Monday, March 31, 2008

Word Rant

Somewhat along the lines of Up My Mind's recent entry on statesman vs. politician, I've got a word use issue that's irritating me to no end: competing vs. infighting.

By definition, compete means to strive to outdo another; engage in a contest while infighting means fighting between members of a group.

Clinton and Obama are competing for the presidential nomination, yet every reference I've heard to the competition recently is as "infighting". While infighting may be a correct term, it has a distinctly negative connotation. Competition is seen as "healthy", infighting as an insidious cancer that will bring a group down from the inside. The implication is that infighting shouldn't be happening.

Have people lost sight of the fact that they are still trying to outdo the other to win something life changing??? OF COURSE they're fighting against each other! Duh! That's the whole point of this primary and caucus fracas. The Dems and reporters are now going on and on about how "infighting" is hurting the cause. I think that bitching about "infighting" instead of talking of "competition" is hurting the cause more than anything else. (Well, that and Hillary saying McCain is more competent than Obama.)

I admit, it's a tricky place to be in - you have to put up the fight of your life against someone you shouldn't cripple because they need to be in fighting form for the finals if you don't win. But having people saying that they shouldn't be fighting each other, when their job until the convention is to fight each other, is nuts.

I'd be more okay with it if there were reasons enumerated, but we live in a soundbyte echo chamber. If you specify "infighting" for a reason, the reasons aren't being broadcast as much as the connotation that the democrats can't control their lead actors. So stop it. Do the maneuvering behind closed doors if you want one of them to stand down before the convention in order to save money for the general race, stop handing ammo to the opposite side, and allow the candidate to rest up and plan - like Romney did for McCain. But were I either Hillary or Barack and within spittin' distance of the other after 2 solid elections that were won (or stolen) by just such a hair's breadth, I'd stay in to the bitter end, myself. As much as I hope one of them won't...

Anyone else have an opinion on the use of infighting vs competition by the media? No matter what candiate you're rooting for.

New Face

Saturday was very busy. I got up (yay!), got the car washed (phew!), planned a lot of my new kitchen at IKEA (frustrating!), and went to see my friend's new baby (cute!). The schedule slipped enough that I did not get to see any H.arry P.otter themed bands in Santa Monica. Today I enjoyed hot tea on my newly cleaned off porch while reading a book. Then I measured the kitchen to within an inch of its life. I need to figure out a way to add an inch (just 1"!) to the kitchen to get all off the shelf things that line up. Or get IKEA to make a 33" wide, 24" deep over the fridge wall cabinet. Then I fell asleep on the couch, woke up, watched Dirt, and am now in need of getting back to bed. But before I do, pictures.

It's a girl pink gum cigar

Her name is Genevieve. She has these excellent tiny toes.
baby with tiny toes on changing table

They even let me hold her, at around her 24 hour mark.
Me holding baby

G's mom QL is doing well, as near as I could tell. Her husband badgered her into walking around for a while, and every relative she ever had showed up at some point.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Riki Tiki Tavi

Lots of things making me happy this week. It got started off right when I dropped my friend at the airport and went to shop for a wine glass rack and a way to enclose my open shelving. Well, the stemware rack didn't pan out, but I did find a fun outdoor tablecloth that I used on the patio. And I found a name for the tiki totem - Riki Tiki Tavi, with the middle word being /TEE-kee/ instead of /TIH-kee/ like the mongoose.

This is as good as I could come up with for "before" pictures. When I first moved in, before the patio closet got reworked, I had a bunch of junk in a heap. Hard to use.
bunch of junk on patio

It got better, but was still being used for storage of stuff I didn't really want to leave where it was. When Riki showed up, I cut out the rest of the stuff from the picture, but these were his surrounds.
kind of messy patio

He deserved better, and my friend helped me throw stuff out and resort the rest. The dead and dying plants are gone. Then I cleaned off most of the dust and dead leaves, wrapped the open shelving (dark pink in the first pic), and got this. Much more user friendly and cleanable - it's really dusty this year.
cleaned up patio

And my mom wants to see a picture of my couch. Here it is before I moved my desk, although I still have the gap between the 2 pieces because I like it like that for now, with an end table and lamp between. I've gunked it all up again with a pile of pre-tax paperwork or I'd take a better picture.

