'd been at least 20 years since I saw that one, so I flipped it on. To my delight, Kate wandered in shortly before the Parrot sketch, looked at one of the animations and said suspiciously, "Is this by the same guys who did that other movie?" She didn't even need to specify what "other movie" she was talking about. Heh. She decided to settle in and watch anyway, just in time for the Parrot sketch and its most excellent transition into the Lumberjack Song. Kate plain didn't get some of the Parrot sketch references, as they went by too fast (and I was giggling about the parrot "pining for the fjords"). As Michael Palin steps into the forest and begins to sing, you can hear John Cleese's plaintive "What about my bloody parrot?" Kate watched the entire Lumberjack skit, then looked at me with a mixture of skepticism and confusion. "But Kate, he's a lumberjack...and he's ok," I said. "No, he's not," she said, getting up to leave...muttering to herself on the way out, "...and what about his bloody parrot?"

Ah, I probably shouldn't allow her precious brain to be warped this way, but it's just so damn funny.


Earth Day 2006

Yesterday was Earth Day. I'd like to claim I knew that, but I went the whole day without remembering. Amazingly, I ended up doing activities appropriate to Earth Day anyway.

We got a somewhat late start to the morning. I made coffee and goofed around with some home design computer programs. Having spent an hour and a half on Wednesday giving the back and side yards their first attention of the season, I was determined to find a way to modify our landscaping so the side yard doesn't devolve into a weed-strewn strip of no man's land that I have to spend time and energy clearing merely to please the Home Owners Association fascists. The side yard in particular perplexes me, because it is a strip of land about six feet wide and about fifty feet long. It's got great southern exposure, and used to be nothing but a strip of bark chips that has now been thoroughly taken over by clover and what I fear is common crupina. I want to till the soil, put down some weed barrier, and maybe go as crazy as building a series of narrow raised beds to take advantage of that southern exposure sunshine. Add some bark chips and a stone path to the back and I'd much more pleased with the space.

After my fantasies for the yard had taken shape, we jaunted down to Tim's for a couple of hours and whipped up a batch of cinnamon rolls from the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. Quick, easy, and delicious (even though we distracted Tim with game talk so that a couple of steps were missed). Definitely delicious anyway.

Tim and Chris took off for a day of board game play with friends on the eastside while Kate and I ran off and bought a cart of spring seedlings. As I've had no luck whatsoever in growing mint from seed the last two years, I bought some mint seedlings and will try it that way. We also bought a selection of other herbs, vegetables, and flowers. I spent the afternoon preparing soil and containers so we can transplant our purchases. I also refreshed our stock of birdseed and finally bought a hook for our hummingbird feeder. I re-tied some of the branches on our apple tree so I can keep them from overshadowing the whole yard without trimming them off the tree. The branches should be fine when the tree grows taller, but right now they're at eye-poke and head-swat level.

Somehow Kate and I managed to spend a good portion of the day outside, under blue spring skies and the warm (and welcome!) sun. I made some progress in the yard and as Chris and I swear we're going to do less traveling this year, maybe I'll even be able to prevent my garden from drying up and dying this summer.


Grandma Update

Have received news that's 100% better than I expected. Grandma is conscious, can move her left side a bit (originally they'd thought it was paralyzed), can respond to commands ("Squeeze my hand."), understands she's in the hospital. She asked for her glasses, but hasn't yet asked for her teeth. When she asks for her teeth, that'll be a sign. Heh.

A third CAT scan has been done but we haven't heard the results yet. It seems likely, though, that the clot-busting drugs are doing their thing and have relieved the pressure on her brain so we can see this improvement.

My mother is in a much better frame of mind today than she was Tuesday night, to my great relief. Though grandma is still in ICU, she's doing much better than any of us had reason to expect. Some level of recovery is even being considered, which is definitely not where she was when I talked to the ICU nurse yesterday morning.

Thanks for all the thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. It means the world to me.


