Thursday, March 31, 2005

not just living in sin

heh. apparently the hippie and i are not only living in sin, but we are also BREAKING THE LAW! who knew??? yet another old law that the uber-conservative north carolina politicians are afraid to take off the books for fear of being seen as anti-family. gotta love the bible belt...

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 just no.

horror the first: this article is just appalling--how is this legal? in about HALF of the states in the US?!? EW. i am generally pretty damned open-minded about social issues, but i swear--this makes my skin crawl. yuck.

horror the second: tell me what these people are thinking. i mean, really--i don't even know what to say. are they serious?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


behold the balrog t-shirt for the little tyke. yes--there is a story here--i am getting to it. as well you know, i am working on various knitting projects, including, but not limited to baby blanket #3. this one is to be part of a gift for dylan, the new baby of my hippie's dear friend grutos. thus, the hippie has been after me to knit a balrog into the blanket, or make a stuffed balrog, or something of the sort. things which, i fear, are still well beyond my knitting capabilities. BUT... with the help of another friend, clay, i found and purchased the t-shirt you see before you now. excellent. and could a balrog look less threatening? i think it's perfect for a baby. hurrah!

and now you see before you what i have created as an addition to the fabulous balrog t-shirt: a hat to match.* why is it that there are so few cute things for baby boys??? that always irks me--all this cute stuff for girls, but almost nothing for boys. boys need cuteness to!!! but i digress... anyway, this little hat is from the knit knack kit and is called a li'l critter hat--when you put it on the baby's head, it makes little ears/horns. tell me what could possibly be cuter that that? the yarn is julia from kristin nicholas, a fabulous soft worsted weight lambswool, alpaca, and kid mohair blend--so soft and smooth--it's a dream to knit with, and the colors are awesome.

in addition to these riches, we got some little baby jeans and little black socks, and i am on a mission to find a little plain black or grey or red hoodie somewhere in the universe--simple baby clothes are HARD to find! and don't worry, i am still going to finish the baby blanket too. plus another one that is quilted. :)

*photograph of hat brought to you by my brand new treo650. excellent.

new toy

in case you are wondering why i am awake and blogging in the middle of the night, it's becasue i am overcome by an OCD moment. see...i have this new toy, and all i want to do is get it completely set up and perfectly operational IMMEDIATELY! i have already do i stop before ALL the birthdays and events and adresses are in there? how do i stop until the whole christmas card list is in and the thing is all backed up on one of the many computers we have around here? how do i stop??! i know i have to go to bed, but i know that once i get there, i will just be thinking about downloading new ringtones and wallpapers for the background of my brand new treo650. the hippie was able to put HIS down and walk away--he is already sleeping--WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??? i think it's just been too long since i had a new gadget to play with. maybe if i can just get the list of wines we like in there, i will be able to sleep...

Thursday, March 24, 2005

the farmer's market

my friend emily sent me email tellimg me to blog about the farmer's market. (or should that be farmers' market? i am never sure. anyway...) i am guessing this is because i was going on and on and on and on about it to her on the phone earlier today. but here is the thing--i LOVE the farmer's market (or farmers'...whatever.) and i wait in the spring for the flowers to start to bloom because that means it's time to start going again--time to add it to my weeked food shopping ritual. so now, it is ALMOST time! yay!

i have been going to the farmer's market (farmers'?) since i moved back South in 1997. i love to support the local people and get the yummy fresh in-season things for CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP. i have a peach orchard to whom i am loyal, as well as a guy who grows elephant garlic, the old man who comes with a whole truckload of sweet peppers, a young and inexperienced, but very passionate herb seller, a crazy but very cool honey lady with the BEST honey in the world (her label says little flying cows, and her creamed honey has won the blue ribbon at the state fair for the last several years), and the best--the flower lady.

