Thursday, December 30, 2010

What A Bad Girl Looks Like

She is very bad.  She doesn't care at all that we're in California.  She wants her breakfast at 4:30 eastern time.  Then she wants more food at half hour intervals after that.  She's noisy and determined.  I had to shut her in the bathroom with her kong full of peanut butter last night.  Even then she was pawing at the door complaining.  Trouble maker!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Black Cloud

Not happy.  My computer fell off the table where it was charging and died.  We're traveling so I don't have access to my backup hard drives.  Also, my iPad was plugged into the computer when it fell so the iPad is compromised too.

That is the tip of the iceberg though.

The first Christmas without Dad is being more challenging than I though it would be (for me at least) so I'm in a crappy mood to begin with.

Hey - at least the weather's nice, the company's good, The food is good, Fay is healthy, I have a home to go back to, I have back ups for most of my files, my novel is safe and overall I'm in good shape.

There's light around the edge of this black cloud.  Now I need a good wind to blow the damned thing away.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Could Pace Myself...

but why?  It's not NaBloPoMo.

Evidence of more half-assery:

This is what you get when you cut up marshmallows and put them in your brownie batter.  Looks intriguing, no?  I assume it would taste a lot better if the marshmallows aren't stale, the canola oil isn't rancid and the brownie mix hadn't expired in 2008.  Yes, I did that too.

Our fake tree.  If you look closely you can see that it has both pine and fir branches.  We've had this tree for years but I just noticed that this year.

Left-over pancake!  An underused culinary option in the age of microwave ovens.  This one is left over neeps and tatties with skirlie and a side of kale.  Of course it is.  There's some kind of meat stew mixed in the pancake too.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Craft Hubris

This blog should really be called "I Half-ass My Way Through Things, Seeing What I Can Get Away With Without Doing Anything Properly"

I just spent a fun couple of hours completely failing to make a pillowcase.  It really was fun - I learned a lot.  I didn't wreck anything either because I used material from a filthy old sheet as a tester.  That was probably the smartest thing I've done all day.  My first pillowcase came out so wrong that I'm definitely going to make another one out of more filthy sheet until I get the measurements and technique right.

I may also need to find a new sewing machine.  Wouldn't that be nice?  Maybe a fancy overlock machine.

I have craft hubris.  I think I can make anything easily.  It cracks me up to find out how wrong I am.  I sure have fun trying though.

I told my friend I'd knit her two pillows.  We picked out the yarn and a fabric backing and I knit the yarn part.  Now I find out that I need to back the knitted part with fabric to help it keep its shape.  I also want the pillow to be removable so that she can wash the case if she needs to.  That's the tricky part.  Instead of just sewing up a rectangle of fabric and sewing the knit part to the front of it, I'm sewing an envelope out of two different fabrics (one fancy, one plain) with velcro closure.  I'm sure I'm also over-thinking and over seaming.  I got really into the preliminary seam ironing too.  I love ironing - it's so peaceful.

In the end I came up with a design I liked but it didn't fit the pillow at all.  Now I have to re-measure and try again.  I'm sure I'll manage eventually.

I don't really know how to sew.  I learned how to use a sewing machine in high school when I volunteered in the costume workshop.  I made a yolked button-down shirt for one of the boys in "Our Town."  Classic.  That's all I made.  One shirt, twenty-seven years ago.  Still, I consider myself comfortable with a sewing machine.  See - hubris.  I should definitely invest in an overlock machine.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More Coveting

Don't you think these boots would go GREAT with that red wig?

And while I'm at it, how about these boots?

All from John Fluevog.

P.S., the weather outside is frightful.  Just the way I like it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I don't know why but I'm all about RED these days.  It started before the holidays so it's not just some Christmas thing.  RED RED RED RED RED!!!!!

Michaela sent me this picture of a wig you can get on
so naturally I went to their etsy shop.  Which wig don't I want?  I have something like seven wigs favorited right now.  I kind of feel like wigs are as good as knit hats in the winter time and if you wear a wig and a hat you're extra warm, right?  I always wear a hat indoors this time of year (since it's buttass cold) so these would be practical.

On top of really making me want to buy things, looking at etsy really makes me want to go make things.  Usually I want to go make the things that would distract me from the things it's more important to make though.  Eh, what are you going to do?  Make everything and not worry about it?  How many hours are there in a day?

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I'm thinking I do better when I'm thwarted.  When things start going my way I get all big headed.  I think "At last, The Universe is on my team!  Everything's going to go great now!"  Then I start pontificating and condescending and acting all giddy and more foolish than usual.  Later I get home and realize what a dolt I've been and I feel so embarrassed.  As you can tell, I've done this more than once.  I should be grateful for the indifference life usually dishes out.  I can't seem to control my unmerited self-confidence when things seem sunny.

