photo, Viktor Klimo
Thursday, January 31, 2008
photo, Viktor Klimo
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
A short note about Muffin Uptown and then I've got a Stephen King book to finish. Wait. Did you hear that?
MU was happy to report that the back of his head was just as down-to-earth and friendly as you would imagine it would be.
This'll be something she can tell her grandkids about.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
But the rest of you--picking up the phone and calling Starbucks for no reason at all? Way to go. Way to mess it up for the rest of us. You want tell me how I'm supposed to call my mom during her nap window if she has her phone turned off?
Really. Thanks a lot.
Monday, January 28, 2008
So much so, that I would get married again tomorrow if it meant having someone to smear Jergens on my back.
As far as I can tell, though, I'm not missing anything I need.
photo, Irving Rusinow, April 1941.
Friday, January 25, 2008
I remember almost nothing of what was said after the words "comprehensive metabolic panel." At "erythrocyte sedimentation rate," my eyes rolled into the back of my head and the world went totally and obliviously black. If I hadn't passed out, I'm fairly certain the conversation would still be going on, and you would have been able to swing by and hear all about it for yourself.
Which I could do, if I had one of these--Joo Youn Paek's perfect accessory to the come-as you-are, impromptu nap. It's called the pillowig.
I'm still trying to decide what those of you who sleep on your faces should do.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
It is the exact same quality of noise you would hear were your Matchbox cement truck to back up, and it is most clearly heard when the listener is seated in my chair, facing the computer. You know which chair I'm talking about, right? The one in my office, where I sit for forty hours a week?
beep. beep. beep. beep. beep.
It is, indeed, a very tiny noise, but it takes up a lot of room in my brain because it never, ever, lets up.
And I am the only one who can hear it.
Apparently, some time prior to my coming to work here, all employees were repeatedly subjected to forced Metallica concert attendance and can therefore no longer hear tones at certain registers. How else to explain that my boss can't hear this noise, my employees can't hear it, and none of my co-workers can hear it? (I did have one technical writer who claimed to hear it, but she later recanted. I hold her testimony altogether suspect, anyway, as I think she was just saying she could hear it in order to get me to stop shouting "Just listen, dammit!")
I've had the maintenance people in, and I've consulted both both branches of the IT department. The Mac guy said to talk to the PC guy; the PC guy told me to get a life. Nobody in the whole world can hear this noise but me, and by now, this noise is all I can hear.
And then yesterday--after I'd been home from work for about an hour--I heard this tiny little noise.
beep. beep. beep. beep. beep.
Does anyone out there know where I can get a Reynolds' Wrap hat? Something with ear flaps, I think.
photo, Dave Gostisha
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Click. Click. Clickclickclickclick.
"What is that noise? What are you doing?"
"I'm turning the other wheel thing. But nothing is happening. Why won't it work? This is really making me mad."
"I think you should stop doing that--it isn't supposed to make that noise. Check the needle and make sure it isn't bent. Look for knotted up thread behind the bobbin. Check the presser foot."
"Presser foot? What's that?
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
photo, Zsuzsanna Kilián
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
If I was a piece of pottery, and this pomegranate vase came walking by, it would be love at first sight. I would marry this pomegranate and we would live happily ever after.
That's what I call loving your work.
I like it, too. I'm not really the marrying kind, but I would definitely put out.
From Whitney Smith Pottery. Via Modish.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The longer I'm single, and the more I bellyache about it, the more my sister friends say to me, "That's why you need to come over to our team."
The pressure is especially bad when they're having a hard time making their monthly quota. Like now, for instance, that it's January and the Christmas rush is over. If switching is something you've been thinking about, now is definitely the time to do it, because you can pretty much write your own ticket. Yesterday, somebody offered me free shipping.
And there are days, I'll admit, when they make a pretty good argument. There are almost always tampons in the house; nobody gets overly excited trying to fix something, just because you need a good cry. You pretty much double your earring wardrobe. And all the literature says that lesbians never sit home alone on Saturday night.