But when placed together, it looks like this.

Other good stuff this week:
  • My friend is having a baby tomorrow and I got invited to go see her in the hospital. To me, this whole concept of scheduled birth seems both wrong and civilized. I can't quite wrap my mind around them not being in a startled panic when things start to happen. It's weird how much the whole birth concept is tied with uncertainty, even today.
    • On that theme, I'm continually taken aback by the fact that we can't sex human skeletons without a pelvis. For all our outward differences, men and women are built on the same frame with one different main hinge.

  • Work is not sucking the life out of me. I'm leaving while there's still plenty of sunlight. Partly because we had a fab shutdown to do facilities work so I didn't have to split my attention between projects and sustaining, partly because I don't have a deadline stackup this week.

  • So I found out my desire to start every sentence with "so" (and likely "but" or "and" as well) is very Minnesotan. Ya, sure, you betcha. Have some hotdish.

  • The weather here is idyllic. A little chilly in the morning (mid 50s), gorgeous at lunch (80), warmish after work (72 at the farmer's market). The sun shining through the cirrus clouds today felt wonderful.

  • It's blood orange and strawberry season at the farmers market. And the Japanese hydroponics ladies reliably provide my cucumbers and the varietal of cherry tomato I can eat raw.

  • I submitted my FSA medical reimbursement paperwork and they already cut the check. It will pay for most of the fridge. I might also get some "missing money" from Mass - my brother found my name on a website and I unearthed the paperwork this week and filled out forms. We'll see.

  • I really like these curtains. Not sure if they work in my scheme or if I'll be ready for them before they get discontinued, but they make me happy now.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Start of New Kitchen

It was wonderful seeing my friend again. We ate some good food, talked until the wee hours, and she helped me organized my life again. While she posted a bunch of my stuff I don't love anymore on Crai.gslist, I finished up my cabinet.

2 headed Tiki totem with tongue piercingThen she laughed with my neighbor over my new decorative acquisition - the tiki totem - while the neighbor's husband helped me haul my old loveseat out for the person who claimed it 30 minutes after listing. No, the tiki totem was not an impulse buy - check the design collage! The tongue modification I did myself.

As requested, here are pictures from the start of my kitchen reno. I started with a wall that had no cabinet, test swatches of paint, and a microwave taking up counter space.

So I went to IKEA, bought a cabinet and spent waaaay longer than I expected putting it together just the way I wanted. Its first home was the middle of the living room.
white cabinet ganged with side shelf on floor
I don't know how well this will show, but in my studfinding attempt, I woodpeckered the wall but good.
wall with 2 rows of many tiny holes
Visiting friend bought me a studfinder to save my future walls. In my defense, up until this dwelling, I had plaster and lath which are contraindicated for electronic stud finders.

I also repainted. I don't know why, but I can't stand the thought of the wall being unfinished behind the cabinet. Even on decorating shows it drives me nuts, so here's the paint job.
Cameo Dunn Edwards paint

But wait! I measured again and I needed to move the outlet down so the cabinet base wouldn't rest directly on it. I thought it would be a good idea to turn it sideways too. But wow, I had to dig through a lot of drywall and whatnot to make the hole.
thick drywall

I persevered. I had to dig out way more wall than I anticipated to get the old outlet box uncovered and removable.
outlet with hole

At the D.epot with a view
Mountains with actual greenery
I found that sockets for sideways outlets are not thick on the ground. I also decided to hire an electrician I met there to split the outlet in two so I could have a dedicated microwave plug. In the meantime, I bought a selection of screws to figure out what would be best for mounting the bracket that holds the cabinet. The #12 2.5" machine screws were the winner. (The wood screw sheared off.)
screws and tools

The outlet work went well but involved an ever larger hole in the wall.
outlet holes with puzzle like drywall patch template

In the meantime, the cabinet was settling in as a remote holder and stuff was building up around it.

