25 June 2009

For Annie Lennox

I have spent most of the evening picking up shards of glass off the kitchen floor. With my bare feet. One of the cats (probably Pip the asshole) knocked the butter dish onto the floor and it shattered into a thousand tiny, greasy pieces. All the cats wanted to lick butter off of the broken glass.

It was worth it, though. It was in service of a french silk chocolate pie for Dave's birthday, which is tomorrow. I hope it sets properly, because when I licked the bowl it was pretty good. I will be bummed if all I have managed to make is a big puddle of pudding inside a pie shell, although I suspect that even if this happens, I can just freeze the pie and that's probably going to be super good too. Maybe we should freeze the leftovers even if it sets. (That is, if there are any leftovers. Apparently Dave ate a whole cheesecake once. I can only hope to tempt him to such heights of gluttony tomorrow. I'll let you know how it all shakes out.)

Claire Danes is the only Juliet I've ever seen who isn't hugely whiny. Even Olivia Hussey, although I love the Zeffirelli version. Also, this song makes me nostalgic for the good parts of being sixteen.

Enjoy your fridays, kids. I know I'll enjoy mine.

21 June 2009

typical blogger cat pictures

Sorry about the unscheduled blogging hiatus. I had a cold and then we threw that whiskey party, so that stuff kept me away from the computer. Here's what's been happening, in my absence.

I gave Pip some catnip again.

Lucky has discovered that laptops are made of warm.

Simone is as plump and as bursting with sweetness as always. (Yes, I stole that from the copy on the raisin box. Me and my copy-thieving ways.)

Inty is costing a million dollars, as usual.

Her IBD started flaring up again - puking at least once a day - so I took her to the vet. This time we didn't wait until she got so skinny she almost died. $250 worth of testing later, we can rule out thyroid and diabetes and be pretty sure that the increased levels of cat barf in our house are because of Inty's IBD - which, you know, is what we figured was happening before we took her to the vet.

Anyway, now she has a new steroid ($35) and $60 worth of a new prescription food. We've changed from low ingredient - i.e. proteins she probably hasn't encountered and thus isn't allergic to - to a hypoallergenic food. Basically to make the hypoallergenic they denature the protein molecule and chop it up all small in the hopes that the immune system won't respond to a smaller molecule the way that it does to normal big protein molecules. If she keeps barfing and doesn't respond to the steroid, we'll put her back on an anti-nausea drug. And maybe re-start a regime of giving her B-12 shots periodically. That's all if, though, and I'd kind of like it not to progress further because: expensive. Also, the strain of keeping all that chemistry in my head just reminds me of why I never did pursue my childhood dream of becoming a vet: not good enough at chemistry. Or math in general. As an adult, knowing a little bit more about how much vets get to deal with poop and barf and what their earning potential is, I'm kind of glad that I was a quitter when it came to chemistry.

No comment.

No photos in this post were staged, though some were retouched afer they came out of the camera.

16 June 2009

grab bag

Dave has a show tonight at T.T. the Bear’s, so this is going to have to be short.

Best thing I saw today: buncha Tibetan monks in saffron robes sitting outside the Starbucks on Boylston St. (Right in the middle of the Back bay, which is a ritzy area of Boston, for my non-local readers.)

Best lie I heard today: my friend Lisa told her mom that the tube of KY on her bedside table was “for the dog’s paws, to keep them from getting cracked in the winter.” Heheheheh. That’s a great story, not just because of Lisa’s quick thinking but because her mom didn’t know what KY was.

Watching the Squirrel Channel:
this shot was not staged. heh.

And that’s all I’ve got.

P.S. I totally got Lisa’s permission to use that story, I am not that rude. Thanks, generous lady!

P.P.S. "Computers" almost rhymes with "uterus". There's a joke in there somewhere, but I haven't figured it out yet.

