Sunday, December 28, 2008

82. SCORE.



I was feeling particularly cooped up and miserable last night, which led to my rummaging through the clearance room of DSW in search of something to make me smile. I happened upon these, and smile I did. I've been wanting a pair of vintage inspired t-straps for months, and these fit the image in my head perfectly. Now if only the weather will improve enough for me to wear them out of the house.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

81. Poocher

You ever get the impression your dog understands way more than he's letting on?
He knows all my secrets, yet he still seems to prefer my company over anybody else's.

Merry Christmas, PS.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

80. It's Snowing in Seattle

Tonight in Seattle, we're somewhere near the center of a 100 mile wide blizzard...

The following are some shots I snagged of the intersection of Denny and Melrose, as we were walking back to our car from Meghann and Steve's cocktail party. The entire hill had been taken over by sledders after being closed to traffic.





79. Mongoloid Whale Soap

The last sliver of our soap developed a face today...



He's happy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

78. New Project

I've been wanting to start a second blog with a more specific direction for a while now. Being that I am a terribly scattered person, this blog runs every which way at once, and as a result, is really only suitable for an audience of people who actually know me. The new one is just going to be a dream journal. You can find it here: Lucid Somniloquy

Sunday, December 14, 2008

77. To be clear

The following image will illustrate the clearances required by government lavatory sinks in order to be considered handicap accessible.



Now you know. Please use this information responsibly.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

76. Pent up twenty-something seeks creative release

I'm having one of those days in which I am utterly bored, but apparently unable to find anything that could entertain me. I feel as though I'm spilling over with completely undirected creative energy, and I've no where to put it. Usually when this happens, I take silly self portraits with my digital camera to entertain myself. But my battery is dead and I can't seem to find the charger.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

75. Misterlou

I finally managed to get a photo of my friend Louie today.
Pretty handsome, don't you think?



We had a really great ride tonight. So great, I fell off twice.

As I mentioned before, Louie used to be a racehorse. But you wouldn't be able to tell if you watched him in a lesson. I usually have to beg him to move at all. Today, maybe because it was so cold, he suddenly woke up half way through our ride and really started flying. We were communicating a lot better than usual, and we were taking some really decent little jumps. *Tiny* jumps, but every jump is exciting to me...

The first time I bit it was due to a small misunderstanding. We had just covered three closely spaced poles in a row, and Louie got really excited. As we rounded the bend, he thought we were going to take the remaining two, and I didn't realize it until we were almost on top of them. I lost my balance and nearly landed in a fence post. At the last moment, Louie swerved, and I managed to avoid impaling myself.
Instead I landed directly on my head.

It effing hurt. It wasn't Louie's fault, it just happened too quickly, and I didn't react in time.

I got right back on, determined to do it again. I asked for a canter, and he immediately took off.
This was a bad choice.
He was still really excited from the first run-through, and immediately picked up a lot of speed. He went flying over the three poles again, like he really meant it, and by the third pole, was going so fast he actually started to get away from me. I lost my balance, over-compensated, and flew over his head in a somersault across the ground.

This time it didn't hurt at all, and as I was lying on the ground staring at the ceiling, I realized that I actually felt better than I did before I fell. Like I'd rolled my brains back into their proper placement or something. So I climbed back on and walked the rest of the lesson to calm him down.

How is it that I have 3 straight weeks in a row in which I don't fall off, but don't seem to accomplish anything either, and then have what is probably a really terrible lesson, but feel amazing afterward?

I feel like I got somewhere today, even if I did eat dirt twice in a row. I've been stuck for weeks now, not making any progree at all, and today felt productive. It was awesome.

And Louie was definitely pleased with himself.

Besides, how could you be mad at his puppy face?
video

You just can't.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

74. It's raining.

Which I love, especially since it's giving me the perfect excuse to hole up in my bedroom and start watching Sex and the City from the very beginning. I promised myself that I wouldn't see the movie until I'd seen the entire series from start to finish. I imagine that it's entirely unnecessary, but that's the plan. I'm three episodes in and I'm completely hooked all over again.

Yep...
It's gonna be a good day. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

73. Domestic Goddess

This week I've been searching for new ways to play and/or fill my time creatively. I finally gathered the nerve to try baking bread, and discovered it isn't nearly so intimidating as I'd previously believed. I think kneading the dough is the part I love best. I like the way the dough feels on my hands, and the way the yeast smells.

Monday I baked my first loaf of actual bread, after discovering a very simple recipe for focaccia in our Big Book of Breakfast cookbook. I want to make it again the next time anyone drops in for dinner. The end result was really sort of elegant.

I'm hoping to try something new this weekend, so if anyone has a favorite they'd like to pass along, feel free to add it to my comments section.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

72. And the records went round and round...

12 traded in cds means that 5 new lps have come to dwell at our house...











I can't wait to lug the rest of my cd collection back to Sonic Boom!

Friday, November 28, 2008

71. Environmentally Delicious!

Say hello to my new favorite vodka:



Matt and I stumbled upon 360 tonight when Matt mentioned that he had a serious craving for a good bloody mary. As we were picking through the vodka section together, our hands landed on this bottle at the exact same time. It was just too pretty to pass up.

Upon closer examination, we were delighted to find ourselves holding one of the most planet-conscious alcohols we've ever seen. According to their label, the bottle is comprised of 85% recycled glass, and their labels are 100% post consumer waste paper. The bottle even comes with a postage paid envelope so you can mail the stopper back to them for recycling. The vodka itself is not organic, but after reading through their literature, you certainly can't argue that the distillery isn't doing its part to reduce their eco-footprint.

Pretty packaging and good citizenship aside, it was the taste that made the biggest impression. 360 is super smooth, making it the perfect mixer. The scent wafting from the bottle reminded me of a white russian. It concocted one killer bloody mary, and quite possibly the only vodka martini I've ever enjoyed. I love martinis, but I've always preferred Tanqueray gin, and have never been able to drink one straight-up. 360 is so smooth I could probably drink it right out of the bottle (not that I would, of course). But it was pretty refreshing. Like glacial water with a little kick.

For $24, I gotta say...I don't think you're going to regret it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

70. Consolation Pizza...

...Was freakin' awesome! The dough froze really well, and thawed pretty quickly. For being the most basic recipe I could find, it tasted pretty fantastic. I can't wait to make more.

This weekend we're going to make another one with our turkey leftovers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

69. Doughball

On a whim this afternoon driving home, I stopped at the Indian market near my house to grab some yeast, dead set on making myself a beautiful pizza for dinner.

