December 27th, 2011

dreadhawk

eoty holiday recap

THIS IS A LONG POST, FOR MUCH HAS HAPPENED. you may read it if you like; i post for my own memory augmentation, so your tl;dr can be stuffed right up your cunts. :D

to begin, the briefest of thanksgiving writeups: we roasted an 18lb turkey with thyme/lemon zest/sage under the skin; garlic sugar snap peas; olive oil basil brussels sprouts; butternut/russet mashed squashtatoes; cinnamon straw-blue-cranberry sauce; & crescent rolls because we were foregoing stuffing & i hadn't had crescents in about a million years. we didn't go all out since it was just me & joe, though sic737 stopped by for a plate. (chris has been working 10h days & schooling 5h/day too, so SOMEONE had to feed him.) i am pleased to have new stores of home-roasted turkey in packages in the freezer.

beyond the normal thankfulness shit, yeah yeah, i'm thankful that my second-worst boss was fired this year. this is the moron who, among a great number of other idiotic regulations, refused to let me take my break just before leaving. the only rules in the company handbook were 2 breaks a day totaling 30 minutes - & i preferred to take one of mine at 4:45pm so i could leisurely get my things together & relax before running off to the bus at 5. he kept telling me that doing that meant i JUST SAT THERE NOT WORKING for 15 minutes, whereas everyone else had to WORK UNTIL THEIR SHIFT ENDED. what the fuck kind of logic is that? it's 15 minutes NOT WORKING now, or 15 minutes NOT WORKING earlier in the day - that's what a BREAK is. & it actually worked BETTER for the COMPANY for me to break late since business was reliably slower closer to 5pm. i'll never understand the reasoning, but he nearly wrote me up over it several times. said i was "violating the spirit of break-taking". ridiculous. he hadn't been MY boss for a couple years, but i was still pleased to see him tossed out on his ass.

speaking of schadenfreude & other things that make me happy, we had a visit from testing4l earlier this month. his write-up is here, but the highlights were playing king's quest (obviously), the lethal weapon marathon i threw around his trip since neither phil nor joe had seen them (in attendance: me & gorthok, testing4l, chris m., landon, mika & an uncomfortably pregnant sheeep who didn't stay long), a lot of frozen yogurt (omg red mango's limited cinnamon apple), the very cool oldschool geek book phil gave me, & - oh yeah - dead rising 2 on the new xbox360 that phil gave joe. :O joe's old 360 had finally RROD'd, & phil's solution has also served to bring more phil into our lives, as the boys are now playing via xbox live. this is a much better "gift that keeps on giving" than herpes would've been.

for xmas, we took an awesome trip up to canada. grammy's birthday is the 28th, & world traveller that she was, i figured a good way to celebrate her would-be-96th was to be in another country. she was also a big fan of christmas (especially decorating for it), so since her actual birthday falls on a wednesday, we took the weekend before to hit british columbia - which happened to be xmas weekend. we didn't do anything particularly grammy-centric; just kept her in mind as we visited & shopped vancouver & ate.

oh yes, i said ate. my breakfast was extremely light & nutrition-dense in preparation for a very special two & a half hour dinner extravaganza at five sails for xmas eve. Collapse ) yes, it was utterly amazing. words cannot even express.

we stayed at the cassandra hotel that night, where i'd snagged a 50% off deal on expedia - definitely appreciated after the most expensive meal we've ever eaten! yelp reviews were split between "it was very nice for the price" & "holy shit do not stay here, it was awful", but i took the risk. totally worth it - we got a free upgrade to a mountain view room, the bed was SUPER comfortable, & we spent an excellent night in canada. (of course, it probably didn't hurt that i mentioned the bad reviews to the front desk chick, who begged ignorance & then tried extra hard to make sure we had a good experience. ;) as if the main staff doesn't know how their hotel is rated on major websites, heh.) we couldn't find a good movie to close the night, but there WAS a mythbusters marathon running (kind of "our show" since i first saw it with joe when a similar marathon was running during our first anniversary vacation together), so we watched the boys rebust while i enjoyed the decently quick hotel wifi & joe dozed in food coma:


on xmas day proper, we missed free hotel pastries, but i had a few bites left of my main course from the previous night. even reheated, yum. we lounged in the hotel room until check-out, then visited the vancouver aquarium - partly because it was the only thing open, but also because the last time i'd been to an aquarium was monterey bay with cody, back before i even signed up to lj. they allow photography, so i Collapse )

headed back to ca-99 & i-5, we found an eastern european/russian deli that had a TON of crazy chocolates & pastries. i snagged a small slice of fruit bread, & we each picked five or six individual chocolates based on the wrapper & our instinct (as everything was cyrillic or some shit). we sampled each as we drove out of canada, found a lot of winners & a few mediocres, & were thus able to declare "a bunch of half-eaten chocolates" at the border.

speaking of, we also picked up a shitton of canadian candy bars, just for the fun of the new: wunderbar, kinder bueno, after eight (i was disappointed that the filling wasn't goopy like their thin mints), mr big deal (which i had before & really liked), sweet marie, crispy crunch, & a kit-kat toffee that joe went wild over. plus i found a package of peach/wildberry nerds, which i'd never tried - nerds were my first favorite candy as a kid & i'll always have a soft spot [in my teeth?] for them. this much sugar & junk will probably last us several months, heh.

joe & i hit half a decade together on the 26th, so i gave him this present while we were at five sails. (fuck christmas presents - there's nothing special about those, but anniversary celebrations are a requirement!) here are some of the things i've learned from joe in the past five years:
  • a pre-warmed bed makes for the best sleep.
  • meats should always be seared & then simmered for two-plus hours.
  • double-paned windows make a huge difference in my overall happiness.
  • there is a lot of vampire smut in the literary world. i mean a LOT. more than anyone could ever stand to read, much less own.
  • a dominant/dominant relationship totally works & is awesome.
  • the more estiferous the flatus, the more puissant the mephitis.
  • final fantasy X is stupid, but less so than FF VII.
  • boys are messy.
  • we are fucking genius together & i look forward to the next five years.

    & yes, i made Collapse )

    next comes a bit of Collapse ) & some dreads pics & a few other posts:

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    looking back over 2011 in general, i'm proud to say i've put out a lot of fires this year!
  • i handled a friend's voluntary committment to a mental health facility at my behest & with my encouragement;
  • i bullied a hundred twenty pounds off a friend & then saw him through a[n unrelated] deep vein thrombosis that nearly killed him, & probably would have had he still had the weight on;
  • i suspected & then encouraged treatment of a friend's wife's previously undiagnosed anorexia;
  • i began the turning around of another friend's dietary & exercise habits, which at only a quarter of his goal met has already made major changes in his health & degree of daily pain; &
  • i was the only one to step forward for a friend's currently-still-a-bitch wife's treatment of him to make sure that he's not being abused by her & that she's aware of her issues.

    plus some long-burning fires have been put out on their own - the best example being that my brother is now in shape & gorgeous. i couldn't be happier for him. 2011 has been a good year.

    the next most exciting thing happening: TICKETS TO CAVALIA. omg. OMG. joe made us buy the second-most expensive seats, when i was totally going to mostly cheap out for his benefit. we'll be five rows back, in the section just left of center stage. CANNOT WAIT UNTIL JANUARY!