Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Still no kitchen

The tiles were laid and now there's a bunch of guys putting various bits and pieces together. The current state of matters is that the ovens (three of them) are in place, the stovetop and sink are laid out in the hallway, the dishwasher sits in the living room side to side with a heap of styrofoam and there are some bits and pieces of furniture around.

I hear that we'll be cooking on Saturday.

Meantime, I suffer. Yesterday, at work, I positively smelled pork with onions. I checked and nobody had anything of this sort for lunch. I generally long after cooked food and my mind conjures up images of soups, stews, hot steaming rice, bacon and eggs, apple compote, cookies, chicken curry... name it and I'll drool.

We ordered pizza for dinner. Not bad but stewed pheasant with roasted potatoes or rice with a soy derivate of the day would be much better. It's no help that the kitchen installing crew loved our new tiles. I want food, damn.

Raglan sweater

I have a long-standing urge to knit a lace shawl or throw and I even printed the pattern and picked the right yarn for Kællingesjal, a beautiful wrap reconstructed from a 19th century original; Mette Rorbach has more details here
The pattern doesn't include a chart and I'm not able to knit well from written instructions and I'd have to make a swatch and it would be too difficult and whatever.

And at a certain point, I was going for a trip and needed something small to knit on the train and while walking. I reached for some Kureyon and Silky Merino and started a raglan sweater.

It's another of my patternless creations but I find myself unable to explain the how-to without pictures. Stay tuned.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Kitchenless living

Rice can be cooked in the office microwave. A slight problem arose when I wasn't able to locate any salt but miso worked fairly well to make it edible.

I don't eat out because (1) I'm cheap (2) I'm on gluten-free diet. The same reasons exclude various prefabricated food-like things, which are also either awful or made of who knows what. While random rice with random miso is not exactly haute cuisine, I at least know what is it made of.

Kitchen news:
Last week, they delivered our tiles. Upon unpacking, it was discovered that some of them were wall tiles, not floor tiles. Different durability, different dimensions. Dad almost bursted and made the lady in the tile shop cry. (*) Several phone calls later, we were informed that the white tiles are sold out and a new batch will be fired in the second half of 2012 so what now, we need to decide in 20 minutes if we want it delivered within a week or ten days. At the end, the main floor colour will be blue or black, depending on the architect (gotta call her yet for the new design). The tiles should be laid during the weekend and the whole thing should be finished in another week. Or two. Or possibly three.

2x6 minutes in the microwave renders the rice edible but somewhat too hard - I have some generic round grain rice. I have two more weeks to find out how to cook it nicely. Or I'll lose patience and start lunching in the little yet authentic Italian bar downtown.

(*) I don't really agree with my dad's bouts of loud shouting in general but the same shop took our order, they wanted a deposit, and informed us that our tiles will be there in three weeks. After three and half weeks, when someone started inquiring where the tiles are, they told us that oooops, they are not made anymore and there're none in stock in the Spanish central, and oops, we forgot to check beforehand, and oops, we forgot to tell you. The place needs some common sense. Or some actual management.____

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Family reunion

My uncle is an idiot. Which is not exactly hot news but he took another chance to demonstrate it again, and in a particularly spectacular manner.

He was married, got his wife preggers and then dumped her. He has never seen his son. He spread layers over layers of lies about his ex and the whole thing. His daughters from his following marriage didn't know about it weren't it for a grandpa (not the shared one) warning them not to date any Nicholas ever because it may be their brother, and some stalking much later.

In spring, mom and my cousin, who is a half-sister of said guy (the other cousin is a half-sister of the first cousin. At this point, forget it or start sketching a graph) decided to find him, which she did, brought him tor the rest of the clan to see, Nicholas found that out of the blue, he's blessed with scores of aunts, cousins, aunts' cousins and similar people and everything went just fine.

Until around Wednesday.

