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Happy New Year!

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Saturday, December 31, 2011
columbine poking out her tongue

Happy New Year! 

Here's to 2012 and good things ahead! 

better hurry

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Friday, December 30, 2011
I know we're already on to the next holiday, but how was your Christmas if you celebrate Christmas? I got a pitchfork!!!! (don't you love how it was fiendishly disguised in wrapping paper?) Technically it's a spading fork, but pitchfork is a much more pleasing word. 

I'm using it mainly for turning compost, which I started making this summer. I've been meaning to compost forever (of course), but for some reason I could never get it together. I'm not sure how together I have it now, but it's been working! I'm making FREE DIRT! Woo hoo! (Look, I know it may not sound exciting, but if you've ever paid a lot of money for expensive fancy compost/dirt, you know what I mean.) I was always intimidated by... I'm not sure what. The alchemy of old lettuce and egg shells turning into something valuable? Probably. 

Mike McGrath's Book of Compost is the book referred to the most. I knew the basic gist of composting (green stuff and brown leaves in the proper proportions), but I could never work out the particulars. I saw this book pass through at work and put a copy on hold for myself - I definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in composting. There are some goofy illustrations, but the information is totally sound. 


hey hey in the hayloft

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Today I watched Sullivan's Travels again and it was delightful as always. I forget how funny these screwball era movies are if I haven't seen one in a while. Sullivan's Travels was on my mind because I pressed it on a co-worker who hadn't seen it in years  -  she took it on holiday for thanksgiving and her whole family loved it. It's not a classic just because it was funny back in 1942, but because it's TIMELESS.

 One of my favorite bits from early in the movie is director Sullivan - known for his light comedies - trying to convince two studio bosses to let him make O Brother Where Art Thou, his movie vision that's "a true canvas of the suffering of humanity." I love the bosses trying to bargain for "a little sex in it" and I really love the titles of his early films: Hey Hey in the Hayloft; So long, Sarong; Ants in Your Plants of 1939. (ANTS IN YOUR PLANTS OF 1939!!!!) Ha ha ha! These titles are perfect parodies of a certain kind of movie (Gold Diggers of 1933/1935/1937, anyone?) but I would happily watch any one of them if they really existed.

But my luck is even better, because I have the rest of the Preston Sturges box set waiting by the television.  (I think maybe Palm Beach Story next - that one has Joel McCrae and Claudette Colbert and, of course,  hilarious misunderstandings.)

Or maybe I should watch this one again and follow it up with the Coen brothers O Brother Where Art Thou...


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Tuesday, December 20, 2011
christmas lights
How is your mid-late December going? I've reached the point where I am longing for January, which means I need a MENTAL CORRECTION. (not like brain jail, more like a 'check yourself before you wreck yourself' intervention.) Let's say more of a recalibration than a correction - it sounds nicer, but more mechanical. hmmm...

Anyway! I like this Christmas lights picture. They look like little neon skiffs sailing to the north pole.

christmas lights
More lights - this time with needlework.

I usually think of January 1 new year's resolutions as a self-defeating high-pressure cop out. If you want to make the change (whatever it may be) why not start now? Except this year I find myself feeling a lot of pressure to get this or that holiday thing done, and that I can either be thinking about how I have to do these things, or I can be doing these things, but I sure as shit shouldn't be thinking about how I want to take more photographs in the new year, let alone be taking more photographs RIGHT NOW. But this is bullshit!  I could get all this holiday stuff (most of which is FUN) done in no time.  It's a complicated time of year. I'm scraping the barrel of things to feel guilty about.

afghan kitty
Question: Guess What?
Answer: KITTEN!!!!!!!! (still nameless because why rush these things.)

most kitten photos are blurry because he does not like standing still. He idolizes Busby. It's so funny to watch as Busby strolls by and the kitten gets all excited but shy, like Busby is his hero but also a famous celebrity that he probably shouldn't bother but then he throws himself in Busby's path because he can't stop himself. Busby has been very good with the kitten and I think it will all work out once they've had more time to know each other and once the baby is a little bigger.

afghan kitty
A KITTEN'S THOUGHTS: I will eat your camera strap! And climb to your shoulder so I can climb on the bookcase so I can stand at the top and mew plaintively.

I found out that I will not be going forward in the latest recruitment at work. This is what I expected when I applied, but there's always that little reservoir of hope. BUMMER, except I found out literally five minutes before going to the Humane Society, after which I was like "Who cares?! KITTEN!!"  This is why internet cats are so popular - kittens can fix a lot of things.  And weirdly I made it through further (this is for the job classification above the one I have now) and the kiss off letter was much nicer than the last.  So... progress?

