Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Keep the Pooper Down

Let's talk Turkey

And then, Let's talk about how I can't finish anything.

First please discuss what kind of MORON gets drunk on Thanksgiving and wakes the next morning with dishes piled to the ceiling, cheese left out over night, and a total inability to form a lucid thought? Okay, I admit, that last part may be standard operating procedure but the combination doesn't bode well for post-Thanksgiving clean up efforts. Thank goodness Hubby had it together enough to put the chocolate cake in the microwave (aka: the cat proof storage unit) because the chocolate cake, man it was good. Actually, I'm pretty sure my hangover is from the THREE pieces I had and not the 2+ bottles of wine that I drank with Elisa last night.

Lest you think that I am not a good host-ASS the drinking did not commence until the Orphan Thanksgiving was over and all guests had left the building filled with a whole new perspective on "The Crazy American". Elisa and Mike, who are not so much guests as essential fixtures in our house, arrived later in the evening rosy cheeked and fresh from a Family Thanksgiving in New Hampshire. This is where the evil begins. It ended with me in bed wondering why the THIRD piece of chocolate cake was consumed and exactly how many seconds will it take for me to fall asleep before I puke it all up. Under all of the Cake was a warm feeling. Largely left by ending our day with two of our friends a which capped off a pretty great okay day.

And this is where the Turkey talk ended. I wrote that bit Friday fully intending to edit pictures and do a proper post. The couch won out, and then the tivo after that, and then my book, oh - and don't forget the knitting. My intentions are always good.

Which leads me to the next topic - how I have developed a habit of NOT finishing things. The unfinished Friday post above is exhibit A. Exhibit B - my photo essay about Thanksgiving. Here is where it starts and ends:

11/23 Peapod, 6:30 am. Groceries delivered to my door - Priceless

11/23 Futureman, 9:30 am. He is ready to get his ass groomed.

11/23 Wh*le F**ds Market, 10:30 am. Time to Pick up the Turkey. They had Valet Parking! It was crazy. And can I just say, this was probably the most polite place in Boston on this day. People were so nice as they rammed you with their carts.

11/23 Chez Bookish, 12:00 pm. The cat has been picked up, the food has been brought in. Can you see how long it takes to get anything done here? This is why Peapod delivers my groceries. There are few things you can do in a city quickly.

11/23 Chez Bookish, 1:00 pm. The Turkey Brines a la Ann. (Ignore the mis-direction of the picture and just turn your head to the left...)

11/24 Chez Bookish, 4:30 pm. The food has been consumed. (See the ancient map on the wall?!)

My intentions are always good. However, I think that my expectations far exceed my energy/attention span (pick one, they both weigh heavily on my psyche.) Note to self: Do NOT attempt to create a photo essay during the one day of the year where you are the grand master with no prior experience.

Details on the Feast
The Feast went off....okay. I survived. That's about all I can say. I was exhausted and a bit disappointed. Going back to that whole expectation thing. Your advice was invaluable and, to be completely honest, kept me giggling and semi-sane through out the day. Like when I pulled out the turkey innards and did not realize that ALL of the innards were not in the turkey cavity - they were stuffed under the fold of neck skin. Yah, this was found at the 13th hour. I hope that sentence sounds as gross as it actually was.

Here's another grosser than gross description - I told Ann that I couldn't make the gravy with the gizzard because I might barf (ps - that Ann is the best - she sent me her phone number! I didn't have to use it...but it was a close one.) The recipe said to "pull the meat from the neck" and well, there is no way I could do that. I realized that I'm not so in to preparing a little turkey. It is sad. Very sad. Poor little turkey - even if he had a free range to range prior to being confined to my oven. I did not enjoy cooking him. I'm not a veg but rarely prepare meat in my home (Robby is a veg.) I have a hard time with the American meat industry...it's a nasty business. However, I could never get it together to procure my own meat (Although I do greatly admire people who can - Power to the People Liz.) I would be too busy barfing and feeling horrible.

Delicate bunny I am.

My favorite advice that I received wasn't listed in the comments. It was from my friend Jeff (he was one of the Easter boiled turkey eaters.) His advice,
"Just make sure the pooper is down and you'll be fine."

I couldn't have said it better myself. I think it applies to most things in life.

Rob and my favorite recipe: Portobello Mushroom Gravy. We have been searching the house for food to put this stuff on, it was that good. The recipe is from Eating Well Magazine. Have you all seen this? It's a great magazine, lots of good interesting recipes and loads of information about nutrition and food. I have gotten the past two issues and have really enjoyed reading them.

