Wednesday, December 29, 2004


ok, so i am thinking about fashion again. i have not been thinking about it much in the past year and a half--getting laid off makes you think VERY fucking differently about spending monney. but dude--mama needs some new clothes. i am trying to wait until i drop some weight before i do any serious spending, but i am SUCH a clothes horse that it is almost impossible for me to make it through a whole season with only 2 or 3 purchases to tide me over. i have missed entire trends.

and the SHOES!!! i realized that i have not bought a single pair of shoes in over a year! THE HORROR!!! what have i missed while hibernating away from the shoes? and how much of this is due to my lack of travel to the places with the good shoes? places like new york, and boston, and dallas, and san francisco. but i can tell you right now--i am going to boston in february, and i will most definitely be looking for shoes.

all this is egged on by the discovery of a favorite new blog, manolo's shoe blog, one of the more refreshing things i have come across in a WHILE. the manolo is not only amusing, but also right, and he offers temptations i have no will to resist. peruse him at will, as will i.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

today's mood: grumpy but hopeful

work is dead. and samantha has rudely deserted me, so i am forced to come up with other ways to make myself useful kill time till five o'clock when i can go home.

christmas is in two days, and i will not be ready. i am ALMOST ready, but not quite. and the problem with not having enough to do at work is that i have TOO much to do at home, but i can't get to any of it right now. there are days (read: every day) when i miss being unemployed. if it weren't for that money thing...

and don't get me wrong, i love my boss, and my job is mostly fine, i just wish we were independently wealthy so that we could just work on our own stuff. i have PLENTY to keep me busy--always. stupid money. *grumble*

and my head hurts.

ok--enough bitching. on a more cheerful note, tomorrow is christmas eve, which we will spend with friends eating the fabulous italian feast i will make for us. here, for your drooling pleasure, is the menu:

  • an antipasto platter featuring olives, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes marinated in olive oil and thyme, sauteed baby portabellas, fresh mozerella, sopressata, roasted yellow peppers, and pepperoncini

  • caesar salad (made by betsy)

  • bruchetta with tomato and basil

  • rosemary sourdough bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

  • 3-cheese tortelloni with priciutto and alfredo sauce

  • baked asparagus with parmesan and butter

  • herb roasted chicken

  • dark chocolate pudding

  • a non-chocolate dessert made or purchased by jenn


the cooking doesn't scare me--it's all the knitting and wrapping i need to finish!!! god, christmas came fast this year!

Monday, December 20, 2004

elf work is hard work

man, i always forget how long it takes to wrap present after present after present. and yes--this would again go faster if i could resist martha-stewart-ing them up. but y'all should know by now--i just can't. no matter how pressed for time i am (and DAMN am i pressed for time this year!), i just HAVE to tie the cute little bows with the organdy ribbon, and stack the presents just so, yadda yadda yadda.

sometimes i wish i could bring myself to just slap it all together.

and well--the simple fact is that some of my gifts are not going to make it in time this year. i just can't help it--time has run away from me.

meanwhile, time crunch or not, i have had to stop a minute, as my back is about to kill me from sitting in the floor wrapping presents for hours on end. and there is more to do, but dude--sometimes you just gotta stop. when i can face it again, i will go pack everything that needs to be mailed so that it can all be shipped away tomorrow. that outta be fun. the post office HOW many days before christmas??? i MUST be insane.

thank you baby jesus for priority mail.

Friday, December 17, 2004


let's talk about this plague i have been carrying for like the last 3 weeks. the hippie came home from california with it and gave it to me! we have both been sick off and on over almost the whole last month. but now, the damned thing seems to be mutating: i can't breathe.

i really can't breathe.

and when i can't breathe through my nose, my lips get all dry, and then i can't keep my lipstick on because i lick my lips too much and end up eating it all off, so i end up switching to lip balm, which tingles nicely but lasts not much longer than the lipstick, and well--it just sucks.

and yes, i know that was a run-on sentence, but i don't really give a shit.

geek moment: cassini

i don't always talk a lot about physics and astronomy and planetary science anymore now that i am no longer immersed in these things on a daily basis. but man, there are times when i wish i had kept going and gotten that PhD so that i could have been involved with all the awesome planetary research going on these days.

as planets go, mars is closest to my heart, but today, it's saturn drawing my attention. even if you are not geeky, take a look at the work going on by the cassini imaging team. this probe is getting some of the coolest pictures of saturn EVER. just beautiful. not to mention the research...


sometimes you are forced by circumstance to look back and wonder what your life would be like now if you had made different decisions. but like david sedaris said in his fabulous and hilarious short story, you can't kill the rooster, "the past is dead, hoss..." no regrets, and no going back for me.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

made me spit out my iced tea!

ok--this is just one of the funniest things i have seen on the internet in a long time. thanks to jenn for sending me a great and badly needed laugh!

i am unbelievably thankful that my cats have no interest in the christmas tree. fergus IS burying the occasional recently killed fake mouse in the tree skirt, but that i can handle.

and while i am on the subject of Bad Cat humor on the internet, i have to point out a hilarious series of sinfest cartoons, clearly about fergus, starting with this one, and running through the one from 12/13. enjoy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

advil rocks

thank you baby jesus for advil. when the cramps are upon you and your head throbs, is there anything better? advil, some tea, a nap with a kitty on your lap.

and then some good chinese food and chocolate. maybe an episode or two of alias.

surefire cures for PMS, by jacqueline s. jones...

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


i remember seeing a movie once where meg ryan's character said something along the lines of--starbucks is a place where people who can never make decisions like to go because they can then make 20 decisions in 5 seconds. or something like that.

i think of this every time i go to starbucks with the hippie when he orders his venti triple skim no whip mocha (ie, a 20 oz. mocha made with 3 shots of espresso, skim milk, and with no whipped cream on top). and here i am all simple, ordering my grande awake tea with both bags in, please...

funny place, starbucks.

and i think we have now memorized the location of every starbucks near the highway from our house all the way up to jason's mother's house in PA. it's like this yuppie beacon of civilation to us. caffeine--it's what's for breakfast. and lunch. and snacks. and dinner...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

sushi!!! new pants!!!

an excellent evening awaits me. tonight i am dragging the hippie to a great yarn store, which just happens to be across the street from some excellent sushi. YUM!

and then, wonder of wonders, i found a gap that actually has the pants i was going to order online but really want to wear this weekend IN STOCK! both pairs! i can't believe it! yeah--i know--it's the gap and all that. but man, i LOVE their pants--i admit it. now if only both pairs fit! cross your fingers for me, people.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

christmastime already?

thank goodness the illness is seeping slowly out of my body. i have been down with the plague and can only assume i have infected the hippie's entire family with it, as we were at their house in PA for the weekend. in spite of my being something of a dud and coughing out my lungs every 5 minutes, the weekend was good--good to see the family and be out on the farm for a bit.

and of course, on the way home, we spent too much money at IKEA!!! we now have bookshelves with which to line the hallways, if we ever get the put together. we seem to buy bookshelves a lot. but then--we buy books a lot too, so i guess this makes sense. IKEA rocks, by the way. we also got some shelving for the kitchen and some organizational stuff. they just have the best small space solutions of anyone.

and dude! it's like christmas and shit already!!! when did that happen??? when i was not looking, obviously. man, i have a lot to get done in the next 2 weeks! i have not even bought cards yet, but i will remedy that situation tonight: i am going on a whirlwind shopping extravaganza after work. and then i will go home and knit till my fingers fall off. time has just gotten away from me this year. i did at least sit down last night and make a list, so i already feel like i am getting things done. this is good. if only i didn't have a compulsion to MAKE things for everyone! but i do, and that is that. my big puzzle now is when in the hell we can get to the farmer's market to get the tree and put it up! i am hoping for sunday, when we get back fro maryland.

