Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How it all began.

Six year blog anniversary! Back in 2002 I wrote my first entry out of complete boredom while working a weird temp job. That first entry is here. And...I'm pretty sure I posted this exact thing last December 31st. I'm being all reflective and shit.

Anyway, I've got to go and work on the menu for dinner tonight (fancee- nachos and a chopped salad thing) but I wanted to stop in and wish you all a good New Year's eve. Have fun and don't puke!



Monday, December 29, 2008

The Hot Secret

I have so many guilty pleasures that I really shouldn't even call them that, I should just admit I have bad taste. One of my recent guilty pleasures is VH1 Classic, one of those ridiculous spin-off channels (ESPN 8! The Ocho!) created for when the original channel gets so far from what it was that they have to create another one to fill the void. VH1 Classic is great in that it shows all the crappy old music videos and even occasionally some really good ones (that I promise you were never ever actually shown on VH1. Ever.)

VH1 Classic is one of my favorite channels I flip to during commercials so I watch it a fair amount. Lately they've been showing a horrifying number of mini programs hosted by...Mark Goodman.


Sorry, where was I? What? Oh right. I was talking about the most incredibly boring white dude ever. EV. ER. God, could he suck more? I feel my coolness getting sucked right out of me every time he opens his boring stupid mouth. GOD. Shut UP, Mark Goodman. Tonight he was counting down the top 10 ten whatever whatever videos of whatever whatever. I would know except that I sort of zone out when he's talking so I don't kill things. (I mean, does it just seem wrong that he's even allowed to talk about The Clash? There are rules about this, right?)

ANYWAY, I do have a point. My point is that when Stupid Ass Face was talking about The Clash I was reminded of something I've been meaning to write about. Something very important: The Secret Hot Band Member.

There's one in every band, except maybe Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers because, damn:

Yeah, sorry boys. Maybe they're better looking now?

So, my first brilliant example of this is The Clash. Name the hot member of The Clash. You're probably either thinking, "Joe Strummer, duh!" or "Seriously, what?"

But here's your answer:

Paul Simonon.

Oh my God, you're welcome. I'll give you a minute.

Now, lets move on to U2. I know, I know what your thinking, "There is no hot member of U2 and if you say The Edge I'm never reading this blog again." Au contraire! Check it:

I know it's hard to see him over Bono's giant fat mullet head, but he's there. Being hot.

Larry Mullen, Jr., my friends. Being hot all in the background behind that drum set. Good for him for keeping it on the down low.

And finally, let's talk a minute about The Strokes. You might like the band or not but you probably couldn't pick any of the band members out of a lineup, and that's fine. You might know that Drew Barrymore dated one of them, and that would be the hot one. She may not have the finest taste in men, but he is pretty fine:

Fabrizio Moretti. Pretty eyes, no? He's even better when he's all dishevelled:

And that's it for tonight. You probably disagree with me on at least one of these and that's fine, to each his or her own. But, if you leave a comment, please tell me about your hot secret, since you know so much.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The day in (slightly blurry) photos.

I have no idea why I'm the world's worst photographer, but I am. Even with an auto-focus setting. Anyway, with that in mind, here's our Christmas Eve:

Monday, December 22, 2008

More First World Problems

Saturday almost made me cry with it's not-ending-ness. I'm starting to block my time out in hour increments in order to get everything finished by Wednesday. I still have not:

- wrapped a single gift (my most hated task)
- finished painting the bathroom
- bought the last few gifts
- finished cleaning the house
- finished making jewelry that's been requested
- sent out more than four Christmas cards

It gets to the point where you start renegotiating your holiday craziness and suddenly you're all, WAIT. Nobody gives a shit if they get a card from you. WAIT, nobody will know you didn't make that dip yourself. WAIT, that person probably didn't want a gift anyway. WAIT, nobody will be peering into your shower and judging you by it's filth and even if they did that makes that person an asshole.

OKAY. I did call Kate at one point Saturday and said,

"Hey, can you just please tell me everything will be okay?"

