duncandahusky: (Ky00t Duncan)
Wow. This may be the longest I've gone without a substantive public post to LiveJournal since I started this journal. What has happened since I last updated? Here's the short version:
  • Midwest FurFest happened. It was a great convention, though it was the usual blur for me. It was my second and final year as convention chairman (MFF has a tradition of two-year terms for its chairmen). I didn't accomplish everything I would have liked, but I feel that I was able to keep the convention on its upward trend and overall people seem to be very happy. How do I know? Well, we've got this nifty survey up, and if you take it you can win a free room night at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare! My biggest personal regret from the convention is that it sounds like there was one hell of a party in our suite on Sunday night but I was just so exhausted and done with socializing that I wound up taking a nice relaxing bath and going to bed early. Oh, and rest assured that I will not be disappearing from Midwest Furfest staff! I will be taking over the position of Hotel Liaison for MFF 2010, just as we're going into a new hotel. Whee!

  • Thanksgiving happened. We were pleased to welcome Roho, Genet, Bander, Shawn, Shadowstalker, and Tarin over for Thanksgiving dinner, with a delicious turkey made by [livejournal.com profile] takaza's mom. The food was delicious, and the company was fantastic! Incidentally, if you were at Midwest FurFest, you might have met Dan's mom - she was Staff Liaison, and her job was to go around the convention and make sure that folks who were stuck in one location got an occasional snack and drink and had everything they needed. She was a tremendous help during the convention and I'm so glad she was able to make it!

  • Dan's birthday happened. We rounded up a bunch of folks and went out for dinner at Wildfire Restaurant, which was really excellent. Dan ordered the martini flight (!) and even drank a few of them. Great steaks, and really tasty desserts.

  • A doctor's visit happened. I found out that what I thought was carpal tunnel is in fact tendonitis. This led to a nice cortisone shot (ow) and orders to wear an arm brace for two weeks. I'll be living on Advil for a while, I think.

  • And finally, a brief visit down to Urbana happened. [livejournal.com profile] mirkowuff's neighborhood revived the "Candlestick Lane" tradition on short notice, so he threw a small short-notice party to celebrate. We had a lovely time and got to see some great old friends and meet some new folks as well. It was a very pleasant weekend.

So now we're pretty much caught up. What's coming up? Well, we're going to dog-sit this weekend, and hopefully visit either Evanston or Milwaukee to go to The Spice House and do some restocking. We're flying down to South Carolina for Christmas. And of course there's Wuffmeet coming up, for which we really need to start making specific plans for food. December is a trainwreck, as always, and it doesn't look like January will be much better! But we're having fun and all is right with the world, regardless.
duncandahusky: (Mmmm...beer)
I'm sad to say there won't be one this year, for the first time in several years.

Between the stress of waking up early, working 12-hour days, and playing the gracious host, I realized that I wasn't really enjoying the parties the way I used to. Additionally, [livejournal.com profile] takaza is basically going to be working second shift in his job with the convention, and he was the one who really helped make these happen - I wouldn't want to host a party without him.

This makes me kind of sad, because I loved the company and it was always fun to find new and interesting (and tasty!) potables. But I also realized that the time spent hosting was time that I wasn't able to socialize with my other friends who are hosting their own parties (I can think of several ongoing parties I've had to miss every year due to the conflict!). I'm hoping that by taking a break I can maybe be a little more social and enjoy the company of friends who I don't get to see as often as I'd like. We'll see how things go.
duncandahusky: (Tom and Dan)
And now, your Memorial Day weekend wrap-up. Holy cow, what a weekend. How good was it? It's Wednesday and I'm still feeling worn out! It was all worth it, though.

