‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

chicken envy

We've been turned down as chicken foster parents.

This will surprise you, but we have some friends who have chickens. And they were thinking about getting two more chickens - chickens which lay greenish eggs, oddly enough. But my friend is having a baby (a real live human baby, not a chicken) around the time one needs to take proper identification ($5) to the feed store and claim one's chicks. They thought this might be a bit much, having a box of chickens in their living room at a time when sleep deprivation makes things like not going to work in your bathrobe next to impossible. So I offered foster care. Until their chicks could move into the coop with the older siblings. Or get a job.

And if we had their baby chicks in our livingroom, then what would be the harm in getting a couple baby chicks of our own?

You see where this is going, yes?

Except then my friend decided that since she will be talking to herself in a sing-song voice while at work in her bathrobe anyway, she may as well just do it all and pick up her own baby chicks in the spring. To which I replied "but... but....?"

Fortunately Chris has not been paying such close attention and has instead just been nodding and saying "okay, yeah sure," which is geek-speak for "not now woman, I'm reading Fark!"

I am totally getting one of these:



behold the bearded white silkie.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Keystone

When I worked at Keystone Ski Resort I experienced the worst boyfriend, the creepiest boss and the most dysfunctional finances of my life. And so I have to say that when a friend devotes an entire blog post to marching me down memory lane I feel.... wait a minute, why am I feeling all warm and fuzzy?

I don't know about everyone else, but I needed a little time after college to figure out what I was doing. In fact, I needed more than a little time but whatever. Keystone was my first experience living on my own and making my own way in the world (or not), and it will always be that place where I was permitted to discover life. It was kind of like reaching voting age.

As Sturdy Girl has pointed out, if women have the opportunity to experience their own Keystone, they may be less likely to propel themselves into unsuitable marriages in an effort to Start Their Lives. In my case, I dated such wildly inappropriate men this was not really an option. When I think about what life would be like if I had married in my 20's it makes me want to run screaming into traffic.

Oops, tangent.

So I had my own little life in the world's smallest (and loveliest) condo. Living alone in that condo was the best money ever spent. And I was making it (sort of) on my own. The "wow, I actually LIVE here" sensation never wore off. It was so beautiful driving to work. And back.

Here are things I learned:
You can't live within your means if you are unclear on what your means are.
If you are not nice to people, why would they want to be around you?
A paycheck is only helpful if it is deposited.
Skiing is fun and I like salsa with lots of cilantro.

I've thought about going back, but in my experience it's not a good idea to go back to places you've outgrown. Fortunately, I can now live the ski town life vicariously through Liz. And for this I am grateful.


I can't believe they're still using that picture of me on their website....
(as if there was such a thing as a website when I was there)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Geezer, revisited

Oh, the lies.

I haven't been as forthcoming with you as I'd like. You see, every once in a while Chris becomes curious about what's going on in his house. And instead of looking up from his computer he finds it simpler to read the blog, which would have been disastrous if I had told you things that I was not telling him.

Specifically, that I was planning a rock show with six bands plus special guests to celebrate his numerically important birthday.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep something like that a secret? Especially when the people in the bands are friends of his? And half the world is invited and has been talking about it for months?

Here's what went wrong:
  1. The place I booked called me 3 weeks before the party to let me know they had double booked the space and I was out. They were doing it as a favor to Chris, so recourse including but not restricted to having a tantrum on their lawn was right out.
  2. Organizing musicians is like herding chickens. Fortunately, I like chickens.
  3. If there's anything else, I have blocked it out and would need hypnosis to recover it.

Here's what went right:
  1. Chris was completely surprised.
  2. Like chickens, the bands were willing to play for food and love.
  3. The alternate venue was absolutely perfect in every way and if I wasn't concerned about facing possible assault charges I would kiss the owner.
  4. Everyone I asked to help jumped right up to the plate and gave 110%. Chris has some amazing friends who appreciate him more than I had realized.
  5. Lots of other things I will never forget and probably never stop talking about. Even under hypnosis.
Two of the bands wrote songs just for him. His brother flew out from San Francisco. Friends appeared from everywhere. His friend Chandler had a trophy made for him siting "most questionable achievement in some new category." As my mother is fond of saying, Chris was flabbergasted (wow, flabbergasted is an actual word).

The party was open to the public, although there wasn't much room for extras. I felt I had a karmic responsibility and was glad to see party crashers helping themselves to food. After all, I would never have lived through my 20's without party food and happy hours.

