I look for my heart it’s curtido

An online popular photo editor that shall not be named (that’s enough out of you, “Motofuckit”) seems to be shitting the bed as far as photo editing functions go right now. I gave up and resized my photos in Paint. MS PAINT, I tell you.

Ah well.

I have been eating saintishly this month, which I will probably carry on. My Whole 30 will extend past the 30th day to become a Whole Slow Decline and March to the Grave. Okay, not really. I never hyperbolize, though, do I?

Seriously though, I am eating loads of good fats, and I am rarely snacky in that locust way I always was when I was eating wheat. I always felt like Tantalus because I was always starving and I knew whatever I ate would make me feel bad.

Pineapple tomatoes, which are doing well due to our extended summer here (seems to be over now, if the torrential rain this morning is any indication), cucumbers, homemade curtido by P., sauteed beet greens offa some beets we got at the farmer’s market, and Asian meatballs.

“You’re eating like this every day?” my new endo said. (OR SHOULD I SAY, “friendo??” Too soon.)


“Well that is a healthy diet,” she said.

I don’t have a scale at home but it looks like based on my weigh in at the last doctor’s visit last month I am losing about a pound a week. Not bad for shoveling in avocados like they are going out of style. I love lazy “fitness.” HA.

Edith is attempting to gain weight. She ate Franny’s entire lipgloss today after the cat knocked it onto the floor. I wanted to go to the store but I am on Shitpocolyse Watch 2014. That has to come out soon, right?? She is such a piglet–almost steamrolled me for the dregs of my bottle of peary last night. That dog loves booze.


Or any attention, really.

Horace might be getting more attention if he could figure out how to get back inside.

SERIOUSLY, BRO? We had one of these in the last house, too.

A nice reader (and I imagine a fully realized human being when not making blog comments) asked if I would post menus/recipes for my upcoming noir festival for a cookalong/watchalong. Yes, of course. Tonight will be rather slapdash as I have mentioned, but after this there will be a full roadmap. With standard “modern” recipes that I won’t have to convert. (Err except for making them gluten free. Why should this be easy?)

I am going to the library tomorrow after they take their bucket of blood at the lab and I will post up the menus/recipes with the films in a “master” post on Saturday. I’ll link back to this on Fridays when I put my results of the evening up (pictures and a brief discussion of the cuisine and films). Feel free to skip Fridays if you are utterly bored by cookery efforts, and I will be posting in between then.

Here is a preview of what my jerks are getting for dessert, since we are really only doing dark chocolate this month:

Falcons and little chocolate guns. (But SJ those look like parrots) QUIET YOU! I defy you to find Maltese Falcon candy molds! Seriously, I would love that. Maybe I should take their little tails off?

I gently melted some 70% dark and added a little cinnamon, cayenne, and chopped pecans to the wee falcons. SPICY YUMS.

Advance to Dream Speaking

Twin Peaks! I went to Twin Peaks. And then I didn’t write about it until two weeks later. I am making a resolution to blog more, because I think it will be good for me right now, like when I was whacked out of my mind on steroids a few months ago. I drove the El Camino, which is VERY comfortable on long trips, and enabled me to have many conversations with 60-year-old white men, as usual.

I stayed in Fall City this time. In case you are not familiar, there are a few towns that are close together that were used as Twin Peaks filming locations, and Fall City is one of them. I stayed at the Roadhouse, which was the exterior site of the Bang Bang Bar in the show.

A river side room

My room was called a “river side” room and technically it was, I am aware there is a river out there somewhere. I just can’t see it. I suppose it would not do to call this the “biker bar and burned-out gas station view” room.

Friday night was Lynch movie night, and the fest was showing Fire Walk with Me, which I have never seen on the big screen. Charlotte Stewart sat right in front of me and Chris Mulkey was nearby. I didn’t want to bother him, but he was being monopolized anyway by a guy who writes TP fan fic, which is definitely an avenue worth exploring. I assume in his universe, Agent Cooper and Audrey Horn were crashing the custard truck from about day one, and if not, someone (cough) should rectify that.

I sat next to two men from Sweden, but I was feeling introverted so I kept my nose in my book since I arrived pretty early. Movie night is a long night that involves shorts and special features when the VIPs are there, and then the movie afterward. It can easily go four-plus hours in the most uncomfortable theatre seats known to man.

The RR Cafe, across from the theatre.

I tuned in and out of my book, eavesdropping on the conversations around me, especially the Swedes who were next to me. I gleaned that the one nearest me was a scientist, and had been working in another state for six weeks. His friend left during the intermission and when the theatre was almost empty the scientist let out a loud yawn and stretched a little.

“Oh, don’t do that,” I said, startling him. Whoops.

“What?” he said, looking alarmed.

“Yawn,” I said. “Sorry. It was a joke. You’re going to make me yawn.” And I did.

“Oh, I thought you meant don’t do this.” He yawned and fake stretched. “Like I was going to put my arm around you.” It made me laugh so hard.

“I am only offended by yawning,” I said.

I REALLY want a copy of this game.

The back of the instruction booklet.

