To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.


I'm having a hard time at the moment. There are some stressful, serious things happening now that I don't really want to blog about. If you'd like to know more, please email me and I'll try to respond.
If anything, I'd like to think about anything but what's going on. Please send jokes, newsy emails, snarky ecards, whatever. In that vein, I give you some fan art that I found online. Guess I'm not the only one dying to see the new Harry Potter film!


Last night, I spent the evening with the delightful Miss B. I may have had too much Jim Beam to drink. It sneaks up on me. Actually, most alcohol sneaks up on me, because I am an amateur drinker.

Besides discovering how delightful JB is in punch, I also discovered that B and I have something in common: a love of Are You Being Served? You might think that it's a hoary old English comedy, but it's actually quite brilliant. Sadly, it was a topic of conversation because Mollie Sugden, the excellent Mrs. Slocombe, died this week. Oh Mrs. Slocombe, with the frilly collars that have inexplicably come back into fashion, the technicolor hair, and constant double entendres involving your cat, you provided me many a laugh on Sunday evenings and during PBS pledge weeks. What a dame. I wish I had the balls to wear my hair like that.

There was a furor a few years ago in some of the more *conservative* states about Mrs. Slocombe's pussy jokes. Apparently, PBS should only show Lawrence Welk. Sure, it's not the most sophisticated humor, but still damned funny. It amazes me that people can still get upset about jokes that were written in the early 70s. Here's a compilation. Raise a glass and have a laugh.


I'm sorry that I've been neglecting my little corner of the internet lately. I've been busy. I've been rundown. I've been tilting at windmills, and it hasn't left me feeling very creative.

Since we last met, some small amount of progress has been made on the sweeping house project. There is a resolution to the long sad tale of the sink. I fell in love with a sink in the IKEA catalog. We met in the stylish display at the local IKEA, where I realized the sink was deep enough for handwashing of small knitted items. I am not impressed by the trend towards shallow sink basins. The sink was out of stock, with no projected arrival date or raincheck offered. Sadness and phone calls ensued. There are two IKEAS in the states that do phone orders, so I left a message with IKEA Houston, feeling assured a sink would soon be on its way to me. The next day, I received an apologetic phone call, explaining that my sink could not be shipped, due to 100% breakage rates. Yikes. I checked the inventory of the two local IKEAs until one day, miraculously, the sink arrived.

This provided the perfect excuse to visit the new IKEA in Bolingbrook. It's on a more manageable scale than their Schaumburg location. My mother and I even avoided our traditional IKEA argument, possibly because we weren't worn out from walking around a store the size of the international terminal at O'Hare. A clock, some batteries, three boxes of lightbulbs, a bathmat, and faucet also followed me home.

I've also found the tile for the bathroom. I remeasured the bathroom after my initial tile bargain at ReStore and discovered that I didn't have enough tile (and no source for more). How interior design is like theatrical design! Already, I have to let go of beloved ideas in order to complete a project. After looking at a lot of interesting designer tile, uninteresting trend stuff, and many warehouses with terrible neck crick inducing displays, I found a plain old glazed ceramic tile. More precisely, my mother found it while we were looking at tile in one of those big home renovation warehouse stores. The store had exactly three of those tiles and a less than helpful salesman. Maybe it wasn't his department, but I left with a single tile, determined to find another source for the tile. Within two hours, I had located it cheaper about ten miles from the house.

Yes, blue. I looked for something more neutral, but wasn't happy with anything I saw. In person, it is a lovely, watery blue with the slightest green tint. The color manages to be modern and Mid-Century at the same time, which pleases me greatly. If it looks dated later, it will look as though it dates from the 1950s instead of early 21st Century. For the floor, a white gloss finish penny round. Now, I just have to put together the tile order. Lewis has encouraged me to draw elevations to determine what type of trim and how much I need, but that doesn't appeal to me. Apparently, he doesn't know that most drafting for sound is done on cocktail napkins. Most of the original tile is still on the wall, so that can answer most of the technical questions.

I am very lucky to have Lewis on this project. Lucky because he is my friend and good at all of these things that I am not, but also because he is another designer. We speak the same language, which cuts down on the amount of time spent explaining things. A recent conversation:

Me: So, this is the color that I want to paint the living room (showing him a chip of medium saturation, clean green).
Lewis: That will look great with the new curtains you just hung.
Me: That is no accident. I already had that green in my head when I bought the curtains. I just had to find it in paint.
Lewis nods and sips his beer.
Me: You know how Mormons believe that things are created in the spiritual world before they're created on Earth? That is how I found this green.
Lewis: Yes.

We must sound crazy to other people. Our both being designers also makes for hour long conversations about doors. Interior, non-decorative doors. It can be hard to make any sort of throw away decision, because the details make the whole.

I put my Netflix account on vacation to save a bit of cash and quickly realized how truly awful television is. I am reacquainting myself with the interlibrary loan system. As long as I return the DVDs on time, it's free, but they're not delivered to my door. And they can't linger on the coffee table the way that my Netflix DVDs often did. This resulted in a marathon of The War, by Ken Burns. I watched a seven disc documentary about World War II in a week. Two hours on Japanese attrocities and the Bataan Death March certainly helped me gain a bit of perspective on my own problems. I might go AWOL again soon, because I have the Leonard Bernstein's Yound People's Concerts coming (swoon! ) and To Serve Them All My Days. I printed off my Netflix queue and hope to cross off a number of titles before restarting my account.

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