nine of sixteen

It's always frustrating to try to write entries for when my mind's more occupied by the code of Quarto. It's difficult to come up with interesting things to say when your mind's current definition of 'interesting' is "oooooh! Now a quarto siteadmin can edit the general text message that's shown on the main Quarto admin screen!"

Under the tail of the dragon

The Dekalog (or 'Decalogue', in English): widely considered to be Krzysztof Kieślowski's masterwork, and also one of the most fiendishly difficult sets of films to actually see. Ten films, each an hour long, one for each of the Ten Commandments. Screenings are rare, and the DVDs are out of print and hideously expensive.

Pan-Holiday Extravaganza

Kat: "I think we're going to need a buffet table for all this food."

From a Saturday-night email dated mid-September of this year: "Our Recruitment office is doing really well. Normally, this is good, but come Christmastime, it's a royal financial pain in the tail to buy gifts for everyone in the group. Yeah, yeah, I know gift-giving is supposed to be a 'gift,' not a 'right,' but lots of things work out differently in theory than in practice… Would you be interested in drawing names for a Christmas exchange this year?"

You know your group of friends has expanded when you remember when planning for your yearly Christmas party once was "scrawl down a list of friends' names, email everyone to see if they're available next Saturday, and make something edible." Something edible, of course, meant "I'll figure out what I'm cooking sometime later." You know things have changed when this year's holiday party planning involves lunch with two other friends, details, and actual division of labor.

Fast-forward three months to what jokingly became known as the Pan-Holiday Extravaganza; too late for Christmas, too early for New Year's.

In the grand southern tradition, we gathered together and ate copious amounts of food. It could be said that geeks don't cook, and this would probably be a true statement if the geek in question was Jeremy (whose sworn duty for the PHE was to obtain carbonated drinkage), but the rest of us appear to have mastered the art of applying varying amounts of heat to tasty morsels of edible matter:

Roast turkey, ham, sweet potato casserole, corn, baked beans, green bean casserole, salad-of-doom, rosemary and garlic mashed potatoes, three kinds of freshly-baked bread, turtle cake, pumpkin cheesecake, turtle cheesecake, pecan pie...

Why, yes, we did explode. Whatever made you guess?

Tenzing, mastermind

Mom's folding up warm laundry. I like warm laundry. Edmund is stupid. He likes smelly dirty laundry, but then again, he has no taste. I realize that Mom-scent is intriguing, but warm, soft laundry is way better. Sometimes I think I'm the only one from this litter with any taste. Someone has to be sophisticated --

Befriend your local crack dealer

In this world, there are two kinds of yarn shops. The first are more prevalent; they have skeins and cones of yarn arranged in graceful rows of manufacturer, fiber, and colorway. They believe in browsing, newsletters, and knitting classes, and the employees proudly wear their hand-knitted clothing like the store samples they are.

Those are yarn shops.

But there is another kind - the kind buried not in the small-businesses section of southeast Huntsville, but buried in a sea of directions that start off like this: "Take Rideout Road until it dead-ends into Highway 53. Turn left and head toward Harvest. I don't remember how many flashing yellow lights you'll go through, but one of them's for McKee Road. Take a right, drive a ways, and we're on the left. We lock the front door while we're in the back, working with fiber, so it may take us a minute or two before we can get the door unlocked for you."

That, my friends, is a crack dealer in the guise of a fiber shop.

Into the woods

There are those who say that animals have no souls; these people are undoubtedly blood kin to the well-meaning people who think that something so formal and ceremonial as a funeral is supposed to bring closure to the lives of the living.