Saturday, December 12

I'm not dead yet!

hrmm. well, damn. that little break went on longer than expected – sorry! the last few weeks have been quite a time, or rather, have faded into the dense fog rolling in almost every night. between catching the plague over t-giving, end-of-semester chaos, making time for seeing a few friends, a family visit, singing the fall concert series, and then jamming a winter concert in there for good measure, there's just not been much time for posting (even the half-dozen mostly finished ones). hell, I've had over three hundred unread google-reader articles to catch up on! so here are a few highlights:

it snowed! sort of. enough to cause everyone at work to abandon their desks for 5 minutes, seizing the photo op.


overall snowfall was sort of disappointing (approx 27 giant, messy flakes total here. houston got a picturesque dusting ... stoopid houston), but then we got another miraculous overnight flurry at work.

I was really really (really.) behind on holiday preparations, but we finally decked the halls and put up a tree (we succumbed to the cut tree, since mean grimace, the potted tree of the last two years didn't survive the transplant. that, and the blue-gray of a frasier fir is so pretty), with a few treats from home nestled under. I made a few things, but mostly relied on the expertise of folks at the blue genie art bazaar. if they had a year-round storefront, I'd probably rely on them for most giftie-type stuff.

{hallway: decked ~ doilies cut from recycled turkish newspapers – perhaps not foodsafe, but pretty!}

{tree: trimmed}

{some goodies mom was up 'till 3am packing for the mail}

{... with a few recognizable selections}

a visit from g-ma – who resides in misty oregon. I had hoped we could offer her some typical 70 degree sun, but she brought the oregon gloom with her. just two days before her arrival, the first freeze swept through and killed the tomatoes, eggplants, peppers (all things nightshade), basil, and saddest of all, the morning glories. though we had kept things tidy – even mowing the back 40 – under the sudden, damp blanket of leaves, the yard was less than prize-winning. ::sigh:: back to g-ma: though we've seen her fairly regularly in the last year (it's been year of monumental events), it was really wonderful having a few days devoted entirely to spending time together. I took a few days off work and we walked the trail with that dog and sat around drinking cups and cups of tea (ain't no party like my nana's tea party ... heeey. hooo). it's pretty common knowledge that g-ma is a pistol (mom theorizes if she were born to a different era, her calling would be advocacy), but having very little on the agenda provided time for her to prove hilarious, as well. my favorite quote of the week: in context of describing how she was forced to leave a dentist's practice because of his high pressure tactics, attempting to replace her bridge for cosmetic reasons (she's over 80, and the procedure is an ordeal), he suggested the bridge might be visible when she smiles. her reply: "Iiii don't smiiiiile!" (that's not to say she doesn't laugh. there's quite a bit of laughter where g-ma is near) I just wish she could have stayed longer.

{g-ma does not enjoy having her photo taken – fresh stock on her night stand}

the annual office vaguely-inappropriate-christmas-cookie decorating gathering. think booze, tinted royal icing, and occasionally patriotic (wha?) themed holiday cookies. this year was a doubly celebratory event, as we toasted dr. natasha's successful diss defense.

{apple cider side cars ~ alliterative mood enhancement}

{and baking}

{time to re-visit sexual harassment training ~ that two-sided cookie appears to be wearing a thong-bikini}

{a few of my contributions: that dog with the p.t.s.d. eyes, b-in-horizontally-striped-polo, and dead-grimace}

and a hanukkah matzoh crack party with doubletonic, mike and cp.

{addiction on a cracker}

we made latkes, too.

... with homemade applesauce.

terri gross is on vacation. though I love her show (especially her more off-beat guests), her seat will be filled by the ever-fascinating radiolab. if you've never heard the show, check out the podcasts. yesterday's episode on randomness was amazing (go to the 30-minute mark for the woman whose compulsive gambling was caused by her parkinsons meds ... I was floored). [ed. note - the episode on parasites was even more amazing, the last segment (ugh. sorry for that unintended pun) especially – hint: crazy cat lady]

and a few trips to the main building, where the surroundings are almost fantastic enough to tempt me into applying for a gig in accounting. almost. but then I remember – I'd have to work in accounting.

{painted ceiling panel calling my name}

{the vault-like doors reminding it's another – more mystical – realm altogether - surreptitiously shot without white-balance adjustment, before the front-desk gnome could return}

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