My grandma

I wrote about my grandmother's state of health in January. Yesterday she had the second of her scheduled surgeries for her clogged carotid arteries. She came out of the surgery much better this time around, but began complaining of a headache soon after. Her headache grew worse and worse, and shortly after it became apparent that she'd had a stroke.

My mom has called to let me know that grandma has a blood clot on the brain. They're trying drugs to break up the clot, but she's on other drugs for blood pressure and other things that they can't take her off of and that are influencing her treatment. She's in a coma and on life support at the moment. My mother is not doing well and is frantic to get to Yuma before it's too late. If this is as bad as it seems, my mom is going to need me and there is going to be all sorts of drama. I dread it, but I will not shirk.


Sweet and Savory

You may remember that a short time ago I kidnapped Chris to take him off for a day of fun. One part of the day that didn't go as planned was our attempt to visit Sweet and Savory. As it happens, Sweet and Savory is just a short drive straight down the hill (and back up the next one) from where I pick up my alternate Flexcar when the one nearest me is reserved. Yesterday, I decided to make the drive at lunchtime and finally check the place out. Chris came along, excited about the French-style hot chocolate he'd heard so much about.

We arrived shortly before 1:00pm. Sweet and Savory is only open until 2:00pm, but we still figured we would have time for something lunch-like. There are only a couple of small tables and a row of seats at the bar, behind which a woman was cooking up something in a small frying pan. We looked around for any printed menu or sign of any sort that listed food. There was nothing, only a chalkboard featuring a selection of coffee drinks and other beverages. Chris gestured to the single, small pastry display and asked, "Is this what you have for food?" Yes, we were told, that was it. As an afterthought, she did say they had what sounded like a salad wrap sandwich... this came to mind only as she was plating up soup and sandwiches for the three or four elderly folks at the table by the window. (No mention of the soup: no soup for us!)

Chris ordered up a hot chocolate right off of the bat, but neglected to specify he wanted the French-style hot chocolate and so did not receive the specialty of the house. I was warm, so scanned the menu for any cool option. Italian Soda, $2.25 caught my eye. I spied a bottle of vanilla syrup near the espresso machine. Ah, yeah, Italian Soda! That would be great! "I'd like a vanilla Italian soda, please." The woman gave me an exasperated look. "We don't make Italian sodas. We have the syrup, but we don't actually have any soda water." "Oh," I said. "I only ordered it because it's on the menu..." The woman rummaged around in the fridge for a while, saying, "Oh, is that up there? They probably mean...sometimes they get these large pelligrinos...that's probably...I mean, it's more of a summer drink...." I ended up having a can of Limonata, since they did have those, but my hopes for the experience were faltering.

Chris ordered a ham and cheese croissant from the pastry case. I ordered a lemon bundt cake filled with tropical fruit, which sounded light and refreshing. In the end, Chris said his plain old hot chocolate was pretty good, but his pastry was nothing special. Exactly the kind of thing he could (and has) picked up at an Au Bon Pain. My cake, on the other hand, was dreadful. So dry and stale it was nearly crisp and fell to crumbs when I cut into it, with the consistency and flavor of an overdone corn muffin. I ran out of Limonata to wash it down with and ended up leaving a good quarter of it on the plate. Even a dollop of whipped cream would have done wonders to mask the texture.

Disappointed, we finished up and left after a mere 15 or 20 minutes. On my way out the door, I heard the elderly woman asking about the cakes and all I could think was "Don't do it!" On the upside, it was a beautiful day yesterday and we were out in a very scenic part of the city, overlooking Lake Washington and the snowcapped mountains.


Easter Recipes


Easter 2006

Oh, how we ate!

Click on the eggs to see a photo set, progression from prep to final presentation:

An update of my recipe pages will follow.



I can't believe I haven't updated my recipe pages with this recipe before now. I've been making it since 2001 and it's an all-time favorite of mine. Dead easy to whip up.

Black Bean Quesadilla with Goat Cheese.


Beef Daube Provencal

Wow, it's all about food around here all of a sudden...

