My most bloggable present from Christmas was from my parents, who got me Buffy's Radio Sunnydale CD off my wishlist.
I resisted getting this soundtrack back when it first came out because I wasn't enamored by the number of songs on it. But the more and more I watch the show again, the more I wanted to have some of these songs that were unavailable elsewhere. Mainly the super Blue by Angie Hart (talked about getting it stuck in my head in this post). Some of the other songs are great, too (just noticing that the beginning of Bohemian Like You is reminds me of Real Gone by Sheryl Crow from Cars, LOL!) I already had purchased the Aimee Mann song on this album because I liked it so much, so I have two copies now!
There's also a Sarah McLachlan song on here that I couldn't easily get, The Prayer of St. Francis, and I love making my Sarah-collection more complete. Funny thing, this made me notice that somehow when I ripped my music in, Surfacing never made it in, so Full of Grace, another song used on a Buffy ep, wasn't on my computer. Most of the songs I liked from that CD were on Mirrorball, so I guess I hadn't noticed. Fixed now, Surfacing is all ripped.
While listening, I start digging for other Buffy-on-episode music that I didn't yet have that was available on iTunes, and I added a nice pile to my wishlist (Tip: for a low-tech personal wishlist in iTunes, just create a new playlist and drag the 30 second clips into it)
While Buffy Guide is the best overall site for anything related to specific episodes, I wanted to find a site that listed out the songs played in each episode rather than clicking through to each. I found Dusk 'till Dawn, which has a really nice short overview of each song, the artist, and the brief summary of when it plays for most of them. That works!
Oh, and I'm really excited right now about Buffy because right before Christmas, I used some Amazon gift certificates to finish up my collection when all the seasons were on sale. That was the 3 remaining Buffy's I needed and the 3 final Angel's, too. I'm adding them to my Vox when I finish them, and we'll be done with Season 2 of Buffy the next time we sit down to watch - I won't watch Becoming I without watching II at the same time, so it'll be a double feature :) We watched the one before those over the weekend, Go Fish, which is fun because it has not only Shane West (of ER, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), but Wentworth Miller (Prison Break) too :)
Pretty soon, I'm going to have to decide if I want to watch Buffy and Angel intermixed like they played on TV, or finish out Buffy and then start Angel. I hadn't thought of that until E said something, but the more I think about it, the more that makes sense for the timeline and the things that did cross over a little. That'd be 4 seasons worth that match up: Buffy 4/Angel1, Buffy 5/Angel 2, Buffy 6/Angel 3, Buffy 7/Angel 4.
I think I'll have to pick up Angel: Live Fast, Die Never at some point too, because even though most of it instrumental, it's got Christian Kane's LA Song too. ;)
And there's my fangirlyness that made me all happy even though I'm a bit worn out from the festivities!
Eric's birthday is tomorrow, but we are celebrating with the family today with a big birthday party! I told him Friday was the beginning of his birthday celebration and he keeps laughing at me. We went out and watched the Golden Compass on friday and had Old Spaghetti Factory for lunch, and it was a really nice date.
E's mom is actually coming, because she flew up for a funeral in Walla Walla yesterday. We're sad for the reason, but it will be great to see her, since we aren't flying down this holiday season ourselves. Of course, as we get closer to the event, people are dropping off of the list, which does tend to happen because E's bday is so close to Christmas and people having other responsiblities. But it will still be great, we'll have somewhere between 9-14 people I think!
I've been doing a bunch of cleaning throughout the week and yesterday, we finished up most everything. How does dust and dirt get on ever surface of the house?! It's sure shiny now at least. A few weeks back, we rearranged the couches, and even though the couch sitting area is a smaller area now, I think I'm going to leave it this way even with company and hope that nobody feels like there's nowhere to sit. (we are only one chair short because it was Megan's and she needed it).
For dinner, we are going to have fabulous food. I created this recipe for Pasta Bake (theredkitchen) a few months back when I didn't have any lasagna noodles, and have perfected it and then added a vegetarian version. I've never made it on a bigger scale than single-service+leftover, though, so this ought to be exciting. We'll also be having yummy dinner rolls (theredkitchen), which I love to make because they are all yeasty and fresh tasting. And then broccoli with butter and mizithra cheese (like Spaghetti factory) and Apricot Glazed Carrots (allrecipes) or something like that - I didn't get an orange to zest.