Unfortunately, I dove fists-first into my [rather satisfying] doughy kneadings without taking a moment to read over the full recipe. I'm 40 minutes into the first hour and a half long segment of rising, or resting, or whatever bakers refer to this as. Just as it'll be time to divide, pummel, and re-wrap for dough-yoga session two (only an hour that round), I have to be dashing out the door for my riding lesson.

This is why I am a poor chef.
No pizza for me today.

Fortunately, my Love is kind and willing to clean up after me. If everything freezes ok, we might at least get to have consolation prize pizza for tomorrow's dinner.

Friday, November 21, 2008

68. Sighs...

Last night my lesson was with my dear friend Louie. He falls right in the middle of frustrating and easy, which makes him a lot of fun to ride. He's like a big goofy dog, and our arguments are challenging and satisfying more than they are infuriating.

I want to do nothing but ride horses for the rest of eternity. There is nothing else quite so deeply satisfying in all the universe. There just aren't enough words to describe how happy it makes me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

67. Ps, And Then There Was You

Hot damn! I said aloud.
My participle's refuge looks more like you before the makeup.

Note to self:
These beans were baked too long.
You know it and I know it, and if you don't care, then fine.

Let's all have a sample of your aftertaste, shan't we?
Wait, won't we?
No, let's not, but we could.
Or so you said we might before you were half past Tuesday.

In all genuine honesty, I can't come in.
You're just peachy, in case you were wondering.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

66. My Shiny New Red Bicycle



It cost a little more than I'd originally planned, but I couldn't pass it up. Schwinn is the stuff that bicycle dreams are made of...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

65. Home

Vacation was lovely. All sorts of adventurous and pushing me to my limits of acceptable cleanliness. But it was good for me. I met new and excellent people, did and saw awesome things, and felt very much alive.

I am very happy to be home though. My cats were thrilled to see me, and my dog was beside himself. Even the rats were on hind legs straining to see who was there and if they might perhaps leave them a yogurt treat. Everyone is pleased.

I need to hold on to my creative energies and do something valid with them. I always reach this point, after a time away from work, where I feel like I am flooding over with ideas and the motivation to create. But then I get home, and the grind resumes, and the energy dissipates until next vacation.

I want to keep it this time.
And for starters, I am going to buy myself a bike.

Monday, November 3, 2008

64. Woo-hoo!



I'm feeling pretty optimistic about the future this morning.
I'm not expecting miracles. He's a human being, and he isn't going to be perfect. But I am proud of my country for trying to become something better. I am excited to see what happens. I'm nervous too, but for the most part I'm just relieved.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

63. Fall/Winter Inspirations

I've begun to notice a definite pattern in the looks I'm attracted to for fall. I always love love love layers, and I'm finding myself equally drawn to black tights and heels, unusual hats, and long textured gloves. Whatever makes you cozy I suppose...

Here are my favorite inspirations of late:

By Donna Karan:


Rodnik:

I actually disliked the majority of this collection, particularly one pink shift dress that reminded me of a Star Trek convention. But I thought this one was pretty adorable.

Nina Ricci:


Missoni:

I really loved the look of this one, but the length could be more...substantial. I am sure there are plenty of women brave enough to wear a dress this short, but I am unfortunately not one of them. Then again, I like to be able to do things like bend and sit down.

Jovovich-Hawk:

Have I mentioned I love buttons? Because I do.

Iceberg:

This one is futuristic radness. It makes me happy.

And finally, by Burberry:





This last one is my favorite of the three Burberry looks. I love that shade of blue.

I'm hoping to be able to find some similar pieces while thrifting, but I don't have a lot of hope for crocheted/knitted dresses. I am also still on the hunt for fitted vests and super tailored trousers, but so far, I haven't had a lot of luck in the land of gently used items. I did find one supremely awesome navy blue velvet vest for $2, but am struggling to find the right shirt to wear it with.

I had pictured something a bit like Yuki, from Asobi Seksu:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

62. Note to self

It is fall, and time for the purchasing of many new tights.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

61. Pinkness

Pink is a lovely color, and I am rather fond of it in a variety of applications. But when exactly did it become fashionable for a straight man to wear pink in all seriousness? A pocket square is one thing, or maybe some pale pink pinstripes in your charcoal grey tie. It does seem a shame that an entire gender be banned from the vicinity of a certain color based on socially accepted connotations. And I am all for gender-bending, when executed properly. A little eyeliner on the right man is truly a thing of beauty...

But a pastel pink polo paired with khakis and loafers? How can you possibly expect me to take you seriously in a business environment when you are dressed to resemble an oversized piece of fluffy cotton candy? I applaud you for being so secure in your masculinity, but honestly. You just look ridiculous.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

60. The Graveyard Book Tour

As of last night, I have checked off three people I rather admire from my "must someday see in person list". Actually, that's a lie, I don't really have a list. But when the opportunity presents itself to see a truly imaginative and inspiring author speak in an intimate sort of setting, I cannot resist. For a voracious bookworm, it is rather like attending a concert to see your favorite band.

Last year I was lucky enough to get to see Yann Martel, the author of Life of Pi, and Chris Elliott, star of one of my all time favorite movies, Cabin Boy (who was on tour for his book Into Hot Air). And now to the list I can add Neil Gaiman, who was in town promoting his newest, The Graveyard Book.



We bought a signed hardback copy, though I'm not sure how legitimate the signature looks, since Neil broke one of the fingers on his book signing hand while wandering in China last month. The copies were all pre-signed because of the way Neil's running this tour. Rather than talk for an hour and then sign books and meet fans all night, he's removed the fan line (which I honestly find to be sort of impersonal and awkward anyway) and instead spoke for nearly 3 hours. There were some complaints from people who wanted to meet him, but I'd much rather hear him speak than stand in line for hours on end for two minutes of small talk.

The University Cathedral's wooden pews have to be the most uncomfortable seats in existence, but the setting was really suited to the tone of his books. The medieval-style chandeliers lit the room with a cozy glow, and the purple stained glass windows were back lit from the street lamps outside. I'm not sure you could find a more perfect place to spend a rainy Friday night in Seattle.

He spent about the first hour or so reading an exert from the book. Afterward we got to see previews of the movie version of his graphic novel Coraline, which is supposed to be released February 6, 2009. Here's the teaser, which is currently the only video I think is available right now. The longer clips and trailers haven't been released yet because Neil wants to show them exclusively at the stops on his tour first.



According to Henry Selick, there's about two and a half minutes left of stop motion animation to film before Coraline is finished. It looks amazing; I'm super excited to see it. I wish I had the longer trailer to post.