Because I thought I was done with the jewelry stuff (what with the giant show we did last weekend) but not so! I am NOT COMPLAINING because it really it a great problem to have when people want to give you money for stuff you make, but there's really not much inventory left and on Saturday I was busy selling to the husband of a friend when the phone rang and it was the owner of a shop that carries our stuff wanting more stuff and then the phone rang again and it was another husband wanting to buy jewelry. Fabulous, yes?

I felt like a bit of a jerk because I think people sensed that I was stressed out, but it was all my own stress over having low inventory and a very short time frame. I think in the end I managed to make everyone happy, so that's nice. I am truly happy that folks are buying from us rather than going to the mall, you know?

Anyway, I really wanted to finish up my Christmas shopping and I did manage to make my way to Carytown but felt really weird and spacey the whole time. It was 5pm and I suddenly realized I'd never eaten lunch. I just didn't have time to even consider it! I'm not usually one of those assholes who "forgets to eat" but I really legitimately did.

I completely made up for it by hoovering down the completely delicious hors d'oeuvres served at a friend's party that night. That party was the best part of my day:

On Sunday I slept in and then spent the entire day with Kate baking up a storm. It's really a pretty excellent way to spend a day - I highly recommend it. The end.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Not a Finger!

Sorry for the lack of updates but things have gotten to a critical mass in which the house needs cleaning, cards need sending, orders need filling, presents need purchasing and wrapping, items need baking, bathroom painting needs finishing, tears need crying, you get the picture. I need an assistant, for reals. Maybe I'll get one in my stocking?

Anyway, I'll be bringing you a real update soon with lots really great Bathroom Project 2007-2009 before and after shots (hold me back! I know.) I just need to freaking finish it but it's the never-ending project. It's starting to look REALLY good though:

And look, we got a tall skinny tree this year:

Cute, right? It's real and doesn't take up half the room for once. We still have two boxes of ornaments yet to put on it, so don't be all kermit-faced about how skimpy it is. I KNOW. Give a girl a second. Last weekend was solid SHOWSHOWSHOW but thankfully lots of people came and bought our stuff so we can fund further Keen projects and also fund our own holiday joy. Not quite enough for a pony, but who knows? Maybe this is the year that Santa freak gets it right. I mean, really? If he's stalkery enough to watch me while I'm sleeping, he should know what I want by now. (STOP IT PERVS, you know what I mean.)

Anyway, if you care about such things, photos of the grand craft show last week are here. We (The Richmond Craft Mafia) put on a very nice show if I do say so myself.

That's all. More soon. Send help.

PS. You know what I really like? Squirrels.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hall of Mounted Spazzes.

Can you believe it? I actually left the house. On Friday night Kate, Kenny and I went to the First Friday Art Walk downtown and went and looked at art and stuff. Seriously! Out on a Friday night. The main reason we went was to attend the Fawn Shop, which I think I pimped in a previous entry.

The space looked great and lots of hard work went into setting is up. Very nice indeed. (And open all week, locals Richmonders! Just saying.) After we left there we wandered down to a few of the local galleries:

It was really crowded and we were hungry and these things do not make for a fun art-viewing experience. I suggested we stop in somewhere and get a drink and an appetizer. We went to Popkin Tavern:

Despite having to wait 45(!) hungry minutes to get single order of calamari, we made do with beer until we were finally fed, happy, and ready to head home. Or so we though. On the way back to the car we saw this:

"Hall of Mounted Heads" by Lily Lamberta. It stopped me in my tracks. Drunken hilarity ensued:

This is where I said to Kate, "WE SHOULD JUMP" but you can't tell we're actually airborne - instead it just looks like we're being complete spazzes (which isn't much of a stretch, let's be honest):

At some point I realized there must be a lion and LO, I FOUND HIM:

Richmond Lion! HOW GOES IT.

Kate's favorite thing was this sign:

There were a couple of dogs wandering around snuffling the floor and no food left on the table, so I suspect they got something anyway.

Kate and I chatted with the artist and I found myself talking rapturously to her about the souls of the different critters. (Someone had too much beer on an empty stomach.) But, even sober, I super loved those heads. I hope we can buy one eventually.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Further Pimp-age.

