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i cleaned all the things!

courtesy of the always spectacularly hilarious Hyperbole and a Half, taken from the all-time best post ever (except possibly The God of Cake) and you absolutely must click to read or an asteroid will hit the earthWhat a jam-packed and productive weekend!

Friday, I worked a half day and then spent the afternoon poking around downtown, splurging on a few art supplies for me and Sal and then playing with my supplies when I got home for the rest of the evening. Saturday, we got our New Seasons delivery of all our groceries for our part of the Thanksgiving menu (more about this later in the post), which means yet another year where we do not have to brave the scary grocery store crowds for the last can of Who Hash. So because we didn't have to play Killer Shopping Cart Grand Prix, we instead did some straightening and made a great dinner in honor of our dear friend Kurt who was visiting from out of town.

Kurt is the bestest. He shares my geeky love for intricately programmed Excel spreadsheets and has the best joke delivery of anyone I know, except possibly Sal. He and his wife, Sylvia, are from South Africa so he has the most wonderful accent, and he says delightful things like "Cheers!" instead of "goodbye" and "Howzit!" instead of "hello", which is my favoritest Kurt-expression ever.

Sal (who was taking the picture one-handed with my cameraphone, which is tricky as hell), Kurt, and meKurt and Sylvia share our love for pretty much the greatest TV shows in existence, and Kurt will gladly fan-squee with me over whatever show they're currently watching. And he and Sylvia's stories about their kids are not to be missed. Oh, every parent tells their funny kid stories, and some of them are funny (and some, I'm sure we can agree, are only funny to the parents). But Kurt and Sylvia's kid stories are the stuff of stand-up comedy.

So over another excellent meal courtesy of Chef Salvatore of dry-rubbed pork chops, roasted parsnips pureed with leeks and fresh parsley, and creamed brussel sprouts*, and later, a dessert of tart tatin, we talked non-stop for hours and laughed enough to come close to someone snorting a liquid through their nose at several points. We talked about the awesomeness of Portland, and the good things that Texas has, after all (that's where they live now), despite not being Oregon, and politics and the housing crisis and Arrested Development and the merits of Buffy vs. Angel. Goodbye came too soon, of course, but we were glad to get to see him for a bit.

(Kurt, upon hearing we were having brussel sprouts, proclaimed he would try them but admitted that he'd always hated them since he was a kid. I'll note for the record, as proof to Sylvia since she was on the phone with him when we said that there'd be brussel sprouts, that Kurt did indeed have seconds on them.)

Yesterday, with the prospect of the lowest temps of the year and the forecast of snow, we were finally motivated enough to get outside and do some kind of nominal winterizing. We have seriously been the most procrastinatory (NEW WORD AHOY!) slugs ever for the last few months, blithely ignoring the lovely fall weekends we could've been working outside and not freezing our fingers off, opting instead to go to apple festivals and walks in the park and concerts in the middle of the city square. So waiting until the last possible minute, when it was colder than hell outside and starting to rain, was probably our due punishment for being so lazy.

We didn't get the veggie garden cleared out (I KNOW), nor the leaves raked and put into the raised beds (I KNOW OKAY), and the zebra grasses still need to be chopped back (YES I GET IT WE SUCK AT PLANT CARE) but! We did get all of the various decorations brought in, the twinkle lights in the trees taken down, the potted plants that are still blooming sheltered on the back porch, the porch swing and rocker removed to the basement, and all the stuff that gets stored on the back porch packed away in the steel bins or covered with plastic sheeting as appropriate. We also got the three potted trees on the patio and the two potted shrubs on the front porch covered for the next few days of below freezing temps, so we're feeling pretty proud of ourselves for being actually on top of things for once. Sort of.

I carried that sense of accomplishment inside with me and folded and put away the four (!) overflowing baskets of laundry while Sal ran more loads (I refrained from pointing out that Sisyphus and I have something in common, lest I seem to be an ungrateful wretch). And then! We made a full pan of enchiladas to freeze for Wednesday night's dinner, when the Hall-Smiley Family Thanksgiving Extravaganza officially commences.

For those just joining our program, the H-SFTE is an annual family celebration of food, slothfulness, and inappropriate humor, in which obscene quantities of good food are cooked and consumed continuously, games are played, Wii records are shattered, laughter is heard, dishes are washed, and new shows are marathoned. In pajamas. It is the very best holiday ever invented.