yes--we are leaving town again this weekend--this makes 3 weekends in a row! but this weekend it's for a big old party at our friends ralph and mary's house--one of the highlights of the season. assuming we make it... my boss is having a party here, too, which i hate to miss. too many choices. the holidays end up over-booked pretty quickly for us. i am not complaining, though--i love all this hustle and bustle and stuff to do. this is one of my favorite times of year. i even thrive under the pressure i think. yay for christmas!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

cliché, but i can't help it

tomorrow is thanksgiving, and although it seems a bit cliché, i will now compose a thanksgiving list. off the top of my head, thinking over the past year, and in no particular order, i am thankful for the following:
  • the softness of samson's ears
  • the hippie, a beautiful man who loves me
  • flakey pie crust
  • non-flakey and super-supportive friends
  • cuddly time
  • the smell of cinnamon
  • all those babies everyone keeps having
  • our apartment, which we are almost finished painting
  • a neighborhood where i can walk everywhere
  • the porch cat
  • having a light at the end of the tunnel of financial despair
  • feeling like my moldy-body factor is low
  • the new comfy couch in the office
  • flea killer
  • fergus's static-y meow
  • running out of bookshelf space
  • good steaming hot cups of tea
  • getting back in touch with the artistic half of my brain
  • hugs--the hippie gives the best hugs in the universe
  • scout leaning on me like a big dog
  • learning a new craft
  • baby lions and meercats and patas monkeys
  • my dreams of the future

i am sure there is more, but that is the quick, brainstorm-y list. hope you all have a fabulous holiday. hope i do too if i can ever get out of the office and onto the road!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


it's the time of year again where i make pies. today i was scheduled to make two of them for my family for thanksgiving. perhaps it was a bit ambitious of me to think i could make it to the grocery store to get the pie stuff and make two pies in one night after work while doing laundry and trying to get ready to be gone for 3 days. hmmm...

it took three grocery stores before i found any butter or heavy whipping cream.

so now it is midnight and i am one pie down, one to go. i admit that the first one (the pumpkin) would have gone much faster if i could have restrained myself from martha-stewart-ing* it up. but--um--no. i tried not to do it, but i couldn't help myself. i had a compulsion to cut out the little fancy shapes with the tiny cookie cutters to make a little pattern in the crust around the edges. i am not sure what is wrong with me. luckily the apple pie is SUPPOSED to be rustic, so it will go much faster when i make it. tomorrow night. at my mother's house.

let's hear it for doing things at the last minute!
* yes, i did just use martha-stewart as a verb.

Friday, November 19, 2004

porch cat

this morning i got up early to make stuffing for the thanksgiving potluck lunch at work, and so my routine was all off. i petted the cats, washed some dishes, fed the birds and squirrels, talked to emily, ate breakfast, had a leisurely cup of tea, and even did a little laundry--it was GREAT. i need to get up early more often.


i walked into the living room with my tea just in time to see the bulk of the birds and squirrels scatter as the porch cat leisurely sauntered his way into the yard. one squirrel remained, peacefully eating dried corn and peanuts from the dish on the porch. the porch cat spotted him almost immediately, and hunched down into full-on tiger stalk position. he stalked the squirrel all the way across the yard, wiggling his butt in that way that young cats do. and he ALMOST got him, too! he pounced and the squirrel bolted up a tree and the porch cat raced up the tree as fast as he could go and JUST MISSED! it was all very national geographic on the porch this morning.

so of course, i went out to see the porch cat, to feed and pet him. we played with a stick and he fell all over my feet, and he scarfed down some kitten chow (yes, he has his own food now), and he pounced on some leaves in then yard, and he is so cute. he purrs so loud.


his name is "twig" in my head.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

strange week alone

the house feels weird and empty without the hippie in it. he is in california all week, working hard and not sleeping. it's just strange without him. i am not really cooking at all--very out of character for me. and god, i have slept like a dead thing this week. it's not helping--i am still tired. i thought i would have a week filled with down time. i thought i would get a lot done. hasn't really happened, but that's alright. i am not really in the mood to put a lot of pressure on myself.

i have been surprisingly busy for a woman on her own--it seems that people come out of the woodwork to entertain you when your man is out of town.

i had dinner with the grossmanns last night, a good but strange indian meal in a restaurant that is both ice cream parlor and indian fast food joint. it was the first time since i was about 25 that i had an entire meal where i recognized nothing i was eating. it was all good--that much i know. and it was great to see the family--i have not seen them since going back to work, which is just a travesty.

after dinner i went over to emily's house for an elf viewing. for those of you who have not seen elf--it is surprisingly slow. i think it sucked the souls out of both me and emily. when i saw her at lunch today, however, she seemed to have recovered.

tonight my knitting class was cancelled, so i went to the movies with sonya and roger instead. we saw the polar express. let me tell you--i have now had my quota of pre-thanksgiving christmas cheer. ENOUGH! no more till after thanksgiving. i mean it! but i digress... the movie was pretty good--i think chris van allsburg can be proud that his illustrations have inspired such an epic. and roger was hilarious--unable to contain his 4 year old excitement, whispering loudly to me everything that was about to happen seconds before it did. luckily i have read the book, so there were no huge surprises ruined for me. roger was also about TO DIE from having to pee at the end of the movie, but there was NO WAY he was going to admit it and miss the very end--i have never seen such squirming or heard such denial! kids are hilarious. (no worries--he made it!)

tomorrow i will be babysitting for emily (NOTE: happy anniversary emily and todd!) and attending a late night conference call while making stuffing for the thanksgiving potluck lunch at work on friday. i am tired just thinking about that stuffing. thanksgiving is next week? are you serious??!

even the porch cat has been extra supportive this week--he has come running to meet me at the car door when i got home, just to be petted, on two separate occasions. tonight i think i was too late for him--he was already gone out on his rounds.

friday will wrap up my week alone by hanging out with jennifer. we will eat and knit and talk. gabriella will be cute and talk a lot and chew up jennifer's knitting nedles and make me laugh, not necessarily in that order.

and all this is good, but i still miss my hippie. living for saturday morning when he comes home.

Monday, November 15, 2004

bittersweet babies

this weekend, two sets of friends had babies, and i simply CAN'T WAIT to meet these new little people:
    1. andrew howard gainey, born to howard and christine saturday night. hard labor, resulting in a cesarian section. mother and baby are fine and coming home tomorrow. this makes brooke a big sister, which i am sure will be no small adjustment.

    2. ella catherine freeman, born to dearest friends jeff and carrie sunday at around noon. another hard labor, with some manageable complications. again, mother and baby are fine and coming home tomorrow. jeff sounded relieved, exhilarated, terrified and utterly in love on the phone. and tired. i could hear the little newborn cry in the background, and it made me cry.
      so happy for my friends. and a little jealous. a little sad for me.

      Friday, November 12, 2004

      the weather's beautiful--wish i was there

      ew--it's all drizzly and grey out again.
      i want to be here instead.
      SO glad it's friday.

      rant: doctor's offices

      is anything more stressful than dealing with doctors? maybe dealing with travel agents? i don't know--that's a close call. i have been dealing today with a doctor's office, where the woman at the front desk ALWAYS pulls the wrong chart for me, and where the doctor seems to think i am lying about the state of my own health. my blood pressure shoots through the roof every time i walk in their door, because i get PISSED OFF, not because my BP meds aren't working. and i have called them 5 times in the last two days, because no one i need is ever available when i call, and no one returns my calls. this should not be so difficult. further, i am sick of monitoring my stupid BP, which is FINE. yesterday i waited 45 minutes at a completely different doctor's office just to have them take a BP reading. 45 minutes. and it took less than one minute to take it. the fool at the front desk had just forgotten to put me on the nurse's list. maybe it's not the fault of the doctors as much as it is the fault of the front desk people who ALL seems to be as dumb as so many boxes of rocks. UGH!!!

      Thursday, November 11, 2004

      Cannibal Women in the Avacado Jungle of Death

      and you are thinking, "what did she say?"

      yes, you read that right. while looking for an action movie to inspire the hippie to happiness at the potential of spending a night of beer and explosions on the couch, i came across a movie called Cannibal Women in the Avacado Jungle of Death. WAY too amusing not to share. be sure to note that it's cheaper to buy it in conjunction with Assault of the Killer Bimbos, and while you are at it, be sure to check out the, "Customers who bought this DVD also bought:" list. dead funny, that is.

      i chuckle sometimes at my fellow humans.