Speaking of lack of control, I have become obsessed with lipstick.  I picked up this boxed set at Anthropologie the other day:
I've tried all three tubes.  They are the finest lipsticks I've ever worn.  The colors are beautiful and flattering and they feel luxurious on - very hydrating, not sticky or waxy - and they are without odor or flavor.  They were sheerer than they looked in the tube which works for me.  These are colors I can put on without having to look in the mirror and yet they still have impact.

Once I'd tried them all I immediately googled "Lipstick Queen."  It's Poppy King's new lipstick company.  Maybe you remember her perfect matte lipsticks from back in the 90's?  Maybe not.  I'm just the kind of person who remembers stuff like that.

Here's a link to the website.  I want to try the "Black Tie Optional" and something from the Sinner line.

As for the Kate Spade red lipstick I mentioned earlier, it turns out you can buy it on line.  It's under "fragrance" (and yet it too has no fragrance or flavor)

Finally, I bought a Santa hat for Fay.  Yes, I'm one of those people now.  Somehow I managed to pass up the banana split dog costume they were selling at Target this Halloween (the one that's all over youtube) but the Petco Santa hat got me (after all these years!)

Maybe I'll change the photos over there on the right to something more seasonal.  They've been up there since 2007.

It's funny, I just typed in the title of this post and it made me think if the times I've claimed to be on a rampage.  Usually that involves something like eating popcorn and Nutella or tidying the house or (God help me) staying in bed longer than usual.  These are not rampages.  Rampages involve violent uncontrollable behavior. When I think about it, the things I consider "out of control" for me are ridiculous.  I'm not sure I've ever really been out of control (on my own initiative) in my life.  I feel like I'm missing out.  But then I think of the people I know who really are out of control.  It's pretty much been fatal for them.  Is there such thing as being a little bit out of control for a little while?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Life Is One Big Ball Pit - Especially When You're Juvenile Like Me

I was looking at what I'd written under the "monsters" category.  The older stuff is a little bit interesting.  I really hope I can make a comeback here sometime soon.  That would require me to have some time to think and maybe the holiday season isn't the best hope for that.

Clearly I need to make some lifestyle changes.

Another thing I was thinking about today was, well, I always think everybody else is doing better than I am.  I think everybody else is better at managing their time and being a grown up and dealing with life's details than I am.  It dawned on me today that that may not be true.

Everybody else just deals differently than me.  Plenty of people out there are dropping balls all the time.  I just don't see it.  The streets are awash with dropped balls and they're not all mine.  There are tons of things I'm terrible about.  There are all kinds of people who are better about them than I am.  But there are probably other things that I'm better about than they are too.

Wow, what am I, fourteen?

Maybe I should get back into reading the "New Yorker" more again.  At least the comics.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


On this, the last day of NaBloPoMo 2010, wouldn't it be great if I wrote something thoughtful and insightful?  Yes it would.  This isn't that post though.  Maybe later if we're all lucky.

So far today has been completely ordinary (except that Pete got up before I did - that's unusual) and I'm feeling hard pressed to think of a subject to write about at all.

Speaking of writing, I really enjoyed NaNoWriMo.  I hope that I can keep up the writing habit.  I don't know if I have two hours every day to commit to writing though.  Hopefully I can swing one hour.

I'm not sure that the writing habits I got into this month were the best for me.  I know I did a lot of padding (you know- used a lot of words I knew I didn't need) in my attempt to reach the 50,000 word mark.  I guess I usually edit myself more as I go when I write.

Well this is working a different way and it's important to try new things.  Now I can try editing myself afterwards.  Maybe I'll do a better job now that those thoughts have been floating around in my head for a month.

Anyway, I probably only got into the "edit as you go" thing because I'd put off my assignment till the last minute and didn't have time to edit later.  Not the greatest way to get into a lifelong habit.  Yup, it's important to try new things.

I don't know if I'll try to do both NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo at the same time again.  I think the blog suffered.  It got less time, attention and thought than it normally would in November.  I hope I haven't alienated anyone with my uninspired posts this month.  If I have they probably aren't reading my apology right now, huh?

Okay, I'll knock off the rambling and move on with my day now.  Thanks for your patience, assuming you're still reading,

P.S. Now I'm really excited to take my novel into my studio and move it into it's next incarnations: comic books, videos, paintings and sculptures.  Even farther into the future I hope, a video game.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mwwwaah Ha Ha Ha Ha Haaaaaa!

Home Stretches

In 1579 words I'll have hit the 50,000 mark.  I can do it before noon.  Then I hope I can get on to the NaNoWriMo web page, get my numbers validated and buy myself a NaNoWriMo Winner t-shirt - and underpants, socks, hankie, hat, toaster etc.

