Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Small is Awesome.

Ha ha, not a real entry, but I did think you'd want to maybe see the latest entry I added to the Richmond Craft Mafia blog, in which I document the creation of a tiny piece of art for the upcoming ThinkSmall! show.

Oh, come on. Where else will some fool show you their incredibly fascinating creative process? Why would anyone care? YOU CARE. Go take a look. And just so I'm not all "me me me" here's Kenny's entry. Oh, and did I mention my mom has one too?

If you're local, you should totally come see this show. Where else are you going to see tiny art by a zillion of the best locals artists?

More Info: ThinkSmall4!

Friday, October 26, 2007

The 800 Hour Work Day

Here it is, kids! My usual whine about how Friday seems to have stretched itself out into about 20 work days all strung together. I thought maybe we'd luck out when I came back from lunch to find the power out, but no, denied. It came back on.

To add to my slow demise, it's public radio telethon time and I thought seriously about calling in to pledge a million dollars if they'd just STOP ALREADY. I think my head actually might have exploded around the time they featured someone's kids singing (in harmony) the theme from "All Things Considered". I know, dude, it's like they want me to die horribly. What dumb kids actually like that theme song anyway? It's terrible! It reminds me of long dark, cold drives in the back of my dad's VW Rabbit when I was a kid. It's deadly. Do these kids not have access to real music? Someone slip them some Beatles or something, get them started down the right path? Sheesh.

I have that damn meeting in NINE minutes, so right quick, here's what I'm digging lately:

Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda. I wasn't sure it was going to be my kind of book but now I'm afraid to read too much at one sitting because I don't want it to end. It's fantastic.

Costello Music by The Fratellis. My new favorite band. I cannot get enough of the skinny talented British boys who curse a lot.

Pushing Daisies on ABC. This is the best show on television right now. It's borderline twee but has a nice dark side to balance things out. It's also freaky and clever and this week a couple of characters sang a They Might Be Giants song, referencing their current situation AND the movie the band was named after. It's ridiculous and I couldn't love it more if I tried.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Won't someone think of the televisions?

Oh my God, you guys are hurting my feelings with the lack of comments. What is the deal? Do I offend? Have my checks not been arriving?

This morning we were watching the NBC which means we were watching other people's houses burning. We were watching people staring blankly at the smoking piles of what use to be their lives. Some of them were needlessly brave and said things like, "Nobody got hurt and we're grateful. Nothing else matters." That's very mature of them because I, for one, would be fucking losing my MIND over all the stuff I could never get back. If it was me and Matt Lauer was asking me how i felt he'd probably wish he hadn't because I'd be all, "Holy mother of FUCKING GOD THIS SUCKS SO BAD!! WHERE ARE MY KEEN EDDIE DVDS? WHERE IS MY VENETIA BAG. WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO? IS THAT SMOKING LUMP OF PLASTIC MY HARD DRIVE BECAUSE I NEED TO BLOG ABOUT THIS."

That's right, I'd admit on a national level that I would be angry about stuff like my clothes and shoes and handbags. Especially the handbags. And furniture. And bikes. And the televisions! Won't someone think of the televisions? (I'm kidding about that, but also kinda not.) Oh God, I feel sick just thinking about it. I mean, duh, the irreplaceable stuff like photographs and childhood mementos would be the biggest, most monumental loss, but what about those perfect jeans that you can't buy anymore? Good luck finding those on eBay. (Incidentally, it was the jeans-cost-replacement-theory that convinced me we needed rental insurance back before we owned a house. Thanks, Coryndon!)

I mean, how do you even start? How do you even make a list of every thing you need to live your everyday life? How do you replace books, and paperwork, and dishes and knickknacks and furniture? How do you even begin to do that? I find that when I watch the footage I'm making a mental list of important things I'd throw in the car if we were given a few minutes notice to evacuate. I suppose the ungrateful cats would be first on the list. Or my handbags. I'm kidding. Not really. Then: important papers, clothes, a couple of paintings, photographs, the hard drive...God, I don't even know. What's important? What qualifies?

(I have to pause for a second because I was interrupted by my boss who was happy to inform me that YES, I AM FINALLY GETTING THE RAISE I'VE BEEN WAITING ON FOR SIX MONTHS. SWEET BABY JEEBUS, YAY. Sorry, please return to somber and heartfelt entry.)

