Monthly Archives: March 2008

long weekend

To be precise, my weekend was the standard-issue, two-day length. It began for me after work on Friday, when I shampooed my carpets in preparation for dinner guests on Sunday. My carpet cleaner doesn’t have its own heating element, and relies on hot tap water for its cleaning power. I thought that heating water in my electric tea kettle instead was a brilliant idea! I poured the recently-boiling water into the container, screwed the cap on tight, brought it out to the cleaner, and couldn’t get it back into place. Hmmm… hey! The buildup of steam had expanded the container. I unscrewed the cap, and set the container aside to cool.

Half an hour or so later, I upended the container back onto the cleaner… but forgot to tighten the cap first. Dammit! Well, the carpet was going to get wet anyway.

Scrub, scrub, scrub. Um, scrub. SCRUB! Damn, the “high-traffic” areas are filthy. I did the best job I could, but will soon hire a professional to do it right.

Saturday was moving day for my friends Megan & Joe. After hearing the panic in Megan’s voice during an early-morning phone call, I headed down to their townhome just after 8am. Sui joined us shortly thereafter, followed by a steady stream of friends. Megan and Joe were fabulously well organized, with boxes stacked and clearly labeled, so all we had to do was stack them in the truck. And stack, and stack… where were they storing all of this stuff? Then it was time to drive the truck to the new house, and unload… with the contents of their little townhouse, we filled four bedrooms, the office, the kitchen, the living room, and the basement! I threw in the towel around 7, but others stayed until the job was done a couple of hours later. Many congrats to M&J; the new house is beautiful and has terrific mountain views, to boot.

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This End Up.

I spent Sunday preparing my annual Feaster Dinner. Apple cobbler made with apples donated by Alison, Mandy’s mother’s carrot soufflé and pineapple stuffing recipes, warm Irish soda bread from my mom, mashed potatoes with turnips from Jessi’s kitchen, a final opportunity to hang out with Jackson, Erin’s younger brother… it was truly a festive feast. With Dave & Jessi and Tim & Erin all moving out of state this summer, there will be fewer and fewer opportunities to gather together like this. I cherish every chance!

And then I was officially pooped. I was eager to get to bed, but accidentally forgot to feed the cats… Rocket tried to tell me ALL NIGHT LONG but I didn’t catch on to why she was being SO FRIGGIN’ ANNOYING until I stumbled into the kitchen this morning. Sorry, kids. It will probably happen again.

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headache break

I have a raging headache that is threatening to go migraine on me, but I’ll fill you guys in on “what I had for lunch” this weekend when I’m feeling better. Short version:

  1. Cleaning
  2. Moving
  3. Feeding

Hopefully followed by sleeping, very soon.

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Gettin’ my quote on

I’ve been madly cleaning house in for a dinner party I’m hosting on Sunday. Among the things in my clutter was a 2007 pocket datebook, which I was about to throw away… when I noticed the notes I’d taken during my trip to Europe with Mandy last spring. Okay, it’s a keeper. Written inside the front cover is this quote by painter Georges Rouault, which I remember copying down while at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam:

You might as well deprive me of air, light, wine, coffee, and white bread, or of my precious friendships, as take away from me my “painterly keyboard.” 

I wrote it down because it spoke to me, it spoke directly to the passion that I feel for my line of work, at a time when I was afraid that the creative aspects of my job might be pulled out from under me when I returned to the States. I often think about how lucky I am that I’ve known, since childhood, what I wanted to do for a living.

If you’re not doing something you feel passionately about, you’re starving yourself.

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shoe discrimination

The average shoe size for an American woman is an 8.5. So I appeal to the majority of my audience when I ask: an 8 is too small, and a 9 is too big, right? That’s exactly why you wear an 8.5, right? Why ever would you subject yourself to ill-fitting shoes, when you can buy shoes in your size?

Now, take a look at my feet. I wear a 9.5… that is, I would wear a 9.5, but many manufacturers do not make shoes in my size. I am forced to squeeze into a 9, or flop around in a 10. If you’ve never needed to buy shoes in a 9.5 (and why would you? You wear a size smaller!), then you may not have noticed… but take a look in whatever apparel catalog you have handy. Look at some shoes, and see how many descriptions say something along the lines of “whole and half sizes 6-9, 10, 11.” Us ladies with 9.5 and 10.5 feet are discriminated against!