Saturday morning I came down to breakfast at the restaurant below the inn’s rooms too early, before they had opened. The inn allows access to the dining room from the front stairs. I encountered a very nice waitress there who let me sit for the fifteen or so minutes it took to properly open, and she even poured me some coffee while I waited. I had spoken to her yesterday while I was waiting for my room to be ready, and she grilled me about the events of the festival.

An empty cafe with HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN? posters outside.

I was working on a Lawrence Block book, naturally, since I always buy him second-hand in whatever city I’m in. It’s vacation reading.

A few minutes later the other servers showed up. One woman who was not my waitress had a lot to say about the bus tour that would arrive twice that day.

“And they get out, and they take a picture of a WALL, and they get on the bus and leave. They don’t even come in. It’s about the dum–”

“SHE’S with the festival,” my waitress said, by way of dropping hint anvils on her moronic coworker. I looked up from my book to find the nice waitress pointing at me.

“Hi there,” I said, giving her a little wave.

“Oh but the festival’s awesome though,” the other woman finished.

“They kind of rush you on and off the bus,” I explained. “I did it last year. There’s a lot of sites to visit.”

“And now, look, she’s staying here this year,” my server said.

“Did you watch the show?” I asked the tour critic.

“No, that was the one with John Corbett, right?”

“I think you’re thinking of Northern Exposure? That was filmed in Washington, too.”

“Oh, okay, right,” she said. “What should I say if I see some of them today?”

“Ask them if they’ve seen Bob,” I said.

“Okay. Have you seen Bob,” she said to herself.

“And I’m not yanking your chain,” I said.

“Ha ha! I guess you could be and I’d have no idea!”

On Saturday afternoon I noodled around and ended up at Snoqualmie Falls. Last year when I was with Morgan, the hiking trail was closed due to rain, but it was open this year. I knew I would be exhausted but I was compelled to go anyway.

I was greatly reminded of the last time I had hiked in a beautiful park on a warm day, which was in Maui in February. I thought about how my calves were seizing up and my system was shutting down that day, and barfing and a high fever was eminent. I felt nervous but like I had to keep going.

No one knows who built these pipes or what they are for. Pudding?

I hiked down to the falls, slowly. I climbed over the wooden railing to the “emergency falls access” like dozens of other people were doing, including hugely pregnant women, people with toddlers, dogs, and so forth. It didn’t seem like a big deal, even though strictly speaking it was not allowed.

I triumphantly slumped on a rock in the middle of the river, an unenticing, tired mermaid. “Sure, steer your ship to the rocks, what do I care?”

My hair is so dry right now. I know I am still growing out bleached hair from a few months ago, but what is coming back in is finer and dry. Also it is coming out in clumps and wads. It’s maybe hard to tell from the picture, but my face was also swollen. Normally the cartilage at the end of my nose is kind of articulated and makes a divot. Totally gone here.

I found a Sophie Kinsella book in a second hand shop that morning and I chucked it in my purse in case I wanted to sit somewhere and read something mindless that did not involve pistol-whipping and triple-crosses. I pulled it out at the bottom of the falls so I could sit in the sun and listen to the whoosh whoosh sound and dip my feet in and out of the river when I got warm. What a mistake. I should know I only like romance novels for men, like Max Allen Collins or Block.

As an aside, I am watching The Sopranos fifteen years after it was popular, and there is so much he-said, he-said that it is like a butchy Desperate Housewives. Except they do actually blow up and start punching and shooting each other, which I guess separates it from chick lit.

So I did all this hiking in flip flops and a denim pencil skirt, because I am an idiot. I only scraped my knee a little and cut my hand on the “emergency access only past this point” sign.

This is “The Bookhouse,” a secret club in the Twin Peaks universe for good guys. I talked to the bartender about it and he said last year during the festival, there was a dust up with a squatter who was living there. I told him we had been shouted at by the squatter and we heard he was brandishing a gun, though I didn’t actually see it. Shortly afterwards, he had been chased out, and now it stands empty. Adjoining businesses have tried to purchase the lot, but the landowner won’t sell.

I felt safe approaching it from the Roadhouse parking lot this year.

When I came back I took a shower and loafed around for a bit, trying to decide if I was going to the banquet or not. I figured I had pretty much used up all my gas for that day, but I put on my dress and lipstick anyway. I have been trying to force myself to do social things since my desire to interact with other people has pretty much vanished for the moment.

Ultimately I decided I had had enough fun for one day and that it was too hot to bother. I took off my dress and lipstick and put on my summer robe, and cranked up the tiny AC unit in my window. Plus I figured the buffet-style dinner would be a lot of cheap stuff, like pasta and bread, that I couldn’t really eat. I heard later that the community center where they have the banquet was miserably, boiling hot and I felt that affirmed my decision.

I dressed later and went to the bar and had a Laura Palmer (tea, lemonade, strawberry puree, vodka), a salad, and some lamb chops. I took a walk around Fall City, nibbling blackberries off the vine here and there as the sun set, and then relaxed in my room, reading.

Unfortunately, I slept very poorly because my door kept rattling due to a vacuum effect from an outside door in the hallway. So when I woke up on Sunday morning at 6:30, I decided to skip the cherry pie picnic and just come home and see my people. I’d had my fill of solitude at that point, though I found it very refreshing to have an excuse go alone and noodle around. Next year Franny wants to come, so I will do more festival stuff then.