15 June 2009

online reading

in honor of this monday being as shitty as most mondays, here's a post with some links to crap I read on the internet which you might like to read, too. Most of this stuff is pretty well-known, so don't be surprised if you don't find anything new here. It's more of a reflection of my tastes than anything else.

Angry Black Bitch. She has such a great voice and she's wicked smart. She writes a lot about the intersection of race, gender and class politics. Totally different angle from the mostly white, mostly middle-class well-meaning liberal young women who are kind of at the forefront of the third wave of feminism (in the blogosphere, at least, the big mainstream feminist blogs tend to be pretty white and pretty middle class. And pretty boring after a while.)

538. I visited this site daily during the run-up to this year's election; it has really good analysis of polling outcomes and techniques. Obviously this kind of thing makes me happy, since I have much love in my heart for data and analysis thereof.

sociological images. I'm kind of a new reader so I'm a little at a loss to describe this blog; basically it takes collections of images (or one image? Usually there is more than one, though) and makes an argument based on the messages given by the images. A recent post on a Harper's Bazaar photo shoot, for example, decodes a pretty clear message about appropriate roles in family life. Sort of like going behind the scenes at Disneyland, if Disneyland was the country's collective unconscious.

Indexed. Funny and smart commentary on a lot of wacky stuff.

Style Rookie. Okay, this kid is like 13 and she totally kicks my ass for creativity and awesomeness and style genius and the balls to wear her creations. I so wish I had been her, or had a friend like her, when I was in seventh grade. Instead I will read her blog as an adult and marvel. She totally inspires me to dress better. (thanks to Lisa for sending me this link.)

That's all I can think of off the top of my head, but I read a lot of random shit, so maybe I will do a post like this again at some point.

14 June 2009

Lasted: one day

I couldn't take the guilt. I moved the roses to the dining room where I wouldn't be the only one enjoying them. I suck.


And as long as I'm confessing things, I'll admit that every picture I post taken inside my house is kinda staged.

the dark blobs under the table are Pip and Simone grooming each other. Not staged

I mean, it mostly looks like this but I'd say that there's about 20% more clutter. (Hmmm, maybe 20% is giving us too much credit. Kay? Can you weigh in on this?) But the booze is only temporary. We're having a whisky party next weekend so we're all stocked up on single malts and bourbon and whiskey. And also wine and beer and rum and vodka in case you want to come to the party but don't like whisky, whiskey or bourbon. (I got kind of carried away at the liquor store.) Also if you're reading this and you're local, I probably know you personally so consider yourself invited and that I am just dumb and forgot to email or facebook you.

So, party, yay. We haven't had a party since my birthday last year, which makes it over a year, which is too long. I have been fussing with my hanging baskets for weeks so they will be party-ready.

this picture was not staged. I don't count "choosing a good angle" as staging.

Okay, that's a lie, I have been fussing with the hanging baskets since I got them and that's because it's the first time I have ever grown flowers and not killed them right away. But this year something has clicked in my brain (regular watering ?) and I'm nuts about gardening.

This picture was not staged. Fuck, now I am obsessed about staging versus not.

When I say the gardening bug has taken hold, I will tell you that I have begun saving the water from when I clean the fishtank and use it to water the plants. Fish poop is rich in nitrogen, apparently. I also made an all-natural aphid repellent from dish soap, wesson and water. So far it doesn't seem to have done much to deter the aphids. It's a bummer since it's cheap and I felt like a virtuous hippie when I was making it, but I think I will go back to the all-natural shit they sell at the garden center, which at least seems to kill the fuckers. I question their claims of "able to use on day of harvest" but it says it's for organic gardeners, so it can't be too bad. Right?

Anyway, I should shut up now. I have dishes to do, laundry to fold, litterboxes to scoop. Miles to go before I sleep.

13 June 2009

Great Expectations

I wish my desk looked this clean all the time. This picture is totally staged though. The roses (from my little pots) smell like summer. I feel a little guilty that I'm the only one who will get to enjoy them, since I am the only one who sits here. Not guilty enough to move the vase, though.