The last hour or so was devoted to a Q&A session. I never know what to ask an author, so I always just listen. But the Q&A is easily my favorite portion. I love to hear their perspective and how they write. Neil is a genuinely nice person with a very charming sense of humor and a soothing sort of voice that's easy to listen to.

He made me question why I haven't committed to writing something myself. Not that I think it would be any good, as I'm terrible with coming up with any sort of plot. I also feel like I don't have much time to hole up alone, as planned reclusiveness is definitely a requirement if you hope to get anything productive done. But I do play with the idea, and hope that someday I'll manage to do something about it.

I suppose the point is that I don't have much excuse. I did find time to write this blog, after all.

Monday, September 29, 2008

59. Yum Yum Yum!



My stomach is still recovering from a weekend of competitive eating. I am admittedly rather plump today.

For breakfast Saturday morning, I tried out this recipe I saw on "Party Line with the Hearty Boys". It's the most ridiculous show on Food Network, hosted by a pitifully preppy gay couple whose awkwardness isn't as endearing as it is painful to watch. Which I assume is why they're on at 4 in the morning...

The recipe came out great though, it's a keeper for sure. I made a few alterations (gotta make it my own, you know). Instead of prosciutto, I used a couple leaves of baby spinach and crumbled sausage. And I topped the egg with grated asiago instead of parmesan. It was hard to tell when the eggs were done, so I left them in for 17 minutes. They ended up cooked all the way through, so I'll have to reduce the cooking time when I try them again this weekend. They're supposed to be a little soft in the middle so they melt all over the other fillings when you cut into them. But even slightly overdone, they were delicious and very impressive looking.

Saturday afternoon Matt and I pigged out at Ruby's diner in the mall. I had a huge Double Vanilla shake and polished off a plate of Buffalo Chicken too. Piggie! That night we went to Meghann and Steve's dinner party, so I really should have passed on the afternoon meal and gone for a lighter snack.

Dinner was a fabulous three course meal plus dessert. The starter was a very finely pureed gazpacho served in a champagne glass and topped with mandolin-thin (but which Darron had sliced entirely by hand) cheese, asian pear, and I think cucumber? Now I don't remember for sure. And topped by ribbons of fresh basil. Yum!

Next was steamed mussels served with a delicious tartar sort of sauce that I would happily eat alone with a spoon. The mussels were HUGE and perfectly cooked.

The main course was roast chickens (a pile of them), served with white rice and a sort of eggplant ratatoullie, for lack of a better description. And also a tasty pile of sauteed greens. *Scrumptious* I really thought I was going to burst afterward. My stomach was so full that I actually got a really painful stitch in my side like I'd been jogging or something. Fortunately, I was able to recover enough over the next hour or two that I found some space to fit dessert. Pumpkin bread pudding drizzled in caramel sauce and topped with vanilla ice cream.

Meghann and Steve are awesome hosts, the whole night was super impressive. I can't believe they were able to pull off dinner for something like 15 people, and have the food come out tasting like they'd made it for 2. We tried serving 10 or so people last Thanksgiving, and overall, I really felt the quality of the food suffered as a result. Though having a larger kitchen would certainly help.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling exhausted and fairly hungover, so Matt made me the perfect breakfast to help me recover. A chorizo scramble served over home made tortilla chips. I felt much better after that, but managed to slip in a nap with the dogs anyway. An hour later I woke up to the sound of leaves rustling in the trees outside my window and realized I was wasting what may be one of the last summery days of the year.

We spent the afternoon canoeing around the Arboretum at UW. Our date was rained out last Saturday, so it was nice to get a second chance. We paddled around riding the waves of bigger boats and passing through groups of ducks. At the back of the Arboretum was a little hidden loop where we found a Blue Heron. We stopped our canoe a few feet away and watched him hunt a fish for a while. He seemed used to being around people, so we were able to sit close enough to have a good view without disturbing him.

Rowing works up quite an apetite, and Matt was beginning to get a little sunburnt, so we headed home after about an hour and a half. For dinner we used the leftover wonton wrappers to make steamed dumplings stuffed with pork and shrimp (among other things). Matt caught an episode of Tyler Florence that featured Martin Yan (Of "Yan Can Cook") recently, and he's had a bit of an obsession with dumplings ever since. I am entirely fine with this, as I think I could probably live on dumplings alone. We're going to try another batch as soon as possible. The plan is to make larger quantities and freeze them for easy weeknight dinners.

After a weekend like that, my stomach is in need of a serious vacation. It is now Monday morning and I am STILL full. Perhaps I should exercise.

"When I up, down and touch the ground
It puts me in the mood,
Up, down and touch the ground
In the mood for food

I am stout, round and I have found
Speaking poundage wise
I improve my appetite
When I exercise..."
-Pooh

Thursday, September 18, 2008

58. That's Gonna Leave a Mark...

Tonight I rode a horse named Guinness. Much like the beer he is tall, dark and handsome. I kind of loved him. For the record, that's 5 different horses in 6 lessons. Not that I'm complaining. I like getting to know the different horses, it's giving me a chance to see what sorts of personalities I get along with and which I don't. Sometimes it's frustrating because I spend most of the lesson figuring out exactly what it is I'm sitting on, but today was not one of those days.

Guinness is a perfect gentleman, except he has a bit of a flare for practical jokes. To illustrate: I'm picking out his left hind foot when I feel a tail swish against my ear. The next thing I know, he's pooping in my general direction. Were it not for my tingling Spidey senses suggesting I move out of the way [post haste], that poop would have been directly on my head.

Anyway, we get into the ring, and we're having a pretty decent ride. I decided to ditch my gloves this week because I have to carry a crop with Guinness, and as I discovered with Tucky the Narcolept last week, crops are difficult to get a grip on when you're sporting a pair of sweaty mitts. Guinness is a little lazy, but we seem to be communicating well, and I only have to pop him a couple of times to establish myself as navigator.

Around 45 minutes into the lesson, we reach the comfort level of cantering. Cantering is entirely too much fun, but can get out of hand rather quickly. Guinness is a pretty tall guy, with long gorgeous strides, and as soon as he decides to wake up, we're clipping along at speeds I am not so secure in.

Two other riders are having a private lesson in the same arena, so traffic is a bit thick at times. One girl is probably 9, on a sort of stubborn pony. I keep hearing her yell "Trot on!" as I pass. I think they argued the entire hour. The other girl is a blonde named Mary, who looks early twenties, and seems to be a few months ahead of me in skill. She's riding a grey horse named Joy and taking beginner jumps up to maybe a foot and a half. Guinness and I are tracking to the right, and so is the 9 year old, but they're walking. Mary and Joy are cantering in the opposite direction, hitting 3 or 4 jumps on each loop.

