Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Conversations with Father

Marin: Omigosh! I didn't know there was a book on Bill Watterson!

Father: I know.

Brother: Dude, you got her a book? That's pretty gutsy.

Marin: Yeah! You got me a book? Me?

Father: If you had known the book was out, I would have heard about it from you.

And that, my friends, sums up many, many aspects of my life, my personality and my relationship with my family.§

[SUMMARY: You're welcome.]

And happy holidays.


FOOTNOTE (crossed): With the inscription, "Maybe you'll finally find out why Calvin & Hobbes disappeared." My father knows what troubles me.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Don't tell, but I will actually completely clam up about something -- even hid its existence -- if I want to get it for somebody else for Christmas or birthday. Wouldn't it have been funny if I got that same book for Dad for Christmas?

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Deep stuff, people. Fitting for end-of-year-end-of-decade rumination.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Shill, Therefore I Am

At least this time I'm selfish about it.

For the first time in my writerly life, I entered a writing contest. Brother told me a couple of years ago that I should, and I've been following a particular outfit for awhile, thinking someday it would be fun to enter.

[SUMMARY: I am a complex and deliberate creature.@]

NYC Midnight sponsors Tweet Me a Story, a contest wherein entrants tell a story in 140 characters or less.§

There were twenty groups in the first round, each consisting of about 26 people. Each group got a word which had to be used in the story, unaltered.# Each group member could submit up to three stories for consideration.

That particular round ended on December 8.

Then the panel of esteemed judges†† deliberated and picked 25 stories out of each group.

[SUMMARY: The suspense builds...]

From here, the top voted story in each group will go to the final round, along with four stories chosen by said panel of esteemed judges, for a total of 100 contestants in the final round.

They are now open for voting on the first round.‡‡

The final round will also be open to voting,§§ and the top voted story will receive $100, plus a story chosen by our now-familiar panel of esteemed judges will receive $100.¶¶

As it turns out,## all three of my entries in the first round made the judges' cut and now we're up for voting.

[SUMMARY: TA-DAAAAAAAA!]

So, y'know, if you find my words worthy, I'd be delighted for your vote.%

Should you wish to tell all your family and friends that all you want for Chrismakwanzakuh is for your dear old AntiM to go to the Tweet Me a Story gold medal round, that'd be cool too.†††


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Well, except for the literary magazine in college. I should probably mention -- both in the interest of full disclosure and under the auspices of blowing my own horn -- that I flat out won that one. They gave me 100 unexpected dollars, then promptly took it away for library fees.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Sometimes it takes me time to deliberate about important stuff.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): I can hear you laughing.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Duh.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Note the clever and subtle application of past tense to let you know where we are in this saga. That's why I'm the big rock star writer I am today -- subtlety and cleverness.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): If the word is penguin, you can't make it penguins or penguin's, for instance.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I believe that is the exact term used on the NYC Midnight website. I've come to think of them as The Panel of Esteemed Judges in a big, echo-y god voice.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): All that foreshadowing from the first sentence is coming home to roost. Damn, I have a knack for this literary device stuff.

§§FOOTNOTE (what goes around...): So we may come back to this in a couple of weeks.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (kaching kaching): I know it doesn't sound like much, but that's some fine vodka or cashmere. Maybe a little of both. And this time, there are no library fees to be deducted.

##FOOTNOTE (pounding the subtle into your head): Did you notice the subtle again? And the humble? It's a big ol' whack in the head of subtle and humble.

†††FOOTNOTE (holy cats, that's a lot of cross to bear): That's me, Group 17, word: "witness." You have until, say, January 4 at midnight eastern time.

‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (the path to sainthood is bumpy): Turns out saints are not above stuffing the ballot box.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It Just Keeps Getting Better




I am just so charmed right now.

BRILLIANT!

So I was checking out the list of vendors participating in the second annual free shipping day, and one in particular lept out at me.

I could so be their spokesblogger.§


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Now that the holiday season goes Kay Jewelers Holiday Ad Kick-Off Day (Oct 15), Store Decoration Day (Oct 30), Chiropractor's Card Mailing Day (Nov 15), Black Thursday (formerly known as Thanksgiving), Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Free Shipping in Time for Christmas Day (Dec 17)... our advent calendars are going to have to be displayed in installments.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Practically grabbed me around the throat. Does anybody else get abnormally tickled to see their name? Or is it just us weird name folks?

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): At *least* their patron saint.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Love My Broncos




And my Broncos love me right back.

Friday, December 4, 2009

You're No Gypsy, Fredo

I thought of a chicken thing!

[SUMMARY: You are so excited!]

I flipped on the TiVi Monday night and it warmed up to the beginning of Wheel of Fortune. Pat was asking the contestants to tell us a little bit about themselves. The first guy wanted to say, "Hi!" to his four dogs and his wife§ and Pat asked him a couple of leading questions about the dogs.

The next contestant was a woman who mentioned her husband and kids, and Pat, tongue-in-cheek, asked if she had any pets she wanted to say, "Hi!" to.

"We have seven chickens, Pat."

"Seven chickens? What are their name? Do they have names?"

"They do, Pat. There's Kung Pao, Fricassee, Alfredo..."

I thought it was pretty funny.

[SUMMARY: You are so laughing!]

What's more, I thought, "Chickens! I have to remember to share that with all my blogfriends! 'Cause it's *chickens*!"

Then four hours passed and I lost it, but trying to remember where I put my Chase credit card this morning, I remembered the chicken story.#

[SUMMARY: You are so lucky!]

In other chicken news, Red, most-favoured pirate chicken of Marybeth, may be a rooster. Which would make him ineligible for city living. And Marybeth would have to send him to live on a farm.

Just like your dad did with your dog when you were four.

[SUMMARY: Euphemism?&]

And guess what? I got a lovely perfume sample in the mail from Ineke††, so perfume too!%

It's Friday. It's a good day. Keep your fingers crossed for Red.

*************

Field Notes from Paris - Ineke

Marin says: Love may not be too strong a word.

It's funny because this evolves in my head as something maybe I shouldn't like and I don't know why -- like a guilty pleasure, only I can't even tell you why I'd be sheepish about it.‡‡

There's a splash of sweet lime in the beginning. Like almost all citrus, it levels out quickly and leads to the most intoxicating, elusive blend of... what? I would swear there's a touch of patchouli in there, but I can't quite catch it. It's not as earthy as some patchouli, not as dark as some patchouli and definitely not as strong as most patchouli. A patchouli of song and light?§§

Something woody, but I can't put my finger on what breed of wood. Tobacco flower, definitely -- it's one of my best scents and I can usually pick it out of a crowd. Maybe the wood is tobacco leaf. It has a sweetish tang I associate with tobacco.

The more it settles in, the more it reminds me of some of the exotic pipe tobaccos I've sniffed in my years of trying to find gifts for my father.