Speaking of being in one's 20's, one of the biggest thrills was seeing the ska band that's been recording here. It was great beyond reason to see them perform instead of just hearing the horns or the guitar tracks. They created quite a buzz and many of us can't wait to see them again.

I probably should have started this post a couple months ago. It's hard writing about it today because I've been busy eating leftover birthday cake, napping, and trying to figure out how to reengage the 7/8ths of my brain that has been otherwise occupied.

I could even have started it when I was writing about his decoy party in December. I'm sorry I deceived you with tales of birthday partyness back then, but honestly, the F1 party was so darn fun I almost threw in the towel on the surprise party. But I'm glad I didn't - I would have missed out on leftover cake.

So, to all the people who played, the people who helped me lie, the people who engineered the sound and managed the stage, the people who showed up and yelled surprise and the people who were there in spirit, I thank you. I'd kiss you all if it weren't for those legal repercussions.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sepia

Oh. My. Heavens.

Sepia is a chocolate store. No, let me try again. Sepia is a chocolate atelier. No, not that either.

Sepia is like being sucked into I Dream of Genie's bottle and finding yourself surrounded by little wrapped gems of chocolate, with a shimmering brown ceiling and promises of chipotle and toasted almonds.

On the counter they had samples of Dolfin chocolate - I tried a piece made with milk chocolate and Japanese tea leaves.

I recognized some of the chocolate makers (is there a term for this? Like a vintner?) - Lake Champlain Chocolates, Dagoba, Mademoiselle de Margaux - but most of it was new and, well, mesmerizing. How is it possible that all these chocolates exist? And how long will it take me to try them all? This is the kind of place that makes you want to become a chocolate connoisseur. Or maybe a chocolate snob. I think I could do that.

I could be like our friend Will who can smell wine and tell you where it came from. I could master Fine Chocolate Terminology. I will be such fun at parties.

Sepia
619 Main Street . Centervile . MA

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

technology

I got one of those Bluetooth thinglies. You know, the ones that make you look like an airplane that's about to land. I am having a love/hate relationship with my Bluetooth thingly.

First of all, it was bad enough walking around looking like I was talking to myself with the earbud, but if one looked carefully one would see the wire and then the phone (which I gesticulate with). Now I look like I'm talking to myself and I have flashing blue lights emitting from my head. That's the part I don't like.

I feel like when I answer it I should say "Starship Enterprise, please hold." That's the part I like.

I thought maybe it was frying my brain like an over-easy egg, but my friend Steve explained that it's all radio waves and not nuclear fallout bouncing around in there. He should know, because his father was working at MIT when they accidentally invented the microwave.

As the story goes, they were working on developing radar when someone walked past the beam with a chocolate bar in his pocket. Et voilĂ !

So the big question is, why didn't the microwave get a catchier name? Like Laurence? Because allegedly Bluetooth is named after some Danish king - who had nothing to do with either microwaves or radio signals. I shudder to think why the king would have been nicknamed "Bluetooth," but suspect 10th century dentistry wasn't covered by most insurance plans.

Back to what I don't like about it. I keep answering my phone, forgetting that I have Bluetooth enabled. And then I can't hear anything in my phone and I can't find the flashing blue ear thingly despite the fact that it is flashing! blue! and I have to yell "Marco" really loudly and listen carefully for a tiny voice to peep "Polo!" Which is unfortunate when it's a client calling.

Because I'm really, really professional.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Eva, was it like this when you moved to Green Acres?

I am having light fixture envy.

We needed two new outdoor lights and I was thinking we could replace all four with something Tuscan or Zen or Mission or Early Modern Junk Heap. Actually, I wasn't visualizing Early Modern Junk Heap but hey, guess what I got? Here's the problem - I went on and on to Chris about how we should use or repurpose things instead of putting them in a landfill. And I really do feel like we need to stop discarding things just because we want something newer, shinier and Zenier. But what completely rotten luck that Chris happened to be listening at the time. I mean really, what are the odds?

So he shows up with two light fixtures he found lying around and asks if he should install them.

I say, "don't we have a credit at the lighting store?" I do not say "who has outdoor light fixtures lying around? Who?"

He points out that we have these and maybe we should use them. I make a futile argument regarding design issues. He says "I thought we were trying to save the world one light fixture at a time."