Woo, as well as being featured on the Richmond Magazine shopping blog, Keen Designs has also been featured in Richmond Bride magazine. I'm so excited about this I think I just peed a little. Anyway, here is the link to our press page, which has large versions of the pages. The two combs in the model's hair are ours and the little chunky number is as well.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

This one is for the locals (but you can come too!)

Hi local supporter of handmade items! YOU. Yes, you. Please to be coming to the Fawn Shop tomorrow evening:

If you want to read a bit more about it, check out the nice write-up we got at (it's the second post from the top.) The space is AMAZING and a few of the Craft Mafia members have been working really hard to make it a festive and fun place to shop. I was blown away when I saw it last night - they've decorated up the windows and it is reminiscent of the Thalhimer's downtown days. I mean, dang, you're going to go to First Friday anyway, right? Yes? I thought so. See you there!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Last night my sister and I attended a Past Life Regression workshop led by the same guy who I took the great meditation course from last summer. I've always been curious about such things and was really excited by the idea that I could actually find out about my possible past lives. Who wouldn't want to know that? I was talking to my husband about it last week and he and I both agreed that we felt fairly new - if past lives are really how it works, I don't think I've been around the block too many times. So, in retrospect, that may have been part of the problem. Because, as it turns out, I suck at regressing.

I should have expected that it wouldn't be easy for me because when we did a visualization meditation this past summer I had a really hard time with it. I wasn't really seeing what I was supposed to be seeing. I couldn't seem to force my brain to do what it does effortlessly during every boring meeting and class I've ever attended. I have vivid nighttime dreams, a crazy imagination and I live in my head most of the time. So why do I suck at meditation visualization? I do fine when the instructor tells me to imagine I'm in my own house, tells me to look around at my own furniture and take in the detail. No problem, I see it all. but when we are meant to be throwing around glowing white light and gliding along the timeline of our past lives, I really have to fight to make it happen.

I should back up a bit. The class was held in a tiny room down town in a really cool old building across from the Lee Monument. (It had a Cutler Mail System like that hotel in Chicago! I totally geeked out.) The chairs were plastic and wildly uncomfortable and most of the folks in the room were older and had done this all before. I was very interested to see how it would all go down. After explaining various theories of the whole past lives thing, we were led in a general relaxation meditation. Then we did another one with visualizations of our house, which I talked about above. That was easy. I'm in my house, I'm looking around at my stuff, all good.

Then, we took the plunge and did the first regression meditation. We floated above the building, threw out our timeline and were supposed to glide back over it and then enter a past life. I remember gliding past blobs of purple, which I decided were my possible past lives, but I think maybe they were the weird shapes and blobs you see when you're in a bright room and close your eyes. Finally, we were asked to enter our past and look around. What do you see? What are you wearing? Are you a man or a woman? Who's around you? What year is it? Move on to another significant part of your life. Move on to your death experience. The questions came slowly, but I struggled to see anything.


Dog? Wolf?



little garden pond or fountain.


I'm a child?


I'm in a house alone.

A dark wooden bed with high edges.

I'm in a tudor-eque room.

I'm in the sand. Am I dying?

Lying in the sand, someone is with me.

And that's all I got. It was work, hard work to try and see or make sense of any of it. It was very hazy, very foggy, I got almost no detail. Then everyone else told their stories and oh my God, the detail! They were Mongolian warriors, Asian mutes, World War I nurses. I was...not. The woman who was the Mongolian warrior talked about the smell of the furs she was wearing and the great physical pain she felt when she got, um, stabbed in the chest with a spear. I KNOW. What the hell, subconcious? Why am I foggy and vague?

The second regression involved someone we had a close relationship with - we were meant to go back and try to find that person in a previous life. I picked my husband because we have always had such a crazy connection. This time the beginning went easier - floating, white light, throwing out the timeline, all good. However, when we went into our past life, I was more obscured than ever. I tried so hard to see and for a moment I was conscious of walking across a covered porch and looking out onto a garden with the ocean or large body of water beyond. Then we were told to go find the person we were to seek. I had one more image of sitting on the grass with a party of people but couldn't see any faces. I had one quick vision of being in bed with people looking over me, but again, no faces. Then I just stopped trying and everything was dark with more of the reddish purple pulsing blobs I'd seen the last time. Probably just the backs of my eyelids.