CAVEAT: I am covered in tiny scratches; I look like I've been crawling through delicate barbed wire. However, it is totally worth it.

calendar challenged

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011
stitches in bloom

Guess who forgot she was working AGAIN? I swear to God - I don't know what my calendar problem is - obviously I didn't fill in any of my stuff for this week, but it seems like maybe I am also losing my marbles? Or am just having some serious time-disorder? (maybe I am time traveling and don't know it yet! I will be sure to remember this excuse should I need to email my boss again.)  At least this time I noticed before I was supposed to be there. Only 25 minutes before, and I still had to take a shower, etc. - BUT STILL. I was only a couple of minutes late. Seriously though, what the hell? This is so not like me I can't even quite process that I did it. This is one of the definite downsides of a variable schedule.

In other news, Grayson the Humane Society cat, who was the only slightly less handsome twin of Busby the My House cat, was adopted today! I'm so glad - he's a really sweet kitty and now I don't feel guilty for not taking him yesterday.

TOMORROW is the day I get my act together. Maybe. I have already checked the schedule and it is clear, so we shall see.

(photo is from a quilt show I went to this last winter.)

these things happened

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Monday, December 12, 2011
Today was sincerely weird. 

I took a short 4 hour job that I thought was for next week, but it turned out to be for... TODAY. And it started while I was blithely standing in the Humane Society looking at cats! 

Busby the cat needs a new friend so he's not so lonesome during the day. I was sure that Busby needed a kitten so he could raise him up right. It worked for Dash, surely he'd do it again. HOWEVER, Busby is now 5 years older than he was when Dash came along and maybe he doesn't want a super high energy kitten bouncing off the walls. So the age bar was raised a little and the nice lady at the Humane Society brought out a cat called Grayson - a cat who (VERY WEIRDLY) looked like he could be Busby's long lost twin. This is strange because Busby is HUGE (18+lbs, tall, long) and has long grey fur - unusual! This cat was also all of those things, although he was not as svelte. He was super sweet and friendly, but it just seemed weird to bring home a cat that looks just like the cat already there. I suppose it would be a way to become a crazy cat lady with a special distinction, but that's not a direction I'm currently aiming. I think maybe it's just too early for another cat. I've never in my life gone into a pet shop or shelter to pick out a cat - they've always fallen into my life one way or another and I think I'm scared of making a mistake. I don't want to pick the wrong one and have Busby ( a very sweet and goodnatured fellow) have to suffer the consequences. 

MEANWHILE, BACK AT MY JOB - they called and left a message to say "uh, where are you?" which I didn't get until I was home and already supposed to be there for hours. I did end up going in for the last two hours. People were very kind and understanding - worried, even, since blowing off a job is not my usual M.O. Everyone was very nice/cool about it, but of course I felt guilty.  

Thing that happened at work: this guy came up to the desk to check out a hold - he was very friendly and nice during his transaction,  and then wanted to know how he could donate to the library. I thought he meant books since almost everyone usually means books, but he meant MONEY! I had to rattle around a little to find the right answer (Library Foundation), but he was like "can't I just give you some money right now? Do you have an envelope or something? I really love you guys." ) So I said sure and he counted out a stack of singles from his wallet and I rang it into the cash register and that was that. 

Best introduction: a few weeks ago a little boy came into the library with his mother and little sister. He was wearing an orange long sleeve t-shirt and an olive colored vest. He seemed shy, sticking close to his mom  until she was putting books into the return slot. He came over to the desk where I was working and said in a loud whisper "I'm Han Solo!" and then ran away.  ADORABLE. 

100 percent full

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Friday, December 09, 2011
According to the google moon widget (and my eyeballs) the moon is all the way full tonight. It's just out of view right now as I sit at my desk, but I saw its round white glory earlier tonight when I was out. (out on a glamorous mission to buy an invisible zipper and some hem tape for a cotton velvet skirt that better work OR ELSE I will be sad. It's a beautiful bottle green/teal and so soft! Cotton velvet is a revelation - you can just throw it in the washing machine/dryer and that's that. MIRACLE FABRIC if you like velvet but don't like dry cleaning.)

Back to the moon. here's something I noticed tonight - when the moon is full and positioned the way it is positioned in the sky, I can totally see the man in the moon. If I walk while I'm looking at it (this is dangerous in a parking lot), it looks like he's singing. I never see this when I look at a picture of the moon!  It's just weird. Maybe there's some sort of atmospheric animation going on.

I realize this picture is not of a full moon, but this lady is so charming on her plywood crescent and we've all seen pictures of the full moon before.