Anyway, so fake cleanliness. Recently I bit the bullet and bought a new vacuum. I actually forked out five hundred bucks for a Dyson Animal. It was the reviews on Amazon that did it to me. They were like, insanely positive. There were reviews titled, "This Vacuum Changed My Life." I am not even making this up.

So when it I arrived I got all excited and insisted on vacuuming at 10 pm and testing each attachment in turn. This made Dave very angry. I think he wanted to sleep or watch TV or relax or something. I don't know the specifics because I wasn't really paying attention. I decided a long time ago that he's lucky to have a wife who gets so pumped up about vacuums and keeping the house clean.

I am kind of disappointed in the vacuum though. I think maybe my expectations got over-inflated by all those long, lovingly detailed reviews by people who now referred to their Dysons as "Jesus". So I was pretty much thinking that the second I plugged it in, all the dust in the house would race into the vacuum's gaping maw of its own accord while the vacuum gave me head.

It didn't work out quite like that, though. I mean, it worked fine and smelled better than the 15 year old Kenmore we have been using, which emits a steady stream of something that smells like a dog fart from its nether regions, but it definitely didn't make the earth move. I dunno. I think I was kind of stupid to buy into the hype in the first place. So I guess the moral of this story is, even a $500 vacuum won't go down on you.

12 June 2009


Sigur Ros. My favorite album is called ( ), and they released it with all the tracks untitled. The whole album is sung in a made-up language called Vonlenska. Later on they went back and gave the tracks names and translated the invented language. It's really pretty, and they are very hip, in part because they aren't that well-known. Plus Pico Iyer is a fan! How can you go wrong?

This is the first track on the album. It is a beautiful haunting sad song (I listen to it a lot at work for this reason).

The video is unsettling and creepy. In a good way.

11 June 2009

june showers

Obligatory blogger's photo of rose with raindrops

The pretty roses have less-pretty aphids

This shrub rose is called wingding, which makes me think of the font. Hee.

Hairy tomato stems. Also well-equipped with aphids.

And besides growing things in containers, we've been "pruning", aka whacking the hell out of the plants in the garden which are overgrown (which is all of them.)

I call this one "Hacked-off hedges, flanked by giant brush pile"

Another contributor to the brush pile. This thing used to reach the second floor. In winter it got so bowed down with snow that the branches made the sidewalk impassable anytime we had a storm. Since we got 64 inches this winter, that happened a lot.

This picture of the brush pile doesn't do the real thing justice (and I'm not far enough along on my photography lessons to know how to take a better picture) but at least the cars are there for scale.

It's been raining a lot lately, and cold. It didn't help either of our moods to come home today and find that the cleaning lady had had a festival of breakage. She broke the hot water faucet handle in the bathroom, the step/lid thingie on the kitchen trash can, and although this isn't technically breaking anything, I unwisely left out one of the buckets that I use for cleaning the fish tank. She used it to do something else with - probably cleaning the floor, which is good, but with chemicals, which means I won't be able to use it for the fish again. Dammit. She also forgot to lock the house up when she was leaving. Gah.

09 June 2009


worked late, home even later (around 8) because I allowed some poor Irish girl standing on the street corner in the rain to talk to me about the charity she was hawking. twenty minutes later something called "children international" has my credit card details and will be taking $22/month to give to impoverished girls in India.

Guess I had sucker on my forehead tonight because on the T some I allowed some rando to strike up a conversation with me, all because I said, "fuck!" when the train stopped and the lights went out. The rando accompanied me all the way to the Harvard square T stop, interrogating me about my job and telling me about his life history. Judging from his pinpoint pupils, he was on drugs of some kind, but totally harmless. Plus he was so tiny I could have snapped him in two with ease.

am writing this hurriedly while the water for my polenta comes to a boil. bet I will find typos galore when I re-read. More than usual, I mean, since I never proof before posting. i'm slack like that.

anyway, so here is a nice picture of me and Dave taken at some gig somewhere, sometime in the last couple of months.

