Friday, January 09, 2009

In case you were wondering....

I merged all 3 of my blogs into one and deleted the originals. So, all postings go here now!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Hand made cards

I decided to pick up quilling as a hobby and made these cards:

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Go Amaryllis Go!

My dear friend Beth got me an Amaryllis bulb for the holidays and it bloomed right before Christmas. Isn't it just beautiful?

Now, most of you know that I have a black thumb. Hence, the fact that I was able to witness the progress of this plant from start to finish is a sheer miracle...and being the nerd I am I took photos of the entire process. I suppose I have no children or pets at the moment (Penelope went home to RitchN remember...) so I snapped away like a proud parent.

Here she is when she first arrived--tiny little stubby tuft of green protruding from it's bulb. Beth had picked out a lovely rustic red receptacle which matched the decor of my abode perfectly. She told me all I had to do was keep the soil moist. For good measure I played Mozart every morning as I got ready for work...

Even after one day, I noticed growth! In fact I was astounded by how quickly this thing would shoot up:

I estimate that it grew roughly an inch and a half every two days.

Rain or shine every morning before work, I'd have my blinds open, played Mozart or NPR depending on my mood, sip my coffee and enjoy looking at Ms. Amaryllis. It wasn't until a bit later that I realized I completely forgot something I learned way back in elementary school--plants travel in the direction of sunlight.

I rotated the pot...

...and realized I needed to be more mindful lest Ms. Amaryllis end up kinda wonky and vertically challenged. So, each morning, I'd rotate her so that the head was facing furthest away from the sun:

..and eventually she'd straighten out:

...then I overshot a little:

Tis true that there are all sorts of contraptions that can help a amaryllis plant grow straight, and Beth even provided a crafty suggestions involving knitting needles, but by God, I was adamant that my amaryllis plan would be able to manage to keep her head up and grow strong without the aid of any sort man made object. Sure, I was imposing my own value system on Ms. Amaryllis, but it was for her own good, damnit.

I sound harsh and all, but really I coaxed her gently. Kept her well watered and encouraged her. I was happy to see her progress each day when I came home from work. "Grow! Grow, like the wind," I told her. She grew and grew...

I assured her that I didn't care that she wasn't perfectly straight. I loved her the way she was, swaying sinusoidally but moving upwards nevertheless and then suddenly one Saturday morning awoke to find the start of a bloom shyly peaking through it's protective bud.

I had no idea the bloom would be red (my favorite color)! For some odd reason, I suppose because I attribute amaryllis to Christmas, I expected it to be white, so I felt giddy when I saw the bust of color coming through. More coaxing and admiring and day by day the trumpet shaped blooms came to be:

I'm in awe that this thing knows how to bloom in pairs. What an intelligent plant! Making room for all of its flowers. How civilized and well-planned it is.

Anyhow, Ms. Amaryllis and I had a good run together and I put her to rest yesterday. Still what a lovely gift to appreciate and admire during the holidays:

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Friday, December 12, 2008

4am slam over coffee

One of my artsy/fartsy buddies, Daniel Link is an amazing singer/songwriter. He's also a genuinely nice guy who has has been there, done that and then some...and often has uncanny insights on how the world works which he often records in his song writing. I was listening to the song "4am Slam Over Coffee" while walking in to work and was struck by the line:

I always try to give the benefit of the doubt even if the person is an asshole, because even assholes have bad days

That's a good one to nosh on. There are so many ways to interpret this song lyric! Even assholes can accidentally be nice? Even assholes are asshole? Even assholes should get a break? heh...I dunno.

Just got an IM from Ritch. Dude Penelope's farts it smells....bad human farts.

Poor kitten.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Am I slowly becoming the crazy cat lady?

This one I am calling "Penelope." My friend Donna rescued this tiny calico kitten in a partking garage on Monday and I took her in to see how we'd get along. Although not as short as the one night stand I had with Fumiko, the black kitty, I get the sense that Penelope and I aren't in it for the long hual. We're not really clicking, if that makes any sense.

I have so many better things to post about of course---craft brunch, this super fast amaryllis plant, musings of how to dress for a technical interview, dating horror stories etc. And yet, I post a cat pic.

