Sunday, December 28, 2008

take me home

Today, December 28, it was 76 degrees and sunny. We’re at the beach down South, what do I expect? It’s just not my cup of tea, let’s say, for it to be so warm in the so-called winter. I like seasonal weather. And also, I like a little landscape. Tomorrow, for the third time in the space of 3 weeks, I’ll be driving up to RDU, which has got to be one of the most boring 2 1/2-hour rides on earth. I’m not complaining about the purpose of each trip, but blah, it’s just sodamnboring, that drive. To me, it would go so much faster if there was something to look at, other than flatness and what I swear are the same groups of pine trees  flanking the road, repeated in cluster units for two-thirds of the way there.

This weather just reinforced an idea that had popped into my head about a week ago: We will move to the mountains before our golden years. I swear we will. I didn’t grow up in the mountains, but there were a lot of hills up there in upstate NY, and very seasonal weather, so I always feel at home in those NC mountains. And after 12 years here, I’m thinking that NC is turning out to be a pretty cool state. I feel like it’s the best of both worlds, the mountains, and we will get there. It’s all about timing, and determination, and the burning desire to wear scarves and mittens and hats in the month of December. To live in a little landscape.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

phone-phobe: reason #742

This morning while out running errands, I received three calls. Thankfully, I had left my phone at the house; although, I suppose if I had been able to pick up to begin with, I would have not have received these messages. (More or less. I’m trying to block them out):

Call #1: No one says anything. In the background, sounds like child crying?

Call #2: Daniel. [Lady sounds surly.] You have got to get back to me and let me know where you are. I have been calling all morning. Call me back.

Call #3: Daniel. If you don’t call be back in FIFTEEN MINUTES I am going to put him in the crib. Close the door, and walk down.the.road. I have no idea where you are, and why you are not calling me. You in the hospital or something? Let me know. *Click.*


Baby? Put in crib and just leave the house? What? What is happening here?


I hope Daniel, whoever he is, called her back.

Friday, December 19, 2008

if i had a nickel

I’d have to put it in a jar somewhere and not touch it. Apparently, I am allergic to nickel. They mix it in with a lot of the jewelry here in the U.S. (cheap filler, even in more expensive stuff), and repeated exposure can cause a contact allergy. I blame all those damn earrings I used to have in my head: eight! A few years ago, my ears flipped out, and I couldn’t wear the earrings anymore. First I switched to all-silver and all-gold earrings, which helped for awhile, but then the plating would wear off, and finally I felt like clawing my ears off, so I decided I was done. I wear necklaces, mostly taking them off at night, but if I don’t, or sometimes even if I do, I get welts on my skin. Watches are the same. And now, I guess with the white-gold plating wearing down on my wedding rings, I can no longer wear them. It is beyond vexing.

While researching this issue and what to do about it (talk to the jeweler about re-plating? Try Nickel Guard?), I found THIS PICTURE, which is too scary to post. I’m serious. View at your own risk. In the meantime, I’m hoping for no nightmares tonight—and that that dude isn’t really allergic to nickel. Because, ouch.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

and he shall be henceforth know as jell-o

When J.Lo and I play the Wii, our characters (obviously) are called J.Lo and Pen. That’s just who we are. This evening, J.Lo unlocked the ability to use his own character while playing MarioKart—all very exciting, I know. But K.Lo seems to think so. She’ll cheer on whomever: Princess Daisy, WaLuigi, Funky Kong, and now: JELL-O! Go Jell-o! Woohoo!

I just love it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

dear student loan company,

It’s been a long time. Too long for you, not long enough for me, although I have used up my stack of Get-Out-of-Payment cards and there is nowhere else to run. I realize my first payment in forever is due in January and lest I forget, you have provided me with multiple reminders, in my mailbox, my email, in the sky, etc. Thank you. I guess. I can be flaky and forget. I guess I just want to say, I got the picture. I’m not looking forward to our reunion. I’m not sure there’s enough in the couch cushions to cover you, but I’ll look. In the meantime, I’ll ponder the monetary returns I have yet to see on that cute little degree I insisted on getting a few years back, as well as the things like curtains and brie I cavalierly purchased on your dime. I’m pretty sure you’re getting the last laugh on this one.