The next thing I know, the three of us converge, with Guinness and I in the middle. Joy is apparently pretty intimidating, because she makes a nasty face at Guinness, and he veers to the right. At the same time, we're quickly approaching a pole lying on the ground, and Guinness has no idea what to do. He can't tell if I'm asking him to jump it, ram Joy head on, or fly up the pony's rear. So he throws on the brakes and trips over his own legs. I see it coming, but it's too late to hang on. I just kick my feet out of the stirrups and dive off to the right.

Tomorrow is going to hurt. Lauren (my instructor) said I fell really gracefully and practically landed on my feet. She lies, but it was nice of her to say anyway. In reality, I landed on my ass, and caught myself with my left arm. My arm is sore from my elbow to my wrist, and my back and neck feel a little jarred. Nothing bad though. It was sort of like jumping off a swing from high up when you're going really fast, and not landing it at all.

I'm kind of glad it happened. I knew I was going to get tossed eventually, and in the back of my mind I was starting to build it up into something much scarier than it was. But it really wasn't so bad. It felt like it was happening in slow motion, so I had plenty of time to react. Now I just need to learn not to land on my arms.

57. Good Morning, Grey Sky

It's starting to look like fall around here I think.
The weather has been gorgeous, but I noticed this week that the grass is starting to be covered in a freckling of crispy leaves. One of the trees outside my house even has some tinges of red at the ends of its branches.

I'm a little sad that summer is ending. I was really enjoying the sunshine and perfect weather. Also, the wearing of floppy bare feet shoes is quite nice for the ease of kicking them off to scrunch my toes in the grass at the park. But fall is I think my very favorite season, so I can't be too disappointed. It's nearly time for cozy cups of chai tea and jackets, and pumpkins and warm kitcheny sorts of baking smells. I missed the fog that's returned this morning to loom outside my window. I think that must be why I'm so sleepy today...

I'm looking forward to this weekend a lot. I took Monday off for my last vacation day until I get more in October. I expect it will be oh so nice to sleep in and decompress after a very busy two weeks. I'm not even sure what was so busy about them really. My brother came to visit, but that wasn't really the busy part. It seems like I've been running lots of errands every day and not getting to do much else until last night. Matt and I walked to have some dinner at the Mongolian Grill down the street, and did some grocery shopping at the discount outlet. Afterward we walked the dogs for a while, though I'm not sure it was enough for the Frank-dog. He spent the rest of the night trying to get the cats to run so he could chase and tackle them.

It is my hope to spend my 3 days of my mini-vacation relaxing and putting myself back together in proper order. On Saturday Matt is taking me on a date, unless something happens to postpone it again. We're going for a canoe ride at the Arboretum after a happy breakfast out. We were supposed to go last Saturday, but there was a Huskies game, so the park was closed I guess. I wish the film I ordered would arrive beforehand, because I read that the park is exceptionally lovely. But it isn't due until next Wednesday-ish, so I may just have to bring the point and shoot instead. I suppose that's a better idea anyway; I'd be much more upset if I were to drop my AE-1 into the lake.

On Sunday we're disc golfing with Meghann & Steve, which I have never tried. Apparently it is nothing like frisbee, and shame on me for comparing the two...
I hope that to be the case, because I am a terrible frisbee-er.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

56. Truly Disconcerting Odors on the Rampage



I swear to you, there are Broccoli Zombies roaming the air vents in my office...
The stench is unbearable.

It is also a relatively slow day at work.

Monday, September 8, 2008

55. Rubble Monster



I feel as though I am falling apart today.
My insides are all crumbly and my chest is so tight and nervous that I think it has begun to restrict the oxygen getting to my brain. I feel dizzy and panicky.
Must escape to rock cave to hide, before there is nothing left of me.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

54. Regarding Democracy and the Coming Election Day

I've just finished watching Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Joe Biden's speeches from the democratic convention. If you did not get a chance to see Bill Clinton's speech, I encourage you to do so.

In fact, here you go:


While I thought all of the speeches were good, I feel like this is the one everyone should see. If you can get through this and still choose a crusty old stuttering warmonger as our president, I sincerely have to wonder about you and what you imagine this country can be.

I'm not usually a person who follows politics, or feels particularly strongly about any given election. But this campaign has done it for me. I am officially swept up. I wish election day weren't on a work night, because I would feel compelled to host a Super Bowl style election party to watch the coverage with snacks and all the play by play action. I am sick to death of Republican bullshit, and I am excited that happier times could be around the corner. I am also terrified that McCain will lead us straight for WW3 without a second's hesitation.

I don't care that we could be electing the first black president of America, though it's amazing that the civil rights movement has come so far. And I don't care that Obama is young for a president, because age is not equivalent to experience or wisdom. What I do care about is that Barack Obama has the intelligence to try and find a balance between extremes, in which everyone can exist harmoniously. Like the one Jedi who brings balance to the force...

It is obvious that he puts a lot of thought into his words and actions, and I feel confident that he will make wise decisions. I don't feel I am voting for a puppet, or that he is lying to my face. For the first time ever, I feel good about a politician, and I am hopeful that things will start to get better.

Fingers crossed that my fellow Americans will agree.
mX (O__o) Xm

Friday, August 22, 2008

53. Truly Fearsome.



"They are vengeful!"

I feel like this director has seen Best in Show a few too many times. If the entire documentary *pardon*...dogumentary, is as hysterical as this trailer makes out, I have to see it. Dog show people are crazy.

Wiener Takes All

Thursday, August 21, 2008

52. Cheesie Pleasied-ness

I had a really good lesson today. It feels pretty awesome.

Friday, August 15, 2008

51. In Search of Lost Treasure


This is quite possibly the most thrilling image I have ever stumbled upon in my internetly wanderings. It was taken at Steel Pier in Atlantic City, though I don't know the date or who the rider is.

The movie "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken" was sort of a secret indulgence of mine some time ago. I've always had an obsession with horses beyond any hope of recovery, but even if I didn't, it was still amazing. I knew that it was based on a true story, but until I began reading everything I could find on horse diving this morning (prompted by the photo above), I hadn't realized the film was based on Sonora Webster-Carver's autobiography.



Sonora was the first woman ever to high dive with a horse. Even after being blinded in a diving accident, she continued. She is the poster girl for getting back on the horse and trying again, literally and figuratively speaking. I find her infinitely inspiring.