It was all starting to sound pretty reasonable to me until today. Standing alongside a male acquaintance, I laid my hand on his shoulder to make a point. This is my nature; I touch people when I talk with them.
It's been a really long time since I've had a good conversation with a man.
He had--really--the nicest shoulder. Copping a feel all up and down this guy's arm--I've never felt less attractive or more like lecherous Uncle Larry in my life. But if it were up to me, I'd still be there, climbing all over him. I'm a disgrace to would-be lesbians, everywhere.
Oh, hell. I'll pay my own damn shipping.
photo, Penny Mathews
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I am holding the other pie in reserve for today.
photo, Barun Patro.
Monday, January 14, 2008
So, Muffin Uptown and I went to a baby shower on Saturday. I suppose there must be people who don't mind attending showers, but I'm not one of them. We went because we love this woman and her daughter, and because we were afraid not to go.
The expectant mother's best friend was there--a young girl who looked like she'd just gotten her braces off and changed out of her knee-socks especially for the occasion. I think she may have been wearing her first ever, big-girl shoes. Yet there were several older women who kept asking her, "When are we going to be having your shower?"
I didn't really notice the questions, because--let's face it--these are the same women who hounded us into our marriages and subsequent young parenthood. But they sure made an impression on Muffin Uptown. "Gosh Mom, those women! Are you going to wake up one day and be one of them?"
I have sort of a vague recollection of being certain that I would never have gray hair. I'm not sure where this assertion came from, but I would've put money on it right up until the minute I yanked out the first one.
I have that same feeling about turning into one of those women. I think that this certainty, though, comes from an understanding that they are not so much representatives of a certain stage of life as they are a product of their particular generation. Theirs was the generation immediately preceding my mother's, and--for the most part--having a family was their career plan.
Then, along came my mother's people, and all that changed. It's almost as hard for me to imagine my mother or her friends behaving like their mothers as it is to imagine her spending each and every Saturday (like me) wearing the same worn cargo pants and ratty black T-shirt.
When the last of those old women is gone, I don't know what we'll talk about at our baby showers. Really, the only thing left is to compare labor and childbirth stories, so maybe we can just stop having them. Speaking for myself, I wouldn't mind being sent an announcement and asked for a gift. As long as I can just drop it off without having to change out of my Saturday clothes.
photo, Marja Flick-Buijs.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Then they patiently answered all my questions and gave me some time-saving tips, "just in case time got a little tight."
But all the while, they were looking at me the way they always do, when I ask for copy by the end of the day or announce that I have started knitting a sweater. It's an expression that says, "Look at that. Isn't she cute?"
When MU announced a day later that she had decided on a different gift, they didn't even try to hide their relief. I was feeling pretty lucky myself.
Until three days before Christmas, when MU came to me with the news that she was reverting back to the original make-a-quilt plan. That time, I didn't tell a soul. I couldn't, because I couldn't bring myself to say the words out loud. And what I didn't tell Muffin Uptown, was that there was no way in hell she could finish a quilt in two days.
But apparently, love knows no boundaries. Here are pics of the quilt she slaved over for her boy in the 48 hours leading up to Christmas. Word is, he's as taken with it as they are with each other.
I hope it turns out to be as sturdy as they are.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
According to the creators of this quiz, "Being creative or artistic doesn't mean you know how to draw or play an instrument. Being creative is a way of thinking, a way of viewing the world."
Take me for instance. I'm looking at the world 62% through my right-brain. Or I'm looking at 62% of the world in a right-brained way. Or 62% of the world's population (who also happen to be looking at me) believe me to be right-brained. I dunno; I got all confused when I saw numbers.
I don't know how valid it can possibly be, but it's fun. I would love to hear from someone who scored with higher numbers on the left side.
Post Script: One of the careers suggested to me by the creators of this quiz was beautician. I totally knew that.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
It's important in that it is useful. Dewey Decimal would still have me on the floor in a headlock, my thesis still unfinished, were it not for online libraries and catalogs. Because of the Web, I don't have to remember where I put the owner's manual for my digital camera, or wonder if it's my new medication or newly-attained middle age that's to blame for a sudden and unprecedented inclination toward gasiness.