the flower lady is a wholesaler who brings her leftovers to the market every friday and saturday during the spring and summer. for christmas, she makes beautiful wreaths of dried flowers and herbs and boxwoods, too. (we pick up the wreath when we go to buy our christmas tree and some firewood for the coziness.) she knows me as i know her: we are always happy to see each other; we give each other updates on our lives; i don't know her name, but i have watched her children grow up. the flower lady has seen me through multiple phases in my life, and has declared the hippie her favorite of all the guys i have dated since i have been buying flowers from her. i don't know what it is about having fresh flowers in the house, but there are few things that make me happier. i have been known to take my last three dollars and go get the flower lady to make me a $3 boquet. her flowers are fresh and last forever, and she taught me a trick of putting a teaspoon of sugar and a few drops of bleach in the water to keep them fresh longer. she's awesome.

the other thing i love is just walking through the place. there are about 5000 people there on the weekend in the summer, everyone from old ex-fighter pilots who strike up tattoo conversations with the hippie, to migrant workers, to crunchie granola-ish families, to suburbanites lost in the rural culture they are suddenly immersed in, to gourmet hobbyists looking for the freshest and best ingredients they can find. there are dogs and kids and people and piles and piles and piles of fresh fruits and vegetables. there are plants and flowers and fresh herbs. there are fresh baked breads and ten-layer cakes and old fashioned buttermilk pies. there is a ton of laughter and mingling, and it smells warm and fabulous.

you guys should go.

Monday, March 21, 2005

reading: The Bitch in the House

The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage, edited by Cathi Hanauer
while this book has a lot of insights into women's daily lives, and while i related to many of the views presented in its essays, i have to say, it kind of depressed me. so many women are so angry at their "plight" and seem not to appreciate the choices they have. it is a good book, but for me, not a fun one. i would like, actually, to read a counterpoint to it in which the women are just as honest, but about the things that they enjoy about being women and living the lives they choose to live. this one is hard for me to recommend, as it left me feeling somewhat blah at the end of it all...

as a side note, i have heard that the rebuttal to this, the bastard on the couch, which is edited by cathi hanauer's husband, daniel jones, is a bit less insightful. even so, i feel like i should at least check it out.

Friday, March 18, 2005

two years

my, how time does fly. the hippie and i have been living together for two years today. seems like it has FLOWN by in some ways, and in others, it seems like we have just always been together. funny how time does that kind of double whammie on you. two years. kind of hard to believe. i still love him just as much as ever, and he is still my favorite man. i still love waking up with him every morning and falling asleep with him every night. i still love how he smells. i think i will keep him. happy two years, hippie!

tonight we are going to dinner at second empire and then to the ballet with harry and jenn to see coppelia, about which i know little--it's jenn's favorite ballet. maybe some drinks after, although i can't drink much what with all my medication. here's to not falling asleep from the stupid cough medicine. further, here's to not having a coughing fit at the ballet! sometimes my body, it does not cooperate with my plans for celebration.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

reading: Fast Food Nation

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
whew! this book was not an easy read. it was GREAT, don't get me wrong--it was just difficult to stomach many of the facts reported in it. i am glad i have already sworn off fast food, and i am more convinced than ever that if i ever DO have a baby, it is not allowed into a fast food establishment until it is at least sixteen years old and driving its own car. i figure at that point, i can't stop it from doing watever it wants to anyway. but i digress...

the most interesting/horrifying part of this book is the information on the working conditions and food safety regulation enforcement (or lack therof) in the meatpacking industry. it is astounding how greedy and profit-driven people are, to the detriment of both their own morality and also the health of the general populace. it was also fascinating to learn how tied into politics these issues are, when politics should have NOTHING to do with protecting the health and well-being of our nation's children.

the other sticking point to me is the fact that 9 times out of 10, i don't know where my food is coming from. you eat out, and you just trust the people in the restaurant to take care of you--perhaps stupid when you really think about it. and even in the grocery store--the last time i bought beef from a big chain, it was red on top, but grey and weird on the bottom--i just threw it away. let's hear it for whole foods and their ready information about the farms where they get their meat and produce. free range meats taste better, and i feel better about eating them, too.

can you tell this book makes me want to stand up and rant!? i would recommend this book to anyone who has ever eaten out. it's fascinating and scary and a real eye-opener.

