Monday, July 30, 2007

summer reading...

on saturday i started and finished name all the animals by allison smith. i know i'm a crybaby ninny, but this book made me cry full out within the first fifty pages. i knew it was too sad to complete, but i couldn't put it down and continued until i was a messy, puddly mush. thankfully, kelly asked me to go for a walk and bought me dairy queen that night. both cheered me up immensely.

yesterday i started and have almost finished a girl named zippy by haven kimmel -- not a tear-jerky roller coaster ride, rather a laugh a minute account of a girl my exact age growing up in indiana. ms. kimmel even talks about my very favorite lunchtime cartoon show, chuckwagon theatre hosted by cowboy bob (an aside: kelly, i was wrong. sourdough the singing biscuit was not cowboy bob's loveable hounddog, but a puppet of an actual biscuit. i stand corrected). it is a lovely book and i will be sorry when it ends.

and late last week i finished let's not go to the dogs tonight by alexandra fuller. this book took me a long time to finish because i was reading it in snippets before bed each night. ms. fuller made growing up in war-torn africa sound normal and her writing about her mother's mental illness and alcoholism was so factual that it read like everyone in her family was a character from a play not real flesh and blood people. the account of day-to-day life wore me out. i was glad when it was over. and even though ms. fuller longs for africa from the safety of her now home in colorado, i was elated when she escaped.

i think i am calling this my summer of the memoir.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

and the winner is...

kim! the prize is still yet to be determined, but knowing her like i do, i think it will have to incorporate the colors purple and green and have a flower-y theme.

thanks to everyone who played!

Friday, July 20, 2007


to atone for the fact that i missed my 2 year blog-iversary, oh, back on july 1, i am offering a prize to a randomly selected commenter. please leave a comment between now and monday, july 23 at 11:59 p.m. and you will be entered into a drawing for a fabulous (yet to be determined) goodie. don't forget to make sure i have your e-mail address or some way to get in touch with you. you need not be present to win, but you do have to be attainable. the winner will be announced on tuesday, july 24.

good luck and get commenting (that means you, you lurkers)!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

lucky, lucky, girl...

while i was at work yesterday (in the bad luck dress, i might add) our dehumidifier shorted out, burned and melted to the extension cord it was plugged into and as a result melted and shorted out the extension cord connection to the wall. it all might have gone unnoticed had i not gone downstairs to iron something. i heard not the usual whir of the dehumidifier and thought that it needed to be emptied. then, realizing it wasn't full, thought the breaker had been tripped. nope. not that either. then i checked the plug and sparks started to erupt. eeek!

and when i went to check the smoke detector because now i was really freaked out...the battery was dead.

i'm just glad that i had a house to go home to and not a charred pile of burned up rubble.

so the dress has overcome its curse and brought me luck. long live the lucky plaid dress!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

w.b.w. & breaking the curse...

after the great closet clean-out of summer 2007, a number of items were re-discovered and this little gem of a vintage dress is one of them. paired with a little 3/4 length sleeve black sweater and some ankle strap suede shoes it's a perfect work-a-day dress. i repaired some failing seams, sewed on a missing button and finished up the night by pressing with a steaming hot iron.

the last time i wore this dress was in 2003. on my way to work that morning, i drove my new car through a pothole the size of lake michigan and got an instant flat tire. i frantically called both kelly and the free roadside assistance that came with my car and then had the state run roadside truck offer to give me help. after a teary time, i chose to wait for the new car company and ended up on the side of the road for over an hour waiting for help. choosing either kelly's help or the immediate gratification of the truck that was already there would have been better, but you know, i like a challenge.

foolishly, i blamed the bad luck on the dress. yea, it couldn't have been the fact that i drove at top speed into a gaping hole whilst trying to avoid a back-up by passing ON THE SHOULDER...yes, that's me...sometimes that's the type of driver i am.

so i decided to give the dress another chance. and on my way to work this morning i was a model of civility on the road. a girl doesn't want to tempt fate.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


the furniture arrived and i love it to pieces. two of the items were in ginormous boxes emblazoned with bright orange stickers reading, "FRAGILE -- EXPENSIVE WOODEN FURNITURE INSIDE." as opposed to the cheap-ass stuff we usually buy, i guess.

