Monday, October 24, 2005

in which wildlife comes over for a visit

last evening at twilight, the hippie was sitting on the front porch playing with the newly installed wireless network, working on the adventure for his upcoming game weekend, drinking wine, and smoking a cigar. down the tree comes an adolescent raccoon, who checks the hippie out, decides he's alright, and then helps himself to the birdseed in the bird feeder. this little guy literally took the top off the feeder and was scooping birdseed into his mouth with his paw. the hippie called me to come out, and as directed, i took the camera with me. it didn't take the raccoon long to eat the birdseed down to where he couldn't reach it anymore, but then he discovered the critter food i keep in a terra cotta dish on the porch. (as you see, the squirrels have no respect at ALL for the boundaries of that dish, and just throw the food ALL OVER THE PLACE! they also frequently bury it in my plants, the little bastards! but i digress...) the raccoon was maybe 4 feet from me when i took these pictures. not very interested in us at all. believe me though--i was ready to run if he came at me. i do not trust the wild beasts of the forest, even when they are small and extremely cute. for all i knew, he could have been the Rabid Raccoon of Death. and let me tell you--rabies shots are no picnic. there was definitely no touching/petting/taunting of the raccoon! the hippie circled around and called him from the front stoop of the house to see what he would do, and the little bugger took off to see what was up. i still sort of can't believe that--clearly this little guy had eaten stuff from humans before. anyway--he ate his fill and scuttled away into the night. i am SURE he will be back now that he's discovered the critter food, so i guess we will just have to be on the lookout for more close encounters.

Friday, October 21, 2005

things i learned in dance class this week

dance class #2 was this wednesday night. we're learning to fox trot and we just started on the rhumba as well. it's great fun, although i don't get to dance with the hippie enough. also, the instructor doesn't play enough music to suit me. i do like most of the other people in the class, although there are a few pills in the bunch. however, all of that has little to do with what i actually learned in class this week:
  • some people's hands are really sweaty. i mean REALLY sweaty. ew.
  • gin-soaked man is apparently going to be gin-soaked every week. he's good at dancing, but...the fumes--oh my god the fumes!!!
  • indian guy #1 can't stop laughing when he messes up. last week it was kind of cute. this week--not all that cute.
  • indian guy #2 has the rhythm of an--um--well damn, i can't think of anything with worse rhythm than him. anyway--it's really bad.
  • that one guy--let's call him the handy man--is going to be a dick. no one who has known me for less than two weeks is allowed to call me baby. also he should learn the location of a shoulder blade--it's a bit higher than he thinks it is.
  • i am still sad about the sweet guy who used to dance with his wife until she died last year and is just now getting back into dancing--he hasn't danced with anyone but her in 43 years. he's a great dancer.
  • people with noodly arms should not try to lead by saying, "ok, i am going to do a turn now"--they should in fact learn NOT to have noodly arms so that they can lead, period.
  • the hippie, he's going to be good at this. his lead is a tiny bit late, but then, i have more trouble following him, too--i am such an anticipator! i am sure that's some psychological thing, but i can't be bothered to ananlyze it right now. the point is that he's gonna be good once we really get going.
  • i am getting to know all the men in dance class and none of the women, whereas it is the opposite for the hippie. i suppose this is inevitable, but i still feel like i am missing out on half the class.
  • that instructor really needs to play more music. other than that, i really like her.
did I mention, by the way, that my african violet is blooming? it has 3 flowers now! whoo hoo!

Thursday, October 20, 2005


i have been trying to find time to post this for three days! my african violet is BLOOMING!!! YAY!!! i know this is a small thing for many of you out there with thumbs greener than mine, but for me--this is a triumph. it is all thanks to the recommendation of my friend alyce's hubby, rick, who told me what i needed was an african violet pot. of course, i was all--wtf is THAT dude? but i went to my local nursery, logan's, and i asked about it. low and behold--they knew exactly what i needed. i transferred the poor spindly little plant into the new pot about 6 months ago with very little hope. however--it WORKED! my violet is huge and healthy and BLOOMING!!! perhaps i am more excited about this than is warranted. but man--it's awesome.

aside: rick assures me that my blog is very boring and that no one will read it until i start writing more about my misspent youth and telling stories about my family. which, hello? i don't want to do. the blog is about NOW and about ME. so--sorry if i am boring, people. this is just the way it's gotta be.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

ah, charleston...

