Well la di dah it’s Man Ray over here

You know how you practice something for years and you get better at it sometimes? Taking pictures is not one of those things for me. It’s kind of like my mother and cooking. She did not really seem to like it, but people got fed. I think those online photo editors were made for me, but I will not touch them. I crop sometimes, but somehow I feel like I need to own my shitty photography.

Look at this:

This shit is not even centered. Where is the lid? I think I just liked the way the sun looked. AT ANY RATE, I now have a ton of stock in the freezer frozen in one and two cup increments. BAM. Take that, winter.

Then photobucket likes to mock me by taking my terrible photos and suggesting that I have them printed for hanging. HA.

The giving of the fangs went well. The guest list blew up a bit so I decided to rent a table and some chairs.

It was a little wobbly and had some sticky beer rings on it, but they cleaned off okay. Franny made menus, which you can barely see resting against the candlesticks.

I also got her to iron napkins. She was supposed to be at her father’s house this year, but she told him a couple of weeks before that she wanted to have dinner at our house. She has a very long list of complaints about holidays at her father’s house, which boils down to culture, I guess. I remember feeling adrift when my mother and stepfather separated and I had to spend a holiday with one or the other. It just felt wrong.

I had flowers all over the house. I like to split up bouquets and spread them out. I even had flowers that matched the tile in the bathrooms.

I was talking to someone recently who told me they were spending $50 a week on weed. That’s close to what I spent on flowers for Thanksgiving. I was thinking to myself, I wish I could spend $50 on flowers a week.

I deep cleaned the house, which was overdue, probably, though it never really gets trashed. I even washed the dogs, and trimmed their nails.

Now you two stay RIGHT THERE. Edith was due for shots today, and Horace has been cooped up, so I took them both to the vet. I kind of thought they would give each other moral support a little bit, but I think they were just magnifying the other’s anxiety. Two trembling spaniels fighting for space in my lap. Edith is already nine pounds.

Today was the start of the bathroom remodel. My contractors made the murder room look more murdery. Now, without the paneling, it’s just a sad naked basement.

A guy came with a truck full of portapotties and dropped one off in my driveway.

“Is this going to offend your neighbor?” my contractor asked, reasonably. “Should we hide it?”

“It’s not really possible to offend her more,” I said. Which reminds me that there have been Developments with the neighbor, but one thing at a time. I will reveal all this week.

Goethe has cabin fever. I feel her pain.

Dear MF Diary again

Hello!!! Today’s headline from the weekend is as follows: GOETHE RETURNS.

I know, I know, I didn’t say she was gone. I was feeling super sad about the whole thing and was mourning her quietly and giving extra love to Mere and Matilda. She disappeared a couple of days after the Fourth. Incredibly and much to my relief, the cats don’t mind the fireworks AT ALL, it seems. This is their third year with them. Horace, however, was another story. He spent a few days before, when the extra amateur booms started, hiding under a chair in the corner and scooching under the bed at night on his belly instead of being the little spoon. I called the vet and got a tranquilizer and doped him up every night for three days. He was stumbling around like Courtney Love on a Tuesday until he would pass out. He seems to have forgotten about it now.

ANYWAY. Goethe was gone and gone and I called the pound every day, and was hoping she’d turn up since she’s a menace, chipped, and licensed. P. and I decided to tell ourselves that some old lady had kidnapped her and was smothering her with love and tuna. Even though she is an asshole and hates strangers outside the house and will claw them. Anyway, I knew what the reality probably was and it was a bummer.

Then on Saturday night I was laying in bed and I heard a distinct and annoying yowling! GOETHE RETURNS! She was skinny and demanded pettles for fifteen minutes, and then I gave her some turkey. She didn’t seem to be dehydrated, though, so that’s good. If only you could talk, Gertie. You would say: “Fuck you, gimmie some more turkey or I walk again!”

I also took Feral Dwarf to Dragon Fest, and she had a nice time. She likes eating rando dim sum samplers for $2 each. She also had a fish-shaped waffle with adzuki filling. She also became a dragon.