Least favorite recipe (can't remember where this one was from): Cornbread Stuffing. Dry, bland, blech. It could be improved with some fruit for sweetness and some time in the oven to crisp it up.

Each of our guest brought something from their home country, or something from the grocery store (chocolate cake, yum.) My favorites were Japanese Croquettes, basically a croquette of potato and ground beef. So. Good. And Chinese meatballs. I can't remember what these are called.

It was interesting to talk about Thanksgiving and describe it to everyone. I take for granted how much I know about American Holidays and what it means to live and grow up here. We discussed the American Indians, Slavery, the first settlers, and the origins of different foods on the table. One of our guests compared the American Indian Settler relationship in the US to the Palestinian Israeli relationship in the Middle East (he was Israeli.) Now there is a conversation time bomb. Overall, it was an interesting conversation filled with great people. Unfortunately I was still stressed about my 24 + hours of cooking. At one point I pulled out the globe (one of MANY maps in my house..I told you, I love maps!) and everyone talked about where they were from.

The most interesting fact that I learned: Cyprus is not only its own country but it is split in two and each side basically feels as though it independent of the other (in fact, the UN recognizes this separation.) So much so that there is surprise when a person from one side (a woman from my work) meets someone from the other side (one of her colleagues) and they discover they are so much the same! So interesting for an Island of 3,571 sq mi (9,250 sq km.)

Okay, this may be the chattiest Bookish Girl post ever.

Parting thought -

Keep the pooper down and you'll be all right.
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Monday, November 21, 2005

Turkey for me, Turkey for you.

It's obvous that we here at The Bookish Girl are worldly (or other worldly depending on who you ask.) I mean look at the Frappr! map - the words of this here blog do not reach many people but those that it does reach are sufficiently spread across the map. Polluting minds across the globe, that's my new motto.

I'll also have you know that I had no idea there were so many deviant librarians out there. You do the Bookish Girl proud ladies, yes you do. They through caution to the wind and rack up overdue fines. I'd say Bravo but the less diviant among you might hunt me down.

In the spirit of international peace and harmony my husband and I are having Thanksgiving at our house with a bunch of orphans that we are semi-aquainted. Adult orphans without family close by and, in most cases, without any prior Thanksgiving experience. Add that and a dash of very little English spoken and you have a recipe for a very unpredictable and borderline crazy Thanksgiving.

I should preface this with the explanation that Thanksgiving is by far my most favorite holiday of the year. I love to give thanks and I love to eat. What a great combination. I have spent Thanksgiving away from my family but never away from either Rob's or my family. I have NEVER been responsible for procuring a bird, roasting its skin or cooking its carcass into a soup (carcass is one funny word) for a full party of 9 adults and 2 children. Again, most of which either do not speak English or do not speak English well...good...whatever. Therefore, my expectation of this day far exceeds my skill set. The learning curve is steep.

So I call the local friendly organicish grocery store to order the bird.

I now ask each of you to offer up your most sage advice. Your cooking disasters or your greatest Thanksgiving vicory. The international members of the group need not be dismayed...you too celebrate holidays that are filled with a lot of eating and celebration.

How in the hell do you orchastrate such a disaster waiting to happen?

Can anyone tell me how to say, I'm sorry my dog is sniffing your crotch in Japanese?

And is there really a way to explain why American's (specifically Mr. Bookish) are absolutely insane about football?

Finally, we will have 6 countries represented (I count Hong Kong and China as two different countries) and many many laughs. I am so Thankful to have an opportunity to know these people and hear their perspective and share their stories. Even if it is over a boiled bird*.

And I have many Finished Objects for you. The light does not cooperate though. Pictures will have to wait until the post-Thanksgiving coma has worn off.

* So, I made a Turkey for Easter one year in college. Somehow it ended up in the pan upside down and with lots of "juice." The bird, it was boiled. But man, it was moist!
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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Ku me he mo. Mo who? Ku me? He who? He mo?

WEBS sent out their newsletter today. Do you guys get these things? You shouldn't. If you value your bank account and all things involving money (like eating, paying your mortgage) you should not touch this newsletter.

Except - maybe for the good deals. I mean REALLY good deals. Last year I managed to get some kind of wool for something like $1.99 a skein. I am presently knitting with this wool and as a result thank the Garage Sale daily. A sweater for $15? I'll take it.

This is what caught my eye in this issue of the newsletter:

Kumihimo Disc

Kumihimo? What the hell is that. Wiki did nothing for me. I was dependent on google.

