Thursday, December 31, 2009

And never brought to mind...

Insert obligatory year-end reflection post:

So, 2009 kind of rocked. And it kind of blew. Which is, really, what I like to see in a year. I don't like all ups, because that means there will be too many downs later. I like a good mix.

A recap:

Lester went through his first bout of congestive heart failure, and gave me a few grey hairs in the process. Emergencies never occur at two o'clock in the afternoon on a Saturday, y'all. It's always four in the morning when you stayed up too late to watch random crappy videos on the internet the night before.

Anyway, then he got better, or at least we figured out how to keep him sailing on in his little furry body.

My pal Penny came to town from Seattle to see our intrepid Commander in Chief step into office, and we had a fantastic week kicking around. I ate a million pounds of Pocky.

Then I went and visited my sister and brother-in-law in Portland. I had the most marvelous time kicking around in one of the nicest cities on the planet. Like, really nice. Like, if Baltimore and Los Angeles got into a fight, Portland would be around to make sure we didn't kill each other and maybe make us cookies afterward. It was delightful.

Watchmen disappointed me, but it's cool. I forgive you, Watchmen. You were a good movie and all, but I'll take the book any day.

I met a dude, and we dated for a bit, and then we weren't dating anymore, and it's all gravy. It was basically the most casual thing in the world, and we're both so laid back that it was pretty much just one day we were hanging out and then another we were seeing other people. Easy peasy.

H1N1 hit, and my work life got CRAZY. I worked some overtime, and made cookies [that's how I cope] and I tried to keep my nurses sane. We got through it, obvs.

Then I had a birthday! It was lots and lots of fun, and my Dad and I spent that weekend driving all over Maryland for blacksmithing adventures. A delightful time was had by all.

My cousin got married! I had a quarter-life crisis! The world continued to spin unaided!

AND THEN SILAS WAS BORN. He is the cutest little blob of human that was EVER CREATED. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH I CANNOT STAND IT. I get to babysit for him on Saturday, y'all, and I cannot WAIT.

I had some strange dreams and went on Vacation. Garrett County is GORGEOUS, y'all, and I recommend it for a relaxing time away from reality. I WAS ON A BOAT.

Lester had an episode, but he's fine now, too. I guess I'll be on the lookout for those every six months or so. Crazy dog.

I did a guest post on Zaftig Chicks! My site traffic increased by maybe two people! Wooo!

And then Ina died, and it still kind of sneaks up on me every once in a while. I'll listen to a song that we used to love, or someone will say something that reminds me of her so much that I sort of space out and lose it for a minute. There's nothing in the world that can prepare you for something like that.

So, autumn kind of blew through in a haze of grief and sourness. I really tried not to be down, but when patients at work are insane and you're working long hours and the sun is steadily creeping away, it's tough.

And then Jesse and I helped that lady on the street, and things kind of... lifted. Maybe it was the rush of endorphins, or the knowledge that I did something right, or learning that there are other people in this messed up, glorious city that will stop what they are doing and pick you up off the sidewalk.

Whatever it was, I felt right again. I'm back in my own skin.

Then it snowed. A LOT. I hate snow. Then it melted, and then snowed this morning again, and I have a PARTY TONIGHT, dammit, and I refuse to kow-tow to the weather. IMMA PUT ON A FANCY DRESS AND LIVE IT UP.

So there.

Christmas was wonderful - I got to see my sister again and I missed her so much you have no idea. I got fabulous new toys [ipod touch omg omg omg] and drank some nog, and things are okay.

Tonight is going to be fantastic, and that's just all there is to it.

I love you, Baltimore. The world is great, too, but Baltimore has my heart forever.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Pickled Rind and Fruit.

Today I found a treasure.

When my Grandmother's house was being emptied, I asked for one of her copies of The Joy of Cooking. My mother gave me the 1951 edition, where bacon drippings were a regular ingredient of corn bread, and you had to mix your own baking powder.

I was thumbing through it, looking up a recipe for macaroons, when I found a slip of paper tucked inside the pickles.

It was my Grandmother's notes, for 2 1/2 pounds.

2 1/2 C water
2 1/2 C vindegar
5 C sugar
7 1/2 in stick cinnamon
20 cloves

I don't know which recipe it was meant for, tomato catsup or corn relish or apple chutney. It may have been watermelon pickle or pickled peaches.

All I know is that it was written on the back of a dental extraction form [my grandfather was a dentist, though it's not from his practice.] and it smells like their house did.

Merry Christmas. <3

Gramma's Note 2
Gramma's Note

Saturday, December 19, 2009


It just kept coming down!

this is my life right now. They had to plow THREE TIMES today, and it's still coming down.

I hate the snow. I work for a hospital, and therefor I don't get snowdays. If this doesn't improve by Monday morning, I'll have to hike to the bus in a foot of snow.


Thankfully, I've got SG-1 and tea [buckets and buckets of tea omg] and my dog is sleeping under the covers on my feet. Carry on.

Monday, December 07, 2009

blah blah twitter blah blah.

I want to blog, but I don't want to complain about my bad day, which is all I can think of to blog right now, so I'll just paste all of my tweets from the month of November instead. All I took out were my replies.

Oh, and I have no idea how to put this behind a cut. You're welcome. [eta: I totes figured out jumps, so you're welcome AGAIN.]

Friday, November 20, 2009

Karma gets you pastry.

Twenty-five things for which I am thankful, in no particular order:

- Coffee mugs from California.
- My cellular telephone.
- My laptop computer.
- My favorite turquoise necklace.
- My zombie messenger bag.
- My imagination.
- Science Fiction.
- My ID badge that gets me into doors marked "Authorized Personnel Only" because that's a secret thrill even after five years.
- Scrapple.
- Secret corridors.
- Goofy action movies.
- Eggplants.
- My Kitchen-aide five-speed hand-mixer with milk-shake attachment. It probably has a proper title, but I use it for milk-shakes. So there.
- Hyphens.
- Punctuation in general, even if I abuse it horribly.
- My health.
- Words.
- People.
- Old Navy. It's actually a problem. A delightful, brightly-colored problem with clean lines and thoughtful design.
- My family.
- My dog.
- Music.
- My friends. Even the ones that make me want to pull my own hair out. They keep it interesting.
- Dark, hoppy beer.
- Ramen noodles.
- Love.