The yard berries are popping off. I made a blueberry buckle on Sunday but not out of my blueberries. I don’t have enough yet. Maybe in a couple of years.

But for now there is enough for a snack each day. Today Franny came back on the ferry. She had some interesting stories about her month over there, and I’m sure more will come out in the next couple of weeks while she’s here. Then she’s gone for two more weeks, and then back until school starts.

I am also up to my ass in bathroom fixture and tile ideas. It’s time to dig into the utility room. I’ll have some hideous “before” pictures soon, which will be followed by hideous “during” and “after” pictures, because you know my taste. I’m trying to keep it in the flavor of the house, so square tiles and chrome. What I do not want is a tiled countertop like all the surfaces upstairs. Too much work!

Wee Sunday Project

Sometimes I think things deserve a nice, archival-quality frame. Original artwork, duh. When you are giving a framed gift. But sometimes you don’t want to drop, what, like $150 to have something framed.

The Northend KMart is closing quite suddenly. Holy cats it is a clusterfuck up there. I stopped in on Friday evening for some slumber party snacks for Number One Daughter and an outlet splitter for Our Lady of Feralness and I ended up coming home with a lot more than I planned. But there were some smokin’ deals.

I got this print a few days ago–could not resist it.

And then I found this boring frame at KMart.

White mat, that kind of silver paint that looks sort of like some unfortunate person spat it onto the frame and then maybe a bird pooed on it and they rinsed it but it was too late. I don’t know what’s up with that bad gritty-looking low end silver paint that’s on everything. Who decided that?

With the theory that I could not make the mat worse, and I could buy a new one if need be, I borrowed some of Franny’s crayons to find a close-enough compliment to the cheetah’s suit. Bang: wild blue yonder. Then I rub and buffed the frame, not too neatly. The silver comes through in places and it looks old.

It took me fifteen minutes and now I am happy enough. I made a deal with P. that over time I would swap out some of my more horrendous velvets from the big living room wall for a different variety of art. I am keeping my end of the bargain. His end of the deal is that he does not snap and put me and all of my hideous things on the lawn with MAKE OFFER stickers all over us.


Matilda likes to sit in front of the projection screen and even watch with us, but sometimes she just likes to be in the way.

DOWN IN FRONT, MATILDA. Hawk will trip over you when he goes to cut Harold Smith down.

Dear Diary today I made pancakes and my kid came home early and was crying and crap but is now wearing her hoodie and seems ok again

This weekend I did putt putt putter around.

My good friend Simichrome came over, and we had a fumey good time. I wear gloves but my hands end up dry anyway and I end up coughing. I’m doing a little at a time.

Before and after:

After and after:

I can see my house from here.

Speaking of brass things, I was at the Value Village recently and I found a nice fireplace screen. Mine was okay, I did not love it. It was the replacement since during closing our real estate agent brought her grandson and he fully broke the fireplace screen that was up here among other things. He was kind of an unsupervised brute. Ah well.



I do like this better than the old one I pulled up from the basement fireplace. I’ve kicked it back down there now.

I made some scotch truffles…well, they are part way through. Most of them have been rolled in pecans at this point. So if you are “lucky” enough to be invited over in the next two weeks, you will probably have these very truffles foisted upon you. I made a double batch.

First you mix the cream and the chocolate and the scotch. GANACHEY!

WHIP WHIP WHIP til it is smooth, like on the smooth scale if it one [1] is gravel and ten [10] is opium den hosted by Jesus, then this ganache was probably a seven [7], or Jay Smooth‘s Cousin Who People Say Looks Like Jay Smooth and Gets Drunk And Rants a Little And Sometimes Accidentally Pulls Girls That Way.

Then you measure out even tablespoons and firm them up more before rolling them in pecans. I made a butt ton so I did a double decker thing with shot glasses and a second cookie sheet. Still probably more stable than some of my old Sim houses. R.I.P lot where each room was separate and joined by a catwalk, while all the property was flooded. Yes, that’s practical. I still want to live there, though.

