Saturday, September 29, 2007

10. Soot Black

He fell out of my flue today...perfectly preserved. At first I thought it was a crow, but after comparing pictures, I'm pretty sure he's a sparrow.
I call him "Sooty".

Friday, September 28, 2007

9. Yarn Fuzz

I have an overwhelming need to crawl out of my own skin today. I feel caged. But I'm tired. I don't really want to walk, but I'm frustrated feeling so pent up. I can't stay sitting on the couch, but I don't feel like leaving. I'm actually considering vacuuming just to have something to do. Yeah...actually...vacuuming works. I'll do that.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

8. Now Hiring

now hiring:
thoughts, ramblings, general malaise...rubber chickens.
inquire within, apply today.
while you're here, perhaps you could use a new (only very lightly used) set of golf clubs?
also for sale:
old pots, corn cob pipes, photographs, knick knacks,
typewriter keys currently missing their typewriters -
solid metal, black, circa 1924;
now seeking a quiet home to while away their twilight years.
feel free to leave your application on the counter once you've finished.
the management has stepped out and won't be back anytime soon.
positions are filled bi-weekly and on half-moon tuesdays.
no no no. no phone calls.
prospective employees may expect
to receive notification via postcard post-haste-post-breakfasting hours.

don't hold your breath.
it only makes you look desperate, and no one wants to see that, now do they?
no, i thought not.

Monday, September 10, 2007

6. Mediocre Monday

I feel like I may be entering another dry period. I do this sometimes, and it drives me batshit. It's like all the creativity is sapped out of me and all I have the energy to do is lay in the floor and watch the ceiling.
Usually I can get myself moving again by drowning myself in a bottle of wine, but it's not helping today. I feel dead.
This is the piece of me I despise. The part that holds me down. I could be brilliant, I think...but then I lose it. I don't really have any idea what I was going to be brilliant about, but I could be dammit, if it weren't for this lingering sensation of mediocrity. I just have no energy to be anything but a sack of...
I have no idea what I'm a sack of. I was going to say potatoes, but I felt it would be insulting a perfectly innocent tuber.

I'm going out of town next week. It'll be a fantastic road trip, and I'll photo, and see places I've never been before, and I'll get to talk to my brother, who always inspires me. Maybe that'll shake me out of this slump, I don't know. Fucking Mondays. They should just abolish them already.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

5. Dessert Woe

I realized today that I have made dessert maybe twice in my entire life. I've baked cakes, cookies, made pudding...easy things. But dessert is like this strange sort of beast I hadn't really considered before.

At noon I was informed that I should be responsible for bringing a dessert to dinner at a friend's, and they'd like us to come up with a side dish if possible too. Oh, and we're supposed to be there at 4. I thought cobbler would be a fancy sort of food that wouldn't be too difficult, and I found this easy beginner's version of a blackberry cobbler on I was thinking blackberries were in season right now, and should be easy to come by. Yeah...they aren't.

We tried Safeway, Trader Joe's, and finally Albertson's before finding blackberries for sale fresh. $3 a carton didn't seem like a bad price, until we realized we needed $18 worth of berries for this recipe. Instead, we grabbed a bag of frozen blackberries in the pie filling section and thawed them (still inside their bag submerged in a bowl of water) as best we could before hand.

By the time I went to assemble the cobbler, the berries were still mostly frozen, and really wet. I drained them twice before mixing in the other ingredients, but it still seems soupy. And just as I finished placing the top crust onto the berries, and pressing down the edges, I realized I forgot to drop the little cubes of butter down in the berries.

This thing is going to be awful.

September 10, 2007, 5:20am:

I am delighted to say that the cobbler was not awful. On the contrary, it was effing delicious. Effing. With a big capital EFF. Everyone liked it, it didn't fall apart at all, and it was still steaming hot when we served it. I couldn't be more thrilled.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

4. Cat Nap

you easy sleeper,
9 lives spent sprawled in the sun-
how i envy you.

3. No-show

Sometimes I can be such a flake.

This morning we woke up at 6, showered and got ready, dug out any semblance of an identification tag we could find for each of the dogs, and dashed out the door for the Pawswalk. We were running a little late, but we hit the McDonald's drive thru and arrived in Redmond only about 15 minutes after we were supposed to meet the Flickr Dogs team.