My grandparents have a diamond wedding anniversary and my parents are throwing a party for them (fiy, like, just now). Uncle Idjit was told that Nicholas will be here and said that he's not coming. Because he decided 35 years ago that he doesn't want to deal with this person. That he made an agreement with his ex. And that the person is total stranger to him. And that nobody is going to change his mind. And that nobody will change his decisions behind his back. He even yelled at his daughter for inviting Nicholas because he's paying the party and nobody should be inviting strangers behind his back. (As if.)

So, yesterday he grabbed his wife #3 and left. As a bonus, he left his grandson behind at the hotel without telling anyone.

There was a relay between my mom, aunt, cousins and dad. Mom yelled at Idjit that she's not talking to him if he doesn't come back, which he refused. Idjit called my father to inform him that his wife is a harpy, mean bitch and he's not even coming to her funeral (which is regretted by exactly no-one). Nicky was a bit sad, he wanted to see his father but at the end, he shrugged it off.

My father, who pays for the whole thing, made a few evil grins and said that he'll have the bill delivered to his idjit brother in law.

The rest is a good ole party with lots of food, so much food that we'll get the leftovers boxed to eat until we get our kitchen rebuilt (the story of tile apocalypse will follow when I get reasonably sober).

And yeah, this is a completely pointless and arbitrary post.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Daily clutter

I wonder where all the things come from. I reached the ultimate level of mess when I didn't have any place to step on the floor. After a few thoughts about pitchfork, I just started cleaning up.

It is trickier than it seems. I don't have enough storage space and I'm a messy person. Which means that finding places to put things in so that they don't stick out is tough. Een tougher is keeping them there, or, to be exact, put them back after using them. This simply doesn't happen for various reasons - messy, busy, always working on umpteen things at a time - so... go figure.

Things are not as easy as they seem. I can put things away but that wasn't the only point. I needed to put the herbary to storage for winter. I could just gather all the pressed plants in a folder but I'm somewhat orderly so I neatly stuck them to the sheets, tagged them, placed to the Unsorted folder and only then I put everything in a storage box which is now kicked under the piano. I ripped a botched sweater and now the yarn is soaking - the skeins will be dry by tomorrow and I'll put them back to stash clean and ready for some further use. I'm updating various files, which means that pictures and notes are being sorted out instead of just moving them from the camera SD card for some sort of later treatment. The thing is, the I'll do it later tends to happen not next Wednesday as sort of presumed but three years later.

To illustrate the point: My knitting file.

The yellow post-its are works in actual progress, which are on the needles, worked on, even if with breaks. The orange ones are failed attempts that need reworking, plans and ideas. One sweater needs some 34 rows of a sleeve to be finished. It's been languishing around here for several weeks although now I've deided to hit it and finish it because, 34 rows, the heck.

Now, I'm just taking a few things to the trash and then I totally plan to snuggle up with the lappy, some movies and all the nearly finished knitting. Two hanks and one messy piece of barely definable fabric less is cleaning, too.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

I need chocolate. And booze.

I'm on a diet and I'm doing my best, I even had a nice bout of hypoglycemia the other day. But....

BossDad is hiring. The welding department of four was dissolved. Three were fired for general assholery, as I hear, and the fourth one is in hospital with throat cancer and won't be around for a while, poor guy.

So, BossDad got some resumés from various agencies and invited a bunch of people for some grilling. BossMom is the evil cop who hands out tests on grammar and general knowledge and such, BossDad is the bad cop and I'm probably the nicest one, mainly because I'm lazy and mean but not inherently evil. Or... whatevs.

Applicants took over my table in BossMom's office so I'm sitting in the hallway. It's no biggie but everyone entering or leaving is opening the slightly creaky door behind my back, BossDad is bringing the applicants in in somewhat loud and boisterous manner and I'm, after all, interviewing them. I have some rather urgent work to do, it requires concentration and I'm interrupted every ten minutes. So far, I have sorted out my mail, paid bills, wrote several lengthy and messy emails to people who are hopefully used to my idiosyncratic ways and bought a bottle of neroli on fleabay. Uh, and I have read not only a crapton but a whole shitload of stuff on

The result of the day is that finally, we'll have a PR manager. No more damn fucking advertising for the poor innocent editors who are busy with just about anything else.