Then the sweeter, rounder elements mellow back in the mix and an oil slick of... leather? Salt? Clean sweat?¶¶ settles on top.

I think this smells the way I want a man to smell, but I find it not unfeminine. Maybe there's a white flower floating around, keeping it from being all horses and testosterone. In any case, it may be the perfect unisex fragrance.

Ineke says: Field notes from Paris is inspired by Ineke's halcyon days studying perfumery in Paris and Versailles. It captures the romantic, nostalgic feeling of sitting at a cafe and writing in a journal while lingering for hours over a cafe creme.

This "woody oriental" structure combines the warmth of tobacco flower and leaf$ with the vintage perfumery notes of coriander seed@, patchouli$ and tonka bean. Field Notes from Paris is an enigmatic scent with a warm, comforting presence.##

Top notes: Coriander Seed, Orange Flower, Bergamot
Middle: Tobacco Flower & Leaf, Patchouli, Cedar
Base: Tonka Bean, leather, Beeswax, Vanilla

Hans says:

Marin: "I really like this one. I probably shouldn't tell you that."

Hans: "Oh, great. Now I'm not objective. Ooooh. I like it too. It's got some spice@, like... cinnamon and... spice. And everything nice.

"You can quote me on that."


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Which sounds like the tawdry confession of a dirty little fetish.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Remember back in the day when the TiVi had to warm up -- and cool down? It kinda tickles me that my state-of-the-2006-art HDTV has to warm up like when I was a kid.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): In that order.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Hence, the Fredo blogtitle.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): And tomorrow, when I'm trying to find my cookie scooper or my size 9 Addy Turbos, I'll probably run across my Chase credit card.

&FOOTNOTE (ampersanded): Actually, Marybeth does have a friend with extraurban farm space who could take Red. So not entirely a euphemism. Then again, said friend said she couldn't guarantee Red wouldn't end up as Sunday dinner. The suspense continues...

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): From whom I got the lovely A-E scent collection last year, only I can't find the blogpost to link to to remind you because they made me go to IE 2, the stone age version, at work and the search function doesn't work anymore.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): I saw the headline for this on Nathan's blog and I couldn't read it because I didn't want his review to influence me, so I've been cold and lonely and Nathanless for *weeks*.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Sheep! Like knitting! WOOT for the KNITBLOG!

§§FOOTNOTE (spin goths! SPIN!): Did you hear that? That's the sound of a thousand goths spinning in their graves.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (nod with me): These scents are TOTALLY related.

$FOOTNOTE (on the money!): I'm giving myself a little leeway on mixing up sweet lime with orange blossom and bergamot, but deducting points for not recognising tonka bean. It's a wash.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): Two important notes (ha! pun!) on coriander: 1) I don't have the slightest idea what coriander seed smells like, as it turns out, and 2) Hans now claims that the "spice" he was talking about was coriander seed.

##FOOTNOTE (holiday pounds): That's what I said! Not as succinctly, but surely that's what I was talking about when I said it smelled the way I'd like a man to smell.

†††FOOTNOTE ():

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Reunion

Have you ever run into someone, say, in line at the grocery store... someone you haven't seen in ten or fifteen years?

In the two or three interruptable minutes you have, you try to catch up.

That's how I feel right now.

It's not really that anything major has happened that anybody needs to know about. That would be easy. It's that this blog isn't about major things. This is about teeny, tiny little muses of fluff. There have been a LOT of fluff muses in the last *mumblemonthormoremumble*.

[SUMMARY: Facebook lifestyle got me down.]

I really wish I could share some of the funny, witty, clever, wicked, brilliant thoughts I've had,§ but I only remember them for about four hours and they're all gone now.

So let's start with knitting, since once upon a time, this was STILL A KNITBLOG.

I finally finished the last two of the six-at-once socks.# I wear them often.†† I'm mostly pleased with how they look, but I have to admit that the Shibui sock is so tightly twisted that it's noticably rough on the feet. I know they'll last longer than nice, soft socks, but I think I'll be seeking nice, soft sock yarn from here on out.

I am currently knitting a fabulous sweater‡‡ for Dr. Doom. I'm so excited about it I'm practically vibrating, but I think I'll wait until it's done so you're all surprised and stuff.

[SUMMARY: Blah blah knit blah blah blah knit knit blah.]

I get to go on an airplane next week. The payoff for being allowed to fly on company dollars is that I have to go to Houston. And answer questions from potential buyers at an auction. Two days of misery, but did I mention I get to ride an airplane?

[SUMMARY: The glamourous life of a petroleum landman.]

I gently declined to spend Thanksgiving with my family and ordered my dinner from a local gourmet market. I shopped Old Navy at noon, had some dinner and went to the Broncos game by myself.§§

TRAGIC NOTE: This dreck has taken me two days¶¶ to slog through. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I think we should all cut our losses and look at something shiny. Tomorrow may be a better day.

To make up for it, please help yourself to one free holiday song download every day in December from Amazon.com.##


FOOTNOTE (crossed): All the while wondering if you should mention or avoid that night backstage with the tangled scrim and the masking tape.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): We can blame Facebook for part of this. Facebook sucks a lot of time out of me. I'm trying to learn to control it, but it's been a long road to recovery.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): You just *know* I've had dozens of brilliant, clever thoughts.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Old... feeble...

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Though I didn't bind off loose enough and they get stuck partway up my calf and slouch there.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Despite the binding and the slouching.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): And just discovered last night that in adding an inch under the arms when I put the sleeve holes on holders, I added an inch to the body of the sweater and am now trying to figure out a way to take it in by two inches that will 1) make it look like I meant to do that, and 2) be removable so he can wear it an extra year if he wants to.

§§FOOTNOTE (a fine turn of events): And have discovered that one or both of the following must happen for the Broncos to win: 1) I must go to the game by myself. 2) Van Walker can not be advertising his Bronco Slappy bandwagon fandom for his beliked Broncos on Facebook.

It has *nothing* to do with the team.

For those of you scoring at home, the Raiders should beat the Broncos by about 83 points, since I'm taking three people to that game.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (bock bock): And there aren't even any chickens.

##FOOTNOTE (murder by numbers): I'm not getting anything for this -- I just heard about it and thought I'd share.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

OMG! OMG! I WON! I WON!

The names were written on sticky notes and sealed shut.

I put them in an empty Healthy Choice pasta cooking bowl.

I shook them.

Then Hans rubbed his hands together gleefully and said, "Who's going to love me? Who are you?

*rustlerustle*

"Jay!"

"Jax," I said.§

"Jax!"

Curious George, faithful pug companion of my gorgeous and sassy cousin Jacquelyn, will be dining from a luxury pet dish while his mom's B-i-r-d Watcher's Weekly# magazines are neatly contained in their chrome cage.

Congratulations, Jax.