Oh, wait. Here's one. I love APOD - Astronomy Photo of the Day. (they make a free phone/ipod app if you're into having that sort of thing in your pocket. FYI, I am into having that sort of thing in my pocket.)

see what I mean? It is so beautiful, but I don't see the guy in there. Maybe the angle is wrong? I see craters and oceans and lacy patterns, but no moon-faced opera singer. In the sky, he's totally there. On the screen, not so much. 

Here's a BONUS vintage postcard kitten moon landing. Click here. (note: space kittens of the moon wear pleated skirts!)

winter sun, complaint department

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Friday, December 09, 2011
the sun is so low this time of year! This was taken just after eleven in the morning, and the sun was right in shine-straight-through-my-eyeballs and-fry-my-brains position. Or maybe it's the headache I woke up with that is frying my brains. 

I hate waking up with a headache because that almost always means I was asleep with a headache. In my mind (and where else is there for this range of thought?) sleep with a headache is tainted and any sense of being rested is gone, gone, gone to feed the stupid headache pain. (I'm picturing gentle zzzzzzzs being tipped into the maw of a giant headache volcano.) I can't take any more drugs for it for an hour and just thinking about it makes me nauseated. I never used to get queasy with headaches, but I used to get them a lot more often. A new, fun tradeoff that age has brought me. 


OSTENTATIOUS DISPLAY: Remember how in the olden days I would grouse at length about holiday themed mall jewelry ads? (especially Jane Seymore's "open hearts" necklace that looks like butts. "hello, darling - here is the diamond butt necklace I assume you were admiring. Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman designed it." I guess it also sort of looks like a deformed swan, but I digress.) ANYWAY - I would volunteer to watch a half hour informercial about diamond butt necklaces (or swans) if it meant I never had to see another one of those gross Lexus with a bow on it commercials. OH MY GOD.  The theme music, which in the ads leads to "there's a lexus with a bow on it in the driveway!" excitement, has conditioned me to want to punch someone.  It's so out of touch with current reality - maybe that shit would fly back in 2005, but right now the ads promising layaway options seem more in keeping with these financial times. 

NO LONGER FEELING TENDER AND MILD: It's December, which means there is Christmas music everywhere. I was scarred early this season (still in November!) when I was in a store for half an hour or so and realized that they were playing the SAME SONG over and over (Silent Night) just sung by different artists. Like waking with a headache, it retroactively ruined the fine time I'd already had. Who thought this was a good idea? Maybe it was different songs. Maybe I was having a holiday hallucination. I've not been listening to much Christmas music at home as a result, which is kind of too bad as there is some good stuff out there. 

Hmmm. I may have to make the effort to break the Silent Night Curse. I'm sure there's a thriller out there that already has that name, although it's probably Silent Night Murders and isn't a thriller but instead a cozy mystery about how a small town mall Santa was found murdered in front of a creche and did that wise man's eyes just move? How did we get into this abandoned candle factory? Oh, wait! It is a thriller not a cozy mystery unless the proprietress of the local mystery bookstore who also is the postmaster is the one who saves us. (we are now all life-size candles in a psychopath's holiday diorama!  We are not in a thriller or a cozy, but in an episode of Criminal Minds. Don't worry, most of us make it. Happy Holidays!) 

MY LACK OF FORWARD MOTION: I feel like I'm hovering over a dozen projects, all bright with possibility, but I can't settle down on anything to really work on. It's annoying and I'm complaining so there it is. 

LAST NIGHT'S BONES: I just wanted Brennan to break a chair over Booth's head pretty much through the whole thing, but especially when he wouldn't let her walk on the damned wood floor for fear of her getting a splinter. It's was gross and paternalistic and came across less as concerned and more as controlling asshole. Sweets remains adorable, however. 

Woo! I've fooled around long enough thinking of complaints (and, to be honest, eating potato chips*) that I can take more drugs. 

*the salt counteracts the nausea, huzzah! 


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Sunday, December 04, 2011
bird's nest
This year's Christmas tree had a bonus - a real, honest to god bird's nest.  So cute! The tree had been cut  same day, baled up on the farm and brought into town to the tree place that's near my house. Brought it home, left it outside for a day, brought it in,  un-baled it, and ta-da! Bird's nest with bonus EGG. Can you see the egg? (sorry for these pictures - the room was dark and I had to use the flash.)

bird's nest
It just seems lucky somehow - even if it's just to see this unexpected bit of nature in the living room. (ha - I just did some googling and found flimsy and vague "Icelandic good luck to find a bird's nest in your Christmas tree" etc. I'll take it!)  The egg was bad, by the way - slimy and faintly smelly with a hole in it.  I took it outside. Maybe I can drain it and return it to the nest. Does this counteract my fake Icelandic good luck? I say no.

In any case, the nest will stay in the tree and I'll decorate around it.