Well, for better or worse, the thesis has been written and handed in. In a few weeks time, I'll either be walking across a platform in a ridiculous outfit or just wandering around muttering, "screw it."
So now that I'm not reading, writing or obsessing over citations, I can give you the update on my mundane life. I will try to make it more exciting. In fact, the Husband and I are attempting to find ways to make our lives more "colorful," not in "May you live in interesting times" disaster-colorful, but more like "golly, that sure was swell," colorful.
One of those swell things was going to Rhode Island to see my friend Chris' chicken coop. Chris is an amazing designer and a wizard of color. Along with creating those beautiful things, she is also a mother of two twin boys and works on a community garden co-op that raises fresh produce for a local food pantry. Oh, and she has chickens and bunnies.
A few weeks back, there was a tour of the chicken coops in South County, Rhode Island. We have no intention of getting chickens (two cats in a tiny apartment is enough, thank you), but I wanted to go meet Miss Jennie, for the silly reason that Chris once held her up to the phone so she could coo at me (well, I haven't been getting out much), and I fear I have developed a wee crush on this chicken.
There are seven birds in the coop all together. Chris and her husband Andrew will let them out and they run right under the porch in the backyard, since they have learned through unfortunate circumstances that that is the best way to avoid being a hawk-snack.
To anyone considering raising chickens, I'd say go for it! It's easy to get started, you can even get everything you need from a catalog, including the chicks. they provide hours of entertainment and nothing beats fresh eggs right from the source.
The coverage of Haiti has reminded me that I am a fat American. I really have nothing to complain about and excuses, no matter how worthy, seem trivial. Unfortunately, other than donating money, I feel like there is little I can do to help fix the situation on that troubled island.
However, I can fix things in my own home. One step at a time.
I have been missing a button on a coat now for over two years. It's right where my pocketbook strap crosses across my chest (probably the reason I popped the button in the first place) and I can usually cover it with a scarf. Every time I think of doing it, I would come up with some whiny reason to avoid doing it.
Two years demonstrates I'm really good at avoidance.
Anyway, I finally did it last night. It took less than 5 minutes.
Another project was to take a scarf that was way too long--knit during a severe Noro fetish and a need to have the colors match up just so--and make it into two practical scarves, instead of the unseemly long one that would get caught between my legs, bunching up the aforementioned coat, a well-loved berber-fleecy thing I've had for more than 10 years that builds up static on cold, dry days and clings to my butt like butter on toast.
Attractive image, I know. But I use this coat as a blanket or pillow on the bus and it's not too wrinkly after. I can spill coffee on this coat and no one notices. I'm not making it anymore attractive, am I?
It's a tiny feeling of accomplishment, but I'm hoping every bit helps. Like a tiny donation.
We live in a teeny two-bedroom apartment with two cats. We don't have room in the bathroom for a litter box, so I'd had to deal with them right there in the office where I try to do my homework.
I tried to find a screen for them, but I couldn't find anything I liked that wasn't too tall, ugly, or under $100. Then I went to a yard sale last Spring and had a brainstorm.
I found this fireplace screen for $2. I figured I would cover it with fabric and Ta-Da! Answer solved.
I finally got around to doing it this weekend.
I had some old matboard laying around taking up space, bought some bookbinding tape (conveniently chartreuse) and just taped fabric around the board.
Since it was mostly for my benefit, I decided to use fabric I really liked, not worrying about getting it done for real cheap. I picked Amy Butler's "Sunspots" from her Love series. It coordinates well with the storage box I covered with another design of hers.
I used black grommets for the holes (luck was with me that I had the exact number I needed) and tied the boards to the screen using some black rubber cord I had stuffed in my stash.
Altogether, $30. More than I usually spend on my projects, but I think it's worth it.
Now I can get some homework done.
I made a comment on Facebook that Dick Clark’s appearance on ABC last night creeped me out. I regret putting it that way.
I regret it because I have too many friends and family members who have had strokes, and I know how incredibly hard it is to come back from one. I fear that what I wrote may have dismissed all of the hard work and challenges they face to get back to “normal.”
But he did creep me out. During the rush to ring out the terrible, wonderful moments of 2008 and finally get on to 2009, I was taken aback by what means New Years to me—Dick Clark, always accused of never aging and counting down the seconds of an old year—struggling to be heard, defiantly kissing the missus at midnight. It creeped me out because it demonstrated how fragile life can be.