Obviously this is just a random assortment. I'm thankful for basically everything in my life, even the inconveniences and complications. It builds character, and I am all about character development.


EDIT: I've taken this story down in the hopes that I can get it published. Thanks for the wonderful comments on it, you guys are awesome.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Chinese Gardens 29
Portland Chinese Gardens, January 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

what I'm telling you is

So. That happened.

I've been struggling a little, with what I want to say here since. I've opened the post window several times over the last few weeks, only to stare at it for a while before closing it and walking away. I don't have a problem being trite and zany on Facebook or Twitter. That's my stream of consciousness; that's what flies out of my mouth during a conversation.

And now, nothing seems important enough to blog about. But I want to tell anyone who will listen.

Should I tell you about how I saw a man cradling a paper crane in his hand on the elevator? Or the fire extinguisher that was just sitting in the middle of the sidewalk outside of my office yesterday? Should I tell you about the countless trips I've made to the lab because of the swine flu testing my office does? How about the time that I got the wrong salad dressing? Or when I went the whole day with my shirt inside-out?

None of it means a damn thing. And that's okay. We're okay. I'm okay. We buried Ina on a Thursday, and I wore purple.

There's always more story to tell.

And, you know what, World? You crazy, magnificent mess of humanity? I love you. Every single one of you.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Ines Fazlic, my goofiest, nuttiest friend.

How can you erase the thousand little strands that connect you with someone? A hundred instant messenger conversations and photos and text messages. Inside jokes for days and days.

She said outloud things that everyone was thinking to themselves. She told me once that it's okay, it's okay to be who I am. And she was absolutely and unapologetically who she was.

She was a life. She was a beautiful, vibrant life. And she's gone now, and all we can do is remember her.

Ina, I will know who you are forever. <3

Ina in Paris

Friday, October 02, 2009

Stargate: Universe

My thoughts on SGU, or as I've been referring to it, "Battlegate Galactica":

Ugghhhhhhhhh. Look. Okay. There is a fucking reason that Stargate enchanted viewers for twelve goddamn years. It was witty and bright and a goddamn joy to watch. It didn't need to be pretentious and dark and dramatic.

There was great drama, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't constant ridiculous drama. It was charming and fun, and it knew when to be serious about things. And that wasn't every minute all the time.

I miss the tone of the very first episode of of SG-1. I miss the background music, with the trumpets and the familiar theme.

I miss Stargate. This is not Stargate. This is "darker and grittier" for the sake of being dark and gritty. It doesn't bring any improvement. The formula didn't need to be improved. It has no sense or feel of the original.

This is just a science fiction show that has a gate in it.

All of that being said, and despite the inappropriate sex as character introduction [STARGATE NEVER NEEDED TO HAVE GRAPHIC SEX OKAY. IT USED INNUENDO AND SUBTEXT. GAWD.] I really like Lieutenant Scott.

But he's no Cam Mitchell.

So, Stargate: Universe, I'm putting you on warning. You've got three episodes to make me fall in love with you, and that's two more than SG-1 and SGA ever needed put together.

And that's what I have to say about that.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My morning, let me show you it.

Lester woke me up this morning about... 4:45? Ish? He was coughing, and as he's got a history of Congestive Heart Failure, I jumped up and gave him an extra dose of his diuretic. We settled down again for a little while to let that get to work, maybe fifteen minutes, and then we went outside.

So, I step outside, and Lester goes off to make his rounds [base of porch stairs, neighbors cactus plant, edge of yard, tree, round the corner to the back yard] when some movement across the street catches my eye. I am hyper-aware at this point because it is 5AM and all sorts of nonsense can happen at 5AM, see.

WELL, THERE WAS NONSENSE GOING ON IN A CAR. There were two people in there, doing UNSPEAKABLE THINGS. And I'm not talking satanic baby-eating rituals. Well, one of them was eating something, but THAT IS NOT THE POINT. If you can't do it in a BED at FIVE IN THE MORNING, you probably shouldn't be doing it. Unless you're super-into kinky car sex, and then well, bon chance to you, friend. Good luck with the public lewdness.

Anyway, they got interrupted when two dudes strolled down the sidewalk on their side of the street, and they did a HILARIOUS impression of nonchalance. Then they stuck around for a few more minutes, presumably to right clothing and whatnot, and then took off.

Meanwhile, back at camp, Lester was done doing his business and we went back inside. Tried going back to bed for a bit, but he kept coughing, so I made an Executive Decision and took him up to Falls Road Animal Hospital, since it's the only one open at FIVE IN THE MORNING.

Got there [after getting turned around TWICE], they fussed over his cuteness appropriately, and did some diagnostic Stuff. I sat around and read my Regency Romance novel, and tried not to fret too hard.

The vet came back in and said basically, "Yep, he's old."

So, he got his Lasix upped, and added a new heart med [which I am having trouble finding online...], and we'll just see how he does with that. I'll make an appointment to see his real vet tomorrow afternoon. He's quiet a nice dog, and I hope they'll let me keep him a while longer.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Vacation follow-up

So, I didn't take a single picture, as I've mentioned before, but my friends did [and did well], so here's a peek at theirs:

Lindley's post and photostream .

And a picture of me reading [I did that a lot] by Don:

I call it "Creepy stalker photo in Sepia". I think it's funny, though. Jamaila talks a bit more about our doings on this post.

I can't get over how green and lush it was. I love Garrett County.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Guest Posting!

I did a food guest post on Zaftig Chicks!


Freud's got nothin' on me...