First there was Friday, and dinner with friends... )

On Saturday, it was time to party! )

Sunday brought brunch, games, and booze! )

On Monday, I was on a boat, y'all... )

Yesterday and today have been tough - things quickly got thorny at work, and on top of that I'm still drained from the weekend. I'll recover (eventually), and things seem to be improving slightly at work - that helps. I'm looking forward to a nice, quiet weekend with nothing planned. Both Dan and I could use a quiet day or two at home doing a whole lot of nothing!
duncandahusky: (Crochet)
Busy times before, and busy times ahead! It was a very full weekend, but we had a lot of fun.

On Friday, [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I met up with [livejournal.com profile] roho and [livejournal.com profile] genet for dinner at Las Vegas Diner in Antioch, then retired back to their place to watch The Big Lebowski (with white Russians in hand, naturally). It was my first time seeing it, and it was every bit of what I have come to expect from the Coen brothers. I enjoyed it, even if it seemed like half of the movie's scenes could have been cut and left the main plotline intact. We also made a quick run to Wal Mart and picked up some nice lamps for our new bedroom set. I really should post some pictures of it now that we have everything in place.

We were slow to get started on Saturday, eventually leaving the house a little before 5 PM to drive around and look at rental house possibilities. We're not unhappy with where we are now, but we know that we could do better if we must rent (and we agreed that we're at least a year away from buying). We looked at some nice places in Wauconda, then on our way back stumbled across this jaw-dropper of a rental house. 4,000 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths with an in-ground pool on 6.5 acres in a very rural setting. Holy cats! Even stranger is the fact that it's an $850,000 house that they're willing to rent for $2,500 per month. I swear, if Dan and I could find a couple of suitable roommates, we'd jump on that sucker in a heartbeat.

On Sunday, Dan stayed home to deal with some workstuff while I hitched a ride with Roho and Genet down to [livejournal.com profile] colliedoc and [livejournal.com profile] hypersnazz's place for Straif's belated birthday party. A good time was had by all, and I was very happy that the homemade caponata that I made was well received. Straif cooked up some tasty chicken katsu and teriyaki burgers, and Genet's bourbon chocolate torte was simply sinful. We headed out on the early side so I got to spend some time with Dan before turning in.

Monday it was back to the grind at work. I spent the evening catching up on Midwest FurFest projects, answering e-mails and putting the finishing touches on some projects. Things are really coming together well, and I've got high hopes for this year.

Looking ahead this week, we're getting together with [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus, Roho and Genet tomorrow to finally watch The Amazing Race season premiere. Rumor has it we might be hosting a lion this weekend, then on Sunday is an in-person Midwest FurFest staff meeting at the Westin. I may not have time to sleep, but at least I'll be kept busy...
duncandahusky: (huskypuppy)
[livejournal.com profile] takaza and I are halfway through a lovely weekend in Columbus, Ohio, staying with [livejournal.com profile] fordshepherd and [livejournal.com profile] kai_darkwolf. We were able to scoot out of Chicago earlier than expected, at about 11 AM on Friday. Traffic was surprisingly light and we made it to Columbus in less than seven hours. Because we are horrible guests, we surprised Ford and Jack with a call saying we would be earlier than expected, but they handled it with aplomb. After some pleasant chatting and a tour of their lovely house. It reminds me of how much I really loved my bungalow in Joliet, subsiding foundation, collapsed sewer tile, and all. For dinner we went to the Elevator Brewing and Draught Haus. The food was quite tasty, though the beer was somewhat lacking. The company more than made up for that, though. And yes, visiting their place reminds me that we need a dog(s), since I'm really enjoying being around Nathan, Pete, and the visiting Jazz.

Yesterday we had a somewhat early start as we met up with Rob and Dean (alas, I can't recall Rob's furry handle, but Dean is SeetherWolf) at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) and an entertaining tour of the CSI exhibit ("Darn, I left my syrup of ipecac at home!"). After wandering around a bit we adjourned for a tasty lunch at Ted's Montana Grill where we amused our waitron muchly with silliness. The evening brought a great party with about 15 people, some truly amazing marinated and grilled pork tenderloins, and lots of beer. Life was good. I was amused to hear that Dan knows Dean from about ten years ago (and hey [livejournal.com profile] steviemaxwell - Dean says hi!). Furry fandom is indeed a small town. It was great to see some familiar faces ([livejournal.com profile] alaskanwolf, [livejournal.com profile] kwik, [livejournal.com profile] truegrave9) and make some new friends.

