What I’ve been up to (November/December)

So here’s a catch up of other things I’ve been up to in November.

We kept our Halloween skeletons up (though now one has a Santa hat) – and they’ve been fun to pose in different ways.

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Our drive to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving was pretty – there’d been an ice storm so all the trees were iced over.
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Thanksgiving dinner:
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The family put up the Christmas tree while we were there:
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It was a fun weekend – my ballet dancer niece has turned into a geek and is SUPER into Doctor Who and Lord of the Rings, which is awesome. We watched the Fiveish Doctors special and spent some time on Tumblr together.

We had a pretty sunset on the way home:
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And we stopped at the Burmese place in Silver Spring for dinner on the way back since we were exhausted from traffic. The timing worked out really well.

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We put Christmas decorations up at work. Alex was being silly.
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I’ve been still working on liking coffee so I’ve been putting a shot of espresso in my almond milk steamed hot chocolate and it’s pretty good!
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I got to try out my Christmas present when it arrived before surrendering it til Christmas. It’s a baby Taylor 3/4 size travel guitar!
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Somehow the boys came up with this video on “squinching” which, near as I can tell, is similar to Tyra Banks’ “smizing”. It was a super silly video and way super long, which made us silly.
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Which ended up with us “shrouding evil Santa in darkness.” Like I said, silly. That’s leftover spiderweb from Halloween.

My office:
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We integrated the spiders into our Christmas decorations – and you can see the skeleton with the Christmas hat – just like on the Simpsons a few weeks ago. The two skeletons also have stockings that say “Alex” and “Joe”, you know, for the boys.

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Shopping for a Christmas tree:
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Our grocery story had Hunger Games chocolate. So weird!
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This was a recipe we tried out before Christmas because we wanted to make it for Christmas and it was so good! It’s a bread/egg/spinach cheese casserole.
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Snow!
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We discovered a chili cookoff one day at work. So for $5 donation to CFC (a charity the government uses), we ate 10 different kids of chili!
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Kristin, who is a new person in the office on the other side of ours (and is my friend Tim’s officemate), cooked some chili. And the left her phone unattended. So Alex and I did something silly:
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More silliness – matching selfies, taken at the same time, with each of us included in the other’s pic by phone. That’s Kristin in the background.
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Some Athena’s Daughter’s excitement – John Scalzi tweeted about us! AND backed us!
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At band we did some recording of piano for one of our new tracks:
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I think Willow left me a present by my keyboard. So glad it wasn’t real!
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My Sleepy Hollow costume designer friend sent me this for Christmas! I was thrilled to get one! It’s a linen scented air freshener!
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Then Athena’s Daughters got on the front page of Jezebel an io9!!
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Since I’m still on a scallop kick, we got some from the Annapolis seafood market. They were SO good.
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We got our last shipment of mirrors in at work, which was super exciting:
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One remaining mirror in it can:
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The same day, we had Coma Niddy, science rapper, come and shoot a video about black holes at work:
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My friend Sara got me a Princess Leia hat for Willow. I was amazed she let us put it on. Not that she was happy. Here she’s like “Why Daddy?”
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No blood was drawn though.

Our tree:
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Not my picture (Credit: John Verville) – sunset over my building:
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We had a Christmas party for our contract and they have a raffle for a table of crap. Joe ended up with a bunch of other people’s tickets yet still wasn’t winning. He did finally win – a pair of Christmas knee socks.
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Joe was creeped out by this Santa tin, so of course, I had to pick it when my ticket got called:
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Doug tried out some pierogies:
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Burmese restaurant, this time for co-worker Karen’s birthday:
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My sister in law made this awesome cake for our family’s progressive dinner, the weekend before Christmas, in Pittsburgh:
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There was a tree inside:
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Seen in downtown Pittsburgh:
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The PPG building:
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We stopped by Doug’s dad’s office. Here he is drinking out of the Stanley Cup. (He’s Mario Lemieux and other Penguins’ accountant.)
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Tree:
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Kevin got a really nice new bass for Christmas! Which is awesome, since he outgrew the old one:
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I dressed up Creepy Santa in JOe’s jacket and headphones and managed to scare him.
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And then Joe found this in his drawer:
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Christmas! I finally got my guitar! Yay!
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Christmas dinner. We had beef tenderloin with 3 different sauces, and a whole bunch of vegetarian dishes. The egg/bread casserole from earlier in the month, rattouille, pea soup with croutons, gnocci with cheese, spinach salad with cranberries and almonds. All from scratch. It as exhausting but delicious!
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Kristin brought her kitten in – so cute!

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New Year’s Eve with friends:

Yup, we’ve been using the same hats since 2001.
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My friend Steve’s gorgeous 20 lb cat Paco:
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Oh, Willow:
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Kristin brought sponge candy back from Buffalo! Yum!
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Willow!
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Kevin’s cat Raoul:
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We had lunch at this peruvian chicken place that I always call Pollos Hermano because of Breaking Bad:
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Frost:
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My Christmas cactus bloomed!
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Doing a little recording with the band and my new guitar! We recorded a little cover of the Zooey Deschanel/Joseph Gordon Levitt “What Are You Doing New Years Eve?”

Categories: Life