I concede the point and then begin praying for one of those coastal storms to come along and tear the light fixtures right off the house. Then it wouldn't be my fault, right? I might loosen the screws a bit, but only to minimize damage to the house.

Let's face it - it's hard to walk the walk. I do want to lessen my carbon footprint and I think even some of the more dramatic changes would be, well, sort of charming. I would totally dig a solar powered house with a composting toilet and windmill powered laundry facilities - if it's stunningly beautiful. And shiny. And new.

I am convinced that people who make massive life changes and then report on them later in glowing tales of success are lying. Or maybe not lying, just omitting. Because maybe at some point they start to like the way the light fixtures look and maybe when they see the Early Modern Junk Heap design details they feel all warm and fuzzy and proud of themselves.

Or in yet another alternate reality, maybe one person's Early Modern Junk Heap is another's Shabby Chic. It could happen, right? And don't you just know that the very minute a storm comes along and rips my lights off I will open Dwell and see those very fixtures posing in the centerfold.

And I will have to go out and buy them.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Egg Pants

In case you've been fretting, the playdate yesterday went just fine.

I was thinking the way to fend off my insecurities would be to hire a few friends to drop by and mention how great we are and how much they love coming to our house - all for the benefit of my new friend who we shall continue to call Giselle.

Maybe, for instance, one of our songwriting friends could stop by to tell us he/she had written an ode to Trout Towers and would we mind listening to it? It would maybe be about our Christmas party and include

There were beverages laid out for the party
There were Indian spices and tricolored pastas...

We had the best time at your party
The wife and I thank you very much
We had the best time at your party
The wife and I thank you very much

Except of course that Ween already wrote that song (pretty sure it wasn't about us but I would not necessarily point that out). I am sure it would look completely natural and Giselle would fall for it hook, line and sinker. She would leave thinking wow, that's such an amazing place! What cool chickens! What nice people! Oh I do hope they liked us.....

I am a poor planner and forgot to make the phone calls necessary for this unparalleled display of feigned affection. Lucky for me, our relocated-but-here-in-spirit friends saved the day. A package arrived yesterday, full of Christmas presents with "We Love You" written all over them. And oh did we feel the love. There were games! There was drinking chocolate! There were egg pants!

Um. Egg pants?

Yes, egg pants. They are dip-molded PVC egg cups that make our soft-boiled eggs look like they have waddley little legs. I was so enamored of them I looked up their designers (Liz Kinnmark & Kegan Fisher), who say

"We believe that we are living in a design glut. There is an excess of designed products on the market, which consumers send to the landfill at an alarming rate. As product designers, the big question is how do we justify making more stuff?

Our answer is to design things that are better, more intelligent, and make people happier than what already exists. We believe in quality materials and timeless beauty. Conceptually, we see product design as a medium to convey messages. Big-spending advertisers tell us all the time how their brands convey wealth, status, or give the owner membership in a group. We want to replace those with our own message: think for yourself, consume intelligently rather than mindlessly, buck the trends."

And so when Giselle and her daughter arrived I was prancing around with my new egg pants, feeling very well loved indeed. Maybe she left thinking what a cool place this is after all.

Either way, I hope they come back again for a visit soon. I'll make them soft-boiled eggs.

Friday, January 18, 2008

play date

Tomorrow I have a play date. I mean, Lucy has a play date - with a child whose mother I have barely met but she used to be a professional ballet dancer so I am prepared to totally dig her and want to set up play dates all the time so I can find out more about where she danced and what it was like and where she's teaching because oh wouldn't it just be such spiffy fun to take a class again? With a former professional ballet dancer? Who is going to be my friend? Hmmm?

I could just kiss Lucy for making friends with this child.

Actually, Lucy had no idea who I was talking about when I told her I had set up the date. I had gotten a call out of the blue from the mom, who we shall call Giselle. Apparently her daughter has been talking about Lucy. We shall call the daughter Coppelia. Lucy wracked her brain and asked if Coppelia has blond hair? Oddly, I could not tell from the mother's voice what color her daughter's hair was. Nor did I think to ask if she was the child who sometimes wears jeans with pink hearts on the pockets. Lucy cannot believe I don't know these bits.