Yesterday's cooking prep included a new recipe for snacking on, Peppermint Cookie Brittle (bettycrocker). This looked like an easier version of peppermint bark that I made last year because the base is cookies instead of chocolate. We still need to break it up into little pieces, but it's done. E picked a cake out of the Cake Mix Doctor, and Almond Chocolate cake that smelled SO good last night and I can't wait to eat it! :)
So today will involve a bunch of cooking to try and be done and ready to bake it before people start coming early to gather and play. I'd rather not be stressing about finishing anything but the vegetables once people get her, truthfully, because that's a little more anxiety-inducing!
Along with the birthday party planning, I finished Christmas decorations, and started wrapping Christmas presents (E's mom may be able to stick a few in her suitcase, otherwise we'll bring them to the mail on Monday). This coming week will be mostly relaxing because gifts are almost all done and just waiting to be wrapped. And Christmas cookie baking will happen towards the end of the week to bring them for Christmas Eve with the family. We'll go to church on Sunday with Leonard and Sarah, which really gets me in a good mindset for Christmas (speaking of which, I dreamt last night that I found an adventist church I actually wanted to attend and didn't have people who I'd rather not see at it. I wish that was true!)
Ohhh, and E found a cable for the entertainment center downstairs to plug my iPod into. Now we can listen to the 8 hours of Christmas music on my iPod instead of having to use the CD rotator and be limited to 5 CDs and listen to the ugly noises it makes when switching between ;) I ripped his Mannheim Steamroller to alternate with my regular Christmas Music. I can't help but sing along, even if my voice leans towards singing the harmony too often!
Have a beautiful day, friends!
My fav discovery of the day - my on sale summery short jammie pants actually have a small button and unfold to be regular length. Woo!
Edited to add: aren't these just crazy bright? Maybe even a little much for me, but I couldn't pass up the under $5 deal on them :D
My holiday knitting that I planned is going so well! I'm very close to getting it done, and I added a few more small things to go along with my stuff in the meantime.
Happy Clapotis scarf: Done for quite a while now. I finished 2 weeks ago at the knit in. The blocking went SO well on this, it opened it up so well.
Stripey Anastasia socks: I'm almost done with the second one, about another inch of the pattern and then the top rib. I did a lot during National Treasure (the first one) and so when I think of them, that comes to mind.
Armwarmers for my sister: These were done when I wrote my first post. I added on the idea of gifting a really skinny scarf to match, and I'm about a 1/3 done after working on it for an hour last night at the knit in and a little more during Pushing Daisies.
Mittens for my nephew: These actually took longer because I did the first one at least 3 times to get a pattern I liked and to make them proportional. They are done, and I actually should put up the pattern because they LOOK like fair isle, but they are a slip-stitch pattern so there aren't floats to catch little fingers on.
Slippers for my niece: These are done, started over in Cascade Fixation. I decided to add on some legwarmers, since she's having a ballet themed gift box. One of the two is done, with Cascade Fixation and one other strand of worsted weight yarn held together for random stripes. I don't think I'll make the stripes match between the two, just make 'em random.
I need to upload photos, I've taken a lot along the way, and then not done anything with them, oops. I've been busy knitting instead of uploading, I suppose :)
I love December. Christmas decorations and lights and snowflakes to hang, planning Christmas presents and getting ready to wrap, making Christmas cookies and other treats, wearing cozy sweaters and pretty red and green things with sparkley eyes, readying the house for E's birthday party, celebrating God's gifts, and most importantly, a lot of great family time throughout.
But along with all of that, December is stressful. I love it, but I can see that my headaches come easier and I put a lot of expectations on myself to DO all of those things above and do them the best I can. This year, I've cut back on a few things that I did last year (traveling to CA for a holiday, making a tray of goodies for each of my siblings), and I got my shopping done much earlier, but I'm still feeling frazzled here and there.
But I can't help it, I still love December and look forward to it all. :)