I dreamed last night that I was at my parents’ church and that I really wanted to paint my nails bright lime green, but so did everyone else. And while they were all fighting over a bottle of nail polish, I found another one under a pew [I don't know, either].

So, I sat there and happily painted my fingers and toes, and then Adam Savage from Mythbusters came up and asked me to go to a birthday party for a kid who used to be in my church youth-group when I was in middle school. I said sure and we headed out to the car. Along the way, we found Jamie Hyneman, and he was carrying a blow-torch [natch] and we all piled into my Jetta and took off. I turned around to say something over my shoulder to Jamie, and I saw that Tory Belleci had found his way into the car, too. So I made a crack about how this day was going to turn out completely awesome, and Tory got all excited and held out his hand for a high-five from Jamie. Jamie sort of ruffled his mustache and Tory was like, "All right!"

So, we make it back to my parents house and end up swimming through the door because their house was filled with water. It was apparently completely normal, and my dog was floating along in a giant shoe.

Jamie busted out the blow-torch again, and we all started welding a space-ship in my old bedroom.

Then I woke up because I had fallen asleep watching Stargate SG-1 and Teal'c and Cam were busting their way out of a Ha’tak.

Hi. I'm a nerd.

Also, I swear that this wasn't me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Well, that was a false-start. HA.

I have no idea what I was going to blog about, but apparently when you hit "enter" whilst in the subject field, you post! Good times!

Watching The Naughty Kitchen right now and I freaking LOVE Blythe Beck. I want to be her BFF.

Tonight I get to go and snorfle Little Dude Silas! He is the CUTEST DAMN KID ever. Seriously. I can only hope that, one day, my kid will be half as cute as Silas. He's getting to the roly-poly peanut stage, with sausage-link arms and the cutest little belly button.

I LOVE THAT KID. I can't wait for him to get big enough that we can go look for bugs and stuff. We can make sweet forts! I will introduce him to the fine art of snot rockets and armpit farts.

Good times.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Those Aztecs...

I've been very interested in Aztec mythology and divination lately. My favorite website is the Aztec Calendar.

Today's daysign is Xochitl, or Flower. I'm supposed to go for the gusto, apparently. I wish I had a helmet and cape like Calvin to do so, but I just have my handkerchief and a warm sweater.

I certainly feel gusto-y. Life lately has had many happenings rolled into an interesting few weeks. I went on vacation a few weeks ago in Garrett County. It was delightful and green and peaceful. I saw deer and rabbits and lots of lovely flowers. I bought a green teapot from an antique store in Oakland, and I am going to make myself a pot of Darjeeling after work. I didn't take a single picture there, but others did, so when they get posted to the internets, I will be sure to share them here.

I did take this on the way out. It was the prettiest drive, sun shining, my sunroof open to the breeze. A long drive is the perfect way to clear your head of nonsense.

I listened to World War Z on audio book.

So, I'm back, and ready for action.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Diligent delinquency...

So, I like to keep up with the crime reports of the University near my house. Today, I came across a gem.

    Damaged Property – Gilman Hall Tower – Between June 20th at 3:00 PM, and June 22nd at 6:10 AM, unknown persons scratched two names on the copper cupula covering on the tower at Gilman Hall. Investigation continuing.

The top of the tower. As in, up in the air.

That is some stone devotion, y'all.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Ugly Truth - An Ugly Movie

Saw The Ugly Truth last week, and boy did I hate it. I could name several obvious reasons, poor acting being chief among them, but what I am going to focus on for this post is, probably unsurprisingly, the misogyny.

Katherine Heigl, what the hell were you thinking? We know you can do better than that; we've all seen Knocked Up, and while you may have a problem with that film, IT WAS TRULY YOUR BEST WORK TO DATE.

So, you said it was the "sexism" in Knocked Up that you didn't appreciate, and so it is that point which confuses the hell out of me. If you are so concerned with the negative portrayal of the modern woman, WHY THE HELL DIDN'T YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE UGLY TRUTH? Did the script deceive you? Were you perhaps smoking a giant doobie every morning of filming?

Was it Gerard? Did you find him too handsome to resist? Three movies ago, I would have agreed, but he was not looking his best for this role, so I really cannot imagine...

Oh! The executive-woman role! Of course. Because there's nothing more flattering than a control-freak ice queen pretending to be something she's not. Which, I get that the point was loving someone for who they are, but for CHRISTS SAKE did you have to make all women look like neurotic cat-ladies who just need a good screw? And I also get that you're sort of a one-trick pony, but it wouldn't kill you to branch out and play an easy-going, fun girl who can go a day or two without shaving her legs.

And Gerard. Shame. On. You. Shame on you for playing such a ridiculous fat-negative asshole, and shame on me for finding the token father-figure relationship with your nephew mildly endearing. Not endearing enough, however, that I feel at all warmly toward this movie.

In fact, the only thing about this movie that gets my approval is Katherine's apartment. What can I say; I'm gay for a gorgeous courtyard complex in central California.

Which [how's this for a segue] brings me to the fact that there was absolutely zero homosexuality in this film. At all. Not even a cliche make-up artist. In fact, we were SO SURE that her perfect man was going to actually be gay, that we were shocked when he turned out to be, in fact, straight. Improbably handsome, successful, and romantic, but straight.

I'm still suspicious.

So, yes, I'm a little late with this review, and the box-office damage has probably been done, and maybe I'm beating a dead horse, but if you haven't seen it yet and were considering it, do yourself a favor and see Harry Potter instead.

Friday, August 07, 2009


And then Jamaila sent me cupcakes!!!!!

Now all I need is for Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell to pick me up from work in an F-302 and this would be the BEST DAY EVER.

Ha, so. Yeah.

Well, my car is street-legal again [I feel hard-core using that term, like I'm a drag racer or something...], we got bell peppers and corn in the farm-share, my bff from small-times is staying with me this weekend, today is payday, and Kate is bringing me lunch.

So, things are looking up!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Screw you, Thursday.

So. So.