The class was running late so I didn't really get to talk about my failed second attempt. The people who did share said they did much better the second time - it was much more vivid. Hmph. I drove home grumpy and by the time I got home I was pissed. Why was my subconscious such a stupid bitch? I told Kenny about it while I changed clothes and was all,


Yes, he laughed at me and then I got mad at him for not showing up.


He gave me beer and pasta and I felt much better. I really can't wait to try it again and I hope I get better results. My sister had very meaningful, interesting regressions (much better and more detailed than mine), so go read those. I thought it was interesting how similar some of our imagery was in our first regressions.

Monday, December 1, 2008

So the cats can't eat it, that's why.

Y'all miss me? I'm sorry! I had five glorious days off and just couldn't be roused to write, even though stuff has happened that I could easily have written about. My thanksgiving was pretty good - just your general family gathering, I suppose. Good food, lots of wine, a small argument with my mother about why housing the turkey in the downstairs bathroom is a "tradition" we should change, especially if my mother-in-law is in attendance. I mean, how do you even explain something like that in a way that makes sense? My mother was confounded that I wanted to change the way we've always done it. My sister was the hero, calmly clearing a non-bathroom turkey resting spot and insisting it would work just as well. It did. I think the best part of Thanksgiving was the turkey shaped birthday cake my sister made in honor of Dusty's birthday. It was all kinds of delicious.

The rest of my long weekend was all mountain bike rides, sleeping in, watching too much television, making a pile of holiday-show jewelry. On Saturday Kate and I did some shopping and then met up for coffee with some of my coven (Kenny calls the Craft Mafia ladies my witches, which I think is funny) and then trotted home to make soup. On Sunday I woke up (9-ish! So awesome) and it was about 40 degrees and pouring down rain. It was nature's way of telling me to finish painting the damn hallway. I really want to paint my bathroom (yeah, the one I got skim-coated back in June, shut up) but I told myself I had to finish the hallway first. I think I started painting the living room (and by extension, the hallway) back in 2005 or 2006. I stopped at the end of the hallway wall on the right and just never picked it back up. I finally primed the last chunk of it a month or two ago and yesterday, finally, rays of light and angels on high, I fucking finished it. Even the ceiling.

Now, I wasn't actually planning on painting the ceiling even though it looked bad because it seemed like it would be a pain in the ass. Plus, who even looks at the ceiling? However, when Kate came over Saturday and I showed her what I was going to do the very first thing she did was look up and say, "Are you going to paint the ceiling too?" Uh, yeah, I guess I am now. So I did. And it was a pain in the ass but it looks so much better.

The wall part of the project went really quickly - 20 minutes tops. The other four hours was spent painting trim and doors. Can you wrap your mind around a tiny L-shaped hallway with FIVE doors? Five doors with inset panels and fussy bead trim. Plus base boards and door jams. Oh, and with doors you think you're finished and then you remember the other freaking side of the door which hasn't been painted or primed and is still the same muddy grey-blue color that pervaded the house when you moved in. I have spent the past five years trying to eradicate that color from our house and keep finding sneaky little pockets of it. It's everywhere! WHY.

This is what I'm talking about:

OMG, right? This is what our living room looked like when we moved in. So much primer, people. SO MUCH PRIMER NEEDED. And now it looks like this:

And this is the hallway before:


And now, ta-da:

So, see? I abandoned you all for a good reason. Next up I'll be painting my bathroom two different shades of turquoise. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Toothy Time.

Things have been rough around our house lately - more bad news than we can handle, but nothing I feel like discussing in blogland. Instead I think I should tell you about the continuing saga of my dental adventures. If you want to read about what happened the last time I had dental adventures, go here. or here. or here. or here.

