Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cold

So, did you miss me? 😉 I’ve been busy, working on a site job. The internet access is down there, so I couldn’t get back online until I dashed home this morning to feed the cats.

Honestly, i never even turned on the computer on Saturday or Sunday, and (please don’t be offended), didn’t miss it.

Christmas Day was a lot of fun — stockings and lots of food. Pannettone and scrambled eggs for breakfast. I roasted a turkey, made stuffing, we had cranberry sauce (I think it’s illegal for someone born in New England not to — besides, I LOVE cranberry almost-anything), green beans with hollandaise sauce, and mashed potatoes.

We were too stuffed from dinner to have dessert right away, so we put away the leftovers, I cooked the bones and made three large tubs of turkey soup (I’ll add in the noodles as I use each batch), and it was about 8 PM before we are the Buche de Noel. It was really good, although it’s completely different from any other I’ve had before. I’m used to chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. The cake was something really unusual — not your typical yellow cake, but in that family, darker, spicier, with the chocolate ganache. Really outstanding.

I was out of the house early, with a car stuffed to bursting. I dropped my mom off at her gig, headed on out to mine, got slightly unpacked, put on some make-up, and headed back to pick her up. We drove down Greenwich Ave. and were fortunate enough to find a parking spot not too far from the restaurant, where we met our friends (who’d come in from Pennsylvania) for lunch at Meli-Melo, which is a creperie. The food was fabulous, the service is great, and it’s a wonderful place.

It was great to see our friends and catch up. They’re doing well, and we’re all ready for the new decade.

Drove my mom back to where she’s staying, I went back to where I was staying. I got some work done, and even managed to sneak in a nap in the afternoon. No idea what I did in the evening — I think I watched a lot of mindless television that was so mindless I can’t even remember it.

Sunday morning, I slept in, did yoga and the usual routine, got some work done on-site, headed out. I went to Home Depot, which didn’t have what I wanted, and Michael’s, which didn’t have most of what I came for, but, fortunately, I can re-think creations on my feet, and I got other stuff, which I think will work just as well or better. Picked up a few things at the grocery store, and headed back to site.

I worked on the Winter Wreath in the afternoon, which will replace the pine-and-fruit spray currently hanging on the door. I’ll finish it this afternoon. I didn’t have all the materials I needed for the other craft project, which was a little frustrating, but oh well.

I should have worked on the assignment for Confidential Job #1. Instead, I’m reading Christopher Fowler’s WHITE CORRIDOR, which is different and enjoyable.

Cooked a lot: my parsnip-carrot dish and my leek-potato dish, and made a vegetable chili based on a SILVER PALATE recipe that’s outstanding.

Did research for the steampunk novella.

Overslept this morning, so I’m late heading back out to feed the cats. I’ll do some things at home for a couple of hours (like post this) and then head back to site.

I’ve got two ideas for literary fiction novels rolling around in my head, very different from what I’m known to write, but both explore questions of “what if?” that interest me. Both will be rather uncomfortable, both to write and to read, but I want to do them anyway. What’s the good if there’s no challenge involved? One needs to be outlined in advance, because every thing hinges on everything else fitting perfectly. However, that one doesn’t want to let me in on all its secrets yet. The other one — I’ve got the major scenes already in my head, and it’s a case of figuring out how to get from point to point.

I hope you’re enjoying “Just Jump in and Fly.” It’s available here until January 6. What was interesting is that elements of both the Apocalypse story AND the other anthology story on which I’ve been working wove themselves into this one.

Gotta go — there are hungry cats waiting for me.

Don’t forget — New Year’s Eve is a Blue Moon, and I’ve also designated it as a “Wishing Moon.” I’ll post information on Wishing Moons on Kemmyrk in the next day or two.

Devon

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Elsa naps between the Christmas stocking pillow and the soft doll angel

Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I am extremely grateful that I don’t have to travel over these holidays, especially with the weather problems and the fact that airlines aren’t actually interested in providing service for customers, just taking as much money away from them as they can. At this point, most of the major airlines deserve to tank. They’ve been in business for enough years so that when they’re hit with bad weather, they should be able to reshuffle their schedules and planes in order to get people WHO PAID THEM where they’re going in a timely, safe, and pleasant manner. That includes providing food and hotel vouchers in bad weather, or setting up food and shelter areas in the terminals — not expecting people to sleep on the floor and continue to pay outrageous terminal prices to eat during the ordeal. The new legislation limiting time on the tarmac is an improvement, but not enough.