Franny, my sister, and I also have plans to do a viewing of Fire Walk with Me, and the recently released “missing pieces” soon, which will double the length of the movie and supposedly makes it all more understandable.

I was happy to come home to a giant crock of fermenting pickles.

P. said he was going to clean up before I came home (the kitchen had exploded some) but I was too early. I was glad to be home, mess and all.

In Other News

Okay, so, obviously I have gotten my thyroid results back by now, and they are “high normal.” This means that some endocrinologists will not see me at all. I have found a “liberal” one who is interested in the fact that my grandmother had hers out and my mother has Graves’ disease. Unfortunately he is booked until October. For sanity until then, I am back on my off label self-medication that kills a lot of my inflammation. My nose divots are back! I don’t want to stick my head in an oven due to pain! An infected wound that would not heal is finally flat and painless, healing! FML! I am also going to get allergy testing done on Tuesday, so I will be able to eliminate some foods as a ramp up to seeing this endocrinologist.

The basement is creeping along. Yay! P. bought some goop from Florida that is a by-product of juice oranges. It’s basically super Goo-Gone. It ate the mastic off the floor that glued on the sad, ugly floor tiles.

We’ve decided to acid etch/stain the original floor. This is going to be quite an experiment.

“Meathead.” “Do not call me this.”

My sister and I stayed up tooo late last night talking shit about the apocalypse and some other stuff. And drinking rosé and eating rosemary fried chicken.

I forgot how much she remembered about way back in ye olde days when she was like, six. She gave Strudel an earful of how I was in some kind of Harry Potter situation. I was kind of cringing as she was telling her niece about my parents’ plans to lock up the food, so I would go away like some kind of stray cat, and the other plan to spend all the college money. Among other things, but she didn’t mention those.

It was true though. I can’t imagine how this sounded to Strudel. Probably completely fucking absurd. There’s A LOT the girls don’t know, because why?

It’s a weird thing to think about, the fact that my sister was subjected to watching me be treated very poorly. I know my mother had a lot of “survivor’s guilt” over how brutally my grandma would beat her step siblings. And I think about how my mother put my sister through that. Rinse, repeat.

I don’t hurt children; I have always turned the knife on myself.

“You are VERY lucky,” Morgan told Strudel.

It’s not very hard, I said. Step one: don’t be crazy.

Afterwards I went out to lock up the chickens, late, and there was a disgusting slug orgy happening on my porch. They were LITRILLY

fucking in a slimy pile.

I got out one of my work gloves and threw them all VERY FAR over the fence. PROPER. My porch is the perfect storm of chicken pellet crumb, since the bucket is stored there, and moisture from plant pots. There are jizzy slug trails over the sides of my house, on shoes, on window screens, errrwhere. YUCK.

Speaking of stray cats and chickens, Goethe decided to stomp around in the chicken run tonight.

What are you DOOIN?

Last weekend, after months of saving money and waiting for it to get warm, Strudel and I collabo’d on a lemonade stand. She is saving up for a laptop so she can geek out with her creek out. I bought her a bank in April and glued the buttplug in so she could not embezzle from her LLC. She has been counting down to smashing it.

Don ye now our mom’s onion goggles.


It was successful. I piled the table and such into the Elco and took it to a busy corner in our neighborhood. “You should write on the sign that it’s fresh-squeezed” a guy in a van said. We’re going to do it every weekend until the rains come.

Krumpy was in town and we met at Matt’s, which has to be one of my all-time favorite Seattle restaurants. I hoped she would like it, since she has fancy NY taste. I wore a silk dress and was on the verge of sweating the whole time, but not quite. This is a pretty awesome summer.

The ice cream of the weekend was salted black licorice. I like ouzo and fennel and absinthe but I cannot hang with salted licorice.


It was for Mr. P., who has like only seven taste buds.

Look who got a summer buzzzzzzzz.


The smallest drop of pre-Christmas can get you immaculate pregnant so always wear your rugelachs

Wherein we feature two basketball hoops, 70 quail eggs, Edith, “ten years ago”, and &etc.

PRESENTLY (h/t B-Potts) we are seated in the dining room, surrounded by the aroma of natural gas (well, okay, that gross stuff they use to scent it) and the windows open. There is a terrible grinding sound coming from the floor below me, but I am promised that the washing machine will be working by tonight, which is a fucking Xmas miracle in December. The cats and Horace are looking at me murderously, but Edith is chewing on a tendon that is almost as long than she is, with the attitude, “Tro lolo, it has always been this way and so I suppose it will always be.”

Puppies, like Earth girls, are easy.

I’m on vacation. Yah-TAH. I have no plans except to get out of town to Portland at some point soon. I’m enjoying hiding in my house when there is not banging noises. I think I like almost anything that changes my perspective some, which this remodel is doing. It has renewed my enthusiasm about having access to my very own personal washer and dryer that is accessible at any time day or night. That is really fucking special, isn’t it? How fortunate.

