Just to let you all know - Sean and I are fine. As a matter of fact, by the end of the night we laughed it off. I didn't want any of you worrying.
I'm in the deep, dark, festering colon of my sweater pattern - where things get Real Messy. I spent two hours at my knitting class waiting for help multiple times. SO MUCH MATH! Who would've thought? But once I get out of this dank cave of binding off the neckline, I should be well on my way to sleeve success. Time will tell.
The weekend flew by, unfortunately. And I can't really say if I've accomplished anything besides grocery shopping (I'm gonna try the Fat Flush diet again starting tomorrow) and knitting.
Heather and I braved Old Navy in downtown Seattle the Friday after Thanksgiving, and the crazies were out.
The Jesus Freaks, the Anti-Fur protesters (with real dead animals in traps along the sidewalk for all the little kids to see - thanks), the Seattle Police dude (he's always there), and Adbusters walking through the stores with shoppers chained to a Santa as he whipped them.
And the crazy lady in line with us that Heather and I plotted to kill.
But I got pajama pants for a steal! And that's what counts!

Ahhh the Holidays with the Dayments
No, Dear Readers, it's not a glaze. It ain't teriyaki. It's burnt black.
Where shall I begin?
Sean thought he was working a half-shift Thursday, so by Monday I had an entire chart typed out with everything I would make, and I calculated when each item would be started. I knew this would be a one person operation. I was ready. Groceries were purchased wisely. Recipes were printed and taped across the cupboards.
I had the brine ready by the time Sean got home Tuesday night and we stuck the turkey and the brine in a Hefty garbage bag, tied it up, and put it in the garage fridge, sitting on that great pan from the Johnstons that doesn't fit in our oven.
Then Sean found out he had Thursday off after all!
Wednesday I was reading an article in Chow magazine that said "Whatever you do, don't brine a Butterball turkey. You'll end up with a watery, salty bird." And to that I said "Ho! Ho! No matter! We are geniuses in the kitchen! Only a moron can truly screw up a turkey that bad!" And there the turkey continued to sit in the brine, in the refrigerator, in the garage.
(Leaking water all over the garage. But we didn't know that yet.)
I had the alarm set for ten this morning just in case.
The alarm wasn't needed - I was up and ready by ten, with a fresh batch of hot tea on the stove. Once it was steeped, I brought in a glass to Sean (we drink our tea in large drinking glasses - we don't mess around) and asked him if he could wake up and help me. He didn't understand what needed to be done at ten a.m. but he eventually got up.
It was soon after this that Sean noticed the water leaking all over the floor of the garage, so he unplugged the fridge, then moved the turkey, now removed from the brine, into our fridge in the kitchen. So it could "dry".
I started prepping the kitchen which means doing the dishes from the last two days, and then assembling the ingredients. Sean retreated to the bedroom to watch TV.
We realized that we needed a roasting pan, because our one big pan that would have fit into our oven was still at Josh & Emily's, from when they came home from the hospital with Iggy and we made them Alexandra's Feta Pasta as a gift.
No big whoop. Central Market is open until 6. I bought a roasting pan, some raisins for Sean's butter tarts, and an eggnog latte. Okay so far.
The problem was when it was time to put the turkey in the oven. Up to this point we were assembling everything else - and really, it was WAY too much for two people.
WAY. We had already dirtied most of our serving bowls, all of our spatulas, all of the good knives, and the countertops were loaded with flour and cans and bowls and....
Anyway - the turkey in the oven: Sean hops onto the internets to look up what Alton Brown has to say. Alton says to put the turkey in at 500 degrees for thirty minutes, then cover it with foil and cook it for the rest of the time at 325 degrees. (You see where this is going, don't you?)
"Why are you doing that?"
"Because Alton says...."
"Sean! I've been researching this for three days. I even went into a CHAT ROOM to ask people. There's tons of ways to cook a turkey - and does Alton say how to roast a brined Butterball? Hmmmmm?"
"Okay fine we'll do it your way - what were you gonna do?"
"Well, I guess we could..."
"You don't have a plan?"
"Well, there's many options...."
"You don't even know"
"There's tons of different ways to cook a turkey"
I don't recall what happened next, but within about 12 seconds this became an absolute SCREAMING MATCH over a turkey. I won't go into it, but trust me. It was awful.
He turns the oven OFF and walks away. We're still screaming.
By then I'm all "We'll do it just like Alton! Tell me what you had the oven set at!"
He won't answer me.
And so the oven oven was set at 500. And then a few minutes later, Sean says quite bluntly, "The turkey went in at 2:10. It's now your responsibility."
And then he went into our bedroom to watch the TV with the door closed.
And then I cried. And then I watched TV in the second bedroom with the door closed. And then I cried. And then I knit.
At 4 o'clock I hear Sean yell "Come look at this turkey" and I know this must be good, because he's speaking to me.
And the smell of BURNT hits me as soon as I round the corner.
The whole pan is black. All of the veggies at the bottom are black. And the TURKEY IS BLACK.
My bad.
Ohhhhhhhh yeah. My bad.
I paid dearly for that one.
I'm crying and yelling "What do you want me to do? Do you want me to buy just a turkey breast and we can roast that?"
And he's just glaring at me.
Then Screaming Match Pt II kicks in.
He flips the turkey right-side-up (we were roasting it upside down so the top wouldn't get so dry. That's really, really, really funny now), covers it all with foil, turns the oven down to 325, and walks away.
I cry and make stuffing balls, sweet potato casserole, and roll out the tart crusts.
Just before the turkey is done, we reassemble together to finish up. Mash the potatoes, make the gravy, set the table. We are still not speaking to each other.
It's done. We forgot the start steaming the broccoli. We start steaming the broccoli.
Let's just have a rundown, shall we?

