Friday, December 28, 2007

Time to get motivated again

So I was doing pretty good with the whole idea of getting stuff accomplished at home without stressing myself out about it.
I did grocery shopping on the day before Christmas Eve to get me through the better part of my time off.
I made a yummy smoked salmon pasta with vodka cream sauce that night for dinner.
I have been whittling down the giant pile of dirty laundry in my garage.
I roasted a chicken for dinner Christmas Eve and made mashed potatoes and roasted squash medley.
I made a big pot of chicken and rice soup the other night for dinner (using the leftover chicken) and put a bunch of single portions in the freezer for later.
I have cleaned all the rooms but the office / spare bedroom.
I made food for the various Christmas gatherings.
I am slowly working on reclaiming my garage.
I painted outlet covers so I can put those in the kitchen.
I went to IKEA and got some curtains for the kitchen (not to mention some other impulse buys. Damn you, IKEA!)
I paid some bills.
I mowed the grass in the back yard.
I did various other chores, errands and tasks.

Then yesterday afternoon upon returning home from IKEA and my other errands, I just could not get motivated to do anything.
I figured it was just one afternoon and it IS my vacation. I am entitled to goof off for an afternoon.
Of course then I stayed up too late last night and slept until 10:45 this morning.
I do blame part of that on the electric blanket.
It keeps me so warm I do not want to get out of bed.

So now it is almost 11:30 and I have done pretty much nothing more than feed the cat. And that was just so he would pipe down so I could enjoy my tea in peace.

I need to get up off my rear and get moving. If I get started by noon, I can get the last of the painting done in the kitchen and get the outlet covers in place.

Which means I should go now. I have only 30 more minutes to slack.

I should go look at the mess that is my garage. Maybe that will get me motivated. I really want to be parking in there again by Jan. 1.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Movie recommendation

I don't usually offer up suggestions for movies to people.

I like what I like, but I don't go to a lot of movies and I don't rent a lot of movies.

When I was at the video store Christmas Eve picking out a few things to watch over my break, I was really just not interested in a lot of what they had.

But this one jumped out at me.

"The Hoax" starring Richard Gere.

Now Gere is OK. I have no particular like or dislike of him. He has done some good work and some bad work.

But the story was what interested me.

It is the story of Clifford Irving, the author who convinced McGraw-Hill that he was writing an authorized biography of Howard Hughes.

This all took place in the early 1970s. So I was a baby and do not actually remember it.

The movie is based on Irving's own book, "The Hoax," which details the scam.

In addition to Gere, the cast includes Marcia Gay Hardin as his wife, Alfred Molina as the bumbling co-conspirator, Hope Davis as his editor and McGraw-Hill and Stanley Tucci as the head of the publishing house.

There are also good, smaller performances by Julie Delpy and Zeljko Ivanek. I have seen Ivanek in several things and think he is a good, underrated actor.

There is a great exchange between Gere's Irving and Ivanek's Ralph Graves of Life magazine.

The movie is from 2006, which shows you how behind I am with movie watching.

Anyway, it is told in a funny yet serious way. And it really is a interesting story of how this one guy roped in his friend and his wife in order to perpetrate his fraud on the world, which at that time was fascinated with the reclusive Hughes.

If you have not seen this movie and want something with a great story, I would say get "The Hoax." It is one of those movies you have to really watch though.

It has fast-paced dialogue and a lot of the story is about how Irving juggled all the lies.

It makes me want to go get his book now to find out more.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


A few days ago Sona tagged me to post seven things about me. So here I go.

I have done a couple of these before, so I apologize if I repeat something I have used in the past.

1. I have a 38-inch inseam, which makes it tough to find pants. I buy my jeans online and I wear a lot of skirts to work.

2. I would never make it as a vegetarian.

3. I have a serious addiction to cookbooks.

4. I watch a soap opera. Just one. I know. It's shameful. But it makes for good, mindless background while I clean house.

5. I don't have a junk drawer. I have a junk closet. Again, shameful.

6. I have never lived in New England, but I root for the Patriots. And it began before Tom Brady and before they starting winning Super Bowls.

7. I cannot listen to Willie Nelson without crying. It just reminds me too much of dancing with my dad. He liked to do the two-step.

I am not going to tag anyone specifically. But if anyone wants to do this, that would be great.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry and Bright

I have been going around for days with a Christmas song in my head:

Oh by gosh, by golly
It's time for mistletoe and holly...

OK. Not the whole song. Just that line, over and over.
Surprisingly, this has not annoyed the crap out of me yet.

It is about 7:30 on Christmas morning.
Right now I am making bacon to take for breakfast at my sister's house.
I am doing it in the oven according to a recipe I have for "sweet and spicy" bacon.

Then I will go to my sister's house. It will be me, her, her hubby, the 16-month-old baby, my aunt and her kids (at least two of the three) and my mom. I am not sure if my uncle is going or not.

We will eat breakfast. My sister is making French toast casserole using pane tonne. Nice.

We will open the gifts. Mostly meaning we will sit around and watch the kids open their gifts. Mostly meaning we will watch the baby rip open packages and then ignore the toys to play with the boxes.

I got the baby a couple small things. One of them is a book, one is a toy.

I also get to watch my sister open her birthday present. And since I don't think she will be looking here this morning, I can tell you that it is a digital picture frame.

I preloaded it with pictures of her baby, pictures of us as kids, pictures of my parents.

Her husband said it will make her cry, then it will make my mom cry, then it will make me cry.
He is probably right on all counts. Though I might cry before any of them.

After that gathering, I will come home and finish making twice-baked potatoes for the dinner at my aunt's house. I baked them once already and made the filling. I need to restuff them and then I will bake them the second time at my aunt's.
It's been a nice couple of days being off work and I am really looking forward to the next week of being off work. This is my REAL Christmas gift to myself. Just the chance to get my crap all in one pile before the year ends and to not feel rushed and pressured about it.

I hope everyone else has as nice a day as I will. I will be exactly where I want to be today, and I hope you get to do the same. And if not, I hope you at least get to be with people who can make your day a little merrier.

(That is me on the right in that picture. My sister is on the left. Circa... 1976?? Which would put me at about 5 and my sister about 8. I wish my mom had written dates on the back of photos.)