Posts Tagged: domestic

Friday Five: Not Off the Wall

I didn’t have access to Friday Five prompts when I felt like answering them today, so I started my own set: What (if anything) have you had on your walls, as a kid and now? But then I wrote until I had five parts of an answer to this one question, so I’m doing it wrong, oh well!

  1. My mom likes French Impressionist painting, so my sister and I had Renoir prints on the wall of our room. Mine was Girl With a Hoop and my sister’s was A Girl With a Watering Can.
    Girl With a Hoop, oil painting by Renoir

    me

    Girl With a Watering Can, oil painting by Renoir

    my sister

    In my head, Girl With a Hoop’s name was Louisa and she wasn’t that nice– a bit stuck-up when we talked. I never spoke to Girl With a Watering Can.

  2. I chose light blue when I moved into my own bedroom (formerly my mom’s sewing room) and got to pick the color. Later I wished I’d picked a glossier cream color, to go with the dark brown furniture. But I was five, five-year-olds don’t think about cream as a color or know about semi-gloss paint.
  3. Kidspirational posters (Hang In There!) that teachers gave away at the end of the year, calendar pictures, maps from National Geographic (Space and The Crusades were my favorites), magazine collages. I think I chose the magazine portraits for size and look as much as subject, which is why Philip Glass’ face is weirdly prominent in my mental landscape. (There was also Cher and… Steve Jobs?!)
  4. When I first arrived in Portland, my college orientation group rode the bus downtown (look for the brown beaver icon to find your way back!) and went to a cheap-imports store to get stuff for our dorm rooms. I knew I wanted a poster, but what would I not regret or tire of? Thus I spent my college years looking at a big photo of vegetables in a basket.
  5. Now the art on our walls is mostly pieces by Sanguinity and me and our friends and family. Sang’s yarn sheepdog over the bed (soft in case an earthquake dumps it on our heads), my portrait of her and Louie the dog as Athena and owl, Sang’s college drawings of a downtown church, a painting by her grandmother, a signed Dr. Eldritch comic, 3D pieces by Bookherd and Nicole hanging inside the IKEA bookshelves. I feel very rich in art. The living room also has a world map (but you have to stand on the sofa arm to read it closely) and a laminated periodic table. I think if our house has a decor, it’s “Classroom,” down to the clock.

Five Things Meme

Five things you’ll find in my bag backpack:

  1. my fleece winter hat that I use as a cushioned pouch for lunch food
  2. ziploc “possibles bag” (i.e. things I might possibly need), currently has teabags, binder clip, quarter, bandaids, ibuprofen, antihistamine, dental floss
  3. eyeglass case containing tampons, ibuprofen, and spare pair of contacts in case I break my glasses and still need to drive somewhere
  4. drawing supplies: blue non-photo pencils, extra-fine sharpie, blank 4×6 index cards in a ziploc bag
  5. spare deodorant: Old Spice Deodorant for Nocturnal Creatures: Wolfthorn, which oddly smells exactly like lemon-lime soda

Five things you’ll find in my room:

  1. my alarm clock, a small battery-powered cheapie
  2. photo of sang and me in our opera duds in 1993, a stand-in for a wedding photo since we don’t have one. She’s in white tie (head shaved), I’m in her former prom dress.
  3. the small cedar box I made in woodshop in eighth grade, with a rose wood-burned on top: currently holds jewelry, much of it broken
  4. “rice socks” that are actually nicely sewn bags with slipcovers even, but we still call them that from when we used tube socks. Filled with rice for microwaving, essential for cold bedtimes.
  5. the Box of All Tapes (scotch tape, masking tape, painter’s tape, packing tape, doublestick tape) that got moved onto the bureau when the windows were being refurbished and never found another home.