Beef Daube Provencal for dinner Tuesday night and it was goooood. Nothing like slow cooking meat. Mmmm.

Tonight I didn't cook because I had low-grade headache all day and I didn't feel up to it, but I did put together some Pepper Sage-rubbed pork chops and Rosemary-Red Wine marinated tri-tip steaks and stock them in the freezer for the future.

This weekend I'm going to be whipping up Easter dinner Greek-style for my adopted Seattle family. The menu includes four boneless legs of lamb prepared two ways. We're finally going to take advantage of Ray and Christine's rotisserie function on their grill. Also on the menu:

Pastitsio (what some call "Greek lasagna")
Spanakopita (spinach pie)
Greek string beans (green beans stewed with tomatoes)
Greek roasted potatoes (the lemony ones with oregano)
Galactoboureko (custard and filo dessert)

Tomorrow I should be getting a couple of mail order items from Minos Greek Imports with some last minute items that I just couldn't figure out a local source for, like pastitsio noodles. I'll make up some handmade dolmades tomorrow and then prep the lamb and pastitsio on Saturday, and fill out the menu with some feta cheese, olives, and some Greek Easter bread. Should be great, though not as good as my mother-in-law's. She's the professional.


Ham and Swiss Bread Pudding

Two more recipe page updates. The tart recipe in particular is quick-food and uses refrigerated pie dough. If you're into making your own pie crust, knock yourself out... refrigerated dough works just fine for me and side steps my notorious anti-baking aura.

Ham and Swiss Bread Pudding
Strawberry-Rhubarb Tart


Bunny Rearing

My enthusiastic friend JD has peppered me with questions about the care (and behavior) of house rabbits, including a plea for me to "Write a whole goddamn rabbit-rearing guide, please." There are many people out there with far more experience who I'd turn to for advice before me, but I would be happy to share the vastness of my not-quite-three-months of experience (Easter Day will mark exactly three months of bunny ownership for us) anyway.

Before deciding a rabbit might be best for us, Kate and I both did a lot of research on the good old internet. I highly recommend the resources at The House Rabbit Society for anyone considering a rabbit as a pet. The House Rabbit Handbook by Marinell Harriman is by far the best book I picked up on rabbit rearing in the 4-6 month period when we were examining our options. The Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society is also overflowing with relevant, comforting information and support.

On to JD's Questions:

I'm always trying to convince Kris that we ought to get a rabbit for a pet. Tell us more! Do you have other pets?
We have no other pets. We carefully considered many options for furry animal companions before settling on a rabbit. Cats would suit our lifestyle, but Chris is allergic and would be miserable. Dogs would not suit our lifestyle because of the amount of traveling we do every year. Small rodents are just not friendly enough and their short little lives are too heart-breakingly brief.

Do rabbits get along with cats?
Rabbits and cats can get along, but it really depends on the personalities involved. If your cat is a hunter (hello, Simon!) and you opt for a small or shy rabbit, they're going to have more hurdles to overcome in becoming friends. Bonnie's foster mom told us Bonnie got along just fine with her cat but we've never had to test that out.

Do cats get along with rabbits?
Cats who are hunters would obviously be the biggest concern here, I'd think. Thankfully, The House Rabbit Society has a great article on cats and Rabbits. Another site I've come to like is Fuzzy-rabbit.com

Do rabbits have personalities?
I suppose I can't speak for all rabbits, but Bonnie certainly does! She is curious, sly, funny, and stubborn. She runs up to meet us when we come into her room and wants to see exactly what I'm doing. She's been known to thump her foot at us when we've prevented her from doing something she wanted to do (like running around in Kate's toy closet).

Are they smartish?
Definitely. Deviously clever. Sneaky. We haven't tried to train Bonnie to respond to any voice commands other than coming to her name, but the Dummies people have a whole section in their book about training a rabbit to come or hop up onto something by using treats as a reward. Bonnie loves to rearrange things in her room, including moving walls of her playpen. I gave her a little tin with a toy inside that rattles around and she figured out how to fling it around until she got the lid off. Other rabbits have learned to open doors and cupboards.