Jalen asks nicely

Post dinner
TURKEY: The brine has fresh chopped ginger root in it. Not recommended. I appreciate ginger. But not soaked into a turkey. And the turkey? Well, the bottom 2/3 was black, the the top 1/3 was.... edible.
GRAVY: We were supposed to start it two hours before the turkey was done. We did not do that. It had a lot of flour and no "browned bits" because there were no "brown bits". Only "black chunks". But we made it okay.
STUFFING BALLS: Called for coarse ground breadcrumbs. Believe them. Don't do like I did and settle for fine ground breadcrumbs or you'll end up with some very dense, heavy, wet bread balls.
SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE: Which Sean doesn't like. So I halved the recipe. Oh but HAHAHA I forgot the halve the vanilla. So it tasted like vanilla extract. I exhaled vanilla.
BROCCOLI: Miraculously overcooked and mushy even though we started it ten minutes too late.
And to top it off:
We'll call it "a pie". I guess. I took a recipe and changed it a bit. The "bit" was actually "the demise".
I had two pieces. Because, y'know, I was hungry.
I had been crying all day and it's exhausting.
In the end, we rented Stepford Wives (which I saw at the theater with Amanda) which covered some time and we didn't have to talk, so that was good. After the movie we talked a bit. I guess we're okay now.
And I finally sneezed today. That was good.
And the entire second panel of my sweater is almost finished. So that's good.
All said and done, I told Sean that I see no reason for us to do this again unless we have a family. Not just the two of us. Three days of planning, a full day of work, and tons of food in the garbage. And the screaming.
One year Sean and I went to the Yankee Diner really late on Thanksgiving night. It was awful. We were pretty depressed that night.
This one was worse than that one.

What's on: every house light, every outside light, the garage light, the stereo, the TV, two computers, the dryer, and the sink water is running
I have the most horrible head cold. I'm breathing out of my mouth and my nose is itchy like I need to sneeze but I haven't sneezed yet. I JUST. WANT. TO SNEEZE.
In the middle of this I dragged myself out of bed to get the Thanksgiving groceries, since I was supposed to do it last night but I opted for laying in bed and complaining instead. I got a Butterball which quasi-insults me but at 60-something cents a pound I'm okay with it. I don't have a problem with Butterball, it's just that I wanted to add my own flavorings and such, but Butterball turkeys are pretty much pre-made.