See? People really do win at the Rickety Blog.††

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Which afforded me minutes of entertainment as Hans tried to paw the winning entry open.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Experimental office lunch. I saved the bowl to see if I could cook my own pasta in it. It's been sitting on my credenza for two weeks under those auspices.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Apparently Hans crosses his Y's.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): From another... grandmother? Jax is my cousin's cousin, but the three of us make such good cousins we stick with the honourary cousin position. Besides, did you see how many words it took for me to explain that? And that's the short version. It's much easier to just go with "cousins."

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): I can only say that because she's far enough away not to smack me. Jax detests b-i-r-d-s. We can't even say the word in front of her -- that's why we spell it.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed: And I feel like Ed McMahon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tick Tock

Tomorrow at 3:00 pm MST, Hans will draw a name out of a hat and some lucky winner will walk off with a stunning, warming pet food dish and a sleek, modern magazine rack, courtesy of AllModern.com.

Just for the record, I'm not getting merchandise, cash or fame from this, just the satisfaction of knowing your kitty or pug or dear husband is eating food that is lovingly kept warm while not tripping over piles of knitting§ magazines.

Tell your friends.

XOXO
M


†FOOTNOTE (crossed): Marin Standard Time, which is fifteen minutes early for everything.

‡FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Or a microwave-safe bowl. It's 80 degrees in Denverish... I don't know if we'll be able to dig up a hat for the occasion.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): ...woodworking...pig farming...Penthouse...

¶FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Or your enemies. Perhaps you think your enemies deserve a festive, leopard-print warming pet dish.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bored of the Rings...

...has been on my bookshelf in one form or another since 1980.

Now, finally, after 40 years, the Harvard Lampoon has taken on another mega-star.

Be still my stupid sparkly beating heart.


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Well, one ratty paperback after another, really. The "form" of which I speak is mostly a matter of level of disintegration and magnitude of coffee-stained pages.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Srsly. Very Short List says so.

Contest! Win a Fabulous Prize!

And this isn't like the time I tried to foist my ill-fitting socks on an unsuspecting public.

No, this is a REAL prize. Hand-picked by yours truly via the good graces of AllModern.com.

Jamie at All Modern contacted me and asked if I'd like to check out their merchandise and maybe pick out a couple of little items to give away here at the Rickety Blog.

Jamie says they love that I'm "Honest, up front and blunt."

[SUMMARY: And I quote.]

Is it bad that makes me chuckle just a little evilly?

Anyway, I dutifully went to peruse the websites and spent a fair chunk of free time mentally re-decorating my home.^ There's SO much I liked,% so I'm just going to share that one thing that captured my imagination more than any other:



The whole Vitra store speaks to the sleek, modern side of me.§ And the Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec Collection is like the next logical evolution of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Plus, y'know, it's like LEGOs for grown-ups.

You can take thos widgets above and hook them together to make screens like this:




Or maybe like this...




Or maybe in a sleek, skeletal Christmas tree, which can then be covered in tiny knitted sweaters and traveling lights with a blinking, musical angel on top.#

Class through kitsch is one of my favourite emotions.††

[SUMMARY: The self-aware cop to kitsch first.]

So now maybe you're wondering what I have for you, oh my imaginary friends.‡‡

One lucky winner, residing in the US or Canada,§§ will receive these oddly useful things.

The first, a luxury pet dish with a warming function.¶¶ Simply put hot water in the reservoir in the bottom and your Fluffy or Fido can enjoy a home-warmed meal.

Plus, y'know, cute animal print.##




And the other part of our prize package is this sleek, unobtrusive magazine rack. You can put it on the floor, on a side table... and don't even *try* to tell me you don't have a couple dozen knitting/quilting/cooking††† magazines strewn about your living room that could use a little wrangling.




Plus, y'know... shiny.

So here are the rules:

[SUMMARY: There are always rules.]

1) Comment on this post for entry -- BE SURE TO ENTER YOUR EMAIL. If I can't find you, it's going to be hard to shower you with gifts.

2) One entry per person, except in the case where you drive my readership through the roof by mentioning this on your blog or sending other people to me.‡‡‡

SO...

3) You can earn an extra entry by posting a link to this post and putting a link to that link in the comments on this post.§§§

OR...

4) You can earn an extra entry for each person who comments and says you sent them.

A winner will be drawn randomly@ on Wednesday, November 11.¶¶¶

What are you waiting for? Don't you want your kitty to have warm kibble?###


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Srsly. That wee tiny OCD flap in my brain agonised for ages over the perfect, oddly useful goods. I figure everybody can use a nice magazine rack and most of y'all have a pet or two -- or know somebody who does and might appreciate a luxury pet dish. As I mention later in these footnotes, Christmas is right around the corner.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Perhaps they caught my delicate snort at the Neiman Marcus Christmas book bargain offerings.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): And mentally knocking down the neighbour's walls so I have room for all the couches and chairs I want.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): They have pet stuff and kid stuff (ask me how much I love the chalkboard dots) and modern bedding (ask me how much I love the Missoni collection) and accessories and... well, there was a lot to re-decorate with. Is redecorate hyphenated?

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Which is locked in a lifelong death struggle with the cute animals and things-that-sing-and-light-up-and-are-possibly-covered-in-skulls side of me.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): There would never be a better segueway than this one, so I must take this tangent: remember the Frank Lloyd Wright LEGO sets I was lusting after? The first two are released! Just in time for Christmas! OK, one was released in May, but still.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): You can take the girl out of the trailer park...

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): All due respect to Truvy Jones.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Even IRL friends can play!

§§FOOTNOTE (smug and twisty): Sorry, Ally. If you wanted to play with the cool kids, you shoulda stayed on the continent. See? "Expatriate" doesn't sound so glamourous now, does it?

¶¶FOOTNOTE (two thumbs sideways!): I'm not making this up.

##FOOTNOTE (zebra crossing): Also available in zebra print!

†††FOOTNOTE (three more crosses to bear): ...fishing/watch-collecting/nudie...

‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (how did I get off track?): *snort* I suspect if I were that worried about readership, I would've stopped posting pictures of zombie chickens a long time ago. Hey, Jamie at All Modern was nice enough to say nice things about my rickety little corner of the Innernets, so I'd like to give them as much exposure as possible. It doesn't hurt that they have wonderful things like LEGOs for grown-ups and chalkboard dots either.

§§§FOOTNOTE (triple spin zoom meta!): Oh, baby, that's not just meta... that's meta in the mirror.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): Hans will probably be involved.

¶¶¶FOOTNOTE (three-gun salute to Mom): To commemorate Mom's second birthday; Dad thought it was the 11th the first year they were married, and Mom was in sniffly, silent martyr mode from the 7th -- her actual birthday -- until the 11th when he threw her a surprise party. As punishment, she made us all celebrate on the 7th and the 11th ever after.