I may very well become the crazy cat lady.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Luxurious BLT

Hot Damn. I just made myself a Bacon Lettuce and Tomato sandwich that was so good that I just had to blog about it. What about your Thanksgiving Leftovers?

Yeah, what about them?

In all seriousness the only part I really like in a Thanksgiving feast is the stuffing. Everything else is basically stuff I can get a Luby's or Jester Cafeteria. Sure, I make a bad ass Turkey-day meal (or rather Goose-day meal) but I'm not a huge fan of leftovers in general. People usually balk and go "but don't you like the convenience?" Kinda. It's just that reheated leftovers never quite taste as good the original. I can reconstitute stuff (I make a pretty good yam, pumpkin and potato cream soup with chopped turkey and french fried onions on top) but that too gets old after a while.

No, this morning I decided to make myself a luxurious BLT. Oh man, it was good. First off, I baked my bacon-- a trick I learned from a coworker, former chef, named Bruce. Just pop in a bunch of strips laid out in a single layer on a cookie dish at 325 for 20 minutes and you will get the most uniformly browned delicious bacon ever without the grease splattering and curled up weirdness. Drain on paper towels as you would normally.

For tomatoes I used some from my friend Ko-Ko's garden. Bright red. Not mealy. Super juicy! What's weird to me is that he managed to grow these indoors. I'll have to ask for more detail on how he managed such good produce in an apartment space.

The lettuce, I used arugula instead (or "Angela" as Jay accidentally called it once which I now refer to it as such around him) with some loose leaf spinach. Not quite as crunchy as the typical iceberg lettuce, but really I just don't get iceberg lettuce in general. It has no flavor, seems to consist mainly of water and I doubt there's much nutritional value to it.

Toast up some nutty whole wheat bread, slather on a thin layer of mayo on one slice and a thin layer of dijon on the other and pile on the Angela, bacon and tomatoes. Viola! The most magnificent BLT sandwich ever. It's so good, I want another one, frankly.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cat action boarding on zoophila

I slept with this cat last night. I borrowed her.

She was asking for it: rubbing herself up all against my window begging for trouble. I mean really, the audacity of her flirting like that, calling to me softly whenever I had the blinds opened a crack. She walked right into my apartment like she owned the place, never mind her collar indicates she lives down the block.

Anyhow, she wouldn't leave me alone! She's gorgeous. Brunette, green eyes...totally different from other cats I've known. Or perhaps I should say she borrowed me, nestling down into my pillow next to my head, purring away. What a sassy bitch, but let her have her way. She didn't even call me the next day after she bolted out of my aparment in a hurry to grab her next meal. The nerve!

Still, if she comes back, I *suppose* she's invited to come in.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dinner with Peggy

Just had a lovely dinner with my friend Peggy who up until recently would always introduce me to her friends as "my old Bible School teacher." Painful but true. Pegs is a good 10+ years younger than me and when I was in high school I taught Bible lessons at church to the little ones. Hard to believe isn't it? This is how I met my lovely friend.

She's always been a dancer. I still remember when she was 7, when she donned my pointe shoes for the first time. Dainty slender fingers pressed again the wall in my family's foyer and another hand outstretched but not touching mine. I was ready to grab her in case she'd topple over, but she never did. In fact she balanced quite well executing some painful bourrees clobbering in time against the tile floor. She'd dance continuously through college, easily surpassing my skill level when she turned 10 or so, eventually becoming a company level dancer.

We kept in touch when I went off to college. I kept all of her letters, mesmerized by how her penmanship would become more refined each year. School pictures with glasses, then with braces, then with a handsome boy at her side during senior prom. I still remember her mother confronting me once: "She's been checking the mailbox every day for several weeks and finally she broke down and cried." I vowed to always respond within a week.

Email replaced the letters when I was in graduate school. Advice on college vs. ballet company. What major? Where to live?

And so soon before I could even realize it, she turned 21 and we shared drinks for the first time at my place. I had not seen her in person for nearly 10 years and she towered over me, long boned and elegant. She had to stoop over to hug me and we chuckled at the height difference. When I left home, she came up to my shoulder. Me, newly single. She, a supportive friend, not a child, but a full fledged opinionated woman whose sympathetic ear I could use. Aside from a slight valley twang, which I find endearing, she's quite eloquent and hilarious to boot. We cuss like sailors around each other.