There have been small trials along the way, mostly under the column of capitalism fails. My contractor and I got our wires crossed and I ordered a tub and then he ordered a tub. Two tubs were hurtling towards my house from Kentucky. What a waste! My tub, which as it turns out was the wrong tub, had a bunch of fixtures I needed to fish out from under it, which involved cutting it off its pallet. I was afraid to have the tub come all the way to my house, thinking it would be a major fiasco to find strapping equipment to restrap it, and that it would take up too much room, since the non-Elco half of the garage is filled with things like dodgy dirt piles and tools.

So I decided the most efficient thing would be to drive to the shipping company that received the tub. They were amenable to this and were nice men to boot. One helped me undo the tub, fish the shower and sink fixtures out, and restrap it. I offered to pay for the materials but they waved me away. It was pretty cool to go out to a freight company in Woodinville. I need to find a job where I can hang out all kinds of places where no one wants me, like the laundromat and freight companies. I really wish I would have brought my camera. The office/dispatch area reminded me of some blue collar jobs I had in the way back before college. My back hurt just looking at the “YOU MUST BE COMPLETELY OFF DUTY FOR YOUR BREAKS” sign. I did get a sneak peek of the chrome lion footies as they will look on the correct tub and HOOBOY TACKY SHINY BONER AHOY.

The medicine chest arrived and when I brought it into the house I could hear the contents tinkling merrily–the mirrors were totally shattered. Also I have bought entirely too much tile, because I measured the basement before the plumber showed up and changed the design. The day they cut the cement floor open, many spaghetti poodles as well as other brik-a-brak jumped to their deaths off the shelf, gouging my toilet seat on the way down. There was something I’d never seen before that was original to the house–an electrical lock that opened the garage door, which was the entrance I was using for the workers. This lock is broken now. It’s these little things that I didn’t foresee happening that are adding to costs and are just kind of generally a bummer. It will be worth it when it’s done, though, and I am sitting in a giant vat of hot water reading a Lawrence Block novel.

I put the tile together last weekend to make sure I liked it and the design. This will be, basically, what the shower looks like when it’s done. If you cock your head to the left 90 degrees you will see what the vanity backsplash is meant to look like. Everything else is chrome and white.

This lighting is terrible, but let me assure you it’s a light green and black–Daltile “Mint Ice.” I decided to dance with the one what brung me and make the basement look like the upstairs. So, darker border tile, a “sizzle” tile and BINGO. It’s surprisingly hard to walk into a modern local tile store and get your mittens on boring 50s tile. HA.

Speaking of trashy writing like vintage Lawrence Block–I have written another short story, but unlike the one this spring which turned into a novella (whoops) and the one after that in the summer that turned into a novel (double whoops) this is an ACTUAL SHORT STORY. It’s about a woman who splits in two. I’m going to submit it to a few “exposure” (free) journals and see what happens after New Years. So that is a good thing that came out of my laundromatting.

I have been doing very little cooking, since my water is unpredictably off or on, and almost no entertaining. I did pickle a bunch of quail eggs on a whim, so these should be delicious in about three weeks. I used the last of my long pepper from my Victorian year. As well as allspice and mustard seed, so they will be Victorian goodness.

On one of my last days of work I decided to take the Elco out. It’s only coming out about weekly now, since it does not run as well in the cold, and as the former owner told me, “If the roads are icy and the back is empty, the rear can catch up with the front of the car and kill you.” Oh, okay. Good times. It’s rarely icy here, though, and the sunrises have been glorious lately. I think this car was made to be in Seattle now, really. Anyway I was driving it home and the volt gauge for the battery started jerking around.

“Nooooooo!” I melodrama-ed, which is my reaction every single time it’s not running perfectly. I ran home and played internet mechanic until I found out it was probably one of five things, all likely to do with the alternator. “What is an alternator,” I wondered to myself. I have made a vow to learn how cars go and so far I am doing okay with a lot of help. I gave P. the rundown of my findings and he volunteered to take a look. In previous lives before library school he was a tractor mechanic and a fishing boat mechanic, and what is an El Camino if not the bastard child of a boat and a tractor?

I added the weekly big gulp of oil and he looked from the other side. “Loose wire,” he said. I was so happy! I need to get a grip. (Not going to happen.)

As a finale to the 2013 part of the school year, Strudel performed in the holiday concert. She is in choir now, so she got to participate in almost every number done by each grade. Franny and I came to the school early so we could drop Strudel off with her music gang and we took a seat with a cherry view on the world’s most uncomfortable bleachers. There is not enough legroom for adults so all the parents end up sitting sideways and twisted for every event in the gym.

LO AND BEHOLD who should enter and make a beeline for where we were sitting but Loudmouth Nemesis Dad, who I have not seen since Halloween, thank fuck. Wait, what is someone who is like a baby nemesis who you only remember exists when you see them? A nemesette.

This jackwagon sat behind us and started making loud declarations about how busy they were and how stressed out his wife was. He has the loudest, most booming voice that can cut through, well, a gym full of parents and their excited children. “Well there’s the tree fundraiser,” he foghorned. “And my wife is busy with the wine fundraiser. She has to collect 35 more bottles! She is totally overwhelmed! And then we’re driving to Idaho for two weeks to visit my wife’s family…”

“Do you want to move?” I asked Franny.