I think we must have been sitting down, since I am not usually taller than him.

update: I think I must be sitting on his lap here.

08 June 2009



in the ocean is one of my favorite things. Unfortunately, though our hotel was right on the beach, the surf there was too rough to do much swimming (not if you wanted to keep your bathing suit on, anyway.)

But we did get to do some snorkeling one day, and I bought a disposable underwater camera and took pictures. None of them are great, but some of them give you an idea.

I have to say, turtles that are actually in the water are fast motherfuckers. They also have moss on their shells.

They kind of look like they're flying through the water.

Swimming with the fishes!

The people running the cruise made us all wear stupid deflatable life jackets that wouldn't deflate all the way, so I couldn't dive as deep as I wanted - so all the reef pictures look kind of faraway.

Also apparently underwater cameras need to come with a flash, because this parrot fish just looks blue, like everything else. Underwater cameras also seem to have strange and interesting results in the film, which compensates a little.

This is more like what a parrot fish looks like in real life. I didn't take that picture, though. these people did.

07 June 2009

gardening etc

We spent most of this sunny weekend outside. Well, got a good chunk of time outside, anyway. We ran a bunch of errands yesterday, including a trip to the the hardware store for a serious pair of pruning scissors, the kind that can take down live wood with a two inch diameter. These things could take your hand off at the wrist.

I was trying to think of a non-boring way to describe how much crap we took down, but I'll just tell you that the resulting brush pile is about the size and shape of a sedan. Something like a Ford Taurus. I think we're going to have to rent a woodchipper to get rid of it. (Speaking of woodchippers, the closest I have ever been to one is the movie Fargo, which we watched last week. It's held up well.)

When I got one particularly big branch, the old guys sitting on the porch across the street clapped for me. Then one yelled, "Don't hurt yourself!" which was a little late since I'd already been hit in the head several times with falling branches. Eventually I learned to get out of the way.

Then today was more errands and yoga, and then we both fell asleep in the afternoon. I took the extended version of the nap while he got up and went for a bike ride. Then I played with the flowers - we have hanging baskets with scarlet verbena and pink petunias and I spent a while deadheading those and the baskets of impatiens.

I also went after the aphids that infest my tomatoes and roses with a "natural" organic pesticide. In a couple of weeks, I think I'll have roses and tomatoes should start being ready a few weeks after that. When the current batch of insecticide runs out, I think I'm going to make my own from dishwashing liquid, mineral oil and water.

I'm really excited about the gardening stuff this year for some reason. I've made various attempts before at container gardening, but I've always proven to have a black thumb. Hopefully this year will be better, because I really like flowers and homegrown tomatoes.

For dinner tonight we grilled some steak tips (just the Whole Foods "santa fe" marinated steak tips) and some veggies (videlia onion, summer squash and zucchini tossed in a mixture of olive oil, fresh thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.) I love my new gas grill - means the grill is ready to go in ten minutes - and the nonstick grill pan I used for the vegetables. We had sweetcorn, too. I love early summer corn.

All in all it was a pretty restful weekend. A good break from the work week (although actually I should be catching up on some work stuff rather than sitting on the couch blogging and catching up on other blogs. Oh well. I so need to make this rhubarb-berry jam soon. Although I originally went to David Lebovitz's site because summer has got me wanting to start making ice cream again. I'm dying to make this Salted Butter Caramel icecream, which I think will be delicious but looks like a pain in the ass since you make 2 kinds of caramel as well as the custard for the base. Bet it will be worth it, though.)

04 June 2009

cop out picture post

It's thursday and I don't have a lot to say for myself, so here's an old picture of Simone nursing Pip.

kittens nursing 014

And I've downloaded a bunch of lessons that will be an intro to DSLR, since I really am not using the camera's functionality to the utmost. The lessons will take me through the technical stuff and then towards the end you learn some basic rules of composition. I think it will be exactly what I need to make my pictures better.