Snowflakes and Candy Canes,


Monday, December 15, 2008

weekend odds & ends

  • My favorite, only-pair-that-fits-right jeans now have a big old hole in the knee. I guess they were getting a little raggedy, so thin they wore clean through. But in the meantime, I am jeans-less, and a little sad.
  • While at my friend J’s, someone EGGED my car. People still egg cars? The best part is that the shells were brown. I like picturing the hoodlum in question thieving his parents’ expensive brown eggs to go throw around the neighborhood.
  • I really like my wreath (below). I might have mentioned that. It cost under $10 to make. Even the bird makes me  happy.
  • Our deck is now all gone, courtesy of badass, crowbar-wielding J.Lo. Plans for spring include a new, lower deck, possibly with a tin roof. I like the way they sound in the rain. Not to mention I’d love some shade, without breaking the bank.
  • I *accidentally* forgot my computer at my parents’ house this weekend, which meant I *couldn’t* do any work during Craft Weekend. *Oops.* I’m kind of sick of work. I find it highly over-rated, especially during the holidays. However, being sick of work doesn’t make the need for it go away. Profound, I know.
  • Susie nearly won Survivor: Gabon last night. While I’m sure she’s a lovely person in real life, she did nothing of note the entire season, save for creating fire in a challenge where no one else could. I would have DIED if she won. Sugar didn’t really try for votes, which is why she didn’t get any… but the contest should have been down to her and Bob. Susie was the recipient of three “I don’t know who else to vote for” votes, but that doesn’t make them okay. Also, Corinne is Evil Personified.
  • I now officially drink my coffee black. It only took a few days to get used to it. It’s tasty.
  • I’ve no idea what to make for J.Lo’s work potluck. Something savory. Any suggestions?

Sunday, December 14, 2008


P1020039 P1020040

Pressed flowers and ModPodge.


Live Pansy by J.


P1020042 P1020043  P1020045 

I’m totally proud of this wreath!


P1020047 P1020048

For K.Lo’s preschool teachers and friends.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

non-nutritive fruit varnishes

As part of an effort to revive the short-lived but undeniably sparkly series, Fruit Facts, I’d like to talk about wax coatings on fruit. According to this page, non-nutritive fruit varnishes do have a purpose beyond appearance enhancement, such as:

  • inhibiting mold growth
  • protecting fruits and vegetables from bruising
  • preventing other physical damage and disease.

Each of these items is worthy, but I’m stuck on the “enhance appearance” aspect. I look at my 12-pack of apples from Costco, and those things look exactly.the.same. It’s a tiny bit disturbing. It makes me think, give me some dirty fruit. Where can I get my hands on some. Fruit with a little dust (of the non-pesticide variety), some odd curvatures, and un-uniform coloring. Fruit with character.

Really what I want is to be able to pick apples again like we used to do in the fall up North. Clearly that’s not going to happen, and even if it did, it would only be seasonal. But damn, those things were good. They were all different sizes, matte-not-glossy, good old-fashioned, straight-from-the-tree apples. In the meantime, my Costco apples sure are tasty, and the price is right, but I feel like they’re more than a little homogenized, which makes me sad on behalf of the fruit, and on behalf of all fruit eaters everywhere, who surely feel that uniqueness trumps sameness any day of the week. Lastly, I feel sad knowing my children will likely miss out on the all-important character-building experience of finding a worm in their apple, which obviously would never happen with fruit that’s been coated in shiny wax.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

WinterLand, by M

For my last post before falala land, I leave you with what i did to my office over a few days... had i not actually had to leave, there's no telling how far i would have gone... i was thinking paperchain streamers... dangling ornaments... *sigh*

I need to leave more often, by M

I haven't felt so warm and fuzzy since the great winter warming of '88. Leaving was the best christmas present. I have all these awesome friends giving me travel things, and saying goodbye and it just reminds me to appreciate each and everyone of them. You guys frickin rock and blow me away!

Monday, December 8, 2008

photographic evidence




Cross-section: lots and lots of ornaments.



all you need is Bug!

I’ve been feeling…hectic this month. I’m kind of vexed that it’s already December 8th, and my Christmas decorations aren’t all up. My proper 5-week enjoyment period has suffered a serious bite. Maybe if I hadn’t been all *lazy* Thanksgiving weekend, but by lazy I mean powering through several hours of work. There’s a lot available for me right now, and not for J.Lo; hence it’s sort of all on me. And I’m a stickler. If I have to work twice as many hours to make the same amount (which, literally, I do), hell if I’m not going to reach that mark. However, I like my Christmas decor, too, and want to have it up already. The tree, with several hundred ornaments, typically takes me 3 days. J.Lo put it up this weekend, and I (still working, and granted, doing pesky little things like finishing one of my books) didn’t get to the decor. I should also mention that this year, I’m decorating around N.Lo’s sleep schedule. Because, um, he’s 1, and doesn’t know how to walk that well yet, but does very much know how to grab, crush, and eat just about every hand-sized object, as well as pull up and climb. Not a good combination with a Christmas tree. Not unmanageable, just a pain in the ass I’d like to avoid.

Anyway, this whole sense of feeling behind brings me to this afternoon, when I decided to put some decorations on the tree, testing how well K.Lo would do with it. And don’t you know, we decorated the entire tree in one afternoon. I have never, ever decorated my tree so fast. She didn’t really *get* the hanging of the ornaments, but she initiated a sort of assembly line, pulling nearly every single ornament from the box and handing it to me. Total teamwork. She was even super-duper careful with all the glass stuff, which really surprised me.

