Thursday, November 30, 2006

And thus sang the angels...

Rejoice! The soldering is done!

Reason #27 why Alexis is manlier than thou:

(This is from after the whole thing was said and done - I am terrified to be in the same room as the flame, so I couldn't capture it on film.)

Please note the water damage to the left...from several decades of a leaky faucet. Delightful.

(and the line to the stove!)

My way

So, as some of you know, I have a sort of cranky gut.

Well, cranky is not the best name for it, since it can occasionally go into a full-fledged hours-long roiling temper tantrum. I have tried, unsuccessfully, to track triggers (coffee, tea, cold water, Chinese food, pizza), but the only things that have helped are energy healing and the probiotics mom got me.

I think I've finally got it under control though. I've been trying out my new method for a few months with very few flare-ups. I proudly told it to Alexis a few days ago: "I need to eat exactly what I want, exactly when I want it." (Please imagine the expression I was wearing - a smug sort of self-satisfied smirk)

Alexis said, "You need to tell your sisters about that."

"Why," I asked innocently.

"Because they'll yell at you, and I can't."


The dogs look reproachfully at us, curl into themselves, and sigh loudly. They haven't peed all day, and they sadly wait for us to let them out the door to the world that is not raining.

Oryx stands outside, her back twitching with every raindrop (like she's being stung by tiny bees), and her little eyes scrunch up against the fearsome drizzle. For the amount of time she's been out there, she could have peed a gallon.

Damn dogs.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Falcon spoor!

When I'm sad, I wander under the clocktower. This looked like a bit of cedar mulch from afar, but was, upon further inspection, the foot of some sad and fair creature. Note the long toes, the arc of the claws, the tassel of tendons, and the puff about the knee. Lovely.

It's been too warm here. Eerily warm. The late November mists feel like the world's end on my cheeks, and I look desperately to the tower for a ruffling shape, sign that life can recover, can reclaim these ridiculous towers we build of conceit.

Thanks mom!

I got my new skirt! I got it, it's gorgeous!

Seriously, the skirt is soft and warm and absolutely perfect!!!!


Amy (who I work with), who is the kind of person who randomly brings up meatloaf in conversation, and I, who get very excited when meatloaf is brought up in conversation, have decided to have a Meatloaf-Off. I have to admit, my meatloaf is fan-freakin-tastic (she thinks hers is too, hence the "-off".) We have tried to come up with a reason to randomly bring multiple loaves into the office for impromptu taste-testing, but have been so far unsuccessful. Well, to be honest, does there really need to be a reason for meatloaf? In any case, we'll have it in January or February (high meatloaf season), and if you want my recipe, please do request it so that you can play along at home.

Quoth Alexis (in response to her Program Director's dig at her flank steak and coffee luncheon): "I've no time for plants, man, I've come to eat an animal!"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

In which our heroines win a few, lose a few, and swear loudly in Ikea

Ah, the most noble of pursuits for the young American homeowner...the gigantic remodel. No, we don't know how it'll end up, and yes, we learn a lot as we go. We also check on Google. A lot. We check for wisdom from those who have gone before. Some help would be great, any help with venting a range hood in a space just a bit tighter than 3 1/4 (traditional hot-air venting, that goes through your walls, is 10inX3 1/4in, and so is the space above our cabinets...mostly) for example. We find some good advice, some overly-technical advice, and a metric butt-load of crap from people who fancy themselves remodelers, but are, in fact, simply limp-handed wankers.

Consider this jewel from a recently-found, lengthy site titled "Tips for Remodeling Your Kitchen."

*Buy lots of dogbones.*

Dogbones? We query innocently, (Always ready to give the benefit of the doubt, are we..such magnanimitude, such philadelphic sentiment!) whatever for? An ingenious method for mixing drywall mud? A low-tech solution for testing air gaps? An unshared professional secret for leveling cabinetry?

*To distract your dogs while the remodelers are working.*

Are you. Fucking. Kidding me? "Come over to my house and I'll show you how to use those dog bones. I'll install those fucking dog bones right up your ass, you fucker!" (This is in quotes because it's what I said loudly while waiting in the check-out line at Ikea.) This kind of self-satisfied non-advice makes us sick. Sick. (In truth, there is but one other house fixer-upper who supercedes us in boldness and skill - my second oldest friend, the Unsinkable Miss Bru.)

Well...we had a single triumphant moment before we took it away from ourselves. We hung the cabinets to make sure of placement and then had to take them down to cut the hole for aforementioned vent. But, for a brief, fluttering moment, out house had a kitchen again:

(and for reference, from the same view almost one year ago...)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Best. Book. Ever.

Yesterday, on my drizzly trip across campus, I saw a small dark shape beneath the clocktower. Yup, it was a bloodied wing, and nearby, a severed bird foot (when they take off the foot, it isn't a clean cut - at the knee, it looks as if the ligaments were pulled out of the leg itself, leaving a sort of jaunty, loose tassel. Smart, really, else the stringy parts might get caught in one's beak...and everybody knows that birds can't floss). I smiled and smiled...evidently the falcons don't necessarily migrate, they're home for the winter. We watched one sit on the second-highest level of the tower, fluffing and turning, and surveying his domain.