“So much,” she said.

Our new seats were farther away on the other side and involved a very unpicturesque view of a basketball hoop. It was PERFECT.

SO. Let’s talk about TEN YEARS AGO. I am all over the place today, and I cannot even be arsed to use chapter headings or anything.

ANYWAYS. Look, Ma, I left my husband.

Am I different at 36 than I was at 26 with a three-year-old and totally freaked out? Yeah, I suppose I am. I’ve learned a lot, but sometimes I feel like the things I’ve learned about I will not have to go through again. Like, uh…tech contracting, maybe? I know how to do it, but I may never have to call on that special skill set again. I think I’m better at life in general. I learned how to go through a terrible divorce with years of custody fallout shit. Probably won’t do that again, because I know how to detangle myself from things now, as well as not getting with people who are rill bad for me.

This is what I, personally, would do differently, if my 36-year-old self was standing behind that little baby 26-year-old graduate student (ha).

1. Document all violence, big and little. I should have taken a picture of where his fist went through the wall, and when he put the doorknob of my new apartment through the wall. I should have called the cops when he was smashing the backyard. I should have called the cops and documented when he assaulted me after our separation, because then I might not have had to deal with the humiliation of the commissioner telling me in court that I “looked like I could take him.”

2. I should have kicked him out of our shared home. This, along with the documentation of violence, may have put me in a different standing for custody. I was operating from a place of personal ethics–it was not my house (his father owned it), so I felt like I had no right to stay. I’m sure my ex-FiL wouldn’t have minded, and if I’d daylighted the violence outside of court they might not have given him money. Hard to say now.

3. I should not have bothered trying to be friendly. This was a person I could barely talk to before I told him I was leaving him, so there was no point trying to chat with him after. I don’t think it hurt anything, per se, it was mostly just a waste of time and a headache. Cordiality and basic communication is different than friendly.

4. This is so small I hesitate to even mention it, but I left way too many things behind. Once the dust settles and you heal up emotionally, there was a lot of stuff I missed. Art I bought in Mexico, other dishes and appliances I’d had for years. I had to trade him a brand new Mark Bittman cookbook just to get the basic bitch Betty Crocker thing I taught myself to cook with, that I am emotionally attached to. Of course all the lovely Mexican art has been chucked now, but it was important that he keep it all at the time.

What would any of this have changed? Again, hard to say. You are rolling the dice when you set foot in family court. I’d like to think we could have avoided those two loooong years of 50/50 custody, as well as his bullshit claims that we should go back to 50/50 time when I filed for child support. But he moved away and his attention wandered eventually, so she has one room and a home base in the end. Would I do it again? Of course, in a heartbeat, and I would do it even more poorly if necessary. Things like my calavera last supper and my dignity lives on in my memory, at least. Merry Fuckmas.

364 More Days Til Halloween, Silver Shamrock

It was a gorgeous, warm night last night. Strudel’s wig fell off, after which I told her she could tell people she was Sarah from Orphan Black.

We ran into a big gaggle of people and I saw it was led by this blowhard from the girls’ school who makes me insane. He was stage-fathering his daughter in a ten minute kindergarten play, stage whispering her lines at her. He’s one of those people who reminds me of jackwagons I knew in high school who were always surrounded by others of their kind, always the center of attention, always the loudest. There’s always that guy when you grow up and have children of your own.

His wife, who seems saner, was with him and she was jiggling a mug at us as they passed by.

“Hee hee, I’m drinking,” she announced to us.

P. and I, hardened misanthropes, collectively rolled our eyes, because these people make us regress 20 years.

“Who caaares,” he said, just loud enough.

“YEAH!” I said, and knocked over a trash can. Okay, I did not do that. I pulled my flask out and offered it to him. We have been drinking for the past eight years of trick-or-treating with no fanfare. WHOOPIE, take out a billboard.

Okay, that was grumpier than I intended. OH WELL.

Wide Open Beavers Inside!

”If you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence.”
–Charles Bukowski

It’s turnabout this weekend. My friend Laurie who I recently stayed with in San Francisco is now here with me.

It’s a gorgeous day and the tomatoes have died and so the chickens once again roam the Earth. Well, the limits of their Earth. They are happy to be out of their summer pen and they look TERRIBLE. The older ladies are molting, possibly worse than I have ever seen any of my chickens go. They look diseased, except they are just missing feathers, of course.

[Not pictured: dag chickens]

Like the chickens, I am sort of pecking away at my house. Hanging pictures and switching out things like doorbell covers, because brushed chrome is not where it’s at. Besides, you can see the little original outline in the cedar, right? When this house was built, space was the place.

There is something about places being exposed in houses that are normally not that makes me think of surgery, or of parts of the body. I see a sad vulnerability, as if I can see a place for what it really is. Sometimes I feel guilty when I have friends over when I am half through a project and you can see through the walls. Sorry, I want to say to the house, and throw a gown over it. It’s all a big metaphor, isn’t it? Nothing’s ever as together or as whole as it seems.

I think this is part of the reason I went crazy living in a three-year remodel of a very small house. There were constantly gaping wounds everywhere.