03 June 2009

Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah

So Dave brought home flowers for me last night, which was a nice (and timely) surprise, given The Night Of The Candles.


I love flowers, and it's not that I'm glad Zoe is dead or anything, but I totally don't miss her habit of eating all flowers that were brought into the house and then barfing up piles of gaily colored petals right underneath the dining room table. None of the other four seem interested in eating flowers, so yay - more flowers for me!

After work tonight I made dinner (one of those desperation meals that ends up being surprisingly good. This was a lentil-chickpea-tomato thing with a bunch of fresh coriander I clipped a couple of days ago from the "garden", aka a couple of containers of tomatoes.

Roar! T-Rex cooks dinner!

Check out my vintage apron. I fucking love that thing. I bought it from a htrift store in outside of Buffalo on one of our trips there to visit his family. I used to wear the apron as a wraparound skirt the summer after I'd had mono and had lost twenty pounds. It was very short and very breezy. Perfect for hot days!

Mono is no fucking joke when you're a grownup. Most people can't just take two weeks off work or whatever the way a kid who's in high school or college can. Anyway, I certainly didn't have that much sick leave or enough job security and didn't feel like I could take the time off to get well. Plus my mono went undiagnosed for about two months, which gave it time to get really bad. I kept going to the doctor and telling them my throat hurt and I was really tired and feverish all the time, and they just kept diagnosing me with strep throat and giving me antibiotics. I did have a whole bunch of strep infections but they were a side effect from the mono, which knocks out your immune system. I got really terrible colds during this period too, the kind with a big fever which throws your ass on the floor. At one point I thought I was actually going to get fired because I'd taken all my sick time and all my vacation time.

But then Mom suggested I get tested for mono, so I asked the doctor to do that along with the usual strep test, and it turned out I did have mono. Then at least it made sense why I was falling asleep in traffic and at my desk at work and any time I sat still for more than 30 seconds. The way I knew I was finally getting better was that my insomnia started up again. Then I knew I was done with the mono. But that didn't happen until I'd been sick for about 9 months, and I'd gotten reaaaaal thin.

Overexposed Going home
I overexposed the crap out of this photo so you can see how scrawny I'd gotten.

I can't say I miss the mono - it sucked, I didn't see any friends for the whole time because I couldn't stay awake long enough to leave the house - but that flat stomach was nice. Oh well. My boobs are bigger now. You win some, you lose some.

And just 'cause, here's a sneak peek at my first embroidery project. I am, by the way, totally loving the ability to do a little photo tweaking in picnik from within flickr. Now, Yahoo, if you could get this right, why can't you make your search engine better?


It's an apron, of course, because I am that freak who collects aprons. Some day I should do an apron round-up post. That would probably be the most boring blog post ever, but that's what the internet is for, right? Saving toenail clippings and showing off your aprons?

02 June 2009

01 June 2009

Just like the pioneers

I am typing this in the dark, with Lucky draped over my left arms and part of the touchpad - every time I click the mouse he gets offended, but not offended enough to disembark. I can't touch-type so the screen is bent towards me at a less than 90 degree angle so I can see the letters on the keys by the romantic backlighting of the LCD.

The reason I am typing in the dark is because Dave is in the midst of a full-blown manic episode and is trying to calm himself down ironing by candlelight. Just like the pioneers did! Earlier we had a stimulating round of, "Why can't you read my mind" wherein I failed repeatedly to read Dave's mind. Maybe if I just try harder next time, I'll figure it out and he won't get so mad! Just kidding. Maybe next time I will wise up and start drinking early in the evening. I bet the pioneer wives did that, too.

Anyway, so I should stop typing now so I find out what further excitements the evening holds for me. Also I think it's time to get into my jammies. Jammies are the best.