      Wednesday, November 10, 2004


      haven't been much in the mood for writing this past week. had the nasty headache, had a little cold, was a little bummed out. yadda yadda yadda. but i am feeling physically better (just in time for more PMS), and that always makes for mentally better, too. plus the sun has been shining for a few days, and that helps, too. i figure it's time to get my shit back together and update some blog.

      what have i been doing, you ask, to occupy myself through this most recent funk?

      i have been knitting.

      i am surprised at how into this knitting thing i have gotten. even when i was sick on the couch this weekend, knitting was something i could do. i can fit a scarf into my purse to take with me anywhere. last week, jenn and i went to give blood, then out to dinner, then for coffee. we knitted at the red cross, waiting to be seated at outback, and over tea at starbucks--it was a totally pleasant evening. i took my knitting with me when we went out with the puryears and grant last weekend, and ended up knitting on maggie's couch while we chatted.

      i knit in the evenings when i am done with work and the hippie is running, i knit before bed, i knit while the hippie is working at home, so i can still hang out with him. i was talking to a woman who has been knitting for about three years, and she told me that she is never without her knitting, and man, i can believe it. it is just so portable and easy. you can talk while you do it. and there is something to show for it at the end of the day. it doesn't require a lot of equipment, and it can be done almost anywhere. you can even take bamboo knitting needles onto a plane with you. this is a good hobby.

      tonight the knitting group is coming over to our house for the first time--i admit i am a little intimidated. the houses of the other women in this group have so far been well done masterpieces of decor and money and style, and i fear i will not measure up. but then again, people always seem to be comfortable in our space as a general rule, and i honestly love our little house. so hey--they can deal with the fact that the entryway is still pink and kelly green and that i haven't quite gotten all the plants properly positioned inside for the winter. oh well. maybe i will get that hippie to build us a little fire, because who doesn't love a fire when it's cold outside? and hey--i am Southern--if i can't make people feel at home in my home, then my mother did something terribly wrong.

      Wednesday, November 03, 2004

      not that guy again!!

      ok, i am not a political person. i am not even registered to vote, which i know makes me irresponsible and negates anything i have to say about politics. and usually i just keep my mouth shut... but this time, i just have to say something. bush again??? you have GOT to be kidding me people! WHAT has he done that warrants entrusting him with the next four years? not that i am all pro-kerry or something, but i AM pro-not-bush. i just find it hard to see how anyone can look at the past four years and not want some kind of change. the saddest part is that there is no one clear candidate to rally the country, and there has not been in many years of presidential elections. who do you support when your choice comes down to deciding who is the lesser of the two evils? that is not much of a choice at all--it's just a sad state of affairs. the grey drizzly rain suits my mood about this whole thing.

      does this mean we have to make strategery a real word now?

      Tuesday, November 02, 2004

      this pain in my head...

      it just won't go away!

      i have had a headache off and on for 2 days--woke up with it at about 2 am monday morning, and it persists. stess? a change in the weather? god only knows. i am pretty tired of it though--it is making me whiney and overwhelmed and sleep deprived. i think i have slept maybe 7 hours combined in the last two days. *whine*

      in other, non headache related news, it WAS a good weekend. the boyz all seemed to have a good time, and the hippie was filled with funk and sadness to see them go. there was four-wheeling, gaming, eating, drinking, hooters, and ceegar smoking to be had. the weather was nice, so most of the gaming happened outside on the porch. very good. emily and i had a fabulous girl day in the meantime. i also managed to have dinner with jenn, spend some time with my friend maggie, and finish my scarf. on sunday i went alone and got myself a pedicure. very good. good weekends have one big disadvantage though--they make the work week harder. the headache is not helping.

      did i mention that i had a headache?

      i apparently also have a new cat. Porch Cat. a sweet, extremely friendly little grey and white kitty who is about 4 months old and sorely in need of a good home. he has taken up residence on the porch, much to the dismay of some very chubby squirrels, who have had free reign of the critter food for perhaps too long. with three cats already in the house, i can't exactly bring him in, but man--i want to. hate to see an animal in need. so we are feeding him of course. and i am shopping him around to see if i can find him a good, permanent arrangement. at the very least i know i am going to end up taking him to the vet and have him seen to for vaccines and the removal of his ability to make more kitties in need. cross your fingers for me that i can find him a family.

      Friday, October 29, 2004

      game on

      this is a Game Weekend. the hippie's boyz are coming into town for a full weekend of D&D madness. yes--it will be geeky as all hell. yes--it will be drunken and probably rowdy, too. yes--we will be packed into the house like so many sardines. yes--the cats will be in a heaven of full time, non-stop petting. yes--i am going to make all the Bad Food in the world and not eat it myself. *sigh*

      in fact, there are 6 quarts of chili in the fridge right now just waiting for the guys to get here. i also promised harry some chocolate pudding--i will be making that tonight while they play. and i promised the hippie some oatmeal peanut butter cookies, so i gotta deliver on that too. and heather's famous sausage dip. and the snacks--oh the snacks! the hippie is going to gain 20 pounds in one weekend after 3 weeks of south beach! but hey--isn't it worth it for a weekend with your friends?

      i am so excited about them coming. one i have met, and two i haven't. i do feel some small amount of stress at being in the spotlight, but i figure--i am too old to worry TOO much about impressing his friends. i will just be me and hope it's alright with them. i am just glad for the opportunity to get to know them.

      my plan for the weekend? make the Bad Food and then take off. i have a full on Girl Day planned with my friend emily tomorrow, and i CANNOT WAIT! we are going to go have some lunch, do a little shopping at the greatest specialty food store in north carolina, maybe hit the mall... who knows where the girl madness will end??!?! and all baby free, too. not that i do not love em's son, but once in a while it's nice to just have a girls only day. this one will be her first in over a year, so i think she may actually be even more excited about it than i am!

      right now i am just antsy to get through the work day--the hippie took the day off to work on the adventure and get the last minute things together. meanwhile, i am here at the office, only able to think about things i need to do at home! less than 3 more hours to go--i can make it!!!

      here's to a good weekend ahead...

      Tuesday, October 26, 2004

      sprayed that funk with some Funk-B-Gone®

      and man, that Funk-B-Gone® really works.

      it's game night again--my how time does fly. and this time, i used it to get a little bit more caught up. scrubbed the bathroom, washed the dishes, straightened, folded some laundry, cut and buffed my nails, put in yet more laundry, returned like 2 of the 50 phone calls i need to return, and called it quits. not to mention making dinner before the hippie departed. go me. throw last night's productivity on there, and i am actually starting to feel less panicked.

      no more are things spinning out of control. don't get me wrong--there is still PLENTY to do, but now i am feeling more like it may actually get (mostly) done. whoo hoo!

      i am trying to learn not to put so much pressure on myself, but that's kind of hard for us type-As. thank god for friends who can be sane for me and talk me down off ledges when i am freaking out for no good reason.

      Monday, October 25, 2004


      at work, reading books on how to be good at this job, and feeling a bit bored actually. i knew there would be some down time in the first few weeks before some of my side projects are up and going. my boss warned me about this--thus the investment in the books. but god, there is only so much of that you can read before your brain just shuts down and refuses to listen.

      and i am falling into one of those funks that results from not having enough to do at work while there is more to do at home than i can keep up with. i was pretty on top of the domestic things when laid off, and now, i feel like the house is spinning slightly out of control. not that the hippie doesn't help, but i still in my head feel like it is all on me somehow.

      i want the day to end so that i can run errands, get home, make dinner, wash dishes, finish a wire thing, fold some laundry, and hopefully knit for 5 minutes before i die of tiredness from getting up at 5:45 am. i am actually getting more used to the early hour, but i am not worth killing in the evening.

      listen to me whine. god, just tell me to shut up.

      i will get it all done. i will find a way--that is what i do.

      Thursday, October 21, 2004

      rant: technophobia

      god spare me from technophobes!

      why is it that otherwise intelligent people cannot understand that an email subject line like, "Re: Campk: Digest#506" is utterly totally useless? change the fucking subject line--it takes like two seconds at most! further, please get it through your headls that if you hit "reply" on an email to a listserve, you are replying to the ENTIRE LIST! how hard is it to change the "to" field to the person you actually intend to email? come on!

      get your voicemail set up on your cell phones people! read those instructions, and put some numbers in there. if you hate call waiting, why do you have it? and if you have it, why don't you know how to use it? learn how to change to the other line if someone is calling. if you buy a universal remote, program the damned thing. if you don't have a cell phone, then for god's sake, get a fucking answering machine!

      and WHY WHY WHY am i FAXING stuff on PAPER all over the place within the SOFTWARE company i work for?????

      technophobia. it rankles.

      you are excused form all this ranting if you are over 65. otherwise, get with the program.

