Things I've Accomplished Today That Weren't Related to my Book

So I realize now that tomorrow is the Fourth of July. That's made today require a bit of hurry up and go because tomorrow is not only mother #2 and my sister's birthday (and I didn't get either of their cards in the mail), but it also means that, in spite of virtually everyone I know here being out of town, tomorrow must be given over to barbecue.

The thing I like about summer holidays is that they are social events in a way winter holidays can never be. No one ever gathers up their friends, packs a cooler and runs off to the beach for some sun and fun in January (at least not here in the forsaken lands). And let's be honest, as much as I love Thanksgiving, I can't think of anyone who has the same level of fear that their family or friends are going to unload every ounce of drama over the meal the way they do at winter holidays (unless you've reason to always be afraid your family is going to do that, in which case summer holidays would be better because it's easier to get away when it isn't likely to be snowy).

Of course, at least part of the theory is that if I'm going to have to spend hours on the phone tomorrow in the "apologetic son/brother" role, I might as well at least be well-fed.

And so today's been less focused on work than other days (and those of you who know me know just how little focus that means). Instead, I've been accomplishing things for the barbecue I am throwing for myself. It's all prep time, baby.
  1. Pico de Gallo. This was accomplished in spite of the fact that the cilantro I bought seems to have vanished. The pico de gallo may be the most important part here because it can be used for ages - pico de gallo goes great in an omelette, for example.
  2. Lemon Poppy Seed Bread. Well, technically, I could still screw that up by forgetting to take it out of the oven, but honestly, if it reaches that point, I'll have bigger fish to fry. This is also a bit about set up. The bread'll be good, I hope, but I'm intending it to go with some specially prepared strawberries and whipped cream. If it works, it'll be grand. If it doesn't, it'll be the worst clash of flavors since the great Dr. Pepper/Crunch Berry Experiment of '93.
  3. Fajitas. Technically, they're marinating still, but that is at least as important as the application of heat. There are also peppers and onions marinating, but this is an experiment.
  4. A load of laundry. Because you can always rustle up a load of laundry, and doing one always feels like an accomplishment.
  5. finished "Spook Country" by William Gibson. Eyed "Drown" by Junot Diaz. Recommended books to others. Sharing is important.
  6. Brushed the dog. Also played extensively with dyno-mutt, as this is a significant portion of why we keep each other around.
Notice how much of this is justification about how doubly-useful this form of procrastination might be? Don't mention that. I noticed it first, and anyway, you don't want me coming to your blog to point out your defense mechanisms.

So anyway, it's an odd thing that today I feel like cooking for friends which would necessitate inviting people to my apartment. I never feel like that. Ever. But I'm pining for grad school in loads of ways - most of the people I want to invite over cross my path first there (but not all). There's actually, likely, a post coming up on how grad school pining may be part of what's leading to the desire for the Big Leap.

And now, I must make dinner and do some book work. Happy 4th to the lot of you.

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5 Responses to “Things I've Accomplished Today That Weren't Related to my Book”
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Sisyphus said...

I don't know that marinating bell peppers works ---- not unless you peel off the skin, in my experience, or maybe roast them to get the skin peeled off... mmm, yes, nice smoky roasted peppers marinating up the onions and maybe a few tomatoes ---hey, got any of that to spare for me?

July 3, 2008 at 9:15 PM
Samantha said...

Maybe I'll try some of the Newman's black bean salsa I saw at Tops today in your honor.

July 4, 2008 at 12:47 AM
ash said...

funny, this made me miss my grad school friends, too for some reason...

sigh. good times.

July 4, 2008 at 8:57 PM
adjunct whore said...

i've been missing my grad school friends also--i was just wishing that they could come over for a bbq in fact!

your defense mechanisms sounds pretty good, actually.

July 8, 2008 at 9:23 AM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

The marinated peppers and onions sort of worked; they weren't bad but they weren't what I had in mind.

The phone calls went much as expected. Not even 30 seconds into my sister's birthday call, she began to complain about our parents. Ultimately - on her birthday, mind you - I had to tell her we were done talking forever about particular subjects because she wasn't willing - as opposed to capable - of trying to be rational about them.

But the food was good, and I did get about 9,000 words rewritten, so the mechanisms must have worked, right?

July 8, 2008 at 1:51 PM