I immediately went Barnes & Noble's website to snag a copy of "A Girl and Five Brave Horses", but they didn't have any. And apparently neither does anyone else. After checking Amazon.com, Ebay and countless used book resellers, I have only been able to find a handful of old library copies priced in the $395-500 range. I even searched the online card catalogs for libraries in my area, to no avail.

I am so sad. The book hasn't been printed since the first edition came out in 1961. The copyright is still owned by Doubleday & Company, and I can't understand why it wouldn't have been reprinted for the film's release in 1991, exactly thirty years later. It would have been perfect.

Soren found one website where you can read books online, but it turned out that in order to purchase a membership, you had to prove you were either a) immobile, or b) in possession of a qualifying learning disability. And if you made it that far, the membership itself cost $75.

*Woe*

I finally just emailed Doubleday asking why they haven't ever reprinted. It was a sad little last ditch effort; I don't honestly expect any reply...

I suppose the moral of this story is that books, like rare photographs, are precious things, not to be taken for granted or tossed aside. Because once they're gone, it may be forever. If anyone out there has a copy I could borrow, I promise I'll bring it right back when I'm done.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

50. Well.

Riding is way harder than I remember. There are so many things to keep track of and so many body parts to try and coordinate at once, all while maintaining your balance so as not to fly off. It is much more complicated than ambling along on a western trail ride.

I am sweaty, dirty, I smell like a barn, and my thighs are going to be way sore tomorrow. Also, a random instructor yelled at me for squeezing my horse past another horse cross-tied in the stable corridor, because apparently they don't like each other.

I do not know the rules or who likes and doesn't like who. It was my first day.

My horse is an ex-racing Thoroughbred named Louie. He's dark bay and really pretty, but not terribly responsive to my kicking him in the sides repeatedly to get him to move. To be fair, it was pretty hot out, but I think he's somewhat on the lazy side. He has a pretty comical personality though. I definitely like him. He's very willing to hand me each of his feet while I pick them out, he likes attention, and after our ride he seemed pretty ecstatic that I hosed him down and squeegeed him. He stood in the shower area vigorously throwing his head up and down while I ran the water over him, just to let me know he was pleased.

It's going to be a really long time before I cease being embarrassingly awful. Also, I am older than my instructor, which was fairly awkward. But she's not bitchy and mean like the girl who yelled at me, and I think we get along well enough, so hopefully things will be more comfortable soon. I was feeling pretty disappointed with how much I suck on my way home, but now that I've had dinner I'm feeling a bit better. I think I look forward to next week.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

49. Ballad of an average Joe

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a wine party at Genève Café on Fremont Ave. For $18 a person we enjoyed all sorts of delicious little appetizers and seemingly unlimited pours on several African selections. And if that wasn't enticing enough, the cover included an intimate patio performance by local indie rockers Conservative Dad.

I am an enormous sucker for the small venue situation, and this band did not disappoint. The four of them are incredibly approachable people who seem to enjoy the actual connection with their audience as much as they love to play. There is not a hint pretension or self-absorbed snobbery among them, as can often be the case among musicians possessing this much talent. They even handed out gratis copies of their LP, which I now have on repeat. Yay!

While far from an acoustic set (these kids rocked out), they performed somewhat toned down versions of their songs in order to accommodate the close proximity of their patio stage. The set up was uncomplicated; no microphone, just a few guitar amps and pedals strewn about. One of which did delightful analogue-ish things that entertained me more than it probably should have...

Matt Batey's vocals are bright and endearing, the lyrics thoughtful and easy to relate to, and the rest of the band's backing vocals harmonized perfectly. I think my favorite tracks are currently the blue-collar ballad "Mighty Dollar" and the heartfelt "Full Time", but I kind of want to (and just may) make a ring tone out of "Too Late". It's the perfect sort of punkish temper-tantrum to roll out of bed to at 3:15 in the morning on a Monday, when the last thing in the world you want to do is drag your ass to work.

Con Dad's set was surprisingly longer than I would have expected to see from a band playing at a cafe. As the evening wore on and the stars came out, everyone was invited to move even closer and sit at their feet while they played. I frequently found myself utterly fascinated by the performance of a particular someone or other, yet there was never a moment where any one member's piece swallowed or overpowered another.

It was a perfectly rad way to spend a Friday evening. Surrounded in good company, good wine, and good music. I think the only thing missing was a campfire, but just as I found myself wishing for one, the scent of someone in the neighborhood grilling on their deck drifted past my nose.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

48. Regarding elusive birds

This morning I came across a soundtrack that has piqued my interest so much I want to go and see the film itself.



Woodpecker is described as being an "existential tragicomedy", co-written and directed by Alex Karpovsky. The film score is composed by James Lavino, along with Colin Greenwood, bass player for Radiohead, and the Sargent twins of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

You can listen to six of the tracks on James Lavino's Myspace page. The arrangements are quietly beautiful, acoustic guitar based pieces, with soft orchestral instruments and synthesizer swirling through the background.

Picture sunlight flickering through the leaves of trees in slow motion.

Or just go listen. That would probably give you a better idea.

Monday, August 4, 2008

47. I heart Ikea

A completely unexpected refund from our Escrow account this week has allowed us to FINALLY begin decorating our bedroom. But after 2 days and about 5-6 hours of shopping for a new comforter at every department store in town, we still hadn't found anything suitable. Everything was either too expensive, poor quality, lacking any sense of design, or not terribly comfortable. Or a combination of any of the above. Frustrating is an understatement.

Thankfully, there is Ikea!

The spoils of yesterday's shopping trip include...
A new Duvet cover and comforter:

In real life, the colors are much more vibrant, but you get the idea. It matches the world map I found at Office Max perfectly, and is remniscent of sleeping on a pile of marshmallows.

A bedside lamp:

I was especially excited to find this. I had removed a glass globe from our bedroom hall ceiling to replace with something a little less dated, and had planned to make a sort of moderny/futuristic sort of table lamp with it. It ended up getting broken before I had the chance, and I was very sad.
Fortunately for me, someone else already had the same idea.

And an adorable desk lamp:


All I can say is yay for the Swedes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

46. A Little Fan-Girlism

I don't often care much about actresses in general, but I am admittedly quite fond of two. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman. They have yet to disappoint me. Even when I don't like the movie itself, I still find I like their piece of it.

And if I didn't already love Natalie Portman enough, here's another reason to. She stars in the new Bollywood inspired video for Devendra Banhart's "Carmensita". Glee!



Turns out she's dating Devendra. I had no idea. But I live in a hole, so there you go.

