June 23rd, 2002


Puzzle Party

weather: sunny
mood: happy
music: Vivaldi - Four Seasons, 2. Summer

My friends had a Puzzle Party yesterday. We get together for a potluck dinner. The main group activity is a jigsaw puzzle of some kind, but people are welcome to bring videos or other games and activities or just sit around and chat.

I started the Puzzle Party thing a few years ago when I was really into Puzz-3Ds. I got the Castle Neuschwanstein (NOYSH-van-styne) Puzz-3D and invited a bunch of 8-10 friends over to assemble it. That took from about 1700h in the even to about 0300h the next morning. I got Le Château Chenonceaux a few months after that and we did the same thing. That one went until 0400h or 0500h. Then I got Camelot and Notre Dame Cathedral. Notre Dame was a special one in that, there's one piece with the silhouette in a window of Quasimodo holding a lamp. I gave out a t-shirt as a prize to whoever found that piece.

We've been into this puzzle thing ever since =)

We did a few regular jigsaw puzzles over the years. One year, B got a 6000 piece Old World Map. It was damned hard. That thing took us 3 months with a few people working on it for 6-8 hours almost every weekend.

B had received a Deluxe 10 Puzzle Set as a gift. It has two 1000 piece, three 750 piece and five 500 piece puzzles. We picked one that was a field of flowers. It was patches of different coloured petunias. It was kinda maddening that the picture reference they had was cropped wrong, so we were looking for pink edge pieces for one side, but the edge was really a a patch of green shrubbery. Gaah...

It was a lot smaller than I expected it to be. I laid out the corners and the edges across the table. Eventually, I realized that a lot of the pieces on the one edge fit together. By the time I had one edge completed, it was only 1½-2' across. =O

About three of us started the puzzle around 1930h/2000h. Some of the other people decided to watch videos instead. Sometimes, a group of people would decide to play Dominoes or a card game instead.


Four Cheese Pasta

weather: sunny
mood: buff nails on lapel
music: The Others - Opening Theme

The food at the Puzzle Party was potluck as usual. For those of you who may not know, I do not cook. I am as near Kitchen Impaired® as they come. I only recently managed to boil water without setting fire to the kitchen. Only the microwave likes me. The rest of the kitchen appliances glare at me with disdain.

But yesterday, as I chirped at my friends: I cooked. With a kitchen.

I made the Four Cheese Pasta yesterday from the Gourmet Macaroni & Cheese recipe that magicwoman posted some time ago. I didn't know the recipe made enough to feed the entire Army, Navy and Air Force. =P

I kinda had to wing it and adjust the ingredients. And even then, I had too much sauce left over. There I go again, halving some of the ingredients and forgetting to halve some of the others =P

Some things I changed from the original recipe:

  • I used rotini instead of macaroni - rotini is just more interesting to me.
  • I added ground pork to it - what can I say? I like meat.
  • I used a marbled cheddar instead of just white cheddar - I thought of using just the regular cheddar for some added colour.

It turned out well enough. I got compliments and it got eaten. =) And B (the hostess) even called me this morning with more compliments =D I asked if she'd talked to anyone else from last night and if they lived. Everyone is still alive and accounted for. *whew*

B made chicken and beef souvalaki as well as a Caesar salad, a Greek salad with Italian olives (which is apparently a gigantic faux pas that totally went over my head) and a garden salad with every single vegetable in the known Universe. There was also falafel and a Dellisio pizza. Buddy-Girl-K bought assorted fruit to make smoothies. We had excellent smoothies.

Good food, great company. I had fun. =)


The Others

weather: sunny
mood: impressed
music: Schubert - Violin Sonatina No. 2

Just finished watching "The Others". Go rent it. Get the DVD if you've been thinking about it. It's creepy, but it's not a sensationalist horror flick. It's one of those very little special effects films where the plot carries all the weight. It's a good movie with a great surprise ending.

Nicole Kidman is GREAT in it. My respect points for her plummeted after "Moulin Rouge", but she's gained it all back with "The Others".

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