All I Got for Xmas

So the holidays were crappy. That’s par for the course. I hate the holidays, but I try to power through them the best I can. At least I’m getting paid holiday pay this time around; thank the stars for not being a contractor anymore. Still, this xmas sucked ass because the only thing I got in my stocking was a head cold. I would’ve settled for a lump of coal instead.

No idea where the germs came from; most likely the coffeeshop I hang out at with all its weirdos and sickos shaking hands and whatnot. But I think what precipitated the collapse of my immunity against it was my mother’s visit for the holiday. See, she brought her two dogs, which I don’t mind as long as I take an allergy pill. But she smokes like a train, and apparently I lack the backbone to tell my own mother that she can’t smoke in my apartment. Others have smoked in here, but it was one smoke here or there; not an entire pack of really, really cheap tobacco. So after a day of exposure, I woke up xmas morning with a heavy knot of crud at the back of my throat. Happy effing holidays.

Two days and two rolls of tissue later, the fever broke and I was able to breathe through my nose again. Finally. I’ve got to take control of my passive-aggressive ways before they ruin my life further. It’s my life, it’s my house, it’s my health.

It Came From Outer State

Preparing for my mother’s three-day visit for the holiday. It’s been two years since she came to Austin, and it’ll be good to have her here instead of me driving up there for the visit, which I’ve been doing for the past 9 years. It’s nice when family visits me for once.

Had an issue with the heater in my apartment. I get home from being out Saturday night to find the heater running. It’s colder than I wanted, so I turned up the thermostat. Well, a half-hour later, the temp is still the same. Put my hand up to the vent and it’s blowing unheated air. Huh! So, I turned it off and tried to bundle up for a cold night of sleep. Contacted the landlady the next day; she said she’d call the heater tech to come out, and if he couldn’t, she’d get me a portable heater. Of course, he didn’t come out on Sunday (because she’d have to pay him weekend rates), so she shows up with a heater. Thanks a million.

The tech dropped by Monday to take a look, and came by this morning with a rebuilt heater core. I finally have heat again. Luckily for me, the past two days have been warmer than usual (ironic, considering it’s officially “winter” now), so I’ve not really needed a heater. But the next three days, while my mother’s visiting, are predicted to be chilly.

Not sure what we’ll do while she’s here. Sitting at the coffeeshop is prescribed, of course, as is driving around to see the sights. I want to take her out to see “Avatar” in 3D, but I’m not sure what showing or venue we’ll attend. I’m sure any place will be fine. I also want to go see the city’s Trail of Lights; I know it’s been heavily scaled back this year due to budgetary constraints, but we can actually drive to the park and park there, and now that she’s more ambulatory than last time, she might get more enjoyment out of it. I’m thinking that’s an xmas day thing.

So what’s on the menu for xmas dinner? Pot roast, of course! We’ll be doing it up right with an oven and all the trimmings. I guarantee there’ll be leftovers; I’m feeling full already.

Crockpot Pot Roast (woah yeah!)

Always a crowd pleaser. You don’t have to go all out to make this tasty meal. Quantity is for roughly 3 servings, give or take. Your mileage may vary. Void where prohibited.

  • 1 lb top round or bottom chuck roast
  • 1 white baking potato
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 medium-large carrots
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 packet Lipton Onion soup powder mix
  • Olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper

With a little bit of olive oil, sear roast in a skillet over medium heat, about 1~2 minute per side. Remove from heat and place roast into bottom of crockpot. Peel and chop the potato and carrots into chunks (remember, slow cooking will make anything soft…make chunks large enough to stay together on fork). Cut 1/2 onion into large shards. Toss veggies together, then add to pot, making sure to stuff into spaces around roast. Season with salt and plenty of pepper. Dissolve soup mix into 1 cup water, pour over veggies. Place lid, turn on crockpot. Wait for a while. 5~7 hours should do, pig. 5~7 hours should do. Pull veggies early if they get too tender. When it’s all done, pull it, dish it out, and let it rock your face.

Ab Use and Neglect

So, it seems your humble author has finally gone and done it. I drank the Kool-Aid(tm). And now you can find me on Facebook. No sense linking, because most of you are already on my friends list.

And why did I do it? Kinda because I don’t hang out with anyone. There’s work, coffee, home, and there’s not too many people at each that I chat with. Y’know? More my fault than anyone else’s. So Facebook is a stand-in, a proxy for friendship. I always say “friendship is proximity”, and I still believe it, so if this is what I need to do to keep my friendships from fading completely, then joining is what I shall do.

However, I do blame my recent Facebook fetishism for my journal’s neglect. Funny, but I’m doing the same exact things with Facebook that caused me to leave IRC: mumble rambling WTF-isms and wait for responses. And wait. And wait. Projects kinda take a back seat. Funny, that.

So yeah. Find me there. If you ask nicely, I might accept your friendship.