So anyway. We were all set to go to their house tomorrow. This is great news because you know how I feel about having people I don't know come to Trout Towers. And her house is rumored to have a swing set, which means it probably has a tea kettle and a couch with nice fluffy pillows and maybe some classical music in the background and talk of things that don't involve potty training and oh probably a great music library and fabulous books with gorgeous covers and pictures of famous people smiling out of frames with my New Best Friend!!!!!

Oh good heavens.

Today she called and when I said "let me get a pencil" (to write down the directions to her house) she said "can I ask a favor?" Well gosh, I love doing people favors! Especially if the favor can be done while I'm looking for a pencil. And then I will have done her a favor and she will like me!

Except the favor is that they'd like to come here instead of us going there. She already has found her pencil and is awaiting directions. I feel ill.

I think about postponing the play date until after dark, so they don't see the granite sink and the stacks of windows in our yard. Except that as I'm giving her directions it becomes evident that she knows my street and my neighborhood and probably knows exactly which house she's coming to (but in her mind she's saying "no, surely you meant the clamshell driveway? You couldn't possibly mean the house with the ..... oh, oh no, you do)."

I'd love to tell you more, but I have to go disguise 5 of the 7 cars out front as azalea bushes, and then faux-finish the stacks of windows so they look like a solarium.

And did I mention that there will be a ska band recording here tomorrow? She'll be sitting on my couch telling me about dancing with the Kirov ballet and I'll be saying "sorry, what???"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

change of dinner plans

There will be no coq au vin, or even chicken stew tonight.

Behold, the green egg we've all been waiting for. Thank you, Easter Chicken.

I could not believe my eyes when I looked into the coop this morning. And of course the neighbors could not believe their ears.

"Who's the best chicken? Oh yes, who's the best chicken who lays the prettiest eggs? You! What a good chicken. Good girl! Here, have some Cheerios off our floor!"

They've gotten used to seeing me out there in my sock monkey flannel pajamas, but the cooing praise may be going too far.

It could always be worse. I do not yet sing to them. I sing to neither the chickens nor the neighbors.

I brought the eggs in (yes eggs, not just the green one - two brown and one white but whatever), washed them off and searched the house for someone to show off to. Our downstairs neighbors were home and boy will they resolve to get out of the house faster in the morning.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Daily Paper

Reporting live from The Daily Paper in Centerville!

No, I haven't gone and gotten a new day job. The Daily Paper is a restaurant. I have finished my lunch and Studley has about, oh, 45 minutes to go on his. He is very thorough.

One of the waitresses was just giving an egg tutorial to the ladies at another table. Sunny side up, over easy.... ask me anything, I know it all now. She also said that one customer had looked at her quizically when asked how she wanted her eggs. "No one ever asked me that before," she had said. The waitress thought maybe the woman had never left the house before, but I know better.

I don't personally know the woman in question, but (this one time at band camp) this one time when Chris was on the road with the band he used to work for they went out for breakfast and all ordered different things. When the order arrived and they all got the same kinds of eggs they pointed it out to the waitress. "This is not what we ordered," they said. "Oh," she said. She did not say "but that is what you will eat if you are wise" but it was implied.

So obviously, the woman in story A had been eating at the restaurant at story B. And because I happened to have my laptop with me, I didn't have to admit to the egg-orderers or the waitress in restaurant A that I was eavesdropping by telling them about restaurant B. I could just tell you all about it. Aren't you so lucky?

The Daily Paper is one of my favorite places in the Hyannis area. They are only open for breakfast and lunch, both of which they do spectacularly. And I'm not just saying that because we went to a Red Sox game with the owners once. It was like a blind date - we bought two of the available tickets and they bought the other two. We haven't been on any more dates together but I do like eating their food when I'm in town. They have a breakfast burrito that's pretty great. And Aaron makes fresh hollandaise throughout the morning. I am toying with the idea of offering to help him clean out the pans when he's getting ready to make a new batch.

The Daily Paper also serves my favorite Beanstock coffee - roasted in Wellfleet. I was here when John (one of the Beanstock owners) was delivering coffee one morning and now he thinks I'm a Beanstock stalker. And just so I don't have to bore the nice people at the next table with this story....

This one time (not at band camp) I was at Mahoney's Atlantic Bar & Grille with a group of friends which included my husband and baby daughter. One of my friends had just been told she should go easy on caffeine and so I (having recently been through a caffeine deprived pregnancy) told her about the Beanstock's Sumatra decaf. It is dark and rich and delicious. I went on and on about how great it is and where she could get it. I do that - go on and on about delicious things. In case you didn't know.