As for today? Probably a lot more laid back. We'll seek some lunch eventually, maybe meet up with Kwik, and there were rumors of going to see a movie. Maybe. Who knows? We're having a blast, that's all that matters. I'm keeping an ongoing gallery of the weekend, sure to be updated more as the weekend goes on.

On a more serious note, I'm keeping an eye on Hurricane Gustav. Even though my links to New Orleans are somewhat tenuous (a year and a half at Tulane University over twenty years ago), I still have wonderful memories of my time there. [livejournal.com profile] genet, I'm keeping your family in my thoughts and I'm hoping everyone rides out the storm OK. The same goes for everyone who has those they hold dear who are in the storm's path. After the terrible events of three years ago, I dearly hope that there were some good lessons learned and that those will be well-applied over the coming days.
duncandahusky: (Tom and Dan)
Oh my goodness. Now that was a heck of a holiday weekend!

On Friday night, the out-of-towners arrived... )
On Saturday, the party really started... )
On Sunday, things were more relaxed, but much fun was had... )
On Monday, we were sad to see folks go... )
What an amazing weekend. Thanks so much to Ford, Jack, and Kwik for coming up from Columbus, and thanks to all of our great friends for making this such an enjoyable weekend for us. I hope you all had as good a time as we did, and I look forward to our next party...just as soon as we've fully recovered from this one :-)


May. 26th, 2008 01:57 am
duncandahusky: (huskypuppy)
It's very, very late, and I'm just thinking about the last two days. A fantastic party, followed by a day of relaxing, games, and a crappy movie at a great drive-in theater with good friends. This has been a wonderful weekend, and I'm looking forward to spending a bit more time with friends tomorrow before we have to get back to mundane things like doing laundry and housecleaning.

If I'm lucky I'll be able to sleep in come morning, though...
duncandahusky: (Chewy!)
After all that hemming and hawing about what to serve on Saturday, we wound up punting and changing the proposed menu completely. [livejournal.com profile] takaza got up shockingly early (9 AM) and by 11 AM we were on the road running errands. We decided to make a big ol' pot of chili and supplement it with tasty accoutrements like rice, queso fresco, and chopped onions. I made a batch of homemade cornbread that unfortunately not only turned out dry and flavorless but, when I was trying to get it out of the Pyrex glass pan, the pan slipped and landed on the inside of my forearm, giving me a large, nasty-looking burn (fortunately, it only looks nasty - it's about as painful as a sunburn).

We wound up with 12 guests in attendance, including Dan's family. We had a really fun time, and there was good food, good beer, good wine, and good company. The evening seemed to fly by. We finally said good night to everyone by midnight. As usual, we didn't get to play as many games as Dan would have liked - next time, we need to focus less on the food and more on the games.

Sunday was delightfully lazy. We snacked off leftovers, and finally got around to watching the Super Bowl about an hour after it had started, Tivo-style. That made the game (and the commercials) much more enjoyable, and since I didn't really have a favorite to win, it was nice to just watch and appreciate some good football.

This week has been crawling by, as I knew it would - don't the weeks before vacations always slow down? I fully intend to take some work home with me this afternoon, though, since the forecast is for 8"-12" of snow up here, with the worst of it falling between 4 AM and noon tomorrow. If it's really bad, I have no intention of trying to get in to work. That's fine, though - I have a stack of about 50 SOP's I need to read by the end of the week, and I can do it at home or here.