Five of my favorite things:

  1. dogs
  2. trees
  3. chocolate milk
  4. library books
  5. mac and cheese

Five things I’m currently into:

  1. learning Japanese kanji and vocab at http://wanikani.com
  2. Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series. I’ve reread the first four and have now gotten to the one I haven’t read yet!
  3. berry season
  4. the front porch
  5. using https://checkvist.com for weekend and evening to-do lists

Five things on my to-do list:

  1. clean the gutters, figure out what the deal is with that one, and trim back encroaching tree limbs. Save bay leaves for shellynoir.
  2. email my parents. (a frequently listed item)
  3. finish that 1940s children’s book that’s overdue at the university library
  4. dishes (frequently listed item)
  5. try that barre workout DVD I checked out from the library

 

Medusa: An Approximated Dialogue

cover of Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, by Alison Bechdel

Sanguinity: What is this? This package here with your name on it… that’s still sealed?

Me: Well… I did something that I am ambivalent about.

Sanguinity: You are ambivalent about opening a package?!

Me: Not opening the package is the expression of my ambivalence.

Sanguinity: About…?

Me: I bought the big hardback Dykes to Watch Out For collection from Amazon.

Sanguinity: What’s the part you’re ambivalent about?

Me: …

Sanguinity: That it’s from Amazon?

Me: Mo would be disappointed in me.

Sanguinity: Mm.

Me: I looked for a used copy at Powell’s, several times over several months!

Sanguinity: Let’s put this in perspective. How often do you think Mo is disappointed in herself?

Me: Almost all the time.

Sanguinity: How often is Mo, when she’s going through her day, like “That thing I just did, that was good, go me.”

Me: Hardly ever.

Sanguinity: Hardly ever. Mo has not made peace with being caught in late capitalism. She is still wrapped up in the idea that her individual actions can somehow escape it.

Me: Mm.

Sanguinity: Now, I do insist that you blog your disappointment in yourself.

Curtain.

Smells and Words

I wish I could post smells, because this is Pesto-Making Weekend and it’s sooooo fragrant. I supplemented our garden basil with some from Trader Joe’s, but once the garden harvest was in a heap on the kitchen floor I saw it was more than I expected. Pesto will be abundant this winter, hooray! (We freeze it in ice cube trays, sans parmesan.)

Sanguinity made onion gravy last night and that smell was also heavenly. We ate it on fries, poutine without the cheese curds. (The last few times I tried buying cheese curds, they did not squeak when bitten! I was disappointed.) Right now I’m making mashed potatoes for the leftover gravy.

I learned on Tumblr tonight that Merriam-Webster has a Time Traveler feature where you can look up which words and phrases were born (er, first used in print) in a given year. Here are a few the same age I am:

  • bad hair day
  • comfort food
  • granola (!)
  • labradoodle (!)
  • wish list

Surprises from my mom’s era: it says poster child and private eye were both new in 1938.

A Happy Series of Events

  • Shellynoir leaves Sang and me six tall IKEA bookcases when she moves to Brooklyn. They take up a whole wall of the living room. But
  • for several years they are mostly empty, because it is vexing to figure out how to attach them to the wall so they won’t kill us in an earthquake.
    • old-school lathe and plaster wall in which it is difficult to find studs
    • baseboard that keeps the shelves from standing quite flush with the wall. It doesn’t seem right to remove and saw up the baseboard for shelving if it’s not built-ins. But!
  • for my birthday, Sang Does The Thing!
    • buys boards to affix to the wall, solving the baseboard gap problem, and even paints them to match the wall, with paint the previous owner left behind for us in the basement in 1996
    • gets toggle bolts to fasten the boards to the wall, even though making 5/8″ holes in the plaster is unnerving
    • fastens the bookcases to the boards with L brackets.
  • We go to IKEA for a few extra shelves. And breakfast.

IKEA breakfast with eggs, sausage, pancakes, potatoes, and jam. Cup of coffee and juice box behind plate.

Two dollars! excluding coffee and elderflower drink.

