November 28th, 2004

Brian and Anne

I guess I haven't posted much lately. So here's a long one.

It's been a busy week. My sister Sarah came up from Florida on Tuesday and is leaving tomorrow morning. I had to work every day she was here except today and Thursday (Thanksgiving) but we managed to fit in some good hanging out even so.

Also Tuesday night Bill and I got the basement ceiling painted. It is now white! It even has rows of ceiling lights on dimmers - very cool, I think. The main lesson for us in this phase of the basement project was to rent a paint sprayer from Home Depot, not Wolverine Rental. The one we got from Wolverine last weekend was not as good, came with no instruction, and was not fully cleaned out so it clogged very shortly after we started using it and then got messed up and would not work. They gave us a full refund and on Tuesday we started over with Home Depot - because we rented the paint sprayer after 6 pm we had it until wed. morning for just $55 (their four-hour rate) and it came with an extension cord and plastic on the hose to keep it clean, a higher quality paint sprayer and a half hour of instructions. We had the ceiling painted that night, outside of a few touch-ups we'll probably want to do.

There was much dripping, but we didn't care because we're ripping out the carpet on the one half and carpeting over the tile. We protected the fish with a tarp.

Bill referred to the rainforest-like sound of dripping paint. It was oddly restful.

Wednesday as the locals know it was freezing rain turning to snow in the evening. I just walked home from work and was fine. Sarah and dad came over for a cooking party to prep for Thanksgiving. We made a couple pumpkin pies and an apple pie and finished preparing the squash and sweet potatoes that mom had already cooked. Originally we expected mom and Sarah for dinner at 7 but they were running late so dad and I had an impromptu dance/yoga session that was pretty fun. Mom eventually decided she was going to stay home and regroup, so the rest of us ate and cooked and were silly and danced some more. All the important things such as befits a cooking party.

Thanksgiving morning Sarah left early to dress the turkey and put it in the oven. Mom had gotten a beautiful 21-lb organic Amish turkey from Bush's. Before she left our house, Sarah put in a plea for me to make Deviled eggs (sp?). So later when Bill and I got moving we made those after we got the cranberry-orange bread in the oven. We made more bread than we were originally planning, because I put Bill to cutting cranberries in half and then took a shower. When I got downstairs he was still cutting cranberries in half. "The recipe only calls for a cup!" said I. "Really? he asked, "well then we can make three loaves instead of one."

And so we did. That bread was might tasty though, so we were happy to have loaves to give away.

Thursday was a gorgeous day here. Snow on the ground and the sun shining so the snow slowly melted in many places and we enjoyed watching the birds play in the snow-clumped bushes in mom and dad's back yard.

Uncle Jim and his three youngest kids (who are 16, 14, and I think 10) came to dinner with the rest of us and Bill entertained them with juggling and taught balloon-animal making and later we taught them some other tricks too. It's always fun when you teach someone a mind trick that ends with your hitting them in the face (though of course you hit them gently) and them laughing and saying you should teach their brother, and their brother who just came in the room says "yeah, teach me!" and so you do and he ends up laughing as well. (This is a "You're walking in the woods" imagination walk-through that has them imagine they are being followed and running increasingly fast through the woods while you swoosh your hands past their head representing the trees they pass and ends with the lines, "You get really scared, so you close your eyes. {bam} You hit a tree! You really shouldn't close your eyes when you're running through a forest." They always do close your eyes. I was surprised they didn't know that one yet. They had also never had deviled eggs before. We had fun educating them all evening.

Friday night we took chinese take-out over to mom and dad's and everyone watched "The Usual Suspects" while I sat and edited most of Emerald city. The debate over the plot and characters after the movie stretched way too long with too much replaying of different scenes, but otherwise that night was fun.

Saturday we weren't so busy at work that I couldn't go out and grab lunch at Potbelly's with Sarah, and then after work the family met downtown for dinner at the Red Hawk and "The Motorcycle Diaries" at the State Theater. We got silly on drinks and stuchii's ice cream before the film and all enjoyed it immensely, I think it's safe to say. Hopefully we didn't disturb anyone else's evening too much by being raucous. What's that saying? Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke? It's not like we were raucous during the movie, only before.

Today we went up to my Grandma's for dinner with her and my aunt Pam. I got off on a side project, taking pictures of some of my dad's paintings that were on the walls, which took dad and me up into the attic looking for more. One of the small ones that was up there I really liked so I asked Grandma if we could bring it home with us and she said yes, so we have it now. I only meant to borrow it but she said "Merry Christmas." so maybe we get to keep it. We promised to get it scanned and made into posters for Sarah and Pam.

Sarah and I spent some time showing Pam and Grandma pictures via the laptop and we watched videos of dedications of a couple of the public art projects Sarah has helped coordinate - one in Denver and one in Jacksonville. That was cool. She's really contributing to some good, lasting things as part of her job and I'm a touch jealous. That's one reason I'd like to get involved in publishing - helping to create things that go out and influence people and become part of the cultural landscape. (in Sarah's case, literally part of the landscape. Or at least buildings and parks.)

Anyway, it's been a really packed and nice few days. I am of course immensely thankful for all of you, my friends, and I hope you had a good Thanksgiving and are well this evening and have a good week.