      Wednesday, October 20, 2004

      state of the union

      today is a MUCH more high energy day than yesterday. granted, i said more high energy, not just high energy--i am still just scraping by. however, it's getting easier every day. here is an update on the status of things:

      the new job is going pretty well. there are the thorns in my side that would be there in any job, but i am dealing with those ok. i am learning all the new processes and ways in which things are done fairly quickly. and only occasionally do i have a momentof asking myself, "are you wasting your time doing this kind of job?" and then i remember that all i am trying to do here is fund my life while being useful, not change the world.

      the kitchen is DONE!!!! thanks to the efforts of the impatient hippie, who basically took over and started painting the world, it is done done done! and it looks about a million times better than it did two weeks ago. our friend jenn walked in and declared that it looks a ton bigger as well as brighter--bonus. i still need to get some things back up on the walls, but it already just looks so good! now how to get rid of the nasty stove... *ponder*

      the wire things are utterly stalled since i started working again--NOT GOOD, as they have just started selling better. hoping to finish one order tonight, and start in on a big shipment for the charleston store this weekend. must get moving on this.

      have lost roughly seven pounds on this diet so far. whoo hoo! let's hope it keeps up, so i can be svelte by spring. i read a post from someone else's blog about losing weight, and she was so right on about how odd it is to have to re-evaluate your clothes, where you shop, how you think of yourself. while my main concern in this is health, i admit that my vanity will be pleased if i can get as far as she has!!!

      i feel like knitting! i have no time for it right this minute, but i have promised myself that i will make time soon! i have lots of cool projects going on, especially a cool burgundy scarf that should be done in just an afternoon or a long evening. jenn finished up a scarf today that was SO COOL! i was jealous! maybe i can work on mine tonight if i finish the wire thing i need to make.

      the hippie and i are gettin' ready to bottle us some wine. (another "whoo hoo" should go here, but one of those per post is enough!) we have two batches of cranberry ready to go into bottles and one batch of asian pear that needs to be racked again. look-out weekend, here we come.

      and one parting thought for the day--i miss being away from my kitties all day long--i know this is somewhat pathetic, but there you have it. i guess i really am a crazy cat lady.

      Tuesday, October 19, 2004

      can't be bothered

      yeah i know. i am suppposed to use game night to catch up around here. there is a basket of laundry to fold, some dishes to wash, a wire thing to make. at some point i need to scrub the bathroom and the kitchen floor. but man--i just can't be bothered to mess with any of it. i am pathetically tired, bleeding like a stuck pig, and just in a generally crappy mood.

      at the same time, i am relishing some down time. i have a cup of tea. i might read some blog archives or something before i settle in to a grueling evening of cat petting. or maybe some staring. staring sounds like about all i have the energy for at the moment.

      when i feel like this, i really think all i can do is give in and sit still. once in a while, i just need that. going back to work is a big adjustment--i am never alone anymore. it is strange after so much time spent by myself. so right now, while i am alone and the hippie is out, i am just saying fuck it to the chores. fuck it. i'm settin'.

      Thursday, October 14, 2004

      welcome to south beach

      so i am dieting. or rather, i should say we are dieting. i think the hippie is doing it mostly to support me, which is awfully nice of him. monday morning we started the much hyped south beach diet. my whole life, i have avoided faddish diets as just so much bullshit, but this one seems a lot more in line with the nutrition books i have been reading lately. i feel like we are being pretty healthy, even in the very strict first two weeks.

      and so far, this diet is working pretty much as advertised. we both seem to be dropping a pound a day or so. so hey--cool! i hope phase two works as well, when i should continue to lose 1-2 pounds a week. it feels weird to be thinking about food this much, but it's worth it if it keeps working so well. if it does, i should reach my goal weight (HATE that term) in about 5 months, maybe 6. and hopefully that will mean i can drop some of the meds i am too young to be taking every day.

      but it ain't all a bed of roses. the down side is that i feel like i am cooking pretty much all the time. well--i AM cooking pretty much all the time. and in this week of so much change, it is just exhausting (see previous post). add in that the kitchen is still a complete shambles from all the painting stuff, and you got yourself a grumpy jackie. and the poor hippie is starving. he is a big beer drinker, and the lack of guinness may well kill him before this is all over.

      all i want is a piece of seven grain toast with peanut butter on it and a banana for breakfast tomorrow. alas--i cannot have it. this better be worth it!

      Monday, October 11, 2004

      back in the salt mines

      man, i am TIRED. i got up this morning at 5:30 am to go to the gym with the hippie, cooked breakfast, made lunch, got to work early, and am still here waiting for the hippie to get back from his run. as the new job is capped at 40 hours per week, i am not working right now, and blogging seemed the perfect thing to do to keep from passing out under my desk the first day back on the job.

      it is a bit surreal being here--i know most of the people, but i am working with completely different people than i used to. plus, i am getting some of that whole--why are you not an engineer anymore stuff from people, which is a pain in the ass to explain. a few people get it, but more just can't understand why i would ever do the job i am doing. but i gotta say--i think i will like it pretty well once i get settled in. there is a lot to learn about the setup of things from the admin/hr side, but once i figure out where everything is, i will be ok. today, for example, i did some event planning, and that is so right up my alley. kind of fun, which is more thani can say for any aspect of the support side of things here--except maybe the team building trips to hawaii.

      anyway. brain is tired. body is tired. and i am more than daunted by the thought of putting another coat of paint on the kitchen cabinets tonight. i am not sure i am up to it. i am not even sure i am going to make it through cooking dinner at this point!!! MUST go to bed earlier tonight. and maybe without so much wine this time...

      Thursday, October 07, 2004

      home improvement

      i am finally, after MUCH procrastination, getting around to painting the kitchen. i spent the bulk of today cleaning and prepping--i always forget how long it takes. and god, is sanding the kitchen cabinets not my favorite thing to do. further, it is truly amazing how much crap i can fit into one tiny room--i spent at least an hour just moving things out into the dining room so i could actually get to the walls to paint them.

      here is the plan: i am getting ready to wake up the nasty boring awfully painted kitchen, and i can't wait tio see how it looks when i am finished! right now, the walls are yellowish smoker's cream, and the trim is uber-glossy greenish smoker's cream. the walls have 8-pointed, very messy looking, gold-colored stars stencilled on them. i think someone at some point was trying to make this place work with the hideous, circa 1972, green and gold and white linoleum or something. anyway--the cabinets are the same nasty cream with olive green doors. and here is the real problem: the smoker's cream was an oil based paint, while the gold and olive paints someone applied long ago are latex--this means that the color is partially peeled off. pretty easy for that to happen when the person who last painted it put on exactly one streaky-ass coat of paint to begin with. it's just god awful. BUT--if all goes well, by the end of the weekend, the walls will be a light apple-y green and the cabinetry (such as it is) will all be white white white, as will the trim. i expect that it will make the kitchen look approximately double in size. sadly, i also expect that it will make the beige stove look even worse than it already does. oh, if there were only a way to get the landlord to replace the stove entirely! however, i have my doubts on that score.

      NOTE: the hippie is of the opinion that if you do any kind of home improvement on a house where the last people did terrible things or badly executed things, then you should have to right to hunt them down and bitch slap them to your satisfaction. after all the things we have had to repair in our improvements to this rental house, i have to agree 100%. people suck. people suck worse when they are dealing with rental property. but i digress...

      here is the current status: the walls i can get to are cleaned, half the kitchen cabinets are sanded, but i still need to do some trim sanding. all the holes are patched and sanded but one--a stupid HUGE screw up near the ceiling that i missed because WHY IS IT THERE????! the paint is upstairs and in position, and the counters are cleared off, cleaned, and taped up. i am ready to get started with the parts i can reach. of course these parts are not the parts behind the stove and the fridge, because i can't move those by myself. those will be attacked this weekend when the hippie is in the house. (fear what we will find under/behind the stove and refridgerator. i am filled with dread just thinking about it.)

      here are the goals: have the kitchen finished before the hippie's game weekend, the last weekend in october. have the mildew encrusted bathroom redone and all the interior trim painted by the end of november. also have my workroom completley set up by the end of november. have the entryway, which we share with our wonderful upstairs neighbor, painted by christmas. and man, you should see that thing now!!! lilac pink and kelly green are two colors that should never be combined except in plant life.

      i'll keep you posted as i make progress. :)

      Wednesday, October 06, 2004


      i was talking to a friend the other day about being a snob. she said, "i think i am a snob." and i was like--you are SO not a snob! we are not snobs. but then i have been thinking about it, and now i wonder. where is the line between just wanting to be around people you know you will get along with, people with similar educations, backgrounds, interests, tastes, and/or intelligence levels and just plain being a sbob?