Now, I'm off to get something like a dinner and a bit of rest since there's an overnighter ahead. I need to do some actual work.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Anabasis, part two

We're in the other hotel in Fuengirola, it's raining or about to rain or just after the rain, including a loud storm in the early morning.

We caught a break between two rains and went to explore the Sohail castle across the river. Apparently, there were quite some rains because what was a poor excuse for a stream was now overflowing its bed and proved that there's nice brown soil somewhere up there.

I grabbed my last chance at botanizing and dug up some more little plants (I expect a considerable amount of indoor gardening to come). Meantime, it started to rain again so we returned to the hotel for some cussing and booze.

Another break between rains was used for shopping, which enriched me by two Agatha Ruiz de la Prada bags, one nail paint, several fans, five metres of fuchsia grosgrain ribbon, another bottle of Bacardi Elixir (to take home, for a winter of very particular caipirinhas), two black tank tops and one in purple (when it fits, get many, I'm telling you) and probably something more. I didn't score a blossoming jacaranda branch, all the jacaranda trees within walking distance were too tall.

We packed and hoped for the best in the morning.


Thursday, 3 November 2011

Anabasis, part one and half

Parents decided to show them.
If they say it's not possible to get us home by Friday, we'll show them that it is.

Dad asked the car rental owner to sell him something.
Mom threatened just anyone around by press and lawyers and kept telling dad that he's crazy.
I kept searching for airline tickets and I kept being told that it's not possible that there are no flights within reasonable timeframe and price range.

In the morning, most of the emotions cooled down, I still spent some time messing with airline reservation thingies, then we packed and got transferred to another hotel. Car rental guy apparently decided we're loonies on the loose and never appeared. Parents gave up and decided that they'd better grab the day and enjoy the whole thing.

So.... we lazied around and then went shopping. I got more fans (shit, those nice painted ones cost from 80 euros upwards), a tank top that fits so well that tomorrow I'm going to get some more and a stunning Agatha Ruiz de la Prada bag.

It's not bad, I kept saying it from the beginning.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Pass the caipirinha.

Or two.

The travel agency folks announced that our flight back was cancelled and that some people are going back via Barcelona (which includes getting up at four-ish) and that the rest, including us, on Saturday.

I went Woo hoo, two more days of holidays and I'll have to reschedule shit so that I'll do the Friday things on Monday and that was it. Dad went ballistic because he has some appointments on Friday and because anyways, mom went ballistic because This. Is. Not. Fair. This is the package holiday for the 55+ group and how the poor grandmas are going to find their way on the Barcelona airport and the meanos shouldn't get away with it.

So, my polite well-mannered mom kept using her arsenal of four-letter words while dad was yelling at the travel agency representative who was the last person who could actually do anything but take the shitstorm with smile. I needed something at the reception so I gave the gal a few advices how not to piss my parents further.

Anyway, mom is still angry and uttering florid verbiage that includes 'bastards', 'lawyers', 'I'll complain to the European Union' and 'fuck'. Dad is meantime working on a future urban legend about a tourist who rented a car from the local rental and then fell in love with said car so that he bought it and drove a few thousand kilometres home (without a driving license but that's another story).

I keep saying Loonies on the lose and keenly observe the situation. So far, I had two caipirinhas, found a train to Madrid and airline tickets from Madrid towards Hometown, dad called travel agency gal that there's an Iberia flight at 1510 and remarked that they don't want to send people home fast, they want to get them there cheap with El Cheapo Airlines.

I'll see what happens. Alas, it won't be happening far away from me.