The other day I was sitting at a stoplight in my car and watching the world around me and was somewhat amazed at what we all do. At what that tired woman waiting at the bus stop does, at what that dude walking down the sidewalk does. Every day we get up and pull ourselves together and go through the same tedious routines of (hopefully) cleaning ourselves up and getting dressed to get ready for another day of living. We all could, I suppose, just stay in bed and let the cards fall as they may, but most of us plug on. We keep going. So I guess when you lose all your stuff, you just do what you always do - if you generally lose your mind you do that and if you are the kind of person who pulls your shit together and gets on with things you do that. It's the way things are, I suppose.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I do vacuum the bathroom floor...

Can I complain a minute? Just for a minute?

What the hell is up with toothbrush handles these days? I tried to buy a toothbrush last week but they all have these giant bulbous handles that won't fit in our toothbrush holder. It's like the designers just want to make an awesome rockin' sweeet looking brush but don't actually give a shit about functionality. I mean, fine, if I buy the bulby-handled brush because, woo, it's ergonomic and shit, then what? I'm supposed to leave it on the ledge above the sink and not cringe every time it gets knocked onto the bathroom floor? The floor I never mop? Because that's what's going to happen. So I just didn't buy one and then this morning when I had my dentist appointment they gave me a nice new brush for free and the handle was normal, which pleases me.

My dentist appointments are historically fraught with horror, but this one was pretty good comparatively. I was, as usual, momentarily filled with rage towards the hygienist while she was busily scraping my teeth with that metal pick thing. She was less vicious than the regular hygienist (who had the day off) but still, I wanted to grab both her hands at one point and just remove them from my face area. God, I hate having my teeth cleaned. I hate everything about it. I hate the suction tube, the smell of latex gloves, the scraping, the bitewings, the horrible gritty polish shit they scrub into your teeth at the end. HATE.

When she got started, the hygienist, in an attempt to make conversation, asked me if I had kids. All I had time for was a short, "No" before she went back in and that pretty much ended the chatting. I guess it was her usual conversation starter and I disappointed her into silence with my lack of offspring. Sorry! Can't really talk anyway because i have your hands in my mouth and all. She did take some time out to ask me why I still had my wisdom teeth and when I explained that the dentist (who, I might point out, is her boss) told me not to get them pulled she said I should get a second opinion. Upstart! I thought that was pretty funny, actually.

Something I'm not (for once) complaining about:

It's almost November and the weather is Indian Summer XTREME. Lack of rain notwithstanding, I freaking love it. You heard me, I LOVE IT. I want to make out with this weather. I cannot get enough of the ultra-beautiful perfect warm days with a deep blue sky and a crisp clean quality of light you don't get in the summer. Gorgeous.

Fine, make that face, but remember this in January when it's raining ice and the skin on your hands is all chapped. Just remember how nice these sunny 80 degree days feel. Remember it when you're driving through slush and your feet are wet and freezing. Remember it when you have to crank up the space heater because nobody thought about weather-stripping back in the 1950's (sorry, that reminder is just for me.) I mean, I get it, I want to wear my boots and new coat and all, but not bad enough that I'm willing to throw away some perfectly beautiful weather. I'll wait.

Quick weekend update: I sold my shitty old vacuum cleaner at the yard sale and bought a shiny new one! I did not make enough cash for a Dyson (or even for a Dyson clone) but I was able to afford this:

It's a Bissell and it is to the Mighty-Mite what my Avalon is to the Nova. Happy days.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Make Fun of Stuff...and Stuff.

It's that week, the week during which I tend to lose my mind and become filled with PMS-induced rage. I've been timidly waiting for it and so far I'm doing okay. Last month was so bad I considered maybe getting a prescription for something chill-making, so we'll see. It's only Wednesday, after all.