So shortly before we left, a handsome stranger leaned over the back of my chair and handed me a cocktail napkin with writing on it. I glanced at it long enough to see that there was a Phone Number involved. I glanced at my husband. I glanced at the stranger, who just said "read it" and left.

The note said: "Thank you for your support of Beanstock Coffee. Please call us and we'll send you your favorite kind." Turns out John was sitting behind us at the bar. We have been Level 3 friends ever since (see post below), although we have never been on a Red Sox double date.

Sometimes it pays to go on and on about the things you like.

Friday, January 11, 2008

live, on location

I am supposed to be at a friend's art studio right now. Okay, she does not exactly qualify as a friend, yet. I have Levels of Friend, you see. There is Level One, where when you call this friend you can just start talking. At Level Two you call a friend and identify yourself by name. Level Two-B requires first and last name. And Level Three requires first and last name as well as a brief description: "Hi, it's Daisy Pinwheel - I'm the one who accidentally ate your son's entire birthday cake during the pony rides." Level Three qualifies as "Acquaintance" unless the acquaintance is famous and then he or she is a Level Three Friend.

Clear?

Elizabeth is an L:2b - but only because Susan is such a common name. If I were named Euridice she would know right away who I was when I called.

Really, we're like, totally, friends.

Or we would have been by the end of the evening if I had actually been able to go to her Bring Your Own Craft Night at her studio. I was going to take my knitting, which presented a problem because I wanted to take pictures of her studio and do a bit of live blogging - to show you how cool I am, spending the evening in a real live artist's studio. Maybe I could have taken my laptop with a picture of my sweater on it and told them it's that new version of Guitar Hero - "Knitting Betty." You should hear the noise it makes when you drop a stitch.

I am not there because - surprise! - THERE IS A BAND AT MY HOUSE. I thought they'd be done by 6, but judging from the fact that the floor is still shaking, they are not. Chris told me "go on ahead, I'll turn the baby monitor on."

I heard: "go on ahead, I'll just put the kids in the car with the window open a crack since I won't be able to hear them anyway and at least that way I'll know where they are."

But the real reason I'm not on someone else's couch blogging is because it is dumping guinea pigs and chihuahuas out there. I tell you, if it keeps up I'm packing a lunch and walking down the road to wait it out on my neighbor's fishing boat. It's just not right, all this rain.

I don't mind driving in the rain, but I can't get the seat belt over my life vest. The studio is on the mainland - which means that when the bridge washes out I will have to swim home.

So here I am, not hanging out with artists. Call me -I have caller ID so you can just start talking.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

my invisible friend

Oh dear. The problem with not actually knowing the people whose blogs you read is that sometimes they vanish.

I hope they didn't vanish because some nosey person in the office found the blog. That would be dreadful.

Or maybe a cat fell through the ceiling?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

because Rain thinks I'm a study in contrasts

If you have done your math correctly, you may have noticed that things around my house don't always add up.

Tonight, for instance, there is a band playing downstairs. Live music! In my house! I am in my pajamas on the upstairs couch and my children are fast asleep in their room. There is nothing like ska to knock them out cold.

If you had a band in your house, you'd be sitting in your pajamas blogging, right?

Well I haven't been blogging the whole time. When Chris came up a bit ago I was vacuuming the livingroom and knitting. That's what we people with robotic vacuums do. And then I ate a chocolate covered pretzel - which I received for Christmas because I was especially nice last year (or because I am the only person I know who hasn't forsworn junky foods in the new year and no one else would take it).

It in turn reminded me of the time I lived in a Colorado ski resort.

I worked for a couple years in an art gallery. I use the term "art gallery" very, very loosely. I had to move 2,000 miles away before I could put it on my resume. We sold things like this:

Not my cup of tea.

And sometimes the customers were not very nice. When the people were especially not nice I would mosey down to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and visit my friends. There was a couple who were my parents age and they were kind to me. I would tell them how mean people were and they would start loading up a bag with chocolate.

Sometimes they would bring me treats. Like when the chocolate and caramel covered pretzels they used to build log cabins would break. I got those. And sometimes cookies.

Fortunately I was skiing nearly every day, or I would have weighed 800 pounds. And when I wasn't skiing I was in my little car careening over a mountain pass - shouting at slower drivers and listening to Nine Inch Nails - whipping into a parking garage just in time to hurl myself from the car, dash down a hall and arrive, panting and disheveled, at my ballet class.