By the way, on a complete tangent: Does anyone else use Del.icio.us? I can be found on there under the username DuncanHusky. I tend to use it to bookmark good recipes that I want to come back to, funny comics, and other random things (random example: the amusing comic "I Am a Host at The Olive Garden").
duncandahusky: (Bruno)
I started the day feeling completely out of kilter. Long lists of stuff to get done for MFF and for work, weaving in and out of each other, all seemingly insurmountable. After spending the morning across the campus and having gotten a very tasty chicken avocado wrap for lunch, things are looking much better. There's still a ton of stuff that I have to get done, but it's no longer quite so scary.

We had a very enjoyable weekend. Friday evening we had a lovely dinner with [livejournal.com profile] genet (unfortunately, [livejournal.com profile] roho's soul was still being consumed by his employer), then got to relax and unwind a bit. Following a lazy Saturday morning, [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I did a bit of cooking for [livejournal.com profile] daveqat's birthday party - Dan made cheezy mashed potatoes with bacon, and I made a warm potato-bacon salad (which was supposed to be a warm salad with bacon and Jerusalem artichoke, but alas, Garden Fresh had no Jerusalem artichokes in stock). For the bacon trifecta, I made pig candy, which was served with brie and sliced pears. Most people who tried it really liked it. The party on Saturday night was quite a lot of fun, and much booze was consumed.

On Sunday we met [livejournal.com profile] mirkowuff and [livejournal.com profile] perro for lunch at Osteria di Tramonto (yum!) then gave Perro a tour of the new MFF hotel. As he mentioned in his entry today, it's going to be tricky: we have more space to work with, but the way that the space is divided up makes things rather tricky. I think that Perro will do a great job. By the way, Perro has also been named my Vice-Chair for this year. While traditionally that has been a role for the next chairman, in this case I don't care about that. I'm more interested in making sure that we have someone who can reliably answer questions and act in the chairman's role when I am unavailable.

Next up was the first MFF staff meeting of the year. I didn't quite get it in under an hour, but I was close. We covered a lot of ground, and got a lot accomplished. Staff members, if you didn't see the minutes on the staff mailing list, they have also been posted to the staff area of the Midwest FurFest forums. Sunday evening I got a bit of unwelcome news that is going to take some time to figure out how to deal with. Part of the fun of being con chair, I guess.

Finally, I just finished registering for Furry Connection North. We're still working on the accommodations, but we should have that nailed down in the next few days. Woohoo!
duncandahusky: (Inquisitive)
My goodness, where to begin. I've been remiss in updating things (yes Mom, I know :-) so I have quite a bit to write about.

Last week was a bit of a blur - mainly just getting back into the swing of things after the previous short work week. Saturday was [livejournal.com profile] takaza's birthday party! After kicking around ideas of how to celebrate his birthday, he finally settled on spending time with friends, so a party it was. I was a bit worried about the weather - a nasty mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain - but most everyone got to us OK and everyone got home safely (sorry you got lost, [livejournal.com profile] awfulhorrid and [livejournal.com profile] bookwurm! We'll see you again soon, though, I hope. Barbarian, check your e-mail!). We had about 20 folks, various snacks and desserts, and three huge pots of chicken and dumplings. We got in some Lupus in Tabula, which was fun, but not quite enough games - we'll need to work on that at New Year's.

On Sunday I had lunch with [livejournal.com profile] unclevlad and [livejournal.com profile] datahawk at Osteria di Tramonto (yum! The roasted duck cavatelli is to die for!) then we toured the Westin Chicago North Shore to give them an idea of the Security challenges for the coming year. It was a great meeting and there was a lot of good discussion. I'm feeling really good about Security for next year, and I hope that Vlad is feeling a bit more comfortable with me in the chairman role. Afterwards I stopped by the Hyatt Woodfield to pick up a bag of mine that they found after MFF (yay!), then picked up some dinner for Dan and me on the way home.