Do they use a litter box?
Yes! When we first got Bonnie, there was some out of the box peeing while she marked her territory and tried to establish who was the boss. Her favorite trick was to run over and pee right in front of the door whenever I came into the room... definitely a territory/dominance thing. There was also some marking by dropping pellets. The great thing about rabbit poop, though, is it's not stinky or wet or generally gross like dog or cat poop. It's no problem at all to clean up a stray pellet or two, and 90% of the time Bonnie confines herself to her litter box now that the issue of territory has been settled in her little bunny mind.

Do they snuggle?
Bonnie does not snuggle. I've seen other owners talk about their rabbits sitting on their laps or beside them on the couch or in bed. Bonnie is not that sort of a bunny. In general, bunnies don't like to be held or picked up: they're prey animals and when it comes down to it, they want to be able to flee at a moment's notice if they have to. Bonnie does love to be petted and stroked, especially on her head. She will do what the bunny people call a purr (which is nothing like a cat's purr, it's more like teeth chattering) and will let you stroke her on the bridge of her nose and her forehead until you're sick of it, then she'll lick the heck out of your hand with her soft, dry little tongue to show her affection in return.

Are they able to hop up on a couch? Climb stairs?
Absolutely. Bonnie hasn't shown much of a penchant for climbing, but I've heard many stories of other bunnies who can and will hop up onto your chair, then to your desk, or onto the coffee table, etc.

If I let a rabbit outside to frolick, will it return to me?
Eek! Like any new mother, I'm terrified at the thought of letting my baby outdoors without numerous safety precautions in place. Fuzzy-rabbit.com posts pictures of their rabbits out in the garden with them, but it's always understood to be a fenced yard that the rabbit cannot escape from. House rabbits are also vulnerable to poisonous plants in the back yard. I wouldn't let a rabbit out to frolic in an open yard, but I did buy a rabbit pen with the intention of having Bonnie outside in a contained area with me while I work in the yard this summer.

Will a rabbit bite a human?
Some rabbits are aggressive and will growl, lunge, thump, and even bite. Bonnie has never bitten or been aggressive, though she has thumped her foot at us in a snit (usually right before she hops off in the other direction). The Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society has a good article about why rabbits bite each other or humans.

Can you carry it by its ears?
Absolutely not. Something I did not know before becoming a rabbit owner is that rabbits have very delicate skeletons combined with great strength in their hind legs, so much so that they can break their own backs (!!) by kicking out in a struggle. A rabbit should always be picked up with support under its hind legs and held close to your body to provide it as much support as possible and to keep it from twisting and kicking out in fear.

Cords and books are a problem in our house, too, but what about furniture? Will rabbits eat furniture? Gnaw on doors?
They can and probably will chew something. Not only furniture like table legs, but some rabbits just can't resist digging or pulling up carpet, chewing on doors or wood trim, nibbling the bindings of books, plastic and oh how they love those cords and wires! Bonnie pulled up a nickle-sized piece of carpet, and nibbled the wood trim and the underside of the totally worthless coffee table in Kate's room, and sampled the bindings of a dozen or so books, in addition to eating through the power cord for the printer, two phone cords, the cord to a lamp, the cord to Kate's mouse and keyboard, and the nose and feet off a Barbie when she accidentally opened the bunny playpen and got into bunny-unsafe areas. On the other hand, when she's confined to bunny-safe areas, she's not destructive, and we do our best to make sure she's got plenty of safe and appropriate things to chew on and play with. I view it like having a scratching post or cat condo for a cat: giving them an appropriate place for their behavior cuts down on random damage tremendously, but kitty might still sneak off to sharpen his claws on the arm of the chair when you're not looking.


Corn and Scallop Chowder

I've updated my recipe page with this one. Came out great, though Kate picked out the scallops and leeks. I tried to convince her that scallops were just like clams with prettier shells, and that leeks weren't onions, but she was having none of it. I did force her to have a second helping of soup with just corn and potatoes in it and that went over just fine, so I'm calling this good.