So, my car failed it’s inspection in Delaware because of a brake light. Which means I’m driving my mothers car right now. And this morning on the way home from my parent's house [In Delaware, wot I left at 5:30 this morning], I got messed up when 95 and 895 split because they swapped sides of the road so I ended up going too far on 95 and panicked when I saw signs for the tunnel because I had no money for the toll, so I had to turn around at the PORT GODDAMN OF BALTIMORE IN GODDAMN DUNDALK. But I still managed to get to work on time, early even, for a staff meeting, and then when I manage to get a moment to sign in and check my e-mail, I find a message from my mom telling me that their cat died not two hours after I left.

What. Fresh. Hell.

I would like to be posting something positive, I really would. But all I can see right now are annoying, crappy things and the best thing that's happened to me today was lunch.

At least it's raining. I like the rain.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

After the wedding...

Henry's wedding came and went, and I had a fabulous time, despite my quarter-life crisis. ;)

It was a GORGEOUS wedding, and my cousin and his new bride make quite the handsome couple.

I got to see my sister! I miss her terribly. We're flanked by our Uncle John and our Great-Aunt Gertrude.

With my goofy cousin, Andrew.

Parents of the groom.

My folks!

My momma and her two brothers.

My cousin, Holly, Henry's sister.

The happy couple!!

My introspective funk went away [open bar] and my Pops took this photo of me in front of the river.

All around lovely day.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Baby Watch '09, conclusion

D'oh, I am the worst correspondant ever. Let's hope I am never charged with breaking news on any grander of a scale.

There is one more baby in Baltimore! Little Dude Silas. He is basically the cutest thing EVER and I want to bury my head in his wee baby armpit and listen to him gurgle for THE LONGEST TIME.

Happy happy happy days.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Baby Watch '09

Just got home from hanging out at GBMC whilst Nina finishes cooking up her bun wot is in the oven. Rosemary and I have officially dubbed this Baby Watch '09. Going to grab a nap and chill out before going back when she's OMG TWO MINUTES APART FOMG.

Dude. Bizzy and Nina's gonna have themselves a baby. \o/

Monday, July 20, 2009

bile and ire.

Woke up surly yesterday. Well, the clouds ain't parted yet, and I'm still stewing, so let me tell you what Imma do. I'm going home at four. I am letting out my dog and I am going to clean my damn kitchen. Then, I am going to take a damn bath. After that, I am going to make some damn dinner and watch some damn Stargate. And then! Then, I'm going to play some damn City of Heroes. Kicking the crap out of a death head gunner will do loads to improve my damn mood.

And I am not going to answer the damn phone unless it is someone who is extremely pregnant.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thoughts on Twenty-something Singledom.

My cousin, Henry, is getting married this weekend. If his sister, Holly, marries her boyfriend after him, then we'll be going in birth order of the cousins. First my sister, then Henry, then Holly, and that leaves me before my younger cousins, Andrew [fifteen] and William [ten]. At least I have a few years.

Anyway, this wedding has got me thinking, mostly about being the free agent in a mass of couples. It's not as much of an enviable position as you would think, despite that they are all gracious in sharing their lives with me, and willing to include me in their day-to-day.

I don't have a vast and sprawling group of friends, but it isn't small, and it is certainly varied. And despite the different lives everyone is walking, I still manage to be The Single Friend [or Cousin...]. For everyone. No, really. Even if my friends are not romantically attached to each other, they are still paired off into their own functional units, whether it be with their roommates or neighbors or bff's.

Because I am now coming to be Of An Age where it's the natural way of my peers to pair off and settle down. Now is the time of weddings and babies and christenings. People I went to high-school with have families of their own.

So, I'm often at odds with myself. I savor my independence [such that it is owning a dog] and take great pleasure in answering only to myself. More and more often lately I've been wanting to strike off on my own [again] and find myself a little cabin in the woods that I can set up a forge next to and make metal things and write stories and have chickens running around in the yard. And maybe a goat. I'm flexible on the goat part.

But, I want babies. And an adult to cook for, and someone to be part of my functional unit, and romance and stupid, giddy love. So, where is my piece of the puzzle?

And yet.

And yet, here I am. Thinking. There was an e-mail going around a couple of years ago that talked about the quarter life crisis. Among other things, it highlights the battle of ennui and enthusiasm that we all feel when we're in our twenties. Snapping between wild confidence and crippling anxiety and the constant conflicting questions. What Next? What am I doing with myself? Who cares what I do? What will people think of what I do? I don't want to do anything with myself. I want to change the world. What the hell is wrong with me?

It's exhausting, and it's precisely the reason that I spend as much time as I do in my own head. Why I read constantly, or write this blog.

We don't want to inflict ourselves on the world, but at the same time, we're aching for it.

Or maybe it's just me.


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Fat blog!

I am a fan of the big peoples. I am a big people. So I've been reading this great feed, Notes from the Fatosphere and came across this right-on post, I eat therefor I'm fat.

my favorite quote:

    My point, in a roundabout way, is that we should not have to prove ourselves to be one of the ‘good’ fatties in order to be seen as people. We should not have to divulge our eating and exercise habits to family/friends/strangers/journalists in order to justify our fatness. Whether we happily overeat or happily run marathons, we all deserve respect.


I was sitting at my desk at work one day, which happens to face a busy hallway, wearing my favorite high-waisted sweater, when a woman came right up and asked me if I was pregnant. I stared at her for a moment, trying to process the fact that she just asked a random woman if they were pregnant, then said, "Er, no" and quirked an eyebrow, daring her to keep talking.

And she did! The woman starts to do some obvious mental scrambling and then comes out with, "Oh, you must be like me, then, need to do some runnin'". Oh no she di'int.

To this I threw in the attitude [I do love living in Balmer] and said, "No, I don't think that I do," and turned back to my computer with a roll of my eyes. The woman looked affronted [!] and muttered, "Well, good for you," and turned back to waiting to get on the elevator down. We're on the third floor.