As an aside to Kurt Vonnegut and wide-open beavers, I wrote one of my high school term papers on Breakfast of Champions. I liked the idea that something could be so raw and smutty and still make me feel my feelings, all six of them. Also I think duality and insanity are some of my favorite themes, after death.

My contractor says he has obtained permits to begin construction, so what I really need to do, which terrifies me, is commit to about a billion dollars worth of tile. The purchase I am looking forward to is giant tub of doom. The upstairs tub is one of those short 50s bastards that is for kids or dogs and needs to be refinished to boot.

In Other News

Strudel was in the living room on Friday morning before school, braiding something, or sorting something with her dolls. Her favorite dolls are having a little hiatus because she broke a door on the chicken coop (long story there) so she was playing with the second stringers. Franny was at the table, attempting to memorize the capitals of the Northeast.

I walked from the kitchen, through the dining room, and towards the bathroom. I was getting ready for work. As I passed through the dining room, Strudel spoke to her sister.

“…So that’s someone ELSE added to my shitlist now.”

“What!” I interrupted. “How do you have a shitlist? You’re eight years old. What are you, Tiny Nixon?”

“Her sub sounds pretty bad, Mom,” Franny said, in Strudel’s defense.

“She’s a yeller, she yells at everyone. She’s talking to one person and yelling at them and it’s too loud. Everyone hates it.”

“Hmm, fair enough,” I said.

I don’t know what to do with this. I just needed to write it down.

P. made danishes this morning. I think I like the blackberry ones best.

Frannys Gonna Fran

I think it’s funny that she’s spending a lot of time lately trying on what teenagers are “supposed” to be. The other day she stomped off to her room shouting “NOW I’M GOING TO SLAM MY DOOR BECAUSE HORMONES” and went in and closed it with a little snick. She wasn’t even mad as far as I can tell. Though some times, it’s stormy for real.

Lazy Crazy Days of Summer

This morning I woke up and the sun was low. I worked for a while and then it popped its head up through the trees and started eating the mist in my yard, which was swirling around. The mist and air reminds me of being in the woods foraging for mushrooms. The temperature has just been perfect–not muggy-hot, but not cold, either. Cloudy and hazy in the morning and then it burns off by the afternoon.

I took the girls out last night and P. made a fruits basket while I was out.


We celebrated my sister’s birthday on Saturday. She is 26. Can you believe that? She used to guest star on this joint as a high schooler. I remember when I was 26. I was in library school! I had pink hair then and chickens. So much has changed since the…uh.

We went on a harbor cruise and then to dinner on one of the piers. The theme of the day was photobombing.


Rilly girls. The hits just keep coming from this comedy duo.

Franny: I will wear the crab hat for five dollars.

Strudel: I will wear it for NOTHING.


In today’s matinee, the part of Sally Draper will be played by Franny, who was not only wearing this dress but then promptly ordered a “Roy Rogers.” That is her grandfather all over. She spent a week with him at the beginning of the summer at sailing camp, exploring her WASP roots.

Morgan strokes the hot lemon towels.

I took a quick shower before we left to meet Morgan and her fella and when I got home I washed my face and all this dirt just sheeted off it. Holy crap! Summer pollution ahoy. Soon the rains will come back and stick the pollutions to the ground again.

Easter and April and BRR

I think it’s been a while since we had a pictorial, eh? I am mostly well again. I was just tired this week after emptying out my entire body. Thanks germs! And ravenous. Without further ado, Snooki welcomes you to a ASSPICTORIAL.

I’ve done a ton of planting in my yard, and decided not to take pictures of the sad sticks I planted, which is my normal custom. I need to rose nerd out, because I went rose nerd batshit around the chick fence and planted another Joseph’s coat where there happens to be a trellis by the porch. “What trellis??” P. said. How do you miss a trellis? I guess you do if you are not a flower nerd. So of course I had to also put in a double delight (looks crap in this picture because I think it was the very first one) of the season, and some kind of lavender which I am forgetting, and also a hot cocoa.

There are also kiwis, which are leafing out now, and a fig, which looks quite stunned, poor thing. In addition to the cherries we planted out back where the rotten apple tree was, I think we might have a fruiting cherry out front. It was summer when we moved in, so I assumed it was ornamental. There are HELLA herbs in the front yard as well, including way too much lemon balm. Not my favorite, but apparently ve have ways of making you talk. Or delicious, or something. I will wait a month or so and then take pictures of what my sad sticks have transformed into.

Easter happened! I already wrote a little about it at the bottom of this recent post, but I thought I would finally cough up pictures. As long-time readers know, I do not have a religious bone in my body, but it nice to have an excuse to celebrate lambitarianism. I’ve weaned the girls off Easter baskets and candy, which just feels like a bridge too far for me. I really don’t like to make a fuss about any holiday I don’t believe in. Which leaves Halloween (Satan) and Thanksgiving (Indigestion). Hand turkeys will be colored. I think my “celebration” of holidays reflects my core beliefs: food and art.

First I let Strudel dye eggs.

Apparently the fuck egg has become a tradition now.

Then we had dinner. I guess I waited too long to buy my customary lamb roast and I ended up with a rack. Which was AWESOME. I made lollypops.