The best part, though, was that she exclaimed over every ornament: “Look, Mommy! *Gasp.* Look what I found!” like it was the greatest thing ever. I mean, honestly. If that doesn’t put you in the Christmas spirit, what will. I pretty much love each and every one of my 5 million ornaments, even the ugly ones, and it’s usually me exclaiming over them in my mind (aww, this one! I love this one!), but this year, I had the most enthusiastic ornament co-cheerleader I could ever ask for. And I didn’t even have to pay her extra.

The Bug may be *two,* and might throw exasperating tantrums over dumb crap like wanting to watch Rudolph instead of eating two bites of her lunch, but man, that girl can be pretty darn cool, too.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Mom is more awesome than your mom, by M

I had these beads for 2 years. And i've admitted to myself that I dont like doing jewelry. The whole construction process is tiresome, but mom with much mercy and sacrifice did it for me. Because she actually likes figuring out how things are going to fit together. Frankly I just want it to work. This was an important step for me. Identifying and releasing myself from my visions... If i can't outsource it forget it! Though I didn't mind making my washer necklace because it was like linking chain mail. More on that one later. But here's to mom, best necklace EVER.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

last words on lacma, by m

I love that this woman, started seeing a pattern. Sought it out, collected it, and behold, glorious. You can read the blah blah blah below but I like this girl in the paintings, bcs she's wearing red and shes the saint of abused women. Fabiola. And I found this much more engaging than the vanityfair exhibit. And because its not of the ubiquitous icon, mary for instance, I can enjoy that people are venerating her, and engage in a dialogue somehow that all these people are joined in the mutal recognition of this figure.

Francis Alÿs: Fabiola
September 7, 2008–March 29, 2009 Ahmanson Building
Commissioned by Dia Art Foundation and curated by Lynne Cooke, Francis Alÿs: Fabiola was first installed at the Hispanic Society of America in northern Manhattan from September 2007 to April 2008. Francis Alÿs, a Belgian artist who relocated to Mexico City in the early 1990s, has assembled a significant collection of nearly identical paintings and other depictions of fourth-century Saint Fabiola over the last two decades. All of these are based on a renowned, but lost, portrait by nineteenth-century French academic painter Jean-Jacques Henner. This much-venerated image has been so assiduously copied by amateurs and professionals alike that it has become a popular icon, a phenomenon that, as the artist stated, "indicates a different criterion of what a masterwork could be." Gathered from flea markets, antique shops, and private collections throughout Europe and the Americas, Alÿs's collection offers a window onto aesthetic, sociological, and theological values over the past century and more. This exhibition will display Alÿs's group of more than three hundred Fabiola portraits, all of them copies of a lost original: most are paintings, and there are several versions in needlepoint, wood relief, and other materials as well.

Friday, December 5, 2008

And Then There was 1, by M

There's a new blog in the neighborhood. A fancy travel one. So all of you that have left November feeling robbed over the startling low number of posts, lowest ever actually, besides that one month where we went on hiatus, and were beginning to see that December was going to show much of the same, there should at least be some travel bloggings happening on the horizon. We can't promise that there will be copious # of posts but we hope, all the same, that Schu is going to do her best to post post post and bring that writerly wit to bear. And with some much needed assistance from Penelope and Cath, there should be some interesting and humorous things to read inbetween. Naturally it will dazzle and astound.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

All Good Things, by M

Come to an end... Goodbye dear CGI's. My artistry of you is at an end. Apparently the company after feeling adrift in the sea of what we wanted, took flight and decided to become insulted by the obvious brilliance of my own cgi suggestions... alas. Alas. Goodbye. May storyboards come into my life on some other far flung day... work now returns to a dull place of research and fact checking. Did you know Pilot Whales, part of the dolphin family, can plummet to deep depths and sprint down down down in chase of delicious squid? It's true. They also can eat 30lbs a day, and have upwards of 48 teeth.... all 3 tons and 20ft of them.

fav line so far from this book

(The last line.)

“It’s an old story: When Prout and Liebig nailed down the macronutrients, scientists figured that they now understood the nature of food and what the body needed from it. Then when the vitamins were isolated a few decades later, scientists thought, okay, now we really understand food and what the body needs for its health; and today it’s the polyphenols and carotenoids that seem to have completed the picture. But who knows what else is going on deep in the soul of a carrot?”

--from In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


In one of my last posts before my brain is turned completely to vapor, I went to the LA County Museum of Art. LACMA. To the Vanity Fair Exhibit. We did not make it to the new contemporary wing. And I found out that, though I enjoyed looking at the pictures, I pretty much revile the cult of celebrity. So as much as I wanted to see through that to the artistry behind the photograph, I couldn't get past "knowing" who the subject was. But only as one knows Disneyland or Notre Dame. It's not that I really know it but that the visual is ubiquitous? Maybe. And that the photos don't necessarily do anything to subvert what I already "know". Is that important?