###FOOTNOTE (pound pound pound kitty with entitlement issues): Please don't tell Quill (a/k/a Cat for Scale) about this. If he knows there's potential for hot meals, I'll never hear the end of it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My New Favourite Thing




Dad sent this to me. I love it. I want to turn it into a mural on my living room wall.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Huh.




Sometimes knitting pictures *don't* make everything better.

I'm envisioning a horror film... maybe called "Knit Night" or "Needle Fiend" or "Knit One, Purl Death."

You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

CHICKENS!

We haven't visited the concept of CHICKENS! in quite some time.

Hell, we haven't really had that many blogposts in quite some time. Let's remedy that now, shall we?

[SUMMARY: And by "we," I mean, "I."]

From 5280.com:

Checkin' on Them Chicks in Fort Collins

Across the nation, more than 30 cities passed ordinances that make it legal for people to keep chickens in their backyards, including Fort Collins, where one year later all the squawking over whether to pass the new law has settled into a soft, but distinct, clucking sound. Thirty-six households have since acquired chicken licenses and are apparently farming their own super-fresh eggs. And just six of the more than 14,300 calls animal-control officers received involved chickens. "Not much has happened," Bill Porter, director of animal control with the Larimer Humane Society, tells 9News . Four roosters in town upset neighbors, but those were "accidents," Porter tells the Fort Collins Coloradoan, saying the owners "thought they were buying hens as chicks only to discover they were roosters." The ordinance allows residents to keep up to six hens, regulates coops, and prohibits slaughter. Susan Orlean recently wrote about the history of chicken farming and its revival for The New Yorker (subscription required), which features video of the author with her chickens online. Orlean also took some time to answer reader questions via chat. --MdY

[SUMMARY: Hens are a peaceful lot. Roosters, not so much. There may be a lesson in this.]

From Savage Chickens:

Email chickens...




Pirate Star Wars chickens...




Chicken moustache competition...




From the next block over§, as caught by my camera phone:




[SUMMARY: You might say we just licked the chicken#.]


FOOTNOTE (crossed): How much geekier? None. None more geekier.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Kim, you'll be happy to know that, while Sam Elliot may not have won a Knitters' Hunk competition in recent memory, he did win the Chicken Moustache Tournament.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Where the not-evil step-brother and step-sister-in-law live with most pudgy-cute step-nephew, Noah (pictured here, resplendent in chicken regalia).

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Shakily.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Ooooh... I think we're on to something. Who needs a turducken when you can have a chickpigen?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Please Don't Tell Anyone...

I just spent most of an hour on hold via the voice mail system at the State of New Mexico trying to get through to somebody to let them know the Energy, Mining and Natural Resources Department website had gone 404.

It was when I was noting in my email to the webmaster that nobody was answering the phone that I remembered this is a holiday.

For some people.

So happy Columbus Day to each and every one of you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Motor-tober




I just love it when I get email from Mini Cooper.

Screw Michael Jackson†

You know all those world record Thriller dances going on worldwide?

I vote we go for this instead.%




Sorry if you already saw it on Facebook.§ Sportsguy, sciFi geek, lost in Korea, and all around tall tall man Van shared this and I think it's worth the double-booking.


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Not literally. That would be gross.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): TOTALLY safe for work, grandmothers, kids... whatever. At least until we get a translation. For all I know, he could be talking about doing Michael Jackson-quality stuff to grandmothers and kids. That would be gross.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Presumably. I've seen blurbs about it for several different cities, and I know Denver is one of them.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): I try really hard not to cross-populate my social media too much. I feel my constituency -- both of you -- deserves variety. Just not in this case.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Van is the man. If Van wasn't married...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Neiman Marcus Chistmas Book is Out




And I quote:

Four Lollipops and Handle Set: We've got a plan for our pops —an ingeniously delicious plan. Take our 6.25"L crystal-encrusted handle with signature logo butterfly charm (it's the must-have accessory), attach a delicious (edible) lollipop head, then enjoy! In between licks, the protective bubble cover keeps the lint off your lolly. Our exclusive set includes metal handle, clear cover, and four edible pops to charm kids 10 years and older. Flavors include Blue Raspberry, Watermelon, Green Apple, and Cream Orange. Made in the USA.

NM Exclusive
Four Lollipops and Handle Set
Price: $50.00

[SUMMARY: Money, sense and the vague relationship between the two.]


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Do you suppose it's telling I originally typed "relationshop"?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Guitar Hero

So I finished the Guitar Hero Sweater, only a month late.§

[SUMMARY: Go AntiM! Take your excuses with you!]






It looks lovely and serene sitting there on the hanger, doesn't it? But we all know you can't get the real sense of a guitar sweater without seeing it on its intended owner.

[SUMMARY: Quiet moments are fleeting.]

Tallest, Hairiest Nephew knows the rules established long ago by his father: you have to take one nice picture...




...so you can get to the squirrely shot.#




My favourites may be the unguarded moments, like when the nephew is concentrating REALLY HARD†† on the solo from "Come As You Are."‡‡




[SUMMARY: It's hard to pose when you're focusing that hard.]


FOOTNOTE (crossed): If you don't count the fact that I had to take it back and make the sleeves looser and longer, which only took a couple of hours.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): And posting it, posting knitting, just like I promised last week when I was begging money. A good saint-in-waiting always keeps her promises.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): I had a hand injury and the sun was in my eyes and it didn't get cold enough for a sweater until last week anyway.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Now that the mohawk is gone, he's back to Tallest and Hairiest.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Totally punk, no?

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I can't believe he missed the tongue-sticking-out gene.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): He has the hook totally nailed, but the solo takes his undivided attention.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Punchline Tour

I Kid You Not


I call this piece "Stress in Repose on Wazamba Tube Adrift a Field of Rampant Spreadsheets"

We have a monthly department meeting here in the Land of Big Oil. To entice people to fail to skip it, there is birthday cake and a raffle.

The raffle usually consists of four gift cards to Starbucks, Jamba Juice, etc., and one coveted "get two free vacation hours" certificate.

Yesterday, they cleaned out the prize closet and gave everybody something with the company logo on it. There were many soccer-themed stress balls and apparently a more limited number of tape measure/levels.

Coincidentally, there are many women and only a more limited number of men in the department.

So the women got the balls and the men got the measuring devices.

Forty-two-year-old me bit twelve-year-old me's tongue really hard to stem the flow of inappropriate jokes.§

There are no such restrictions on you.


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Well, medium-sized oil.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): I won one of those a couple of months ago. They made me trade for a Starbucks card.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): The only thing the little angel on my shoulder let me say was, "We are all now eligible for the St. Mary Stress Soccer League." It was funnier in person.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Kim? Can I lob you a softball? OH! That's what she said!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Go. Look.

For those of you who aren't already VSL junkies, allow me to direct you to today's offering:

10Steps.sg, a graphic designer's website that specifically features "50 extraordinary and attractive billboards" and generally has a bunch of cool advertising and graphic design.