Stupid stupid pepper grinder

The brine
I'm brining it anyway (hence the sink water running - it's enjoying a cool thawing bath as we type). I also made that weird casserole that I like so much, only to spend 20 minutes hand-picking every single peppercorn out of it because the pepper grinder exploded once again. Sean called and I told him that the pepper grinder was fired, to which he asked "Did you touch the button on the side?" "YES I TOUCHED THE BUTTON ON THE SIDE, IT'S ON THE PART THAT YOU GRAB AND SWIVEL TO GRIND THE F***KING PEPPERCORNS." I refuse to chalk this up to user error. It's POOR DESIGN. Do you see how many peppercorns there are? It's a good thing I have long nails.
Once the brine is cooled and the frozen block of ice in the Butterball finally loosens up so I can yank out the bag o'giblets, it's going into the brine and into the fridge in the garage, where it will sit until Thursday morning.
Besides the turkey we are also having those mashed potatoes which we skew until they become half-potatoes half-dairy, gravy, a half-batch of my sweet potato casserole, a half-batch of stuffing balls (yes, I said stuffing balls), broccoli, and Sean's making a batch of butter tarts, so I bought some cranberries and cream cheese and pecans to try to create some sort of cute tarts for myself. I'm craving cranberries but yikes, all of these Thanksgiving cranberry recipes have Jell-o or pineapple or chopped apples or other such weirdness. I'll have to make something up.
(NO I HAVEN'T STARTED THE SWEATER AGAIN SINCE FROGGING IT FOR THE THIRD TIME. I'm giving myself a 24 hour reprieve. Let's not talk about it today. I have a cold.)
(Or tomorrow.)
Mary Johnston gave us the coolest roasting pan - it's that vintage enamel-covered kind. With big handles on the side. So cool. So retro. So three inches too big to fit into our oven.
Hey okay I'm back. I just pulled the plastic bags of guts from the turkey (finally) and:
1. The neck TOTALLY looks like a frozen banana in a bag. I took it out thinking it would be this teeny bag with the liver and gizzard and I was all Huh? Is this a banana? And I haven't taken any cold medicine for hours.
2. Are the neck and liver and gizzard in those plastic bags really the same organs from the same bird? I have my suspicions. I think I'll ask Grandma and Grandpa when I call them.
If you need me I'll be over here breathing through my mouth and avoiding my knitting. With all the lights on.

It's Not That I Don't Love You
It's just that all I'm doing is knitting and baking.

(oh man I need to go pay rent!)
Jalen has some new meds that are pretty.... ornate. Anna Esser, Jalen's girlfriend/veterinarian (at Carkeek Park Veterinary) has been researching for us to find a way to give Jalen his medicine, since the pills were not working. And by not working I mean it was a psychological mess. We all know that giving a cat a pill is a joke, but Jalen took it one step further by becoming bulimic. He would struggle like crazy, and once the pill went down, he would take off and puke. Like, make himself puke. Then, we would give him a pill again, and the second time he would run to the (covered) litterbox, and puke in there. Repeat over many nights. It got to the point that we would be getting ready for bed and Jalen would go hide. And I felt horribly guilty.
Enter Jalen's girlfriend, who made many phone inquiries and finally gave us a solution.
She found a pharmacy who can put the medicine into a transdermal gel.
The bag above is Jalen's medicine, in pre-measured doses (10 per thingie) in the transdermal gel. Meaning, we rub a tiny spooge in the inside of his ear, and it absorbs into his skin.
90 doses for $40 - not bad. And when we rub it into his ear, he purrs like he thinks we're just petting his ears.
Funny thing though, we have to put on a glove to do it or we end up absorbing the medicine through our fingers!
Oh, and lest you confuse this with Jalen's monthly steroid shots, no no silly, that would be another medical problem of his - horribly itchy skin (to the point of scratching himself bloody). He's still getting the shots. This transdermal gel is for his antihistamines - so he can breathe.
And to any of you who are rolling your eyes for all of the effort we put into this cat - you've obviously never been to our house and held Jalen.
Last night we had Joe and Julie over for dinner. Joe is American and Julie is Canadian, and they are immigrating to Canada, so we had a lot to discuss. They were a pleasure to have over! But I didn't get a picture of them because I was too busy gabbing all night.