Yesterday Dan took a day off to celebrate his birthday with a little time away from work. We had agreed that this Christmas we would get a single big item for ourselves, then get each other a smaller gift. Dan went out and bought that item yesterday: an 8 cubic foot chest freezer. We got a good deal through Best Buy on a Frigidaire that Consumer Reports recommended. To go with that he also got a Food Saver vacuum bag sealer, which will be a big help if we're going to be laying in a supply of frozen stuff. We started things out by breaking up a 4-lb. tray of chicken breasts into small packages, and I'm pleased to say that everything worked splendidly! I expect that the 20 feet of bag stock that they supply probably won't last very long, though, so we'll need to pick up more of that.
Now we need to experiment a bit and see what other fun stuff we can do with the Food Saver (sous-vide, anyone?).

So today, Dan is flying off to Detroit for a few days of training, weather permitting. Although it'll be weird being around the house alone, the quiet time can be nice, too. I have a couple of projects I want to work on, and maybe a bit of shopping as well. So, not a very exciting week, but after last month who needs excitement?
duncandahusky: (Tom and Dan)
Yep, it was a weekend so big it's going to need two posts!

Going into this weekend, both [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I were somewhat disappointed. For the past two years we have hosted Wuffmeet on Memorial Day weekend, a gathering of 30-or-so friends at a local hotel for a weekend of hanging out, good food, and lots of fun. This year, between conflicting schedules, lack of money, and general lack of interest (perhaps it was too soon after New Year's?), Wuffmeet just didn't come together. So we went to Plan B: Hanging out at Duncan and Takaza's. We spent a good bit of last week cleaning the house, shopping, and making plans. I'm very pleased with the way things turned out, and I think Dan is too.

On Friday, after a few last-minute cleaning tasks in the kitchen, I joined [livejournal.com profile] roho, [livejournal.com profile] genet, [livejournal.com profile] midwestcougar, and [livejournal.com profile] nyuni over at The Firkin for dinner. It was a pleasure to see Nyuni again (who apparently I had met at MFF a few years back, but it was during one of the "Chairman's Receptions", so I was a little hazy on that :-) He's a fellow homebrewer and has a fine appreciation for beer, and The Firkin is the perfect place for that! Dinner was tasty and the beers were plentiful. It was quite enjoyable. Once I got home, I put the pork butts in to brine and put a nice, spicy rub on the beef brisket and put them all into the fridge.

On Saturday morning, I woke up unconscionably early. This gave me time to make coffee, catch up on e-mail and LJ, and generally enjoy a quiet hour, before going to work on the smoking. We had two eight-pound pork butts and a nearly-nine-pound beef brisket that needed to be smoked. After getting the charcoal lit and well-stoked in the firebox, I added chunks of hickory and apple wood. After a few hours, it looked like this:

As you can see, it was a bit rainy, but fortunately I had positioned the grill under our balcony and covered the balcony with a tarp, so the grill stayed nice and dry. I put the meat on to smoke at 8 AM and was able to follow the temperature of both the meat and the smoking chamber using a handy gadget I quick-ordered from Amazon on Thursday (bless you, Amazon Prime - I {heart} $2 next-day delivery). At 1:30 PM, I pulled everything off the smoker and wrapped each one in foil and put them into an over at 300 degrees F to finish off the cooking. After re-rigging the grill a bit, I started up a couple of charcoal chimneys in the main grill portion and then used those coals to grill 30 hamburgers and 16 bratwursts.

As expected, most of our guests showed up after the projected 2 PM lunch time, but over the next few hours we were joined by (big breath here) [livejournal.com profile] roho, [livejournal.com profile] genet, [livejournal.com profile] midwestcougar, [livejournal.com profile] nyuni, [livejournal.com profile] serinthia, [livejournal.com profile] todd_riverden, [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus, [livejournal.com profile] siriuswolfstar, [livejournal.com profile] simbalion, [livejournal.com profile] wyldekyttin, [livejournal.com profile] uncle_vlad, [livejournal.com profile] datahawk, [livejournal.com profile] foxish, [livejournal.com profile] steviemaxwell, [livejournal.com profile] magicpaw, [livejournal.com profile] rcking, [livejournal.com profile] nymphara, [livejournal.com profile] rustitobuck, Dan's mom, [livejournal.com profile] luckytheevildog, and [livejournal.com profile] quasiskunk (I think that's everyone).

