1. I’m back on the East Coast next week. I didn’t realize until a few days ago that I’m going to be gone during the week of Hannukah. A and I normally don’t make it much past the first night of menorah lighting, as evidenced by the nearly full box of candles I got him eight years ago when we first started dating. This year, though, I’d been looking forward to lighting candles with Z.

2. Cooking with a toddler is a whole different ball game. Z has gotten to the age where she very much wants to help with everything, and her enthusiasm is far greater than her skill. And I’ve been trying to cook a bit more, especially when A goes into work earlier, to make his life a bit easier. This means that I’m often trying to keep her out of the raw meat with one hand, off the knife with the other, and away from the eggs with the third. At which point I realize I don’t have a third hand and catch her just before she stuffs a piece of raw chicken in her mouth. It’s all worth it when she eats everything on her plate and asks for more. (Days she doesn’t eat anything, I just want to scream.)

3. The closest I ever came to seeing a STP concert was watching Scott Weiland’s ass disappear into the back of a tour bus.. They played a free concert at USF my freshman year of college. I didn’t have a car at that point, so I spent a good chunk of time trying to find someone who did. By the time we got over the bridge and through traffic, it was over.

** Edit:  My brother has reminded me that this isn’t true, and we saw STP together back in 2000 at the WBCN River Rave, and that it was a pretty incredible show.  He’s right, on both counts.**

4. We had our first adult dinner party since Z was born this weekend. A set of matching dinnerware is still very much on our to get list, DSC_0574so I rolled with it, using vintage Coca-Cola glasses instead of pints to keep the “rustic” feel going. Z didn’t want to get out of her PJ’s, so I rolled with that too. It was good to have company that’s not family (although I love having family too!), and proof that there is life beyond the black hole of poop and temper tantrums.

5. I am most definitely stressed out this month. Part of it is the fact that my big report for work, which was supposed to be done before Thanksgiving, has been pushed back again. This means that instead of having the holidays and our vacation in January clear, there’s a chance I might have to work through some or all of it. Then there’s the holiday season itself, and all of that craziness (including the fact that I’m rapidly running out of time to get any kind of holiday cards out the door). Add in a two year old, the daily battles around bedtime, and the complete inability to get anything done with any sort of efficiency while she’s around, and the result is that I’m needing about 5 more hours in each day than I’ve got right now.

Closing Tabs

Z and I made the gingerbread cake from All Cakes Considered this week, and it was fantastic. I’m pretty sure I ate most of it. In my defense, I was following the recipe.

My mom has always said people are inherently good…
The Worldbuilders Stardust ARC is one of those things that restores my faith in humanity. Every year, Pat Rothfuss puts a signed ARC of Stardust into the lottery or auction for his yearly charity. Every year, without fail, the winner donates it back.

…and inherently dumb.
Red mercury is the holy grail of terrorist bomb plots, strong enough to flatten a city the way a nuclear blast would. It is also scientifically impossible. The result? Cons, conspiracies, and long read piece in the Times Sunday magazine.

This guy spent 4,200 of his 10,000 hours working on capturing a single photograph of a diving kingfisher. Anyone can buy a digital camera and Photoshop and pass themselves off as a photographer, but this kind of patience and dedication is what makes you a pro.

Serialbox is attempting to bring back serial novels, doing it TV-style: each “episode” is written by a team and takes about forty minutes to read. I was initially excited about this, then downloaded the sample chapter for Bookburners and decided the writing was crap about two pages in. And that would have been that, except that I’m seeing all kinds of excitement for Tremontaine, a prequel to Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint. (If you’re into fantasy and you haven’t read Swordspoint, you should). So I’m giving Serialbox another try.

How do you handle the holidays and the end of year craziness?  Comment here, because I’m still banning myself from Facebook!