I'm a tiny bit concerned that once I've finished writing the first draft of the novel before the end of the month I'll forget that it's still NaBloPoMo and I'll blow it on the last day.  AAAAAAAAA!

Fingers crossed that that won't happen.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Elastic Cords

I have this probably erroneous belief that I will see the people I've met in my life again.

You know, people come and go in your life.  You meet each other, you like each other (hopefully), you separate, you meet up again.  Always.  As if everyone is attached to each other with elastic cords and we bounce apart and bounce together again and the cords never break.

I fully expect to see everyone I was in kindergarden with again at any time - even the people I didn't like or who didn't like me.

I sincerely hope this is true.  It hasn't yet been proven false.  I can keep hoping it's true till the day I die.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Round Up

I would say that the first major holiday after my dad's death went pretty well.

It started off a little slow with me and Mom striking out for the mall right away.  Our hearts weren't really in it.  We did find a couple of cute things to buy.  I got a red lipstick and Mom got a fun scarf.  We had the most fun at the Kate Spade store. (That's where my lipstick is from.  Looks like you can't get it on line though)  Lots of fun shapes and colors there.  But we weren't really in a shopping mood.  It kind of felt like our usual lunch wasn't as fun either even though we got popovers.

When we got back from shopping, Mom, Pete and I went and picked up Pete's brother, Marc at the airport.  Things perked up after that.  We got to show him the things we like about town.  For instance we had dinner at the Whaling Bar.

While we were there my brother and Sarah arrived from L.A..  Once we were all together, including the dogs, we all kind of loosened up and relaxed.

It ended up being a pretty jolly and low key Thanksgiving.  The food was great, there was no strife of any kind (well, Fay tried to beat up her doggie cousins - I'd count that as strife)  Okay, no human strife.  A good time was had by all.  Hooray!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fried Eggs

Jose Andres ruined me for regular fried eggs.  A few years ago I picked up his cookbook, "Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America."  The photos caught my eye and I read the recipes and saw that they were easy to make.  There are a number of recipes in there that I make all the time, like the spinach and chickpea stew.  I bought the book when I was vegetarian so there are a lot of good veg recipes or recipes that you can easily make veg.

But I mentioned the fried eggs.  He shows a technique where you use a fairly high heat, a lot of olive oil and tilt the pan so the hot oil pools and you almost deep fry your egg in a regular frying pan.  If you do this your egg comes out rounded, crispy and browned on the outside but still has a runny yolk (if you like it that way - you can always cook it longer) Since I'm uncoordinated I couldn't figure out how to tip the pan with one hand and get the egg in there with the other.  You're also supposed to spoon the hot oil on top of the egg while it's cooking.  I'm way too uncoordinated to do that.  I just fry the eggs flat in the pan with a lot of olive oil and flip them.  It still works.  I'm now addicted to crispy fried eggs.  Regular fried eggs are disappointing.  Boo-hoo!

Bottom line, I highly recommend this cook book.  It has definitely added new techniques and ingredients to my cooking arsenal without a lot of labor and sweat.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Maybe This Is How Fay Feels

I can't believe how hungry I am today.  You might think, "Well how convenient!  It is Thanksgiving, after all."  Well it isn't Thanksgiving yet.  Not here.  I'm in California and it's only 9:30 AM here.

When I got up at 6:30 local time I had a piece of whole wheat toast with some swiss cheese meted on top.  A little later I had some left over steak.  I also had a cup of coffee, a glass of water and a few spoonfuls of yogurt.

I've been doing a little cooking and writing in the mean time so time has passed.  I got hungry again so I looked at my watch to see if that was reasonable.  My watch said 12:00.  "Yes!" I thought, "I can make lunch.  I'll have a salad."  I got out the salad fixin's and started a-making.  Then I glanced at the clock over by the sink.  It said 9:00. :(  I remembered that I didn't reset my watch so I could easily tell what time Fay thinks it is.

I'm eating a damned salad while I type this.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fay Loves Grandma

I apologize for the writing quality of this post.  It turns out I'm over-caffeinated.  I'm also out of the habit of editing myself as I go from NaNoWriMo.  I'm a-cranking' out the words.

Fay likes to travel.  She especially loves to go to California.  Grandma's house in California is a sprawling one level.  We put plenty of yoga mats down on the wood floors so Fay can make it easily across the wood floors from our room into the kitchen.  Elsewhere there is carpeting.  But the key is that she can make it to the kitchen.

I think the thing she likes best about California is that there are more people here to mooch food from here than there are under normal circumstances.  I have a feeling that I've written that before.  Oh well.  Sorry.  Ish.