She's a strong gal emotionally. Much stronger than I ever was. I suppose watching your parents get a divorce at a young age and toggling between two households toughens your skin a bit. She danced in the Houston ballet throughout high school. She taught English abroad at the age of 19. Finished college in 4 years. Worked as a bar tender and then as a hostess at a high end restaurant. Now is a teacher in elementary school. She's partied. She's loved and lost. Broken hearts. Had her heart broken. In a lot of ways she's experienced a whole lot more than I have. What will she be like in 10 years when she's my age?

Every time I speak to her new stories unfold and I'm constantly amused by what she has to share with me. I suppose I'm getting old, and yet at the same time I'm connecting with her in a different way. She came out well, I want to tell her parents...

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

there is no spoon

It's nearly midnight yet I've got some espresso percolating through the french press sitting on my counter while a glob of condensed milk and an entrapped spoon sits at the base of my mug waiting for its warm coffee bath to come, melt away the saccharine stickiness and turn the concoction into a fragrant cup of coffee... Except, I can't quite enjoy the coffee anymore because it reminds me too much of a tiff I had recently with my friend:

He was voicing his annoyance at how the condensed milk was dripping and smearing all over the counter. My flat response was "That's why I leave the spoon in the cup."

And with that he shoved the mugs at me and stormed off.

What I meant to say was "I usually grab a large scoop and then leave the spoon in the cup so that I don't end up trailing milk back and forth from the tub to the container..." but the truncated version was what came out of my mouth. I have a tendency to say things half way when I'm tired or lost in thought or whatever. It sounded condescending to him. It hurt his feelings and thus in return, he decided to act childish and disrespectful.

My tolerance level for this kind of shit is so incredibly low. Tis true, I did not semantically answer in a way that made any sense, but the claim that I didn't understand the situation or observe his complaint correctly (as he continually insists) is just plain wrong. Had he answered "Dude, you really didn't address my problem..." or something along those lines, I wouldn't be as pissed.

I think I'm angry because his reaction is so similar to how I would have behaved when I was in high school or maybe even the beginning of college. I still am to a degree, but when I was younger I was highly sensitive. A condescending look from a cashier or someone who would not give me the right of way on the sidewalk would upset me for hours maybe days. I'd brood over that. If someone hurt my feelings, I'd lash out, throw negativity into the atmosphere so the whole damn world would know how shitty I felt. I'd throw down a mini tantrum that did nothing but make the opposing party as miserable as I...exactly as how my friend responded.

Well, I grew out of that. Years ago. It is true that I initially came into this world more incendiary than serene. I've mellowed out so much with age and through being a wife that my ability to empathize with that sort of hurt has grown distant. At one point I would have merely felt sorry for the opposing party, let it be "their problem" and ride out the storm letting things go. However recently, I've discovered I'm actually annoyed by those spurts of irate expression.

The real conflict for me though in the above scenario is that I immediately reacted the way my x-husband used to. Chase after him, try to appease the situation, make peace, apologize...I used to hold that trait in high regard. Would emulate it often. I'd to swallow my hurt from being disrespected and appease the opposing party in order to dispel any pain. Stoic. Solid. Even keeled.

I'd normally sit back and make excuses, ascertain the cause through reflection, understand that his negative reciprocation was not unwarranted-- a culmination of past hurts, pent up frustration from me and world, his upbringing, a bad day, whatever...

Right now though, that's not me and yet that was exactly how I defaulted. And then I became immediately resentful. In fact, I am resentful which is why I'm writing this.

I don't like feeling like a door mat. I don't like being aloof and indifferent, one flavor that consists of nothing but "sweet" and "kind." There's a part of me that wishes that I didn't choose to stand on my higher ground. I wanted to smack him, hurl the french press his way and stoop to his level make him pay for the negativity he threw my way...just to be self righteous and prove some stupid little point: coddling a brat only creates more brattiness

How is that any better? Is the fact that I didn't act on how I wanted react make me any better of a person than him? Sadly, probably not.

Shrug. I give up.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Psychadelic Pony

Modified from a blind contour drawing.

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