In an additional bizarre and random occurrence, I got a call from my sister that my mom, who was flying from Portland, Oregon to Greenville, South Carolina via O'Hare, was going to miss her flight and probably be stranded in Chicago for the night. Right after we had finished slicing the brisket and pulling all the pork and we were about to start setting the food out, I got the call from Mom that she was at O'Hare. I jumped into the car and about the 90-minute round trip to the airport and Mom got to hang out with some of the folks who were at the party (she mainly stayed in the garage "smoking lounge"). So it was a weird twist, but it was a real pleasure to see her again.

The rest of the evening was filled with Apples to Apples, consumption of Beverages, and general merriment. Thanks to all the folks who brought side dishes (Robert's orzo salad was tasty!), desserts (Jaycee's ever-full boxes of cupcakes!) and drinks. That many people in our little townhouse gets a bit crazy, but we have so much fun hosting these parties and I hope everyone had as great a time as we did.

Next post: Sunday and Monday - Las Vegas, games, werewolves, and new addictions!
duncandahusky: (Inquisitive)
Wow, what a weekend!

After a week of preparations and a morning of frantic cleaning, by 3 PM or so on Saturday we finally had the house ready for our Housewarming Party. I decided to commemorate that fact by taking the camera out and creating a virtual tour of our new home.

[livejournal.com profile] siriuswolfstar and [livejournal.com profile] simbalion showed up early, followed shortly after by [livejournal.com profile] roho, [livejournal.com profile] genet, and [livejournal.com profile] steviemaxwell (welcome back, Stevie!). Shortly thereafter followed a slew of other folks, and lots and lots of food, booze, sodas, and more food. For the entree, I made up about ten pounds of stuffed pork roast (see the following entry for this). We started things at about 5 PM and eventually kicked the last few folks out at 2 AM. We had a lot of fun, played games of Fluxx, Apples to Apples, and Lupus in Tabula, packed entirely too many people into our tiny living room, and everyone ate really, really well. Thanks to everyone who attended!

On Sunday, I woke up far too early at 7:30 AM and couldn't get back to sleep. Unfortunately, the drapes in the master bedroom aren't nearly as light-blocking as we had hoped, so we're going to supplement them with some inexpensive blinds from Home Depot or someplace similar, the theory being that since the drapes will usually be closed, it doesn't much matter what the blinds look like, so long as they block as much light as possible. Anyway, eventually we got everyone up and moving by noon and made the (short) pilgrimage up to Antioch to indulge in breakfast at my favorite diner in the area, Las Vegas. After an excellent meal, we dropped Sirius and Simba off at the train station and spent the remainder of the afternoon and into the evening hanging out at our place and watching TV with Roho and Genet. We caught up on a few episodes of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations", "Dinner Impossible", and the first episode of the BBC's new Robin Hood series (great casting, great sets, crappy modern editing. At least they kept it to only one "You've got to be kidding me!" moment). Then, since they were there anyway, R&G stayed and watched the latest episode of "The Amazing Race" as well. It was a deliciously lazy and unproductive afternoon.

And now we have a new week. We have dinner engagements on Tuesday and Friday of this week, at a Brazilian steakhouse (note to self: don't eat breakfast or lunch tomorrow) and at a new steakhouse in Wheeling. It's gonna be a carnivorous kind of week!

I'm thinking that napping at my desk would be bad, but man I sure wish I could!
duncandahusky: (Honda Element)
Friday's here, and it's just when I needed it! It hasn't been too bad of a week, but I'm looking forward to the weekend and getting more stuff done.