two other books about food, fat, and health i highly recommend:and while i am at it, super size me was awesome, too.

the kindness of strangers

i decided to make a fabulous baby sweater and cute leggings to match from my knitting book, simple knits for cherished babies. i thought--challenging, but do-able--now to find the yarn. so i called my local yarn places and no one had it. so i looked online and could find nothing. i did a big generic search for jaeger cashmere, the yarn in question, and finally came across a person making something (a beautiful shawl, to be specific) out of this yarn, so i asked her on her blog to email me. and lo and behold--this woman knew everything i needed to know. the yarn is discontinued, but she was kind enough to send me all the information from the yarn label so that i can at least find a suitable substitute. this, people, is when the internet rocks. so--a special thanks to my new friend erica over at e's knitting blog.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

my best friend's baby

my friend alyce had a little baby boy this morning at 4:10am. she's healthy, he's healthy, and i am so excited and relieved and happy for them i can't even begin to describe it! the baby's name is adam richard dinjian. adam for alyce's brother, who is a fabulous person, and richard for his father, who is, i am SURE, doting on the baby as we speak. baby adam weighs 7 pounds and 8 ounces, and he is 20 inches long. i cannot WAIT to get up there and see them!!! today i will be making some travel plans...

much love and good thoughts to to alyce and rick and baby adam. welcome to the world, little baby boy!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

morning cocktail

this morning i took so many drugs i actually put them in their own little bowl on the table beside my oatmeal. i took my standard blood pressure pill, multi-vitamin, and baby aspirin, along with an enormous antibiotic, two cough supressants, and a pair of advil. i skipped out on the cough syrup, as the codeine makes me too sleepy to work. did i mention i am sick? the bad news: i have an upper respiratory infection. the good news: it IS getting better--my coughing fits are down to about 10 minutes at a stretch from the 3 hour ones i was having this weekend. so yay for progress! i can't seem to catch any breaks on the health front lately. and it's hard to go to the gym when you are hacking up a lung, so i am getting nowhere with the weight issues either. i have even been too tired to knit the past couple of weeks! think good thoughts for me people--i obviously need them.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

geek moment: these are the geeks i know

today i checked the astronomy picture of the day, as i always do, and behold: i actually recognized the work! one of my favorite teachers from nc state, john blondin, works with 3-D hydrodynamics code of his own (and his grad students') design. this image was produced by one of his grad students, mike owen, with whom i used to teach astronomy labs back in the day. this stuff almost makes me miss school...
*click on the pic for the whole apod article.

Friday, March 11, 2005

rant: loud ass cat

when you are sick as a dog and barely able to breathe, and sleep is not coming easily, the LAST thing you need to hear through the darkness is a cat licking itself at about 75k decibels! scout is the LOUDEST ANIMAL ON THE PLANET!!! first, she meows. she meows the minute she can see the bottom of her food bowl and does not stop till you fill that bitch back up to the brim. this can start at 1 am, 7 am, 2 in the afternoon--just whenever that ceramic shows through. she meows for attention, she meows to call the other cats, she meows when she can't find you. and worse than that--she LICKS HERSELF CONSANTLY! i mean ALL-THE-TIME. if i could spell the sound of the licking, i would describe it for you in greater detail. suffice it to say that it is LOUD, and PERSISTENT, and involves a lot of wet, squishy sounds, repeated over and over and over and over again. and at 4 am, this elicits thoughts like, "i will KILL that cat! i will. one more lick and she's toast." last night i threw four pillows at her--i admit it. if anyone needs a new cat, just let me know. she's real sweet when she's quiet. really.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

my first flickr post...testing...testing...

since gabriella's birthday was just this week, i thought it was a good idea to use a picture of her to test out this nifty new flickr account i just set up. please forgive me if the layout of this post is not fabulous--consider it a work in progress... if this works out, i may use flickr for all my photo albums, which i desperately need to get online! this picture is from the wonderful day we spent picnicking and sailing and hanging out at lake jordan last september.