Grandma is a total sucker for Fay's charms so Fay's mooching is very successful.  Fortunately Fay also gets a lot of exercise running from the bedroom to the kitchen and back.  Still, when we flew back from here back in August they almost didn't let me on the plane with Fay.  She and her carrier are supposed to weigh less than twenty pounds.  They weighed twenty-three!

Yesterday Grandma was a little careless when she was giving Fay a piece of cheese.  You have to give Fay her treats horsey style, with a flat palm.  She can be very grabby.  She's so rude.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mexican Restaurant Law Plus

I have a law for Mexican restaurants.  If I'm in a Mexican restaurant for the first time and they have a fish taco I have to get that.  Also, if they have tamales I have to get those.  If they have both I get both.  It's a law.

In other news, I had a massage today.  Whoa baby, was it good!  It also turned out to be a great time to think about my novel.

I've been feeling a bit stalled on the novel.  I knew I needed to think about it but I couldn't seem to make the time.  The massage was a great time to think.  I found that I like the world of my novel.  I enjoy spending time there.  That's probably a good sign.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Today's Song

As much as I love Tom Waits I was somewhat relieved to awaken with this song in my head today.  Nowhere near as sad.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Take It With Me

For some reason, the instant I wake up this song comes into my head.  It's been at least a week.  It's a good song but it's so sad!  I know you could argue that he's being appreciative of these thing in his life but the music itself is so melancholy.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NaBloPoMo Filler

Uh oh, eleven PM and I haven't posted yet!  I'd better think up a topic quick!

Well, here's something:  I took a bunch of photos today of the giant dead maple tree that stands at the entrance to our driveway.  I love that thing.  It really is beautiful even though it's falling apart.  It's rather stark and knobbed and has huge funguses (oh yeah, that should probably read "fungi."  I'm not changing it though) growing out of it.  I saw an owl suffering through a rainstorm in it once.  It's dramatic.

Unfortunately, because it's falling apart some guys are going to come next weekend and cut it down.


However I accept that that has to happen.  It could fall on someone, after all.

Another unfortunate thing is that I can't fine the folder I saved the photos to.  I'm pretty sure it said 11 somewhere in the name of the folder but it's not the folder I thought it was.  I'm going to have to download some more photos from that camera and see where it wants to put them in order to find out where it s.

Here's something else I did today:  I went to the Brookline house and got a tour from one of the new/old* owners.

Not surprisingly it looks great.  They completely renovated the basement.  They also refurbished the old windows, saving the antique glass panes and replacing the window ropes with chains.  They did a lot of new insulating too.  I could tell the place was less drafty than it had been.  Debra showed me around.  She was so excited to be living there again.  I was happy that they have it again and can afford to make the improvements we couldn't.  It's a great house and we were lucky to have lived there.

And now, random photos of Fay.  Two almost identical ones because I couldn't decide which was cuter. Of course if I had just picked one you would never have missed the other.

I looked back and am shocked to see that I never posted about the people who bought our house last year.  The people who bought our house from us are the same people we bought it from in 1991.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Normal Day

I am thinking that the sooner I write my 50k words, the sooner I will feel like I've accomplished something.  Then I will have something to celebrate and I could use that.

Thanksgiving will be the first holiday since my dad died.  It's starting to bum me out.  (Is there some other way I could put that that isn't so hippie/80s surfer?  Probably.  I'll work on it)

Okay, I'll admit I'm feeling a little down today.  (Pete - I'm fine - don't worry!) I should probably just go over to the barn and do a little Yourself!Fitness then come back and make a tarte tatin.  I Yourself!Fitnessed yesterday and I think Maya was trying to kill me with the lunges.  I can barely move today.  Guess I've really been slacking.

What I want to do now though is crank out more words!  (I also want to eat some tarte tatin but I'd have to make it first)

I've been typing so much lately that I've become really annoyed with my typing style.  I make a lot of typos.  I think faster than I can accurately type (just like everybody else) so sometimes I won't notice until I've gone three or four words past where I miss-typed.  Of course I also change my mind about how I want to put something.  When those things happen (like I just got to the end of that last "that" and realized I'd forgotten to capitalize the w in "when") I just backspace everything and fix it.  Sometimes it seems like I'm deleting more than I'm typing - especially if it's a problem of how to put something.

I also find that my left hand likes to mix up the letters w, s and a.  What is that about?  I can't tell you how many times I've typed something like "wometimes."  So irritating.  I don't have an equivalent problem with my right hand.

My right hand is far more accurate than my left.  I know I'm a righty but what does that have to do with it?  I don't think it's about physical coordination, I think it's a mental tic (of course that might be part of what it means to be a righty).