      i guess my attitude goes something like this:
      1. anyone deserves a chance, no matter what your first impression is.
      2. you can't tell shit about a person by looking at them. this includes guesses you may be making about their income, education, intelligence, taste, etc. you have to talk to them for a while to see what they are about. but man, sometimes it is hard to remember that and not prejudge.
      3. every person you meet can teach you something. most times they can make you see something in a new way, which is always good. once in a while all you learn is that inbreeding is bad, but hey--that is certainly an important lesson.
      4. there is nothing wrong with gravitating to people who are similar to you in attitude, education, etc. i mean, you are the way you are because that is what you want to be, right? so why would it make sense that you would surround yourself with people who were utterly dissimilar? what will you talk about if you have nothing at all in common?
      and if we take this into the realm of romance, then i think you are under no obligation to date a person who does not have enough in common with you. even if you like and respect a person and have started dating him/her because he/she has qualities you like, you are under no obligation to stay with that person if you come to recognize that his/her personal educational, financial, and stylistic goals don't meet what you have always wanted for yourself and your potential children. and no--i don't think that makes you a snob. it is not like you are saying to the person--you do not measure up. you are saying--you are not the right person for me. and that is important to say if it is true, no matter what the reason. a relationship has to be a meeting of equals or it will never work.

      and yes, i think this attitude can be carried too far, and then you leave the realm of the stongly opinionated and cross the line into cocksnobbery. the catty comments begin, and all sense of human decency and mutual respect is lost. it's so easy to do and can, perhaps unfortunately, be pretty damned entertaining.

      for example, every day i look at the daily photo over at, and every day, i think to myself--cool picture, but jeezus these are some inane comments!!! i really don't know what these people are thinking, and i don't care a whit if i ever meet any of them. if i were dooce, i would be rolling my eyes. hell, i AM rolling my eyes, and it's not even my site! i have always had a problem with stupid people. does that make me a snob? maybe...

      so am i a snob? i don't think so, but hey--you be the judge.

      Tuesday, October 05, 2004

      last week of freedom

      i am relishing this last week of freedom. as of next monday, i am back in the ranks of the gainfully employed. of course, i have bittersweet feelings about it. i am very very very relieved to be solvent again. but i am also sad to have to give up some of the things i have been enjoying so much. for example, i will probably have to move my studio space back home. going over to jenn and harry's in the evenings is too disruptive to both our families, and if i have to work on the wire things at night, i would rather do it at home. the good news, however, is that this new job is capped at 40 hours per week, so i don't have to give the wire things up entirely. nor do i need to sacrafice any of my other personal creative goals. i am still planning to keep knitting, making stained glass pieces, and learning more about web design and digital art. i am still hoping to teach some in the spring, depending on how things go. as jobs go, this one is about perfect for right now.

      so this week is my last week of relative freedom, and i plan to make the most of it. today i went to the museum of natural sciences with emily and shane and thence to a wonderful lunch. we sat outside in the beautiful fall weather. and this afternoon, i will make a couple of wire things and perhaps read some books or knit. i am hoping thursday will be a similar sort of laid back day.

      in other news, my rents DID come, and we all four survived. the lion cubs were divine, as were the baby meercats and the baby patas monkey. i rejected the rocking chairs as they were too small, and the hippie and i are still planning to go get the ones we want at some point in the near future. i think my mother's favorite thing about the entire visit was getting to pet the kitties--she really misses having one of her own. (granted, we ARE blessed with really great cats--i think i paid all my Bad Cat dues with jojo.)

      sadly, on the way home from the zoo, my car collapsed and swooned under the weight of all the excitement. it is still in the hospital, but ready to be discharged as soon as we can go get it. more on this adventure later.

      Friday, October 01, 2004

      gasp and swoon, my parents are coming!

      although i will not believe it until i see my mother sitting on our couch, my parents tell me they are coming this weekend. this is HUGE, dude! my parents have not been all that accepting of my relationship with the hippie for a number of reasons, but they actually seem to be coming around a little bit. the rents have very firm ideas on marriage, the institution, and marriage, the religious state, and marriage, the justification for sex and/or children and/or living together. and well--the hippie and i are not only not married, but we also have no intention of ever being married. it's just not for us. so to my rents, we are living in sin and always will be. add onto this that the hippie was married before, and that my mother views me as "the other woman" in his marriage (although neither the hippie or i feel that this was exactly the case), and you have a woman who is not really ready to accept our living arrangements or let us sleep in the same bed at her house.

      the road to acceptance actually began with the hippie fixing my father's email within the first hour of the first weekend that i took him home to meet them. they actually like the hippie a lot, so that goes a long way. but fighting against that is my mother's general distrust of men and my ability to take care of myself, coupled with her beliefs about marriage.

      the last time we went home to visit my parents, we opted to stay in a B&B in my hometown. and although i would not recommend this particular B&B to anyone, i still think it was the right thing to do. we wanted to see the rents, and we wanted to be able to sleep, so we compromised. but i think my mother saw it as us drawing some kind of accept-us-or-else line in the sand or something. that was not at all our intention, but it seems to be having a positive effect none the less.

      i mean, for our birthdays, they bought us rocking chairs for the porch of the house where we live together in sin.

      imagine my surprise last weekend when i called home to find my mother, who does NOT travel AT ALL, thinking about coming to visit. imagine my surprise when i suggested that they meet us at the zoo this coming weekend and then come home with us and was not met with total disdain. imagine my surprise to find that they are actually planning to do it.

      so this is the plan: we are meeting them at 10 am tomorrow at the asheboro zoo where we hope to take a gander at the new, 2 month old lion cubs, and then they will come back to raleigh with us for one night. they are not staying with us in our house of sin, but will rather be staying in a rather crappy hotel somewhat nearby. had they the ability to make plans ahead of time, they could have stayed at a beautiful B&B right here in our hood, but alas it is all booked up. my father called at 7:15 this morning to tell me to find them a hotel, and that has actually been something of a challenge--almost everything in raleigh is full, as this is homecoming weekend for NCSU. so yeah. they are coming. we'll see how this goes. i love my parents, and i do want their acceptance, so i am really glad they are making an effort. i just hope it goes well, and i will be a bit nervous until they are actually here.

      if nothing else, i really can't wait to see the baby lions. :)

      Thursday, September 30, 2004

      lunch with emily

      well, i guess i SHOULD say, "lunch with emily and shane," as shane also came to lunch and ate some puffs and a banana. shane did not, however, gorge on chips, salsa, and enchiladas as did his mother and i. and man, it was fabulous. cheap mexican was what the doctor had ordered.

      it's one of those days when i just feel codependent. i need to get some housework done, but i feel like i need another person around in order to do it. you know, like the college roommate who sits and looks at magazines or paints her toenails while you clean out your closets. so what do i do? i call emily and talk on the phone while changing sheets and doing laundry and washing dishes. and of course, this quickly turns into a lunch outing, because--well--who the hell doesn't need a break from all that housework?!

      and man, it was the Right Thing, getting out of the house. i actually feel a bit reset. i mean, really--look at me go!

      Wednesday, September 29, 2004


      yesterday we saw the most beautiful sunset--it looked like a postcard. it was all bright red and pink, and there were those rays that make you think of the second coming. (jenn said the clouds looked like scrambled eggs.) and on the opposite side of the sky was an enormous, beautiful rainbow that just looked like a vertical column of colors coming out of a fluffy pink cloud. it was just awesome. one of those moments that makes me think things are turning around. and they DO seem to be. it just made me feel peaceful for once.

      NOTE: rainbows have always been a special thing between my mother and me, so i always think of her when i see one. oddly enough, i was talking to her on the phone yesterday when that huge spectacular anomaly came into view in all its shining glory. interesting coincidence, non?

      Monday, September 27, 2004

      what's for dinner?

      even when i don't feel like cooking, or i think i don't, once i start mincing up some garlic, it's just therapy. i love to cook. that pungent garlic smell comes up to greet me like an old friend every time. there is just something deeply satisfying in the preparation of a good meal, especially if it is a simple but delicious meal, and i cooked it myself in spite of my feelings of lethargy and/or apathy.

      i guess i have an odd relationship with food. i have a weight issue, and have for most of my adult life, but the food has never been the reason. the food is all good. i believe in fresh, high quality ingredients. i believe in paying attention to the types of things i am putting into my body. i believe in listening to the voices of the past, be they my own mother and grandmother, or someone else's nazi italian grandmother. food is tradition. food is health on a platter if you do it right. i figure, if you have to eat at least 3 times a day to be healthy, then you should at least try to make eating a joyous experience, right? so i do. i have a deep appreciation for the good stuff on my plate. i think it is worthwhile to eat less of something better than more of something boring or generic.

      take, for example, any generic chain restaurant of america. these places are my nmesis. they serve tremendous amounts of unhealthy, mediocre fare, and most americans seem perfectly happy with it, believing that the sheer quantity indicates that they are getting their money's worth. my mother and i were just talking about this yesterday--my father is a fan of ryan's steakhouse, which is, in my opinion, the buffet line straight to hell. i have not been in a ryan's in years, but i still remember it and many others like it. it is filled with obese people eating their body weight in fried everything and rolls dripping in trans fats. further, they are feeding this schlock to their obese children as well. i can't stand it!

      give me a bowl of angel hair pasta with a simple tomato and basil sauce at my own kitchen table. give me a glass of red wine. give me a small caesar salad. simple. good. dinner.

