Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Honey Woman

Tonight as I was walking to my car across the grocery store parking lot, I was asked,in all seriousness, "Are you the honey-woman?"

Good luck with getting to sleep tonight.

Smell your house

You know how you sometimes go into other people's houses and their house has a distinct smell personality? And it's not really any one thing you can put your finger on. Maybe it's a house of incense junkies and it's easy to figure out; but usually it's just what it is and there's no duplicating it.
I've always wondered what my house smell is because, as I think is true for most of us, including the incense junkies, it's hard to smell your own home's smell profile.
Well today I figured out how to do it.

Step #1: Get together a box of books that's been sitting around in your house for a long while. Make sure these are books you don't mind getting hot and buckled.

Step #2: Wait for a really hot day.

Step #3: Put the box of books in your car and roll up the windows. Let the books bake in there for about four hours.

Step #4: Smell the books. There it is!

My house smells a bit granny-like, but with a touch of old cigarette smoke. Weird.

Milk Addict Breaks Silence

Give a shout out to Kate and Jon.

In case the hilarious subject line doesn't clue you in; it's a baby thing.

Breaking news

Star Jones: "I had gastric bypass surgery!"

Firstimpressionist: "I couldn't fucking care less!"


Thanks for your monumental contribution to young adult literature. Thanks for being such a smart, savvy, creative, strong woman. Thanks for never dumbing down your books or changing your narrative as a result of public pressure.

It's been a pleasure to make you a success.
Does it bug you when you hand someone something to sign and they whip out their own "fancy" pen and eschew the pen you hand them?
It kind of bugs me.
I bet it bugs you too.
Like they're saying "Um, nooo, as if I would deign to slum with your cheapass pen? I'll be using my Cross/Mont Blanc/Parker thankyouverymuch..."

Bad Timing

Really shitty (pardon the pun) time to launch a career using your real name if your real name is Alli.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Thrifty tip of the day

Don't pay three dollars for a roll of sticky paper on a handle sold to remove pet hair from clothing and furniture. Instead just order a roll of priority mail stickers from the post office website.

Free and delivered right to your door!

Starting Fresh

I spend a lot of time in my office when I'm at home. Funny to think that this room started out the first year as junk room with ugly blue carpet. (Aside: the previous owner of my house was cuckoo for robin's egg blue and stark white. And sheer fluffy window treatments. On top of those precious qualities, she's a Glamour Shots addict as well.)Back to musing...

Then I rented it to a friend of mine for a few years.
Then it was my iguana's bedroom.
And now it's an office thanks to my husband's ability to wire it for internet and phone.

There are kid's books that I get and figure I should put them online and I make a pile and feel ambitious. Then after a couple of beers, I start fishing out only the most fun and clean of these books and leave the ugly ones and boring ones.
Pretty soon, my office is full of ugly and worn and boring kid's books with clumps of dust and pet hair clinging to them.
And that makes me feel tired and the neglectful attitude spreads to everything else in my office.

Today, however, I finally took some time and got my office back on track.

Good thing #1:
I found a good place to set up these cool cat perches that I bought on QVC. I put one on either side of a wooden loveseat frame that is presently minus its cushions. The cats think it's pretty groovy.

Cat Hostel

Good thing #2:
I sorted all the books into three boxes; antique mall bound, bookstore bound, and those to be catalogued at home.

Good thing #3:
I dusted and dusted and took out the trash.

Good thing #4:
I had a private hissy fit last night and finally threw out my old tv; the one that makes watching tv like being half-blind in a dimly lit pumpkin.
The good part of that is that I put in a different tv that is a normal tv.

Bad thing #1:
I found a state business form thingy that was due yesterday.

Bad thing #2:
My iguana is ill and it makes my heart hurt to share this room with her and look over and see her nose every minute.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tired of repeating this lesson

Note to self: trust your instincts. Sigh.
You are not a badass and you don't need the drama.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Alzheimers sucks the big one

My sister is participating in a walk to raise money for Alzheimer's research on behalf of our father.
If you have a friend or family member suffering from Alzheimers, please consider making a donation toward funding a cure.
My sister's modest goal has been reached, but she would be thrilled to exceed it.
My Dad's Pledge Page

Sunday, July 15, 2007

New Big and new Small

Change is in the air. In lots of different forms. Feels like things are realigning and setting up for something.
I've been quit from smoking for 3 months. I'm now trying to quit drinking. Too much beer lately methinks.
My lizard of 14 years doesn't look very healthy and I'm not really willing to take her to the vet at this point.
My cat of 14 years is ill and might have to be put down tomorrow. We'll see what the vet says.
My husband is very nearly finished with the travel portion of his job (one month to go, yay!)
My boss is discussing moving away next year for a 12 month sabbatical.
I'm becoming more open to the idea of what the house my husband and I will build can be. As long as certain basic features are in place, I can make the rest comfortable.
And a little thing, but I'll throw it in; I found a new fragrant lotion that I love. I mention that because I have a strong olfactory/memory connection and it's interesting that I'm now creating a new neural pathway with this scent.



I found this recipe earlier this year online and it's been sitting around taunting me with it's savory potential.
I finally made a batch last night and I'm happy to say that they do not disappoint. They are oddly addictive and so not good for you.