And I can't tell what the thrust of the exhibit was but that it needed more behind it. There was a quip about these photographers being the advent of modern portraiture..., but that at least a couple copied the great painterly masters of the past... and that I've already lived with it for so long I have no appreciation for it. A naked lance armstrong I did not blink an eye at as he intently posed on his bike, but I did recall what a fervor demimoore caused bare and pregnant... so clearly something has happened in the last near 20 years... though my fickle mind doesn't want to deduce what that might be. Besides I had the Hearst Collection to view and other places to wander. Next up more on LACMA and the saint of abused women. Something I found infinitely more fascinating. . . here's what I took until my phone battery died.

Monday, December 1, 2008

post-traumatic pollyanna disorder

pollyannaI realize now what happened after quitting VZW, back in the day. Back when I was prego with K.Lo, throwing up all the time and weeping in corners at the misery of serving the NJ/NY Metro area to *fix* their cell phone issues. It was horrors. I think the day I threw up blood was the day that it no longer mattered I needed this job to pay the mortgage. Dear lord.

Anyway, after I quit about a thousand pounds was lifted off my shoulders and everything was like, peachy-keen. Uber-peachy-keen. For a really long time. A year plus. I mean sure I had my moods, but through the rest of the pregnancy and K.Lo’s first year, I was over the moon. I was all zen. Because I knew how much worse my daily existence could be. I was totally Pollyanna, and I could beat you at the Glad Game any day of the week.

Pollyanna is the Yin to my Inner Snark’s Yang. I embrace them both. For awhile, while suffering Post-Traumatic Pollyanna Disorder (PTPD), I lost sight of my Snark. And then it seemed the Snark returned, and I lost sight of my Pollyanna, a.k.a. Penelozen.

BUT: one can be endlessly grateful toward life’s gifts and remain a bitch. So easy for one to forget! Here’s to reclaiming my PTPD, minus the PT, and this time I promise not to lose the snark.

Friday, November 28, 2008

i’m tired.

*Thanksgiving yesterday was lovely, really. I’m most proud of my job on the turkey, which came out so delish. An oven bag and a cup of apple juice poured over the top of the bird is all you need, my friends. You don’t taste the apple, it just saves you from basting.

*I am most grateful for lots of things.

*Christmas shopping is mostly done. I didn’t do any today (yikes), although I keep going back to the Black Friday deals on Amazon and wondering if there’s something I missed. Can’t find anything, but I like the ability to peruse aimlessly in the comfort of my own home, as opposed to going out and trampling a Wal-Mart worker to death. Ugh. I want to throw up just thinking about that.

*I still have a 4th blog… but I changed the address, and don’t expect me to update it much, if you can find it. I’m telling myself as much as you. I just don’t have the will, the brain power, the whatever-it-takes. Time. Luckily, I doubt anyone much cares.

*Still reading 2 or 3 books and keeping up with all sorts of feeds and other-type articles that I never used to read (the ones I was all trying to share on the 4th blog). My brain is filling up fast. It takes time to mull, but before you can even do so properly, everything changes again. Wonder sometimes if I would have done better in a slower-paced culture and/or century.

*J.Lo is ripping apart our piece-of-crap deck. No bodies discovered yet underneath, but I’ll keep you posted. In the spring, we’ll replace said crap-deck with a lower deck, which should really open up the yard.

*I’ve been feeling sorry for the dogs lately, because they have devolved into food scrounges, and I’m thinking despite their cushy existence, we probably don’t play with them enough anymore. It makes me sad, but it also makes me feel *stretched.* I think about my day and sometimes feel like I’ve got nothing left to fucking give. Poor dogs. We will make the effort, dammit, and hope that the added attention will be the solution to their maddening behavior.

*On tap this weekend: B-day party for 1-yr-old neighbor (extremely cute), Christmas decorating?! maybe next weekend, working some more hours and hoping it’s enough.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Days Til the Great Beyond

With my trip approaching and my blogging at a historical all time low, the only strength I could muster is to tell you what my most illustrious good friend Penelope sent me. And I love her for it- As she wants me to be fully prepared should I become separated from my tour group and lost in the Guatemalan/Honduran/Costa Rican Jungle. I feel fairly safe about Nicaragua, as I won't be near Jungles then. But I can't swear by it.

I can tell you why I consider not blogging, it's because I have things to say but do not want to tell you or have been so consumed over my irritations at french and the hours blown by at work that I cannot make headspace for anything else... but perhaps this is just a phase and I have gotten too good at wasting time. And after all, an online trip journal is something every girl should have.

And I am officially 2 wks away.
Most completely packed except for a black friday camera purchase and perhaps a nail buffer.

Friday, November 21, 2008



Yesterday marked four years of marriage for J.Lo and I. Four! The theme of four is flowers and fruit (traditional) or appliances (modern). Both of us went traditional this year, J.Lo bringing home a lovely bouquet of fall flowers and this necklace, which is tiny and dainty and has a little diamond in the middle.





ScotchFruit and flowers for a guy proves to be a bit more difficult, so I got all clever and went with this bottle of scotch. If you look closely at the label, it mentions flavor notes that are “fruity and floral.” Score!


