Recent Conversation With My Mother:

Mom: I thought that baking parchment was supposed to be better than waxed paper, but when I used it to make cookies, it came out all scorched and stuck to the baking sheet. It's supposed to be good at cookie baking temperatures.

Me: What temperature were you baking your cookies at? (I know, bad grammar, but actually what I said. I sound like a toff when I make an effort to be grammatically correct.)

Mom: 450 (Fahrenheit)

Me: And at what temperature does paper burn?

Mom: 451. Ohhhhh.....

Me: That's cutting it close.

Yes, we both knew that fact thanks to Ray Bradbury. My mother disapproves of the fact that I've only seen the movie and never actually read Fahrenheit 451. The film has a score by Bernard Hermann and the book does not.

I ordered both sets of glasses mentioned in my last post. Since they were so cheap, I figured, what the hell? Scott talked me out of getting red frames, with the simple mention of Sally Jessy Rafael. He also believes the brown will go well with my hair. I'm not sure if he was thinking of my current hair color (a Weasley-ish red) or my natural color, as he has known me long enough to remember that most guarded of secrets.

A trip to the buffet at a local pizza place made me think of Darren Nichols tonight. A bit of auto-anthropology, really, listening to all of the conversations around me as I paged through the IKEA 2009 catalog. Things I realized: Parents really will tell their kids any old shit if they don't know the answer to a question. Kate's hairstyle on Jon and Kate Plus 8 is not that uncommon. Think of it as a reverse mullet: longer in front, super short in the back. Bonus points if it is frosted in the front. This hairstyle was popular when I was a freshman in college, aka last century. I briefly considered chopping off my waist length locks for such a do-nothing hairstyle and am very glad I did not. Spiky hair does not look good on anyone. Really. Oh, and two color hair? Also bad. You've seen it in a magazine, you say? That's an editorial look. They don't look good on anyone, not even the patron saint of jolie laide, Sarah Jessica Parker. See also the sideways mullet of 2006 and the half shaved/half long cut making waves through the hip hop scene. Please, ladies, let that reverse mullet grow out into a pageboy or go Mia Farrow pixie short and keep up with the touch ups. That is all.

My mom gave me a tub of catnip for Winston, who has taken to it like a flapper to naughty salt. I keep it on a shelf over my desk that he cannot reach without extraordinary measures. He can smell it though, like a pig searching for truffles. He will balance perilously on the back of my chair (which is not lowbacked. Think Inspector Gadget evil villain chair height) and sniff. He gives high entertainment value. I sprinkled some catnip on him the other day and he didn't notice at all, continuing to beg until I poured some under his nose. When I saw him passed out on the bed later, he was still covered in it. What a little dope!

I was glad to see a couple people voted in my poll. I was beginning to think that this blog was dead, having been neglected for too long. That, or read only by non-joiners like me. Thank you for sticking with me through my creative dry spells, dear reader.


Yesterday was an action packed day. Most of that action involved me driving around in my car, but still counts, right? Yes, the car. I drive in the city, even though there is public transportation. A little green voice in my head tells me that is bad, wasteful, and injurious to the environment. Well, for me to use public transportation to get to Boystown/Wrigleyville from my place costs me a minimum of $14.40. I can buy five and a half gallons of gas for that, which allows me to travel on my own schedule, to varying destinations. And that trip doesn't take five gallons of gas. I think this is a basic failure on the part of the RTA/CTA. I understand that the trains and buses don't run on rainbows and unicorn farts. Someone has to pay for it. If they want to attract ridership (other than jacking up all of the parking meter rates), they need to make public transportation cheaper than driving. It will get cars off the road, which is better for the environment. That's my rant for the day.

So, I was drove around the city, enjoying the sun and cool breeze whipping through the moon roof, my car emitting CO2 and causing at least one slug bug punch. It's easier for me to do things on lovely days like these in the late spring. Yesterday involved a trip to Trader Joe's, a yarn store, Goose Island Brewery, Bianca's, and Hyde Park. Of course, I forgot one of the three things on my list (as well as my list) when I went to TJ's, but I did find a six pack of blueberry wheat ale to give to my Grandfather. This is what my aunt would call a breakfast beer. I have no idea what blueberry beer tastes like, but my grandfather loves blueberries and it didn't cost an arm and a leg like the four pack of Fin du Monde that sorely tempted me. I don't want to pay $10 for four beers, especially ones I've never tasted.

That line of thinking led me to wander over to Goose Island's Wrigleyville outlet to try their Matilda belgian ale. The Cubs were on the road yesterday, so the bar was blissfully empty. The Matilda was good, but not extraordinary. I've had real Belgians that were better for less. It was also strong yesterday, because I somehow forgot that you aren't supposed to drink while you are taking antibiotics. Admitting that embarrasses me, because I've been drinking responsibly for ten years now and really do know better. It just slipped my mind. After about a third of the lovely goblet of ale, I felt a little looped. I ordered food (and burned my mouth in my haste to eat hot fries), drank water, and hung out for a while. The windows at the front of the bar were open, allowing a lovely breeze and plenty of natural light into the bar, giving the place the air of a high-ceilinged European cafe. I was perfectly content to pass the time there until I was ready to drive, which is fortunate since the bartender disappeared into that Wrigleyville black hole where they go whenever you want the check. I appreciate not being rushed, but Jesus.