Devendra is oh so lovely...
And I love when two lovely people combine into a super lovely couple.
Love! <3

I'm just hoping the poor little octopo at the end didn't suffocate while it was getting smooched on by DB.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

45. Meowzas.

Maddening. I spent all day feeling incredibly creative, and then, by the time I am home and able to use said creative energies, they're gone. *Poof*

I did spend most of the work day doodling at my desk because we hardly have any work to do right now. That's something anyway. But instead of doing anything much of anything, I ended up just walking Frank for a bit and then here we are. Matt is off cheffing it up Coq au Vin style for Katy and Nathan tonight, and I'm trying to force myself to do something other than sit here nibbling my paws. So far it's not working.

On a completely unrelated note, I was listening to Pandora just now when this guy came up. His album is called "I Don't Know What I'm Doing". Hilarious, yet apparently true. Brad does suck. So much so that he's giving most of his tracks away as free downloads. I get the impression his musical career began while playing Truth or Dare...

Speaking of people with no musical talent, I started contemplating the possibility of selling my euphonium while Frank and I were walking. I've had a bit of buyer's remorse over the practice mute we bought a few months ago. I've played all of twice since we bought it, and I fear it may have been a waste of $200. Every time I think of practicing, I decide there are numerous other things I'd rather be doing. Even if those things are grimy chores like scrubbing my toilet.

I have come to a couple of realizations:

1. I am no longer in possession of any "chops". My range and playing ability are around that of a fifth grader. (*A fifth grader who has just spent the last 3 weeks learning the song flute, not a 5th grade prodigy who has been in lessons since the age of 4.)

2. I lack discipline. I never was able to make myself practice, even in school. By my senior year I was taking (I believe) 5 hours of band classes a day, and never touching my horn at home.

I've been lugging this horn with me from place to place for almost 10 years now. I have played it maybe 1-2 times each year during that time. Since high school, I have lived in a dorm, 2 apartments and now a condo. Nearly every time I have tried to play I've received a noise complaint from someone. Now that I finally have a mute, I find I am so bad I don't have the drive or desire to make myself practice in order to become good again.

It was a wonderful, beautiful, exciting, shiny high school graduation present from my parents, and has remained the single most expensive thing I own beyond my house and my car. Every time I look at it I feel a mixture of pride and shame at the same time. I don't think I will ever be able to play the way someone who owns an instrument this perfect should. And yet I am afraid that if I were to actually go through with selling it I would regret it forever. I could never afford something like it again.

In 3 days, I turn 27. I've spent the past month, and especially the past week, reflecting on who I am, where I'm going, and what I want to do with myself. General pre-birthday putting one's self in order type stuff. And it has begun to occur to me that perhaps I am not meant to be a music maker. Or, if I am, perhaps I've been trying to play the wrong instrument all along.

I do still feel a connection to my euphonium that tells me there is still something between us even after a 10 year hiatus. After the previous paragraph, I went and played for about 15 minutes, and I was just slightly less shit than I was the last time I tried. I find that encouraging, though I think I may require lessons if I hope to ever be anything worth anything again.

Always with the lessons she's saying! Oy! Do my pockets look like they're lined with gold?!

I am nearly 27.
I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.
I am still filled with a thousand imagined possibilities.
And I am not finished yet.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

44. July 13th

This morning began with wheat yogurt waffles (made by me) and ended in coffee on my porch for the first time all summer. They're practically finished with it, just a little bit of painting left,
so I decided to go ahead and drop a couple of chairs just out of the way of the incompleteness. The pets and I lounged around soaking up the sun until Frank dropped his tennis ball in my coffee and spilled it everywhere. He felt very bad.

I spent most of the weekend shopping for clothes. My closet is brimming with new fun things. Mostly thrifted or purchased on clearance. I also found a homeless dinosaur for $4 at Target, who I've decided to call Henry. He's really wonderful, I think. He's the sort of dinosaur who makes you want to carry him everywhere with you having adventures.

All that shopping worked up an appetite, and Matt was feeling too lazy and hungry to cook dinner, so he recommended we visit The Keg. He had the prime rib, and I had a half order of king crab. I hope that doesn't make me a cannibal. Crabbies don't typically eat their own kind I don't think. But crabbies are so delicious, I cannot resist. This crabbie was particularly delicious. I have no regrets.

After dinner I took the Frank-dog for his walk. We saw a mole rumbling around under the dirt, met some kids in the park, and got yelled at by a stray shar-pei who was being chased by a very sweaty and out of breath man. The man made a point to stop and let me know that his dog had jumped a six foot fence. I wasn't sure how to respond to that.

Tomorrow is Monday. I wish it weren't, because I was just beginning to really enjoy being at home. Our house has been growing on me lately. The things that need fixing haven't been bothering me as much. And the neighbors haven't been so horrid either, so I don't feel such an urge to move as quickly as possible. We definitely need more space, but I'm feeling patient about it. It's been a very nice summer so far, and I think that has made all the difference.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

43. Well, bother.

Around a month ago I applied for a very intriguing position with Nordstrom, in the accounting department. Not so much because I love accounting, but because I was hoping to make more money, enjoy the privacy of high walled cubicles, hopefully take advantage of the commuter bus, and wallow in the stellar employee discount. I had received an automated reply which said they were impressed with my resume and had forwarded it to the hiring manager. But after three weeks, I hadn't heard anything further. I emailed them to ask about it, and received my reply today.

A sorry, but we're not so interested as we originally claimed sort of reply.

I was really hoping for an interview, but then suddenly, in the past week or so, work has become less irritating to me. Which is funny, since I've been in a pretty unpleasant mood for days.

I do wish I made more money. But I am happy that I have a job which allows me to completely forget it exists the moment I walk out the door. I get along really well with my boss, I'm fantastic at what I do, and I'm not expected to work weekends or holidays. At least, not the important holidays. I carpool and have all my breaks with one of my very best friends, and I'm left alone to listen to my headphones while I work. Besides that, it's summer, and it's beautiful out. So I think for now, I'm pretty much fine with things the way they are.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

42. Something Strange

About two weeks ago I was driving to work, when I heard a story on NPR about SomethingStore.com.
You can listen to the full segment here.

For $10, The Something Store will mail you a surprise. I love surprises, and $10 really isn't that much. I play the lottery for $1 all the time, and usually get nothing but wishful thinking for it. This at least guarantees I'll get Something for my $10. Even if I got something that I personally didn't want, I could probably set it aside as a stocking stuffer for someone at Christmas.

I had to try it. The anticipation alone was worth the $10.