Corn and Scallop Chowder


Twelve Hours for Fun

I kidnapped Chris yesterday and took him out for the day. Now that he's feeling better, and since we're Kate-free this weekend, it just seemed right not to let him spend the entire day mired in work. Of course, as is usually the way, not everything worked out in practice as well as it had worked out in my mind.

The first hurdle was that Flexcar was switching cars over to their new technology this weekend, and as part of that every car in downtown Seattle or in my own neighborhood was unavailable but for one. I snagged that one car, but couldn't find the entrance to the parking structure and couldn't get more precise directions from the Flexcar operator, so it literally took us walking around the entire building, trying multiple locked doors, walking down into the parking garage from the auto ramp and eventually stumbling across the car just as I was about to give up as we had literally walked the entire block before finding it. Not an auspicious start.

Heading back south, I thought I was driving us off to try Sweet and Savory but instead ended up at Mioposto (purely from my own sloppy computer skills...I got the Google Map for the wrong restaurant, I confirmed this morning). We improvised and had coffee and scones there, but it was not what I wanted and the second strike against my planned day. Additionally, it was raining. That shouldn't be a surprise, it's Seattle after all, but roaming around in strange neighborhoods is more fun when the weather is nicer (as it had been during the week).

We set off again, this time to find the Crashing the Gate event that was happening in Marymoor Park. Of course, again my google-mapping skills failed us, this time because (although I'd cut and pasted the address) I got directions for SE Lake Sammamish Parkway instead of NE Lake Sammamish Parkway, and so ended up in Issaquah instead of Redmond. After driving completely around Lake Sammamish, we did finally end up at Marymoor Park, but there was no sign of where the Crashing the Gate event might have been. No signs, no obvious group of people. Oh, and I did mention that it was raining, right? We drove every inch of Marymoor park, walked in the rain to try our luck at locked and empty buildings, and in the end all we got out of the deal was a scenic drive around Lake Sammamish and wet shoes. Bah.

Deflated, but not willing to give up entirely, we decided to try lunching at Vios. Finally success! A mere six blocks from our frequent hang-out with R&C, we quickly found parking and entered the friendly, bustling little restaurant. Special of the day: leg of lamb sandwich on fresh baguette with arugula pesto, roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions. Yes, please! Chris got the seared albacore tuna sandwich which was similarly wonderful, and we split an order of the octopus salad (cumin, chick peas, roasted carrots and tender, delicious pieces of octopus...oh my, SO delicious). Lunch washed away the disappointments of the early part of the day.

As we were in the neighborhood, we met up with R&C and watched Layer Cake on The Beast. I remember hearing about Layer Cake after last year's film festival and enjoyed it quite a bit. I like a good caper movie and paid special attention to Daniel Craig for signs of what he may be like as the new James Bond.

Chris and I had already gotten tickets to last night's performance of Great Men of Genius: Nikola Tesla by Mike Daisey. Mr. and Mrs. Grubbstreet had been at Thursday night's version Great Men of Genius: Bertolt Brecht, and I heard rumor that on Friday night mention of a certain recent bachelorette party made its way into the P. T. Barnum monologue, to the slight embarrassment of one or more attendees in the audience. Somewhat sadly, Saturday night was the only night Pramas and I could make it, but I'm not too disappointed because it was Tesla I wanted to hear anyway. Mike did his usual good job and despite this being the premier performance of this particular monologue, I thought it was tighter all the way through than the good but somewhat uneven performance of 21 Dog Years we saw in 2003. He is becoming ever better in his craft and it's great fun to watch.

Ended the night with a late dinner at Elysian Brewing Company with a satisfying plate of mushroom stroganoff and a pint of Avatar Jasmine that was out of this world. Christine gave me a sip of hers and I immediately abandoned what I was drinking and ordered one for myself. Bliss.

All told we packed all of that into almost exactly twelve hours. Not bad at all.


Ach! My pride!