Afterwards, I headed up to Bianca's to chat and get some tea tree oil, which I forgot to buy earlier, to treat my foot. I tore the corner of my big toenail and cuticle again and it was instantly infected. Pretty much as soon as it stopped bleeding, hence the antibiotics that weren't doing anything but making me the world's cheapeast drunk. If I had smelled a shot of tequila, I probably would have fallen over. So, I soaked my foot and we gossiped. Sometimes the old cures are the best. Today, I went over to the local natural foods market to pick up my own bottle of tea tree oil to keep in the medicine cabinet. Think old school 70s food co-op: none of that pretty, Whole Foods gloss, but shockingly high prices. I'd love to support local places like this (especially since they're the only game in town), but their prices discouraged me from buying anything other than the oil.

Afterwards, I stopped off in Hyde Park on my way home. Well, not really on the way home, but in the same general direction. This provided an excuse to drive down the southern part of Lake Shore Drive, which is a rare treat. The lake shore looks completely different south of the Loop, with out the packed beaches, just rocks and water. Hyde Park is one of my favorite neighborhoods. It's so cosmopolitan and you can eavesdrop on the most interesting conversations there. Predictably, I went to a used book store, where I managed to follow my rule of not buying more books than I can comfortably carry. A collection of Chekhov short stories, a book about the Beetle, and a couple of novels followed me home. Several lazy afternoons of reading await me. Afterwards, I went to a little coffee house nestled under the train tracks, where I sat in their sidewalk cafe and paged through the VW history. While there, I heard a spirited discussion of foreign policy, German speakers rushing for the train, a couple of Asian girls gossiping in their native language, and a little dog barking impatiently as its owner bought a gelato inside. It was heavenly.

While admiring a bohemian looking student scribbling away in a notebook, I decided that I'd like to get a new pair of intellectual-looking glasses. Not nerdy, but sort of European, serious frams with a bit of style. A lot of the LSG crowd on Ravelry have great glasses, so I looked into a few of the places they recommended. Cheap, online places, so that I won't be out much if they turn out to be crap. Here are a couple of frames that caught my eye:

I like the shape of these, and the lighter blue interior. I wonder if the black might be too dark against my pale skin, but figure that $25 wouldn't be a big setback if they're less than flattering.

I also love these, in red. They have a retro, sexy librarian feel that I really dig. Also, they cost $9. They remind me of a pair of frames my friend Lisa used to have, that had tiny crystals in the corners of the cats eyes. I'm pretty sure hers were vintage, though. Hipsters have snapped up all the good vintage frames. All the hidden gems have been found.

Thoughts? I'm going to put up a poll in the sidebar so people can vote, but comments would also be appreciated.


Sorry for all the aggravating aggregation lately. I'd like to have more original content, but my life hasn't been that inspiring lately. I worked a couple of shows, but never wrote about them. I made lace, which I might address later. But mostly, I putzed around on the internet.
About a week after I lost my job last year, I realized that I had a lot of time on my hands. Almost too much time to fill, really. Sure, I could read great works of literature, work my way through all of Upstairs Downstairs on Netflix, or finally get through Proust. Sounds great, but not very realistic. We all have fantasies about what we would do if we had all the time in the world, but how many of us actually do them? So, I'm living a primarily interior life at the moment. My acting teacher in college observed the same thing. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's solitary. I have plenty of time to devour my New Yorkers, reading them in one sitting as I did in college.

Things I've Done Recently, After Some Procrastination:
* Found the cable for my camera. If I get some natural light, I might post photographs of knitting soon.
* Renewed my license plates. It made me feel so adult.
* Got a new sock blocker. The previous one was given as a gift to my Grandfather after I lost one of his Xmas socks. The socks were later found and given to him for his birthday.
* Purchased a detailing kit for my car. Okay, those wipe things for cleaning "surfaces" (an ambiguous term) and leather. I draw the line at leather oil that smells like coconut. This is indirectly related to accidentally dumping a giant Coke in my lap as I was driving. It was one of the rare occasions that I am grateful for having leather seats. Sunny, warm days, less so.
* Finished and blocked my Mother's Day presents with moments to spare. Lace is not a last minute gift. I managed to crank out all of the lace in an Ishbel in twelve hours, but there was still another couple hours required for blocking. My body ached afterwards.

This season of ANTM was disappointing. None of the ladies were that fabulous or likely to become top models. The winner from last season, that chick with the cockeyed toupee haircut, isn't exactly setting the world on fire. To quote Bianca, "Another Saliesha season". I would have loved to see Alison or Aminat win, but Teyona had it locked away. I predict Alison will get a lot of work and laugh all the way to the bank. Also, why did Tyra make them come to final judging in bikinis? Weren't they vulnerable enough already?

There should be an age cutoff on emoticons. Over forty? Think hard about using that winking eye. By that age, you should be able to convey it through your writing.

This weather has been a big tease. Beautiful, warm, fun days alternating with shitty, cold rain. It's rained enough for the dandelions in my front yard to pop back up like Homer Simpson's beard after I cut the grass. I made a new playlist for my ipod of happy, Spring songs to listen to while driving my little prozac on wheels. Things that say sunny, warm days filled with light and free parking places very near where you are going. Instead, we keep getting Decemberists weather.

Oh, I mowed the front yard after a local grifter approached me about cutting the grass. He's done this several times before and I do not like it. He must live nearby, so he can see my comings and goings, because he always approaches me when I am getting out of my car. Call me skittish, but a man approaching me from my blindspot does not give me the warm fuzzies. He also insists that he's done it regularly in the past. He hasn't. I even told him that this time. After he left, I realized that I left the door open to such shake downs by not taking care of it myself sooner. So, I listened to that Spring playlist and cut the grass. It's very easy for me to procrastinate on this front, because I have a narrow window in which to mow. I am very fair skinned and tan like an Irishman, so I have to wait until after 4 pm. Also, it cannot be raining or have recently rained, because wet clippings clog up the mower. I'd love to just plant wildflowers in the backyard and forget about it, but I suspect the local by-laws forbid such things.

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