Posts Tagged ‘party’

Penguicon Day 2

Wow. I’m unbelievably tired. Although, I suppose considering my panel schedule today, that’s not surprising. I have an 8 am panel tomorrow.  Let me repeat that. 8:00 am panel.  At a con. Who scheduled that?

So, you get today in a nutshell and then I’m going to bed.  I had a load of panels, which were fun, and then went to Scalzi’s surprise birthday party, also fun.

I’m also possessed of an urge to teach a workshop at a con on how to build an animal costume that’s actually functional, breathable and has vision. I just want to take some of these people by the paw and explain to them that it doesn’t have to be like this.  But that’s not a good idea.

40 years old today + Iron Chef

The birthday celebrations have been going on all week of course, but yesterday was pretty spectacular. In the morning Steven Gould — whose birthday it actually was — had released the theme ingredient for the Iron Chef Battle we had planned. [1. Originally we were going to do it today, but decided to move it to yesterday because a couple of the guests had flights out today.] Welcome to Iron Chef Pear!

We all trouped over to Grandma’s church for her 104th birthday party and then went straight from there to shop for Iron Chef. At first we were going to shop separately, but then thought, what? We’ll see each other in the store and be shocked that, “OMG! You’re buying pears!”

Back home the two teams — headed by Alethea Kontis and me — began cooking. There are two kitchens at Mom and Dad’s which is part of why I wanted to try an Iron Chef battle in real time. You know, because we could. I took the kitchen in the other house so we’d both be in unfamiliar kitchens and we gave ourselves two hours to compensate for not having Kitchen Stadium.

Here are the results in video form.

Here are writeup’s from Alethea Kontis, David D. Levine and Steve‘s flickr lineup plus combined photos in my Picasa album

Edited to add:
The recipes our dishes were based on.
Warm peppered pears with dolce gorgonzola and fried sage on watercress
Smoked Pear and Parsnip Bisque with frizzled ginger
Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Pears and Pear-Brandy Cream Sauce served with Gorgonzola and Red Pear Risotto
I just made up the zinfandel poached pear with dark chocolate and pistachio icecream.

So tonight we are dressing formally for my birthday dinner, but I don’t know how I will top last night’s meal.

The party favor for Christmas 2008

The party favor for Christmas 2008

I wrote this on December 23rd, but forgot to post it.

I’ve mentioned that my family has a giant Christmas Eve dinner every year with cousins and multiple generations getting together. This year is the 52nd annual dinner and we’ve got 31 people attending. One of the things that I loved when my grandmother was hosting the party were the party favors, which were always homemade Christmas tree ornaments. After she passed away, I took over the party favors.

This year, when I got to Chattanooga I was a little stressed because I had 10 more party favors to make. I normally have them all made before I get home but time was tight this year.

To my surprise and joy, my niece Katherine pitched in to help me make them. We stayed up until 2 am sewing and laughing together. It was just great to have one on one time with her. Although, I’ll admit that it added to my general feeling that our Christmas’s are straight out of Norman Rockwell.

Cautious optimism for computer woes

For those of you following along with my computer woes, you may join me in cautious optimism.  My new harddrive arrived today and I sat down to install it.  Annnnnnd… the computer wouldn’t boot from the recovery disc, which is supposed to be a boot disc.


So I took everything out and put it back in. Still nothing but a black screen, the fan, and a chirp from the dvd drive so I knew it was working.  Curses.  I fiddled with the RAM. Nothing. Again removing the drive to check things and putting it back. By this point I was late for a tea party.

Thank heavens, or I would have continued to bang my head against the wall. So I went off to the party, had a really lovely time, and came home to try again.  First, let me say that everyone who answered my twitter/facebook plea for help is a fantastic person.

I went through suggestions and started from the easiest up.  I put the old drive back in and experienced the exact same symptoms. I returned the new drive.  THEN, in a breath taking move — I know you can hardly stand the suspense — I took the RAM out and put it back in.  The computer worked.


It’s running and hasn’t crashed in an hour so I’m cautiously optimistic that it’s going to be fully operational again. Please, please let it be fixed.

SFWA NY reception

I’ve just returned home from the SFWA reception which seemed to be a rousing sucess. Kudos to Bud Sparhawk, the Eastern Regional Director, for arranging it. It was my first one, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. It turns out that it’s very much like an opening night party, without a show attached to it. Folks dress up, chat and generally seem to have a good time.

I took Rob along since people have been making cracks about my invisible husband at cons. I don’t think he minded and he even smiled in a photo. (Ellen, will you send me that?) I was amazed by how many people I knew. There just wasn’t time to talk to everyone.