charleston is one of my and the hippie's favorite places to go for a long weekend. in fact, it's the first place we ever went away together, come to think of it. it's just a peaceful and relaxed place filled with beautiful homes and gardens and glorious food!!! last weekend, we dragged the pseudo-in-laws down there so they could experience it, too. a week ago today, we were poking through the shops on king street, taking a little wine break in the garden owned by our hotel, and getting ready to go to a wonderful dinner at magnolia's, one of our favorite restaurants of all time. after dinner, we went on one of charleston's famous ghostwalks, a walking tour where they take you to a few haunted places and regale you with ghost stories local to the area. totally fun, even though there is definitely a cheese factor to it. we finally ended up out at a local cigar bar where the boys lit up and sipped whiskey while denise and i indulged in a spot of champagne. definitely a good evening.

sunday as GORGEOUS!!! we went to brunch at the hominy grill, my absolute favorite restaurant in charleston. we got lost of course, as we always do since i always forget the name of the cross street it's on--my bad! after a FABULOUS meal, we went to the south carolina aquarium, the best small aquarium i have ever seen--it's just the right size for an afternoon and really well-done. of course, i took most of my weekend pictures there, as i always do. denise was in love with the sea turtles--she's so cute--she gets as excited as a kid over things. then the hippie was just as excited over the sailboats out on the cooper river. we sat and watched this one boat for the longest time as it was practicing for a race, running through a series of exercises over and over, both with and without it's spinnaker. just a beautiful day to linger ourside. dinner was a boatload of memphis style ribs at sticky fingers, followed by a long walk on the waterfront to work them off. we finally ended up at tommy condon's, this irish pub where we generally have at least one beer at some point every time we go to charleston. there was even some live "irish" music, played by a couple of down-home boys, one from charleston and one from new jersey. i'm not sure that really counts as "irish", but it was fun none the less.

monday, we grabbed some starbucks and walked the battery again in daylight so dan and denise could experience it both ways. then after a quick drink, we hit the market for the touristy stuff, went into one of a kind art & fine craft gallery (which still has a couple of my wire things for sale in it), and walked over to hyman's for a big fried-seafood lunch. that place is such a charleston institution--you almost HAVE to go there. late lunch over, we grabbed some more coffee and headed out. we set the "kids" up in the back seat with the hipie's laptop and a dvd of the incredibles, so they were happy. all in all--a really good trip. i think the pseudo-in-laws had a good time--i know we sure did. :)

check out the rest of the pictures if you like.

note: you can also check out my pseudo-m-i-l's post about this weekend--she's bloggin' these days.

Friday, October 14, 2005

i wanna be a cowboy, baby

well--not really. i don't want to be any kind of boy actually. but DAMN i love my cowboy boots!!! i got up this morning, threw on some jeans and a t-shirt--it's friday after all--and i was like, hmmmm--what shoes will i wear? my eyes fell on my boots, and i was like--why have i not worn these fabulous things in so long??? so i picked them up, dusted off all the cobwebs, and slid them onto my feet. and man, NOTHING sounds like good-fitting boots--that swooshing thunk that sends me reeling back to new york and my youth when i lived in these things. i forgot how freakin' awesome they are. gorgeous butter soft distressed brown leather with row after row of stitching on the shaft--the most comfortable footwear i have ever had on my feet. if i had to walk the breadth of this country, i would choose these boots to do it in. my day might be crappy, but my boots? they're rockin', man.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

mad hot ballroom

after much talking and talking and talking about it, the hippie and i are finally taking a ballroom dance class, introduction to social dancing I. last night was our first class, and it was SO MUCH FUN!!! i am amazed at how big the class is, and also that it is almost 50-50 men and women. there is only one extra woman in the mix, which is much better than expected. this was the first in a 12-week series. i danced with many people, as did the hippie, and then i even got to dance with him for at least a few minutes, too--he was my favorite of course. i just can't wait till we learn a little more and get a little better. and people keep asking me how i got the hippie to do it--and all i keep saying is--it was HIS idea! i am a lucky girl--what can i say?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

spamalicious countermeasures

the spam comments, they have gotten out of hand. it's gotten so that i get 5-6 spam comments while the new post i have written is still posting!!! i delete them IMMEDIATELY, but it's a huge pain in the ass. and now the spam-bots have started posting on my older posts as well--fuckers. so thank god blogger has added an anti-spam thingy, which i have turned on. now you guys will have to type in a verification word to publish comments--sorry for any inconvenience, but i got no choice.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

china doll

faces like this one make me miss painting. is she not a doll?? this is willow, the daughter of our friends chris and mari. i was just looking through some of my pictures, came across this one, and was arrested by what a beautiful child this is all over again. when she was a baby, i saw here almost every day, and now that she's all big, i only see here a few times a year. that ain't right. i need to get over there to the other end of our neighborhood and see her and her big sister lucy.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

