Author of the Queen City Boys books

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Tennessee is green in spring (if we can make it until then)

Yeah, so 23°F.  I could be planning, working, doing all sorts of things.  Or I could crawl under many blankets and watch episodes of 30 Rock on my laptop and fantasize about having Liz Lemon‘s wardrobe. Like this dress.  She has it in a couple colors.  And man, do I need one.  Of course I immediately think I should just make one: find, modify or draft my own pattern.  Get some cotton jersey, maybe in green (but probably in purple). And get too it.  Especially if I’m going to be up late at night, I should at least be practicing sewing with knits.  And yet, it’s so damn cold, all I am doing is huddling under blankets  and thinking about Liz Lemon’s wardrobe.  Yes, winter is a sad, sad time for me.

Actually it’s not as bad as all that.  I’m dressed and Libelle and I are going to go outside and find food (warm restaurant food, not like foraging in the woods or anything).  We might even run errands or *gasp* walk a little. And then of course it’s back to blankets and TV watching.  I don’t actually feel guilty about hibernating.  I”ll get stuff done later in the week when it’s tolerably warm and I feel functional.

Picture is what my porch will be like when the warm weather returns.

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Let’s get this party started quickly

Libelle and I saw Avatar last night.  It was gorgeous and entirely worth the 3-D experience and price for the visuals. The story lacks, it’s your standard Hero’s Journey with added male-dominated society and offensive Noble Savage (or do I mean Romantic Primativism?) notes.  And yet it was very moving and enjoyable.

Ranking of winter movies I’ve seen, in order of story quality (by my own personal not described standards):
1. The Fantastic Mr. Fox
2. Up in the Air
3. Sherlock Holmes
4. Avatar

Ranking of winter movies I’ve seen, in order of emotional effect on me:
1. Up in the Air
2. Avatar
3. The Fantastic Mr. Fox
4. Sherlock Holmes

When I got home last night I wrote out this long post about the new year and my resolutions. Of course I left it on on open Notepad doc, didn’t save it and closed my computer and now it’s gone gone gone.  You’d think after years of computer use I wouldn’t continuously do things like this.  (It’s also possible that somewhere between when I took the Nyquil last night and when I actually went to bed that I typed over it.)  I’ll try and recreate it here.

Taking as page from a friend of mine (thanks, SH!), I’d like to go into this new decade and say that I am not a writer, not a project manager, a librarian, a waitress or a web developer.  I do not want to tie my identity to my work or to my projects and ventures. I simply want to be and do.  By which I mean I’d like to continue to create and plan and work until I land on what I will be seriously committing myself to for the forseeable future.  So I can be identified, for the sake of clarity as a sewist, or a reviewer, or a waitress, but I will let go of self identification as any of these things and simply do the work I need to get done.

I have in the coming year, approximately 26,000 hours of projects I’d like to complete about about 3,000 hours of time to devote to to those projects.  I am going to have to plan and pick and choose my projects carefully if I want to get anything done at all.  By eliminating self identification I’m hoping to make this process easier. That is to say, if I don’t primarily identify as a writer then I’m not saying to myself, “Well as a writer I must prioritize all writing projects and sideline sewing projects.”

I’m not 100% sure I’m explaining this well.  It might be too abstract, too much my own internal thought process, for public consumption, but I felt the need to put it here for reference in the future.  Overall, I guess my problem is that my focus is so wide that I feel scattered and am not managing to finish individual projects.  I know I need to narrow my focus and buckle down. Rather than say “I’m sewist, I will complete sewing projects.” I am going to let go of what I am and list my individual projects and focus on ones that I can reasonably complete and finish those, rather than tie myself up in the idea of the larger projects.  Hmm, I might be getting more vague the longer I type.  I wonder how often things make perfect sense in my head and I’m still not able to translate them into written words.  Is this a fault of language and communication or have I simply not clarified to myself well enough what my ideas are?  I can say for sure that the lost post I started writing last night was more clear and succinct that what I’ve ended up with here today.

Also I have been trying to include a picture with every post I make here, just for added interest.  This year I am going to try and include a picture I took with every post.  It won’t necessarrily be related to the post, nor have been taken recently.  I just realized I have hundred of pictures on file that I rarely look at and don’t do anything with, so I’ll try and share them here.  Today’s picture was taken in my backyard in Feb 2007.  It isn’t snowy here now, but it’s damned cold and this picture reminds me of how bleak winter is in Tennessee.