Sister, Guy, and the Fabulous Miss M arrive on Wednesday night (hence the enchiladas, which can be thrown into the oven for a quick and yummy dinner), Miss M is put to bed in the princess bed (aka my old canopy bed*), and pies and casseroles are baked while we wait for Sally to get home from a long day. Beer is consumed by Guy and Sally and we all stay up way too late, the aero bed is put up in the living room, and we all finally go to bed at some ridiculously late hour.

*(this will become her bed later this year, but it will be the last time she sleeps in it at our house...awww)

On Thanksgiving Day, we have a simple breakfast and get started cooking, but there's none of that putting-the-turkey-in-at-5-AM nonsense. No ma'am, we sleep in and get cooking when we damn well feel like it, as god and nature intended. Other dishes are prepared while we nosh on bread and cheese plates and then crudites, all while playing with Miss M and watching movies. And usually, there's a walk in the park somewhere in there. A literal walk in the park. Hee.

We eat late, depending on Miss M's schedule and whatever's easiest. We laugh and we play and then her bedtime comes and we either eat after that if we haven't already, or we eat again if we're hungry (we usually are). And then comes the marathon of whatever new show we're introducing them to (Friday Night Lights this year). When Sister starts to get a little droopy, we liven things up with a Wii tournament (Wii Sports, Wii Resort, and Raving Rabids are the family favorites) and end up eating and drinking even more, and then at some point we realize that Miss M will be up in a few hours and we all finally say good night.

Friday is the late morning brunch of some wonderful elaborate family breakfast usually involving pancakes or waffles, and dishes are done, and leftovers are packed up, and at some point in the early afternoon, goodbyes are said. And thus, another fabulous H-SFTE comes to a close.

(I'd normally stick a pic of today's bento here, and I actually did have it all written up last night after I packed it, but ended up coming home early to get a jump on the inevitable traffic snarl that happens when snow starts to fall. Since I knew I was going to come home before lunch when I left this morning, I ended up not bringing my bento with me. I could've eaten it here, but opted instead for leftover enchiladas so I guess I'll eat it tomorrow.)

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Reader Comments (4)

...last can of Who Hash LOL!! Glad you got to see Kurt!
When I first read the description of the pork chops I thought it said dry-rubbery... and I thought that was pretty unlikely (and kind of harsh). Dry rubbed. Yummy!! And please, please tell me the H-SFTE will include creamed brussel sprouts!!? (you know, there will be so much food, if we're not having them, I probably won't remember by Thursday afternoon =)

I'm so happy to hear your tale of procrastinatory woe. We really are family! We share that gene. I now feel much better about all the leaves (and maybe even our moldy Halloween pumpkins) cluttering our yard. And now they're all frozen, so when they thaw and I get around to raking and collecting them, they'll be nice and moldy and wet and smelly. I love yard work!

Cannot wait to see you tomorrow evening!! The fun and feasting and slothfulness will commence with great happiness!!

Nov 23, 2010 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterSister

and srsly. that link. L.O.L.!11!!!
When she's clutching her trophy, all Gollum-like. Oh man. Too funny.

Nov 23, 2010 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterSister

Dry-rubbery, hee! Can you even imagine him making something that wasn't delicious? He's had a few misses over the years -- it's inevitable with experimentation -- but yeah, like you said: unlikely.

We were planning on having brussel sprouts but I just realized when I read your comment that he used the ones from the bin for dinner Saturday night and we didn't get any more at the store. Hmmm, may have to make a last minute run.... Oh, but we are having my glazed sweet potatoes, if that makes a difference.

I'm so glad to know we're not alone in our procratinatory habits. Especially regarding yard work. I don't even mind working in the yard, there were just so many other (more fun) things to do, and next thing we knew, it was the end of November and about to snow. Yikes.

Nov 23, 2010 at 4:57 PM | Registered CommenterBitty

OMG don't you just love that site?? That comic is the best. And so true, isn't it? So true. You MUST go read "The God of Cake" (it's listed in the right sidebar as her top ten or whatever). Seriously, there will be tears and stomach pains from the hilarity.

Nov 23, 2010 at 4:59 PM | Registered CommenterBitty

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