Anyway I don’t have any pictures of them nutted, but I will.

Do you remember the NOOK? Sure you do. Baby, don’t be like that.

I found a free-standing counter I liked and painted it, and changed the hardware. I even painted the little spats it is wearing on its legs. Yes, that is our old friend Rustoleum rosemary. I took the extra spats and put them on my ye olde butcher block table, which is generally home to fruit and plants nowadays. In this way, if I ever need less cooking space (HA) it can be a nook again.

I think it blends fine. I cook on it a lot and look out the window and think about internal and external space and the pantyopticon and semiotics and crap. And crab dip.

V’s Herbie asked about court. Yes. Court. I’ve been pushed out to January 22nd now due to still no GAL report. Guess what though, my lawyer, Lady Jesse Pinkman, totally subpoenaed the GAL though for Tuesday. So it’s like, cough up report or come in and testify. Either way, that’s medium bueno. I bet we won’t continue-ants again.


If we’ve been “rapping” on a somewhat regular basis, or you are a long-suffering regular reader, than you may know that shiny things are kind of a “big deal” to “me.” HA HA, ok I’ll stop now. Man, that’s addictive.

On moving in, I decided to replace the not-so-good light fixtures in the house a little at a time. I was going to start with the dining room chandelier but then I replaced the terrible bulbs (those frosted “flame” things. I just don’t like them.) with very anachronistic Edison style bulbs, which you can see here a bit. And I gave the crystals in the chandelier a nice ammonia bath which brought out their crystal-ness again, and scrubbed the brass. Now I love it! The crystals are a very common shape and appeared in a lot of houses in this period. I saw The Big Heat recently and was kind of too excited during the opening suicide sequence to see them hanging off lamps in the house. I think I spent most of that movie staring at the design in the homes since it was contemporary with this house.

Today we put up the first replacement light in the entryway. I put a picture of the old one up and I will say I do not like these 50’s “caged” style lights that were so common. I’m not planning on holding a dodgeball game in the foyer, so cages can go. I know the most important rule of installing lighting, assuming one cares about these things, is the scale, so I picked something that was roughly the same size but much cooler. It’s from the mid-60’s but it doesn’t scream 60’s to me.

There was just one little hitch…the ceiling had been painted after the light fixture had been installed. So there is a ring! Whoops.

I am being lazy about finishing the hallway painting, but I have vowed to finish before the year is out so I can get going on stenciling the entryway. When I do that, I will paint the ring. Projects around here are like hydras, but a really fun hydra that just tickles you a little, and costs a lot at the hardware store.

Oh well. Okay for now.

So this guy gets it hung and symmetrical for me (I balked at his first attempt because the arm was weirdly off-center PAGING DR. OCD) and THEN tries to put the fluorescent bulb back in…SAY WHAT? HOMEY DON’T PLAY THAT. With a clear hurricane cover over it? How about putting on a ballgown and then wearing a giant, realistically-veined dildo as a brooch…wait, that would be kind of awesome, especially at an event honoring the life of Robert Mapplethorpe or something. Back to the drawing board on this failure of a metaphor.

How about no?

It’s done and I love it and I jumped around in the foyer making ape noises and waving my arms around, because even though we can have nice, uncaged things, I refuse to act in a dignified fashion about them. I got this light from an outfit that calls itself The Old Above, and I am watching his stock for a nice hallway light, and a couple of mini chandeliers to replace the “boob” lights in the kitchen. Apparently he has a lot of my light because I see there are more up for sale.

I also am happy to see I am not the only boob light hater. I love these ideas but I refuse to work with mine. REFUSE.

We started a fire after the light was hung and P. asked if he could burn the box the fixture came in since it was all safely hung and the inside irrational part of me screamed and freaked because, hey, cool 50-year-old box. That I will never do anything with. I contented myself with frowning slightly as it was engulfed in flames.

I hope your Sunday is treating you right.

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?