On a completely unrelated note: In my last flurry of eBay activity, I had posted a vintage dress (surprise, surprise) that I call the Waitress Dress:

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Black, with blue polka-dots, a roll collar, cuffed sleeves, and pockets big enough for a pad and pen… and maybe some Chinese take-out. I’ve had it for years, but I only wore it once. It’s too big on me, and looks kind of dumpy. Just like it looks on this dress form, in fact.

I don’t recall if I never before noticed the belt loops, or if I’d forgotten about them, but I saw them when I was looking over the dress to describe the auction listing, especially because the tiny tear that I put in the vintage fabric would have been covered by the belt, if one was included. The listing didn’t sell.

The local thrift store was have a half-price sale, and I bought a trio of vintage belts for a song.

Hey… (lightbulb)! How does this black patent belt look with that waitress dress? The answer: fabulous. The dress now appears to fit me, and is actually quite flattering. I wore it with my black, peep-toe Mary Janes with the oh-so-subtle black-and-blue houndstooth piping, and they look as though they were made for each other. Yay! All I need to do is stitch up the tear, and… new dress! Because, um, I was running short on dresses. Yeah.

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I got nothin’

I am spent. Overlapping deadlines at the office have moved up instead of back, and a request to hire some temp help was denied from On High. The always-on is taking its toll on me, and I don’t expect it to let up for at least a couple of weeks. I am so going to NEED my upcoming trip to Vegas. I hope I don’t sleep through the whole thing. I saw of photo of me tonight, taken from an odd angle, and you can actually SEE the bump in the back of my neck where my muscles are tense to the point of inflammation. I was going to make an appointment for a massage, but I didn’t have time. I get home, and I don’t have the presence of mind required to straighten anything up, let alone think of interesting things to write about.

Shoot, I still haven’t done my taxes. I need to remember to look for my receipts! In my spare time! HAhahahahahaha!

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Practically Perfect Pie

I picked up the pie pans again, at Scott’s request, and dove back into perfecting my Key lime pie recipe. He officially rated this most recent attempt as an 8. I would have hoped for higher, but he softened the blow by telling me that he hasn’t actually experienced an 8 before. He also threatened me by telling me that it would take a “big leap” to get to a 9. Um, I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works! I thought the consistency of the filling was just right. Firm enough to keep its shape, while being neither sticky nor cakey. The meringue was nicely browned, crispy on the tips, fluffy elsewhere… I am having trouble cutting into the pie without squishing the meringue. That’s something I’ll need to work on for future versions. I’m thinking higher temp for shorter time. As far as taste goes… it was tart enough to induce a slightly fizzy mouthfeel, and the tartness built with each bite. But… I think I can go further. I need to reach 9, if not 10!

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Easter baskets, as an adult: My mom still brings me treats, but they are no longer in basket form. On Sunday, my mom brought over two small boxes each of Peeps and Bunnies, a plastic egg full of M&Ms, and a bunch of fresh asparagus.

I’m stoked about the asparagus.

We watched La Vie En Rose, which I knew was going to be good, but this film BLEW ME AWAY. Marion Cotillard’s performance is fucking amazing. It easily deserved the two Oscars® it won.

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A lot of minutes past midnight

Apologies for the delay in posting. I was sidetracked.

2 Minutes to Midnight. Iron Maiden, from 1984’s Powerslave album.

I was going to post the video today, but after watching it… oh, my, it’s so painfully awful. The song is bad. The lyrics are bad. The video? It’s bad. The “symbolism” is heavy-handed to the point that it would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. Keeping in mind that when it was made, MTV was in its infancy, and I suspect that a lot of videos of the era were, in retrospect, that terrible… I still couldn’t subject my readers to it.

If you’re a glutton for punishment, you can find it on YouTube.  Don’t bother with the live videos; if you’re going to do it, do it right. It’s still nearly six minutes of audio/visual pain.

Note: I still think that Bruce Dickinson’s performance on Run To The Hills is terrific. This isn’t a smear campaign against all things Maiden. Just the crappy majority.

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