Archive for the Holiday Category

No Christmas Movies before Thanksgiving

Posted in Entertainment, Holiday, Movies and Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2016 by urbannight

not-christmas-yetI like movies and watch a lot thanks to Netflix being WAY cheaper than cable.  I miss a few shows I like but it is much more affordable this way.  Because of that I have a few movie blogs I follow.  Today, only two days after Halloween, a Christmas movie review popped up in my feeds.

No thank you, I deleted it.  No Christmas before Thanksgiving.  It is bad enough seeing it in the stores before Halloween.  About the same time they start setting up for Halloween, the stores start to clear out and set up the Christmas tree section.  Some stores wait until after Halloween and use that space for the Christmas decorations.  Other stores, bigger store, I’m calling you out Wal-Mart, actually started putting out decorations before Halloween as well.

So I really don’t want to start seeing Christmas reviews before Thanksgiving.  I’m just not mentally prepared for it yet.  I’m not ready for Halloween to be over. I haven’t even thought about Thanksgiving.  It isn’t time to be torturing us with early Christmas propaganda.  We are still having the occasionally 70 something day out.  Non-specific winter movies seem to early now.

One exception I might make, Christmas time horror movies.  That seems like a natural bridge from Halloween to Christmas.  I always wanted to watch the 2006 remake of Black Christmas.black-christmas-2006-poster

Spider Priestess

Posted in Art, Holiday, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by urbannight
Spider Priestess

Spider Priestess

Is is scary that I can cobble together a very last second costume out of things I find in my purse and on my desk at a moment’s notice?

I really wasn’t prepared this year due to a dislocated elbow two weeks ago and a massive back ache, neck ache, headache, horrible sinuses, and terrible arm pain because I forgot to take a pain killer before bed last night. I was going to skip dressing up today but people seemed disappointed.

Turkey Day at Work

Posted in Food, Holiday, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2012 by urbannight

Today we have our turkey day at work.  The higher-ups get a Thanksgiving lunch catered in to us.  Despite bringing my camera to work, I totally forgot about it until I finished my meal.  Such sadness.  But I found some pictures that might do it justice.

The stuffing it the best part of the meal from these particular caterers. A drizzle of gravy, a dash of pepper, and you are done. No need to add salt to this dish. I always go back for seconds even though I shouldn’t. I will tell you why later.

I grew up being a potatoes girl.  As an adult, I’ve learned the joys of stuffing.  When I make my own, I start with stove top turkey stuffing.  I take the neck and giblets and cook them.  I add garlic, onion, celery seed to this pot.  It comes out like I put a proper garni bundle in with them without the fuss.  Then I dice them up, pull the meat off the neck, and use it in the stuffing.  I use a bit of the turkey juices to mix with the broth for the stuffing, toss in the meat, and add more sage, pepper, and cayenne to the mix.  Other wise, I just make according to the package.  Now, if I was able to skim off enough stuff from the pot of water in which I cooked the organs, I’ll use that water. It has to look like a good stock.   If it looks too ‘dirty’ then I’ll just use a chicken broth.  More often lately, I just use the chicken broth.

They make very good potatoes. I would say that, for the most part, you can’t ruin mashed potatoes. But the restaurants in Omaha manage to do just that. They leave nasty lumps in them to ‘prove’ they are real potatoes. I’m from Idaho, where the rule of thumb is that lumps in the potatoes are a sign of a lazy cook. Growing up, my job was the mashed potatoes. I used a hand masher and we didn’t add butter to the mix. We added two capfuls of milk to 5 potatoes. That was it.

I went back for seconds on the potatoes too.  Although, the way I’m feeling, I should have just had the seconds on the stuffing.

The corn was mixed with parsley. It was good corn. Touch of salt and pepper perfected it. But it wasn’t stand out corn. Just good average corn.

Add that to the dinner rolls, which were 5 different kinds of classy dinner rolls, the meal was 4 starches and one meat.  It could have used some sides that were less of a pure starch than these.  Corn at least had that clear hull over the kernel that is pure fiber.  Although the meat of the kernel has enough sugar starch that, like the potatoes, you really ought to count it as a bread serving rather than a veggie serving when balancing a meal.

This is where the meal falls apart. The turkey is just bad turkey. Every year. I couldn’t find a picture of turkey that looked as blah and bland as the turkey they serve.