YEAH. I don't mess around. Anyway, I had another between-the-teeth cavity needing filling, so last Tuesday morning I dropped my car off for new tires (ugh) and walked the two blocks to my dentist's office. I like to compound all my unpleasant chores, I guess. I'd taken half an Ativ@n in the hopes that it would render me calm enough to not have a panic attack or anything but in retrospect I should have taken three. It started out unpleasantly enough, with the numbing gel and then the horrible needle gun thing. The dentist was using a different system (I was told) that was less invasive, but had to be injected approximately 1 million times in small increments. Inject. Inject. Inject. Inject. I couldn't feel pain, but I could feel the weird pressure and taste the Novocaine and my entire body was tensed up. When he pulled the needle out I felt this horrible pressure-release sensation and started to get the clammy first sign that things were not going to go well.

The dentist asked if I was okay and I said the release sensation was really freaky.

"Oh, that's nothing! The needle I used to use way, way longer and..."


"Okay! I'm going back in for just a bit more. I want to make sure you're really numb."

That's all I remember. When I opened my eyes I remember looking up and seeing strangers looking at me and I had no clue, no fucking clue, where I was or who those people were. It took me a full minute to figure it out. I'd passed out cold and when I did I went somewhere else entirely. I think I actually dreamed a bit while I was out. Only me.

After that I was fine and he did the whole cavity drilling, filling, tamping, curing thing. I got a composite filling and spent the rest of the day feeling like someone had punched me in the face. The general soreness wore off, but the pain and bite sensitivity was still there. Plus, I couldn't get floss in between the filled tooth and the one behind it. It hurt and the floss shredded. Grand. SO, I went back today to get it filed down. The top part was fine, but to get the fit right between the teeth involved thin strips of metal that were sawed back and forth between my teeth. STRIPS OF METAL. The thinnest variety kept snapping in half so he used the next size up and it mothereffing hurt. The only saving grace was the dentist was convinced I was going to faint again so he'd SAW SAW SAW then back off for a second to let me recover.

A couple of times I made sad little hyena shrieky noises because what else could I do? I really wanted to get punchy but you can't punch your dentist. You can, however, shriek a little bit. Thankfully no small children were in the office at the time, but I'm sure the guy in the next room was delighted. Sorry, dude. If someone was sawing metal bits between your teeth, you'd shriek too.

Thankfully, it's all over and everything seems to be in order. I'm still a little sore but at least I can eat without pain. Woo! Bring on the candy apples, bitches.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Night Postage.

What up? I've just had my post-Friday workday glass of wine and also have just read the latest installment of Mr. Baby Elephant, and excellent new blog written by an old friend of mine. You should check it out:

It's about a baby elephant who works in a clothing factory in Cambodia. I am not making this up. It's riveting.

Coming soon: I shall tell you about another disastrous dentist appointment in which I pass out cold.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wild Wildlife.

On the local news it's been reported that there has been a lion sighted in the city and surrounding county area. Lion. Sightings. A serious, no shit, full-sized lion walking around in the city. The best part is, nobody has reported a lion missing. Where the hell did the lion come from? If you had a lion, wouldn't you notice if it were missing? I mean, it's not like when you misplace your favorite pen or something.

"Dude, have you seen my lion?"

"Your lion? No idea. Have you looked for it?"

"Yeah, I can't find it anywhere. It's not on the front hall table or under the couch or anywhere."

"Huh. I'm sure it'll turn up."

The best part is that there seems to be the implication that people are making this up because nobody has actually gotten a photo of it. This is totally ridiculous because I looked through a bunch of photos on the digital camera and and that fucking lion has been everywhere, eating all our steak and ruining our shots. Get a life, lion dude.

Here she is in Carytown cutting in line at the Byrd in Carytown:

And here she is at the library where I work (stalk much, Elsa?)

And here she is scoping out the real estate in Oregon Hill:

And seriously, I don't even remember seeing her on the trail during this ride, but she managed to get in the shot:

(Glad I can ride fast!)

Later on she completely ruined this photo:

And OMG, get the hell away from my cookies, LION:

I'm so over this asshole.

(special thanks to my honey for his photo skillz!)