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Thinky thoughts

I am freaking exhausted.  Staying up until 4 am pretending to be a cool rock chick will do that, I guess. Fun night, better day (despite the hangover) showing the PNW boys Nashberg.

Fall still seems to be raining it’s way in.  I’ve gotten pretty used to Indian summers here. I guess it’s still possible.  It’s just been so overwhelmingly grey and insanely wet for the last week.  The air tastes like despair.  I have been here, in the sun, for so long now that apparently it takes only a week of grey for SAD to set in.  Luckily a good day of bright Southern sunlight can knock it out.  Now if only the sun would come out.

Libelle and I went shopping yesterday and I got an amazing wool coat, Italian, with the tags still on at the new Goodwill for $15.  I am smitten with it. It’s purple, but not too purple.  I like autumn all right, though I lament the loss of summer.  The coat is so wonderful that I think I might actually make it through winter.  I will try to take pictures tomorrow.

I lost my evening reading random personal blogs that Google Reader recommended me.  Usually it recs me sewing blogs or something clearly related to other blogs I read (like music or local news) but I got these two random ones.  One a girl who seems lonely and sad, but maybe doesn’t realize how pathetic she comes across (lots of writing about the boyfriend she misses, even though they broke up a year ago and she hasn’t spoken to him in seven months, ugh, so sad).  And another is a sort of hipstery dude in Brooklyn, but he posts kind of interesting art, and these hilarious (possibly unintentionally so) one line movie reviews, so I might follow him for a while.

Then I was thinking about how these blogs are nothing but weird windows into people’s lives so I went back and read my own entries from the last three Septembers.  And I guess since this blog is sort of about nothing, it is also a weird little window into my life.  I was reminded that I get really homesick every September, so it is excellent that I am going out to visit this week (omg, I need to pack).  And there’s odd little entries like this one that make my life seem interesting.  I guess my life is interesting.

I was contemplating some meme where you put all your past addresses into Google Earth and post the pictures of them, but then it seemed oddly morbid. Still, here is the house I grew up in.  It is part of what makes me interesting.  This pictures makes me happy.  Maybe it is because it seems so sunny.

The Placebo version of this song was on the premiere of Vampire Diaries (which so far doesn’t suck) and reminded me of how much I love it.  I have probably listened to it six times tonight.  It makes me feel lonely and happy at the same time.  This video is clearly dated though still incredibly lovely.

This live performance is also dated, but the emotion in it is fantastic.

I am covered in mosquito bites from walking around Spring Hill cemetery this morning.  I hate the word “upcycle.”  I am tired and achy.  I should be in bed.  Instead I am scrunched up on the love seat eating a sandwich consists of wheat bread (the cheap, crappy kind that is like brown white bread), tartar sauce (better than mayo on sandwiches) and havarti.  It is kind of trashy and incredibly delicious.

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Marking as mine

I’ve been considering labels for the inside of clothing that I make.  I started searching online last night just to get an idea of how much they would cost.  While searching I found this tutorial.  And hey!  I already had twill tape and iron-on transfer paper laying around the house.



I tested a couple and they seemed to wash just fine.  Of course since they just say my name, it seems almost silly to put them in clothes that I will be wearing.  Like I’m gearing up for summer camp or something, but I don’t care.  I’m so excited I’m going to sew them into everything I make!

Also considering getting a stamp made of the one I like the best.  Then I can just stamp them with fabric ink, or directly into the garment in some cases.    I can’t decide which I like best though.

I got my permanent bridge put in today.  It was relatively painless, though it feels really weird in my mouth.  Pictures when it’s all healed. Still eating soft foods.  Still very bored with them.  Bleh.

I should be making to-do lists.  And maybe doing something productive.  Instead I am making Libelle watch True Blood with me.  Much more satisfying than anything resembling work.

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too many things. and vampires.


Libelle is still out of town and I am being kind of lazy on this Sunday.  Ha!  Of course even if Libelle was here, chances are I’d still be sitting around in my pajamas.  But since she is out of town, I am waiting and waiting to watch the last two episodes of Being Human.  Even though I am dying to find out what happens.