Oh well.  The sun is setting and I traditionally perk up in the evening.  I'll crank out several hundred words and then maybe make that tarte tatin.  Dinner is already made - I made a beef, potato and bacon goulash the night before last.  GOD BLESS LEFTOVERS!!!!  Then I'll complete my 1667 word daily target* and call it a night.

Big plans.

* As of right now I'm at 30,629 words total.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I don't smoke but if I did I wouldn't want to tamp my flamestick out in the palm of anyone's hand.  Also, I don't want to beat the crap out of a piñata that looks like anything alive.  Not even for candy.

Further Not Reading

I tried reading "The Girl Who Played With Fire" again last night.  Strangely, it reminded me of what I am writing which kind of put me off.  It's more polished, the subject matter is completely different and it had a clear underlying theme - it's obviously going somewhere - unlike what I'm writing.  It just felt so familiar while the words were running though my brain.

This was the first time I've tried reading any novels since I started writing mine.  It will be interesting to try another one and see if the same thing happens.  Henry James, maybe - right?  I think just like that guy.

I also discovered that I still don't feel up to reading about people in trouble - even if I know they'll deal with it just fine.

Graffitiliving commented that I should try audiobooks.  I think that's a great idea.  I can stand to listen to the news on NPR slightly better than I can bear reading about people in trouble.  Still, even there I find myself plugging in my iPod more quickly than I used to.

Of course what piece of literature isn't about someone in trouble?  You've got to have tension somewhere or people will get bored.  Maybe I should try a romance.  Unrequited love is interesting.  You can empathize with the character without fearing they're about to get raped and killed.  With a romance the only thing you have to fear is that the love scenes (or the writing style) will make you nauseous.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More Evidence of My Dorkiness

I feel like Bob and Doug McKenzie right now: I'm delighted to have thought up a topic.

The topic for today's blog post is Telephone Phobia.  I believe I have telephone phobia.

Hang on a second while I grab a beer.  Thanks.  I'll try to keep this under two minutes reading time.

If you click the link above you'll go to Wikipedia where they will tell you that people with phone phobia are afraid that they will "fail to respond appropriately in a telephone conversation."  I buy that.

I can tell you I'm afraid that the pressure of having to talk to somebody on the phone will stress me out so much that my thoughts will fly out of my head and I'll be left babbling out dorky, senseless mumbo jumbo.  The person on the other end will have no recourse but to be mean to me and make it utterly apparent that they think I'm a total freak.  Then they will hang up on me without addressing the subject of the phone call (not that they could tell what the subject was)

Has this ever actually happened to me?  Not that I can recall - but if it did I would definitely try to blank that out.

So if I absolutely must call someone I try to do it when I'm pretty sure no one's home.  That way I can plan what I'm going to say and maybe even write myself a script for the voicemail.  So sad.

Then, if my plan works really well I can leave a call back number where I'm pretty sure I won't be so that they'll get voicemail too and I won't have to answer the phone.  That way I can deal with the information they left me in my own time and plan the next round of phone tag.  I can't always do that though.

Then there's the possibility that I might be calling at an inconvenient time and bother someone.  I'm not fond of that either.  Of course, they don't have to answer.

Oddly enough I have no problem calling someone for work.  Don't think twice about it.  I will even call people multiple times if they haven't got back to me and I have no other work to do.

Why am I such a dork?  I really don't know.  It's difficult and unfortunate.  Still, there are worse things.

By the way, I didn't really grab a beer.  That was just a nod to Bob and Doug.  Here's a clip below if you're unfamiliar with them.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today I am cranky and sick of myself.  Don't worry though - it will pass.

In the mean time here's a video I made from Pete and my trip to Carrboro/Chapel Hill.  If you're ever in the area and itching for barbeque I highly recommend The Pig.  The food is all local and properly raised.  It's also beautifully cooked and FA-REAKING TASTY!

Monday, November 15, 2010


I did some research before I started NaNoWriMo.  Not too much, just enough to get the general idea of how it works and a glimpse of what I could expect.  I bought the book, "No Plot? No Problem!"  I explored the website a little.  It looked like zany fun.

One feature that caught my eye was that the veterans were giving me license to drink all the coffee and booze I want to as noveling fuel.  I love coffee (and hard liquor [and good beer]) so I was kind of excited to experiment with potentially performance enhancing chemicals.

I know myself though.  I know that in fact I have a low threshold for where caffein or alcohol go from help to hindrance.  I thought that really I'd just up my chocolate/Nutella intake and that those would be the real fuel for my novel (my novel's working title is "Chocolate Kick")

I knew I wouldn't go nuts with chemicals but I did try to push my normal limits.  It turns out that extra chemicals haven't been helpful at all.