A crazy thing is that I still have part of these Easter flowers in my bathroom. Just the lilies, some greenery, and some carnations. Carnations are highly underrated. I think I came around to them after working at Lush for a while.

Strudel was VERY UPSET that I immediately used some of her Easter eggs, which I was sorry to upset her, but hard cooked eggs are great, aren’t they? Yay salad.

And then, because I am a sucker, I let poor pathetic Franny talk me into letting her dye eggs later that week. She was upset because she was due to spend Easter weekend at her dad’s house, as I mentioned, but for some reason they dyed eggs on Thursday or something? She missed out.

I guess I humored this because it’s not a huge deal, and she’s 12 now. Soon she may lose interest in dyeing eggs at all I suppose. (Cue “Sunrise, Sunset” and some maudlin weeping.) Although I dropped a lot of traditions, but kept dyeing eggs through college with roommates and before children. I have never not dyed eggs I guess.

I’ve been lazy on my wee Indian food project, which is fine. I guess by lazy I mean, “eating other food” and “spending a lot of time writing.” There are no schedules or calendars this time. My delightful work spouse brought me kala chana/black chickpeas for NO REASON except awesomeness and he loves food too, so I am making kala chana curry tomorrow. They are already soaking! I found a lot of interesting words about chickpeas on this blog. Usually I just buy the yellow ones in cans and nerm nerm nerm them up with my food processor until they are hummus. So this will be new.

Speaking of new, my friend J.B. and I will be taking a little field trip to get some new chicks soon. My youngest girls are now two years old, so it is time to cycle in some new girls. Death Ray (headless here) is now FIVE, crap. She is absolutely not laying and is fully retired. I am considering getting some more Silkies because I love them so. I will confess to you that every morning when I walk out I worry that Death Ray will be Dead Ray.

Tildy majestic on a rare clear day.

If You See Me Walkin By, And the Tears are in my Eyes, VANDALAY! BABY VANDALAY!; Or, Apartment Heresy

Last night I dreamt (here we go again, I know) that Horace yakked all over my chest while I was trying to sleep (barkake) and the cats were peeing everywhere. I reckon this is better than the home invasion dreams I was having. I saw Sorry, Wrong Number last week and SPOILER ALERT at the end the main character is killed when someone breaks in. To kill her. Whoops. I did enjoy the chemist in it who really reminded me of the Gale Boetticher character from Breaking Bad.

What is up? Pup is up, Brown is down. Franny turned 12, since it is October and all.

She finally got a friend to sleep over, which has been a real challenge in the past. There was giggling from her room until midnight. I think this neighborhood is going to be a lot more fun for since her friends mostly live close to their school. We ended up outside the school district in the last place, since our neighborhood school was closed for remodeling and the girls were sent to the next one, which we now live near. Strudel is taking the brunt of the overload of kids who were shipped to their current school, since she was the last kindergarten class before the other school reopened. There are 35 kids in her second grade class, and I think there are 4 second grades. The classes below her are a more reasonable size, I hear.

I’m enjoying the house, especially now that the heat is on (um literal heat, not crime type). I know that the inspector looked at the furnace, and pronounced it new and in good working condition, but I was nervous because of years of moving into rentals and rolling the dice on them. How cold and leaky would the house be, exactly? It turns out it is as snug as a bug in a rug, as they say. I am SO WARM. I always think about SeaFed’s grandmother, who was Seattle’s own Dowager Countess. She was responsible for such Mal Mots as “You would look so pretty if only you’d lose ten pounds” and “You’d look so pretty if only you’d take that metal crap out of your face” and many, many variations on the theme of “THE JAPS!” which she could not be corrected out of, gently or otherwise. However, there was one thing that she said to me once that was not racist, sexist, or insulting, an observation that she made when SeaFed was out of the room and she noticed he was kind of dragging his feet on getting his shit together and doing things like working. “It’s okay to be poor now,” she said. I was 24 and had a two-year-old Franny and was in school. “But not in your 30s. You’ll just be too tired.” I am glad to be in a comfortable house that I like now. I am tired. But more relaxed now that the automatic gun turrets are installed.

I’ve been fooling around with the house a lot as the painting is kind of winding down. I decided the dining room wasn’t blinged out enough and needed a stenciled medallion.

If it wasn’t hard enough painting on a ceiling, the paint started blobbing around under the stencil and I could tell it looked bad. I know enough to know when to quit, so I did!

Of course I tried to wipe it to minimize the damage, but it was already drying. My first fuck up! Kind of nice to have that Band-Aid ripped off I suppose. My last phone came out of the box scratched, much to the clerk’s horror. He tried to take it from me, but I wouldn’t let him. Pre-scratched means you don’t have to have that unique gadget sad when your new shiny gets its first fender-bender.

I decided to “fix” it with a real medallion. Sure, I could have just painted it white, but I decided to just try a different tack(y).