Anyway, yeah. I probably won't ever fit with the worlds idea of a perfect woman. I am autonomous, I am strong, I am capable. I can start a coal-burning forge, make you a spoon out of steel, and weld together a decorative spiral finial, all on my own. I like violent movies with blood and guts, and I play video games.

I am healthy. I am fat. And it's okay.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Odd dreams

I dreamed last night that I was standing under a lemon tree in California. They were Meyer lemons, and the sunlight was shining through their skin, and I was squeezing them to see which ones were ripe. One burst in my hand, and when I looked down, instead of juice, it was glitter.

I don't know what it means.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thinkin' bout religion.

So, as much as I avoid thinking too hard about organized religion, it is often in my thoughts for various reasons. and today I decided to gorge myself on the archives of a webcomic called "pictures for sad children", and came across this particular comic.

It pretty much sums up my most basic thoughts about religion. I don't mean God. I couldn't begin to explain my views on God or any higher powers, but one fact I always come around to when I am mulling it over, is that I don't want to scream my views on the street corner. I don't want to discuss it with my coworkers, or explain it to strangers on the street. I know I am doing just that with this post, but somehow it feels differently. You wouldn't be here if you didn't want to hear what I have to say, so perhaps that's the biggest difference.

So, what it comes down to for me is love. I love you. If there is God, they probably love you. Even if you hate me, I probably love you anyway. It's something that I sometimes actively struggle to do, because there is a lot of hate and apathy in the world. But I believe that it is important to get down in there and love someone really hard.

So I do, every chance that I get. <3

Happy Father's Day, y'all. I hope that everyone's fathers are lovable, and if they aren't, I hope that you have someone else to love instead.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

my desk.

My mother brought me down a desk yesterday. It was always in the house growing up, and I am v. excited to have it in my apartment, now. Today I put it to good use..

[image is annotated...]

and the view from the seat.


yes, i really write in that notebook, and yes, i use sealing wax and inkwells on a regular basis. I AM A GEEK FOR WRITTEN CORRESPONDENCE. If you have my address, please send me letters. I will write responses dutifully. At the desk! If you would like my address, and I know who you are, you can e-mail me at spillingvelvet at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lighter things. Sort of.

So, movies that I want to see:

    Star Trek. I KNOW I KNOW. I can't believe I haven't seen it either.
    Terminator. I loves me some Christian Bale and explosions.
    Night at the Museum. SMITHSONIAN! AWESOME!

I don't even know what else is out right now, but I want to see these three forthwith.

This weekend was simply delightful. I managed to scam five meals from my awesome friends! Picked up some ramen noodles from Costco on Saturday. Monday, Rosemary and I went to H-Mart in Catonsville. It was v. empty, either because it was a holiday, or because North Korea tested nuclear weapons that morning. I would have stayed home and hugged my family, too.

And in the evening, I helped friends move furniture around for their wee dumpling that is in the oven.

Tonight is recycling night, so I'll be able to get rid of some boxes I've had hanging around. Keeping my bottles, though, so we can bottle the mead and sorrell wine that Marc and I brewed a few months ago. Exciting!!

Bit the bullet and put an air conditioner in my bedroom on Sunday afternoon. Need to find the remote that goes with it, though, because I am definitely not coordinated enough to flail around in the middle of the night when I wake up sweaty and can't see the buttons. I know it's around somewhere, probably under my bed. Natch.

I can't think of anything else right now.


Study says pertussis risk is higher for unvaccinated kids.

Really? Not having a vaccine means you are more likely to catch the disease? Really?


This is an issue that I feel very strongly about, to the point that I don't have an objective opinion. Vaccinate your kids. Just do it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!

My father very generously bought me a new macbook tonight. I have decided to name her Sinta, in the tradition of the late Winesap and the old and ailing Egremont.

I AM THRILLED BEYOND MEASURE!!!!! I have missed having a laptop so badly, and now I have delicious mobility again. AND I can have more than one program open at the same time and not get the annoying beach-ball every time I click on a link.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Apocalypse: not yet? Also, gushing over Frances Hardinge.

So, the world did not end this weekend. Awesome.

I am only a little disappointed that I wasn't able to use my skillz to fashion a zombie-killing shiv from a lawnmower blade.

ANYWAY: in other, less bloodthirsty news, I have just finished reading Gullstruck Island by Frances Hardinge. With this book, Frances has solidified her position as my number one all time most favoritest author. Ever. She writes characters so undeniably real that you cannot help but fall in love with all of them, including the villains. AND HER VILLAINS! They are complex and beautiful, never comical or over-the-top. Situations are never black and white - there is never just one solution. Her heroes are strong even when they can't see their own strength.

In her first book, Fly by Night, Frances introduced us to Mosca Mye. Immediately, I knew that Mosca and I were kindred. She's got moxie for days, and is stubborn and doesn't always know what she wants until she knows that she wants it. This is one of those books that adult readers will wish they had when they were twelve.

And then, with Verdigris Deep/Well Witched, we met Ryan Doyle. Ryan is the sort of thoughtful boy that the good girls fall in love with - they can't help it. He's loyal and intelligent, and cares about the right things. He's not afraid to take the burden of something he knows is too big for someone else.

And now, with Gullstruck Island/Lost Conspiracy, we have Hathin. The girl who isn't supposed to be noticed. Who goes on an impossible mission of vengeance for her people. Who takes on volcanoes and politicians and magic so much larger than herself and who doesn't even stop to wonder if maybe someone else may be better suited. She's the strength we all wish we had.

These books will always hold a treasured place in my bookshelves, and I will give them to my kids. The Lost Conspiracy is due out in September, and I can't wait to see what Frances comes up with next!

ETA: The Lost Conspiracy is, in fact, Gullstruck Island, just under a different name. It appears that Hardinge has fallen victim to that time-honored tradition of changing book names when crossing the Atlantic. Alas.