I have found that my fun-making skills are much sharper this week as demonstrated last night while watching TV. This horrible band was on some lame public access cable show and they did a couple of truly horrible acoustic tracks. I made fun of them with such ease! I actually cracked myself up at one point and collapsed on the couch laughing while Kenny looked at me sideways. Okay, maybe I was just shooting fish in a barrel because the douche-y lead singer:

- really really really wants to be Adam Lavine (why? How did Maroon 5 even happen?)
- has an ironic mohawk
- was wearing a suit vest over a t-shirt
- was singing some of the lamest lyrics ever on the face of the earth:

pictures of you
pictures of me
hung up on your wall for the world to see

pictures of you
pictures of me
remind us all of what we used to be


I assumed they were local until I saw their actual video on Mtv this morning in place of the usual horrible Maroon 5 nonsense (Adam Lavine is pissed), which included touching footage of a dreadlocked squatter mother and her child looking all morose. So edgy! So...zzzZZZzzz...

Moving on. Here's what's happening:

This weekend Kate is hosting a big yard sale and I'm happily (and much to Kenny's horror) rooting through every closet and cabinet in our house to see what we can sell. It is amazing to me the amount of useless crap we have acquired in just a few short years. It's like our house grows it's own junk. It's unnatural! I'm really fighting it, this genetic need to hoard (hi mom!)

I got the grand idea of selling our crappy old vacuum cleaner at the yard sale and buying a shiny new one with the yard sale proceeds. Lets hope I make more than $20 total so that can happen, instead of my selling my vacuum cheap and also not making enough to buy another one, which is probably really what's going to happen. Shit. You know it will, but who cares? I need that thing gone.

In other news, I did a race last weekend and you can read about it here. Aren't I nice to segregate the sporty stuff so you don't have to weed through it to get to more useless nattering about vacuums? Don't ever say I don't care about your feelings, is all I'm saying.

Kate and I also attended Bizarre Market last weekend and I bought cool stuff from Lookability and Arthur Hash. It's funny because the first Bizarre Market Kate and I ever attended was in October 2004 or 2005 and the weather was unseasonably warm. Last Saturday was exactly like that. I meant to take pictures but apparently you need both the camera and the memory card in order to do that. I mean, really, I can't do it all, people! Too many things to keep track of. End result: no pictures for you.

Too bad.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Seriously, Friday, what gives? My brain is all crunky today so instead of words I'll give you entertainment in the way only I can.

Firsty, you wanna see my desk? If you click through to Flickr you can read all my dumb notes:

desk shot

desk shot2

Secondy, I stole something. I stole a magazine from the gym because I though I would look totally awesome on the cover instead of Nicole Kidman. She really needs to step off from my boyfriend. Don't we look cute together?

We totally look great together

He's so into me.

He totally loves me

And yes, I made my husband take these pictures. He knows what the score is.

Finally, before I rot your brain entirely, here's a great link that Kenny sent me:

Our Town

It's all cool vintage photos from a town in New York state. I love all the old fashioned names: Clifford, Viola, Louise, Mildred! I couldn't stop looking at them. Enjoy.

Peace out.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Death By Kleenex Box.

On Sunday Kate and I participated in an art/craft show held on the campus where I work. It's an annual event and the first time we've ever done it. I'm glad we did because it was nicely organized and very well attended. We made money and had a good day, despite feeling like we were in a terrarium. Somehow our tent was set up in exactly the wrong place in conjuction with the sun and wind, because we were baking all day. Ugh.

The day did not start auspiciously. We pulled up to the vendor lot and, behold! The Mailroom guy is moonlighting as the lot attendant. Sweeet. Jesus. As we're beginning to unpack my car, he walks over to me to impart some very important and life-saving information. Apparently, like a tissue box, the foam sun visor I have stowed on the ledge by the back window could be completely lethal in a car crash* and could trauma my head totally to death. I really wanted to point out the probability of head-trauma-death-by-car-crash would be taken care of by, oh, I don't know, the 60 pounds of metal TENT shoved in my back seat, but no no, Mailroom Guy, you're right. That piece of folded foam is certainly lethal. I shall move it posthaste.

The show set-up was fine and made more amusing by the complete lack of planning and preparation of the dude next to us, who was a little nuts, but in an endearing artist sort of way. He was still drilling and um, art-making well after the 11am start. But really, he was nothing compared to what we've dealt with in the past. Refreshing, even especially when compared to the Most Awkward Show Moment Ever.