For some reason, maybe because I have a serious cold, or maybe because the sun was brighter than usual and refracting in blinding patterns off my sludgy windshield, everything looked wrong to me. I've been to Marymoor multiple times this summer, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out where the entrance to the park was, or where the offleash area was once we were inside. We finally found the back entrance to the offleash park at 8:00, parked, and began walking through the park to the main lot.

I had called my team members repeatedly to find out where to meet them, and by the time we arrived, they had already checked in and moved on to the vendor booths. We headed up the road where they told us to meet them. Only after walking almost 10 minutes, all I could see was a soccer tournament. There was no sign of a dog related event anywhere.

I called again and described where I was, to the Flickr gang's confusion. They knew the park well and couldn't recall any soccer fields or rock climbing areas like I described. They eventually figured out I was describing Marymoor, not Magnusen. After 3 months of checking the Pawswalk website multiple times a week, and more recently reviewing it in detail for the schedule of events, I never once realized I was misreading Magnusen as Marymoor.

I don't even know where Magnusen is. I don't like that park much, so I've only been there twice I think. I was having trouble breathing because my cold has settled into my chest, and I just didn't feel up to hunting for another dog park. So I told them I wasn't coming. We were already at a park, and our dogs were having a pretty fantastic morning just running around. They let me off the phone in a kind of exasperated, you're an idiot kind of way. But whatever.

I'm just not good with events and itineraries, and making plans so far in advance. I like to do things as they suit my mood. And today, standing there in the middle of a field soaking in the sunshine, I felt really happy.

We did manage to raise $230 for Paws, counting the two matched contributions from my work. By not showing up, we saved the $25 out of each of our donation funds that would have been designated to t-shirts and bandanas for our dogs, so that's $50 that won't be wasted on something silly.

I guess I'm not that upset with myself. I do feel flakey. I let down some strangers, but I feel like I made my dog's morning. I'll take Frank's happiness over theirs any day of the week.

Friday, September 7, 2007

2. Wretched Cold

Oooh my gosh, I am sick. I'm worse than I was earlier today, and I'm worried about the Pawswalk tomorrow. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do 5k. I can hardly breathe and I keep feeling really flushed and dizzy for a minute, and then it passes.
I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

1. Get Thrifted

I spent a fair part of my evening attempting to get a decent photo of this dress...unfortunately, this was about as nice a shot as I could get with my digital camera.* I stumbled upon this most excellent find at the Value Village 1/2 off Labor Day sale on Monday, which cost me a mere $5. The ribbon belt actually came from another dress I already own, as the belt for this dress is missing. I plan to buy a piece of ribbon from the fabric store to attach to the piece permanently, to prevent any further belt-losses.

I also picked up a pair of Gap jeans for another $5, which were about 3-4" too long, but I think they look quite nice with an upturned cuff to compensate.

Two weeks before that, I found another 2 pairs of jeans for $5 each at the same thrift store. Sadly, one of the two pairs shrunk when I put it through the dryer, but for $5, I really can't complain. I've ruined so many more expensive pairs of jeans doing the very same. This time, instead of hating myself for wasting $30-40 on a pair of jeans I was able to wear once, I can say I donated $5 to charity, and send the shrunken pair back to the thrift store to find a third home, guilt free. Ealier the same day at Goodwill I picked up an Indian scarf in a deep scarlet for $3, a compilation of three books by Woody Allen for $2, and a copy of "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac for a dollar.

It's really exciting to think I've developed a shopping habit that for once, I can afford. Besides thrift stores, I've spent my summer prowling garage sales, finding all sorts of interesting things. Mostly books, all of which were in surprisingly good condition. But I've also found a house plant in an adorable pot ($2) and a brand new jacket ($2.50) which I've already worn several times.

Sadly, the end of summer brings with it an end to the garage sale season. I do plan to continue hitting the thrift stores on a frequent basis, however. For as long as I can remember, I've never been able to afford more than a few pairs of jeans at a time. By the time I had enough money to go shopping again, my clothes were nearly worn out or ruined, and I'd have to replace what I had rather than add to my wardrobe. If I'm able to find such inexpensive jeans already broken in and dryer safe, or other pieces to mix into the rotation of what I buy new, I may be able to compile a relatively full set of clothes for the first time ever, and in only a matter of months.
An exciting prospect indeed...

*Note to self: Your digital camera doesn't appear to take very nice photographs. Perhaps you should consider purchasing a new one?