Friday, May 01, 2009

constant vigilance!

i'm just going to say this no matter how ridiculous it sounds. I'm going to Ohio this weekend, and I am genuinely a little nervous that I cannot take my sword on the plane.

Does that sound crazy? Yes, of course it does, but it is my only weapon in the world, and if the Apocalypse happens when I'm in the Midwest, damnit, I want some cold steel for protection.

At least part of the time we'll be in the suburbs, and my grandmothers house is well situated to see many angles.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Beat the Flu Chocolate Mint Cookies

I work in a rather large medical institution, for a department that only treats the employees. With the recent Swine Flu hysteria, we've been making a lot of soothing noises and doing nasal-pharyngeal aspirates. The former to reassure that no one has the flu, and the latter to prove it.

Understandably, my colleagues are on the edge of our own hysteria, so I decided to boost morale and make cookies. That's my MO - When things get stressful, I bake.

Well! I was pondering this morning what I had, and I realized I was out of chocolate chips! Travesty! So I sidled over to Epicurious and did a search for "chocolate cookies". Well, there were many tempting results, but most of them demanded chocolate chips or sweetened chocolate – of which I had neither! Finally, I came across this little number. Bingo! I had all of the ingredients, and more importantly, it was quick and I had the time to do it.

Then, as I was assembling, I made some minor changes, so I'll repost the recipe with my alterations here. The over-all result was surprisingly light and cakey with a bright mint aftertaste, all without losing the darkness of the chocolate. We made a pot of coffee and took a moment to enjoy a cup with our cookies. I hope these go over as well for you as they did with my coworkers!

Beat the Flu Chocolate Mint Cookies
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 tbsp dried mint flakes [once measured, crush into a fine powder in your palm, using your thumb. Who needs a mortar and pestle!?]

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) salted butter, softened
*1/2 cup raw cane sugar
*1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and crushed mint flakes in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined.

Drop level tablespoons of dough about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets and bake in batches in middle of oven until puffed and set, about 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

*A few notes: The original recipe called for 1 Cup of sugar. When baking with chocolate, I generally like to mix my sugars. I find that using half brown sugar makes a fudgy, rich taste. In this case, I had recently run out of granulated sugar, so had only brown and cane.

I added the mint flakes to fulfill a promise that they would be minty. V. glad that I did!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

heavens to betsy.

My upcoming exciting times:

    April 25/26:
    Farmers Market and breakfast w RS, Nina and Bizzy.
    Matinee showing of Bye Bye, Birdie at Fort Meade High w Rosemary.
    Janna's Dirty Thirty pub crawl.
    Bed, sleep, drool.
    Brunch w the gang.

    May 1-3
    Fly to Ohio for cousin Henry's fiance's bridal shower.
    Make cake for shower?
    Saturday: Ooh and Aah over gifts. Hang out with other cousins.
    Sunday: fly back home.

    May 9/10
    Cynthia's birthday party?
    Mothers day

    May 16/17
    Delaware for Highland Games [beefy kilted men throwing logs? WELL I DON'T MIND IF I DO.]
    Celebrate my birthday with the folks.
    Carrol County Farm Museum for BLACKSMITH DAYS w pops.

    May 19 - MY BIRTHDAY!

    May 23
    Birthday party? 24 omg!

    June 4th
    June 7th
    baby shower [not mine].

I'm exhausted already.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

taxes again.

So, I'll tell you what I won't be protesting this year. Taxes. I pays 'em without complaint, because, for me, it's not about my money being sucked away, it's about making the world I live in nicer.

So. There you go.

Friday, April 10, 2009

the microsoft discount

this is a really fantastic article about the mac to pc spec comparisons going around.

i do know windows. i am forced to use a windows machine every day at work, and i go home to my old little emac with its 300 megs of memory and i sigh with happiness. yes, it's slow. yes, it's CRT. but dude, it does what i want how i want and makes sense.

so, i'm a mac user. always have been, always will be. yes, i'm having to save up forever for a new laptop, but it's worth it to me. one day i'll have my little macbook with 300 gigs of memory, and it'll be fast, and it'll be a flat screen. and that's fine. i'm not in a hurry.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

poetry repost

Just looking over my older stuff. I found this in some things I wrote in 2004.

Eagle Butte

we mourned together, you and i
in those ruins, by that tree.
pages were everywhere and nothing was left

the quiet, fierce wind blew my hair in my eyes and you laughed
on the prairie, smelling sage and the sweet-hot liver someone offered to the eagles
to the butte
tobacco strings and rock piles

and you, dear, shook me like a handful of blossoms
the paper you picked from the bushes and ran
to me
scattering violent drops behind you

the colors bled
purple into red into a black
night sky
and we smiled, the moonlight glowing bright on our teeth

thats the way, you said
over the hill there, we can see eternity

i'm still waiting.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I made some spoon bread a few weeks ago, and it was scrumptious. Soon afterward, I was thinking of other ways that I could use up the cornmeal I bought for it, and my brain followed that natural conclusion to Polenta. Polenta is divine. You can cook it tons of ways: fried, baked, gloppy- all delicious. My mother used to bake it in the oven for a bit with tomato sauce. So good!

So, I went to my favorite food website,, and found me this little gem from the May 2008 issue of Bon Apetit.

It came out SO WELL. I am enjoying another bowl for breakfast as we speak. I played with the original recipe by adding cheese and leaving out a tablespoon of butter [I forgot it!].

Creamy [cheesy] corn-studded polenta

3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
3 cups corn kernels [I used frozen that I thawed for a few hours, but they said fresh from 3 ears, which would be good in the summer]
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese [because what isn't improved by a mountain of cheese?]

Bring broth, cream, and salt to boil in medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in polenta; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes, stirring often. Add corn and cheese; increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until polenta is soft, thick, and creamy, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

I think one could safely add hot sauce, or perhaps a dash of Old Bay. The next time I make it, I'm going to go further with the cheese by adding some parmesan and remembering the butter.