One of the billboards is a Denver Water advertisement,§ so I feel a sense of civic pride:




There are also two Mini Cooper billboards. This is my lucky day.#

I'm a dork like that.


FOOTNOTE (crossed): And I think you all should be.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): I also like the "44 advertising posters with clever ideas."

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): I have long thought this was a particularly good ad campaign, though I loathe being told what to do with my water.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Any time Denver isn't in the news for housing terrorists of one kind or another, I am elated.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): What with all the validation.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dr Doom and the Very High Seats

Will the Dr. Doom Fan Club please buckle your collective seatbelts and keep all limbs inside the ride?

Dr. Doom attended his first football game on August 30 when the beloved Broncos played the new mini-rivals the Chicago Bears.

Here he is, outside the stadium:




Inside the stadium:




On the way in, he observed that, while he had Broncos shirt and Broncos jacket and even Broncos pants, he did not have a Broncos hat.

These are the things that must be remedied.

On the ramp, with new cap:




In the stands, apparently after the hot dog:




Dr. Doom didn't seem at all put out to be in stands this high off the ground:




Or this close to the top of the stadium:




To be fair, I doubt he was impressed by the view either, but I'd like to think you would be:




All in all, a successful first outing.




Particularly since, when he said, "AntiM, I wish we could ride back to the car in one of those," pointing at the bicycle rickshaws, "It would be much faster," I promptly turned around and hired a rickshaw for the boy.

Look at those big, blue eyes. If those big, blue eyes looked up at you and said "AntiM,"§ would you say no?


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Nothing like the hated Raiders, of course (*cough*23to3*cough*), but our idiot former QB is now throwing for the Bears, so we just don't think that highly of them.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): *cough*indulgent aunt*cough*... does anybody have a lozenge?

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Even if your name is Kim or Laurie or Leslie or Sarah or Kari...

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Brief Respite from the Hilarity

Dear Friends,

Holly, my newly-minted stepsister-in-law has been Hodgkin's-free for 13 years.

Mom had Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma before she died nearly four years ago.

In a fit of bonding and in honour of the big ol' empty space where Mom used to be, I'm walking on Holly's team in Light the Night on October 1 in Wash Park here in Denver.

As my uncle, the motivational speaker§ says, "If you don't ask, the answer is always no."

I ask that if the cause speaks to you and the timing is right, please click the giant Light the Night button over there on the right and use me as a conduit to donate.

I'll be thankful if you would like to participate and utterly unruffled if you don't.

Thank you for your time. Now go ask someone to tell you a good priest/rabbi/bar joke.

XOXO
M

p.s. -- next week I *promise* pictures of Dr. Doom and a completed knitting project.#


FOOTNOTE (crossed): One of the not-evil ones.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): The cleverly-named "Holly Holly Hodgkin's Free"

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): I am not making this up.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Though I don't hesitate to point out to him that sometimes it's better to beg forgiveness than ask permission. In that case, the whole "no" question is moot.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Because it's been well established that knitting pictures make everything better.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Drive-By

Just so's you know my head hasn't exploded yet, here I am.

One of these days I'm going to load the last month's worth of pictures in one giant *blurgh* of photojournalism, but for now, let me tell you a little story and share a link.

Sunday was the Broncos home opener. I don't have a parking pass, but the boss's FIL has vintage season tickets and VIP parking. The boss took his son, but they live right on the very spiffy light rail line to the stadium, so they decided to go the public trasportation route.

Thus, I got the VIP parking pass.

We got to the lot I parked near the entrance, which makes for a longer walk, but a much quicker getaway when the game is over. This was really good thinking, only I forgot one key element: I pulled into the space head-in.

When we got back to the car after the game, I realised my error. Not only was I going to have to rely on the kindness of strangers to back all the way into the traffic lane, I was going to have to back to my right with an empty space on my right and a giant truck on my left... exactly the wrong configuration for my needs.

AND... it turns out that when you are flanked by two giant trucks -- even if one of them is a full parking space removed from you -- and your head is sunk deep in truck territory, it' really hard to see oncoming traffic anyway.

After a moment, I realised I drive a Mini Cooper.§

I backed all the way to the end of the parking space, turned the wheel hard right and proceeded to execute a perfect seven-point turn. When I had completed this feat, Kelley poked me and pointed at the small crowd that had gathered to watch the magic of the Cutest Little Car in the Whole Wide World.

Amazement, applause and quite possibly the best object lesson in why a tiny little car is one of the best accessories a sports fan can have.

*************

An email exchange:

From: eBeth
To: Marin
Subject: Now here's a textile for you!#

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/09/spider-silk/

From: Marin
To: eBeth
Subject: Re: Now here's a textile for you!

Holy cats. It's like my best dream spun out of my worst nightmare.

Plus... bulletproof shawl!

From: eBeth
To: Marin
Subject: Now here's a textile for you!

Surely there's a pithy maxim buried in there somewhere. If life gives you spiders, make a shawl....

*************

I don't know about all y'all, but this makes way more sense than that lemon thing.††


†FOOTNOTE (crossed): Y'know... a pod of whales, an oodle of cupcakes, a *blurgh* of photojournalism.

‡FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): You may have noticed.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Two points for effort, Captain Obvious!

¶FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): If you think there's no such thing as a perfect seven-point turn, well... you really need to see me in action.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): *WARNING!* Giant spider alert! Sarah should proceed with caution!

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I don't believe life has ever handed me lemons, but it's handed me innumerable spiders. Lemons would, in fact, be a nice change, and would require no sugar-coating (heheheh) to be a big step up.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Planks to Be Walked, Chickens to Be Stalked

As many of you are aware, Saturday is National Squawk Like a Pirate Day.




Red knows.

Marybeth is getting the picture.§

CHICKENS!


FOOTNOTE (crossed): I know you think it's TALK like a pirate, but have you ever heard a chicken talk?

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): The chicken, not the chick. The chick is Marybeth.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Actually, Marybeth is giving the picture, which delights me to no end. I saw this on Facebook and was itching to steal it, then Marybeth emailed it to me and preempted any criminal activity on my part. Marybeth is my new best friend.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

State of the Onion

My office is roughly 2/3 of a block from the bathroom.

If you'll direct your attention the clever graphic below, I have drawn a rough diagram of my daily habitat.




The green star is me. The purple star outside the box is the bathroom. The red star is the coffee maker, the blue star the printer where my documents mostly show up and the orange dinosaur-looking thing is Hans.

[SUMMARY: With that, you know way more about my daily life than you want to.]

The series of events:

A vague notion that I have to pee. A vague notion that coffee would be good. The certainty that this print job is going to take several minutes, seeing as it's 180 pages long.

In a fit of efficient brilliance, I hit print, figuring I'd drop my coffee cup in the kitchen, cruise to the bathroom, pick up coffee and collect my printed document on the return trip.