They use those turkey breasts, of course.  They don’t cook enough whole turkeys for an office our size.  It’s much easier for caterers to use the packaged breasts.  But it tastes like they are using the chopped, processed stuff.  It definitely tastes like the kind that is injected with saline to plump it up and make it look good.  And even with the gravy, salt, and pepper, it still manages to taste awful.  I don’t know why I take a slice every time.  I guess I keep hoping that it will taste better this year.

The gravy is a very indifferent gravy.  Nothing special, very pale, very bland.  No seasoning at all.  It tastes okay on the potatoes with a bit of salt and pepper.  It tastes great on the stuffing with a bit of pepper.  It manages enhance the stuffing without masking any of the wonderful flavor of the stuffing.  It does NOTHING for the turkey, as I mentioned.

Now, as to why I make sure I get seconds . . . .

They seem to use two different caterers for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And one of them does not leave the leftovers.  They take it away with them.  Where it goes, I don’t know.  Maybe a food kitchen.  The thing is, the company pays for it all.  All the other catered events leave the food and we set up a second buffet the next day.  The entire office usually gets two meals out of what all the caterers send us for one meal.  No wonder Americans are so fat if everyone thinks that this is what people eat in one meal (rather than two).   SO, with stuffing THAT FANTASTIC, (so fantastic, I even like the celery in it and I hate cooked celery), I do make a point of getting seconds on the stuffing.

I worked out last night, I’ll go work out tonight.  I’ll try to burn off the second helping off stuffing.

I seem to be scaring people…

Posted in Entertainment, Hobby, Holiday, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2012 by urbannight

I seem to be scaring people at work today. In fact, they are grabbing their friends to bring them by to catch the reactions.

I don’t know why?

Am I not lovely?

Me and Yorick

Having a heart to heart w/ Yorick.

Backed up and bogged down.

Posted in Entertainment, Holiday, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2012 by urbannight

During the day, I sometimes find that I can’t ‘like’ posts and sometimes can’t get into the comments sections.  This drives me nuts and I have to wait and find the time when I can do it and get it to go though.

This can back up my blog replying and bog down my inbox.

Sometimes, when I get up in the middle of the night, I can crank through a bunch of it and get close to something resembling ‘caught up’.

That did not happen tonight as I typed some long comments.  That seriously slowed me down.

Friday, I’ll be heading out-of-town for 4 days.  My only lap top with a wireless card is OLD.  But it still usually lets me get online.  It is just a real pain to use.  So I may end up getting REALLY behind if I have to go four days without access.

I’ll use the hot tub at the lodge to console myself.  Hmmm, I wonder if I can get my Netflix to run on it… (the laptop, not the hot tub, that would just be weird).  And then there is all the photo taking I need to do.  But there may not be much snow.  I was hoping for snow.

Projects Update, No Tardis Today

Posted in Art, Entertainment, Hobby, Holiday, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2012 by urbannight

I haven’t been working on my Tardis project because I’ve been doing a couple other things.  Here is a sampling of them.

One of the stitching magazines came out with a great Halloween pattern issue. This one shouldn’t take to long.

I’m changing the colors.

Here is a teaser of what it will look like.

This is a rather huge design. This shows about 4 pages of the pattern stitched. The pattern was made by Heaven and Earth and they specialize in turning paintings and artwork into stitch patterns. This is about 200 hours of work and it just a fraction of the pattern.

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Elegant Pumpkins. After I took the picture, I finished the purple swirls and have started filling in the spaces. They are filled with a silver braid.

Teresa Wentzler’s Futurecast is almost done. Just the last of the black border and then the back stitching, and last of all, the beading. I wanted to get a feel for the dragon so I started the back stitching already. It sure made the clawed back foot pop.

The fabric name is something kind of ordinary like “pretty in purple” or “princess purple”. I can’t really remember. I was thinking about doing two matching Halloween patterns in reverse colors. You will see why I picked that green fiber in a moment.

The green fabric was called “Tortured Toad”. I had to buy it for the name alone. I got some purple fiber to go with it. A friend said that instead of doing anything like a couple of pumpkins or cat shapes, I should do two more Tardi in the reverse colors and have a matched set of ‘Halloween’ Tardi.

After taking a ton of photo’s, I’ve decided my cubicle is not a good location for taking pictures of stitchery. I had a TERRIBLE time of getting good photos without glare or blurring. My chair isn’t flat but it had the nice black background. But spots that didn’t lay flat tended to blur. I’m going to have to lay things on the table with a black cloth if I want to get good stitched photos. And in a place with enough light to turn my flash off. Some of the fibers and fabrics get a little shiny and reflect the flash.