but along with it came two tons of cardboard, styrofoam, bubble wrap and a multitude of little silica packets. we took a full car load of cardboard to the recycling center last night and will have to, unfortunately, throw out all of the other icky mess because there's nothing else to do with a styrofoam fort? send all of my friends styrofoam care packages? sound-proof the basement? insulate the attic?

although it gets easier with each passing day, it's still very difficult to be a conscientious eco-minded consumer. even if you buy items that are kind to our planet, the amount of packaging makes my heart break a bit.

we already recycle everything that we can. our neighborhood doesn't offer free curbside recycling. even if we did participate and pay, the trash company doesn't take cardboard, paper or all plastics so we'd still end up at the the recycling center. does anyone else find it asinine that we have to pay to be good to the planet?

our family of three often puts out less than one can of garbage each week. the couple across the street, though, regularly puts out two or three overflowing cans of trash. how much are they consuming over there?

i guess this is all offset by the bachelor who lives across the street who has never put out even one can of trash. not one. i suspect that one day the roof will be pushed off of his house and coffee grounds will drip down onto the driveway. that is, after i see him on an episode of oprah.

Friday, July 13, 2007

teacher's gonna show you...

dear fox broadcasting's new show "don't forget the lyrics,"

i tuned in the other night because there was nothing on for the half hour after my new favorite summer show, "so you think you can dance", ended and my other favorite summer show, "last comic standing", began. (having your show end on the half hour when everything else on every other channel starts at the top of the hour? tricky, fox, very tricky. i'll give you that.)

the host, wayne brady, is very cute. i've liked him since he was on drew carrey's improv know the one that got so repetitive. but, yea, wayne brady, i liked him then and i like him now. and the first contestant, cute as a bug's ear, but wowza, that girl cannot sing. i know, i know, that's not the point of the's the lyrics thing. (and by the way, did you know there's another show that's almost just like your show, but not...with joey fatone? maybe you knew that already.)


i will probably keep watching, just because it's good for me to be reminded that although i like to think i know all the words to all the songs on all the radio stations, i most certainly do not. but, that being said, i will stop watching cold if i witness another egregious error like i did on wednesday night.

the lyrics for the jackson five's "ABC" were being shown on the screen for the contestant to karaoke her everloving, tap dancing, knitting heart out to and there it appeared...

"reading, writing, arithmAtic..."

no, fox broadcasting, no. i can abide many things, but misspelling is not one of them.

please see to it that this does not happen again. consider this your notice.

your dorkiest, no capital letter using, english language-loving, fan

Thursday, July 12, 2007

another thing i am not...


when i have a desire or an idea for a project or a craving i must satisfy it -- right now, if not sooner. i know this about myself. i embrace this character flaw due to its ability to help me accomplish so much. outside of that benefit, though, it can often make me a less than pleasant person to be around.

so when i ordered new living room furniture in APRIL and the salesperson said it would be six to eight weeks, i (i) tried hard not to audibly gasp and (ii) foolishly took him at his word. i saw this window of time as an opportunity to grow as a person. and let me be quite honest...unless i could learn how to be a master cabinetmaker and upholsterer, i really didn't have any choice.

i could have gone to any number of other furniture stores that stock all of the pieces in their showroom and will deliver them to your home in less than one week. i do not wish to impune the quality of those stores' merchandise. i'm sure it's sturdy and well-made, but they had very few sofas that appealed to us. there was one in particular that offended -- a cowboy themed cattle drive emblazoned across the entire back of it. no, that would never do.

furthermore, i am not naive. i've ordered custom made items in the past and know that six weeks often miraculously becomes 9 or ten. but now, ELEVEN weeks later, without any living room furniture, i have grown as much as is humanly possible in the area of patience and crossed the threshhold into an alarmingly, restlessly, skin-crawlingly, want to yell a little bit, level of intolerance that i am finding difficult to overcome.