reading: Fluke

if you notice, i have added a section on what i am reading to the sidebar. i am generally reading a few books at once--some educational, some instructional, and some for pure brain candy style enjoyment. and i have decided that when i finish a book, i will give an opinion or two on it. so, withouth further ado, here is the first one:

Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings, by Christopher Moore
i adore christopher moore's books in general, and fluke was pretty great. there is quite a bit of interesting whale science in it, but it was also just damned funny. moore has a very irreverent sense of humor, and is really good at juxtaposing characters that seem unlikely combinations, but then actually turn out to work really well together. he reminds me of authors like tom robbins and matt ruff in that respect. he also doesn't hesitate to make fun of anything, but still seems to respect the things he is satirizing, and for that i love him. while this book from him does not replace my favorite of his efforts to date, lamb, it is definitely a fun ride. highly recommended...

four hundred dollars later...

my car is fixed--we picked it up yesterday with its brand new starter and newly welded heat shield and its fresh oil. whoo hoo! i LOVE when i get to spend an unexpecetd $400 on my stupid car! oh yeah, and let's not forget the $30 i had to give the tow truck guy when he came to get the car (becasue it would not start) monday morning and the damed thing started right up!!! AGAIN!

and i know i should not complain--this car was a gift on which i paid not a dime. but i don't care! unexpected expenditures SUCK! oh well. i will stop whining now, and just be glad that a) it wasn't more money, b) it was something simple to fix that they fixed in one day, and c) that the little bitch is back to running again!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

mary and gabriella

yesterday mary came to town. she is one of my favorite people, and she has not been to town in FOREVER. although she is here for work, she has chosen to stay with us! yay! she will be here till wednesday. having her around just makes me happy. :)

of course, while she is here is when my body decided to give me a whole new cold. i don't know what in the hell is going on with my body, but i jsut keep getting sick over and over and over! UGH! but i digress...

so last night we took mary with us and headed over to jenn and harry's to celebrate gabriella's second birthday! i can't believe that she is already TWO YEARS OLD!!! it really seems like yesterday that i was holding jenn's hands while gabriella made her way into the world--that remains one of the greatest experiences of my life to date. i love that little girl so much, it's like she's part mine. i told the hippie the other day that i was glad we are such a big part of gabriella's village.

and while i am on this topic, let me say that she is just a beautiful child, and that she is no longer a baby at all--she is definitely moving on up. walking and running and talking a mile a minute. she has started to pretend, and she is SO MUCH FUN! she loves to be thrown into the air, to play with the kitties, to sing, to paint and draw, to dress up her baby dolls, to dig in the dirt and plant things. everythign she does is funny it seems--last night i could not stop laughing at her antics. even when she is tired and being a pill--she is still a joy to be around. i feel like jenn does--i just wish she would SLOW DOWN!!! she is growing and changing so fast! i guess that is what kids do...

Saturday, March 05, 2005

tea, biscotti, and a clean bathroom. oh, and some art, too.

few things make me happier than having a clean bathroom. perhaps that is somewhat ridiculous, but there it is. my bathroom is sparkly. and i even put up a chrome hook so that i can FINALLY hand a hand towel in there. i am in serious house cleaning mode, but have stopped to have some tea and biscotti and to revel in the open windows before i continue.

i am feeling rambly--i will just warn you right now...

last night the hippie and i had a pleasant foray to first friday in downtown raleigh. this is a raleigh event, held the first friday of each month, when the art galleries and many little downtown shops stay open late. our friend eric had an animated piece opening at a little gallery called DesignBox, so we wanted to go check it out and offer our support. my favorite thing at this show was actually artwork by eric's friend angi--she had this series of 4 paintings based on jaberwocky, one of my favorite poems of all time, which i have known by heart since i had to memorize it for a school thing in the third grade. it was just beautiful and very fey, and as soon as i can afford it, i will buy a set of these prints from her. :)

and it would not be a first friday without a walk through artspace, which is this enormous old warehouse building full of artists who all work together to promote, show, and sell artwork. the two people we have to hit when we go there are kathy ammon, from whom the hippie bought a painting to give to me our first christmas together, and from whom i am betting we eventually buy more, and ann harwell, who we call the quilt lady. she has definitely elevated a traditional craft to an amazing art form. my favorite piece from her is called church in the wildwood, which sadly i will never be able to afford. but damn, it's awesome. this picture really doesn't do it justice, but at least it gives you an idea.