On Wednesday, I picked up [livejournal.com profile] takaza from work. The blinds we ordered (for the stairwell, kitchen, guest bedroom, and Dan's office) had come in and were too heavy and bulky to carry on the train. We loaded everything up and headed over to Mitsuwa Marketplace. See, we found our old rice cooker in all of the boxes and Dan made some rice with it. Which burned, the way it always had when we used it before. This is just completely unacceptable, particularly since we make rice two or three times a week. Having envied [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus his nifty rice cooker, we went to Mitsuwa and picked up a Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy rice cooker We even double-checked the price on Amazon, which I didn't realize offers a handy mobile interface. Surprisingly, Mitsuwa beat Amazon's price by a good $50.00, so we bought it on the spot, along with a good supply of sushi rice. Afterwards we wandered up to Wauconda and found a lovely coffee shop there, Honey Hill Coffee Company. The guy who owns the place is very nice, makes a good cappuccino, and they sell Intelligentsia coffee beans at a reasonable price. Oh, and they're open until 7 PM most nights. See ya Cafe' Barista, I've got a new local favorite!

Last night, [livejournal.com profile] posicat stopped by after work and he, Dan and I caravanned up to our storage unit in Lake Villa (though we were delayed due to a train accident). We stumbled a bit on the icy pavement, but we managed to empty almost all of our stuff out of the storage unit; there's just an office chair, a bicycle, and car ramps to be removed (both Elements and Posi's van were stuffed, so they just wouldn't fit). I'll be going by tonight right after work and grabbing those last few items. Once we offloaded everything into the garage, Posi and I went out and, um, donated a few items we didn't need anymore to the dumpster (Mom, remember that TV Dad got from a co-worker in Greenville? It's finally gone!). We got to Charcoal Delight five minutes after it closed at 9 PM, so instead we detoured around to Long John Silver's and got Dan the chicken planks that he loves. While we were gone, he was nice enough to move most of the stuff in from the garage and pull my car in off the street and into the garage. I love my husband! We ate at around 10 PM (ugh), and finally got to sleep sometime around 11. I'm dragging just a wee bit today because of that.

As for the weekend: I hope to put up some blinds tomorrow morning, then do a bit of shopping and prep for a party we're attending. It's a potluck, and I’m thinking making a couple of roast chickens. Sunday brings the Midwest FurFest post-mortem/staff meeting/what-have-you. I'll probably try to finish putting up blinds on Sunday morning before that. We're slowly getting the place together; Dan's desk is now in place in his office (though it's still frigid down there, and will be until the week of February 5, when they come to fix the window). Which reminds me, we need to find a way to seal up that window temporarily. I'm thinking a few more screws and some silicone sealant will do it. We still need drapes or blinds for the living room window, and to decide if we're going to drop the large chunk of change necessary to get a true blackout shade for the master bedroom. Wow, I'd forgotten how expensive fun home ownership can be (even if you're only renting).
duncandahusky: (License)
So, on Friday it was a fellow contractor's last day so we went out for lunch at the very tasty Opa! Estiatorio in Vernon Hills. I had the moussaka, and it was delicious. I had come into work a little early so I was able to leave at 2:30 PM. I swung over to the Lake Bluff train station and got there just as the [livejournal.com profile] takaza's train pulled in. After a brief stop at the Lake Forest oasis for gas and munchies, we were on the road towards Champaign-Urbana! Of course, until we stopped, about five miles later, as traffic slowed to a crawl. It turns out that the Tri-State Tollway was pretty much backed up its entire length from Lake Cook Road south. We headed off-road and wound up taking Route 45 all the way down to I-80. Yeah, it took three hours (ugh), but at least we were moving most of the time! From there it was a short trip down to Chambana. We got in at around 7:30 or so and went out for dinner with [livejournal.com profile] mirkowuff to a small Italian restaurant. Afterwards we went back to his place and hung out for a bit, then went to bed.