Cue Chopin.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008



Lisa posted this site on her blog. It's a vocabulary quiz which results in donated grains of rice. I am addicted.

of bats and chickens

Today Lucy asked me if bats ate chickens. This reminded me of my fondness for bats and I suggested we build a bat house for them (after assuring her that no, they did not eat chickens). She got very excited about it and told me where we should put it and how we should make it, "and we'll put toys in for them!" she exclaimed.

Last time I was at PetSmart I totally missed the bat aisle. Bat toys, bat waterers, little guano-catchers and those cute little sweaters with holiday themes.

I had seen an article on making a Burlap Bat Boudoir in Mother Earth News a few weeks ago. A bat boudoir? Who doesn't want a bat boudoir? When I looked it up just now I noticed the sentence "I had a habit of storing old rugs and burlap sacks by hanging them over the rafters in my small barn and carport."

Really now? My husband has a habit of storing granite sinks in our driveway.

All this talk of chickens and bats and natural predators real and imagined made me realize that it was time to let the chickens run free again. They seem perfectly happy all safe in their coop, but when they are digging in leaves and dashing across the lawn they have an aura of euphoria to them. Yes, there is some danger a hawk will swoop down and carry one away (and introduce her to its friends and treat her like an exchange student), but there is nothing like seeing a clan of chickens come running when you call them.

And speaking of household pets, we have good news and bad news in the robotic vacuum department. Bad news: the new Jessica went belly-up within a week. Good news: iRobot tech support is as good as it was rumored to be and the new Jessica is now belly-down. More good news: in the process of resuscitating the new Jessica it became evident that the original Jessica could also be rehabilitated. A vacuum barely alive.
Gentlemen, we can rebuild her. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic vacuum. Jessica will be that vacuum. Better than she was before. Better, stronger, faster.
But we can't have two Jessicas. We would get confused. The Roombas would likewise get confused. So we asked Lucy to name Jessica's new sister.

Lucy's well-read. Heck, she's even been to an opera.

She named Jessica's sister "Ashlee." Where have we gone wrong?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

night visitors

It seems I am not the only one looking for baby Jesus. Granted, I may have been the only one trying to locate him for storage purposes. Today we went to see Cape Cod Opera perform Amahl and the Night Visitors. If you're not familiar with the opera, it's the story of the 3 Wise Men and how they stop at the home of Amahl and his mother on their way to visit Jesus. They are following a star - something I am embarrassed to say I hadn't thought of. It's so obvious.

I have a little bit of trouble referring to Amahl as an opera. After all, it's only an hour long. Even a 5 year old can sit through it. It hardly counts.

I saw Amahl and the Night Visitors once when I was in elementary school. They performed it at my best friend's Episcopal church. We were not Episcopalian but my mother let me go anyway. She also let me go to Sunday School there a few times. We made Shrinky Dinks. Sunday School rocks.

At the time, Amahl and the Night Visitors left me perplexed and underwhelmed. It may have been because I thought we were there to see Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Believe me, it is hard to make one synch up with the other.

After Cape Cod Opera we regrouped and headed off to a birthday party. I think having a January birthday is way better than having a December birthday, but it's still tough. Do people give you all the things they got from Christmas that they didn't like? Do they wrap your gift in Christmas paper? I have so many questions.

We arrived at Studley's bedtime, so he ran around in circles and jumped up and down for about half an hour before dropping off to sleep with a half eaten cracker in his hand. We put him in the pile of coats.

I think it's good to start falling asleep in the coat pile early in life. At the rate we are going, we'll take turns falling asleep in the coat pile before 2008 is out. We love parties but my goodness are we sleepy.

Friday, January 4, 2008

the aftermath

When I was a kid my dad assembled our stereo from a Heathkit. He liked that kind of stuff - prolonged agony and frustration with a (hopefully) functioning end product. The kits were bulky and technical and only slightly less complicated than my system for Christmas storage. Because everything has its own box, see? And they only go together this one particular way. Which only I know. Some year I will deconstruct Christmas when Lucy is awake so she can begin learning her rites of passage. Right down to throwing away the poinsettias. Maybe I should draw a diagram for future generations.