art makes me happy, too. every time i walk int artspace, and i smell that linseed oil and turpentine, i want to go drag out the paint and the canvases and have at it. i really wish i had more room to paint, but there is just not enough space here. someday, however, i will definitely get back to it. for now, i will content myself with knitting and wire things and drawng and the occasional piece of stained glass.

this morning we got up and went to a big country breakfast at big ed's, which i can thank emily for introducing me to. we ate our body weight in eggs, bacon, grits with red eye gravy, biscuits, and the biggest, best pancake i have ever had. we split one and could not finish it--the thing was at least an inch thick in the middle! so--no lunch--i am having biscotti for lunch. and tonight we are staying in for dinner--i am making lobster ravioli and a caesar salad. it's just going to be a decadent day all around.

except for all the cleaning. which i am now going back to, as i have run out of biscotti and tea. here i go--later y'all.

Friday, March 04, 2005

filled with depression

there is no worse feeling than when your dream house goes on the market before you are ready to buy it. from the minute we moved into this neighborhood, we have been lusting after this house, wishing it would go on the market, although we were sure it never would. even a year from now, and i think we would be jumping on this house, but we are just not ready yet. i am filled with sadness at missing out on this beautiful stone cottage--both of us have always wanted a stone house. and this one is right here in our fabulous neighborhood, just down the street from where we live now. it is perfect, with its curved stone walkway, its arched red door, its side porch with the swing on it, its high peaked roof, it's granite counter tops, its butler's pantry, its walk in closet, its tudor-style dormer windows, its giant basement, and its old azeleas just getting ready to bloom. it is just a perfect house. i want to weep.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

stupid fucking car!

harry and the hippie went to go look at the car, and the damned thing started right up! nothing is worse than a car you can't trust, even to be consistently broken! the good news is that the car place i go to and love had some good suggestions and the thing that is wrong is most likely not TOO hard to fix. *sigh* but now i will be afraid to drive it till this gets fixed, which won't be till monday.

what a pain in the ass.

friends are the best

right now the hippie and harry are off trying to fix my car. they just came and got my keys and took off with them. i am a lucky girl to have such great people in my life. now, just cross your fingers with me that they can get it fixed!!!

stupid car

this week i have been feeding the kitties of my friend, sonya. and well--their bowls are too small and too generic, and they don't have enough toys (they are new kitties). so i decided that as a present to sonya and the kitties, i would truck on over to target at lunch and pick up some cute, larger bowls and some toys and stuff. turned out to be a fruitless trip, as target had only one of any set of bowls, no help for me, and a bitchy check-out lady. even when i picked out a second tier bowl, they would not sell it to me because apparently it was part of a set. i ended up scrapping the whole thing after wasting way too much time.

so i go back out to the parking lot, hippie in tow, already grumpy, and the fucking car won't start. it has power, but won't even roll over. not a spark of life in the bitch. so i call people till i get a chick from work to come get us. thank GOD someone could come. now i gotta deal with this mess of what to do with the car, how to get it to the car place, and how to get myself to work tomorrow while the hippie goes to his class. what an ENORMOUS pain in the ass.

so i borrowed our friend harry's jeep to go feed the kitties, who had produced a NASTY hairball, ate ALL their food, shredded the toy mice i gave them on tuesday, pulled down and murdered a poor innocent curtain, and dumped over a pot of dirt about 4 times their size. the destruction was amazing. they even bent the curtain rod into an unusable configuration. very motivated little fuckers. cute though.

anyway. now i am tired. and grumpy. and i want a new car. a mini, to be exact. a graphite one with silver ghost flames up the sides... but i digress.