I got the patch done, the paint got a second coat, and aside from the sheared off wood screw, the hanging bracket went up smoothly.
cabinet hanger

And here it is, all hung up. My neighbor helped me lift it twice, my friend once for leveling.
cabinet on wall

I placed the cabinet lower than usual (10" up from the countertop) because it holds the microwave and I don't want to tip hot stuff down my front. Plus I don't use that section of counter for prep work anyway. But having it clear so I can sweep crumbs over to the sink will be nice.

Here it is with some stuff in it.
cabinet with microwave and glasses in it

And here it is, all done but for the handle (coming in tuesday) and the interior stemware rack. (Don't get me started. I went to 6 stores and none have a standard stemware rack. Gah!) Even so, it's as done as I can get it for now. Adel White door front. I like it.
cabinet is done

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Magic Eraser

I've been really busy this week and wanted to blog many times but fell asleep before I got to it. Work was crazy insane and then one of my best friends came over. But even best friends deserve a clean shower.

I have been trying and trying like crazy to get the soap scum off my shower. I've used ox.ycl.ean, some arm&hammer soap scum remover, clorox, cascade, and more elbow grease than I wanted and all I got for my troubles was some streaky soap scum that looked cleaner in places. I was digging through an alarming pile of sponges (somehow I buy sponges and stash them all over and forget about them) and ran across a couple Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. The box said they were good for soap scum. Holy Cow! Magic Erasers are FANTASTIC on soap scum. With very little elbow grease, I consumed an entire eraser getting the soap scum out of my shower. But it came out! Yay! I was able to let her use the shower!

Other quick update, pictures in later post, maybe tomorrow.
  • The new cabinet is UP. Thanks to neighbor for hefting and electrician for putting in special microwave outlet.
  • I got half a day off on friday to pick up my friend and the weather is fanastic and the traffic not bad.
  • I had another nail in a tire (I blame work), but the guys at Mr. Tire just replaced it with a used one until I get my new tires in.
  • Headed to a Dersh party. Should be fun.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy Green Beer Day

If you like green beer, head to Rhode Island. If you don't, there are some fine Irish pubs in Boston. I remember the Burren a few years back when we got there early because our Irish and Scottish bosses let us off from work early, knowing how important the holiday is. The pub had 4 bands imported from Ireland for the day, a packed house, a $20 cover, and a wait of an hour and a half to get in, once it hit 5pm. Someone ran next door to McDonalds to get sustenance and just started tossing burgers into the crowd. Not a one hit the floor and we kept on drinking. Good times, good times.

The next generation is coming along nicely too.

I'm tempted to turn the blog orange today, but I'd probably wind up deleting it. And it's a good thing I'm not in elementary school or I'd get pinched.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rabbit Girl

I've probably mentioned it, but I hate the traditional interpretation of the moral of the tortoise and the hare, that the tortoise's plodding way is somehow superior to racing ahead in fits and starts with naps along the way. The way I prefer to interpret it is that there are many ways of getting the finish line, none of which are superior or inferior to the others. Probably this is because I'm the hare in this fable. (Coincidentally, I moved to Rabbit Valley.) I work at things in one big obsessive push, then ignore them for weeks. It's why I'm really bad at paying bills, and why online automatic bill pay saves my credit rating. So I spent some money this week that won't require bill paying because, for better or worse, I used my debit card and paid in full.

The stove I've been planning on getting, the double oven Maytag standalone I posted about a while back, can be purchased at Sears, and the same or similar from Home Depot. Both places have been running 10% off sales most of this year. Sometimes there would also be an offer for even more off if you bought more appliances, usually as a rebate. (I hate rebates too, mostly because they find excuses not to send you them.) Yesterday, Sears had a flat 15% off all appliances, with a rebate only on the delivery fee so I took that as a sign and went in to spend money. (Plus I just cashed my fridge delivery fee rebate last week, so I have hope on that.) My stove came to $849 before taxes... and there were none available. Crap!