when the call FINALLY came earlier this week that the furniture had arrived and would be delivered this weekend, i was over the moon with bliss. when it arrives, if it lives up to my expectations of perfection and the ability to transport me to another realm merely by being my new place to fall asleep in front of the tv, i will be satisfied.

i will try to recall fondly these three months of my life as my "patience period."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

mmm...iced coffee...

did you know that you cannot buy decaf iced coffee at starbuck's? you can get it at the seattle's best cafe inside borders stores, but there aren't borders on every corner like starbuck's. so i made my own. with a splash of soy creamer and one splenda packet, it is so delicious.

this is cold brewed coffee...not just leftover coffee poured over ice...oh no. the cold brew is not as acidic or bitter as hot brewed coffee but it is stronger.

here's my recipe via iNeedcoffee:

measure a 1/4 to 1/3 cup (5-6 tablespoons) of coffee into a pitcher. add about a cup and a half of room-temperature water (i used tap water). stir the mixture until it is even and there are no lumps. you don't have to be really precise on these measurements. just make sure you have about 4:1 water to coffee. i tripled the recipe and it turned out wonderfully.

put some sort of lid on the container to keep the mixture clean, or use a canister-type container. let it sit a minimum of 3 hours. it can sit overnight, up to 12 hours if you like (some people do this), but we find 3-4 hours is fine. i made mine last night before bed and when i woke up i went on to the next step.

pour the mixture through a mesh stainless steel strainer into a second container. clean the first container to rinse out any grounds. then pour the coffee back from the second container into the first container through the finest mesh or cheesecloth (i used a coffee filter--what am i martha stewart with cheesecloth in my kitchen? sheesh!).

pour the final mixture into your storage container and put it in the fridge. this mixture is possibly 2-3 times as strong as you will want to drink it. dilute with an equal amount of water to start. serve over ice. if the mixture is too strong, add water to dilute (it won't be--trust me). add soy cream and splenda at the time of serving.

enjoy while lazing in your backyard hammock reading a trashy paperback novel. you can thank me later.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

cube courtesy...

i really enjoyed "billy, don't be a hero" when you played it the first time cube-mate. ahh, memories of grade school field trips flooded back to me as i was transported to a simpler (albeit a bit more angsty) time in my life. thanks for that, co-worker.

after hearing it every day, sometimes more than once a day, for the past two months, though, i think i've heard it enough for all eternity. ditto for "seasons in the sun," "fergalicious," and that awful david sole/soul song, "don't give up on us baby."

no, we cannot still come through.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

finished object (fo) - foxtail...

trust me...despite the blurry picture, my first completed sweater is fabulous.

i learned a lot making this sweater: (i) dk weight yarn is yummy, (ii) how to pick up LOTS of stitches to knit on a band, (iii) how to block, (iv) i'm not such a slow knitter as i think i am.

now all i have to do is wait for cold weater to wear it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

on monday...

woke up:::ate breakfast (better 'n eggs and fake sausage):::knit a swatch for calorimetry:::showered and went to work:::yoga at lunch time:::drove home (ahh, holiday week traffic):::watered plants:::went for long walk:::ate dinner (has anyone else tried these? they really were tasty!):::knit the band for foxtail (okay, all but two rows and the cast off row):::watched the catered affair (ernest borgnine movies are so sad; see marty, please. just so good.):::ate brownies:::fell asleep on the couch...again.

Monday, July 02, 2007

like a box of cracker jack...

i have bought my fair share of tins of buttons in my day. when sorting through the treasures and the trash, one is sure to find the following: marbles, cuff links, cafe rings and wheels from toy cars. that last one never fails to crack me up.

yesterday, after returning from the flea market with a treasure trove of buttons in a red tin emblazoned with yellow roses, i found: a bobby pin with a rhinestone/crystal dangle, a pink vintage little girl's hair barrette, two gorgeous ladies lapel pins and...two human baby teeth. i feel oddly protective of them. i cannot bring myself to throw them out. i feel like i've been given someone's precious cargo. one of them has a tiny cavity in it. but i also feel odd about having them. honestly, i don't know how to feel.

so until i decide what to do with them, they wait on my table.