The cats looooove knitting

My $9 Payless shoes
Today was glorious - All Knit All Day. Well, the first half of the day. I started the front of my sweater and was on a roll until just about 20 minutes after this picture was taken - then I realized I messed up the pattern part and had to unknit about 12 rows. 12 rows of 54 stitches per row. Ugh.
Then I messed up in my unknitting. Plus I trashed the yarn by ripping it in so many parts. The sad ending?
The whole thing was killed.
Sean and I tried everything we could to save my 5 or so hours of knitting to no avail. We're talking about 18 or so inches of knitting. I haven't started over again yet because I'm still bitter.
Plus we had two recipes to test out for my annual batch of Christmas cookies. We decided that we would try a few new recipes this year, and figured in the next few weekends we'll make a couple test batches to approve them.
Tonight's first recipe gets a big stamp of NO. I think the recipe writer left out a major ingredient because they taste like big dry floury crackers. Those of you Blogaslovakians who receive my Christmas cookies will be happy to know that we tested these suckers first. MAN.
I think I'll start my sewing project now. Because I just don't have enough projects going on at the same time.
P.S. Chris & Sean had to put down Mocha last night. Our hearts go out to them.

Anyone out there watch the West Wing? Props to Bloggers!

Dear Oven: I love you!

My sweater so far
My oven toasts marshmallows! BLISS!
The back of my sweater is finished, but I still have to do the front, the sleeves, and the neck. And it's HUGE.
My knitting class is only for another two weeks (once a week) so I'm nervous. But I'm also obsessed so I know I'll do it.
It's rainy and windy outside, and it's telling me to go to bed.

Saturday night Andrea drove down from Vancouver and Todd & Tamsin joined us for steak tacos and the movie The Sixth Sense. Can you believe that Todd had never seen the Sixth Sense? And! AND! He didn't know The twist! In this picture Tamsin is holding Dominique, but she's doing her usual burrowing-into-an-elbow-pit, so you can't really see her.
The following morning, Andrea and I headed out for some Bulbous American Shopping, including Target (oh the $1 sales!), Half-Price Books, lunch at Zao, Abercrombie & Fitch, Anthropologie (every single thing in that store made me whimper, and I'm usually not such an Anthropologie person but the skirts! The beaded sweaters!), Old Navy, and Urban Outfitters.
I also felt like Giant Monster Troll Woman in some of these stores. A bull in a china store. A... oh you get it. I actually stuck my arms out and did a stompy Frankenstein walk in Victoria's Secret, because REALLY am I a size XL? Size 8 (EIGHT!) is XL, but we're the fattest country in the world? How much more skewed can we make women and their body issues? Abercrombie? I'm a BUFFALO. Their large sweaters would stretch to a halt at my RIBS. Victoria's Secret? I'm like Women's World size when it comes to my chest (according to them). And frankly I'm annoyed with Vic's Secret because their stuff is looking as trashy as Frederick's of Hollywood.
And here's Andrea, size 0, lalala, holding up tiny stuff that would look perfect on her.

Andrea saying goodbye to the cats
I came home feeling like a fat boring hippo.
How many times do I have to remind myself that I have to get gussied up before shopping? Because my hair isn't done and my face is bare and zitty and I'm wearing jeans and Uncle Bill's winter coat circa 1994 and NOTHING is gonna look good held up to me in a mirror.
Oh MAN I forgot J Crew. (Sigh.) Every single thing in J Crew right now is preppy/adorable. Green argyle sweaters with matching green argyle socks. Cable knit sweaters. Green pea coats. And arrrgh they're SO EXPENSIVE.
Moving on....
Tonight I met the Seattle Purly Girls for the first time - they're mentioned in the Stitch`n Bitch book, including a pattern author! They were a very friendly bunch. They meet every Monday on Capitol Hill and I'll probably be joining them regularly, since Sean doesn't get home until 8 pm.
To the left is Hobbes and my current two knitting projects, as of Saturday night. The left item is a scarf for my cousin Doug for Christmas, and the blue bundle is my sweater (wadded up) that I'm knitting for myself in my knitting class. And a brown ball of yarn that I got from an old scarf that I frogged because it was atrocious.
Also pictured: US magazine. Yep.
And I can assure you that Hobbes was purring.
Whelp, my green bean casserole is done so there's my recap of the weekend and today.
("Big gulps, eh?    ....Whelp, see ya later!")