Halloween Costumes, which to pick?

Posted in Entertainment, Holiday, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2012 by urbannight

I have three ideas.

The Raven.

This would require the most costume construction, making a feathered cloak, finding a wig, feathered best, black tinsel second best, black hair third.  Then a mask.  I was thinking one of the fancy Italian Renaissance looking ones with a long nose or one without and constructing a beak-like attachment for it.

Me in cyber-locks a few years ago.

The Masque of the Red Death.

This would be easier, making a red cloak with simpler ornamentations, and then red face makeup, red opera gloves, I have red and black cyber-locks I can wear, and maybe a pretty black domino mask.

A Death Maiden.

Simple black cloak, black skirt and top with black opera gloves.  Black or white wig.  And elaborate face paining like the Day of the Dead masks.

I’m not sure which route to go.

Halloween at Work.

Posted in Entertainment, Holiday, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2012 by urbannight

I had a few Halloween items in my desk drawer, so I pulled them out and started putting them up.

Most of these are actually my normal year round stuff. So don’t get confused. I a Halloween Girl.

Last night, my roommate tossed me a box after he got home from class. Pumpkin Lights! My overhead lights are a bit to bright. I may have to come in on a weekend, while it is dark, to get a better photo.

Sorry for the blur. My camera refuses to take a clearer photo. Maybe my camera is afraid of it.

The coffin was an item stashed in a desk drawer. Inside is a Halloween candle I would like to use but it is so perfect for stabilizing it and making it stand nice and neat with some weight to it.

Some of my beloved skulls.

I brought these in to work for food days. But I never want to use them. I would rather have them to look at.

This is the Smaller Spider

I actually hate spiders and was glad my roommate brought home the pumpkins rather than the spiders. Yet I have two giant spider decorations. I have to bring in the bigger one and put it in the corner behind my computer monitors.

When do you start preparing for Halloween?

Posted in Apartments, Entertainment, Food, Holiday, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2012 by urbannight

For me, it is now.

Once, when I had a house, someone came over and said they liked what I was doing for Halloween. I looked around, trying to figure out what they were talking about. I hadn’t pulled out my Halloween tubs yet.

Some people collect geese, cows, and/or eggplants, to name a few of the common combinations.

I collect Cats, Pumpkins, and Skulls. It tends to blend in with the Halloween stuff really well.

Now it is time to start pulling out the ACTUAL Halloween stuff.

What do I need to do first?

Stop eating. Really. Seriously. Don’t you think that is a good place to start? Maybe I can survive on oatmeal packets, protein shakes, and celery for fiber. Don’t you think that is a good idea?

No. Well, you are probably correct. That might be going too far. But I am trying to lose some weight. I just won’t be nearly as far along by Halloween as I want to be. So I think I’ll be a death maiden. Or just be Death. My only real problem is that all the scythes I’ve seen are so horrible that I can’t bring myself to buy one. I wouldn’t mind a real one. That would be worth the money. I just don’t think I’ll be allowed to take it to work or to any Halloween event.

(On a completely unrelated note, as I hear someone say, “My Goodness”, I really want to know why it is never, “My Badness”. The assumption is that the speaker is always and can’t figure out what went wrong. Maybe that is why Josh Whedon introduced the term, “My Bad”, for when is WAS the fault of the speaker that something went wrong. At least, that is where I started hearing the term used.)

Now, back to Halloween preparatory work.

One of the first things I need to do is clean and re-organize the bathroom. 1. Because it needs to be cleaned again. 2. It needs reorganizing in general. 3. It needs reorganizing in specific because I have some Halloween specific cosmetics and do-dads and misc stuff that got stored in the small bathroom storage tubs.

Cleaning and reorganizing the bedroom is also vital. 1. Because it is driving me crazy. 2. When it gets messy or disorganized enough to bother the cats, they start to keep me up all hours of the night. Why this happens, I don’t know. But it is how my cats seem to function. I need to be well rested and well organized to do a great Halloween display and to know what I have available that will work for costuming. I’ve always found the best costumes to be the ones created out of what people own and not from prepackaged kits.

Of course, this leads me to cleaning and reorganizing the computer room and closet. This is mostly just because.

Next gets into the nitty gritty. I can pull out my Halloween storage tubs. If I have a cleaned up bedroom and computer room, I’ve a place to put the tubs while in the ‘active’ Halloween Season. This is Mid-August through Thanksgiving. I like a long Halloween.