I got a white polystyrene one and painted it. I started with a base of black spraypaint, and followed up with Rustoleum “hammered” Rosemary, which is kind of a metallic green/grey. Rustoleum is theoretically for things like patio furniture, but I cannot tell you how many of the junk shop rescue objects in my house are covered in it. After that I gave it a tiny spritz of some Rustoleum Copper I had laying around from spraying the giant vampire head on my porch (umm, I need a pic of that up I suppose) and then, my favorite thing, Rub N Buff. I am worshiping at the altar of this woman who is the Rub N Buff Queen. So I pulled out the highlights in it using Gold Leaf.

I also realized that something was missing from the dining room.

Come to me, Banditoooo. I cleaned him up a little–my velvets are way dusty. I also oiled the frame with some almond oil, which I use on the dining table and the free standing butcher block counters as well. I’m getting to the point where I’m finally hanging stuff. This house is designed with such an economy of space that I don’t actually have enough walls. I’m going Victorian art gallery clusterfuck on my only large, non-wood paneled wall as soon as I am able to lay out my paintings and Tetris them together before hanging. I measured a space on my floor to arrange my mirror wall and that worked a treat.

The paneled wall is coming along. I think it can hold at least four more heads.


This is what 35 looks like. If you’re me anyway. Tired, yet optimistic. This is the age of being asked if you’re feeling tired. OF COURSE I AM. FUCK. WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE, HANDJOB BON-BON PARTY BUS?

Look! It’s a real camera! No Instagrams were harmed during the making of this blog. This is rich, coming from a blogger, I know, but I am feeling like I should be taking more pictures of myself lately. I will tell you I am interested to see what my face is going to do in the next ten years. I see pictures of myself when I first started blogging at 23 and I say WHO IS THAT BABY?


Get these hairs all out of my face/get these bugs all out of my place

HEY GATHER ROUND KIDS and hear a boring tale of medical issues. Dig this, I’m about to become as interesting as Obligation Visit Grandma. I’ll sweeten the pot with pictures.

Twenty pounds. Trust me.

You may have heard about this yesterday: rosacea is possibly caused by microscopic mites with no anuses. WHAT. I know! I’ve always been pink. That pink kid, who does a couple of laps and gets all flamey-red. I shrugged it off since I come from red peoples. I grew up into that lady whose face would itch and burn for no reason.

I think I was about 26 or so when I thought I was running fevers. My face would burn and I would take my temperature and wonder what the hell was happening. Hormones? A virus? I felt fine otherwise. Finally, I figured it out. The big R. I didn’t really care about my face except to slap on some moisturizer or sunscreen–it didn’t bother me until the pain started. I saw a couple of dermos and was given the usual stuff to quell the symptoms but it wasn’t really working, not really. Maybe a 25% improvement. The weak antibiotics did nothing and the strong ones brought morning dry heaves and annoying limits on when I could eat. The creams…eh.

And now with the discovery that I may have an overgrowth of face lice, I take matters into my own hands. I am very excited. I love root causes. I dove back into the remedy rabbit hole to look around. I was never interested in any of the rosacea diets. I remember one dermo asking me what caused flare-ups for me.

“Wine, coffee, being sad, being mad, being happy, not enough sleep, sex, hot weather, cold weather, sun, hot water, cold water…”

“Well, just cut those things out and you’ll see improvement,” he advised me. Would the pills cut out the burning? No, it was just for the acne. Some message boards say to cut out dairy and fats. Others say gluten. I say I would rather hang myself. If I had a legit allergy and I felt miserable and/or dead eating any of those things, then yes, it would be worth it. Otherwise, no.

I don’t shy away from the “unnatural,” because I know herbs can kill you dead also, but I am starting with tea tree oil. Also I am all about the cheap and easy. I understand the mites hide in one’s pores, but I thought it was worth a try. I followed the information I found on a support group page about cutting tea tree oil by half (I used some sweet almond oil I keep around) and swabbed it on my face and left it for 15 minutes. The oil at this concentration did not irritate me at all (I had heard a lot of advice against using it full strength on your face).

So, the next step is to do some thinking. The mites are on a 10-14 day breeding cycle. I know we’re all covered with them constantly, and my aim is to see what beating back an overgrowth does for me, so I’m going to treat daily at first with hopes of catching the population I may be teaming with now and new hatches. And if I am seeing improvement, I will go with a once or twice a week upkeep session. There’s one more thing–I’m also trying permethrin. I know it’s crap for common head lice, but this isn’t head lice. I swabbed some on this morning and let it sit for ten minutes, as the packaging suggested for scalp treatment of lice. I’m going to be very careful with it since it’s very toxic for cats.

There was something I stumbled upon accidentally among all the rosacea stuff I read yesterday as well. There seems to be some kind of correlation between people who have rosacea and people who have stomach problems. I frequently suffer from acid stomach and heartburn. I’m going to make an attempt to increase my stomach acid as well, since if it works I should just feel better overall. And this is probably magical thinking, but who knows, maybe having a more acidic system will repel the extra bugs. We’ll see. I’m starting with a hyrdochloric acid supplement. Oy with the treating of the symptoms, already.

My face doesn’t hurt today. Maybe it’s just clean. HA! I’ll let you know how it goes.

Ha ha ha, I am eating all the low berries. JOLLY TIMES!

Process berries for jam!

Process berries for sorbet!

Make a buckle!