It turns out that when I drink more coffee than usual I get spazzier than usual.  I drop things and bump into things and send small objects (like cutlery, writing implements, cell phones, Fay) flying across the room.  If there is any mental benefit - and I don't know that there is - the physical inconveniences outweigh it.

When I tried getting drunk and writing, well, first of all I didn't get drunk.  I guess my heart wasn't in it.  I just got tipsy.  More importantly I couldn't think of words.  I knew what I wanted to say but the words hid in my mind and refused to present themselves.  Definitely an impediment.

As for chocolate, I did eat a lot of Nutella the first week.  I also crashed a lot.  (Nutella is not chocolate.  I know that.  I have an excellent chocolate shop near me.  I haven't had time to go there yet.  I think I can go sometime this upcoming week and then I can test out real chocolate.)  Crashing isn't helpful either.

I think the bottom line is I'm better off if I just stick to my normal eating and drinking habits.  So boring.  Eat right, exercise regularly, don't overindulge.  YAAAAAAWWWWWN!

It's so dull to be mild-mannered.  And yet that's what I am and that's what seems to work for me.  So frustrating.  Life can be so disappointing sometimes.

So I have been experimenting.  I love to experiment because I live for the unexpected and I have such high hopes of encountering exciting new things.  Instead I've been confirming conventional wisdom.  Oh well.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

In writing my novel I seem to be disgorging the top of the heap of my brain.  I don't meant the highest quality, just the stuff that's been on top of the pile in my mind since 2002.  Man, is it DULL.

I was hoping this thing would be a rip-roaring wacky-fest, strange and surreal.  Instead it's a bunch of long-winded chicks talking in a bar.  It would seem I need to get out more - and not so much in bars.

A problem that I thought might turn up has as well: I don't want to hurt anybody.  I've got to do some damage to some of these people but I can't figure out to whom and how.  I have a great, demented sadist character but I can't think who to sic him on.  Well, besides the guy whose body he took over.  That guy's history.

For a so-called creative type I feel like I could be doing better.

However, maybe I just need to get this stuff out and afterwards I can write something more fun?

Ugh.  At least I like words.  Also, writing a daily 2,000 words worth of relatively grammatically correct sentences is proving to be easier than I thought it would.

So I'm plowing through.  I'm gonna keep going and see what happens.  We're only halfway through and nobody said I have to stop writing on December 1.  Maybe it'll just take longer than a month to write something I like.

I do like writing though.  And it's so much easier to clean up after than visual arts are!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dueling Twelve-strings

Kenny and Pete both play twelve-string guitars at their gig at The Cave in Chapel Hill:
How funny looking are those giant headstocks?

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Guy On The T - Wish Him Luck

I met a really nice man on the T today on my way home from the airport.  He complimented me on my wheelie bag.  It is a pretty good one: pink metallic leopard print (of course)

We got to talking and he asked me what I was doing for Thanksgiving.  I told him I was visiting my mom.  He said "that's what I'm doing right now."  I asked him where his mom was and he said "she's at Mass General.  She had a stroke the other day."  Naturally I told him I hoped she was doing okay and he started telling me all about it.  In fact I had to interrupt him because he was about to miss his stop.  He jumped up and made it off the train in time.  Phew.  I yelled "good luck,"  to him as he left.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lame NaBloPoMo Post

The food around here is incredible.

Yesterday we ate at a barbeque place called "The Pig."  Whoa it was good!  I got a little video but I don't have time to get it together for posting today.  Alex made dinner last night - Thai - and it was wicked good.  Olivia made a pear and grape pie but we were too full to have any last night.

Olivia and I had pie for lunch.

Tonight for dinner Pete and I met up with his band-mates.  They're starting off a tour tonight here in Carrboro.  We went to probably the best Indian place I've ever been to, Vimala's Curry Blossom Café.  Yow!  The food is beautifully cooked with local ingredients.  It's so fresh tasting and not the least bit heavy or greasy.  Very good pre-rocking food.  Not that I'm doing any rocking except in the audience.

I'm going back home tomorrow so I should have more time to write better blog posts - at least until I go to California to be with Mom for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Carrboro, Part One

Howdy Everybody!  I'm in sunny Carrboro, North Carolina.  Now please don't go to my house and rob me.  Thanks.

We're staying with our friends, Alex and Olivia.  They are wonderful people and amazing hosts.  Any minute Alex will come home for lunch so I wanted to just check in and do a quick post.  Hopefully I'll have some photos or video to post later.

And of course I have to catch up on my word count for NaNoWriMo.  I'm not too far behind I think.  I'm supposed to make it to at least 16,670 by the end of the day.  Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sensitive In The Head

I've been having trouble with my reading lately.  It started this summer.  With all that was going on I became a little sensitive about what I wanted in my  head.  The only thing I could bring myself to read was The Lord of The Rings trilogy.