They offered me the next model up, but even with the discount it was over $1000, which was my sticking point. Plus, I don't care about bigger oven windows. However, the upgraded stove goes from 4 to 5 burners and one of the burners can be set to a 9" or 12" diameter. (For an additional $600 I can get convection which I covet but can live without for now.) I told them I wasn't willing to go over a thousand and they offered it to me at $949 and I bit. It's still 5% off what I was planning to buy and I'm pretty happy about that. It's nice to buy big ticket items in a down economy. I was happy enough to go upstairs to the women's clothing and buy a dozen things for 50% off the lowest markdown price. For less than what I spent to insure the stove, I got more than a week's worth of work shirts, a couple of date/fun shirts, some loaf around the house shirts, and some replacement pants for the ones that ripped up the back on thursday. And my stove will show up in 2 weeks to replace my cruddy, not level, rickety, wrong temperature stove. It's all good.

Today, though, was about the cabinet install. In order to get the height I want, I need to move or rotate the outlet for the microwave. I had to dig into the wall a bit to undo the outlet box that was secured better than For.t K.nox. I thought it might work better if I bought a new mounting box, and I realized I needed 20A GFCI outlets, not 15A, so off to HD. (And a little detour to work.) Since I'm also debating splitting the outlet in two for one below and one above the cabinet bottom, when I ran into an electrician, he offered to give me a free estimate for the work. I'm not sure if this is because he usually offers free estimates or because I was wearing a new shirt that shows off the tattoo. Either way, I have a giant hole in my wall. (I am taking pictures. Soon. Soon.) To make myself feel better about my progress, I drilled the holes I need to mount the cabinet hanging rail, then filled the rest of the woodpecker holes, tested the spray texturizer, and painted the wall. Rabbit style.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mo Money

Yesterdays big financial news was that an ounce of gold hit $1000. I just have to say, "YIKES!" We buy gold at work, and one project I just finished in october was reducing the amount of gold I use at a particular step. When I finished my project, gold was trading at $825 or so. Less than 5 months ago. It has gone up 20% this year alone. It went up 50% in 14 months. This is not good.

There are many reasons for the gold prices to go up.
  • For whatever reason (it's pretty?) gold is considered to have intrinsic value. When economies start to look unstable, those looking to preserve wealth like to transition fiat money into gold. Stocking up on gold is an indicator that people are losing faith in an economy.
  • When we were on the gold standard, a dollar was pretty much a "stock" of some small amount of gold. For historical reasons, Gold prices are still valued in dollars. With the dollar falling abroad along with the US reputation, other countries are stocking up.
  • Lesser demand for jewelry when people are stockpiling necessities.

There are other factors, but I have only a minor interest in this and don't stay abreast of all the economics, just the prices.

About 2 weeks ago, I sent an email to friends titled "the sky is falling" because our president came out with a press statement leading to this headline, "Bush says US not headed into recession". And since we all know that he likes to say the opposite of truth in an effort to sound reassuring, I figured this was a bad sign. Just this week he grudgingly acknowledges that our economy is heading to hell in a handbasket, after stating so confidently that it wasn't. Well duh.

WHY, WHY, WHY does the media continue to parrot his words without analysis? This is the thing I think is worst in the way we get news. Headline news shouldn't be telling us the story, but the should actually follow up with the story. And it shouldn't just be, "but the president said the sky is green and a general got fired for suggesting the sky is blue. How could that general be so rash as to make that statement against the president?" No wonder we get into situations like this. We have faith based reporting with the "faith" being a perversion of patriotism. The lack of analysis and dissent is killing us, ever more quickly.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gas Guzzler

I just paid $40 to fill up my gas tank for the first time in my whole entire life. I did borrow a car once that had a huge tank, but for cars I've owned, this is the most I've ever paid. Gas at the cheapest place in town that I trust is conveniently right across the street from work. When I went to leave, my "get gas" light was on meaning I needed at least 11 gallons for my 12 gallon tank, so I drove a couple hundred feet and stopped for gas. And gas was $3.579 which was a little shocking because it was "only" $3.459 yesterday or the day before. $40.44 total. Yikes. Good thing I bought a car capable of 31mpg, even though the way I drive it to maximize power turns that into about 25mpg. Maybe it would help if I didn't store a couple dozen kg of glass supplies in the back.