In reality, I hit print, went to the copy machine, couldn't figure out what I was doing there, realised I didn't have my coffee cup and went back to my office for that.

[SUMMARY: It dont't get any better than this.]

I started out again, this time skipping the copy room and heading for the kitchen, where I dispensed coffee to cup, whitened it up and headed back to my office. When I hit the copy machine, I remembered I had to pee.§

I set the coffee down on the copy counter and went to the bathroom. On the way back, I was intently reminding myself not to forget my stuff at the printer and bypassed the coffee completely.

[SUMMARY: Still not getting better.]

I got back to my desk, started to sit down and bounced like a rubber ball as I remembered my coffee. I went back for the coffee, and circled the copy room for a moment trying to remember what it was I was not supposed to forget in the copy room. There weren't any papers lying around to give me a clue, so I went back to my office.

When I turned back to my computer, there was an email I needed to answer. About ten minutes later, Hans walked into my office with a handful of papers.

"These look like yours," he said.

"Oh, yeah. I printed stuff! Thank you!"

I set the stuff on the desk and continued with my email.

[SUMMARY: Multi-tasking may not be for everybody.]

About five minutes later, I turned without looking and bumped the coffee, spilling it over the freshly printed stuff. I sopped up the brown puddle with the paper towels I keep in my desk just for these moments,# sighed and took a sip of coffee. Which was cold.

Thus the sometimes-vicious cycle of life in the wilds of the office†† begins again. More prints, more coffee and someday I will spill again.

*************

Wazamba - Parfume d'Empire

Marin says: "What are you sniffing these days?" asked Nathan.%

"Not much, really. I'm experiencing perfume ennui," I replied.

"I hate it when that happens," he commiserated.

The next day, Wazamba landed on my desk.

Out of courtesy‡‡ to my generous friend, I pounced, ravaging it like a starving beast ravages a plump gazelle.§§

Mmmmm... fresh-cut pine backed by a dollop of sweet-but-not-too, round, smoky, resiny incense. It mellows noticably but subtly to a gentler pine, not as citrusy-sharp, with the incense bubbling up just a little, but broadening rather than overcoming.

The smoke becomes more pronounced, but this is one of the best smokes I've sniffed -- not too campfire, not too acrid, just smooth and dry and a bit sweet, like the smell of an old church after mass.

Somewhere in here, I was thinking of applewood smoke on a BBQ. Turns out, the perfumer actually lists apple in the notes.

Now, we can chat about all the notes and bits, but there's something complete about this fragrance that wants the forest to be noted ahead of the trees. The word I keep coming back to is "enveloping." I find it cosy and comforting, and just a bit sexy, because smoke and incense usually have a little vavoom in their makeup. The sillage is poofy rather than trailing, more resembling a fog or a cloud than the stream of a peacock's tail carrying behind it.

The fragrance is incredibly long lasting. If I didn't shower, who knows how long it would have stayed? Eighteen hours after a light application, my wrists smelled like baking¶¶ and incense.

It is to be noted that Aaron (the filing clerk) walked into my office and went all dreamy and forgot what he was going to say. "Wow. It smells *really* good in here." Shanny liked it and confirmed that it goes nicely with R&B, Robert Cray-style.

So I've shaken my perfume ennui in favour of Wazamba monomania.##

It's a step in the right direction.

Parfum d'Empire says†††: An aromatic pine$ grove created around incense,$ sacred to all great civilizations. Incense, myrrh, sandalwood, cypress and apple$ fashion the enigmatic formula of this captivaing perfume. A voyage within...

Hans says: A spice. Like a cinnamon. It smells like the colour brown. Rich mahogany. Yeah, I get a spicy scent.


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Hans doesn't merit a star because, once again, Hans is leaving on a deadline. We had a deadline yesterday, we have another October 9 and now we have one October 30, the day Hans is leaving for Madison.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Short lived.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): You'd think this wouldn't be a memory item, wouldn't you?

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): My obsessive nature doesn't only apply to hobbies and things people tell me I can't have; it spreads and permeates every little corner of my being. In this case, erroneously. That copy room haunted me all day.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Yes, I keep paper towels in my desk. For good reason.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I watched a little Discovery Channel this weekend.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): In one of our rare moments lately -- werk is really eating into my pleasant social time.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Y'know... gentle, courteous attention much like what a six-year-old gives a big, beribboned package on Christmas morning.

§§FOOTNOTE (dervish): Huh. Maybe I watched more Discovery Channel than I thought.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (knock knock): I was really surprised to find it didn't have any vanilla in the notes.

##FOOTNOTE (pound the sistrum!): Wazamba Monomania would be a good name for a band. Particularly, as Grain de Musc so kindly provided, since a Wazamba is a sort of African sistrum.

†††FOOTNOTE (holy holy holy cats): Via the packaging. Their website is all in French and I couldn't figure out which button to hit to get to the next on the list of perfumes and I don't know French for "search" and I was looking at the parade of bottles at the bottom of the page going all Nancy Drew with the "it's a golden colour" and again with the "the label is dark brown" and I never saw a Wazamba bottle float by, which is a shame because I thought it would be funny to post the French, doubly funny if I posted the shipping particulars instead of the perfume PR.

Did I mention "obsessive"?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lookie!

I'm all featured and stuff. Garden Planters-dot-com likes my tomatoes almost as much as I do.

Though I'm pretty sure it was the cucumber-as-John-Holmes reference that drew them in.

[SUMMARY: Gardeners are a saucy bunch.]

Meanwhile, a kitcen appliance tragedy§ has stalled my cupcake quest: the dough hook of my Kitchen Aid mixer is somehow jammed on the thing. It won't push up, so I can't get the little knobby thing to travel the little groovy thing to take the dough hook off.

I was in full panic mode last night.

Having accepted a lost day of baking,# I'm a little more zen today.

[SUMMARY: All things are relative. Zen doubly so.††]

Do they have mixer repairmen?‡‡


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Apparently, I'm influential.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): The Google tracks of the wily gardener... it's all part of the circle of life.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): I was distraught, in any case. Most of the world remained largely untouched by this turn of events. I believe Guy suggested, to my frantic Facebook post, "bigger hammer."

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): The spring moves fine, I soaked the thing in hot water and ammonia, there's nothing visible wrong with it. It just won't budge.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): And more than once contemplated whether cupcakes can be made either with a dough hook or in the fancy new food processor.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Apologies to Douglas Adams.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): And do they look like Gustavo Dudamel?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Do Your Civic Duty

VOTE!

Oh, not for any of those windbags, liars or foot-in-mouth experts on capitol hill. I'm baking an oodle of cupcakes some time in the next week and I'm interested in the general public's temperature on the final flavour slot.