Because I needed something to watch I am watching True Blood. I am only on episode 2 of season 1.  I have clearly not at all been paying attention to mainstream media since I had no idea that this was based on the Sookie Stackhouse books. I read the first three books when they came out and in general I like vampire things (which seem really, really popular lately, is that Twilight fall out or something else?) so it seems like someone would have told me I should be watching this show.

As with any adaption it has it’s problems.  And of course the original stories themselves require a lot of suspension of disbelief (and I don’t mean just believing in vampires, but more the weird secrecy about part of it and how the rest of the world would respond to the existence of vampires).  Still it is well enough made TV to be cracky cracktastic crack.  I just wish the guy who played Bill was hotter.  Alas, they don’t yet let me cast all the TV I watch to my own specifications.  I do actually really like Sam.  And Tara.  And oddly enough, Jason.  Sookie is the epitome of a Mary-Sue, which is oddly likeable in this instance.   But maybe the thing I like best about the show so far is the credits.  They are subtly creepy and promise great things for the show.  The images are disturbing but somehow home-like as well.

Huh.  That’s a lot of words about TV.

So as I watch I have been slowly and carefully continuing to strip down my possessions.  I’ve talked about this a little here before.  I’ve been thinking about it for a long time.  Some of it is a Zen thing, some of it is just feeling sort of burdened by everything I own.  It’s not like I need to pack up and go at any moment.  No, it’s more like a few years ago I started looking at some of my stuff and feeling like I didn’t know who it belonged too.  And then, it feels weird to say, but there is such thing as too many shoes and too much clothing.  And then there’s the stuff that’s just stuff.  I have spent a good part of my weekend sorting through the tons of stuff I have just in case I need it.  And you know, some of this stuff I have literally been packing up and moving around for YEARS and still haven’t ever used any of it.  And so it goes away.  Hopefully to someone who will use it.

Of course some of the things I have way too many of are because I can’t find the right one.  Hand bags for instance, I buy one that seems good, use it for a bit and then shelve it in favor of one that might be better.  I did once find the perfect bag, but alas, when I got mugged last year it was one of the things I lost and I have not been able to find another one like it.  When my sister was here about a month ago I saw this bag and swooned over it.  It perfectly fits all my criteria.  I didn’t buy it though.  And I’ve been kind of obsessing it over it ever since.  So I guess I’ll smartly save my pennies for a few weeks and buy it. In purple.  Which is less practical, I guess than brown or black, but more me, non?  And hopefully this one wil prove to be a great as the one that got away.  Otherwise I’ll have to keep acquiring handbags.

Heh, the fact that I am sitting around in my pajamas contemplating vampires and handbags is probably a sign that I need to get out more.  Maybe I’ll go make dinner.  And then watch some more vampires…

The picture on this post is a conversation between my mom and one of my cousins.  It just cracks me up so much I had to share it with everyone.

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stiches, grapes, cakes and frogs


The black dress is finished.  I put the pictures up on Flickr a couple days ago, but I forgot to post here.  I’m very happy with how it fits and how comfortable it is.  I’d like to make another in a print.  I’m thinking something like this:

Maybe it’s too much?  Or maybe I just don’t like that black background.  I wish I could find something like it with a brown or muted blue background.  I think two of that dress, basically in black, would be too much.  The lovely burgundy muslin is probably unwearable for me.  I swear I preshrunk the fabric, but after I washed it it’s about four inches shorter.  Still a great dress, I just need to give it to someone shorter than me (unlikely) or someone who is comfortable wearing things shorter than I  wear them (likely).  So maybe I could just make a second dress in a color?  Though I really like the idea of a pattern.  Hmmmm.  I like the idea of a border print too, but those seem to be hard to come by.

My Colorado Rebecca (as distinguished from my other Rebeccas) has a new blog about her adventures with wine.  No, no, not in a drunken shenanigans kind of way.  More of a ‘follow along as I learn about this’ kind of way.  She’s at Adventures of a Wine Noob.  Go check her out.

For the last two days my hair has looked fantastic.  This is because I haven’t been out of the house or seen anyone.  Tomorrow it will surely go back to frizzy madness before it’s time to go to work.

I am recovering okay from the dentist stuff.  I had a rough morning.  And an afternoon trip back to the dentist to get a tiny bit more patching up.  An evening with  painkillers on the couch watching old standbys has helped a lot.  My chin hurts.  I won’t be surprised if it comes up bruised.  My gums are bruised and my lips.  My teeth don’t hurt so much any more.  Am certainly on the mend.  I kind of want to go run around tomorrow (the couch gets old after a while), but I will refrain so I can be good for work tomorrow night and healthy for the weekend.  So instead of errands and work, my choices for tomorrow are watching the most recent Bond movie or catching up on Mad Men (I haven’t even watched season 2 yet, ack!  3 is about to start).

I’ve posted before about the rainbow cupcakes.  Every time I think about making this it’s usually too late at night to get the ingredients I’d need.  Some day though, there will be rainbow cupcakes.  And now I have a new obsession: cake pops.    (Also go here and scroll down and see all the many delightfully decorated cake pops.)

Libelle just went outside to scare away the very loud frog that was on the porch.  Or maybe it was a bird.  Mostly likely a frog. Or some sort of alien hybrid frogbird.  In any case it was loud and annoying and seems to be gone now.  Oh, wait, I spoke too soon.  Stupid rain.  Stupid frogs!!  You stay in the gully.  Don’t come on the porch!

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take the bad with the good


I got my temporary bridge put on today.  It hurts like a %$*&@%$(#&er.  I guess I should have expected this, since they ground down the surrounding teeth.  Which now, even with Lortabs and Advil, leaves me feeling like my teeth were hit with a hammer.  My mouth is jacked up: rough, dry, blistered and very bruised.  But hey!!  Teeth!  Even the temporary ones look fantastic, so that’s something.

Libelle brought me foods and drinks because she is the bestest friend ever.  She let me show her the bruises in the inside of my mouth and didn’t kick me in the knee for being gross.  Now I have eaten and I feel a little better.

I had some other actually fun stuff to talk about but maybe I’ll save it for another post.

(The picture is toothache man from Wells Cathedral, which has my favorite staircase in the whole world.)

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do you have Prince Albert in a can?

Today it is 100 days since I quit smoking.  I guess I can say I am non-smoker now.  Feel free to send me gifts to celebrate this joyous occasion.

Despite all the non-smoking joy I am sluggishly sitting on the couch, uncomfortable and cranky.  I can only blame hormomes.  Some times being a girl is stupid.


For my entertainment I am watching Victoria & Albert. It’s more comprehensive than The Young Victoria.  It is very good, but I have to confess that I liked The Young Victoria better (and not just because of Paul Bettany’s likable Lord Melbourne).  Both Alberts are handsome but Rupert Friend is more to my taste than Jonathan Firth. At least as they appear portraying Albert.  And man, oh man, after watching both films, I have something of an Albert fetish now.  He’s dashing, charming, concerned for the average man and in love with his wife.  Also he’s very tolerant.  He’s just dreamy.  If I was married to him I would have worn black for the rest of my life after he died too.  Do I have have anything intelligent to say about history or filmmaking after watching both films? No, no, no.  Just Albert is dreamy.  That’s all.

I’m halfway done with the black version of yesterday’s dress.  So far it’s great.  Only the shirring and the hem left to do, but I’ll save that for tomorrow.  I also have a skirt to finish (it’s been sitting for weeks and needs only a zipper and some finish work on the waistband to be done), I have a lot of baby sewing to do for various little nibblets (both already born and soon forthcoming) and Libelle wants me to make her a dress (which she–hint, hint–better get on picking a fabric and pattern if she wants it in time for her event).  Also I want to make the shirred dress again, this time in a print as I am pretty happy with fit, especially in the lighter fabric (the twill of the muslin is too heavy for summer dress, I can say this for sure after having worn it today).  I really need to make a list of all in progress and potential sewing projects and hang them above my work table.

Hmm, after V&A I am going to watch a documentary on the Moors in Europe.  And maybe make many lists.  I am super behind on list making.  Maybe I need make a list of lists that need making.  This is an indication of how much better I feel in general, as rather than feeling overwhelmed, I am actually feeling mildly thrilled at the prospect of organizing things.

I think I am going to try this meditation for 30 days.  I meditate periodically (and recently less frequently than I’d like) but maybe having a focused list like this and only a short time commitment will keep me inspired to keep doing it until I am focused enough to meditate more seriously.

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dreaming of a walk I could take

Rambla del Passeig del Bornimage by hoskitar

I spent a few hours standing around (walking/shopping), then I worked for 5 hours (walking/standing), then I came home and did I sit down on the couch and relax like a normal person?  Of course not. I made cookies then I ran around the house re-shelving books.

I had to re-shelve books.  Today I freed myself from all my old college books that have been moved around for years.  They are gone.  Gone!!!  Of course I took them to the used bookstore and got trade on them which means many new books for me and Libelle.  And the many books we already had were all out of order.  So I sorted, moved and reshelved.  And then I sat down and stared at the shelves too long. Of course I got back up, moved some more stuff around.  Now I am freaking exhausted, achey and very pleased with my shelves.  So that’s something.

Now I am finally on the couch.  Watching Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D-List with Libelle.  The cookies are all eaten.  Books are sorted.  My next sewing project is cut.  It’s like 2 am.  I should probably go to bed.  I’m half tempted to sew or try and clean my desk (ack! too big of a job) or write or be useful.  But I won’t.  I can’t even be bothered to get a beer from the fridge.  Mostly because I think it would be too much effort to drink it.  Instead I will meditate on the image above and imagine reading my new books in Barcelona while wearing the new dress  am going to make.  It will be fantastic.


Wearing Mayan garments in Moorish castles

I am listening to loud, smart blues rock and drinking coffee to try and reset my equilibrium after being woken up by the Jehovah’s witnesses.  Still feel a little off kilter, was having long, vaguely unpleasent dreams about books, work, the mafia, drving, moving, being unsettled, love and weather.  So, um, I guess dreams mostly about what I write about here?

Last night I was image searching for some art ideas I have and got totally waylaid looking at Moorish and Moroccan tile and design patterns.  Hours were lost to this venture.  And then I found the perfect Keds.  Someone put that “design your own shoes” thing to great effect.  If I had any money at all I would totally buy them.

I find life strange in it’s weird connections. When I moved to Tennessee, Libelle and I drove across country and stopped as we could at the classic Americana roadside attractions.  Including the Corn Palace in South Dakota, which is an example of  Moorish Revival Architecture.  I’m not sure I knew this when we were there, but it is insanely obvious when you look at it.  It also makes me think, as I often do, of all things I want to be doing.  Almost every single one of these things requires a fair amount of cash and a lot of free time–two things that feel almost mutually exclusive.  (Many of these things I dream of involve roadtrips, writing, international travel or a level of dedication to learning a new skill that requires one not to have another job).  How great would it be to drive around the US, seeking out examples of Moorish Revival architecture, taking pictures and writing short stories to go with each location?  Perhaps stories that tied Islamic culture to American culture throughout the past?

Unrelated, but related: Lately I am strangely obsessed with Huipils.  Not only the culture and history of the garment, but the beauty of it too. I would love to have seen this exhibit.  Really I would love to spend a year with women who make hupils in the old style, learning to perfect the weaving and the embroidery and decoration and learning the status associated with changes in style and how that displays the wearer’s marital status and where she comes from.  I would learn to embroider huipils that told the stories of each woman’s history and her family and the life she lives now  (see above, all my ideas requiring money and time).

I should make a careful list of all the fantastical trips I would like to take to learn more about art and life.  It would probably just depress me.  Or inspire me.  I have hardly any money right now, I guess it wouldn’t matter where I was in the world, if I just upped an went.

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getting ready to catch up

Amazon has this new button you can add to your browser that will allow you to add nearly anything you can find on the internet to your wishlist.  This is fantastic.  Not just for glorious, disgustingly consumer aspect of it, but simply for keeping lists of things.  I maintain a private wish list on Amazon, not for gifts, but rather so I can keep track of things I want to read or watch or whatever.  Now I can keep track of things Amazon doesn’t have.  I am quite gleeful over this.  (And since I am talking about it, here is a gratuitous link my own wishlist, in case one of you won the lottery this weekend and were thinking you needed to buy me a present.)

Amazon has long ben trying to ensure that I rarely go anywhere else to get stuff and they are slowly realizing that dream. If Amazon Fresh ever becomes available where I live then I’ll have to get dressed even less often.  Fabulous.

Had a fantastic visit with my sister.  Did lots of touristy stuff, lots of chores, lots of lazy stuff and lots of laughing.  I posted our pictures of the Lost Sea and Cheekwood on Flickr.  Sadly we didn’t take nearly enough pictures of anything, but then we never do.

What I learned from this trip was that I still like travelling with my family and I need to win the lottery, so there can be much much more sister travelling.

I’m ridiculously excited for the new Harry Potter movie.  I probably won’t go see it this week, but soon!!   In anticipation of it, I made Libelle watch the Daniel Radcliffe episode of Extras (the scene with Dame Diana Rigg has got to be one of the funniest things ever put on TV)  and we’ve had all the movies on in the background today (one of the channels is showing them all).

It’s been a much needed lazy day around here.  I did actually bathe, but barely got dressed.  I posted pictures online, read blogs, drank coffee, made lunch, took out the trash, read a little, picked up my room a little, washed my hair (very time consuming), and lazed around a lot.  Very nice for a grey and somewhat stormy Sunday.

With my sister gone life returns somewhat to normal.  Which means I need to start Getting Things Done.  The only question is, what exactly will those things be?

The most immediate concern is, what will I do about dinner?  Why are there no cute, red-haired (Weasley) boys to bring me carnitas?  Or perhaps a nice Cobb salad?  Instead I’ll have to forage on my own through the depths of the fridge.  Sadly we did not make it to the store today.

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I can laugh

I just read back through my last three weeks of posts here. Holy crap is that a pathetic, depressing stack of mass whininess.  I mean sure, I don’t feel great, and yeah I’m definitely going to need to talk it out, but wow, I can’t believe any of you are still even reading this.  So here are something that I have enjoyed recently:

Last night I came home from work and was checking that bitch, Facebook (got my url: http://www.facebook.com/crackerjackheart) and there was this gem from the Judge:

Status: The Judge has a CMA sunburn
(The Judge likes this!)
Comment from The Judge: “me too!”

I don’t know if you have to know him for this to be funny or not, but the whole thing together made me bellylaugh in a way I haven’t in a while.

And the result of a conversation making a reference to a line the Cory song “The Walkaround,” Libelle sent me the following email:

> From: [[LIBELLE]]
> Subject: RE: FRIDAY!!
> To: [[crackerjackheart]]
> Date: Friday, June 12, 2009, 1:48 PM

> Funny story.  The golden unicorn came by to deliver the magic flowers, and I was all, “Golden Unicorn!  Can I keep you?” and he was like, “Well, do you have cake?” and I was like, “I can get cake!” and he was like, “Sure.” And then I was like, “I will call you Rainbows!” and he was like, “My name is Frank.”

> Well, I refused to call him Frank, and he refused to answer to Rainbows, and since we didn’t have cake, he ate the magic flowers and left.

> My bad?

You can see from this how all Libelle’s bad decisions result in my unhappiness. It’s a wonder I am friends with her.  Especially after a series of texts with her yesterday (and, strangely enough, these texts were entirely unrelated to the above email convo):

me: The Kitchen is so clean!
Libelle: It was unicorns! You can tell because of all the glitter they left behind.
me: Hmmm.  I don’t know how sanitary unicons really are.  I’ve heard stories.
Libelle: Stories about dirty dragon ****ing?
me: Dragons AND dolphins.
Libelle: They are the whores of the mythical world. How they got a reputation for innocence I’ll never know.

And the recent post on Got Medieval on misericords for some reason just tickled me.  (Also see the post about Ariana Huffington and then just read the whole damn site.)


one of those/a case of the Mondays

I’m having a Day already.  Now I’m just sitting around waiting for the mechanic to call and tell me how much money I am about to hemorrhage into my car.  I have succeeded in not bursting into tears at problems I can’t control. However the postman just delivered a huge box of chocolate chip cookies homemade by one of my aunts.  And that, my friends, was enough to make me cry. And I’m having cookies for lunch.  Who can blame me?

Libelle pointed out several times this weekend that it is still technically spring but since I am horribly sunburned and covered in bug bites I am going to go ahead and call it summer in Tennessee.

So mere seconds ago I was pausing in typing, thinking hard about positive things I could post about (besides cookies and wonderful family members) and then I spilled coffee on my new shirt while I was thinking.  I’m just going to go ahead and call today a total fail.  Anything bad that happens from here on out is a given.  Anything good is a bonus. Ugh.


come again some other day

Week beginning May 7
Copyright 2009 by Rob Brezsny

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):  In recent decades, many British people with unfortunate surnames have changed them. There are now 40 percent fewer Shufflebottoms, while the numbers of Cockshotts and Smellies have also declined precipitously. Meanwhile, back in the U.S., the government has re-branded its notorious Global War on Terror, shifting to the more palatable “Overseas Contingency Operation.” I hold these examples up for your inspiration, Taurus. It’s a good time to alter any name or title you’ve outgrown, as well as any label that no longer fits or any category you’d like to leave behind.

Truly I take my Free Will Astrology way too seriously, but I think this one will require a lot of meditation this week.

Birthday aside, I’ve had an emotionally rough time the past week or so. It isn’t quite past but I’m fine, really, I just need time to adjust yet another change in my worldview.  On the other hand, Libelle really is the best friend ever.  She deserves some sort of award for sitting up with me late at night and making me laugh and laugh when I would otherwise just be sitting around feeling sorry for myself.

The rain isn’t helping.  We’ve broken rainfall records around the area in the past few days, but it’s more than that.  It’s the unrelenting grey.  I’m sure you think I should be able to to take 6+ days of grey, since I am from the PNW, but I’ve lost that skill.  I’m not sure I can remember more than 3 or 4 days in row like this since I moved to TN.  Plus it isn’t just grey, it’s really, seriously raining. And since everyone knows I am from Seattle people keeping saying to me, “hey, this is just like Seattle weather, huh?”  And no, no, no, no it isn’t.  It is grey there.  And wet.  But it just doesn’t rain so consistently hard there.  The temps are different, the air is different.  The sky is different.  There is no marine layer here.  It, in fact, isn’t like Seattle weather at all.  Seattle makes me feel mossy and chilly.  This weather makes me feel like a tropical amphibian. A cranky, lethargic tropical amphibian.


let me ruin your day

I’ve been meaning to do this for more than a week but haven’t.  Somehow I got Libelle to do the hard work for me yesterday (flipping around to find old text messages is hard work!).  I present you with a transcript of a normal day in text conversations between Libelle and me

me:  Today begins day 4 of quitting smoking.  I forgot to have coffee until just now.  I am not very friendly right now.  Like a bear poked with a stick.  (11:47 am)

Libelle:  I’m feeling much the same.  Everyone who has recently f’ed me over suddenly wants to be my best friend.  We should go punch babies later.

me:  I am also up for puppy kicking.

Libelle:  I suppose we can work that in.  And maybe find some little kids and tell them there’s no Santa.

me: Also, perhaps with practice, we can learn to make it rain on parades.

Libelle: The bunny was in the hat the whole time!

me:  We can also make t-shirts with movie spoilers on them.  Soylent Green is people!

Libelle: It was Earth all along!

me:  Bruce Willis is dead!  He just didn’t know it!

Libelle: Rhett leaves Scarlett!

me: Aargorn becomes king.  Evil is defeated.  Also, Wesley rescues Buttercup and True Love triumphs.

Libelle: Dorthy had the power to go home all along!  Romeo and Juliet both die!

me:  Heh.  I’m feeling much better now.  You?

Libelle:  Yeah.  We’re funny!


birthday shoes

Thank you all for the amazing birthday wishes.  I will get to telling each and every one of you, individually, how much I appreciate it, uh, some time soon.

My birthday started with coffee and cupcakes from Libelle and later included some fantastic sushi, definitely the best I’ve had in Nashville.  And lots of new shoes.  And because Missy Sue asked (she’s going to kill me for calling her that here, but it does protect her identity), here’s pictures of the shoes I got (courtesy my super awesome mama):

Nine West WinerNine West JonieAldo FalylalyAriat Show Baby

I maintain that the last pair are very practical.  You can never have too many low-heeled crepe soled boots.

So there it is, I left 35 behind with sushi and shoes.  Not bad, not bad at all.  I’m sure I’l have some long dramatic post to make about aging and life changes, but not today.



Pictures of this week’s sewing projects are up on Flickr (with details about each project).  We have a couple dresses from the Goodwill.  One simple resized and shaped, one turned into a skirt and a top, three blouses made from scratch, and an apron.  Last summer all I wanted when it was hot was light cotton peasant blouses to wear, so this year I’ve set out and made myself a couple already and will probably make a handful more.  Am working on size adjusting the pattern so I can make them for Libelle too (and anyone else who wants one).




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just chillin’

Among the myriad of other things I have to do today, I was going to pull out the lighter spring bedding and pack away the heavier winter stuff. Of course the weather isn’t having this.  It’s supposed to be just at or right below freezing tonight and tomorrow night.  Even as I type this the temps have dropped so much from yesterday that my hands are slightly stiff with the chill.

I was going to pack away sweaters and pull out cute skirts and blouses too.  I might still do that as I always have hoodies to wear and I am seriously so sick of my winter clothes.  Yes, I have to take stuff to charity today anyway, I guess I should sort out the sweaters while I still remember which ones I never wore.

This weekend we spring cleaned.  It is so clean in my house!!  Of course you can’t really tell as the clutter still lives and much of the cleaning was under and behind things.  But I know it’s clean!  Hurrah!  Clean!  Also Libelle purchased a $10 painting for the that one weird wall that runs betwen the kitchen and the dining room.  It’s is hideous.  Hilariously so.  And really, it looks better than that wall did before.  Maybe even the painting isn’t so bad, though the colors are a little garish (I admit I helped pick so part of that might be my fault) and the frame is awful but the overall effect of all of it is quite cheerful.  I guess I should just post pictures, huh?

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party time

Last night I had a continuous string of dreams about being stuck somewhere or trying to get somewhere or being lost. Stress, stress, stressy stresserson. Bleh.  The only good part was small bit where tiny Queen Mab was already walking, talking and incredibly smart.  Everyone was shocked she could do these things so young, but she was just ready to go and be part of the world.

Yesterday was Libelle’s birthday.  I hope she had a good day, I did what I could.  Of I’d like to draw it out as much as possible, as April is BIRTHDAY MONTH. What with Libelle’s at the begining and mine at the end, I declare it a month of celebration.  Hurrah!!

Now we have bacon and coffee.  Well and quiche, but that just there so I won’t have eaten just bacon and nothing else. Let the celebrating continue!


a little philosophical, bookish, and sleep deprived

In the last twelve hours I have: driven home from work, checked my email & rss feeds, written a letter that I will never send, listened to a storm roll in, slept, dreamt, read the entirety of Coupland’s Eleanor Rigby (cover to cover), made coffee, had breakfast, texted with Libelle, checked Facebook, listened to hours of NPR, made a list of things to do, ignored said list, checked my email again, contemplated what to wear, worried over what I am not getting done, watched the rain fall and my yard flood, listened carefully to the bird calls outside to see which new ones have arrived for spring.  Perhaps not all exactly in that order.

I did all of this without ever seeing another human being, or hearing the voice of one, even over the phone.  I have texted, chatted, emailed and read FB status updates.  I have, I guess, interacted, though not directly or immediately. This is particularly interesting to me today.  It is not an abnormal twelve hours for me to have had, but Eleanor Rigby really was book almost entirely about loneliness and the nature of it in the modern world.

I really like Coupland.  I haven’t read his last 3 or 4 books, but I read all the previous ones and have nothing negative to say.  They are fast and engaging reads.  I always leave them feeling very thoughtful and slightly changed.  I admire his minor use of magical realism.  I appreciate his characters and generally find them likable.  I love reading about Vancouver and other parts of the northwest.  I love the way his characters always have mirrors to my own life.  Growing up in the 70s, in the northwest is entirely it’s own thing.  I’m sure his characters are relatable to many people of all ages and from all places, but I find a small, special sort of connection. Which is, perhaps, the root of what makes me like Coupland’s work.

I can’t say whether you would like the book or not.  Probably, if you like Coupland already.  I can’t say much about it at all.  My response to it was very personal.  As would be, I hope, anyone’s, since I guess that’s what loneliness is: something very internal and intensely personal.  I can’t decide right now if I think loneliness is something we should cast out of ourselves entirely, or if it is something to be reduced, shrunk, and then treasured.

In the last twelve hours, I have lived my life, alone, exactly the way I would want too.  In the last twelve hours, I have lived entirely outside my life, away from it.  It was my life and yet a nice escape, restorative.  I am glad to have done it, and yet, though I know I know I will do it again, it is not necessarily what I would choose for myself.