Using the "pound nails into the wall at likely intervals" method, I've located the studs for my cabinet mounting needs. They're a little strange; the middle one doesn't appear to go straight up, and they are extra solid - I'm hoping they're wood and not metal, or I need different mounting options. I think I'll drill a test hole to see what the drill bit pulls out for me. I spent about 40 days and 40 nights sorting through screw options at the Home De.pot monday night and got some good options, although none are self drilling. And I think that to get the correct cabinet height I may need to turn the outlet sideways. I hope I can do that without too much fuss.

But this time change is kicking my ass. Above and beyond all my usual sleep issues, waking up an hour or two earlier than normal tends to make me feel sick. On vacations back east I had pretty good luck taking Lunesta. Maybe I can get more of that until I adjust. After turning into a cranky freak at my SWE meeting and failing to take decent notes (which is bad because I'm the secretary and it's my job to take notes) I realized at dinner that I almost fell asleep in my plate due to the time change.

And it was sad that I had such a cranky, sucky end to my tuesday because work went great yesterday!
  1. I got proof of concept for a thruput idea which now looks more promising.
  2. My diva tool ran smoothly with the larger wafers and I was able to get my test wafers run and measured without excess fuss. (Monday was a cussfest to set up the measurements - people gather'd 'round for the show. I've been trying not to swear at work, but they were egging me on...)
  3. Along with my test, I got the wafers prepped for the next engineer in line who needs my films as a base for his.
  4. Obama took Mississippi and Wyoming.
  5. And ok, my day didn't have a totally sucky end - it turns out the place I got pizza serves Red Velvet cake and I had to get some to pull out of the sulks.
It was all grand.

Well, back to drilling holes in the wall and hoping it doesn't damage anything I can't fix with spackle.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ho-Dar, and Obama Opinions

So I'm watching late night comedy central news and thinking, $4300/hour? How can I get in on that gig? The older I get, the less problem I see with people paying money for sex. For the most part, men are paying, women are getting paid. So restricting it is pretty much preventing women from getting fair market value for their resources, yes?

Speaking of getting nailed. So many of the people getting nailed by the law these days for lying about doing something wrong. Well duh! You ask them if they did it, it's almost always better for them to say they didn't, at least at first. And is it even illegal to lie to the FBI? I thought that unless you swore to tell the truth, you were under no compulsion to do so, and even then you ought to have 5th amendment protections against incriminating yourself. So someone does something wrong and then lies about it, I don't want them punished for the lie. I want them punished for doing something wrong. (If that wrong thing is a form of lie called "fraud", that's ok to prosecute for.) Because I really don't care about who lies about getting caught. What I care about are people who make a habit of persecuting people for things they themselves are guilty of. These are the people should be slaughtered in the forum of public opinion, and then punished legally/socially/physically with a little bit more than the average sentence they inflicted on someone else. And if they broke an absurd law, work to change the law.

Speaking of the law, here are some people who are more eloquent than I about why I like Barack Obama, even if blogger's spell check still doesn't recognize the name.
Obama's Quality of Leadership; Hillary is more of the same
Obama brings to bear a deep understanding of the world
Admitted Snark: Hillary's Experience
And finally, Since I'm being frank here, and well, everywhere, I've been meaning to post this rant for a week or so. Someone on the book club mentioned it to me, in the snide tone of "how can you support all those democrats who voted for the Iraq war?" And my answer is I don't. And they didn't vote for the war so much as they spinelessly voted to abdicate their constitutional responsibility to declare war by saying "well, we don't want to decide, so we'll let George do it, we trust him to exhaust all rational options first," and then voted to give the executive branch their clearly delineated power. "Well, we thought there was good cause..." Bullshit. There wasn't good cause then. I knew it. And Barack knew it. And he didn't vote to throw his rights and responsibilities away. You can revisit that speech here, now.
In their own words, with comments, to Iraq or no.
Scroll past the book ad to "Iraq the Vote".

