Look, guys! A post! I’m writing a post!
I was going to post some highlights from 2013, and don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a “bad” year, but when I thought about the moments that really left an impression on me, it turned out that many were, well, not what you’d call highlights. And the happier moments seemed a little wan, comparatively, in the shadows. So, on to 2014. Ad astra per aspera.
Resolutions: I’m not a fan. Oh sure, let’s set lofty goals. Through fault of our own or not, we falter. And we feel bad. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it. If the dawn of a new year is what it takes for you to stop smoking, then go for it. I know a number of people who have, through hard work and determination, lost those extra pounds (and kept it off, which is really the hardest part and makes dieting look easy). But I haven’t made any resolutions in years. Tell people that, though, and they think you’re a party pooper or a slacker. So here. Here are my reasonable-utions for 2014:
- IÂ willÂ re-thinkâ€”and completeâ€”one particular home dÃ©cor project.Â See this canvas? It’s 36×48 and it’s oneÂ half of a project that I started in 2005. And by “started,” I mean I bought the pair of canvases, printed one sheet of inkjet decal paper, realized how much ink it ate up, and set the project aside. For eight years.
- I will reclaim our basement. See all that junk* behind the canvas? The basement is overrun with stuff. In part because this condo has a lot of square footage, but almost none of it is storage space. And in part because I run a business out of the house wherein I sell stuff. And that stuff takes up what little storage space there is. So in 2014, and I’m aiming for January with this, I will
try to pare down the excess stuff. I’d say “we,” but this is pretty much my stuff and my responsibility. Craigslist, thrift store donations, private sales via a new, as-yet-to-be-created Instagram account, whatever it takes. I just want it gone.
- I will finish refinishing our TV trays. 2013 was unofficially the year of Keeping The Dining Table Clean, and we’ve been successful, but we’re still in the habit of eating weeknight dinners off of TV trays while sitting on the sofa and watching an episode of White Collar. However, our trays have been undergoing The World’s Slowest Makeover. What should have taken a few afternoons has actually been on hold for months because I ran into some trouble with the paint I was using and its utter lack of adhesion to the base coat. I’ve since determined that spray paint is really the way to go with this, but as January isn’t really ideal weather for painting outdoors, this project will have to wait a bit longer. However, it will get done.
- I will not buy any more sewing patterns for my own collectionâ€¦unless I sew at least 2 things from patterns that I already have. HAhahahahaha. That’s funny.
- We, collectively with the aid of our almost-too-laid-back vet, will “fix” our darling Ghrey Kitteh’s rather horrifying bouts of atopic dermatitis (eczema). I am determined that she will not feel discomfort any longer than is necessary for us to make adjustments to her care. I realize that we don’t really have much control over this, but I can pretend.
- I will say “please” and “thank you” when appropriate. I will not return a personal compliment with, “Oh, no, my hair is a mess and this shirt is a terrible color andâ€¦” blah, blah, blah.
- I will not feel guilty about blogging five times a year instead of the old five times a week. If you’re that interested in what I’m up to, you’re probably following me on Instagram anyway.
There are probably a whole lot of other things that could/should go on this list, but I’m trying to keep expectations low. So, how about you? Resolutions or not?
*Not technically junk. But seriously, when you own eight dining chairs but only keep four of them around the table on a daily basisâ€”because if I wanted a dining table that sat eight people all of the time, I wouldn’t have bought a table with an extension leafâ€”where do you store the other four chairs?!
I have a 1954 issue of American Home that I plan to scan for posting, right after I erase the pencil scribbles left behind on EVERY SINGLE PAGE by a child with anger management issues.* And so, I erase. Turn the page, erase. Turn the page, erase. Turn the pageâ€¦
WTF? Live burros? That can’t be right. Read with ever-widening, incredulous eyes. Snap a quick pic of one portion for a friend whom I know needs the smile, and will totally understand why I think this is hilarious. Decide it needs to be shared more widely viaÂ Instagram/Facebook/Twitter. Today, it’s time to share the ad in its entirety. Most of the offers are benign, but I think they set off quite nicely the outrageous idea that some homemaker might buy a live burro orÂ alligatorÂ to have around the house (sorry, no refunds or exchanges). If you’ve been to any shopping mall ever, you know that Spencer Gifts is still around. I guess we were a less litigious community back in 1954.
click to inflate
*Kids are kids, and kids “draw” on stuff. I know this. My concern isn’t the amount of scribbling so much as the placement, usually blacking out faces or obliterating animals. Creepy.
Why am I up?
Because I’m sick with a cold, and occasionally awaken because my nose is running or my breathing is labored or I’m coughing. Or any combination/all three.
Because one of my smoke detectors has a sporadic low battery chirp, but I can’t tell which one without getting out of bed and standing in the stairwell, by which point I may as well get the spare batteries and a ladder and change the damn things, but then I’d be AWAKE. The chirp inexplicably stops during daylight hours. This has been going on for three nights.*
Because I’ve never been able to find the switch that turns off my brain, and its chatter is deafening.
Because the ghrey kitteh thinks that my sole purpose is to provide a lumpy surface upon which she may sleep. And she is kind of heavy.
*Since I’m fully awake anyway, I finally did this. Turns out the batteries in the chirping smoke detector test at full strength, so I put them back in. The chirping has stopped, for now.
Filed under pet peeves, pets
People talk about something or other “scaring the shit out of” you. Does it ever work in reverse? Because the whitishy kitty just ran OUT of the litterbox and up the stairs past me, with his tail all apouf. The aforementioned poo is in its rightful place.
Filed under amusement, pets
click for more photos
Bunco is my very first foster puppy from PupSavers (where he is listed as Tripp, but that sounds too soap-operaish to me). He is 2-3 months old, and an Aussie cattle dog/probably blue heeler terrier mix. He wants to say “hi” to EVERYONE! He’s teething right now, so doesn’t do much more than chew his toys (and nap), but he does like to play chase in the yard for full minutes at a time before conking out.
THE FULL STORY: On Tuesday night I picked up two pups to foster, but that quickly turned out to be beyond my first-time puppy caring skills (and mere two hands plus lackluster ability to only be in one place at a time). Lucky for me, my fostering friends who turned me on to PupSavers in the first place hustled right on over to soothe my nerves, assure me that I could do this, and take the zanier of the two pups off my hands. They immediately dubbed her Houdini for her wily escape skills. No barrier is strong enough to keep her from snuggling with you!
Some of you know that my household comes complete with cats, and although I was near tears a couple of times at the start, I assure you this is hardest on them. The Siamese started venturing out last night, and is now fairly comfortable wandering around, cautiously, in areas that he knows the puppy can’t reach. The tabby has come downstairs a couple of times to sniff things out, but runs off when Bunco tries to sniff back. Neither cat seems to be settled enough to eat, but they do lap at a bowl of water I brought upstairs for them.
NOTE: Bunco is so named because I think the one spot on his back makes him look like a die. Bunco, a game of luck played in teams with three dice, was imported to San Francisco as a gambling activity in the 1850s, where it gave its name to gambling parlors, or Bunco parlors, and more generally to any swindle. After the Civil War, the game evolved to a popular parlor game. During Prohibition, Bunco was re-popularized as a gambling game and often associated with speakeasies. Law-enforcement groups raiding these parlors came to be known as “Bunco squads.”