I didn’t have that many errands to do yesterday, but I forgot to to mail my letters at the post office. I walked right BY the post office, but I was so excited about the Buche de Noel I bought that I forgot!

And you gotta watch those clerks at CVS. The one up the street from me is dreadful; the ones a few miles out are fine. But everything I needed to do was in walking distance, so I went to the dreadful one. I bought what I needed, she rings it up, and tells me the total. I hand her a bill and say, “Give me a minute and I’ll get you the change,” and I start counting the change out.

She looks at the bill, sneers at me, and says, “That’s not enough.”

“I SAID I was getting the change.”

She rolls her eyes at me.

No, I did not haul off and bitch slap her, although she deserved it. I kept digging for my change, then looked at the total and said, “That’s not right. You overcharged me.”

She rolls her eyes again. I pull out the item and show her the price on the sticker, which was several dollars less than what she rang up. She rolled her eyes AGAIN. I put my hand in my pocket this time to keep from slugging her and said, “So, you see, now YOU need to give ME my change.”

She voided the price, re-entered it, handed me the change with this “uh!” noise, and I said, “Cut the attitude, chickie, this is your job.” The manager wandered by and asked if there was a problem. I said, “If you won’t hire the competent, at least hire the polite” and walked out.

We all have bad days, but when you are dealing with customers, it is your job not to take it out on them. I’ll always start with politeness, but if you push me, I WILL push back, and if you start something with me — especially when you’re wrong — you WILL be sorry.

Remember when I said I couldn’t remember if a Mars retrograde made me stand firmer or stand down? Obviously, it makes me stand firmer. In other words, do NOT get in my face for the next two months, until it goes direct again! 😉

On the flip side, the staff at the French bakery were absolutely delightful. I walked in, and it was like entering a Wonderland. Turns out all the ex-pat French, French Canadian, and Brits in the area hang out there, so I’ll probably start spending more time on site! Anyway, I get in and see that they’re offering the Buche de Noel by the slice — and they’re lovely. The woman behind the counter asked if she could help me and I asked if I could buy a whole Buche. She said, “But of course!” and proceeded the delicate task of rearranging everything in the glass cabinet so she could get at it, packing it beautifully, and making sure the box was in a convenient bag. I admitted I was buying one because I was too much of a coward to make one, and she said, “And that’s why we’re here.” Totally lovely people. If they had eclairs, I’d be there every day.

I will still frequent the Salzburg Patisserie (which is only two blocks away as opposed to five), because it is wonderful, I’ve gone there for years, and I love their quality. But I will ALSO go to this French bakery.

And yes, I’ve scoped out bakeries in the areas in which I plan to relocate! A good bakery in the area is as vital to me as a good bookstore!

I have to do an errand for my mom and then pick up the turkey for Christmas Day dinner. I marinated the pork roast this morning, so by the time I put it in the oven tomorrow, it will have marinated for 30 hours. Just perfect.

Excellent writing day yesterday. Really pleased with the progress. The piece I’m working on has hit just the right tone — it’s funny and a little scary and a little sweet. Wish that had happened, like, three weeks ago!

We received the final packages we expected, and got confirmations on all the stuff that’s shipped. One more big box will be delivered to the family in Maine on Christmas Eve. Wolferman’s has been my go-to place for food gifts this year. Their quality is terrific, prices reasonable, and they are completely reliable. Great quality and great customer service means I’ll keep coming back. And no, they didn’t give me anything to say that! 😉 Actually, I’m about to shoot an email to them thanking them for their lovely service.

Guess what? The bookstore in town that was supposed to close in January has been saved. There was such an outcry, it’s staying open. It’s tiny, it’s not very efficient, and it rarely has what I need — but it’s there, and I do use it, so I’m grateful. Christmas miracle, anyone?

Violet says that we have to have play time RIGHT NOW, so I’ll play with her for a bit before going back to the page.

Happy day, all!

Devon