*I keep up with the laundry pretty well, despite grave procrastination on the folding and putting-away front. I did laundry over the weekend. But somehow, by Monday, the laundry hamper was two feet taller than normal. Almost as tall as ME. I’ve never seen it get that high. The culprit? Sheets. Apparently I had changed a lot of bed sheets recently. So the lesson here clearly is not to change your sheets, as it leads to inordinate, cruel amounts of laundry.

*Seriously, you should see my DVR. Three episodes of Gossip Girl. And equal number of Privileged. The only two girl-shows I’ve kept up with recently are ANTM and Grey’s Anatomy. And Top Chef, but I’ve only half-watched. All the rest lay there waiting, or else have been cancelled entirely. I blame my blogging problem, and that pesky job. And the children, it’s always their fault.

*Speaking of shows I DO keep up with, how about McKey winning ANTM??? Yeah, I didn’t really dig her, either. Whatever. I like Marjorie and Analeigh. Also, last night’s eps of The Office and Survivor were both brilliant spots of light in the scope of each current season. Discuss with me in the comments, if you watch these shows!

*Mendacious is leaving me in less than 3 weeks. I don’t think I’m really quite prepared, although I suppose between her absence and the repeats starting up, I’ll have time to amend the aforementioned DVR backlog.

*I have to cook Thanksgiving dinner next week. Which is totally great, I love cooking. But so much preparation involved?! The hell. First order of business is to come up with a shopping list, which I haven’t done yet, and then I apparently need to head out and procure said ingredients immediately. The bread for the stuffing needs to be cut up and left out to stale properly by Saturday. Which is TOMORROW. And from there it only gets more complicated, tackling the entire menu I have in mind.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not that You Care, by M

But, I am almost completely packed. And it is my obsessive need to make lists of which I have mostly spared you lately... and gloriously my pack is really light, especially compared to when I did this in Turkey. I'm getting better! At saying no... though not completely. Let's be honest.

• Extra Memory cards
• Extra Battery
• Fix Watch
• Burts Bee’s
• Cliff Bars
• Almonds
• Book on tape?

• Vaccination Cert
• Itinerary
• $300 LP+
• Money
• MP3 Player
• Journal
• Camera
• Water
• Charger, Memory Cards

• Alarm Clock (1)
• Sunglasses
• Calculator
• Duct Tape
o Nail kit: buff, cut
o Tweezers/Mirror
o ThickEucerin

• Knee braces’
• Ear plugs/hard
• Black travel Pillow
• Door Wedge
• CamelBak (dads)

• Amphibian Walk/Water
• Flipflops
• Bras
• 1 black tanktop

Main Pack
• Pancho
• SwissArmyKnife
• Vaccum Bag
• Small Towel/Microfiber
• Jacket (fleece/wind)
• Sunflower Seeds
• Jerky
• Gum
• Cliff Bars 12
• 7 Underwear
• 3 Undersocks
• 6 Socks
• Mysterious feminine products
• 1 White Skirt
• Red/Red Skirt
• Swimsuit

• 1 Red Tanktop
• 5 Tops
• 1 LS-T Shirt O/N
• Sleep Shorts
• Stretch Shorts
• Water Shorts
• 1 Stretch Pants
• 2 Cargo Pants
• 1 Stretch Capri
• Travel Connect 4
• Cards
• Insect Repellent
• SPF 15 max

Emergency Kit
• Potable Aqua
• Emg Blanket
• Malariapills
• Leviquin 4 TD
• Ice packs
• Thermometers
• Dramamine
• Bandaids
• Anti-Inflammation patches
• Other…

• Deodorant
• Detergent
• Tissues
• Shaving Gel
• Face/Body Wipes
• 4 disposable razors
• Liquid Soap/scrub
• Floss
• Paste
• Toothbrush
• Shampoo/Conditioner
• Brush
• Sewing Kit/Safety Pins
• Eucerin

o Blister kit (check it)
o Advil
o Hand Sanitizer
o Sun hat
o Ginger pills
o Flashlight
o Zip-tie Locks
o 1 Underwear
o 1 pair socks
o 1 longsleeve top
o Gum
o Pens
o Mirror PlaneTix
o Passport
o Insurance proof
o Bandana
o Business cards
o Toilet Paper
o Compressed Water Spray
o 4 TourGuide Docs
o Gloss
o Soft EarPlugs
o Money Belt

Monday, November 17, 2008

Definitely Not Ok, by M

So I've decided it's not ok. I called the house this AM again, to see if my friends life had or hadn't changed irrevocably. And her mom answered the phone and immediately knew it was me, and she makes some really not very concerned fumbling excuse about why she didn't call me back, and explained my number just came up but not my name so she didn't know... which means she deleted my # from her cell phone and yet uh, either her house has caller id or she knows my fucking number people! what is going ON! I got deleted, not called back, generally stepped on for my concern, and then she told me that they weren't staying at the shop which is quite different than being evicted... and whatever so then she explains to me how there was a 30ft wall of flames coming down and surrounding the house but that a gust of wind came and pushed the wall fire down the hill. And that her son found a way back up the hill and spent the night putting out ember fires at various houses on his street.... and she's like, so yah thanks so much for calling, the inspector is here i have to go, and i was like so i guess I'll catch up with ivy later? And uh? Ok bye! Thanks for calling! CLICK.