On Saturday we were slow getting going, slow enough that even with a late start [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus was able to join us for lunch when he arrived. I was reminded why I really should avoid the ButterBurger at Culver's, but the rest of the meal was OK. From there we went in search of a Christmas tree for Mirko's house, ending up at the local grocery store. That was fine, since we needed to pick up some groceries anyway. We went back to Mirko's place and did some decorating while he made chili, then folks started showing up for his annual Candlestick Lane party. We house-lighting went well, and then everyone retired indoors, out of the cold and snow, and a night of tasty potables and lots and lots of food ensued. It was a lot of fun.

On Sunday, it was back to the House of Lard for the traditional brunch. Excellent company, and a very tasty meal made it a nice way to cap off the weekend. The trip back was surprisingly quick, taking just a hair more than two hours. If nothing else, this confirmed for me that working a half day before we leave for South Carolina for Christmas is a Very Bad Idea, since traffic gets pretty much retarded very early on. We spent the rest of the day doing laundry, putzing on laptops, watching the Survivor Finale (Boo! I was cheering for Rafe) and chatting with [livejournal.com profile] rustitobuck, who stopped by to make forty or fifty pounds of cookie dough.

Looking ahead to this week, we hope to be somewhat social during the week with a few friends, though I note that there is an impending snow storm on Wednesday/Thursday that could really complicate matters. And next weekend? No plans at all, gloriously! We'll be relaxing before we drive down to SC the following weekend to spend Christmas with my family.

And now we're up to date! Back to work I go...
duncandahusky: (Amused)
Hmm. Sox tonight, but also Amazing Race. Good thing we have Tivo...

So. The weekend. Saturday was a busy day for us. [livejournal.com profile] takaza got up early (10 AM!) and we made the drive that I know so well up to my employer for the biannual Open House. It was pretty neat, actually - Dan got to see some of what goes into manufacturing tablets and capsules and hopefully got a little better insight into what I'm supposed to be doing up here every day. After the tour I showed up for my timeslot for the department "entertainment booth", which is to say a toy 4-foot-tall basketball hoop in the middle of a hallway. Compared to other departments (DDR setup with full amp and mixing board, baseball with radar gun, free popcorn) we looked pretty crappy, but the kids seemed to like it when they made a took a couple of shots and got a free trinket. As a nice surprise, on Monday my supervisor instructed me to add the two hours we were there to my timecard, so that was a nice little bit of overtime.

That evening, we picked up [livejournal.com profile] unclevlad and gave him a ride to the party in honor of some-event-in-his-life-which-is-not-his-birthday, held at
[livejournal.com profile] emrldgirrl's place. The party was fun, and I had a good time even though I'll admit I spent the majority of the evening hiding on the balcony. I don't want anyone to think this is a criticism of the party, which was fabulous - it's just that the loud music got to me a bit. That's my own personal peeve, though; everyone else seemed to be having a good time, so hey - it's all good. We headed out relatively early at 11 PM, just before the serious drinking started, I'm told :-) The blueberry cobbler I made seemed to go over well, so that was good.

Sunday? Well, I had all of the great things I wanted to do on Sunday. In reality, we relaxed around the house and generally were lazy. I did make some peanut butter cookies, which were quite tasty, and made dinner. Dan printed up some Registration postcards for me and was kind enough to grab them on Monday morning on his way to work, then cut them to size, stamp them, and mail them for me. I have the bestest husband!

This week should be a lot less hectic than the last. [livejournal.com profile] datahawk is couch-surfing with us because it works out well for her work schedule; four people living in Linnaeus' apartment may get a bit close, but I think we can work it out, plus it's always a pleasure to see her (occasionally) smiling face ;-) On Thursday Dan and I are having dinner with [livejournal.com profile] chouette to celebrate her putting MFF Programming to bed - well, theoretically, anyway. And there's always more work to do for MFF...

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