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November 12, 2002: The list dwindles

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A while ago we bought season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD and industriously worked our way through the entire set. A few weeks ago, Richard tracked down season 2 and in the days between our travels recently, we've been watching episode after episode. It's been an eye-opening experience, considering that at least we finally have some back-story for little comments made in recent episodes of the current season. Plus we both agree that we really wish we'd started watching this show long before last season, because it's become more and more obvious just how much we've missed.

Sunday, however, the last episode of season 2 ended and since season 3 doesn't come out on DVD til early January, our stint as twin couch potatoes has abruptly come to an end. This meant that we actually managed to get things accomplished during our few days off before the next stint of work (next up - training mollusks themselves, not just their handlers).

The house smells divinely of pumpkin bread, and despite the fact that I am still overfull from dinner, the scent is slowly driving me mad with hunger and it was only by sheer force of will that I managed to wrap up all four loaves and hastily stuff them into the freezer. I baked these four this afternoon and had intended to try to whip out four more this evening, but the fact that I only own 2 bread pans, and also the fact that they take an hour and a half to bake, made the decision to postpone future baking til this weekend much easier. The bread is for the church bazaar, which is being held in a bit less than two weeks. Long before I took this job with Benthic Creatures that requires us to be gone for days on end, I'd agreed to make something for them to sell. Pumpkin bread seemed like a wonderful idea. Of course I hadn't counted on the fact that having to smell pumpkin bread yet be unable to eat it is something slightly akin to torture.

Along with the bread, I'm also making sets of gift tags, mainly as an excuse to drag out my old embossing table, and also to play with glitter pens. Richard and I have so far managed to crank out about a dozen or so, but it's taking a bit of time. Right now I'm counting on bringing all the materials with me to work on in the hotel next week, unless I can somehow manage to whip out the rest this weekend. They're pretty, but time consuming. Next year I think I'll just stick to the bread.

Along with baking bread and making glittery, embossed gift tags, we've also managed to do quite a bit around the house. In the past few days, I cleaned all the bathrooms and tackled the kitchen while Richard vacuumed and mopped. We also managed to rewire and hang the new reading lights, build and hang a cabinet for the upstairs guest bathroom, hang a bunch of plants in the master bathroom above the tub, put all the hooks into the mug rack (which I painted probably a year ago but we've yet to hang), and get my car's oil changed. Plus we tried out a Czech restaurant that neither of us can ever remember going to before, and had some kind of marvelous thing made of flattened chicken breasts rolled around cheese and carrots and grapes with a mild curry sauce. When we were done with that the waiter handed us the dessert menus without even letting us decline them (smart guy, that waiter) and then trailed us to the dessert carousel where he patiently waited for us to stop drooling and select chocolate cream puffs and chocolate Napoleon.

Oh, the new reading lights! We'd wanted a pair of lights for the bedroom - one on either side of the bed - to serve as reading lamps (since quite often one of us ends up sitting up, engrossed in a book, for hours after the other has dropped off into the world of snores). And so in that big Toscano shopping spree we did recently (the same one that procured the world's coolest dragon-shaped ceramic teapot, the dragon that is now perched on the roof over our front door, the gargoyles on our computer monitors, and oh did I neglect to mention the gargoyle soap dishes? Did I also mention that we are not allowed to shop at Toscano anymore for a very, very long time?), we also splurged and bought a pair of these because how could two people addicted to dragons and gargoyles possibly live without them? The problem, however, is that they came with black electric cords, and we intended to hang them on a white wall. A quick consultation with my dad determined that it would be incredibly simple to just replace the power cords with white ones (including on/off switches) with a minimum of effort, so we headed for Home Depot to find all the necessary paraphernalia. We also had to get replacement globes because I managed to break one of them (yes I am just that talented).

Finding the globes and the replacement cords and switches and plugs and even white electrician's tape was the easy part. The hard part came when we tried to figure out just how to hang the lamps on the wall. It took three Home Depot guys a fair bit of time and intense discussion (complete with the opening of I don't know how many different packages of possible hangers to try them out) before we finally had something we hoped would work. And since it was Home Depot, we couldn't leave with only what we came for so we ended up detouring through the garden department. My excuse was that I wanted to find out if they carried white peach trees (turns out that the end of December is prime fruit-tree season. Go figure), but then we were face to face with all the ferns and before we knew what was happening, three of them insisted on coming home with us, because despite my far-too-many failures with them, I am nothing if not foolishly optimistic about my ability to keep ferns alive.

The lamps were hung yesterday and look awesome, plus they are exactly what we wanted. To break them in we've both spent several hours lounging in bed last night and this morning with books or laptops (did I mention we finally got a wireless network? How did we live without this? I have no clue.) The plants we hung give the master bathtub a sort of tropical look, although now that those three are up I'm eying the remaining available ceiling space and pondering the feasibility of adding just a few more.

Oh, and by the way, go pop by Richard's site and tell him congratulations. He got notification yesterday that he's sold his very first short story, which means that sometime soon he's going to be a actual (paid!) published author. Ever since he found out, at random intervals through the day he occasional blurts out "I sold a story!" and then we share a little happy dance or cheer. Yeah. We're not the least bit excited or anything.

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