      Wednesday, September 22, 2004

      hormones a-ragin'

      apologies if this is TMI, people.

      man i hate me some PMS. i am having all these violent mood swings the past couple of days. i am all weepy, and one minute i want to clean the world, while the next minute i am too lethargic to get off the couch. the good news it that this feels like normal PMS. the last few months have been hormonal hell due to taking the Wrong Pills. it is really amazing how much they can affect you--until recently i had no idea myself. but now i am trying a new anti-baby device that appears to be a bit better. at least now i am not bleeding for weeks on end. nor do i have horrifying splitting headaches like clockwork every afternoon of the PMS week. so yeah--so far, this is a TON better. i have great hopes that i will start to get back to myself in the next month.

      thank you, alyce, for making medical recommendations for me.
      thank you, hippie, for putting up with my shit.
      thank you, hormones, for ragin' in the way you're supposed to.

      Tuesday, September 21, 2004


      for a person with no official job, i sure am busy! between the wire things, babysitting, looking for a job, trying to maintain a social life, grocery shopping, cooking, washing dishes and clothes, slowly overhauling all my web pages, and trying to get things in my life a little more organized, i feel like i have very little down time. there are many people who seem to think i am just sitting around eating bonbons, but who has time for THAT!?

      yesterday was the first time in a long time i was home for a whole day, and i had to have a fever to justify sitting down and reading a book. granted, some of this is the PMS talking--i am on a hell of a cleaning binge while still a little sick, but man! i am just exhausted. maybe it also has something to do with the stress of having irons in so many fires while trying to find a day job.

      don't worry--not going to start whining about jobs again--something will happen--i know this. i just think it is so odd that i am so busy. how am i going to fit a job in here on top of all this other stuff? i guess i will just figure it out as i go along, like everything else.

      and you know, for all this exhaustion, i am in a pretty good mood today. i just wish i had magical powers so i could clean faster.

      Monday, September 20, 2004

      a day at the lake

      yesterday was one of those glorious fall days, the first one of this year. beautiful, clear, sunny, windy day--actually slightly chilly. how could we NOT blow everything off and head to the lake with harry and jenn and gabriella?

      harry and the hippie sailed harry's hobie in the high winds, managing to flip the boat over in one of the scariest things i have ever seen, something called a pitch pole. and the scariest part was that i was watching, and for at least 4 very long minutes, saw no activity around the boat at all. jenn was also watching, then she and i watched a couple of monohull sailboats slam into a boat dock and nearly not make it in at all. jenn goes, "this is why sailing is not for women," and i think i have to agree. whew--it was scary! of course, they got the boat righted again, and no one was badly hurt, so it all turned out ok. and the boys were just exhilarated by the whole thing, of course. silly MEN!

      but other than that small shadow it was a wonderful day. i filled up a whole memory card with pictures of the boys setting up the boat and candid secret shots of gabriella. she is one if the most beautiful children i have ever seen. it's great fun to follow her around with the camera and sneak shots of her when she isn't looking. :)

      by the end of the day i was actually feeling sort of sick, and have not been worth killing today. this is what taking care of a child with a fever for a week will do for you: give you a stupid little cold to making you all draggy. poor lucy was feeling just awful all of last week, and now so am i.

      it is beautiful out again today, but i want no part of it. it's me, the couch, a book, some sex and the city, and an assload of tea. hopefully by tonight i will feel better.

      i wish someone would bring me some pho tai chin and some cookies.

      Wednesday, September 15, 2004

      and to the boys too...

      it occurs to me that i have slathered praise and thankfulness over the GIRLfriends, and not even mentioned the fact that there are also a ton of fabulous dudes in my life as well. men who are just as supportive of me, and who care about me just as much. so--a shout must go out to my boys as well. love y'all, too!

      day late tribute to jenn

      yesterday was my friend jennifer's birthday, and i did not get her a present. i DID babysit for her so that she and her hubby could go out for dinner and a movie, a rare treat for the parents of small children. (and she picked resident evil for the movie, if you can believe that!) times are not financially great for me right now, or i would have definitely done something more for her, like a day at the spa or something. she does so much for me!

      so yeah, a day later, and i am still thinking about her and how lucky i am to have friends like her. she is one of the keepers in my life, a kind and funny woman who talks a lot and has a totally green thumb. she is supportive and strong, and is happy in her full life. she is a fabulous mother and has been an extremely positive influence in the lives of many children not her own, not to mention in the lives of the parents of those children. thank god for jenn, is all i can say.

      so happy birthday jenn. i know i told you yesterday, but i am telling you again.

      and while i am at it, let me say that i am one of the luckiest women alive with respect to my girlfriends. i have a whole posse of women i KNOW are there for me at a moment's notice if i need them. i mean it--if i called any one of them at 5 am and said, "i need you," she would go get on a plane and come straight to me. and i would do the same for any of them. these women have supported me through the roughest times in my life, and laughed/drank/played/shopped with me in the better times--the kind of people you can call up after a 2 month absence and still talk to for 5 hours as though no time has passed. you guys know who you are. i just wanted to tell you that i am grateful for you. y'all are loved.

      Tuesday, September 14, 2004

      romantic getaway, take two

      we finally made it to our weekend at the beach, and it was, as expected, fabulous. we even got some good weather, fitting our little time away in between hurricanes.

      we actually missed out on the day sail we were planning, as the guys who own the boat decided to leave an hour early. oh well--when it started pouring rain in the afternoon, we were pretty glad we missed it! so we poked around, went slow, and had a really good afternoon in beaufort. we even had time for a nap before dinner. and dinner was amazing, as it always is at stardust--that place is HIGHLY recommended to anyone looking for a great restaurant in north carolina's central coast. the B&B where we stayed also scored great points with both of us. the hosts were nice and accommodating, they had a decent little wine list, and the room was beautiful and not overdone--a relief after our last B&B experience. (let's just call that one victorian overload. or redneck victorian. or just bad. but i digress...) there must have been six porches there for settin' and ceegar smokin'. sunday, after a fabulous breakfast, we drove down to emerald isle and went for a walk on the beach--so nice, just strolling, looking for shells, hanging out together.

      a love of the beach is a new thing for the hippie--he has typically not appreciated it much at all. but then, i think maybe he is just learning to relax and chill a bit more than he used to--i am certainly learning that myself. you forget in the stress of the day-to-day how nice it is to get away, even if it is only for a little while. and how important it is to take some down time for yourself, even if there are a thousand things weighing on you. makes you feel downright rejuvenated.

      Sunday, September 05, 2004

      makin' a few changes...

      make a note--i am moving the blog over to a new address:

      this is so it will match up with the url of my personal webpage, which i am getting ready to relaunch--no promise on exactly when that will happen, but hopefully i will get around to it soon. more on the personal webpages later.

      anyway--please update the bookmarks, yo.

      Saturday, September 04, 2004


      here's what i don't get.

      i am fabulous. i work hard. i am reasonably intelligent; i can pick up on things really quickly. i can learn a new software package in a week or less--i have done it many many times. i can make a web site, draw anything you want me to, on paper or electronically. i can enter data. i am good with people, and i swear i could sell a blind man a lame horse, provided i believed in the horse. i can set up displays so that even bad things look good. i have experience in design, support, sales, marketing, teaching, and technical everything-under-the-sun. i have multiple degrees. i know a lot about art and a lot about science. i am an asset to a team. i am good at making other people feel accountable to me, and at taking responsibility for myself in the workplace. i am comfortable working with others or alone. i do not need a micromanager. i can both delegate and pick up the slack. i am an employer's dream. any employer.

      so why don't i have a job?

      don't worry, i am not going to start whining about this full time, but man, it does wear a person down, all this looking. and the real bullshit now is that i am in a position where i just have to find something--anything--to pay my bills. and i am angry that i am probably going to have to take a shit job, which will not mentally stimulate me or challenge me in any way, but which WILL force me to give up many of the things i have been doing since i was laid off--things i have enjoyed doing. things i wish i could make money doing, so there was a purpose to them beyond creating.

      but hey--all is not lost--maybe i will still find a way to make it all work. today, however, i am brooding about it. maybe because i was having dreams of failure al night. hate when that happens.