It's fun to read things over again after a number of years has passed.  You see things you hadn't seen before.  Your perceptions of characters and events change because of new experiences you've had since the last time you read that work.

In the case of LOTR sometimes the language was a bit contrived for me.  I was also able to identify the moment I fell in love with Aragorn back when I was twelve (or however old I was when I first read the book).  He ruined me for life, that one.

Anyway, one of my favorite things about those books is the "perseverance in the face of impossibility" message.  You could also call it the "just keep slogging" message.

Come to think of it, maybe a lot of things in those books ruined me for life...

Anyway, it's been a tough time and reading the old familiar stuff about Frodo and Sam and Gandalf etc. was consoling.  Re-reading and re-enforcing the values that I took out into the world was encouraging.

This spring I kept hearing a lot about Neil Gaiman's "American Gods."  When my friend Jim put it on  his list of books to read over the summer that pushed me over the edge and I decided to read it too.

In a way it was a good choice.  I enjoyed the book.  It's a good story and the world the book describes is an interesting place to be.  It's a dangerous and unstable world but there are consolations in it too.  I get the feeling that Gaiman is a kind and compassionate person.  It's nice to see inside the head of a compassionate person.  Maybe that's what I've been looking for in the fiction reading I'd like to be doing?

Anyway, after I read "American Gods" I haven't been able to find other things I want to read.  I've tried. I started "The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao" by Junot Diaz, Stieg Larsson's "The Girl Who Played With Fire," and "The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob De Zoet," by David Mitchell.  I keep trying to plug through them but I keep putting them down.  The only thing I've really enjoyed reading has been, as I mentioned before, Stephen King's "On Writing."

I suppose this is just a phase that will clear up after a few months go by.  Maybe I should just watch movies or something - break myself in to uncomfortable ideas that way.  Maybe I should just keep plugging away at the books I've started.  I mean, it took me quite a while to get into "One Hundred Years of Solitude," by Gabriel Garcia Marquez but once I was there I was hooked.  I should read that one again too, come to think of it.

I'll put it off some more for now though.  I don't think it's really worth worrying about.  I'll be back to reading one day.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Pete and I have been watching a lot of SCTV lately.  The routine has been make dinner together then eat while watching a couple of SCTV episodes on my laptop.  Sometimes we have a fire in the fireplace too.  Then we hit the hay.

We came up with the idea that this has had an influence on the pleasant dreams we've been having lately.  We tested the theory out last night.

The results were inconclusive.  I couldn't remember any of my dreams.  Also, Fay woke me up at around four in the morning.  It was sleeting like you wouldn't believe - just pounding against the windows and the metal roof.  I only drowsed till around six after that.

Here's some SCTV for you.  Keep an eye out for Juul Haalmeyer, leader of the Juul Haalmeyer Dancers in this clip.  He's the tall one with the very dark hair.  I love that guy.  I joined his fan club on Facebook!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Dream

I've been having pleasant dreams lately.

Last night I dreamed that I was walking around a city with a colorful past.  There were a lot of cool old movie theaters and buildings with interesting architectural features.  Then somehow I ended up riding around in a van with a bunch of easy-going fun people.  I don't know who they were but we were all having a good time on a  starry summer night.  One of them turned out to be John Cusack.

We ended up at a tiny diner he knew and hung out there until sunrise when he started up the griddle and began to make breakfast.  He made sausage and Cap'n Crunch.  He was also good company.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Doc Martens

I am the proud owner of my first pair of Doc Martens.

I know, someone in my age bracket should have worn out at least three pairs by now.  The thing is, back in the late 80s, early 90s EVERYBODY had them.  I can be a bit contrary.  If everybody has something then I don't want it.

Now it's 2010 and most people aren't thinking much about them.  I wasn't either until I spotted this pair on one of my shoe trolling expeditions on this past spring.  I had to have them.

By now I've worn them enough to know how frigging comfortable they are.  I LOVE THEM!!!!  So naturally I bought myself another pair:

They fit a little differently than the pink ones but they're still comfortable.  I'm breaking them in.  Or else I'm breaking in my feet.

I feel lucky that I finally found these at my age.  Since we moved to Cambridge we've been walking much farther far more frequently.  My feet can't take the pounding they used to when I was younger.  If I wear flats with no padding or support my feet ache the next day.  (Heels are heels and don't seem to hurt more than they used to.  I love heels but you have to pay if you want to wear them.  Still, I don't wear heels to walk three miles to The Plough.  If I want to wear heels somewhere like that I'll carry them in a bag and put them on when I get there)  I'm way too vain to wear sneakers (ew)  These are perfect.

So now I'm hooked.  Look at all the cute ones they have now:

I'd love a pair of these.  Maybe the black with white dots?  I don't know...

