So, I had made plans to go to New Roads this weekend. (Sadface: I found out last weekend that the delightful–and reliable!–New Roads-St. Francisville ferry stopped operating last year, when they opened a stupid boring bridge over the Mississippi instead.) But upon checking the handy weather app on my Tablet (Advertising! SEND ME SOME BUXXX, B&N!), I saw the forecasted high was 85. I would tromp around in 85 degrees in summer and be grateful for it, but the first week of November? Eff that noise. Plus I woke up annoyed after a dream in which I cooked dinner and a bunch of people showed up annanounced and there wasn’t enough food and then they complained about there not being enough food. I literally woke up muttering “Get the fuck out of my kitchen, assholes!” Too much dairy before bedtime.
ANYWAY. So instead I went shopping in Lafayette. LOL, bitchezzz be shoppin’. Only instead of shoes and chocolate, I bought dip pen nibs and English tea and scented candles. You know, basic everyday staples. Most of that was procured at World Market, where I was dispatched by mater to fetch gingersnaps and lemon curd. I love that store to a probably unhealthy degree and limit my visits to a bimonthly trip, where I keep my head down and try not to look around too much, lest I buy half the store.
The dip pen and nib set was actually bought at Michaels (boycott Hobby Lobby, they are a bunch of god-bothering nutballs who don’t want to give health insurance to their female employees). I was looking at calligraphy ink when I saw they had the Manuscript round hand set #1 for just $9.99, which seemed like a decent price. A couple of the nibs are too wide for anything but calligraphy; which I took a class in in high school and remember being both good at and fond of–my favorite script was half uncial, a late antiquity/early medieval lowercase script used predominantly by Irish manuscript copyists (the Book of Kells was written in uncial). It was one of those ones where the s looked like an f, although there was a modern s introduced later. But some of the nibs are narrow enough for letter-writing, and the pen itself, although just cheap wood, is light and shaped nicely and pleasant to hold.
I was actually at Michael’s in the first place to get supplies for a new cross stitch project. I’ve finished with the primary stitching in the hurricane tracking map (aka the project that is taking half of my life to finish), but there’s a LOT of backstitching–it’s a MAP, after all–and I’ve never been crazy about backstitching and I need a break. When I put together my absinthe treasury list on Etsy (I’ve since done 4 more treasury lists, SOMEBODY STOP ME), one of the things I included was a cross stitch pattern for a 1900-ish absinthe advertisement, which I then decided to buy. I mean I know you can convert anything to a pattern for free with programs you can download also for free, but it was $5 so eff it. She emailed it to me in a PDF pattern less than an hour after I sent the payment through PayPal. It’s big but fairly simple, and there’s no backstitching.
The first bit though, UGH. I always start in the middle and work my way outward, and just coincidentally the middle of this pattern was where a lot of elements converged. So of a 10 x10 block of stitches, there were a bunch of colors that employed maybe 2 or 3 (sometimes just 1!) stitch. So I would unwind a skein, wrap it around a bobbin, cut off a length, thread my needle, make a couple of stitches (which takes about 3 seconds), run it under some other stitches to anchor it, cut my thread… and repeat again about 80 times. It took me the entire length of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Swedish version, no duh) to do that first square. (I watched it for winter porn. I think I might watch the Fincher version again too, for Daniel Craig porn. He spends most of it wearing glasses and bundled into a series of manly but comfy-looking scarves, which is basically the thinking woman’s version of the sexy librarian look for men.)
Last night was David’s birthday, so I made bastilla (Moroccan chicken pie), which is not hard but is labor-intensive, so it’s kind of a special occasion thing. I also made baklava for the first time (since I had a ton of phyllo dough in the freezer), which is much easier than I thought it would be. We’ve had a bottle of rosewater in the fridge for the longest time–an Indian friend gave it to Mom because she said I was thinking of making ras malai, my favorite Indian dessert; I was, until I started looking at recipes and decided it sounded too complicated–so I made it Persian style: almonds instead of pistachios, cardomom instead of cinnamon, and 1/4 cup of rosewater in the honey-sugar syrup. (You can also use orange blossom water.)
SO THAT WAS MY WEEKEND. How was yours?