Wednesday night Kate and I had Girls' Night while Pramas went off for Wargame Wednesday, now that he's mostly recovered from the plague. Outside of wedding festivities and one ill-advised jaunt to the post office, he'd been house-bound for over two weeks. We ordered pizza and watched Big.

When I called the pizza order in, the clerk said happily, "Oh, you're a very good customer for us!" Eesh, I don't order pizza that often. Really!

Still, it's no lie that between being alone with Kate for a week while Chris was at GTS, then being a house of plague, then jetting about to various wedding-related get togethers, I haven't done much cooking. I did throw together some Black and White Bean Soup with Ham on Monday, but still my pride was wounded. My self-image is at stake! I'm not the person the pizza delivery guy comes to feel all friendly and familiar with. I'm the one doing the cooking!

To rectify this imbalance, I have ordered up a batch of groceries with the intention of making, in some order:

Beef Daube Provencal
Bierocks (which I know as Runzas from time spent in Nebraska, kind of a bready version of the Cornish pasty)
Black Bean Quesadillas with Goat Cheese (a favorite!)
Fennel-crusted Port Tenderloin
Ham and Swiss Bread Pudding
Corn and Scallop Chowder
and a Strawberry-Rhubarb Tart

I'll be updating my recipe pages with recipes as I try them, as long as they're worth recommending.


Birthday Meme

Stolen from Xomec:

Go to Wikipedia and look up your birth day (excluding the year). List three events, three births, three deaths, and up to three observances or holidays on your birthday in your journal.

1918: Monarchy in Germany ends when Emperor Wilhelm II is dethroned in the November Revolution.
1938: In the Kristallnacht, synagogues and Jewish property are burnt and destroyed on a large scale. For many observers, it is the first hint of Germany's radical anti-Jewish policies.
1989: Communist-controlled East Germany opens checkpoints in the Berlin Wall allowing its citizens to freely travel to West Germany.

1802 - Elijah P. Lovejoy, American abolitionist (d. 1837)
1918 - Spiro Agnew, Vice President of the United States (d. 1996)
1928 - Anne Sexton, American poet (d. 1974)

1888 - Mary Jane Kelly, final victim of serial killer Jack the Ripper (b. 1863)
1940 - Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1869)
2003 - Art Carney, American actor (b. 1918)

Roman Catholic - Dedication of the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, Cathedral of the Pope
Pakistan - Allama Iqbal Day
Cambodia - Independence Day



What fun! I'm exhausted, I can't imagine how the happy couple must feel. I had a great time, as did everyone I talked to. Much mingling, much laughter, and much love to go around.

Now that my wedding present has been delivered, I can post about it here. I didn't want to ruin the surprise before the wedding, but I spent the time leading up to the wedding stitching this:

And a couple of close-ups. The cottage:

The alphabet and flower border:

The wedding and reception were such good fun. Kate had a great time and I was able to both meet many members of each extended family and reconnect with people I hadn't seen in ages (sometimes many years). I gave a heart-felt toast to the couple (and was reassured that I didn't make too much a fool of myself in doing it when several people commented nicely on it afterwards), joined in an impromptu serenade of the happy couple which caused the photographers to go into a frenzy of flash photography (I'm very afraid!), and when my shoe came off as I was galloping down the stairs I narrowly avoided throwing myself head-first over the banister. Woohoo, now that's a party!

More photos can be found at my Flickr site.


Let the Festivities Begin

Events for the great Tynes-Scott wedding of 2006 are underway, culiminating last night with his and hers bachelor(ette) parties that eventually merged into one at Chez Pominger. Since I come to the party from the groom's side, this was a delightful chance for me to get to know the bride's seemingly endless stream of sisters and out-of-town-friends, as well as the wives of some of the groomsmen. What a kick!

Photographic proof I was there. I have it on good authority that the girls had a better time, if such things are possible to compare.

Today Kate hopes to meet Magda and Natalie, the other ten-year-olds slated for junior usher duty. I look forward to meeting the extended Tynes clan and other out-of-towners after all these years.