WTF!? is going ON!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How is This Ok? by M

So the neighbors are having another one of their fucking parties. It's not ok that the volume level of the speakers causes my windows to rattle or my doors to reverberate. It's not. It's really fucking rude. And I fucking hate them. Or rather anything I might do to them by my own hand outside of some miraculous occurance would be justifiable but not exactly right. This makes me sad. And God and I are talking this out.

But clearly complaining about my neighbors isn't anything new. What I'm really here to complain about is my friend who has the drug problem, dropped rehab, hopefully, mostly clean? I don't know. I haven't seen her since. But she called me the other night, hadn't gotten around to calling her back. And then around 11:20pm last night I get a call from her on the house phone, and all I hear as I hit the play back button is "This is a dire emergency." And then my cellphone is ringing.

She says, "The fire jumped I think. It's close. We don't have anywhere to go. My mom got evicted from her studio (news to me, and this means absolutely no income and nowhere to work, is what that means). We think we might sleep in the parking lot of the studio, but maybe we can come over to use the restroom or something? There's no room is there? There's 4 of us." No I say, but... Come over? When are you coming, over? Of course I say. You can go to an evacuation center? What are you going to do." "I don't know, I don't know." "Just call me," I say, "Let me know." "I have to go, I see an ember, I think our house is on fire. There's a policeman at the door. I have to go." CLICK.

So I turn on the news and sure enough I'm looking at a fire blazing and I think that DOES look like her house, her actual house on fire. I hope its not her house. It really looks like her house. And Chuck from channel 4 is giving approximate locations of houses lighting up and blazing, and i think, that's her street. I'm pretty sure he just said her street.

I text her 20minutes later: Are you ok? Is your house? Where are you? NO ANSWER.
I wait up till 130AM waiting, watching the news, and generally pretty concerned.

I wake up at 730AM. I tell my mom, I think her house burned down. They said they might come by. I haven't heard from them...I go back to bed and lay there pointlessly for another hour.

I call her again at 11AM. No answer. "HI, I'm concerned about you guys. Where are you? Are you Ok? Let me know what I can do to help? Call me."

I mean hello, I know I'm a narcissist but how is it ok that I haven't heard from her since her 2nd frantic call. Her phone might be dead, her mom might not have even told her I called. But she knows both my numbers by heart. Their studio/work place where they were going to sleep is 2 miles from my house. And I'm completely pissed off that I haven't heard one-single-word.

It's possibly the voyuer in me. Maybe.
its possibly the storyteller in me. But mostly, it's genuine concern, I think, for a human being I actually know, whose house may or maynot no longer exist. Sure I thought the house was a den of toxic awful energy, and would it surprise me, given that the entire backyard was filled with dead literally drybrown things, that would make it easier for a fire to start and rapidly disintigrate the house- no. But even in this she should've called right? Like maybe let me know if she needs the microwave I have stashed in the crawlspace, or the Tv sitting in a box that's too big for my room right now... or clothes or food or something. Maybe let me know if she's homeless, or alive or crying or hurt, or safe or warm or fed... But maybe it's just me.

That explains the cupcake I had after dinner, and maybe those 3 slices of pepperoni pizza. I'm totally going to bed now, the fucking polka music is at a murmor. How considerate really, turning it down around 1am in the fucking morning!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I was out shopping today and found a bucket of sticks on clearance for $7.50. I think it was 75% off. A damn good price for a bucket of sticks. I have always wanted one, I couldn’t tell you why. I can see it by a door, or in a corner somewhere, especially during the fall or winter months. The pot was an orangey red color, the sticks maybe between 2 and 3 feet tall. It was sort of perfect all around.

I put it in the cart and took it on a tour of the store, on the fence the whole time about the *need* for a bucket of sticks. Justifiable? After a several-year back-burner quest? Why not.

Then I remembered that N.Lo is 1, and on the verge of walking, and that there couldn’t possibly be a worse time to buy the bucket of sticks. Sure, he’d learn quick enough not to go near the thing. But would that be before after the sticks skewered his little eyeballs. It would be a disaster waiting to happen, I had to admit.

Someday I will own the bucket of sticks. Someday the planets will align on this matter. Just not, sadly, today.

Friday, November 14, 2008

survivor friday! now i’m inspired.

Sugar is my fav in this game, with Bob as a close second. J.Lo is seriously annoyed at the underdog faction of Kenny, Crystal, and Susie, and though I agree they’re not my favorite personalities ever, I give them props for at least playing the game and fighting for their own Survivor lives. I think that we’re naturally programmed to root for the cool, popular kids, but now that Marcus and Charlie are out, I see no reason to root for Corinne. She’s really sort of horrible. She’s at least as bad as Jeri Manthy in Australia, but since she’s cuter, she hasn’t been vilified quite as much. Frankly, she lost me a week or two ago when she said something along the lines of, “I’m a completely vindictive person.” Really? Ew. And just because she takes it as a personal affront that Marcus (and now, presumably, Charlie) have been voted out, doesn’t mean the viewing audience should, too.