      Wednesday, August 25, 2004

      good biscuits

      the hippie has a theory that a woman can't make good biscuits until she is like 35 or has at least one kid. and you know, i think he is right. only in the last 2 months have i finally gotten the hang of The Biscuit. and damn, dude--my biscuits are the bomb now.

      of course, this comes on the heels of learning how bad all the things in biscuits are for me. crisco, one of the major food groups in the South, is just TERRIBLE. nothing but pure trans fats. so now i am trying all kinds of shit to avoid crisco in the Southern Cooking that i do. not that i cook in a traditional southern way all that often, but still... so i have been doing things like making fried chicken with olive oil. and it's pretty good. but you can't make a good biscuit without some solid fat in there--the choices are a) butter, which is pretty bad, b) lard, the mere mentioning of which causes the bulk of the population of america to burst into flames, and c) crisco, which SOUNDS better because it is made of vegetable matter, but which is actually the worst one of all, contatining nothing but nasty bad evil trans fats. the bottom line: biscuits are bad for you. (note that in my list of solid fats, margarine is not listed--margarine is food of the devil, both vile and evil, and is not allowed in my house. that is why it is not an option for my biscuits.)

      to make matters worse, the best thing to eat on a biscuit is honey butter. but i can get by on some homemade peach preserves if i gotta.

      but here is what i think about all this. some foods that are too good to resist are just bad for you. i think you just have to get over it. the key is to limit yourself as to how much and how often you eat them, right? when i was a kid, there were ALWAYS biscuits. now, i make biscuits like 4 times a year. and god knows, i make some other bad for you things that would make my minions cry if i stopped: chocolate pudding (with half a cup of heavy whipping cream in every serving), fried chicken (with the skin ON), homemade macaroni and cheese (with like 4 kinds of cheese and cream in it), chicken and cheese enchiladas (we call them fat bombs, even as they are being consumed at an alarming rate). i just don't make these things all the time. most of the time i make simple things like salmon and stir-fried vegetables. i use a lot of olive and grapeseed and avacado oil. i roast, i bake, i saute. i do not generally fry or boil the shit out of anything. but that said, sometimes you just gotta have a fucking biscuit.

      and lately i have been learning all about nutrition, and i have come to the conclusion that eating these things once in a while is a WAY better choice than what half of america eats every single day. at least these fat saturated items contain real ingredients, and not weird chemical experiments from the 50s designed to make food cheaper.

      i think i might be a food snob.

      Tuesday, August 24, 2004


      ok. i was going to post something yesterday on my actual birthday, but instead there was a bout of food poisoning. i spent the afternoon on the couch, not on the computer. until the ups guy woke me up pounding on the door with the strength of ten men, but i digress...

      so i am thirty-five.

      i don't FEEL thirty-five. well, sometimes i do. but for the most part i just feel a little cheated that this much of my life is over already. i want more. MORE! there are too many things i want to do, and now i feel like maybe i won't fit it all in. hmmm--i guess the coming years will show me how much i can do under a little more pressure.

      BUT, all that said, i feel pretty good about my life. here is a list of 25 things i feel i have accomplished. i have learned to:
      1. make biscuits (more on this later)
      2. knit (finally!)
      3. cook like my grandmother
      4. cook NOT remotely like my grandmother
      5. solve partial differential equations by more than one method
      6. write html
      7. say some big words correctly
      8. take care of a child
      9. paint a room
      10. paint a portrait
      11. make a stained glass window
      12. dream big dreams
      13. keep hope in bad circumstances
      14. love a man
      15. live with a man
      16. create a home
      17. make people feel welcome
      18. make friends
      19. keep friends
      20. learn a new software package in a week or less
      21. accept myself
      22. find the hamiltonian
      23. design a fabric
      24. make a quilt
      25. appreciate my life
      i feel pretty good about that stuff. especially the biscuits.

      and just for completeness, here is a list of 10 things i want to do before i am forty:
      1. get in and stay in good shape
      2. gain financial stability
      3. buy a house
      4. juggle all the things i love to do withut giving anything up
      5. find a way to make a living that involves BOTH sides of my brain
      6. spend some time in europe
      7. have a real studio, with room for all my artistic endeavors
      8. paint a large canvas picture of the surface of the sun
      9. master the art of fried chicken (it's coming along)
      10. improve my pastry skills
      so there you go. thirty-five. so far, i think the mid-thirties are a lot easier than the mid-twenties. but maybe that's just me.

      Friday, August 20, 2004

      gender roles

      the hippie and i have noticed that we fall rather naturally into very distinct, traditional gender roles. our friends notice it. and the other night, it was very very apparent that our friends jenn and harry do the same. i mean, we went to their house for dinner, which was grilled by the men, after being prepared by the women. then after dinner--jenn put the baby to bed and i started knitting while the boys retired to the deck for pipe/ceegar smoking, and some scotch drinking on the hippie's part. and then jenn came back and we both knitted.

      the hippie was telling me later that he and harry were on the porch talking about how cute it was that we were knitting, and how they both get a sense of satisfaction out of us being so girlie. funny--i get a sense of satisfaction out of him doung "guy things" as well.

      and yes, i am pretty comfortable with this. it is bizarre to me HOW comfortable i am with it. i mean, i have multiple degrees and have always been pretty damned independent. but this last year and a half with the hippie, i have learned that there is a bit of joy in codependence. i LIKE our gender roles. i like that i do most of the cooking and he does most of the heavy lifting. i like that i make the drinks for our friends who are over while he entertains them. i like the whole set-up, and how much i feel like he is taking care of me, while i am taking care of him.

      the weird thing is that i feel no less a feminist for all this. i am glad i have choices in things, and that i have had the opportunity to do what i want with my life. i am grateful to the women who came before me for fighting so that i could have those choices. i am glad i have the same rights and the same power as he does. i like that he listens to me and that he respects my brain even while he is grabbing my ass.

      i like that this weekend, harry and the hippie are off having a boys weekend, playing D&D, going to hooters, and probably seeing something awful like alien vs. predator (which i will get out of going to see thank god!!!), while jenn and i get to be girls and go on a ninja ikea run.

      this is a great time to be a girl. you get to have it all.

      Wednesday, August 18, 2004

      taking over the art world, one wire thing at a time

      here i was ready to give up on my wire things. here i was, all ready to throw in the towel. after months of no activity to speak of on this little business i am trying to run on the side while still frantically job hunting, one of my stores sent me a consignment check today. there it was in the mail, looking suspiciously like a bill or a letter telling me that no one inthe world would ever want to buy my artwork ever again. i was almost afraid to open it.

      but i did.
      and it was a check.
      a fabulous little sum of money.
      for five pieces of artwork.

      not exactly sweeping the art nation, but hey--it's SOMETHING. and damn, that feels good.

      Tuesday, August 17, 2004

      baby explosion

      my baby count for 2004 is up to 14. that is 14 babies i can name who were born or are going to be born in 2004. and my 2005 count is starting to add up as well. it is really amazing to me how many people i know who are breeding at the same time. i mean, i know i am the right age for this, but damn people! do you have to do it all at once??!

      as a woman about to turn 35, this does have an effect on me. i think thoughts like--am i ever going to have one? the jury is still out on that, but i feel the pressure of my age to make up my mind. i can't wait TOO long, or my body will answer that question for me. i feel like hitting 35 means hitting a fertility wall or something, like my ability to get pregnant, should i choose to do so, will be irretrievably impaired just by crossing that one line. and yes, i realize this is slightly irrational.

      i also think about the friends who are having babies now, and the ones who already have them--really good friends. the hippie and i talk about the need to have a few baby things in the house for their babies, things like a toy box, a place for them to sleep, a high chair we can keep in the basement and bring out when we need it. and it makes me reaize that if i AM ever going to have a baby--i want it to be able to grow up with these baies all our friends are having. i want our baby to have cool baby friends, too. as a child who was much younger than the children of my parents' friends, i do not want to do that to our baby, if we do have one. it SUCKED always being the baby, literally 6 years younger than the nearest kid. i want our baby to have that sense of belonging and community that i never had from having a bunch of family friends.

      if we have one that is.

      like i said, the jury is still out...