Oooh, lacy heels!

Maybe I like the purple ones better?  I wonder if they're as comfy as the flat boots?

If they had had these in 1989 I would have got them.  Everybody else had black.

They have a Hello Kitty line.  I'm not biting though.

And then there are these:

Fortunately for my bank account (and complete lack of closet space) I can't decide.  So I'm going to be reasonable and not buy more.  For now.  Except that I did buy the blue metallic mary janes.  But really, I'm done now.  For now. Until I buy the pink mary janes.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ladies' Undergarments, Mine Specifically

Maybe it's a bad idea to write about underwear in an otherwise unsexy blog.  Not that I intend to be sexy at all.  It's just that I think I'll be cursed with pornbot spam now just for using the word "underwear."

Here goes though:  it would seem that Victoria's Secret has cornered the market on women's cotton underwear.

I prefer to wear cotton for air-flow purposes.  It just keeps everything in better condition.  Back when Filene's was still in business they used to carry a really cute women's underwear line called St. Eve.  Number one, they were cotton, number two, they had great colors and prints (yes, I like colors and prints on my underwear) number three, they were cut well and number one-half, they were comfortable (good sized leg holes and not instant-wedgie-machines)

It must have been about eleven years ago when I went on my last underwear buying binge.  I remember because I remember being at the dog park with my friend Jean and telling her about the great underwear I'd bought at Filene's.  There was some deal like three pairs for nine bucks or something.  They were all so cute I stocked up.

It's so exciting when you find great underwear that sometimes you just have to share.  Like now.

Anyway, the elastic on my eleven year old underwear has ceased to function.  At the end of the day I keep finding my underpants down around my ankles and I have to throw them out.  Goodbye pink leopard print pair!  Farewell cute one's with the beach picnic patterns like a smiling crab!  Adieu white pair with the appliquéd flower and bee!  Sniff!

All my go-to underwear in the wastebasket and me left with the scratchy nylon lace ones that are sexy looking, sure, but you can't wear them every day.

So I've been checking out all the places where I thought I'd find cute cotton underwear.  Costco has cotton but they're the giant old lady kind.  I'd rather not wear underwear than wear a dumpy pair that shows over the top of my pants.  The department stores had masses and masses of cute (ish) cheap-o nylon junk - the kind that catches on the dry skin on your hands when you touch them.

I even went to Bloomingdale's.  Our Bloomingdale's is all hoity-toity and expensive and the saleswomen have terrible attitudes and yet they never have anything I'd remotely want to own.  I go there maybe once a year to see if they still suck.  I went there as a last resort.  It too was a sea of nylon.  They did have cotton underwear but the cheapest was Hanro at $35 a pair!  NO FRIGGING WAY!

Thank heaven I remembered that there's a Victoria's Secret in that mall.  They had a huge table loaded with cute cotton underwear.  Something like six different non-thong styles (thong=instant-wedgie-machine for me. If thongs work for you they had cotton thongs too.) and dozens of colors and prints including glitter patterns, five pairs for $25.  Thank you.  I just looked at a few labels and some of them are made with 20% organic fibers from Burkina Faso.

Needless to say I stocked up.  Eleven years from now I will undoubtedly be facing the same problem again.  Maybe by then there will be an even better underwear.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Little Late

I woke up the morning of October first and this is what it was doing outside:

Honest to God, these photos were taken with my point and shoot and no filter at all.  The air was red.  

I forgot to set the camera's flash to "off" which turned out to be a good thing.  Those white dots you see are rain drops that the flash caught.  When I tried to take a picture without the flash the camera overcompensated for the lack of light and the photos weren't as accurate a depiction as these were.

I'd been meaning to post these shots for quite a while.  You might have noticed, though, that I haven't been taking much time to post lately.  Be prepared to see some old garden shots in the next coming weeks.  Filler!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Autumn

Have I mentioned before that Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year?  Well it is!  Autumn is beautiful in every way.  I love the dramatic contrasts of colors.  Not just the colors of the leaves but the leaves against the dark trunks of trees or against the sky.  I also love how when the wind blows the air fills with drifting bits of color - you can see a golden volume of air.  Autumn is beautiful rain or shine.  

Autumns starts and ends early in Vermont.  The trees around our hose have mostly lost their leaves by now but there are still some plants in the garden that are putting on a show.

Good color combo here.  Nice textures too.

Here's another look at the floaty, feathery grass seed heads.  So Zsa Zsa!

 The fothergilla is looking bright.

Then there are the oakleaf hydrangeas.  I couldn't decide which photo I liked better so I used both. 

 I love how peony foliage looks in the fall.

Finally, a rather luxurious weed.
So healthy!

Happy Autumn to you!