Things that now have a designated place on the living room shelves:

  • current household files
  • shoe box of correspondence to be saved
  • my university library books
  • my TBR that are not library books
  • my borrowed-from-individuals books
  • footstool that Bookherd made
  • art supplies TBD – colored pencils and sketchpads?
  • picture books
  • OED, Oregon road atlas, Sunset Garden Book, Chinuk Wawa dictionary, and a few other reference books
  • the globe
  • comics
  • poetry
  • coffee table books
  • empty shelf for the kitty
  • Legos, Zoob, K’Nex
  • games
  • art and photos from friends
  • pop-up books
  • Sang’s research project books, mostly from university library
  • Sang’s Holmesiana
  • yoga mat, foam roller, rollout-stick

Now, in addition, the mostly-fiction in the other room won’t be so overstuffed, and shelving will be easier there too. I am very, very pleased.

Throwback Thursday: Runway Walk

illustration of style show from A Dream For Addie

I surprised sanguinity this morning with a skill from my past– a practiced runway walk, complete with stop, pivot, and graceful gestures at features of my clothing as they are described by the narrator (who was also me).

I learned it in 4-H, because we had a fashion show every year to show off the clothes we sewed, knitted, and crocheted.

Granted, mine is the smiley midwestern version, more A Dream For Addie than Project Runway. But then, I was modeling a Rick-Rack Rhapsody navy-blue t-shirt from JCPenney. Frump Power!

Monday Magpie

I save up links by posting them with “Only Me” access in FaceBook. Here’s a few that I still find of interest:

  • I enjoyed Victoria “Winnie the Pow” Jamieson’s Roller Girl, pitch-perfect and set in Portland, and of course it made me think about what my derby name should be if I ever join a league. Fuse Eight riffed on kidlit derby names (Nancy Drew Blood. Jacob Have I Shoved.) a few years ago. I am pleased to see that Ramona the Pestilence isn’t taken yet, per the registry. Maybe someday.
  • Audre Lorde’s first published poem appeared in Seventeen magazine! Here’s a little more about it, with quotes from her autobiography Zami about her group of high-school friends, their support and their silences. Now I really want to read Zami.
  • Matt de la Peña’s Newbery acceptance speech was published this morning and it has EVERYTHING. Kid-Matt with his school librarian, what The Phone Call was like, the make-me-cry-at-the-end part, it’s classic and perfect! *snif*

———————————————————

five pink roses blooming in a corona from one stem

First there was one large bloom with a corona of buds, and now all the coronal buds have bloomed. Their fragrance is so wonderful that I find myself thinking that watering and protecting this rose is sufficient purpose in life. I’m going to spend the evening sitting down-breeze from it in the backyard.

What to Put on French Fries

Sanguinity over-browned some roux while making creamed spinach and decided to start over. Later she turned the browned batch into Sauce Espagnole, and we rediscovered how wonderful our 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking is:

Legion are the children of this mother-sauce, and only the cook’s clumsiness or lack of ingenuity need convert them into the changelings we lump together as “gravy.”

Graaaaaavy.

hot and cold

The outdoor part of the heat pump started making an alarming rattle; since it’s freezing rain season, sanguinity thinks it has ice built up inside somewhere. Therefore, we are now running the A/C full blast to push warm air from the living room out past the mechanism and hopefully melt the ice. Then if it works we can heat the house again, maybe.

I have turned on the electric blanket in case it’s an early bedtime instead.

Inappropriate heating and cooling seems to be a bit of a theme in our life: rolling up the windows and blasting the car heater in the summer for “car sauna” to acclimate for Badwater, rolling down the windows and blasting the car heater that Christmas the dog rolled in dead fish and we couldn’t stand to be enclosed with him, and de-smoking the house that time during the Snowpocalypse when the exercise ball caught on fire on the old furnace grate.

The heat pump controls for air conditioning go down to 64 degrees. Economically sensible, but inadequate for certain experiments or, say, a Mr. Popper’s Penguins scenario. Fortunately, you can hit a button with a little picture of a strongman flexing his bicep, and the heat pump gives it all it’s got for 20 minutes. We call him Skookum-Man.