Kenny, Crystal, and Susie bother me because all three pretty well suck at challenges and don’t have the best attitude overall at camp. Crystal really bothers me with her challenge suckitude, because um, she was an Olympic athlete! She gives up so easily when it comes to anything physical in this game. BUT, at least these three aren’t ferrying in the cool faction just because they’re cool. As Kenny noted, there’s no reason why Marcus should deserve to stay longer than any of the others. The goal of the game is Outwit, Outplay, Outlast, and the underdog faction are doing just that.

And how about Susie rocking that fire challenge? Sugar was a close second, but the rest of the players’ performances were pretty darn pitiful. Not one of them even sparked a flame.

Other notes:

  • Loved, loved, loved Bob’s fake Immunity Idol. Eliza could never say, “It’s just a stick!” Perhaps the show will hire him to head up the Crafts Department for the next Survivor.
  • Loved/hated Corinne’s assessment of Sugar as a complete moron. Sugar’s playing the role well, and Corrine is just nasty toward anyone who isn’t on Team Corinne.
  • Randy! What a bitter, bitter man. Hopefully his time in the game will lead him down a path of self-awareness. I find it most ironic that he’s a wedding photographer, a recorder of a happy life events.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Connections, by M (an email excerpt) yah another one. Whatever.

Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 08:30:42 -0800
From: Somebody's Mom
To: Mendacious
Subject: internet connection

Dad has been talking about switching internet providers fro some time. He says that he is going to make the change today or tomorrow. They (at &t), who will be the new provider, say that it will take a week to clear the lines and have our new service start. This horrifies me. How can we be without service for a week! And in this internet age, how can it take so long? I am hoping that it won't take that long.
The new service is supposed to be faster and cost less than the current service.
Anyway. I wanted to give you a head's up. You may be like Brandon driving around Newport looking for a hot spot..

11/13/2008 10:03 AM >>>

but good to know.

now if you guys could just get rid of the cars. you have no idea how much anxiety involves me in a parents die tragically scenario and then i have no idea what to do with them. and i want to keep the mustang and finally learn to drive stick but i don't know what is wrong with the engines or all the parts and i just cry a lot and plant things in it.
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 10:18:04 -0800
From: Somebody's Mom
To: Mendacious
Subject: RE: internet connection

You'll take to stick like a duck to water. Just be sure you've eaten. Dad is close to having the green beast running. The engine on your brother's mustang is fine. just needs tuning, engine on mine is tired and Dad is planning on rebuilding it. If you find yourself suddenly orphaned, I'll tell Dad's ghost to tell you what for on the cars... it will be fine.
11/13/2008 12:10 PM >>>

good. cuz you know how i worry.
if we could get that all resolved before hand that would be great.

Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 12:13:30 -0800
From: Somebody's Mom
To: Mendacious
Subject: RE: internet connection

It sure would.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pen & M Convo (excerpt)

From: Pen
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 10:28:52 -0500

oh my goodness. how terribly rad is our new header??!! I'm loving it!
nice work, my friend. once again.

Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 1:04 PM

as long as you don't think its too busy-ee.
we'll see.

i was going for a little bit of how we feel... avec fall and the closing in on winter.

From: Penelope
To: M
Subject: Re: RE:
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 20:48:22 -0500

it's pretty perfect.

From: Mendacious
Tuesday, November 11, 2008 9:09 PM

i'm such a validation whore.
; )


From: Pen
To: M
Subject: Re: RE:
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 22:51:10 -0500
aren't we all? Smile emoticon