1st cupcake recipe - Buttermilk cake with Spiced Vanilla frosting§
2nd cupcake recipe - Red Wine Chocolate cake with Mascarpone frosting
3rd cupcake recipe - Um... I'm leaning toward one of the following:

  • Cardamom & Orange cake with Lemongrass frosting

  • Cranberry cake with Dulce de Leche Pecan frosting

  • Carrot Cake cake with classic Cream Cheese frosting

  • Hummingbird cake with Marmalade frosting

Cast your vote off to the right% there, leave a comment... you may just influence what I bake, and isn't that what you've always dreamed of?#


FOOTNOTE (crossed): The proper term for a group of cupcakes. Y'know... like a pride of lions, a pod of whales, an unkindness of ravens... an oodle of cupcakes.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): And you guys too!

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Like this:




As an aside to the footnote (supply lines are getting thinner and harder to maintain), when I searched my blog for "cake," it told me there were no posts that matched the query "cake." My blog is a lying whore.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): For those of you who aren't Southern, the cupcake book says hummingbird cake is a "classic recipe from the American South," and its ingredients include cinnamon, mashed bananas, orange zest, shredded carrot, crushed pineaple and flaked coconut.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): NOT a political statement.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): When you wish upon a blog, makes no difference who you snog... lalala... hum if you don't know the words.

As another aside (I can hear you rolling your eyes), I wanted to add musical notes to that, but the latest version of Word no longer has musical notes. I don't know what I'm going to do when I want to sing to you now.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Shhhhh...

...I'm supposed to be working.

Only, we had our fantasy draft last night and I got to keep the premier player in the whole of the NFL, but ended up drafting a stoopid quarterback and one player simply to have someone whose bye week is ten.§

Long night.

On the up-side, we've moved our league from CBS Sports to Yahoo, which doesn't just give us great savings, it gives us the ability to use the Toyota Logo Enhancer.

The BOB# is now represented by a demon sheep.††




I'm so happy right now, I could just go back to werk.


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Adrian Peterson, who I hope is man enough to carry my whole miserable team.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Kyle Orton. I know. But I thought I should have at least one Bronco and Knowshon Moreno was gone. Besides, my brother kept saying, "Kyle Orton, still on the board," in a very sarcastic tone. I had to shut him up. If the boy ever learns to play, I'm going to look like a flippin' genius.



§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Hakeem Nicks of the Giants. I don't know either.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): As CBS charged us $170 for the privelege of being able to set our roster set times, apparently.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Beasts of Burden - my fantasy moniker. It's always fun if your initials spell something and "BOB" lends itself well to trash-talking. I once was beating everybody in the league so soundly, I wrote a little Christmas song and having a one-syllable name facilitated that nicely. Also? This year we have a new guy named Robert who is playing under the team name "Lesser Bob." Ask me how much I love that.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I usually use Donkey from Shrek, but a donkey wasn't one of my options. Toyota has an elephant but not a donkey. This could raise political eyebrows among the conspiracy theorists. Oh... and for the record? Toyota offers both a knitting needle in a ball of yarn and a sock as background, but neither one showed up behind the sheep.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Half-Hearted, Time-Saving Lick of the Pig

I know, but...




[SUMMARY: Defensive much?]

These days, I don't write blogs. I barely read blogs. In this economy,§ one must do everything in one's power to stay in the good graces of those willing to pay one.

Translation: Deadlines loom. Free time is short. Can't screw around.%

[SUMMARY: Excuses, excuses.]

I do have a couple of juicy tidbits I want to share, just to let you know I'm still out here somewhere and well, because they're funny or interesting.

Sarah, you're going to want to cover your eyes when we get to "interesting."

[SUMMARY: In the eye of the beholder, my friends, in the eye of the beholder.]

So on the funny front, a follow-up to the Lady Gaga fashion debacle of July 2009:




DON'T LOOK, SARAH! GO FIND A NICE CUPCAKE OR A PUPPY OR A FLUFFY CLOUD OR SOMETHING TO OCCUPY YOUR EYES!

And something I find interesting, courtesy of Kathy-now-Kathryn:




Meet Heteropoda davidbowie.

Yep. You read that right. David Bowie gets his own spider. Be it Martian or Glass, it seems somehow glam-appropriate... if a little scary.

[SUMMARY: All day long, my head will be shrieking, "...but where are the spiders?"]

And, since I put it together last week, I can throw this in and complete my tour of the Six Scents line... just in time for the release of Six Scents, part II#, due in October.††

*************

No. 6: Teen Spirit - Preen & Mark Buxton (Part 6 in the series)

Marin says: Bergamot.$ Definitely bergamot. Or maybe lemon of the verbena variety. It's thin and high and sour-citrusy... and as I found out later, may be the most interesting portion of the trip for me.

When the citrus starts fading, a touch of rose$ peeks through. It's very watery, both in that "barely there" sense and in that it smells like rain.$ Once the bergamot is completely gone and the sharper parts of the rose round out, it becomes a round, powdery floral, no particular rose in sight.

I think the "teen spirit" moniker is apt; this reminds me very much of something one gets at Walgreen's when one is a 16 year old girl. Love's Baby Soft. Something attributable to Brittney Spears.@ It goes distinctly soapy (must be musk$) late in the game.

Meh.

Meh meh meh.

Six Scents says: "The idea we had with Preen, was to capture an English summer garden after the rain - light, natural, floral, fresh, but not sweet. Its sprakling top note, made of calabrain bergamot an a unique seashore accord‡‡ is wrapped with magnolia and Turkish rose. The tingling spicy scent of red pepper sustained by hazelnut leaf and rhubarb give the fragrance its natural depth.§§ Finally, a touch of violet wood for the long-lastingness and pleasurable feeling." - Mark Buxton, Perfumer

Ingredients: Hazelnut Leaf, Rhubarb, Bergamot, Seashore accord, Red Pepper, Berry Rose, Magnolia, Violet wood, Sandalwood, Musk.

Hans says: Ooooh, I like that. It smells like grapefruit rind. What do you call that? Zest. Grapefruit zest.¶¶


FOOTNOTE (crossed): You may have noticed.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Mostly of the "funny cats" variety.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Oh, how I hate it when people use that phrase...

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Much.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Who has the most interesting Twitter list. I did eventually have to remove Courtney Love from my follow list because she's patently bugshit insane and completely misses the seminal point of Twitter, which is its brevity, by posting roughly 20,000 words a day, 140 words at a time.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Electric Boogaloo.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I can hear you cringing from here, Nathan.

$FOOTNOTE (on the money!): I'm not as proud of myself as I usually am. Picking out orange and rose seems a scant talent.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): Before her particular bugshit slut phase -- back in the Disney "I'm still a virgin" pink poofy feather ponytail days.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): I'm officially a perfume snob. I completely dismissed this whole scent as soon as I saw the cutesy marketing ploy "seashore accord." Good thing I didn't really like the scent to begin with or I'd be torn by hypocrisy and existential angst.