If I had to make any changes to the recipe, I would probably add some chopped pine nuts to the filling.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Living with Quality

One of my friends is housesitting this month for her employer at a large rural farm site over in Kodak. My husband and I went over for a cookout last week. I had been told that the house was an old log cabin, but I wasn't really prepared for the awesomeness of the old house.

I'm told that that the house was taken apart, moved and reconstructed on this site. It looks like it's probably from the late 1700's or early 1800's; notched logs, stone basement, three stories high, old wide wooden doors with iron latches and a huge cooking hearth.

I guess the thing that struck me most was the sense of the house being like a fine piece of furniture.
It's all built from old wood. And the wood holds such a phenomenal fragrance. It's centuries of cooking and hearth fires and just... life. I don't really know how to put it. It made me acutely aware of how bland and lifeless most modern houses have become.

My co-worker really really likes hats. He recently acquired a fine old bowler as payment for housesitting for my boss. (Another house-sitting theme).

He brought the hat in today and we both sat and marveled at the fine detailing and craftmanship. Silk lining, leather band, tiny stitches, laced band tightener with bow, fine felt and a perfect fit.

And again I was struck at the lack of quality that we encounter in our day to day lives here in the 21st century. I mean obviously we have nutrional quality, job quality, medical quality etc...but as far as goods go, we have given way to cheap and easy.

And here's my quandary. My husband and I are talking about buying some land during the next year and putting into place, plans for building our own house and lil' farm.
And frankly I'm a bit scared. I'm really afraid of ending up with a cheap boring personalitiless home. I'm afraid of low ceilings and plywood and vinyl flooring and the foreverness of it all.

I'm just completely ignorant of home-building and I want to make sure that we are able to create something akin to a "fine piece of furniture" and hope that's something we can afford to do. I want a fragrant wooden house with tall ceilings and deep closets and thick doors and solid floors and the baked-in scent of many winters worth of wood fires.

God, we have a lot of work to do to make this happen.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Looksism, or "Back in my day..."

I was tremendously insecure about my appearance when I was a child. I don't think there was anything about myself with which I was comfortable or pleased.
I really don't know why I ended up feeling that way about myself; my parents were complimentary to me and I went to a small public school that actively worked at fostering an environment free of classism and racism. We were all pretty much on equal ground.
I can only imagine how hard it is for kids these days with a near-constant media barrage of what's hot and what's not.
I wish the U.S. had taken the opportunity when it had the chance, to establish bans on advertising to young people. Seems like kids go straight from toys to Abercrombie and Fitch Jr.
Kids have a hard enough time trying to figure out who they are and what's important to them without having corporations scrambling to turn them into vapid, insecure, identically-clad, debt-bound clones.
Anyway...pretty good article : Looksism

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Accidental Patriot

Nice afternoon and evening on the lake with my inlaws yesterday. We had intended to just boat over to The Point for dinner, but stumbled onto a full-blown pre-fireworks gathering, complete with Phil Williams. So we tied off and spent the evening at the red, white and Bud soiree.
Seems like drinking Budweiser on the Fourth has become like eating black-eyed peas on New Years.

(How does Budweiser do that anyway? An independently owned restaurant, an independently owned dockside convenient store, and an outdoor buffet, and all are stocked with nothing but Budweiser.)

So anyway, at some point as the sun was setting and the sky was pinkish and dusky, four orangey-pink round lights appeared, coming slowly and in a straight line from the west. Maybe ten thousand feet above us, flickering like japanese lanterns. As they got above us, they seemed to climb higher and then the light dimmed and then flickered completely out, revealing a smallish black silhouette then rose up and away, or in one case, slowly fell.
A group of six appeared after that, behaving the same way.
We never did figure out what in the heck they were.

The firework show was nice but somewhat haphazard. The promoters had intended for it to be coordinated with music, but dude got a late start and then it seemed, had to light every rocket by hand, making it hard for him to keep up with the beat, as he had to run between crates of explosives and dodge heavy smoke and sparks.
At one point the music stopped and the fuse-lighter man was only about halfway through his stash. He kept lighting in silence as the dj's scrambled to come up with a suitable patriotic song to accompany him.
They settled on Rocky Top. Then Celine Dion singing God Bless America. Then some other crap.
Finally finally at long last the finale, which was quite pretty and we quite sure, had killed the fuse-lighter man.

We rode back across the lake afterward in the dark, which I have to say, is extremely disorienting. Eveytime we do it, I am amazed that my father-in-law can figure out where we're headed and manage not to hit anything.
My in-laws wanted to load up the boat onto the trailer so that they could take it to Norris the next morning. The first time they had tried doing this in the dark. And with lots of other drunken boats milling around trying to load up as well.
And....it didn't go well.

We first tried to load it on a slanted slope with my mother-and-law driving the boat.
She missed the first try and the second.
So my father-in-law tries to drive up on it and it seems to be good until we drive out of the water and we see the boat is all crooked and leaning.
We try again, drive out, and hear a loud crack and the boat threatens to fall over into a foot of water. (This is a large pontoon boat so it's really frightening).
Turns out, one of the top rails of the trailer had snapped off and was floating in the water.

So at this point, my mother-in-law and I are absolute nervous wrecks. Amazingly though, the boys decided to give it another go on a more level surface and actually got it on properly (the broken trailer bit wasn't as essential as I had thought).

I'm always impressed with people who have the confidence and patience to try and try again. That's not my style. I'm a throw-the-textbook-across-the-room-and-sob kind of girl.