Kumihimo is pronouced - ku-me-he-mo.

"Kumihimo is the ancient art of Japanese braiding. These braids were intricate and used for many things including the tying of an obi or the connecting of panels on a samurai's armour. Traditionally the braids were made using a marudai which is a wooden stool with a hole in the center. The threads were braided on the top (mirror) of the marudai with the finished braid going down through the hole.. "

Here are some links to explanations and pictures of the process and the finished product. Cords, Braids, oh my. Beautiful cords. Am I crazy to think that this might be fun?

Not only that a great addition to a knitted hoodie? Or purse? Or something, anything to replace the Bookish dreaded I-cord?

Anyone have any experience with this?

I think I'm going to order the disk. Just to see what it's like and all. Anything to escape the i-cord. I hate the i-cord.

And all of you librarians out there? I apologize for not returning my library book. And I almost promise I won't get any others out on Kumihimo until I return my overdue knitting book. In my defense, I forgot how many of you there were. I fear a whole gaggle of you may come find me and cut me with paper or something. I promise to return my book. Just as soon as I'm done with it. ;)
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Saturday, November 12, 2005

The return of TTTT

I'll have you know that I have gotten nothing done since THE MAP came into my life. I have it bookmarked. I have it on my desktop. I. can't. stop. checking. it. So, for cryin in the beer - please go add your name so that I can at least have something to look at on the 80th check of the hour.

Kay, who is clearly as obsessed as I, has left some very handy directions for all of us to refer too. Wanna change your picture? No problem. See Kay. What to add your url? No problem See Kay. Kay, how in the world did you get the Frappr! map to reveal all of it's secrets? Secret Whiskey? Can you tell us, What is behind the lost vowel and the exclamation point? What is Frappr! trying to hide?

There is a script that I could use IF BLOGGER WOULD LET ME to show all of the pictures that have been posted to the map. BLOGGER DOESN'T like the script and won't allow it.

Stupid Blogger.

Did you know that The Bookish Girl has international readers?!

Does The Bookish Girl actually knit?

Why yes-


and Done.

It's a bit big. And it is entirely the wrong season for such shenanananangins. Overall a great pattern (Tivoli when I did it Picovoli now), fab yarn (Cotton Fleece), a fun knit. First time doing the top down thing and I must say - it is a very satisfying technique that I will surely seek out in the future. I put a crochet edge on this purple number to curb the curl. Courtesy of my favorite over-due library book The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques (yes, I STILL have this out. Will you bail me out when they through me in the slammer?!)

The size? Yes, I swatched. Further proof that swatches lie. I think part of the problem is the weight of the fabric. We're not talking Macho-Man Randy Savage weight here. (As a side note, did anyone notice the name of that url? Cool dudes and hot babes?! I looked and looked but The Bookish Girl was no where to be found.) However, it's hard to escape your genes. This yarn is primarily cotton and there is some stretching from its weight. I believe that is where some of the extra fabric comes from.

Bettcha thought I abandoned this one, huh? No chance.
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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Map My World

I'm back from my trip in presence only. I'm working through a couple of big projects at work and leaving myself little time to blog. Note to self: This must change.

A few months ago my site meter feature added a map to the stats. This allows me to see where in the world all of the people hitting my blog are. It's interesting and I love it. The only problem - I can't tell who they are. My stats are not that detailed.

Kerstin recently posted a fun map feature (Thanks Crazy!). The Geographer in me (B.S., M.S.) couldn't resist. I've set up my own map! Please, Please, Please go and leave me a note, you most definitely do not need a blog to participate. You can use html to create a link to your site in your note. You can also leave your email address (if you're comfortable.)

This is so freaking fun!

Will the real Bookish Girls please stand up!?

Check out our Frappr!

While you do that I have some blog housekeeping...

All you commenters out there. I have a question. If you have a Blogger blog and leave a comment on another Blogger blog how do you make it so that a click on your comment sends the person to your blog and not to your Blogger profile?

Also, as most of you know Blogger doesn't give me the emails of my commenters. This is a bummer and it drives me bonkers. I have been in the process of moving over to WordPress for about 6 months now. I just can't get it together. My url is bought. My software is loaded. My gun is shooting blanks. Annnnyway.... I have been good about tracking down many of your emails. However, if your name is Ann, Anne, or ANN - I can't tell the difference unless your name links to your site. Kathy's - same deal. Overall, I hate not being able to email back each individual comment. Please know that if I haven't it is because: a) I can't find your email, b) I'm slow as tar, c) Life has gotten the better part of me.

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