Serve it with chicken! Or steak! Or a mound of veggies! But be warned - it's delicious all on its own, so be prepared to forget whatever else you planned to accompany it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

really, south africa?

You're really denying a visa to the Dalai Lama? For a peace conference?



lalala party times

Tried to throw a rager for twenty on saturday, which then turned into an intimate dinner party for five. Was very good all the same - Dogfish has started putting out their springy hoppy beers, and I must say that I indulged in a few. A fantastic and delightful evening.

Then, on Sunday, once I overcame the inevitable hangover, I went over to Leah and Marc's and we started brewin'! We made a batch of mead and some sorrel wine, which should be FANTASTIC in a few months. Sorrel is a hibiscus that is very popular in the carribbean for drinks. We boiled water, sugar, those dried flowers and some cinnamon and cloves, and it smelled like chrismas! Very deep purple, too. Can't wait!

I'm over my dissappointment with Watchmen. It's cool, it's hollywood. I'll just pick and choose the imagery I enjoyed, and it will help fuel my future re-readings of the book.

lalala lovely lovely weekend! How were yours? Report!

Monday, March 09, 2009

so, I'll whine at length about something else - **Watchmen spoilers.**

So. So. The Watchmen is my favorite graphic novel, okay? Hands-down, ultimately number one. So.

So, listen. It was a good movie, okay. I cannot deny that. The action was FANTASTIC. The acting wasn't half-bad. The love and sorrow and fear and all those delicious gritty things that made me love the books so much were pretty well executed. It was dark and wonderful - Rorschach and The Comedian especially were so perfect. The opening credits drove me to tears of joy and relief within the first twenty seconds. I am a very visual person, so by and large, I LOVE adaptations.

But, with Watchmen, I was left wanting.

I think it comes down to this: I must agree with my pal, Penny, when I say that I wish that they hadn't cut out the humanity. I use that word carefully, because the book spent so much time down in the streets with the regular folks. The Bernies, especially. Something tells me that they shot more than what made it into the film as the make-up and casting for the Bernies were great. For the two seconds of screen-time they got.

See, Alan Moore tells a hell of a story. He is very good at sucking you into the minutae of human emotions, and that, my friends, is what I missed most.

In print, we saw Josephine's [one of my favorites] conflicting feelings about her sexuality. And Dr Long's slow, painful withdrawal from reality during the course of his treatment of Rorschach. I missed the New Frontiersman, even. It just didn't feel right to not cut to the newsstand every once and a while, check in with the fellas.

And even with the backstory of our Heroes, I felt they came up short.

But still, despite all that, I was enjoying myself. Right up until the end. [I'm not going to actually discuss the ending, because I don't want someone to not see it because I gave it away.]

I cannot shake my dissappointment with how they chose to end it. It brought down my whole enjoyment. I could see it coming, creeping up on me from the corners. "No way," I told myself, "they can't be doing what I think they're doing..."

And they did. They freaking did. I was spitting TACKS the whole way home. My father, who did not read the book, was doing his best to console me. He made some good points - some of which I mentioned above with regard to the action and such.

But, I was just so bitterly dissappointed. And I know I'm biased. But I feel like they changed something huge and important that didn't need to be changed. They used so much CGI throughout the movie, how hard would it have been to keep to the story-line?

And the worst part is - I can sort of see the reasoning. AND I DON'T WANT TO. I am a stubborn person by nature, so when I have an idea in my head, god forbid it doesn't work out. So. This may be more a meditation on my own inability to let go, rather than the actual short-comings of the movie.

Or something.

If anyone wants to go see it again, though, I'm totally down. I need to form a really solid, rounded opinion, you know?

Yeah, that's the ticket.


So, here I am worried about North Korea, when people are setting their grandmothers on fire in my own city.

What the hell is wrong with people? I'm too young to be this disillusioned. At twenty-three, the world should be my oyster, and I should have a bright future.

blah blah blah. Just give me a few hours, I'll be back on top. <3

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Went to the American Craft Council Show today with Rosemary. IT WAS SO COMPLETELY AWESOME YOU HAVE NO IDEA. So much stuff! So much AMAZING STUFF. I ended up buying some wooden chopsticks and a matching little bitty salt spoon because I have no salt shaker [Ahem, Dad.] and generally end up filling a shot glass and putting it in the middle of the table at dinner parties. Now I'll have a SPOON, too!

Good Times.

I wish that I was a millionaire so that I could have bought some of the delightful things we saw. Gorgeous textiles!! I want all the scarves ever.

Also, I don't know if anyone has noticed, but Ralphie from A Christmas Story is in Iron Man. He's one of the scientists working for Obidiah to make the miniature Arc Reactor.

Don't believe me? Check this shit out: Peter Billingsley.

I've now watched Iron Man three times in two days. I think it's time to send it back to Netflix. I LOVE YOU, ROBERT DOWNEY JR. If you need a baby, I am your girl. I will birth them for you like a champ.

The End.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Not your typical Jesus post.

I wished someone a "Happy Lent" the other day, and didn't stop to think until later that they may feel I was telling them to revel in deprivation.

But see, to me Lent isn't about doing without - it's about taking on an experiment that you normally wouldn't put much energy into. I am all about self-discovery. And my mother is always very adamant about the specifics. She is careful to call it her "Lenten Discipline", and never, "What she's giving up". The same way that how, in highschool, when a friend asked "Is Molly there?" when calling me, she would answer, "Yes," and then wait for them to ask to speak to me. Thanks, Mom.

Now, It's pretty obvious that I am not a traditional Christian. I'm not even a traditional Episcopalian, although they are the denomination with whom I identify best. Because I don't necessarily believe that Jesus was the son of whatever God is up there [Sorry, Mom, still mulling that one over...]. I do, however, think he was a pretty rad guy, who preached about love and acceptance and genuinely cared for the welfare of the people he touched. How can you argue with something like that?