I can most of the stuff up on the walls pretty quickly as I still have the clear plastic hooks on the walls. The porch will take longer. I think I need more Halloween things for the porch. I would love a really good hanging skeleton. Most are too junky for me to waste money on.

I should take the time to finish going through the last four general storage tugs as well. Get them weeded out while I’m messing about with tubs.

I need to make a good Halloween menu for the month of October too. One that focuses on meat and veggies and yet manages to come across as both Fall and Halloween creepy. I like creepy. There was facebook photo of black foods a few days back that looked wonderful. There are so many black fruits and veggie and stuff that people don’t always thing of but were not weird and strange exotic foods.

I am clearly far too eager to get started on this project. I also have to pick up my two Halloween stitch pattern books after work tomorrow. I can’t wait.

Halloween is in the air! And so are Sinus Infections.

Posted in Holiday, Life, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2012 by urbannight

It you are going to be a ghost, do it with style.

To start with, I’ve been trying to fight off a sinus infection.

If you base it on thick, gunky mucus that is 50 shades of green, then it was definitely an infection. They say you can’t possibly get rid of infections without antibiotics, but I’m not so sure. I’ve had pretty good luck with regular irrigation via a netipot. Sure, it takes time and you have to do it, consistently, about every 4 hours. Drink plenty of tea and soup, garlic and cayenne are good tools. So is onion. But the color gets better, the mucus starts to thin some. Eventually you are back to normal.

When you compare it, antibiotic take a good 10 days, you have to take them anywhere from twice a day to every 4 to 6 hours. And then you increase your resistance to then and help create antibiotic resistant strains of various bugs and diseases. Not to mention the rather high odds for women to get ‘other’ infections because antibiotics also kill the good things in our bodies we need.

I think I’ll stick with my netipot.

This fight over who rules my sinuses has been going on since the weekend. Monday I nearly stayed home. Then I decided I would go in and see how things went. Maybe I could leave early if I was getting worse. Well, that was a bad idea. We were short two compilers in another department so the unit I’m in had to help cover for them. There was no leaving early.

Tuesday, I didn’t feel any better. I was in a good mood and decided I could get through the day. I did it Monday, after all. OMG (yes, I really typed it). I ended up leaving in a very cranky mood. It wasn’t triggered by a caller for a change, but by a co-worker.

Wednesday I felt much worse and took the day off. I slept. I got 14 hours of sleep. I also ran out of medicine last night and it was too late to bother going to the store. But good sleep has helped get rid of the sore throat, clear up part of the headache, and green has cleared up to white. My ears are still bothering me. I dislike the way my sinuses drain into the ears.

And I had ‘weird’ dreams all night. Now I normally have weird dreams. These were weird even for me. The result was that I was up early, bright eyed and bushy tailed. But that energy didn’t last long and I’m ready for a nap now. It will be a long day.

But the day is improved by the wonderful, blustery, windy, overcast sky. This morning’s weather was perfect, beautify, just what I like. I love fall and all it brings.

It brings more wind, more clouds, sometimes more rain; leaves turn colors, fall, and make great big piles to bury oneself in. It leads to naked, skeletal tree limbs, reach out, reaching up, clawing at the world and sky. The air turns crisp, and cold, and sharp, and scented with wood smoke and the hint of a future winter.

I love Fall. It is my favorite season. I feel the energy that summer steals from me starting to return. And it marks the return of my favorite holiday. Halloween. I would do Halloween all year round but no one wants to let me.

On the way to work I saw a sign for Spirit of Halloween. It is one of the two Halloween superstores that open up around September. I love these stores. Massive collections of costumes, decorations, party ware, wigs, makeup, hats, masks, the fun never ends.

We also have a local decorating store, called Nobbies that usually has a fantastic Halloween selection. At least it did until last year. That was a rather significant let down. They had their usual large display of costumes. But the actual décor was significantly reduced. I have to admit it was somewhat depressing.

Perhaps even distressing.

Yes, distressing. The spending on Halloween now rivals the spending on Christmas, but last year, thinking people would not be spending as much, the stores stocked less. Much less.

Still, this is another year. Another Dollar. Another Halloween. Another chance to find that perfect item that you can justify leaving out all year long. Another opportunity to increase my skull collection.

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend. I think they seriously underestimate the happiness that can be found in a good skull.