I've been really slacking on these. The first week, I can understand why: I'd visited my parents and Mom's friend B. from Scotland that weekend, and then stayed up late watching the Patriots just beat the Bills in Tedy Bruschi's return. I didn't have a particularly good reason the second week, though, just general blah-ness. But that's why I'm starting this earlier than usual, so it does get done today.
- Aggressively medicating the early stage of my seasonal cold with decongestants did successfully prevent the late stage from manifesting. Since the late stage is a nasty, full-body gagging cough, this is a good thing; I just wish that decongestants didn't do such bad things to my brain, and that the whole experience didn't leave me so tired.
- The dog was back at the vet's again for an ear infection (yeast); the ear wash stuff reeks, but it and the subsequent medication are working.
- After the end of Daylight Savings time, I've been driving home in the dark and getting really carsick from other cars' headlights. This is deeply annoying. It seems to be helped by moving my side mirror so that it doesn't shine the headlights of cars behind me directly into my eyes, though this naturally has its own risks.
Stupid tricks with keys:
- I wasted an hour when I forgot the keys to my parents' place when I left here and had to go back and get them. And then, of course, I didn't need them once.
- I managed to lock myself out of my car, in the parking lot before work, when my car keys slipped out of my coat pocket without my noticing. I will never hit the power locks without my keys in my hand again. (I called AAA after I got back from court that morning, and the locksmith they sent had it open within seconds.)
- Mom's friend B. smuggled haggis and white pudding, wrapped up in literally yards of cling wrap, in from Scotland, and we had some at our early Thanksgiving dinner. The white pudding (oatmeal and onion stuffing) wasn't really to my taste; the haggis basically tasted like the filling in meat pie. Mom and B. also made a cloutie dumpling, except substituting shortening for the shredded suet (since every American's reaction to "suet" was, "the stuff you put out for the birds?!"). It was tasty but very dense ("dumpling" is a misleading term) and a little drier than it should've been because of the substitution.
- Made tourtiére with about 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes substituted for 1/4 pound of meat in this recipe. I'd never made mashed potatoes before, and as potatoes, they were not successful, but lumpiness is good for meat pie since when you mix it all together, the non-lumps basically vanish immediately anyway. The starch might help it act more like a pie as leftovers, but otherwise it tastes the same, so unless I make a bunch of pies, I probably won't bother in the future.
(I also added a little more allspice, and cooked it at a slightly lower simmer, at about medium heat, so that I had liquid to ladle into the pie. I also used 1/4 pound of beef with 1 pound of ground pork.)
- This Wednesday, I got in and sent an e-mail around the office, saying that it seemed like people were having bad days and I'd just re-stocked my vase of Ghirardelli chocolate squares. I think we went through about a bag and a half that day.
(I managed to make it through emergency week duty with just one minor thing, but other aspects of work were busy enough that I was very relieved to take Veterans' Day completely off for absolute frivolity.)
In household news, we arranged for repairs on the leaky roof. We also suddenly, and without any action on our part, starting getting double or triple our previous download speeds (or, in other words, something like the advertised rates). Hey, I'll take it.
In entertainment news, other than what's already been logged, this Monday we went to a performance of Japanese drumming by the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble at Union. This was very cool, even though the biggest drum resonated in my skull in a slightly unpleasant way. I liked the "Tatsumaki" (tr. "Whirlwind" or "Tornado") best; it was highly dynamic and also fun to watch, as the drummers raised their arms high before striking, jumped to switch between sides of their drums, and so forth. Unfortunately it wasn't on any of the CDs they had for sale, because apparently it is to be watched rather than just listened to.
I also was in the same room for some Hellsing episodes, including the flashback episode with Sir Integra and Alucard and the ending. Great music, visually stylish, interesting relationship between those two, but not particularly interested in watching more (which is handy since Chad's returning the DVDs to the student who lent them). (The opening credits are briefly disorienting, because when we see the back of the white glove with symbols on it, I except to see the gloved hand snap and fire appear.)
And while I was writing, the Pats appear to have squeaked out a win over the Dolphins (I watched most of their loss to the Colts, but this game wasn't on TV here). And the Giants tied it very late but couldn't stop the Vikings from getting a field goal, so they lost.