What to do when it’s freezing outside

The weather in Toronto this weekend was pretty atrocious. After an outing to have a lovely burger dinner at Burger Shoppe Quality Meats on Friday night (with a pit stop at the very strange, masculine “Opera Bob’s” bar afterwards, where they took about 35 minutes to make me a cup of tea), I decided going out in -25C weather was overrated, and have holed myself up in my cozy apartment with the temperature set to ‘Tropical Rainforest’ ever since.

This, for me, is the start of winter. Here marks the weekend where I officially re-engage my “indoor activities” roster, which includes reading, quilting, baking, knitting and doing things on the Internet, not necessarily in that order. In wintertime, Pipes rediscovers her inner Domestic Goddess. And as 2010 seems to be the year of the Rebirth of the Blog (see: Jalapeño Pirate, Spaghetti Robot, etc) I thought it was high time for a new post.

So, yesterday I made use of my lovely Christmas gift of ceramic pie weights and baked a pecan pie…

Pecan Pie
*the verdict was “more pecans, less sugar”. Not bad for a first try, though.

…and today, inspired by the lovely new “Fletcher Mittens” I got from indigirl for Christmas, I finished knitting and stuffing and sewing eyes onto the Linux Penguin I’ve been working on (or rather, NOT working on) since March…

Grumpy the Penguin

Reading has been a bit eclectic lately. I recently completed the utterly abysmal conclusion to Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight” series, ‘Breaking Dawn’, where the vampires *finally* decide it’s time to start talking about menstruation, and where I was disappointed to find there were absolutely zero sex scenes or even pages of tawdry purple prose waxing poetic about Edward’s heaving bosom or what’s-her-name’s engorged throbbingness or what have you. Sigh. 800 pages I never needed to read in the first place. I sincerely hope she doesn’t write a fifth book, though, or I’ll feel compelled to read that steaming pile of printed letters, too.

I’m accumulating a large stack of books to take with me to Mexico in a few weeks, for my first ever attempt at a non-adventure vacation. I’m nervous about being expected to basically lie down and turn off my brain for 7 days while attacking my liver with alcohol, so in addition to going armed to the teeth with SPF80 and an extraordinarily wide-brimmed floppy hat, I’m packing a heavy arsenal of literature and possibly some knitting to take along in case I need to jump-start my brain after baking it in the sun for a few hours.

Here’s the tentative list so far:
* Christopher Moore – Bloodsucking Fiends
* Fabienne Grevy – Graffiti Paris
* Lise Myhre – Nemi
* Caleb Carr – The Italian Secretary
* Agatha Christie – The Mysterious Affair at Styles; Hallowe’en Party; Third Girl
* Mark Dunn – Ella Minnow Pea (indigirl recommends)
* Marisha Pessl – Special Topics in Calamity Physics (indigirl recommends)
* Isaac Asimov – Tales of the Black Widowers
* Alexander McCall Smith – In the Company of Cheerful Ladies

Additions? Suggestions? Do tell. Comedy/mystery/fantasy preferred. I’ll also take recommended (light, small) knitting patterns for vacations.

4 thoughts on “What to do when it’s freezing outside

  1. Let me give you a list of some of my favorites. I tend to read fairly fluffly sci-fi and fantasy stuff since so much of my school reading is dour literature. I need to shut my brain off and fill it with filth after spending time reading old musty books.

    – The Temeraire Series, by Naomi Novik. The first book is called “His Majesty’s Dragon”. Basically, it’s a series set during the Napoleonic Wars but… they have dragons. Big intelligent reptiles, on both sides. It is quite awesome since it’s written like a period piece. Very good characterization.

    – The Dresden Files (Storm Front is the first). King of like if HP Lovecraft helped write Harry Potter.

    – Anything by Guy Gavriel Kay, but i’d start with “The Lions of al’Rassan.” Alternative History fiction, it’s very good stuff. That book is set during the Reconquista of Spain in around the 14th or so century.

    I can get more if you want em! I own… way too many books.

  2. I have to agree with the Temeraire recommendation. (And I think you will like Ella Minnow Pea as well.)

    You might like “In the Woods” by Tana French but it might also be too dark. (It is a mystery, but NOT a comedy.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *