AJAX BELL

Author of the Queen City Boys books


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Not Far From the Tree (part one)

Guess what I just got?!

IMG_20140530_175850836It’s newest book in my mom’s Rain City Comedy of Manners series, Artemis in the Desert. Just in time for beach reading, bed reading, park reading, weekend reading, airport reading, or really any kind of reading there is. Like the other books in the series (Nine Volt Heart–likeable rock stars, and The Grrrl of Limberlost–punk rock nerd girl coder) it features strong female characters, crazy bad guys and such lush backdrop descriptions that you’ll wish you were there inside the book (well except maybe camping in the cold rain in the desert, you won’t wish for that but you’ll really feel it). And like all her other books, even though I’ve already read it a couple times (in various stages of completion) I’m going to read it again now that i can just enjoy it.

My mom has been a huge inspiration to me. All the usual blah blah blahs: she’s smart, strong, independent, gave me a love of books and words, etc. Lately though she’s knocking it out of the park in the getting shit done department. Writing, editing, and publishing a huge variety of works (her own and other people’s) at a rocket fast pace without sacrificing quality on anything (look at how gorgeous her book layouts are, read how neatly crafted her books are). I aspire every day to her level of productivity and her quality of output.

Plus she’s just super awesome to hang with. If you can’t get to her garden to have fancy gin drink and good hang out, you can still find her other places she hangs. She has a website where she talks about writing, editing, her stories and other various things. You can also follow her Twitter where she is very funny and her Facebook for updates about what she’s got coming up.


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An open letter to Sherman Alexie

Just read a line in a Sherman Alexie story about standing in line at Bartell’s and suddenly I’m so homesick I’m not sure I can live through the heartbreak of it. In my head I ask Sherman Alexie if he imagines how many of his throw away lines profoundly affect people?  I think of every word I’ve put out there, every bit of fiction I’ve written, and no one has ever come back to me with the important words, with the phrases that I labored over, they only come to tell me about the how they were moved by my fast lines, the ones that drop out, that I don’t consider at all before I put them to paper.

Perhaps the lines I don’t labor over mean the most, come more truly from me?  Perhaps there is no meaning in any of it and will just keeping spilling out words, looking for the turn of phrase that will free my soul and find it someday.  Perhaps Sherman Alexie labored over that line and still will never know will never know how his two sentences made me break my own heart.  I could write him a letter and tell him, but I would labor too hard over the words, I would lose the importance of sharing what he gave me.  I have always been writing this letter to him in my head, through out the years, every time I read his stories and poems.  A letter that never makes it to paper, to computer screen, never achieves more than some small form of therapy for me.

I am talking to Sherman in my head (can I call you, Sherman, I feel we are close enough now) about my homesickness, about how I cannot ever really understand where he is from and he cannot understand how I am from where he is now.  I tell him it is a continuum that no one but me can see, a story that can’t quite be told, but is important all the same.  And the The Butchies pop up on shuffle on the old mp3 player and I start to cry because this is more homesickness than a soul can bear.  But this makes me get up and start to cook dinner: fettuccine alfredo with smoked salmon (real, PNW smoked salmon), peas and caramelized onions.  Because I am homesick and if I lived close enough that I could call my mom and ask if I could come over she would walk to me to a restaurant near her house (one Sherman Alexie has surely been too) and I would order some variation of this dish because you don’t really find it anywhere else in the world, not the way we make it in Seattle.

And while I am chopping onions the mp3 player turns again and gives me Kevin Gordon singing Watching the Sun Go Down, and I remember how I stopped at 6:42 am, on my way to work, to photograph the sunrise over an electrical power station, and got distracted by some horses too.  I think of how the redbuds are surely more beautiful this year than they have ever been before, blooming riotously, everywhere, making the edges of every roadway glow purple.  I think of how  the heat in Tennessee makes me feel warm all the way through to my bones, like I’ve never been warm before.

So I tell Sherman that he is lucky indeed, to be able wait in line at Bartell’s, but he has to go through cold rain to get there and I am saved by the sun  and the green in spring and the sounds, all the sounds, here in the dirty South.  Perhaps I am homesick for a place that no longer exists.  A place I visited, moved through in childhood, that is just a fairytale now, I can not go back.  My adult self does not have the magic to cross back over the boundaries of the places I’ve been before, I can only go to new places or create them myself. And I’m still crying when I sit down to eat my dinner, but not because I miss anything.  I am so lucky to have been so many places, both real and imagined. Lucky to be me and to be still so full of emotions good and bad (love) about all of those places I have been and the people in them.  Even the rude lady in the Bartell’s line that you have to tell to fuck all the way off.  So thanks, Sherman, for reminding of my home, the past one, the new one, the one that is always me and goes everywhere inside my heart.  I’m certain that you never knew that namedropping Bartell’s in a story would make some girl in Tennessee break out the fancy smoked salmon from way back home and cook herself a good dinner on a night when she would otherwise have been too tired, too worn down by work, to do more than make a quesadilla.  Thanks for dinner, Sherman, I really feel like we are close now.

 

(Pictures taken early this morning in Tennessee, when I stopped, before I even had coffee, to remember that there is beauty in the world.  Even when you feel like you break to pieces because of the stress that swirls around you and puts the anxiety inside you, there is still the color purple and leaves that were not that green yesterday and sunrises.  The redbuds really are spectacular this year.)


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Resolve

I was trying to think of a fitting send off for 2011, but really I wish it would sneak quietly out the back door and be done with.  I can’t really even be bothered to tell it not to let the door hit its ass on the way out.

In 2011 I got better.  I recovered, almost completely, from 2010 and 2009.  I reconnected with some amazing, beautiful old friends who I am so very glad to have back in my life.  I reconnected with my old online community which is no different than sitting down with old friends.  I learned, I changed, I stayed the same, I became more me, I remembered who I was, and who I want to be.  I think I managed to find myself again, or at least the creative center of myself, even if the rest of me seems much changed than who I was even a year ago.  I am glad to be moving forward, looking forward, and carrying on with the people I have around me.

In 2012 I plan to take myself less seriously.  I want to worry less about external pressures and ask less of myself.  I want to write more and laugh more and sing loudly even when I’m out of tune.

I have an extensive list of new projects I want to work on in 2012.  I’m not sure yet which will make the cut and which will fall by the wayside but I am going to strongly commit to one or a few and be dedicated and vigilant in my work on what I do choose.

I will be smarter and more me by the end of the 2012.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask of myself.

I am so grateful for my huge, wonderful family, for my mother and my sisters.  I am so very thankful for my friends and my community.  I wish I had the words and time to tell each of you just how much I love you and how much you mean to me.  I will carry that love in my heart every single day, I will use it to bolster myself against the hard times.  I will do my best to love you all even more, every single day.  I will trust you all and work to to learn to trust myself and my instincts more.  I will try harder to be worthy of the love given back to me.

Here we go!


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Everything that came before now

I might have way over committed myself in the past couple weeks.  If I owe you something, I promise it’s coming quickly.

Between my new position at work and a a few days out to the PNW to see Crackerjack Sister graduate, I’m wiped out. My capacity for critical thinking is surely at an all time a low, and even that is devoted to work.

I did have a great time in Seattle.  I put the pics up here, though most of them are probably only interesting to you if you’re related to me in some way.  I tagged along on many shopping trips from which I benefited greatly (new Converse, fancy new shirt, excellent new dress).  I got an awesome new laptop which is so light and fast that I feel like I can go everywhere with it, though I probably won’t, since one doesn’t need to be computing all the time.

Back in TN now, where it looks like we got a very brief reprieve from the oppressive heat.  I’m already planning to stay inside all weekend and finish projects of my own and other people’s.  At least the cicadas seem to have all passed while I was out of town!  Plus I missed Bonnaroo and CMAfest crowds, both of which are cicada like in their noisy and mass.

Obviously no sewing going on lately.  I did buy new handbags yesterday as I can’t resist a good deal.  I love Fossil handbags.  All of the ones I’ve owned except the one I’m currently using, which I got used, quite cheap and I just sort of hate it.  So I got this one and this one (in a brownish grey not depicted there) for $101 total for both!  I spent forever standing in the store trying to decide which and then made a last minute choice to get both.  Hurrah!  I should be set for a good long time now.  Both came with an extra detachable strap and I can’t figure out what it’s for.  The extra, removable strap is that same length as the strap on the bag already.  If it was much longer or something, it would make sense to me, but at the same length, it just seems weird.

So, uh, yes, there’s all the news that’s fit to print. I better get to doing something, so I’ll have something good to show off, eh?

I took these pictures with my phone to remind myself of the color of the sky after 9pm, in June in the Pacific Northwest.  One of the things I really miss is the summer light.


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My Mother

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve met my mother.  And probably that impacted your life in some positive and major way.

She is the best person imaginable to be my mother, we are in some ways perfectly suited to each other in temperment and good company, and in the ways we are not, she is perfectly suited to be my sister’s companion, as my sister is also mine. We are an even triangle of companionability, love, understanding and the little ripple of conflict that always arises when people are too like each other.  The three of us, I think are so bound together that I couldn’t explain it to you, nor would I want to let you inside the place that’s ours.

But this is about my mother.  You don’t really need to know about her being a good mother to me, because that only matters, really, to her children.


You should know that she is an incredible sister, an amazing aunt, a brilliant manager, a trusted friend and a devoted partner.  If you have a daughter or a son, probably my mother is someone you would want to help them if they were in need in any way.  She has been an unbelievable pillar of support to our extended family, sometimes openly, sometimes secretly, sometimes thanked, somtimes ignored.  She is thoughtful, generous to a fault, and always willing to help if you ask.

She deserves more than just a phone call or some flowers from her daughters, who would both rather show their love in other way anyhow, she deserves the acknowledgement and respect of every person whose life she has touched or helped in some way.

She is so smart and so together and so organized and I think everyone who knows her recognizes that.  But maybe sometimes we forget to think about how kind she is and how unflagging she is in her support of what any one of us is trying to do to improve our lives.

She is, in my mind, the perfect embodiment of everything that was good and beautiful in her own parents.  She has done an amazing job of raising children, not just me and my sister, but others around us too, even my cousins in secondhand sort of way.

If everone who knows her would take just 30 seconds and think of how she’s positively impacted their lives, that would make me so happy.

I also want to send love to all of my aunts, cousins and friends who are mothers.  Each of you is doing an amazing job in your own way and I am proud to know you and see your lives change and see the wonderful people your children are becoming.

And finally, I know it’s Mother’s Day, but sisters don’t get one and I’d like to point out that my little sister is perhaps the best and brightest of us all and even though I’m sure she’s only 3 and still clutching at my leg when she’s nervous, she’s actually become and amazing, beautiful, poised, intelligent woman and in some ways, I’m grateful to my mother most of all for giving me me my sister.

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!  I hope you all have someone to thank or remember, someone who you love and admire as much as I love and admire my mom.


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There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do

So I’m moving in a couple weeks. Trying to keep it as low key and not stressful as possible.  I figured the best way to do that was to embark on a bunch of really ambitious projects right before moving.  Hahahaha!  Sometimes I am dumb.  Still most of these projects revolve around refinishing or painting furniture that I’ve been meaning to update or fix forever and would love to have in its finished form in the new house.  Thus it’s been fun and I need something to keep me busy and out of trouble anyway.

Oh my!  Look at this tiny, pretty indoor pond.   I have been messing with terrariums for a bit now, on and off.  My new apartment has great light and I’m hoping to be more successful with my terrariums this spring.  But look at these amazing water terrariums, which, uh, I guess are aquariums, but just for plants!  So pretty.  There might be one of these in my future once I’m settled and done with everything else.

Also I love this hippo shower curtain, although I’m not buying it because I got clear shower curtains to take advantage of the light from all the windows in the new bathroom.  I’m hoping to get lucky some day and find fabric like this curtain, I love the cute little helpers the hippos have!

Here are some random bits about my new apartment:

My current commute is a marathon round trip: 26.1 miles
New commute: 21 miles
Annual driving miles eliminated: 1300
New apartment currently only has one (1) interior door
Ratio of wall light switches to interior doors: 1:1 (heh, most the lights have pull cords from the ceiling rather than switches)
Number of hobbit sized closets in the new space: 3
Number of hobbit sized people living in the apartment: 1 (me)
Amount of support provided by quite overly generous mother, both emotional and financial, in this move: incalculable (but surely somewhere in the billions)
Number of friends I realized I have while dealing with the things surrounding moving: 129,567 (if we are calculating at a rate that measures each person’s individual emotional worth)
Days until I move: 14
Things needed doing by then: 570,000
Personal excitement level about the new apartment, on a scale of 1-10: 42

Here is a sneak peak at a ‘before’ picture of the apartment:


Looking forward to having many after pictures to show!

(Title quoted from the peerless Bill Watterson.)


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Day 37: Still Tuesday

Talks-to-Owls and I have agreed that this Tuesday never seems to end. It’s been about 37 days since we last had a day off of work.  Which makes every single day Tuesday.  In a regular week you can spend Monday reflecting on the past weekend, on Wednesday you’re halfway through, Thursday is almost Friday, and Friday is the end!  But Tuesday? Just another day with nothing great on either side of it.  So here I am having been through more than a month of Tuesdays, with half a dozen to a dozen more in front of me. Sure the bulk of it is behind me, but still, the light at the end of the tunnel is faint and seemingly far away.  I guess it won’t truly be bright until I actually have a solid end date. And that end date does depend on how fast my team can work, but it has many wobbly and unknowable outside factors creeping out of the tunnel shadows.

I work in the construction industry, in an office that was, until my arrival, mostly male.  I currently have a staff of 5 temps, all female, that are sitting in the larger shared office space that was, as stated, all male.  Overheard this morning (before the girls arrived):

S: Man, the ratio of boys to girls here is just so different you can’t even be yourself no more.
K: Better let one off before the girls get here.
S: T just did.
*I walk into the room laughing*
T: I ate daffodils for dinner last night.  It’s flowery when I let one off.
S: Farting honeysuckle everywhere you go, I knew you were that kind of guy.
T: Flowers and poppy seeds, that’s all I eat.

On the one hand, hilarious.  On the other hand, what does it even mean? I’ve been having weird Wizard of Oz field of poppies visions all morning because of that conversation leading to me to read more into it than I should and wonder what the underlying metaphors I missed were.  (The answer, none, no metaphors, just boys BSing.)

I have mentioned elsewhere that I am making a conscious decision NOT to boycott BP over the oil spill.  There are many reasons for this, the main one though is that the gas station I drive by every morning, my most convenient station, is a BP station.  I have been going there regularly for 4 years.  I know and like the people who own it.  I don’t want their livelihood to disappear just because they signed the “wrong” franchise agreement.  Honestly it could have been any oil company that caused this disaster and I do not want to see any more of the little guys get hurt.

(Southern Beale has written an excellent post on the kind of “punishment” that is fit for BP after this disaster.  Surely much more effective than a consumer boycott.)

Truly I ache for the fishermen, the people who live on those coasts and all the regular people who are so seriously impacted by this (we all are in the environmental sense, but the folks who might not pay bills right now because of it really weigh on me).  And it’s so wide reaching.  Like now BP might withhold dividends on stocks? Which would hurt British retirees whose retirement funds include BP stock.  How many more average people can BP fuck over with their greed and incompetence?

Here are some things I like:

Firefly lamp

Tom Robbins is weird

Synchronous fireflies

Banksy, especially his “Shop”

Blooming lamp

And my cousin and his wife had their first baby this week!!   Welcome Caleb James (who was clearly named after me, though that’s a joke that probably only my mom will get).  Weighing in at 9lbs and 4oz!  Hello big boy!  He’s healthy and home with mama, poppa and puppies.  HOORAY!  Here’s his “little” toes:


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Not from my own head

A few recent things I’m reposting here mostly so I’ll remember, but also a little bit for your edification.

From my mom’s Facebook page this past Monday:

MLK: “I am in _____ because injustice is here… I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in _____ and not be concerned about what happens in _____. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a sin…gle garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”

and

MLK, just before midnight: “We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in _____ and justice throughout the developing world — a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who pos…sess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”

Seen several places, grabbed from http://www.christyfrink.com

Brezsnyscope 2010 forecast for me.  Brezsny is both sensible and, I think, completely out of his mind.  If you aren’t already reading them, his horoscopes give excellent meditation fodder, even if you don’t believe in astrology.

Good commentary on the news out of Mass. today.

Today’s picture was taken on the Olympic Peninsula in July 2005.  I think it was from inside a cave at the far south end of Ruby beach.


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darkness comes on standard time

As I did at exactly this time last year, I have taken the refashion pledge:

I pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of “new” manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovated, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thriftiness brings!

So I will probably be doing most of my sewing blog posts over there, but I will try and link them here when they go up.

I made Thai green curry for dinner to stave off the depression of the first Standard time early sunset. Spicy, wonderful nom nom noms!  And hopefully to help me feel better.

The past two months of house guests, lots of running around, plenty of work and then, most recently, being sick, have left me feeling broke down and worn out.  I have need-to-do projects stacked knee-high around the house. I feel the need to just catch up on my life.  Like not even the projects, just you know, being me who isn’t hosting guests or sick or at work.  Ugh.  Lots of sewing will surely help. I should get started on that. 🙂

This weekend I spent a bunch of time fantasizing about a lovely, relaxing summer holiday here.  My mom is just now flying back from here, which also seems about right for where I’d rather be right now.  I did, after many false starts, finally book my tickets to Seattle for the winter holidays.  Dec 20-28.  I’m very much looking forward to that too.

I didn’t do anything for Halloween, but come home and put on pajamas. Lame, maybe, but so relaxing.  I’ve been thinking about my Gramma Marge and my Grampa Ray a lot today. El Día de los Muertos means honoring them.  For a while now I’ve been wanting to make a standing El Día de los Muertos altar for them in miniature.  I should perhaps take some time today to put down my plans for it so that I can start making the little pieces of it over the coming year.  I will light a candle for them tonight.

Picture today is my dining room fireplace “altar” for honoring the dead.


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can’t make the proverbs come true

Momma love

Momma love

I was going to make a post.  Then I decided I was too lazy.  Then I was reading someone else’s blog and they posted the following:

“The lazier the man is, the more he plans to do tomorrow.” -Norwegian proverb

So, yeah.  I’m effing lazy.  Seriously.  I’ve kind fo been on vacation for the last week while my stedad and cousin were visiting.  I think they had a great time.  I had a good time.  We did a side trip to Chattanooga, which I’ll post pictures from as soon as I get them off loaded from the camera.  We saw lots of good music.  Ate lots of good food.  Drank lots of good wine.  I sort of feel like I need to eat raw vegetables and brown rice for the next week to recover.

I have a list of like 700 projects to finish. Am overwhelmed.  Will start tomorrow.  In the meantime I made myself new pajamas today.  And went to the grocery store.  And caught up on the best show ever, Modern Family.  Small achievements, but better, I guess than spending the whole day watching TV, which I was tempted to do.

Oh, and now, as I type this, we are having a classic WTF Nashville? moment.  Fireworks.  Randomly.  On a Thursday at 9:30 pm.  I’m not joking when I say this happens all the time.  Better yet, I just checked all the local news sources and there’s no comment on what event coulld be happening to cause this.  Libelle also was asleep.  Alas our cool E.Nash location means the fireworks always sound like the start of a new war.  *sigh*

It seemed the fireworks were over, but now low flying helicopters.  Nashville is definitely not the place to live if you have PTSD from being a war zone.  Or if you want to sleep on a week night.

Um, I can’t even remember what I was going to write about now. We will assume the fireworks are because it’s my momma’s birthday today. She deserves at least that much celebration.


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weekend mash up

Gmail is advertising to me: “Learn How To Kiss A Girl In A Way That Makes Her Melt In Your Arms” presumably because I was quoting Cory Branan lyrics back and forth with TimmyMac? Hard to say. Also I’m pretty sure you can’t learn how to kiss on the internet. I’ve often wondered if it’s something that one just inherently does right. I mean, can it be learned at all?

I might consider trying to make something like this. I’m not actually sure I would wear this, but it’s called “Willamette” and something about the fabric and cut makes me think of summers at the beach with my Gramma Marge (who lived in the Willamette Valley–Mid-Valley– for those of you not in the know). I actually can’t decide if I like it or if just calls to me in some nostalgic way.

I stumbled on this posting the other day and am now actively fantasizing about winning the lottery and buying a this gorgeous riad in Marrakech. I mean check it out, it’s a steal. We should all just pool our money and go. I know things can’t make me happy, that I have to find it in myself. But I bet it’s WAY easier to look inside yourself when you live in a place that looks like that.

I know I’ve been in absentia for a while. I did post my pictures of my Seattle trip. I don’t know have much to say about it. It really was a grand and lovely trip. The weather was gorgeous. The company was fantastic. The food was great, as was the beer. I’ve been a little homesick since I got back and I keep dreaming about the ocean. Also I’m pretty proud of the pictures I took on this trip, though I think they are an unrealistic portrayal of the city. It’s that beautiful, just not that beautiful every day.


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Sometimes it’s just like that

At the fabric store yesterday there’s two older women sitting across the pattern book carrel from me.

L1: “How about this one?”
L2 “Mmmm.”
L1: “You don’t like it.”
L2: “I didn’t say that.”
L1: “I can tell by the look on your face, mom.”

At this point, I couldn’t help but laugh a little.

L1: “See even that lady over there is smiling because she knows you don’t like it.”
Me: “No, I’m only smiling because I have a mom too.”
*everyone laughs*

I don’t know why the exchange amused me so much, probably because I also have a mom (pictured here, without her permission, but I love this picture so much, so I don’t care).

I need to take and post picures of my finished projects.  I need to make a storyboad post or something of my upcoming projects.  Mostly, now that I’m finally caught up on Mad Men, I need to spend some time sewing so I can get more intimate with my new machine.  Or maybe I need to put on pants and go get me some fried pickles for lunch.


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it’s all in the details

In case you missed me going on about it everywhere else: my cousin, Miss K, had a sweet little baby girl yesterday, Faith Alma, 6lbs and 12 oz of joy!  Since before Faith was twinkle in her mother’s eye, Miss K and her husband have been working to adopt their two nephews.  Well the judge signed the final papers on that adoption yesterday too!!  They are a family of five now.  Gah, I’m getting teary again just typing it.  Miss K is a very smart, wonderful girl, completely full of love.  She’s diabetic and hadn’t necessarily planned to have children because of the risk pregnancy posed to her health.  Faith was a surprise and something of a miracle.  I just couldn’t be happier about how everything turned out for them.  So HOORAY!  You all take some joy and a second to love on your families too, in light of this new, okay?

Of course this means more sewing for me.  Hopefully I can find some nice projects that I can successfully complete.  I’m kind of frustrated with my sewing skills right now.  I’d really like to take an intermediate sewing class (linings, invisible zippers, structured bodices or yoked blouses, and the like) but I’m having trouble finding one right now.  Some of that in incompetence on the part of the people offering classes and much of it is many cancelled classes, presumably due to the economy–which just seems silly, if there was time when people should be boning up on their sewing skills, it seems like now would be it.

PSA:  I love Bing.com.  I love their hilarious search overload commercials and I love using it to search.  I love it so much they should pay me to tell people about it.  Most the time I don’t care much at all for new search engines or browsers or what have you, but I’m definitely making a switch here.

I was reading some sewing blogs today and someone’s post on refashioning turned to making things for dolls, which led me to this link (all in Czech, but you can see the pictures).  I find this oddly fasinating.  Like what a strange amount of work to go to refashion a Barbie doll.  I’m particularly intrigued by the reshaping of the mouth (and subsequently the whole face structure and expression).  People are very strange.


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the weather outside is weather

We had a super warm spring in Tennessee. And so far a hot, but decently wet summer. At least until the last week or so when it has blissfully cooled off. Apparently all of this is very bad for the tomatoes. So last year it was too dry and now we’ve got hot and wet and that isn’t good either?  I’m selfishly sad because Tennessee has some of the best tomatoes I’ve ever eaten.  I don’t want a no tomato summer. And what will happen at the tomato festival if there are no tomatoes?    It’s too tragic to even dwell on.

I have complained before that on the whole Nashville seems to be at least ten years behind the rest of the country in technology.  It’s not that hard to figure out, people.  A bad website isn’t less expensive than a good one.  AUGH!!  This rant brought to you another bad website that doesn’t work.  A sewing school I’d like to take classes at has a site.  You can read about the classes, the school and the teacher.  The schedule link is hosed.  The ‘contact us/directions/address’ link is completely broken.  I can not call or email them.  I can not get a schedule.  All I can do is see that they offer the class I want.  Brilliant.

Also I can’t help but wonder if this societal habit of reading the news over our morning coffee has made us all more unhappy than we otherwise would be.  I started my day with great news (my cousin had a baby!  Mama and baby both doing fine despite some complications!) and then I read the news and now I am grumpy again.

I did have marionberry jam on my toast this morning.  It was delicious, even if my grandpa did’t make it.

The cooler weather remains in Tennessee.  I have to say, it’s fantastic.  Maybe to day I will wear the dress I finished sewing yesterday to celebrate.  Hmm, I should take pictures of it too.  And with that, I’m off, out in to the world.


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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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seemingly unconnected

Hot.  Just roughly ten days of over 95°F and night time low temps of 79°F.  Daytime heat index has been over 100°F.  I’m not complaining exactly, especially since it’s spposed to break tonight.  At least for a few days.  I’m looking forward to that.  But it’s the kind fo heat that wears you down and I’ve already had so much going on, all the kind of stuff that wears your soul down and the heat just is making things worse, you know?

Also, PNW people, I know when I lived out west I said that poeple here didn’t understand that when it was hot in the PNW it was worse because weren’t used to it and no one had AC.  I take it back.  Sereiously.  It’s hotter here, even with AC, and harder to bear.  I am saying this, only because I am here.  If I was there and it was hot like this, I’d probably go back to my original opinion. 🙂  I reserve the right to change my mind as often as I like.

And, I’ve said before, the weather in this part of the country still baffles me.  I understand Seattle weather, how it lies between the mountains, how the clouds catch, why it rains, where the wind comes from, etc.  In Tennessee things just don’t happen in way that seems normal to me.  Cloud cover and night time don’t cool tempratures down.  The hottest part of the day is at the wrong time and somewhat variable.  Temps can drop, like they are right now, at 4 pm, on a clear and sunny day, for no reason other than a different weather system is coming in, unhindered by mountains and unchanged by oceans.  I mean, I guess I understand it, it just feels so alien to me.

“Nonsense.  Name a shrub after me.  Something prickly and hard to eradicate.”

*SIGH*  Oh Jack and Stephen, I love you so much.

So, uh, Im sitting here, reading some pretty hard science fiction and simultaneously watching Master and Commander.  And suddenly I’m wishing the future was even more now.  Where are my full text searchable databases of all the literature in the world?  I have an impulsive desire to go look a specific line in the third book of O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series (which is listed in some Amazon entries as “Aubrey/Maturin” HAHAHAHAHAHAHA) when I realize, oh, I don’t have any of those books here.  And it’s too late on Sunday afternoon for me to go to the library.  I suppose I could find an open Border’s books or something and look it up there, but that would mean putting on pants and brushing my hair.  Too much effort.  And in the other book I’m currently reading the tech allows almost anything to be searchable.  And so here I am wishing for full text searchable databases of all literature.

When I was in college people acted like librarians would soon be an extinct thing of the past.  Presumably because we’d all have these imaginary databases.  I said, no in my lifetime.  Tragically, it looks like I was right.  Come on, technology, catch up!!

Normalcy begins tomorrow.  I’ve been a wreck and I have no real desire to talk about why.  I’ve been wavering in pattern of taking a day to try and equalize and recover myself, starting to regroup the next day and then either I do something to fuck up or some outside force interfers and I stumble and try again to take a day to recover myself and the cycle begins again, lather, rinse, repeat.  Can’t go on forever and I’ve been seeing land on the horizon for a while.  Land fall is tomorrow and so the rolling, tide-like cycle can end.  Sorry for the nautical metaphors.  The hazards of the combination of the book I’m reading and the movie I’m watching right now.

Wednesday is the next of the big dental apointments.  And while th end is in sight, it’s still pretty far away.  I reserve the right to still have an emotional meltdown after each apointment.  I’ll probably come out of all of this needing therapy just to go into a dentist’s office again.  Or maybe I’ll take my mom’s advice and take valium before the appointments.  Not to be all drama queen or anything but the whole dental episode is still damn upsetting.  I am very glad to have friends around.  Everyone’s been very good to me and hopefully will continue to be even as I am prickly and unpleasent.

And all that said, I would give a lot, a whole lot to spend five days or a week alone at the beach when this is all over.

Crackjack Sister gets here tomorrow.  I can recuperate and be touristy and half-way vacation at the same time.  Having family here is the best because I never have to explain how I feel or why I’d do something a certain way.  No, that’s not explaining it right. Suffice to say, I’m looking forward to relaxing with my sister.  Sometimes there are Monday’s to look forward too.


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morning suffering

Yesterday’s dental adventure was relatively painless, I guess.  I mean being at the dentist wasn’t as bad as I psyched myself up for.  Recovering from the lidocaine was miserable and I still have some swelling on the side of my face today.  I am starving and would like to eat something substantial.  And perversely, something hard and crunchy, but I think it’s definitely still soft foods for another day.  On the upside I only have (hopefully, oh please, universe) two more major appointments, then I get the bridge and go back to feeling somewhat normal about my teeth.  The partial (removable) tooth they made me is lovely in that it looks like a tooth and I can go back to talking mostly normally (it really isn’t just the vanity of it all but it’s really hard to talk without a lower front tooth), but I cannot get used to eating with it, which is sad because (of the vanity) I’d really like to not take it out except at home.  Again, mere weeks/months and it’ll be pretty much over.  I have to keep reminding myself that this is just a blip in the grander scheme of my life.

I was awake about 2 hours earlier than I’d hoped.  Again I just couldn’t sleep last night.  And then early this morning I dreamt that Boss Daddy was opening two more restaurants and didn’t tell me until they were just about to open.  And then I was working at one of the new restaurants and my grandfather came in and told me how much he missed me. My grandfather has been dead for about 15 years and still I woke up crying.  Some people you just never stop missing.

It looks like it might be shaping up to be a very thunderstormy kind of day.  Hopefully it will break the swampy oppressive heat of the last couple days.  I really don’t mind the heat, but I don’t like feeling like it is a wall I have to walk through when I step outside.

Alright, time for a soft breakfast, a shower and to set out and make something good happen today.


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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.


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lost week

Today was a total loss for me.  I achieved almost nothing but eating, surfing the internet, watching TV and picking up a little bit (a very, very little bit) around the house.  I also took my mom to the airport which was very sad.

We had a good visit.  On the one hand I didn’t get hardly anything productive done in the past week, but on the other, I had a great week.  I think my mom had a good time too.  We went on lots and lots of walks, saw Star Trek (mmmm, Chris Pine), saw the Medieval art thing at the Frist, ate many great meals (including my own discovery of new to me good places to eat in Nashville), went to the museum under the Parthenon, walked more, shopped a lot (new shoes!), got pedicures, saw the great museum at Cheekwood (fantastic especially the William Edmondson sculptures), spent much time loitering at Ugly Mugs, and of course, I worked a bunch causing Ma to spend a lot of time at the bar (but I think she had a good time).  I got plenty of exercise and maybe not enough sleep (especially last night).

I definitely feel somewhat guilty about shirked responsibilities.  But hey, I feel like a good daughter and pretty relaxed and excited about new parts of my city I discovered.  Alas as with nearly every vacation we take together, I forgot entirely to take pictures.

And now back to regular life.  I’m somewhat terrified by what my to do list will look like tomorrow morning.


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You are saved and there is love

Yesterday I came to chatter at you all only to discover my blog was locked down for “questionable content.”  I was already have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  I couldn’t conceive of what I could have done.  Of course it turned out to by some sort of system glitch and the very nice WordPress people have fixed it.  So really the universe just spared you my whininess.  And saved me the embarrassment of having done it publicly.

Today is Crackerjack Sis’ 16th birthday.  I remember the day she was born very clearly.  So clearly, in fact, that some times it’s hard to imagine that she isn’t just a tiny little bundle that falls asleep on my chest.  Miss Monkeypants, watching you grow up has been one of the most exciting things I’ve ever been able to share in. I hope you have a good day, a good year and I’m so excited for the next 16 years of your life and the 16 after that. I love you, little sister.