I think I got everything, except I am missing a baby Jesus. If anyone accidentally swiped a baby Jesus when they were last at my house, Mary, Joseph and a couple sheep are looking for him. It is a very small baby Jesus, but the Guatemalan creche looks like your average farm scene without him. And believe me, we have enough farm scenes around here.

I suspect Studley.

If Studley made off with him, all is well because we will discover its hiding place when we clean our house. Which will be just in time for next Christmas.


Thursday, January 3, 2008

him: "I felt like you today"
me: "you did?"
him: "I was running a script that makes separate files for each date - 12/29, 12/30, 12/31 and then it made 2008/01/01"
me: blank stare
him: "I've been doing it since the middle of last year so it's always just been the 2007 folder"
me: blank stare
him: "and then it made a whole new folder. 2008"
me: "and this made you feel like me?"
him: "yeah, sort of giddy."

Let it be known that I am sometimes giddy.
And that my husband needs to get out more.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

technicalities

Even though it is not March yet, Chris took the air conditioner out of our window. So now I can check "warmth" and "shelter" off my list of basic human blogging needs. The not-very-well-insulated air conditioner was next to my desk and I was starting to type with mittens on.

So now I have warmth and shelter and some nice background music.

The background music is coming from Chris' part of the world, where he is working on some songs. He calls it "mixing." Not to be confused with shaking, stirring or emulsifying. I like the song he's working on. I like it enough to want to hear it all the way through. But that is not my lot, because Chris works on a verse and then works on the verse again before he works on the same verse, again. Ad infinitum.

Here's a little secret for you: If you like listening to music, don't be a sound engineer. I have always loved listening to music and if I had to do what Chris does I would go out of my mind. Chris doesn't listen to music. He listens to dynamic range, intermodulation distortion and, you know, Fletcher-Munson curves. Not that I don't, mind you. Me and those Fletcher-Munson curves, we're tight.

I don't know what Fletcher-Munson curves are. I just googled "sound engineering terms to use in after dinner chat with husband" and that's what I came up with. I think FMC's have something to do with that gym my sister's been going to. She says they use headphones while they're working out, so I bet I'm right.

Here's another little secret for you: If you're planning to marry a sound engineer, don't go giving away your stereo. When I was packing up my stuff to start my new life I figured there was No Way I would need the stereo I had in college. In fact, it would probably be an embarrassment to all the great equipment I was marrying into. So I gave it away. I think I took it to the swap shop at the dump.

And then I got here and there was no place to play a cd. Or tapes. Or records. There were no iPods yet, but there wouldn't have been that either. Trust me. At one point we had a portable cd player plugged into the sound board which was all just tickety boo until he'd change one of the 65,000 nobs and nothing would come out when I'd press Power On. Which is what I know how to do. I'm also handy with Play. I am not handy with a whole row of volume controls.

We have remedied this situation over the years and now have the ability to play both cd's and the Ambient Fire dvd we got for Christmas, which I recommend. The link makes it look all highbrow and stuff, but don't be discouraged. It's really all one could ever hope for in a video of a fireplace. Chris wants to get the director's cut.

So meanwhile, the resolutions are going smashingly. Smashingly in that the easiest and most trivial one - eat breakfast every day - went by the wayside first thing this morning. But I didn't blame anyone and I was very orderly about it, so all's well.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

ring in the new

Happy New Year!

We were going to ring in the new year listening to some friends play in a particularly lovely bar, but a) our babysitter bailed and b) I just can't stay out that late. We had enough time to go out to dinner, where we had about 12 things. You know, just in case we decided to amend our resolutions and add "diet" or "lose 30 pounds" or some such nonsense.

After dinner we came home and had a very romantic evening of charting our 2008 business plan. Now that I think about it, if we follow through on the business plan I may lose those 30 pounds. It's ambitious.

We are not usually mistaken for ambitious people. We don't want a bigger house. We are not A types. But we do find certain projects very gratifying and have dreamed up several things which would be both gratifying and good for business. This is the year to follow through on those ideas.

With that in mind, I'm resolving to make order of the mayhem. I might even figure out how to use a calender. I feel like order is right there, waiting for me to notice and act on it. Like underneath our perceived chaos is simplicity and harmony just waiting to be lived.

I'm also resolving to stop blaming people for things even when it is obviously and unmistakably clearly so completely their fault.

I will probably not diet.

I think that's enough for now. I am still in my pajamas and already feeling a little overwhelmed.

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Note: Resolution to not diet is in full swing.