      Monday, August 16, 2004

      working out

      there is not enough room on the entire internet for me to talk about all my mixed feelings on this topic, so i am going to try to sum it up.

      right now--fucking hate it. loathe it. dread it every day with every fiber of my being. i go to the gym, i feel self-conscious the ENTIRE time i am there, i count the minutes till my workout is over, and i am exhausted when i get home. half the time it is all i can do not the throw up on the treadmill. it is all i can do to make myself go.

      and sometimes i don't, and it fills me with self-loathing.

      but here is the thing. i need it. i know i need it. i know that this is a change i need to make for the good of me, my body, my future health, the future health of my possible future children, and the happiness of my hippie, too. (not because he judges me, but because he worries about my health.) right now i am heavier than i have ever been, and i feel it all through my body. my energy is lower, my blood pressure is higher--i have to take medication, which then makes me even more sluggish. and if i can get myself to consistently work out, then all that will definitely change.

      i know that eventually i will come to like it. i know that eventually i will even look forward to it. i know because that has happened to me in the past. i long for the day when my workout ends with endorphins instead of exhaustion. and i know it will come if i keep it up.

      but here is the thing about gyms today. this gym we go to pushes the personal trainer like nobody's business. and damn, how the hell can anyone afford one? a woman at the gym actually suggested to me that i get my boyfriend to pay for it when i explained to her that i just could not afford it! holy crap! do i have to pay out hundreds and hundreds of dollars to someone so that i will feel guilty enough about NOT working out that i do it? i have to make myself accountable to another person to follow through with a commitment to myself now???

      and the other thing i totally fucking hate is how these trainers are so goal oriented. "we need to get your body fat percentage down to blah." "what is your goal weight?" who the hell cares about that!? i know, and anyone who has read anything about anything knows that this is all just simple math. if you put more calories in than you expend, you gain weight, and vice versa. further, losing a massive amount of weight is only possible with a lifetime commitment to a lifestyle change, whether you need to eat less, work out more, or both. i mean, why can't i just focus on getting this shit into my daily routine. why do i have to think about my goal weight and how low i need my body fat percentage to be? that shit overwhelms me and makes me want to crawl into a hole and give up and go ahead and die of a heart attack.

      screw that.

      and man, i know self discipline and denial are so not my strong suits. but damn. i can do this.

      steve the sleuth

      sadly, our romantic weekend getaway was squashed by all the hurricane madness attacking the north carolina beaches. *sigh* no worries--we will reschedule it! but, some clandestine activities on the part of our friend steve were revealed as a result of the cancellation. apparently, he read my previous post, called around, found the number for stardust, where we were planning to have dinner, and called them to pay for our meal as a birthday surprise. how cool is THAT??? steve is bona fide awesome. that is all there is to it.

      so saturday, as i sat knitting on the couch while the hippie smoked a ceegar on the porch, steve called me to find out why we were not at the beach. i explained of course. he noted that hurricanes don't hit phoenix very often. i concurred. and he sent us to sullivan's for a birthday dinner on his tab. let me repeat: steve is awesome.

      so we go to dinner, and dinner is great, as it always is at sullivan's. the waiter, however, is a patronizing ass, who neglected to ask the two important questions: 1) "have you been here before?" and 2) "are you celebrating anything special?" he explained every single tiny piece of the menu to us, the ordering process, the sizes of the sides, the sauces we could get on our steaks, the way the meat would be cooked, etc., etc., etc.. wanted to slap him. still kinda want to slap him. oh well--my steak was absolutely fabulous. i will remember it fondly on the actual day of my birthday. :)

      thanks, steve!

      Saturday, August 07, 2004

      some stuff i found while cleaning

      yes--i have finally stopped procrastinating and am cleaning out the last room in this apartment that needs to be totally overhauled. the bad thing is that this room has been the catch-all for EVERYTHING since we moved in. and god is a lot of it CRAP! for example, WHY do we have all these bags of bags here??? are we releasing the rednecks within us both in this one tiny room in the house? this shit has GOT to stop! i am trying really hard to stop being such a packrat--throwing things away like crazy.

      but dude--i am KEEPING that morgan freeman can.

      anyway--here is some shit i found while cleaning today:

      things i hate about airports
      (in no particular order)

      1) TVs--loud, always on
      2) HUGE # of people
      3) lines
      4) overpriced bad food
      6) lack of electrical outlets
      7) never a clock when you need one
      8) carrying all my shit everywhere
      9) obnoxious airline people
      10) too much perfume--tne it DOWN people!!!
      11) unwashed passengers
      12) NOISE NOISE NOISE!!!

      some quotes written on random pieces of paper:
      • certain organic chemicals of value to me are bound up in your body. kindly die and rot. --jeff freeman 02-23-2001
      • he was using a method of distraction as a fixer-upper for a lack of personal responsibility. (no idea who said that)
      • one must have chaos within oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. --nietzsche
      what you really need to get through some serious cleaning is a girlfriend to park near you with a pile of magazines to make rude comments and hang out with you while you do your thang. snaps to my friend sam for talking to me on the phone through a lot of the madness even though she could not be here in person...

      i know sam is a true friend because i can call her "dumbass" and she doesn't get mad.

      Thursday, August 05, 2004

      newsy babble

      had kind of a rough day yesterday. my hippie is in california at a meeting--a meeting i would almost certainly be attending were it not for the fact that that company laid me off last november. and i have to say--i have been jealous. and angry. and lonely. all week. and no--i don't miss working there at all! i have been much happier since i lost that job actually. but i DO miss the people and the interaction and the social aspects of that job. and all the people i miss are gathered in one place for the whole week. and i want to be there too--schmoozing, staying in the nice hotels, drinking the fabulous drinks, passing notes in the boring meetings, and yes, even staying up half the night ranting about the company! but hey--it is a trade-off right?

      so to get out of my stupid, partially hormone induced funk, i went to the stained glass store. love being in there--they have so many cool little things that are just inspirational to me. i have been working on a design for the hippie to do this fall, and now i am working on some things for me, too! some friends actually want to hire me to make an enormous panel for them, so i have been working on some rough sketches for it. hate trying to determine how much to charge people, however. i never feel like i am justified asking for what i know a piece is worth, even though i know they are still getting a huge discount having me do it rather than a professional custom glass person. i am in such a state with this job search that i wonder about everything i like to do--could i make a living doing this? stained glass is certainly high on my list of things i like doing right now, so who knows...

      in other artistic endeavors ( i always have about 50 things going!), i am taking a knitting class tonight with a friend, and i can't believe how excited by it i am. it is SO old school. but then, so is the quilting thing. and the stained glass for that matter. heh--like i keep telling the hippie--i really am just a farm wife at heart. except for the actual farming part--screw that!

      fabulous friends from california are arriving today. always wonderful to see them--how i wish they would move home already!!! but like everyone else, they are constrained by the job market. i look for jobs for him almost as much as i look for myself! they are having a baby in the fall, so the drive to get them home is stronger than ever, and not even just for selfish reasons! :)

      i would give just about anything to get my friends all in one place! oh well--at least this way i have an excuse to travel.

      and speaking of travel, i have made some little getaway plans for me and the hippie. our birthdays are so close together, it just made sense to do something together this year instead of trying for the elaborate presents we can't really afford anyway. so--we are going to the beach to stay in a little B&B with a claw footed bathtub, the cedars. and we have reservations at our favorite restaurant in the state, Stardust, with our favorite waitress there, Darla, and we will hopefully get to do a little sailing as well. very excited!

      and now that i have procrastinated as long as humanly possible, i will go do some work on my workroom--really want to get my own little space set up so that i have a place to draw. but, oh the work to get it set up...

      Wednesday, August 04, 2004

      beautiful day

      driving today, after a grey and dreary morning, i was nearly overcome looking at the clouds. the sky here in the south is usually hazy, but not today--the rain cleared all the haze away and it was blue blue blue--as blue as our bedroom walls... and i realized that although there are many things going wrong in my life today, the fundamentals are alright, and it was really just a gorgeous day.

      wanted to write that feeling down.

      i have been thinking about starting a blog for some time now, and have been strangely reluctant. the blogs i love to read are the ones where the folks posting are the most real, the ones that make me feel like i know the person writing. and i thought, "am i ready for that?" i guess we'll see...