hey, 2006!

this will be the year of few injuries, illnesses, and furnace incidents that keep us from being warm; also, more dinner parties and more pool parties.

i say so.

sarah and georg just left; i made dinner for us and we killed a bottle of wine and a bottle of sparkling wine, so my fingertips are numb as i type this. it was nice. my “new” kitchen is already kicking ass.

whee!

the kitchen follies!

this is so boring that i can barely write about it. you will be fascinated to know that i cleaned the top of my refrigerator (where the appliances live), which was _completely_ disgusting, and then cleaned the appliances, which were slightly less disgusting. well, except for the waffle iron, which i have sadly decided must go. i love that waffle iron and hosted many good brunches with it, but it’s probably sixty years old and i don’t know how gran kept it as clean as she did for so long. i just don’t have the housekeeping chops.

so add waffle iron to the list of things i’ll be replacing.

the kitchen aid has to stay on the counter; it’s too heavy to lift, but i moved the food processor to the newly clean refrigerator top. that was really all it took to free up the counter on the other side of the sink, and now i have much more free counter space. almost double.

see, i told you this was boring. to you. to me, it is quite thrilling.

and oh, there is more yet to come! you’ll see!

also, i got my hair cut. finally. why did it take 36 years before someone put a layer in my hair? it looks so much better this way. if only i had known.

sometimes a band-aid is better than a gaping wound…

…even if what’s really needed is major surgery.

my kitchen needs major surgery; i’ve known this for quite a while. it needs a renovation, but that won’t be happening any time soon.

so, band-aids it is.

utensils. i think it’s time that my love of rusty vintage kitchen utensils be retired. seriously. i bought a “microplane.”:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004S7VJ/qid=1135905088/ it makes me want to grate again.

lighting. it was pointed out to me recently that a single 40-watt bulb in the overhead might be insufficient lighting for a kitchen, a suggestion backed up by the fact that i often turn on the dining room light when making food, because it’s the only way i can even begin to see what i’m doing.

today, i replaced the 40-watt with a 100-watt, replaced the bulb in the over-sink fixture, causing it to work for the first time since i moved in. i put in an “under-cabinet light”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/spacegrrl/79116306/ that makes everything look pretty, even the dirt that i can now see very clearly.

there’s more to this project, but i won’t spoil the surprises. you’ll just have to wait for it to unfold.

i know you’re dying to see how it all goes down.

ladder?

Does anyone have my ladder? I _think_ I may know who last had it, but I’m not completely certain.

The person who may have it is out of town for a while– does anyone have a 6′ ladder that i could borrow for a few minor household tasks?

traffic calming devices

– or – _the dumbest cat ever_

one night recently after dark i was tooling down Dacian and there in the very center of the intersection with North was a fluffy cat sitting on a manhole cover.

the cat did not move.

i drove carefully past the cat, which watched me dolefully as i passed it. i pulled over, got out of my car, and chased the cat out of the street.

today as i tooled down dacian, the same cat blocked my way. it was sitting behind a pickup truck full of compost. there was a young man in the bed of the truck moving the compost out of the truck and on to the ground. after a few moments, the man noticed me. i gestured to the cat. he chased it out of the street.

as i pulled alongside him, i opened my window and asked if that was his cat. he said that it was. i told him that i’d nearly run the cat down after dark recently. “Yeah, he’s only six months old, i’m hoping he’ll outgrow that.” i advised him to consider keeping the cat indoors more often.

ougrow it? outgrow being dumb as a post and completely unafraid of cars? the only way he’s going to learn a fear of cars is if he gets _hit_ by one. and then he’ll be _dead._ that’ll learn him.

in other traffic calming neighborhood news, it appears that the traffic circle at markham and glendale is now sporting a menorah made of bricks (and candles, of course).

holding down the fort

as always, i’ll be here in town during the next week. my company closed at 2pm today and doesn’t open again until january 2nd. i’ve got a few cats to feed, like usual. it’ll be quiet.

the man from the north (TMFTN) stopped in last night on the way to visit relatives. he gave me an awesome christmas present that i loved and that made all my co-workers jealous. i’ll have to take a picture of it, because words just cannot describe it.

i was sad to see him go after such a short visit. better than no visit, though, since otherwise it would be a full month between visits. next time, it’s my turn to visit him, and i have to admit that i’m looking forward to a little road trip.

tomorrow the family is having lunch with mom’s college roommate, then we’re going to visit gran. she’s not able to join us this year at mom’s house on christmas day, which is very sad.

i think sunday will be nice. just us. daniel suggested they wait to open presents until i arrive, which was very considerate of him.

i plan to put a _lot_ of work into the van during the free week. and into the new wxdu web site. i’ve neglected the van for three months. last night i showed it to TMFTN and seeing how much there is to do, i felt a little hopeless, like it’s turning into a folly. but i know a good week of work will make me feel quite different.

something beautiful for the VW fans

via “boingboing.”:http://boingboing.net

“Photos of VW’s transparent factory in Dresden.”:http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1837641

This factory is where VW’s high-end sedan (saloon?), the Phaeton, is made. I’m not a fan of VW’s large, fuel-gobbling vehicles, and unless things take an unexpected turn, the Phaeton will never be something I can afford, anyway. But that’s not the point.

The factory is the star here, not the car. If you’re a VW enthusiast, an engineer of any sort, or have an interest in human factors, this place will sing to you.

I would love to see the human factors research that went into this place. There’s one photo that is very telling– where a platform raises to support the car at a comfortable working height, rather than the car being lowered to the floor. You never see a assembly worker bending or crouching or otherwise assuming an uncomfortable working position (although since these photos are courtesy of VW’s media department, they don’t show us everything). Just the fact that the place is so beautiful and so clean shows respect for the workers.

I would love to see this place in person some day…

lunch in durham on christmas eve

My family is looking for a place to have lunch with out of town friends in Durham on Christmas Eve. Federal and Q Shack will be closed. Any other suggestions? We don’t want it to take hours and hours.

ETA: Pops, Mellow Mushroom, Tyler’s Taproom, Grasshopper, City Beverage, Papas Grill, and Pizza Palace are all closed. I guess I should try chain restaurants.

that was not nice

yesterday at work was very stressful. enough said.

-:|:-

i dreamed this morning that i had replaced my cozy 1946 cottage with a rambling, crumbling victorian. literally replaced the house, moved my perfectly good house away and put a 1930’s crap pile in its place.

i know it was a crap pile because part of the living room ceiling tore away as i was watching, leaving half the living room exposed to the uninsulated ceiling. my mother was with me. indicating the room above the living room, she said, “now, that’s not a room.” i considered remodeling such that the living room would have 20 foot ceilings. then, as i watched, terrified, the roof tore away, leaving a gaping, windy hole.

i went to the kitchen to find the phone number of the roofing company i used once to repair a leak on my cottage (oh, my cottage, why did i get rid of you?) my mom pulled a phone book from someplace odd, like the microwave, and i searched for the listing. the phone book made no sense. it did not seem to be in alphabetical or any other discernible order.

i gave up, and woke up, groggy and disoriented.

-:|:-

my show last night did not suck too badly, and it was one of the smoothest running shows i’ve had all year. the web cam and online request line appeared to be broken, but everything else was working pretty well. checking over the last ten days worth of online playlists, not a single one seems to have fallen victim to our old loss of session problems (immediately recognizable because the dj winds up with multiples of the same playlist). could it be that i actually managed to… fix it? golly.