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Diwali and Halloween - Which is not unduly obvious, as I am about to explain
Diwali and Halloween
So today was a busy day!

First, I did cooking for later in the day. In the middle of the critical boiling/stirring period, my mom called. We had a good chat although I had to cut it short. This turned out to be an ok dessert, but way way way too much sugar in it.

Next up was home reno, which I suck at. The temperatures are dropping off rapidly after an unusually cool October, and I needed to take advantage of outside conditions while I still could. First I screwed a board into the wood ceiling just outside my front door. The wood there is actually rotting; this is not a permanent solution, merely a cosmetic delay to prevent birds or insects from taking advantage of the spot, come springtime.

Then I worked on the back door a bit. It's an air leak, though not as bad as the windows are. Today I tried applying new weatherstripping. Now the door is much more stubborn to close. Oops. Still, I'll have to plastic-seal it before winter hits - the door's simply not flush with the frame. Badly made.

Under the back of my kitchen is a crawlspace, accesible from the back garden. Inside it's about 11' x 6' x 3.5'. About a month ago I opened it for the first time and found lots of junk inside, and discovered there was no insulation whatsoever under the kitchen floor, which explained why it's always so cold to walk across that part of the kitchen. So last Monday I spent the entire day putting in insulation. It's not an airtight seal, but hopefully will work. I'm actually proud of my work for a change! Then today I stuck foamboard to the window and closed it all up with caulking, assuming I will never, ever have to venture in there again. (Knock on wood.) Given my obesity, getting into the crawlspace is something I can just barely manage with some rather undignified wiggling. I kept having Winnie-the-Pooh-visits-Rabbit flashbacks.

Then I fed milkbones to the neighbour's dogs for the first time, chatted with the neighbour for a bit, and took a much-needed shower. Then it was off to the local Hindi Diwali fest that a co-worker had told me about.
I spent a bit much on food, but I hadn't eaten all day and I wanted to support the community. Some of the food was good and spicy, some was dull and overpriced. Overall I didn't stay there too long as I had another social obligation to go to. I left just as our new provincial premier was taking the stage to say a couple of words, now that our previous premier has become Canada's ambassador to the U.S.

One thing I found there was paan! This is the third time I've been able to find it. (The first time in Toronto, the second in Vancouver.) Generally it's not served in Indian restaurants; you have to find a street boutique. Essentially it's a sweet breath-freshener type of nibble; all sorts of spices, seeds and some kind of syrup wrapped up in a leaf together. I find that you either like it or hate it. If you like it, you just let the different flavours fight it out in your mouth and see who wins. It's a bit sweet, with a slight, simultaneous light bitterness, a kind of soapy taste, finishing with a lavender-ish after-taste. At least, the paan I had tonight was like that. After looking it up on Wikipedia for the first time today, I was surprised to find out that maybe I was chewing tobacco. Here's a photo of an unwrapped leaf; it doesn't do it justice and you can't see all the different kinds of seeds inside.

Finally, it was off to pierrekrahn's for his Halloween/birthday party. Actually I didn't know it was also his birthday until I got there. I was lame and had no costume, 'cause I'm terrible at doing Halloween costumes. I had hoped to see plonq there, and had bought extra paan for him to try, but alas he did not attend. Actually I know why; because some of the other folks at party get rather drunk. (Yeah, that guy was there again.) Still, I chatted for a bit, then left to get stuff done at home before bed. Mainly this LJ post actually. Sooo g'night! :-)
5 comments or Leave a comment
pierrekrahn From: pierrekrahn Date: October 25th, 2009 08:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for coming to the party!

And, sorry for that drunk guy again :(
Most people were drunk, but nobody even comes close to Gary's behaviour. Some people just can't hold their liquor.

I'm happy to report that nothing was broken this year. My poor side door has had 2 different heads go through it in the past. Partly because my steps suck (will fix in 2010), but mostly because people drink :(

Hope you had a good time, overall.
kfops From: kfops Date: October 25th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good work on the crawlspace... you'll definitely appreciate that in winter!

Just as a word of paranoia, I'd also make certain that the entrance to the crawlspace is sealed well so that critters don't also take advantage of your warmth (and generosity).

I've never had paan before, but every time I see it spelled I keep thinking of a Kirk-esque "Khan" pronunciation.
dronon From: dronon Date: October 26th, 2009 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
It should be ok, there was no sign of any critters finding their way in from before, and I didn't create any new holes!

kfops From: kfops Date: October 26th, 2009 01:04 am (UTC) (Link)
You're probably right about it being okay, I have just gotten a little more paranoid since my last insulation escapade.
plonq From: plonq Date: October 28th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for saving one of the paan for me. It was thoroughly delightful!
5 comments or Leave a comment