My Something finally arrived today. Actually, it may have been there for a few days. I tend to forget about menial things such as checking the mail. But anyway. It is here, and it is definitely...something. Not something I want, but something more or less. Mostly less. It isn't really even something that makes sense. Honestly, it's just ridiculous.

Behold. My new, red, white and blue handbag, made entirely of zippers!

















They aren't just decorative either. Every one of them opens. And it's just in time for the Fourth of July!

What a fine, tax deductible donation this will be to Goodwill...
Still, I think I'd try my luck with The Something Store again. Maybe.
I do love a surprise.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

41. For Sale

One oldish, smallish sort of refrigerator. Large enough to freeze a small dog, yet strangely too small to house the half-eaten remnants of a Thanksgiving turkey amidst the sea of forgotten condiments packed well beyond their bursting points.

Reliably keeps things cold, but loves to freezer burn. The interior light is broken, but your electric bill will thank you. Otherwise not terribly energy efficient, unwilling to remain closed, and 100% free of confusing bells and/or whistles.

Please get this eyesore out of my living room. It is taking up valuable space which could be occupied with more interesting things.
Like air.

$50 cash.
Or best offer above the $30 check the recycling company promises me I'll receive 3-4 weeks after they come to haul the fridge away on July 12th.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

40. June 7th

At 7:45 this morning, Matt and I woke to the sound of construction workers on our deck talking loudly and making a variety of really unpleasant tool sounds. Our deck is being rebuilt by order of the condo association, which we were told would take approximately four weeks to complete. It has now been a week and a half, and I have begun to seriously wonder about the contractors' level of proficiency in project planning and execution.

We were given one day's notice to have our deck cleared off and ready for them to begin work. Rather than attacking one building at a time, so as to minimize the inconvenience to the residents, they seem to be doing bits and pieces of multiple buildings at once. Also, they come at random times. Some days they don't work at all. They didn't do anything for most of the last week, and then showed up first thing on a Saturday morning in order to disturb anyone who was attempting to sleep in. Like me.

I slept until 10 just to spite them, but Matt wasn't so lucky. They left shortly after I got up and haven't come back. 3 hours of work and they call it a day. I can only assume their entire point of showing up at all was to disturb my sleep. At the rate they're going, I can't imagine they'll finish in the 4 week time frame they promised.

In the meantime, my living room resembles a one room cabin. You can hardly move with all the patio furniture. Not to mention the refrigerator we're waiting for the recycling company to come and collect.

I had hoped to walk Frank today, but it's raining and doesn't seem like it's going to clear up anytime soon. Hopefully tomorrow will be more outdoorsish.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

39. News Items

Japanese class seems to be going well. Though, I suppose I'm able to say that because there are no grades, and all of the homework is like an open book test. Without my reference materials I think I'd be absolutely screwed. I can't say I've actually acquired any mastery of sentence structure and grammar, or that my vocabulary has grown terribly large. Still, I have gotten more out of learning Japanese, through a combination of self study and class work, than I did from two years of Spanish class in high school. So I suppose that's better than nothing. I am nearly able to recognize and write the first 46 characters. Which is exciting to me. From the outside looking in, the language appears incredibly difficult, but as it is broken into smaller pieces with decent explanations, it becomes as easy as learning any other language. Though I never expect that I will ever be able to read or write much in the way of kanji. We'll see. Tomorrow is class number five.

Matt and I bought a tent this week. Which was sort of random, but we talked about it for a month beforehand, and were looking on Craigslist for a cheap one, when conveniently, Matt's co-worker mentioned having one for sale. It's a 10x10 five man tent, which is quite a bit larger than I'd planned on buying, but it was only $50. It's big enough to fit an air mattress, the dogs, or possibly an extra couple of people who don't have their own tent. And you can almost stand up inside while getting dressed. It's only been used once, so it seemed like a good starter. We'll hopefully be taking our first camping excursion next weekend, in a national forest near Leavenworth. I'm hoping to spend a day playing in German town, do some hiking, and get lots of photos. I ordered a new tripod for my camera today, to replace the frustrating pile of toothpicks I had before. It should arrive by next Friday, just in time for our trip.

Otherwise, I've spent too much time over the past two weeks applying for random jobs. It's beginning to be a frustrating venture indeed. I was declined for an internal posting I was exceptionally qualified for, probably because I refuse to schmooze. I still refuse. If I cared more about the company or the people in it, I might put forth the effort. But I just don't have the energy to care. I've turned down two very exciting veterinary positions because the pay cut would be too great. I've got a couple other applications I've submitted or am still working on, but I don't have much hope for those either.

I'm torn between desperately wanting a job that I would enjoy and desperately needing to find something that pays better. And as it turns out, neither of those things seem to be attainable without an effing degree. Silly me. Dropping out of college because I wasn't ready to be there and wasn't able to afford it. As it turns out, you should take the opportunity to get the paper while you can handle being a broke-ass college student. I finally feel I'm mature enough and motivated enough to handle college, and now I can't afford to have a part time job that would allow me the time to get a bachelor's in under 4 years. Who knew.

On the bright side, I did discover that I can get $750 a year in tuition reimbursement through work. So that's something. It claims it will cover the photography class I've been eying for this fall, and probably 1-2 more classes in the spring. Free school is cool. I'd take that in a heartbeat. So there's at least one perk to staying where I am.

I need sleep now. Oyasumi nasai.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

38. Momentous Occasion

We've been testing Frank with the bark collar for just over a week now. Soren graciously volunteered to let us crate him at his apartment until we could be sure it was working. I wasn't terribly happy with the tape recorder I bought, so Matt rigged a baby monitor set up out of our cell phones. That way we'd know right away if he started barking, and we wouldn't have to spend hours listening to a tape playback. It's free for Matt and I to call each other, so we left my phone on speaker near the front of Frank's crate connected to Matt's phone, which he listened to with his Bluetooth headset. Also, to be certain that we'd know if the call dropped, and to keep the dogs company, we left the tv playing in the background.

Frank has passed every single test with flying colors. Not one bark in any of the times we've monitored him.

Today is the first day I have ever left my dog crated at home without getting a noise complaint. We took a bus to the U-District and were gone for three hours. And in three hours of Matt wearing his headset, all he heard was the television. Frank was silent the entire time.

I'm so proud of my dog. After two and a half years, he finally, finally gets it. I have my freedom back. No more worrying about leaving him in a hot car, or having to microwave a snuggle disc to keep the floor of his crate warm in winter. No more stressing over how I was going to come up with money for boarding, or having to drop him off with Soren before we can go out. No more screaming monster in my back seat while I'm trying to drive.

I'm free!