But, regardless of what you believe, Lent is a good time to try taking on a task. When you think about it, it's more realistic than most New Years resolutions. You can see the end of it if you really can't stand what you've committed to. And then you learn about yourself. In fact, if you're successful with your Lenten Discipline, try commiting yourself to something new each month! Learn French. Master baking. Master French Baking. Take your dog [or hamster!] for obedience classes, and then enter them in an agility show. Your possibilities are endless, because it's not about doing without, it's about what you can do, and being grateful for the time that you are given.

So, this year, for my Lenten Discipline, I am resolving to be neater. Both in my appearance and apartment. I will do all of my dishes as they are dirtied. I will iron clothes that are wrinkled. I will think more carefully about the food I eat. I will sweep my kitchen floor before the popcorn that was dropped on it gets ground into a fine dust. I'll stick to Lent as best as I can, and I won't think too hard about the science of Easter apart from celebrating new life and enjoying my family.

I do like zombies, though.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Oscars and other stuffffffff

Well, I wanted Mickey Rourke to win. alas.

However, Kate Winslet was smokin' and I loved Hugh Jackman. I cried at some point, but I can't remember when. Probably something cliche. Not actually during Mr Ledger, although I was sad.

Pals Rachel and Shel came over spontaneously, and we had popcorn and pasta and Shell made me this crazy amazing drink that had ginger beer, mollasses-y rum, and some lingonberry concentrate. IT WAS FANTASTIC.

anyway, they buggered off around ten-thirty, and I finished watching the awards while Lester tried his level best to crawl into the sauce-pot. Thank goodness he is not tall enough nor does he possess opposable thumbs. That would be a baaaaad day, for sure.

Anyhoo - I'm taking a class! Anatomy and Physiology! This should be easy! I'm excited to break out my ANATOMY COLORING BOOK. Nursing degree, here I come.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I figured out my confusion re: having lester. I will have lived in Baltimore for four years this June. So, Balmer = four years, Lester = three.

Good times.

Dinner tonight at the Golden West Cafe in Hampden. I have not been there in a v. long time - not since my mom and sister were visiting me, and they took hours and hours to get served. Let's hope it's a nicer experience this time. They've had about two years to shape up.


Monday, February 16, 2009

three years

Every year, on February 14th, I celebrate having Lester for another year. This year marked three! I love my little guy, and I can't imagine life without him. He's my furry soul-mate.

Lester through the years...

first photo!

one year!

two years!

three years!

and I am now sort of confused. because I THOUGHT that I've had him for four years, but going back through old livejournal entries, it seems that I've only had him for three years. AM I GOING CRAZY? Who knows.

Anyway, he's still around and I love him to bits and little pieces. YAYE LESTAH.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

i got a new plant.

well, new old plant that i've actually had for a few months now and forgot to mention. she is a corn plant that a coworker gave to me because her new office has no room. her name is constance cordelia. she's a full-figured lady that adds a bit of sass to the kitchen window crew, which includes patience [pony-tail palm] and louisa [pothos]

poor aloysius [palm] is still the only fella since bob/fred [bamboo] kicked a few months back.

why are you looking at me that way?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Oregon trail and other various and sundry.

Back from Portland! Had a delicious time with my sister and brother-in-law. The Chinese Gardens are FANTASTIC and I just wish they were bigger so I could have stayed longer and not looked like a crazy stalker. The weather was lovely, even if it snowed twice. Not too much rain, not too much fog. Crisp air. *happy sigh*

Here are some photos from our various excursions.

Bought several books at Powell's for super-cheap and I wish we had one here in Baltimore. Best. Store. Ever. Am currently plowing through the Wrinkle in Time series by Madeline L'Engle. HOW DID I MISS THESE BEFORE. I suppose half the joy of being an adult is the ability to go back and find things.

In other news: the sky is pooping out very pathetic snow. Not even snow, really. Moisture that has a tendency to be snow.

I don't really enjoy inclement weather, unless it's a thunderstorm in the middle of the summer. THAT is weather I can get happy about.

Anyway. Lester is doing extremely well, the little stinker. I feel like I shouldn't get all worked up when his body does something untoward, because he's sort of a miracle dog, and things always work out just fine in the end. Snaps his ACL? doesn't even limp. Congestive heart failure? He just pees it out.

I love my dog. He smells like Christmas right now, because I've been using this Natural flea and tick medicine that uses peppermint oil as its main ingredient. Delightful.

LALALA work happy hour tonight. Now that I don't drive to work, these little outings are much more enjoyable. :D

Happy Tuesday, y'all.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

back from the brink?

So! A lot has happened since my last, morose post. Lester is doing SO much better, I can hardly believe my eyes. He has full energy, his appetite is voracious, and he's peeing like a racehorse. these are all good signs! it looks like my little guy is going to be with me for a while longer. something that i am so unbelievably grateful for.

thank you all SO MUCH for all your kind words and thoughts. knowing that i had such a fantastic group of people rooting for us made the whole ordeal that much more manageable.

i love y'all. thank you thank you thank you.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lester Blanchard

Lester went into congestive heart failure Saturday morning. He woke me up about 4 with a persistent dry, hacking cough. When he refused water and didn't settle down by 4:45, I started to suspect CHF and took him to the Falls Road Animal Hospital. Once there, they had difficulty listening to his heart, took x-rays and confirmed he had fluid in his chest.

To avoid going in to debt for multiple thousands of dollars, I've decided to take the "make him comfortable" route. They gave him a hefty shot of Lasix, and I'll be giving him some orally for a few days to try to clear out the fluid.

So far, so good. Outwardly, he's not behaving any differently, he didn't even cough much during the weekend after starting the diuretic, but he's certainly peeing a lot.

I'm at peace with this decision. If he was seven instead of fourteen, circumstances might be different, but, as my father put it, he's basically a 95 year old man. So while I can't imagine being without him, I know that the time will come soon, and I think I've given him a pretty good life these last four years.

Please keep us in your thoughts.

Friday, January 02, 2009


why is barack obama wearing a dress in this mortgage ad??