I just finished finishing the first draft of the Pamela Dean interview; I'm not sure why I had been putting it off, because it was just a delight reading through her responses to my questions and crafting a conversation between us. I've just sent her off a few more questions; once she answers those, I think we'll have a very nice interview ready for SH.
I have a mellow day planned. I'm going to prep the turkey for tomorrow's dinner (we have 14+ people coming, including two little kids! It feels so Thanksgiving-y :-), and the portobello mushroom appetizer. I'm also making the cranberry sauce, and gravy, but that's it -- everything else is being brought by others. Should make for a very relaxed and delicious meal. The turkey recipe is from my friend Samantha, a marinated spice rub which is then stuffed with cloved apples, on a bed of red onions. If it comes out well, I'll post the recipe here. I'm looking forward to trying it...though I can't quite remember how long I'm supposed to bake a 14-pound turkey (at 300, according to Sam's recipe). Advice? My inclination is something like 6-7 hours, but I'm just not sure. I'm pretty sure there's a simple formula for this, but I don't remember what it is.
The rest of the day is for: cleaning, laundry, reading some books on Judaism and making notes (outside reading for workshop, hopefully helpful to rewriting "Challah"), continuing to read the Starlight anthology, and perhaps grading some quizzes and/or revising the Soros essays. I am slowly but steadily working through the stack of 'things I need to do before I can leave town' -- so far, it still looks under control. Fingers crossed.
My bedroom is a disaster area; I think I'll leave it for tomorrow, since I can always close the door if I must. But the kitchen and my desk must be cleaned today (the desk especially, as I suspect there are bills to pay buried in there somewhere). The kitchen has odd dribs and drabs of candlewax all over the place; some are red, left over from the Christmas candles Carol and I made a few weeks ago, some are golden-green, from the Thanksgiving candles I made yesterday. I've found that it's really pretty fun and easy to make candles in wine glasses; I made one in a deep wineglass yesterday, and two in wide martini glasses (takes a little more care to get the wick stable, but not too bad); they burn beautifully. I was a little afraid of lighting them, until I realized that if the 200 degree molten wax I'd poured into them hadn't shattered them, then lighting them wasn't likely to do so either. :-) I also made a molded candle that slid easily out of its mold -- I'm still fighting one of the molded candles from last time, the one in the big hexagonal mold. I have not yet admitted defeat, however.
Okie -- back to work. It's funny how the concept of 'weekend' has pretty much disappeared from my brain. All days are work days now. That's okay, though. :-)
4:00. Well, I haven't made so much progress on my list, but a bit. The cooking started with some frustration -- I realized that instead of buying a whole turkey, I had actually bought one of those turkey-breast-only deals. Bah, humbug. I thought about going back and buying a real turkey, but my freezer isn't large enough to store the one I bought. Sigh. It's probably for the best in some sense, since most people seem to want white meat these days, and while I prefer dark, white is better for me. But I just know it's not going to be as tasty as it could have been. Ah well. I did prep it, and it's quietly marinating/thawing in the fridge now. I made the cranberry sauce, and did my dishes, and cleaned and vacuumed the dining and living rooms.
I also finished the Starlight anthology, which was good all the way through. Highly recommended. I'd actually read the last story, by Maureen McHugh, before, so that was a bit of a disappointment, but what can you do? It's done, though, and I just have to review the second one before I do Patrick's interview. I'm not sure I know what to ask him, though. After the first 'How did you pick so many good stories, anyway?' question, what do you ask an editor?
Goals for the rest of the evening: Finish at least one of the Judaism books and take notes on it. Clean the kitchen. Clean the bathroom. That's what needs to get done; anything else is gravy. No, wait; I'm making that tomorrow...
Okay, sorry sorry. Don't hit me. I'm kind of tired, and that makes me silly. I'll go hide in my closet now...
11:00. Yes, I'm updating for the third time today. Do I need a life? Well, no, but maybe I should be doing something more exciting on a Saturday night...especially considering I didn't even come close to everything I was supposed to do today. Oh well. With any luck, I'll survive. As long as I remember to put the turkey in the oven at the right time tomorrow, I shouldn't be in too much trouble. :-) And as soon as my caramelized onions cool down a little, I'll be covering them in plastic wrap and putting them in the fridge and going to bed. So hopefully I'll be able to get up early and get some real work done.
There's a lot of really dumb tv on Saturday night, y'know that? I was watching while prepping some decorations for the party. Here's a trick -- if you stick cloves in oranges (I usually do four stripes, quartering the orange), they're nice and smelly, right? But they have a tendency to get moldy after a week or so (sooner in some areas). You can bake them in a warm oven overnight, and they turn a dark brown and dry enough that they keep nicely for up to six weeks. A good Halloween/Thanksgiving decoration. And if you make slices in the orange before baking, those slices peel back and dry; they look cool, sort of like a medieval jester's sleeve.
An even simpler thing to do is to take apples and oranges, hollow out the top and put tea lights in them. You may need to shave the bottom off the oranges to keep them stable. They make great cheap candleholders -- I got a bag of apples for a dollar, and a box of tea lights for a few bucks. Enough to just cover the place in seasonal candlelight.
Am I a big geek? Apparently in more ways than one...maybe I should go code some HTML so I don't get too mindlessly craft-y. Crafts are addictive; maybe because you don't have to think so hard once you get the hang of them (though they're often very frustrating and difficult while you're learning). Of course, HTML is really the same way -- and honestly, probably easier. I can teach someone basic HTML in an hour; crocheting takes a lot more practice.
By the way, I was talking to Kevin a little while ago and said I might steal one of his shirts when I'm out there Tuesday -- and he said, "Do you really not have any of my shirts?" And I claimed I didn't...until I thought about it a minute and realized that of course I did. In particular, there's a green flannel one that is almost identical to one I owned that we ended up exchanging a few years ago, in sentimental circumstances. I have no idea how I forgot that. I'm wearing it now, and I am much warmer. Which, of course, has nothing to do with the fact that it's flannel. :-)
Okay, I think I'm still up just 'cause of inertia -- time to put myself to bed. Good night moon, good night stars, good night munchkins.