Someone in the office got this book:

It is really the best book I have read in, like, forever. I laughed and cried. And cried. They glue cracks in the shells (thinned from DDT), and foster the hatched babies first with hand puppets (that's one on the cover), and then in falcon nests (where they've left plaster eggs that suddenly become teenage chicks overnight) before releasing them. It's such a delicate undertaking.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Lecture I should attend happens to be in auditorium in center of my building, I find out two hours before.

Person I need to talk to is next door to person I always visit in MUP cage.

Bus stops for me, as I look forlornly as it (knowing I could never catch it, even if I ran, and even if my boot heels didn't tend to cam-out) coming quickly down our street.

Considering how things have been going, and how moving through the world has been feeling like moving through a thick swamp (except without the green laser light and people grabbing your ankles), even a little reprieve feels really good.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hear that noise?

My crunchy quotient went up about a zillion points.

Val convinced me - she'd been after me for years about it, and one day when we were in the Co-op, she finally put one in my hand for reals.
Yeah, go ahead...lay your peepers on the "Keeper."

I've been using it for a couple of months now, and it's pretty good, if a teeny bit uncomfortable. The real problem, the one Val didn't warn me about, is this thing's propensity to make EXTREMELY EMBARASSING NOISES: loud squeaks (wet rubber), strange wet burbles and snorks (think sucking Jello dramatically through a straw). I usually end up finding a private bathroom where I won't be interrupted whilst, um, emptying the gore, but single bathrooms tend to be large, tiled, and therefore prone to echo and amplification. Sigh.

I enjoy marginality more than most, but this is a little wierd, even for me.

Kitchen progress

The cabinets were assembled and modified this weekend. Many were involved...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Lapel

Yesterday, Jennifer Granholm stopped by Ann Arbor in the middle of the afternoon - we crowded into the back room of Sweetwater's on Washington, and she shook my hand. You can't really tell it from the photo of her, but she is such an attractive and intelligent woman. I really do love our Gov.

This guy running against her, the billionaire AmWay heir Dick DeVos is so perfectly terrible by comparison. He's an unbelievable jackass and just a lying fucker. So very evil.

How many states have anti-marriage amendments this year? Seven. I hope they hit all the major states before the next presidential election so the conservatives stay the hell home. Seriously, I don't even feel like fighting anymore.


Instead of waiting around for children who never seem to show up on our busy street(nor anywhere in our neighborhood, honestly), we went to go see Wickerman at the cheap theater. It's 50 cents on Tuesdays - and any movie is pretty much worth 50 cents, except perhaps this one. It was scary all right, scary in that way when you catch a glimpse of a secret, horrible belief system that may be used against you and you wouldn't even know.

I also think we didn't appreciate it because we weren't the intended audience...this movie was, we believe a propaganda film directed at men to warn them from the evils of women and, more specifically, of heterosexuality.

The main plot of this movie involves Nicholas Cage wandering around this simply gorgeous landscape, in and out of these gracious homes, and among these well dressed women. Bee-spit crazy, indeed, but oh my god were they beautifully dressed. There was this one green belt worn by a teacher that was the topic of a five-minute diatribe on the drive home...the two buttons, the back buckle in this matching bright olive, just stunning. But this is not the point - these lovely ladies in their lovely dresses are evil. EVIL, I tell you. You can tell because they want only two things from men: sperm and manual labor.

Do they want conversation? Not so much - the men were left sans tongues, and could only mubfle grumpily while Nicholas Cage was able to speak the real man's truth, which involved screaming "'re bitches, you bitches!"

Do they want companionship? Well, besides the single-eyed, grizzle-bearded, bee-stung elder happily tucked and waiting naked in a set of white sheets, men were generally not allowed inside. (We liked this scene - it implies that women, if given the choice of any man, will chose one based not on looks but on, oh, I don't know, complacency?)

This movie had it all - lines of pregnant women marching through the forest and smiling secret smiles, pseudo-pagan rituals based on illustrations from a menacing book titled "Ancient Rituals," a gentle-seeming doctor who performed late-term abortions - ONLY OF BOYS, school-girls chanting "phallic symbol," a cop allergic to bee-stings forced to investigate a society dependent on its apian industry (at one point, the matriarch said "our crop last year was the worst in memory," which made me respond with: yup, that honey crop shore didn't come up, and to think of the money we wasted planting all those damn bees!), and innocent-seeming women who look like sapling-thin kewpie dolls in forest green silk shifts with wide cerulean sashes (drool), and sound inane and confused, thereby maintaining their strangle-hold over men, only to manipulate them towards evil ends. Did I say EVIL??

Nicholas Cage is duped by the feminine, and his manly honor is used to ensnare him in a horrible, purposeless end, betrayed by both his kewpie-girlfriend and his daughter.

And this horror is coming to get YOU! In the last scene, society members on a field trip to a bar are trapping young men with the lure of easy sex, and you're supposed to want to scream: "Don't do it, ye noble young man, for that ass you tap may seal your doom! GO GAY, it's much, much safer."