Jan. 7th, 2017

yunikoneko: (Default)
(I'm backdating this post for organizational purposes)

On New Year's Eve, Ben and I went to dinner at Sides Hardware and Shoes. It was a 30 minute drive out of town, but it was a scenic drive out into the country, and I'm apparently not over taking long drives through pastoral landscapes, yet. I'll admit that I picked out the restaurant partly because they kept the name of the original establishment, which was reminiscent of Luke's diner in Gilmore Girls. Also partly because they were one of the few places that had available seating two days before NYE on OpenTable. Anyway, Sides was actually kind of upscale. Not that you couldn't go in wearing jeans, but they bother printing out the name of their chef, sou chef, and pastry chef on their super fancy menus. I think it was probably about as upscale as a rustic establishment named after a hardware store can get, and they had a special aged rib-eye that could ostensibly serve two that cost $175. We did not order the rib-eye. I had the lamb and Ben had mac and cheese. I thought Ben was maybe not taking full advantage of our celebrating the end of 2016, especially when his meal came out served in the same size mug in which Panera serves hot cocoa, but it turned out to be really rich and filling bacon mac and cheese, with a crispy/toasty crumble on top. My lamb was pretty perfect, too, served on a bed of green beans and goat cheese gnocchi in some kind of slightly sweet savory sauce. Their pre-dinner rolls came with the most amazing honey miso butter, too.

Claire and Lawrence came over for the countdown after. We introduced them to Looping Louie, which is always fun because people tend to underestimate the amusement adults can get out of a kids' game, even sober. Then we played some Jackbox. When it was 20 minutes to countdown, Ben surfed around for an adequate countdown show on-line, as when we invited Claire and Lawrence over "to watch the ball drop," we neglected to recall that we do not actually have cable and therefore lack access to live television. On that note, we wound up watching Canada's New Year's Eve countdown, and so were ignorant of the Mariah Carey fiasco until the next morning.

Ben had received both his TV mount and my workstation mount sometime the week before, but my studio got set up first, so he mounted the television, later. I feel that it's important to note that he's a nerd about his digital media.. being that, he must consume it in the most ideal and comfortable manner possible. And I am a nerd about home decor, so I pay attention to things like focal points in rooms. We have a real gas fireplace. Ever since (middle-class) people stopped shutting their televisions away in cabinets, they have been at odds with fireplaces as focal points to rooms. In our first house, we mounted our TV over the fireplace. It worked only because our fireplace was smaller and electric, and the mount tilted forward just enough to be comfortable watching. But you still had to tilt your head back a little. In our second place, the niche over the mantle was not large enough for our massive television set, so we put it on the adjacent wall and instead put knickknacks on the mantle. In our new house, the fireplace is larger and the TV would have to go uncomfortably high for watching. We could have put it on the adjacent wall, but Ben forewent his office in favor of having a guest room, so his computer would live downstairs, against that wall, and I was not interested in having two large screens there. It was an alright solution when we were apartment-dwellers, but if Ben was going to have his office space in the living room, I wanted it to feel more like a study.

Anyway, most of our San Diego nerd friends advise to screw the fireplace and cover it if possible. Which I get. We never used the fireplace in our second home, partly because we never got around to hiring a sweep, and partly because it never got cold enough to matter. But I don't like that idea and find it rather tacky unless the fireplace can be removed altogether. Of course, we're not going to remove something that's considered a value add for potential future buyers. So instead, we went ahead and bought a mount that cost more than we spent on Andy's birthday flat screen. This over-the-fireplace mount swings down relatively easily to optimum viewing level, and even has a handle that changes color if you have the fireplace going while watching TV and the fire is too hot. So, that is the major thing Ben installed this week.

I don't know why I can wax poetic about our over-the-fireplace tv mount install but have a hard time recalling much else from last week. Mostly, I waited around for acoustic foam and other household odds and ends that Amazon promised to deliver on Thursday but actually delivered in drips and drabs over the weekend. I don't blame them- new house, address still does not appear on Google Maps. But still, we have managed to receive Christmas packages and gift baskets on time. I watched the first Sherlock of the new season and was a little disappointed. The pacing seemed off and the only bits I really liked were the maybe 5 or so minutes of the Watsons being family-like and following Sherlock on his case. I also started watching Jessica Jones, after finishing re-watching the B- in Apt 23. I like Krysten Ritter. I learned the difficult way to get to Trader Joe's. I dragged all three of the bookshelves I didn't sell upstairs all by myself and started unpacking my studio only to realize that the 3 or so other bookshelves that were in my old art studio closet that I gave away before moving actually served a purpose and I will need to replace them.

I thought about writing an LJ entry for the start of the year, and I'm pretty sure I started, but I got distracted and it never happened. So I guess I'll address my last year's "resolutions" and this year's here.

Last year's goals: Give up soda, low carb it, record every day of 2016, clear out old projects, stop buying things, let it go. How I did: pretty OK on most of this stuff until about the time we had to haul ass out of our house and move for Ben's new job. Last three months were kind of downhill.

This year's goals: No soda at home, cook more often at home, low carb it, manage blood glucose, record every week of 2016, actually do the stuff on my "be better" calendar, maintain one-in-one-out wrt material possessions, let it go (that's both "don't sweat the small stuff" and "let go of old projects").

Oh, right, I made a "be better" calendar, basically a chore and work-out schedule. I mean, most of the things on my "to do" list eventually get done, but I'm a terrible procrastinator and I'm trying not to be. I tried using alarms on my phone, but I started ignoring them. I am not exactly sure why the calendar will be any better, but there must be a reason as I spent a couple of hours filling it out, adjusting the notifications, and color coding it.

We got rid of a bunch of things for the move, and yet I'm still unpacking things I'm looking at and going "Why did this come with me? Will I really get back into this?" I think I ought to pare down to just my doll-related hobbies, but I am having a tough time getting rid of paper. Especially since I also use it for miniatures.

I've been writing this post for two days trying to make it somewhat coherent, but I guess that's not going to happen.



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