§§FOOTNOTE (shaking my head, waggling my finger): If I had detected any of anything in this whole sentence, I may have been able to find something other than "meh" to say about it. Everything in this sentence sounds delightful.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (heads up!): Hans only got the first whiff. I should've made him hang out for the powdery part.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Signs of the Times

Appropriate and sad... The Official Warning Sign of 2009.




And a section in my local bookstore.




I'm so glad I ditched Barnes & Noble... the do NOT have a Being Fabulous section at Barnes & Noble, but they frequently have a full section of stupid sparkly vampires.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wherefore Art Thou, Cuisinart?

Herefore art I!

UPDATE: In response to my inquiry, Williams-Sonoma contacted me yesterday to let me know the food processor of my dreams§ is now available for mail order.

As it will not be in stores for at least a week, and then only in limited quantities, I shelled out the extra $30 to have it delivered to my doorstep.

[SUMMARY: Obsession can be an expensive thing.]

It will be home tomorrow.

You're welcome.


FOOTNOTE (crossed): I think I'm funny.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): ...somewhat stressy, breathe-in-a-bag-style...

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Though not the one where I save the world by teaching Vladmir Putin to dance.

How My Garden Grows†

I sense you are dying to know how my garden is doing.

[SUMMARY: Psychic!]

It's very kind of you to ask.

Cat for Scale really enjoys gardening with me.

EnjoyED gardening with me.

A couple of days ago, he discovered he could walk through the slats on the deck railing and cross the rooflet to the neighbour's deck.

[SUMMARY: Wait... what happened to the garden? Hey! This isn't a summary!]

Oh, the first couple of times, he walked over, sniffed around and came right back, no problem. Last night, he discovered he could walk through the slat's on the neighbour's deck railing and cross the rooflet to *their* neighbour's deck.

This led to a very funny incident in which I was screaming§ "Quill! Kitty! Come here!" at the top of my lungs, then bolting out the front door to ring the neighbour's neighbour's doorbell like a demented Avon lady.

When nobody answered, I dashed home, grabbed the treat jar and went outside shaking it viciously and yelling,§ "Kitty treat! Do you want a kitty treat?"@

"Meow?" I heard. I pressed my anxious little face against the trellis separating me from my pet.

"Quill? QUILL??!?"§

"Meow?" And there he was, bumping my ankle with a look I swore said, "Why are you yelling? I'm right here. Did somebody mention kitty treats?"

So I tossed a couple of treats inside and closed the door as far as I could.

Because I can no longer trust him to do this:




He's going to have to wait for me to install some sort of screen to keep him home safe before he can garden with me again.

[SUMMARY: The wild beast stalked the veldt.]

Anyway, back at the garden...

cucumber buds, cucumber tendrils twining on their own leaves, baby Brandywine,
fat little jalapeno, white cucumber, baby Beefsteak, banana peppers, Lemon Drops





...a beautiful baby Slicemaster cucumber:




...and a lush, spiny, fully-grown# and harvested white cucumber.




I took a whole bunch of pictures on June 20. Then I didn't do much with them, so I took a whole new batch on August 12, thinking, "Wouldn't it be cool to do the before and after?"††

[SUMMARY: Cool is in the eye of the beholder.]

My Hammacher-Schlemmer‡‡ Upside-Down Tomato Gardens:

left planter: cilantro, white cukes, Big Rainbow tomatoes
right planter: purple basil, sweet basil, dill, banana peppers,
Beefsteak tomatoes, Lemon Drop tomatoes and Besser Cherry tomatoes



My Topsy-Turvy Upside Down Tomato Planters:

left to right: Brandywine tomatoes, Anaheim peppers, tomatillos, jalapenos, Slicemaster cukes




I sowed the cilantro June 19, so here's June 20:




...and August 12.




In the last two weeks, the tomatoes, tomatillos and herbs have doubled in size and are positively fecund.

The bees are having a field day.

There is a Slicemaster cucumber that would make John Holmes blush. It hangs, heavy and obscene, at the very bottom of the vine, where it sways lasciviously in the slightest breeze.^

There are little white spiders on one side of the cilantro and ladybugs on the other and I wonder if there'll ever be a caged death match somewhere in the middle of the crop.

[SUMMARY: Gardens make you thoughtful.]

Most important, I *finally* got a ripe tomato,§§ one of the little, round Bessers finally got as red as I figured it was going to.

Funny story: eBeth had the Besser plant labeled as an Anna Russian. I Googled all the varieties of tomatoes she started for us% and found the Anna Russian is a medium-sized, pink, heart-shaped tomato.

Imagine my surprise to get a fire engine red globe the size of a 25-cent gumball. So I took it to book club last night to ask eBeth what it might actually be, since it didn't appear to be medium-sized, pink OR heart-shaped.

Once she said it was a Besser, I rinsed it off in Jeanne's sink and popped it in my mouth. The... I... *slurp*... FLAVOUR... burst!... *grrrgle*

"Oh... that's good," I said.

"I don't believe any of us have ever heard you say that," said Annie.

I was mildly embarrassed, thinking, "Man, am I so negative nobody's ever heard me say I like anything? Or maybe it's just a vegetable thing?"

"...having never been privy to your bedroom," Annie finished.

I blushed.¶¶

"...and your eyes kinda rolled back..."

"...and you moaned..."

I *really* like fresh garden tomatoes.

Just for posterity, the houseplants are also doing well.






[SUMMARY: Show off!]

Happy to help.

p.s. -- Chickens!##


FOOTNOTE (crossed): I probably shouldn't admit this in a public forum, where people who might want to hire me may find this out, but I've always thought of it as "Marin, Marin, quite contrarin, how does your garden grow?" I was five when that started and it just stuck. For the record, it's also "Eat, drink and be Marin."

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Really funny if you're a cat. Maybe not so funny if you're a frantic cat keeper.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): At a cat I'm pretty sure is stone deaf.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): In the same tone, volume and timbre used by Swedish thrash metal frontmen. Or Animal, the muppet.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): What with the hose hooked to the kitchen faucet. It sounds ghetto, but it was either that or let my father perpetrate acts of plumbing on my house.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): I was expecting miniature cucumbers -- like the gherkins in the grocery store. These are like lemons.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): In all honesty, I took new pictures because the old ones were so outdated, then the before & after inspiration hit me and I decided to pretend it was my intention all along.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): After buying these, I love Hammacher Schlemmer... truly, madly, deeply. Best customer service I've ever had from someone who wasn't going to get a tip. I'm going to buy a third planter for next year's garden.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): I may be projecting... something.

§§FOOTNOTE (here's where the worm turned): The whole reason I started gardening. I don't know what those things in the grocery store are -- perhaps some breed of bouncy ball -- but they aren't tomatoes.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): As one does.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (red cheeks): Doesn't happen that often. Let's not get used to it.

##FOOTNOTE (chicken scratch): Because a day without chickens is like a pig without a lick.