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Things: Return of the Sun Edition

Home Stuff

The temps fell below zero Fahrenheit three times in ten days. Kitchens are easy places to keep warm if you’re using the stove. Plus holidays and food mix well.

Side note: nothing warms the house like the incineration process of a “self-cleaning” oven, but the marketing label is a foul lie. (shocker, right?) The oven does not rid itself of the ashy corpses of all that accumulated grease. I had to wipe down the interior myself.

Clean oven was used to cook all kinds o’things.

  • Casseroles. (Salsa chicken, sausage & tater, and a thing I made from leftover restaurant baked ziti, lotz moar cheez and Extra Spices.)
  • Cookies. (Swedish butter cookies, chocolate-chip caramel-chip, oatmeal-cherry, and brown sugar brittle. There will be Christmas sugar cutout cookies, but I will do that next weekend.)
  • Apples. (some baked plain, and I made what I call faux apple pudding, which is a couple of apples peeled/sliced/cored and a couple of stale apple doughnuts pulled apart. Pieces tossed together with cinnamon sugar, smooshed into a greased baking dish and cooked for at least an hour at 325 degrees. Me, I bake longer, cool, and re-warm it for max deliciousness.)

I perfected my no-recipe  “I’d rather sit in front of the TV than use the food processor” goat cheese dip. Start with a few heaping spoonfuls of plain greek yogurt,  one log of goat cheese, and a few shakes of feta. Let it all soften to room temp. Add at least a teaspoon each of onion powder, dill, thyme, parsley, oregano (all powdered as much as I can using the mortar and pestle of palm &  fingers). Put on a video and watch while applying fork to mixture with enthusiasm until it’s all blended. (Or, you know, use the food processor. Mine is currently awaiting a new blade. Cuisinart. Recall. Google it.)

And then there was snow. I love playing in the snow shoveling the driveway, and that’s a good thing since we have nearly 100 feet of drive. I have requirements.  One, no deadline. Time pressure ruins the fun, and also, I’m slooooooow. Two,  I need good tunes on the headphones. Three, it’s good to have someone with upper body strength to help with the snowplow shit at the street end.

Writing

I know, this is the non-writing post, but I’ve written three full scenes. That’s mega-huge progress for me these days so I’m all puffed up with my piddly accomplishments. I also wrote one of those scenes twice because the POV didn’t work for Alpha Reader the first time, so it’s even more writing than it sounds. No, I’m not dropping word count numbers.

Books

Only two this round. In my defense, they were both Massive Mountains of Prose. At the Sign Of Triumph, and Shadows of Victory, both by David Weber. Safehold series and Honorverse series, respectively. Speaking of respect, while I have the utmost admiration for Mr Weber’s formidable writing skills, I can’t recommend these.  (Both books are on bestseller lists and deservedly so. They were enjoyable. I simply can’t recommend them.)

I won’t dis them the way some reviewers have. They’re ambitious in scope and sweeping in scope, and juggling their casts alone would give me migraines. They are amazing works of story thread-weaving, but there are just so many damned threads. I prefer smaller, tighter stories. Not as truncated and single-track as the plots in the Young Honor series, but something a little less sprawling, yes, please. Three good points:

  1. they’re both bridge books that wrap up a of plot sprawliness and sidelines
  2. Both end with hints of a tighter focus in the next installment.
  3. ONLY ONE MULTI-CHAPTER SPACE BATTLE in the Honorverse novel!!!

I took to reading each “conversation between talking heads” scene the way I browse technical articles for specific data: read first para of a section in depth, wade swiftly through the cluttered verbiage required to meet the “state the premise, build a case, refute the case on points, refute the refutations, re-state the points, restate the premise, declare the conclusion” standard of academic writing in search of critical keywords, settle in for the last few paras of wrap-up.

But it was still slow going. Satisfying in the end, but it tired my brain out.

Television

Game of Thrones Season 6. My favorite line ever. “That’s what I do. I drink and I know things.” This would be my house motto, and everyone would know I meant tea, not wine.

Penny Dreadful season 3. (sob) So much creepy, moody beautifulness.

NCIS. First season I can remember disliking most episodes. I was happy to see DiNozzo leave,  but it looks like the writers left with him. Not a one of the new agents has lines worth reading and I’m not sure most of them know how to handle good lines if they got any. Hard to say. The regulars also sound out of character or fall flat half the time too. Sad.

Movies:

I must have watched one or two DVDs or streaming, but if I can’t remember them, they must not be worth mentioning.

Spouseman and I will  go to see Rogue One, but I’m not sure when.  Opening weekend was too busy with writing, baking, shoveling and hiding from people and the cold to get out. Besides, I didn’t see the first trilogy (Eps 4-6) on opening weekends either. Lots of people didn’t do that in the seventies and eighties. So it’s like a tradition.


And that’s a wrap. Blessed Yule, Festive Festivus, Bright Hannukah, and Happy Birthday, Jesus.

Next week, there will NOT be resolutions, but there might be things.