This one requires a little bit of back story: Last spring we were recruited for a local yearly holiday show held by two women (I'll call them Virginia and Karen) who were best friends and ran a small craft-like business together. We were promised big money, but by the time the show rolled around they'd had a falling out and Virginia, who was ill, had backed out. Oy. It was a bad, bad weekend and not a great show (as detailed here). Karen said she probably wouldn't do it again. Great.

So there we are on Sunday selling our stuff when a weird, slightly familiar looking woman marches up and says hi. Then she barked,

"It's me, Karen. Are you doing the show this year??"

I replied,

"I don't know, are we?"

I mean, what the crap? We hadn't heard from her since December. She gives us a weird twisted look and snarked,

"You probably heard that Virginia died."



No? How could we have? We don't KNOW HER. We never met her except when she gave us her card a year and a half ago. We both froze for a beat and then managed to stutter out our condolences. It was really uncomfortable and after a bit more weirdness, Karen went away. No WAY are we doing her show again.

Anyway, here are some pictures (click for larger versions).

This is the guy next door. I really liked his work and he was amusing if nothing else:

Joe Kight2

This is our booth:

booth shot
booth's eye view:

booth view

This is my absolute favorite picture from the show. Originally I stalked him because I thought he was wearing an American Idol shirt. It wasn't until I got home and started uploading photos that I realized it was so, so much better than that (click through to Flickr to read it):

awesome god

Right? That is just outstanding.

*Issue is debated here. This quote is my favorite: "...if he is not wearing seat belts or protected by an air bag, the driver is probably out through the windshield and smashing into the brick wall and wouldn't notice the tissue box."

Monday, October 1, 2007

Magazines Make Me Feel Bad

Have you ever had a friend who was so fantastically good at stuff that every time you visited you'd leave feeling like maybe you were lacking in some undefinable way? Like, why can't I decorate in a quirky manner and whip up a gourmet meal from nothing? Why are we not having dinner around the the dining room table while discussing world topics? Why don't we even have dining room chairs?

This kind of thing used to really bug the shit out of me because I felt like maybe I missed a key lesson in How To Be a Cool Grownup. I mostly got over it, but I still get pangs of house anxiety when I stumble across stuff like this because just when I've decided that the people in Domino Magazine are all models and their quirky apartments are actually sets, I'm proven wrong. PEOPLE REALLY DO LIVE LIKE THIS. It's daunting. Though in abchao's case, I think she did it the real way (vintage/thrift stores, a good eye) , rather than the rich people way (expensive new stuff that looks like it came from vintage/thrift stores and a good decorator) which makes it that much more impressive, thus making me feel that much lamer.

I page through Domino and wonder, where are the cat vomit stains? Where is their junk mail pile? Do they have a Pod out back full of all the junk they don't know what to do with? Because I have a lot of junk I don't know what to do with. Also, I have no time to decided what to do about the junk I don't know what to do with. How did I get all this stuff? Why do I save so much shit? Why is my husband incapable of throwing away the box for anything? I read Domino and I want to cry, so I let my subscription go. Then someone gave me a big stack of them and it started all over again.

Oh, and don't EVEN get me started on Dwell. Dwell has got to be the most incredibly pretentious magazine ever in the whole magazine world. Dwell is Domino with an eco-attitude. Dwell is all about smug rich people who seem to enjoy how clever they are to manage to live in 500 square feet of concrete space in some urban ex-meatpacking plant or something. All the furniture is made from bamboo and cardboard! They have skylights instead of electricity! Their $10,000 dishwasher is powered by pet hamsters! It's all so smug that I want to throw it in the trash, NOT IN THE RECYCLE BIN.

I think the saddest thing I ever saw in Dwell was a playground designed by an architect who decided that regular playground equipment was far too garish. The entire thing consisted of some sad wooden ramp...thing in a park. Oh, damn, people.

Anyway, I need to clear out a WHOLE BUNCH of crap and get back to chipping paint off the wall in my bathroom and maybe I'll feel better or something. I also need to get rid of the world's biggest space-sucking piano. Want it? Free piano anyone? Please take it away? Please.

Coming up tomorrow: Craft show report! Mailroom guy predicts my doom! Crazy guy in the next booth! Most awkward craft show moment ever!