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Somehow I thought it would be super easy to put together my IKEA cabinets. They have all the parts pre-drilled, right? Well... only if you don't want to use the microwave cabinet. I figured out how to get my microwave off the counter without fear of dumping hot sauce down my chest. I'm putting it on the wall, just lower. Then ganged to the right of it, an open shelf that's at normal height above the counter, but level across the top with the first one. It leaves just enough room under the counter for the toaster, and I can reach the first shelf over the microwave easily enough to use it as my primary drinking glass storage.

I thought it would take 15 minutes to assemble, and a half hour to add the microwave shelf. Maybe after a lo-o-ot of practice? It took 45 minutes just to get the basic frame together and make sure I had all the parts. The 4 shelf open unit didn't have 4 shelves, so I had to drive back to IKEA to make the exchange. Then that went together smoothly, but still not in 15 minutes. More like 30. Today I got most of the rest done. I'd measured the microwave and marked the shelf. Today I got out the circ saw, and during a TV commercial for Divine Design had the excess lopped off. Then I fixed my measurements for the 4 holes I had to drill through the shelf and cabinet based on the sawn off length. It helps that I got a new T-square last weekend with a measured rule on it. I managed to put the backing board on without damaging the interior with misplaced nails, since my coworker warned me about it.

In addition to the new T-square, I also got a new tape measure. It's a little sad because my "Do It Herself" measure has served me well lo these many (18) years. It fit in my hand well (2" square and 3/4" thick) so it was comfortable to use. Until I dropped it on something hard from a height and the plastic frame snapped and now it doesn't retract automatically. The replacement has bonus features, but it's bulkier (2.75" square and 1.4" thick). It does still fit in my palm relatively well, though, being my primary ergonomic criterion. I think I'll like it in time though.

Other stuff I figured out: the spade bit leaves a clean hole on top and a mess on the bottom (even if taped); whereas the saw leaves a clean edge on the bottom and a chipped mess on top (no tape). Most of the sawdust is on the patio but a little is in the living room from joining the two cabinets because I had to drill a little but didn't want to move them and risk damage after they were lined up so well. All told, maybe another 90 minutes spent over 3 hours, including "mulling over" time. Not including the 20 minutes spent looking for the thing that attaches my grinding wheels to my drill which I never did find. Since I couldn't find my grind-cutting enabler, I'm going to see if someone at work can cut the hanging rail to length for me. I got it started, and aside from somehow getting the hinges into the door, is my last piece on the critical path.

On the whole, I'm pleased with my plan to start small and practice on the first cabinet set, working out the kinks and whatnot. It's going where there was no cabinet before and filling it will allow me to take down all the other upper cabinets without having to displace anything I really care about for too long.

For some reason, I can't find my iron either. I know I have one. I hate ironing though, and don't often use it, so I'd hate to have to buy another even if I can get one for $12 at Target. But I need it now to put my new cherry veneer on my chipped thrift store cabinet. And maybe to get the old veneer off. Where the heck would I put an iron?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

It's a Beautiful Day

I've had all sorts of ideas for good things to talk about since the poop entry, but have been distracted by exchanging stuff at IKEA and some really fun Emma Holly books that showed up in the mail - thanks for the loan, Jr's mom! If you read Emma Holly, you know why I wasn't paying attention to the blog. So now I have a bunch of scattered thoughts. I might actually expound more on some of the later, but for now, here's a non-poop entry.