I have some pictures but I've been shopping with Andrea all day and I'm beat. So in the meantime, go make this crumb cake. Really.

My t-shirt can be yours, too!
I totally messed up my sweater by thinking that I knew how to unknit. Emergency visit to Meredith's tomorrow (I'll be up in Edmonds to get my haircut at Stephanie's anyway).
Now it's back to knitting a scarf. Hmpf.

Today was That Day. The day that my family requests a wishlist for Christmas, even though only one person draws my name. I mean, yeah, I could pick out something for $75 and just turn that in. But where's the fun in THAT?! This is where I step up to the computer saying "hmmm.... what do I want this year? And nine hours later my eyes are glazed and there's a bit of drool on my chin and how long has my mouth been open? and I've discovered ALL THE THINGS I DON'T HAVE THAT I NEVER REALIZED THAT I REALLY REALLY WANT STARTING RIGHT NOW PLEASE.
And poor Sean. Every year, same thing. Work pants. Socks. He asks for so little. AND HE JUST GIVES SO MUCH.
So, my internet loves, I leave you with this year's Dayment Wishlist.
And pictures of Sean playing with a kitten.
And that's it because I got home late.

A Perfect Day for Me Would Be......

Carlos Jimenez, juror

Pete Sackett (with my purse)
Last night was the Seattle AIA Awards ceremony. For those of you not as completely obsessed with architects as I am, the AIA is the American Institute of Architects. I was literally hopping. Not only that, but my date for the evening was Pete, who's the project manager for the Seattle AIA, so I got to shake hands with the best of them. I even had a great GGLO reunion!
There were SO many beautiful projects. The Central Library was one of the big winners, which surprised no one.
After the AIA awards I went home to watch my tape of last Thursday's ER (finally) and start on a scarf for Doug for the ninth time (I'm on about the eleventh start now). Then I went right back downtown with Sean in tow for Les Savy Fav at Neumo's.
Ah, Les Savy Fav.
There really isn't a way to describe them except GO SEE THEM. You will be entertained, that's for sure.
The last time I saw them it was me, Jon, and Amy at Graceland in 2002, and Jon and Amy had just started seeing each other, and we took her to this show, and Tim (the lead singer) stripped down to a thin cotton wrestling onesie and treated the entire showroom like monkey-bars and did many other inexplicable things throughout the show. And at the end of the night, Amy said "That was nice!"
So Sean and I wedge along the side of the stage and I'm already impressed that Tim's still fully dressed. They were ROCKIN. And Tim won't ever, EVER stay onstage. He takes that mic and heads into the audience, climbs around on bars, and last night, walked outside the side door and was still singing while outside on the street (that was hilarious - we could hear him but we couldn't see him because he shut the door behind him).
Very early into the set he grabbed these big platforms that were being used as a sort of blockade, and while singing, he grabbed one at a time and rolled them across the stage and handed them to the kids in front of the stage (and all the hands shot up - it was such a great example of understood teamwork) and by the time it was done (all during a song) a dancing platform/catwalk was built out from the center stage. He also had dollar bills put into his nether regions by fans, and was given pixie stix and a tie and a few other items.

Tim on the side bar - the whole audience along the front was holding up his mic cord so it wouldn't tangle. I was almost teary.
Also? He has this weird need for props, and if there aren't any - he finds some. At one point he took his sock off, stretched it over his hand, and CHEWED holes into it until his fingertips stuck through. Then he tugged and tugged to get his other sock stretched over his head, then he grabbed a plastic cup that was thrown on the stage and sang through it. So just for future notice - if you guys go to a LSF show - if you throw something on the stage he WILL find a way to utilize it.
The encore included the band pulling members of the audience onstage to help perform the last song. This included Jason on drums - which is exactly where he belongs.

First Jason was on the side

Then he let Jason take the set

Tim & I after the show

Sean & Jason

Rebecca & Pixie Stix
By the end of the night, Sean proclaimed that it was one of the best shows he's ever been to. It was LATE by the time we got home, but I knew I was going to the AIA Awards, then Les Savy Fav, and I had to register my car this morning, so I had already told Ray that I wouldn't be in until lunch today.
It was a banner Dayment day.
P.S. Shane's band, Robosexuals, is opening for Les Savy Fav tonight in Vancouver!