the porch

when my friend kimmie got married, i got the chance to reconnect with two of her very cool and amazing friends from college, jenn and kristin. we have more or less kept in touch over the last year, and now, things have taken a turn for the fabulous! jenn is getting ready to jump with both feet into a new venture, and lucky me--i get to tag along! jenn and kristin live in cape hatteras on north carolina's outer banks, one of the most beautiful and peaceful places on earth. she has been taking photographs for years, but has recently come into her own, recognizing and nurturing her own talent. she also knows many other artists in the area, plus she knows ME! anyway--the point of all this is that she is getting ready to launch her own gallery, featuring her own work and that of the artists she knows, including me. she just closed on the property that will house the shop, which will be called "the porch"--terribly cool name. and for now, she has put up a beautiful website, Photos from the Porch, featuring her work as well as her background and inspiration.

for me, this is exciting because it has inspired me to make wire things again! (lord, i need to update that web site!!!) jenn has ordered a boatload of them from me, and i will be working on them over the next month or so. the plan is to deliver about 60 of them to her the weekend of november 5th, when she will open the gallery with a wine and cheese reception for the artists. i am so excited for both of us i can barely stand it!

yay for jenn! think good thoughts for her as she follows the dream we both share. and hey--if you are out cape hatteras way--look her up!

* picture used with permission of jennifer. no copying, please.

Monday, October 03, 2005

reading: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling
ok, so i actually read this a while back. and it was great, if more than a tiny bit shocking. i am still not quite over it to tell you the truth. but in reading book 6, i found that there was a lot i had forgotten from the last few books, so i went back and re-read those, too. and then i read this one again. time well spent, my friends. time well spent. i continue to, like so may others, enjoy the hell out of these books. i am waiting and waiting for the hippie's baby brother to get old enough to enjoy them as well--he's almost there. and i would like to take some tiny amount of credit for pushing my friend emily over the edge into finally taking them on. i can't believe she resisted the hype so long, and then read all 6 in less than two weeks--she's a real trooper. go em! but i digress...

i am not going to say a word here about plot, since you never know who has and hasn't read them. but ooo, do i have me some theories! i WILL say this--ms. rowling has my number and still impresses me just as much now as she did when i picked up the first book. props to anyone who can get so many children psyched up about reading! how will i survive the wait for the last book??? at least i have the movie for the goblet of fire to look forward to--that one's my fave anyway.

colorado weekend, a week later...

last weekend, i went to see meredith out in colorado, where she has been going to school for the past few years. this trip, man--i tried to go two years ago, but got laid off. then i tried to go last year, but had just started working again. third time's the charm i guess. we had a beautiful, laid-back girl weekend. we talked, ate out, knitted, shopped, and drank tea. and while everything we did was fun, the best part was just getting to sit still and talk to my friend for so long.

we spent about 3 hours in an ENORMOUS yarn store called showers of flowers. dude! if you are a knitter and are ever in the denver area, you HAVE to check out this store! it was about the size of 8 of my LYSs, plus another 4 in sale yarn, PLUS a whole warehouse. rows and rows of yarn and needles and needle cases... holy mother of god, it was awesome! i showed more restraint in there than i have in YEARS, although i DID buy my body weight in new knitting needles. and we went into downtown boulder where i bought nearly everything they had to offer--some venitian vodka glasses for the hippie, some cool handmade soap, spices, chocolate, and various other small, expensive, easily packable items. my favorite.

i went to meredith's class, which was so funny--she has students of all flavors in there. the asshole who doesn't take notes, talks shit the whole time, and tries to trip her up. (he did not succeed.) the note-passing people who are surprisingly like meredith and i were when we were in school together. a professor emeritus sitting in the back taking it all in. weird to be back on a campus like that--makes me feel a little bittersweet (again) about that whole PhD thing. i guess i will always have mixed feelings about that.

we also managed to sqeeze in about 3 hours up in rocky mountain national park, which is where i took the bulk of the pictures i have from this trip. it was BEAUTIFUL. one of those warm windy sunny fall days where the sky is so blue you could just drown in it. stands of yellow aspens in the middle of those green green pines all up the sides of the mountains--it looks like rivers of gold running down the hillsides. check out the pictures if you want.

on the way home, i got on the plane and leaned down to pull out my knitting just as the woman sitting beside me did the same. we chatted the whole way home, just sitting and knitting--it sure made the flight go faster! and as always--i was so glad to be home...