  • Today was gorgeous! 72F and sunny blue sky at lunch.
  • I've gone out to eat with people 3X this week. Luxury!
  • A friend made the comment that porn is like wine. What's good or too much and what isn't is entirely a matter of taste.
  • Last weekend I was awake all day saturday (not so much on sunday). I had a goal of getting some veneer to fix a couple cabinets. It required going to about 5 different stores but I finally got a lead on a place where the service was *fabulous*! Turns out my neighbor bought cabinets and countertops from them and is happy with them and the install and they do look nice. The customer service guy got me free scraps of veneer from the neighboring cabinet company (and possibly his own stash) after I told him the sizes I was looking for. He also sent me home with about a dozen samples of baseboards, crown, and edge molding, which means I've narrowed my options from 50 to 2. And they will recommend contractors for install. I like to think I will do it myself, but I think having it done well is more important right now.
  • In the hardware/art store scramble, I remembered a string of Antique stores that I had been meaning to check out. Just through sheer dumb luck I found a readable copy of a book someone had recommended to me only the week before. I'd planned to get a copy of "Two Years Before the Mast" from the library, but I found an 1895 copy with some gold leaf worked into the flowing, abstract cover design and some lithographs inside. It's a relevant story even though it's from the 1830s because it's about a guy who dropped out of Hahvahd and sailed as regular crew for 2 years on a voyage out to CA. There are more than 4 fur trader's shacks on the shorein San Diego now, but the whole MA-CA voyage is fun to consider.
  • In "Girls Next Door" on E, and LA Ink, it always amazes me how much family interaction they show. Hef's girlfriends' parents and siblings are always showing up, and it's clear how much Kat and her family care for each other. It's weird to think about celebrities having families. Kids I'm used to, but not parents, cousins, sisters, especially when they're normal, loving, and supportive of the celeb.
  • There's a hip-hop station in the area that comes in better than anything else on my car radio. (Despite getting something on every single FM station, it's mostly staticky and fades in and out.) It's one of those stations that has just a few songs in rotation and they play them endlessly. I listen to it enough that I can sing along to their 6 current songs. They're really good energy for the drive home and they mix them front to back for the drivetime slot like we were in a club. Shorty got low, low low low low low low, is on pretty much any time the channel is.
  • On Tuesday, the Yahoo news page only showed pictures of Hillary, none of Obama, and an occasional one of McCain. Even though the HRC captions were mostly negative, I wonder how many people compulsively scanning the headline news got a subliminal dose of her all day long, then went out to vote.
  • I'm so psyched for the return of daylight savings time, and more sun per day. Today was my first farmers market trip not made in the dark in months.
  • Thanks for all your poop comments! (I got a few by email too.) I found it really entertaining. BTW, if you find yourself craving ice, get your iron levels checked.
  • I don't think I posted my design collage yet. I got this idea from Jenny Crusie and the fact that a friend sent me a bunch of clippings of things she thought I'd like (thanks sis!). I made it 2 pages into an adhoc design scrapbook to take shopping with me when I decided I needed something different. I'd been reading argh ink by JC and the answer became clear. Plus I had a ton of pictures and a large sheet of tagboard.

I went through my huge stack of saved magazines and ads and papers and cut out anything that caught my eye. I sorted like with like (I can learn!) and made piles of couches, cabinets, etc... I chose my favorites and some backups - sometimes the scale on my first choice was off - and came up with a coherent idea. I now have one remaining borrowed magazine, a tiny stack of leftover cutouts (too agonizing to toss them), and a lovely collage. The collage is arranged roughly matching my layout.

..Bathroom ..... Bedroom ... view
.........Archway/hall.........Patio Room

Some of it is real, some is idealized. I'm amazed at how much Pink kept popping up. Purple kept a little more quiet than I thought. Green and Orange are front and center, natch. Also, I stayed in the lines, mostly. And somehow, a little "e" popped up, totally without conscious design choice on my part. If anyone can help me interpret it a bit more, I'd love to hear it. To that end, each of these pictures was saved with many pixels. If it pleases and sparkles, open them up in larger format for better viewing. The first is my initial dry fit. The second is the glued down version which now resides over the fireplace.
initial collage layout of design ideas
glued down collage of design ideas