But it also gave me some encouragement. While I am trying hard not to fall to the cynicism of having a contract to fulfill, I like to think that ABC was bold enough to let Dick Clark do another countdown because they wanted to show the tenacity of his spirit, as an example of strength and determination.
Perhaps that’s a Pollyanna way of looking at it, but as this country attempts wring out the last nasty bits of the decade of the big lie, maybe we can get down to the truly necessary; learning to ferret out the difference between want and need and bounce back, once again a nation that will stand up for justice and benevolence.
I like to think, “Yes. We can.”
Anyone will tell you that a hangover is no party, but I’m a big blubbering baby when I have one. All I want to do is curl up on the couch with a heavy immobilizing blanket, a fluffy pillow and daytime TV turned down low. I believe that this is reasonable; after all, my body has been poisoned and needs to recover.
But the party-poopers, those Iron Men and straight-laced, poker-faced, do-gooder types who always do the right thing, look upon it as nothing more than weak-willed self-absorption. So I drag my lazy ass into work even though it feels like someone is standing on my frontal lobe, my poor tiny brain pulsating under a boot, my eyes scorched by florescent light.
I sit there in the office as my coworker wrestles with an uncooperative printer. I have some good solutions, but that would take more effort than I’m willing to give. Silent, I start to tally my coffee consumption. 28 ounces by ten a.m. is not likely a good thing for my already unhappy digestive system but my brain is egging me on to get more: Yes, yes, coffee gooood. I consider doing that or perhaps just lying on the floor to relieve the pressure of gravity and feel the cool linoleum on my cheeks.
I make it through the day only feeling slightly queasy from the sight of my co-worker’s lunch of really rare roast beef and tabouli. I manage to keep my eyes open and looking busy at the witching hour of three, a time when we should all be napping for at least a good 45 minutes but because we are Americans, reach for another source of caffeine instead.
I finally head home and drink four quarts of water to quench my dehydration. My stomach finally settles after I take my cure of a spoonful or two of cold spaghetti sauce—hey, I’ve heard worse—and lie down for an hour. I even manage to have dinner on the table for The Husband by the time he arrives home. Winter vegetable stew with mustard dumplings, in case you were wondering.
But my nightly little glass of wine? I’ll pass, thanks, letting the dumplings soak up the rest of the poison in my system. I’ll sleep like a baby tonight.
The Sister-In-Law came to visit this weekend. Along with fun-filled adventures: manicures! Mini-golf (and I didn't suck this time)! Yarn buying (more on that later)! She had a mission: untangle the mess that was once a tank top she didn't like.
Even the Husband got into it. Which shows just how much patience the man has (if marrying me wasn't enough).
I lack any such patience, so I worked on a wee sock for a new arrival. It's not worth showing yet. Just imagine an inch of 2/2 ribbing in red cotton.
I know 90% of the blogging world has done it already, but up until last week, I was dealing with an old computer that wasn't up for anything fancy and new-fangled.
This is actually a flattering picture of me. And of Daisy (or Dexter).
At least it's not Dr. Seuss.
I am a hopeless addict. In an attempt to cut down on my caffeine consumption, I've been limiting myself to one cup in the morning. Ok, so maybe that one cup is big enough for an entire thermos worth, but it's still much less than what I'm used to swigging all day long.
Family history proves a long line of compulsive coffee fiends. My mother and grandmother were famous for going through 2 or 3 pots a day. Nana used to go to bed at night after a Brandy Alexander, which is made with coffee liqueur. She'd take her hearing aid off and sleep like a baby.
Nothing says good morning like a hot cup of black coffee, right away. Fortunately, the husband is sweet enough to have one waiting for me.
My little enabler.
All I know is the stomach is starting to let me know that a steady diet of black coffee, tomatoes and hot peppers might be a bit too harsh. So I've been cutting down. And by three in the afternoon, I'm ready to put my head down on the desk and start snoring.
I've thought about herbal tea, but it just seems so...pansy. I miss the vibrant buzz of caffeine, that dark roast mania that tea can't offer.
I blame diet cola, the gateway drug, for starting it all. But I was young and tired and those Dunkin' Donuts Big Ones were my saving grace. Soon I was frequenting Starbucks, making my own with a gold filter, or even chewing chocolate expresso beans during a retail holiday season. Anything for a buzz. And now I am going through a slow painful withdrawal because the idea of cold turkey terrifies me (and anyone who has to be around me).
This has been exhausting. Time for a nap.