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


  1. Ever pensive, my mind has been *brewing* as of late, to the point of great distraction. You should see how packed my DVR is—between this new side jobby of mine and all the brewing, I haven’t even had time for all the crap I watch! My usual solution for peneloccupations is to blog about them, but frankly, I think these matters are a bit of a drag-down for the three existing blogs of Pen&M, LoCo, and Smartini. Too serious. I’m quite sure that if I started linking a bunch of articles on any of these blogs, y’all would very soon tune me out, and/or banish me from your blogrolls. So think of my fourth blog as yet another Thought Receptacle for Penelope. J.Lo (and possibly m) will have a fit about it, wondering how in the eff I’ll have the time, but I argue that I’m so consumed with this stuff anyway, this blog is my outlet for it. Put it out there and be done. Plus, who doesn’t want an even deeper look into the multi-faceted mind of penelope? So, please, if you’re interested, check it out and join the conversation. Or else I'll just speak to the void. Whichever...
  2. As noted in the sidebar, I’m in love with our new set of jumbo coffee mugs. They’re big, can be used as soup and cereal bowls. We had about a million coffee cups already, but none this shape and size, and I ultimately justified the purchase by getting rid of some sincerely ugly ones. Mugs from J.Lo’s bachelor days. I was a tiny bit nervous I’d hurt his feelings by bringing my festering, five-year disdain of these mugs to light, but it turns out these mugs were purchased with… Marlboro Miles. I have no words.
  3. I haven’t been doing Survivor Fridays, not because we’re not still obsessed with the show (clearly we are), but I just haven’t felt inspired. One of the tribes, named Fang, has to be one of the worst tribes in the history of Survivor, and it doesn’t seem to matter who’s on the tribe. They’ve switched it up a few times, and they.just.stink. One of the chicks (bitchy Corinne—cute, but can’t really stand her) even changed the pronunciation last episode from “Fong” to “Fang”… didn’t help.
  4. I heart Mario Kart for the Wii. I haven’t really played video games for years, not since the days of the old Nintendo. I’m pretty terrible, but it’s a fun, mindless buzz nonetheless.
  5. The side jobby: It’s also thrown me for a loop. I had a not-really-minor meltdown last week, just trying to sort out expectations. I work from home, drafting some (I’m learning, J.Lo is teaching) and doing some admin work. Right now there’s much more admin than drafting. Adding anything like this to one’s life is always an adjustment, and of course there’s always a learning curve. Anyway, I think I’m over it now. Still don’t know what I’m doing really but feel more comfortable with my direction, and my chosen method of muddling through.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Baby, by M

danica's patron saint: st. frideswide. a strong, take no-nonsense, truth touting woman of god.

My friends Cath and Penelope bore up admirably under all this baby shower talk, as did Grain of Sand and AA. I didn't blog about it much as the Mom to Be reads the blog... only cryptic references to trips "downtown"... I myself didn't really see the object, just the end result of my planning. So when I saw pictures of Danica getting misty-eyed or touched by sentimentality- I went oh yes, something actual and emotional is happening here. I was so tired from all the prepping, buying, executing of said event it hadn't really occurred to me. As I was thinking always: we were doing this for Danica. And since I've missed out on both of Penelope's kids- she has 2 so she tells me, and they're quite life-impacting I don't really get that all first hand. So I imagine that I view Danica's impending life changing event in quite the same removed light. What over there, happening to you? What's that about? I have no idea! Plus when Danica and I get together it's mainly story and not so much with the feeling of things. So I didn't even really write her a card to make her cry or wrap a gift so difficultly she had to use directions to get it open, or anything... But then well, the event, I suppose was the gift for her, but not for the bambina... and at that I can only hope she doesn't get too sucked into the moms circle. Though I suppose every mom needs one. Penelope really would know better than I. I can only conjecture at some of the moms at the party, and look at them and think, I don't want to be that kind of mom, maybe this kind of mom, or ... what? Who knows. But nevermind, that's all for another blog post. I just feel checked out about the mom-to-be thing. I can only hope my mom-friends don't mind too much. I care. Mostly. I really do. But I'll be able to relate there if our roads ever meet. Here's the result:mom-to-be, danica, awesome friend wendy, myself and my $10 Ross dress, with crosage, diva'fied and co-planning maven joanna. (above) and i have them all mostly hard at work making flower lapel-pins etc. some of the people did not make flowers. i secretly cried and tried not to be offended... but hello, these sorts of craft epiphanies don't come on too often. capitalize!
look at all those splashes of fabulous red. my goal was for the women to be the flowers amidst the sea of calm by deep mediterranean waters sort of thing. $1 a yard fabric. You cannot beat. $30 for the overhanging fabric. $25 for the tablecloths.
co conspirators- her sister, autumn, joanna, myself, tricia (the most excellent chef who made honey/ginger sorbet!, bruchetta etcetcetc.)
$50 on flowers- pretty good for 2 large bouquets, 5 table centerpieces-- basically 4 elements: thistle which i'm in love with, hoighty white china mums, dahlias and loveliesbleeding.

a lovely place.
joanna's backyard.
for a most lovely and deserving friend.
not that all my friends aren't deserving.
but here's to you danica.
you fabulous

Saturday, November 8, 2008

CraftTime Again, by M

I was walking downtown on trip #1 and it struck me while looking in a store full of odds and ends that we could make lapel pins for the baby shower craft that i was forced to come up with. The perfect thing about this perfect craft is that there's no mess. You just cut pieces from a pattern that you make, sew it together and you're done. The felt is CHEAP. And all in all it was about $40 (for buttons,needles, hoighty sewing thread, and the felt) which should make enough flowers to be about $2 per person. Plus felt was IN in the 40's and 50's. And our shower just happens to be themed in that light- so imagine the inspiration struck and i felt i'd hit internal gold. Good thing i have a mom who likes to make things. She not only made the patterns, but made the samples. And I only looked vaguely sad, and sighed once about the work I had to do and it wasn't but 1second later she was digging into the bag to see what she could do. MOM ROCKS!