Like everybody else I know, I go on line all the time--to pinpoint the name of a vaguely familiar-looking actor, look up a recipe, find out a movie time, or mapquest my way to the grocery store. As far as I'm concerned, useful equals important.
When something takes the interweb by storm--when everybody's doing it--does that make it apropos of anything real? When I and 70 million other bloggers are neglecting our basic hygiene and forgetting to pay our utility bills just so we can have our say about the latest thing, does that make the thing socially significant? Is our having our collective say about that thing socially significant? Maybe that thing and our commenting on that thing is only as culturally meaningful as, say, the latest mega-hit television show. If so, I'm putting an awfully lot of energy into this year's Dallas.
I've been trying to figure out what I think about it ever since.
photo, Rodolfo Clix.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I think I can just purchase a replacement knob, but it's highly likely that I've also broken some sort of cotter pin or such--and that the fix only seems simple to the untrained eye. This happens a lot, I've found, with tiny little parts that are no longer attached to the great big appliances they rode in on.
Obviously, I need to call somebody. It's just that I'm afraid it's going to be as much trouble for me to have the knob fixed as it would be for me to purchase a brand spanking new dryer. I could pick up the phone and have a new, super quiet, energy efficient dryer tossing my wet clothes around by 5 o'clock today, but you know it's going to take 6 weeks to get a new knob flown in from Manila. And then they're going to make me pay to have the guy bring it out and push it on there; no way are they going to trust that kind of operation to an amateur knob-putter-onner.
The last time I had a conversation like this with myself, I ended up with a new car.
Monday, January 7, 2008
I think that instead, there was just something a little too familiar in Tawana's face as she said, "Come on. It's not a big deal--I installed extra memory into Carol's computer."
photo, Joachim Bär.
Friday, January 4, 2008
You're gonna wanna watch this.
As you know, I have a hard and fast rule about not bypassing any opportunity for shameless promotion. And while all my daily readers have no doubt already seen the podcast, I offer it here for those of you who may be late coming to the table.
* * *
Thursday, January 3, 2008
For a substantial portion of the day on Wednesday, my friend Tawana practiced balancing atop one of these RipStiks in the garage, holding on to the doorknob of the back door. I expect that sometime today she will steel herself up and let go of the doorknob and try to ride that thing down the driveway. At that precise moment, the balance of power in our relationship will irrevocably change.
Forever after, I get to be the smart one.
image, The Sharper Image Razor RZ525 RipStik Caster Board
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
On the 11th day, I did all the crap I'd meant to do the first 10, and that had to be done before I could return to work on the 12th.
It's easy to understand how one might be deceived into believing me to be a lazy and slothful person. If--that is--one were not aware that I was actually conducting a very important and significant sociological experiment.
Here's what I was able to discover during my experimental fallow period:
That if you lie down every time the cat does, you will never be tired again. Although--and this is very important--it is possible to lie down for so long that you become too sore to move.
On a related note--it is also possible, due to lack of stimulus, to become so self-involved and hyper-aware of your own physicality so as to gradually (mistakenly) come to believe that you have lost all feeling in the pad of one toe.
That watching Bridezillas will make you cross and bad-tempered, even with people you have no intention of ever marrying.
That it is just as easy to not get something done because you don't want to do it, as it is to neglect doing something because you just don't have time for it.
On the other hand, all the fun things you love to do but never have time for suddenly lose a lot of their attraction, once you become aware that you can do them any damn time you want.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Black-eyed peas and Ham hocks
To ensure good luck, on New Year's Day eat:
Greens (collard, mustard, or turnip)
At least, that's how we do it down here.
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon bacon drippings
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas
1 cup chopped cooked ham
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
3 cups cooked rice
salt to taste
sliced sweet onion
In a large saucepan sauté chopped onion in bacon drippings until tender. Stir in black-eyed peas, ham, and cayenne pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes; stir in hot cooked rice and salt. Serve hot with sliced onion.
photo, Dan O'Connell