I feel a celebration is in order. It's a good thing I picked gold as my color for Meghann's monochrome party tonight...because today, nothing but champagne will do.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

37. Art Thief

Some people collect things like commemorative plates, or baseball cards, or other items which may attain some form of monetary value later on. Despite the appearance of my home, I hate any form of clutter, or clinging to items which serve no purpose. Unless those items happen to be so entirely awesome that their uselessness is canceled out by their coolness, like my turquoise rotary phone. The phone is actually still functional, except that I had my land line shut off, leaving it to exist as nothing more than a conversation piece. Though, I'm not sure it would even spawn a terribly interesting conversation. But it's really cool, so I don't care.

What I do collect is random images found lying around the internets. They tend to be pieces of art which I'd love to own in real life but couldn't possibly afford, or scribblings I just liked enough to save and look at occasionally. Most of them I saved and have no idea who the artist even is, or where I found them, as a great deal of them came up on really random image searches. I could probably figure it out, but I'm not going to bother right now.

These are some of my favorites:


This one I found posted on some modern design blog, but I don't remember what it was in reference to.


This one I believe, came from Flickr. I have it saved as "Robot Parade", but I have no idea if that was the actual title, or just what I saved the file as. I love the perspective, and saved him as an inspiration for possible future robot creations.


This is by an artist named Tim Biedron. It's called "Samuel and His New Haircut". I am particularly fond of the colors on his paintings, and the twisted proportions of the faces.


This is also by Tim Biedron. He does a lot of drawings and paintings, but he's also a tattoo artist. I love his pieces. They're beautiful. You can see the rest of his art here.


I have no idea where this came from. I assume it was made on a computer, but it looks like permanent marker, which I am quite enamored with. Which is part of what I like so much about Meghann's artwork.


I also do not know where this came from or who the artist is. I saved it as "Cricksipper Turnip", which I know I wouldn't have come up with, so I assume that's the actual title. I like it because it looks like something from a Dr. Seuss book.


This came from Candykiller.com. The artwork is what I picture to be the lovechild of really old Looney Toons and Tim Burton.


"Mr. Lamprey, Gentleman", by my friend John Schulz. I had originally intended to purchase this painting from him for $200, but someone else snagged it out from under me. In the end, it worked out ok, because I still got one of his paintings, only even better, it was free (thank you Janelle!). "At Your Service" hangs proudly in my living room, and I love it just as much.



This was actually a tattoo idea, though I doubt I'll ever do it. I'm not even sure it would come out well considering how detailed it is.
"Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass" are two of my favorite books of all time. This edition is from 1907, and is one of my favorite versions of the Alice illustrations. The artist is Arthur Rackham, and you can see the rest of the plates from the book here. I also really love the first edition Alice illustrations though, which were done by Sir John Tenniel.


Again, I don't know where I found this; I emailed it to myself from work.


This is by the same artist. I wish I had her hair. Desperately. I like the M.C. Escher quality these have as well.


Finally, "Get Up Mr. Blue". It's one of my very favorites. I don't actually know that that's the title, but I love him. No idea who the artist was. I like that because of the ink dots, Mr. Blue can be alive or dead. He's either got two eyes closed, or he can sort of be facing the viewer with small dot eyes open and a strange beaky mouth.

That's all for now...

Monday, April 28, 2008

36. Random Things

Vacation was a fabulous escape, and one that was much needed. The instant I left town I immediately disconnected from my job and even Seattle as a whole. I'm not sure the last part was a good thing, as things took some getting used to again when I returned. I spent just over a week fantasizing over where I'd move if I didn't live here. Dangerous thinking, I tell you. It's cheaper in St. Louis, by far. I have to remind myself why I left in the first place, after spending 10 days soaking in the people I've missed the most and finding new reasons to love the places I'd grown sick of. Mostly, I've got some sort of gypsy blood in me. Maybe not so bad as my brother, but every few years I get a bad case of wanderlust and want to run for no specific reason. I bore easily I think.

I've been trying to compartmentalize all the aspects of my life lately, to try and identify those portions which have been making me less than happy. I have determined that I am rather tired of my job. But I have no where else to go, and it isn't really that bad...I'm just feeling a need for a change, and I can't seem to shake it off. I applied at a vet's office this week, which I had promised myself I wouldn't do. I have so many pets at home, it seems excessive to spend an 8 hour work day surrounded in the company of even more animals. But it was too nice a situation to pass up, and so I thought I'd give it a try.
They haven't called.

In other news, I start beginning Japanese classes this week. Matt, Soren and Matt Z. are taking them with me, so it should be a good time. I know a very few words or phrases in Japanese and look forward to expanding my comprehension of the language. I took two years of Spanish in high school and got less out of it than I have using my Japanese self study programs, just for the simple fact that I had no interest in speaking Spanish and despised my teacher. She really was a cow...

And in complete contradiction of my innate urge to wander, comes another pet. Two, if you count Matt's.

Friday night I was walking Frank back from the park next to our house with Soren and Matt, (and their respective dogs Ein and Pie), when Frank lunged at something I thought was trash on the sidewalk. Someone, I don't even know who, quickly realized it was not trash, but an animal, and pried Frank's mouth open to let it escape. It turned out to be a small black and white domestic rat, which dashed into the hedge next to the sidewalk. I could still see its tail sticking out, so I reached in and pulled it out, because I knew a domestic rat wasn't going to survive on its own in the wild. He was completely adorable, and I decided to keep him. We made plans to go and get a cage after we dropped off the dogs.

As we were walking up to our house, I realized it was bleeding from a small spot on its belly. I was worried, so we decided to take it to the vet first to be sure Frank hadn't caused any internal damage. The vet checked him over and decided he was just shaken, and maybe a little sore. She decided to give him an anti-inflammatory shot to help him feel a little better, and took him in the back. A few minutes later the vet returned to say she'd discovered a bright green patch on his tail, which led her to inspect his mouth. It turns out my new little rat had ingested rat poison. His tongue was swollen and his teeth were coated in the same bright green. We had no choice but to euthanize him to save him from a horrible, painful death.

I was crushed. I couldn't stop crying. I don't know why I'd let myself get so attached, but he was so absolutely precious, and I thought he had found the perfect home.
Instead he died.

Matt and Soren felt so bad they took me to Petco, where Soren bought me a huge rat mansion. On Saturday Matt took me back to pick out my rat. Later that night we went back to get one for Matt so she wouldn't be alone.

After days of indecision, I finally thought of the perfect name today.
Shortcake.


Te-heee! I completely love her. She's the girliest, cutest, most adorable thing ever.