Thursday Pete and Anne came over for dinner. Friday was a Stitch & Bitch at Sara's in Fremont, then Trail of Dead at Neumo's. Saturday was the opening of the S'Klallam House of Knowledge (whoops! I need to update that page!) over in Kingston, WA, then dinner at Marc & Sarah's. Sunday was Girlie Crafty Afternoon at my house and housesitting for Sylvia next door, which I will remind you - there's two cats, two rabbits, six chickens, a turtle, and a hamster.
I supposed I could hash out all of the details, but really, the majority of it is eating and knitting - which makes for a great weekend, but not-too-exciting of a blog entry.
So instead, as usual, I will leave you with too many pictures.

Like my boobs shirt? Get yours here!

Pete & Anne

Madeline sleeps while Mommy knits

Trail of Dead (two drummers! yummy!)

Beagle puppies on the ferry! Splayed!

and JA on the ferry

Ryan is so entertained by Sean

Watching the S'Klallam performances

S'Klallam tribe

Marc & Sarah's cat, Diva

Crafty Girlie Afternoon

Some cupcakes

Samantha & Ariel

Amanda & cats

11-03-04 pm
The sky was falling on election day
The election numbers were just starting to come in around 4 pm yesterday and suddenly the Johnston Architects staff were on the deck, looking up. So I grabbed my camera. They were noticing the sky and this severe cloud that was moving across in this almost-straight line.
They all volunteered to make the picture a bit more dramatic, but what I love most is the other picture - it didn't turn out as well, but Andrew's acting efforts are impressive.
I had my first knitting class at Acorn Street tonight and started my sweater. I'll show it to you when I'm a bit further along.

That does it.
If Bush wins, I'm moving to CANADA.

Fernanda's 30th Birthday Party

At the old Red Hook Brewery Building

Sean & Matt

Sam & Cathy

Big cake!

Iggy was there (in my onesie!)

Birthday Group

(Three birthdays that week)

She was lit

Scott & Sean

Curtis & Bill

Sam, Me, Liz
Saturday night was Fernanda's party in Fremont. Sean and I spent some quality time at Sonic Boom Records before walking over. There were a LOT of drunk people out that night. Earlier that day, Matt & Nanda's Samba Band performed in a parade at Seattle Center, hence all of the people dressed in skeleton costumes.
Sunday I was given a budget to go buy us a printer (ours died about a year ago). Amanda called that morning and said she had to do some shopping on the "northside" and I volunteered to keep her company. We looked at printers at Office Depot, Costco, and then Target.
Oh, Target. How I love thee.
I got a color HP printer for twenty-seven dollars.
And because I saved SO MUCH MONEY on the printer? I got a skirt, a pair of knee-highs, a black thin sweater, a white shirt, and some bath oil. And before you all remind me that my printer will be exactly worth twenty-seven dollars, let me remind you that our printers have all broken after two years, regardless of price. So forget it. If this sucker lasts over one year, I'll be happy with it.
Here's the new Hear Music station at Starbucks. If it isn't in your local Starbucks store yet, it may be in the next year. It's a machine where you pick out Hear Music songs (Hear Music has TONS of songs - including all the songs you hear playing inside Starbucks) and make your own CD. The prices are pretty cool, actually. And note the machines at every chair! Crazy.
And brilliant.
I'm so glad we stayed home tonight. I made a double-batch of Puppy Chow for Fernanda's party, then divided up the rest into small baggies for my trick-or-treaters. (This had Sean a bit concerned, so I put an address label on each bag. But really, when's the last time you've heard the famous razor-blade-in-a-candy-bar story?) We ran out of those, so we passed out OLD single-bags

Friends & Eleanor

He didn't know what he was
(we asked)
of Whoppers.
We went through the whole bag of Whoppers, then we had to resort to easter egg candies. Yes I'm serious. Sean and I are famous for our Halloween-planning.
And where did all of these kids come from?!?
AND WHAT TIME IS IT? It's bad enough when all of our clocks vary by about 15 minutes, but then there's this dang time change and now the whole house is in a time rift.