Posts Tagged: domestic

Friday Five

  1. What’s a food or drink whose bottom is better than its top?  Bubble tea! Also lentils monastery style from Diet for a Small Planet, because you grate the Swiss cheese into the bottom of your bowl before adding soup.
  2. What’s at the top of your weekend agenda?  I bought basil last weekend and haven’t made it into pesto cubes for the freezer yet, so that’s first priority.
  3. When did you last wear a non-hat covering for your head?  Um…I don’t wear scarves on my head much, and it’s been too warm for hoodies, and everything else is a hat? If my bike helmet counts, I wore it yesterday.
  4. What tunes did you spin this week?  Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” is my current earworm, because someone I follow on Twitter was proposed to (successfully) while it played in the background. And last night Sang and I started watching the fourth season of Shetland and both of us remembered how much we liked the music.
  5. When were you last on the roof of a building?  A few weeks ago when I checked out our rain gutters. Which need… something. Another drainpipe? Adjusting so downhill is toward the existing drainpipes? I’m hoping YouTube can help me figure it out before rainy season.

Questions courtesy of f.riday5.com

snowy day commute outfit

feet wearing doc martens with pink chiffon shoelaces, and stripey socks, against a snowy background

I don’t have snow boots, but these are usually fine in the modest amounts of snow we get in Portland. I never did track down the original shoelaces again after swapping them out to make a pastel-goth ballerina costume.

A day is not wasted if a cake is baked

a homemade pineapple upside down cake; photo has a red filter

Sometime in the past year or two Sanguinity saw a large jar of maraschino cherries. Her heart leapt with joy at the thought of having so many, so we bought the jar. Also, we said we could make pineapple upside-down cake at some point. The cherries sat in the top of the cupboard for a long time, but at some point we did also buy a can of pineapple rings to sit there with them.

Sometime in the past week or two Sang made an agar jasmine dessert from a packet– much like the opaque white jello-y dessert that dim sum places have. It was tasty. The picture showed it served with canned fruit cocktail, so we opened the jar of cherries. Once the remaining cherries were in the fridge and vulnerable to snacking, the clock was ticking on the upside-down cake.

Today was cake day! It is so sweet that the cherries are the tart part.

I took a terrible photo with my phone and while I was trying to improve it via LunaPic, which I quite like for my simple photo-editing needs but which does not seem to have a one-button “improve this photo” option, I accidentally saved a filtered-red copy over the original. I did in fact make this cake in an ordinary kitchen and not a photo darkroom.

First of December

At this convergence of the death of 41 and World AIDS Day, Bob Rafsky’s Bury Me Furiously curse is on my mind.

I pulled out the first sentence for each month in this blog for the traditional First Line Meme, but many are unsatisfyingly memes themselves, or the title of a book I already wrote about, and so on. So here are facts, updates, or other riffs on them instead. I was silent in February, April, and November.

  • Number of books currently checked out from the library: 97. Currently reading: All You Can Ever Know, by Nicole Chung. Also due back within a week and not renewable– I may or may not get to them: Geek Out: A Collection of Trans and Genderqueer Romance; My Year In the Middle; The Perfection of the Paper Clip: Curious Tales of Invention, Accidental Genius, and Stationery Obsession.
  • I just asked Sanguinity if we need our “it’s getting dark” walk now. It is a few minutes after four p.m. I generally need to get out under the sky second thing in the morning (after coffee & internet) for mental health; Sang can go later in the day, but doesn’t like to witness the gloom gathering in the  house.
  • I maintained once-a-week bike commuting in November. I get off work early on Wednesdays, so I can have a ride home that’s not in the dark. Soon the mornings will require supplemental lighting. When I bought my helmet I was between two sizes and went with the larger one; now I’m glad because the hood of my thin hoodie fits underneath, keeping rain off the back of my neck and warming my ears.
  • Logging my mileage on foot at Dailymile has become quite spotty– I don’t like having one more thing to fiddle with online. But I still want to keep track for the Million Mile Ultra, at least until I complete the 10,000-mile fun run (it will be a few years). So maybe….paper? Also, I was poking around the NaNo forums, and Dunx has logged a million words over the years!
  • language_escapes alerted me to The Claudia Kishi Club, a documentary in progress now raising funds on Kickstarter.
  • Most recent convenience-store purchase: sugar wafers, because they were 99 cents and everything else was $1.29 or more.
  • I daydream about painting a lot, but hardly ever do it.

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!