Friday, January 30, 2009
And today, I caved and did mine.
For the three of you who don't know, it's simply a list of 25 random things about you. You tag 25 people, who are in theory supposed to list their OWN 25 random things about THEM, tagging you back.
Anyway, I feel 100 percent certain that seven-eighths of the Facebook universe has since completed this task, so tagging someone back is sort of futile. But I digress.
Here's my list.
1) My nickname is Noodles, the back story of which sounds remarkably dirty even though it is 100 percent not. When I feel feisty I share the sounds-kinky version.
2) It took me three weeks to cave into reading everyone's 25 Things list, much less write my own.
3) Since 1998 I have had mailing addresses in Maryland, DC, Kansas, Florida, Northern Ireland, Tennessee, Indiana and Illinois. My mother is running out of space in her address book.
4) I often think I am funny. I am often wrong.
5) Tomatoes freak me the fuck out. They have a gross consistency, a weird texture and they taste nasty. I also think cauliflowers smells like ass.
6) I once got so lit on cheap chardonnay that I threw up 13 times in one morning. I later went to the beach to recover and never drank two bottles of wine in one sitting again.
7) Haikus rock my face/off. I write them all the time./ Here's two from today.
(Note, I did not write the first one. Mine is the sequal.)
Tila Tequila/A seductive carrier/of STDs
Boys? Girls? No problem/for her. Equality! Plus/antibiotics.
8) I'm painfully nosey. And have an amazingly short attention span. Luckily, both mesh well with my chosen career.
9) I frequently imagine what I'd do if I had another career. Among the (likely) improbable options: nurse practitioner, vet, novelist, epidemiologist, zoo keeper/animal trainer, professional crafter/artist.
10) I have been known to converse with my dog. She does not, to my knowledge, converse back.
11) Post-modern is a stupid term. It sounds too academic and no one knows what it means.
12) Words with “pu” in them tend to make me want to cringe. Among them: pubic, putrid, purity, prurient, pubescent, puberty, etc.
13) I have walked atop the roof of the U.S. Capitol building, but was too chicken to climb into Abe Lincoln's lap during a middle-of-the-night trip to the Lincoln Memorial.
14) I am plagued by a slew of irrational fears. At the moment, one of them is that the windows of my 25th floor office will pop out while I am leaning (nose-to-glass) on them to look down at the Chicago River, and then I will plunge head first to my untimely and icy death while no one hears me scream because they are all busy at work down the hall. I also live in fear that something will happen to my mutt and I will not have the money to pay for her health care. I always imagine my plane crashing upon take off and landing. I used to have to jiggle the lock on my door three times before I was satisfied it was shut, otherwise I would spend all day worrying that it had somehow blown open in the wind and thieves had come in and taken all of my stuff while my dog runs away.
15) I sometimes like pets better than people. They aren't jerks, and when they are, at least they're cute and fuzzy.
16) I hate going into independent coffee shops, forgetting where I am, and automatically ordering a venti. It makes me feel like a tool.
17) At 27, I am just beginning to realize that I am an honest-to-goodness adult and don't need permission or approval from my parents for the things that I do.
18) My house is a pit, but organization and spreadsheets make me happy.
19) In college, I legitimately wished I lived in “Dawson's Creek.”
20) My bedtime is at 10 p.m. It always has been and always will be. I am a fantastic bitch when I'm cranky. Or hungry. Or undercaffeinated. Or thirsty. Or, maybe I am just always a fantastic bitch.
21) Fall is my favorite season because it is my best wardrobe. I do not like to show skin, nor do I enjoy looking like that kid in "A Christmas Story."
22) I think children are too needy. Tie your own damn shoe. I'm sure I will change my mind once I have my own.
23) Patience may be a virtue, but it is not one I have. Neither is tolerance for the inept, lazy and stupid. I am tying to work on both.
24) I love to screw up the curve.
25) The more a movie is targeted at teeny-bopper girls the more I am guaranteed to own it.
Monday, January 26, 2009
The e-mail was titled: "A Message From My Mother."
It follows, verbatim, below.
Here's how the conversation went:
Me: (Noodles) texted me. She might be breaking up with her boyfriend.
Mom: Oh, that's too bad. What happened?
Me: I don't know. I haven't talked to her yet.
Mom: Well, I have something to tell both you and (Noodles).
Me: What's that?
Mom: Men are like subways. If you miss one, you just catch the next one.
Mom: And if it's late at night, you just jump on anything.
Mom: What?! I heard it on the television!
(Actually, I'm afraid the way it went was... If it's late at night, you just jump on anything that comes...)
Blogglings, I am plagued by indecision. I have made pro- and con- lists. I have sought the advice of others. I have researched. And agonized. And am still back where I started: stuck.
Here is my question. Do I really need a car?
Moons ago before I moved to Chicago, in a far away land called Indianapolis, I drove a perfectly respectable 1998 Honda Civic. It was approaching 100K miles and I decided to trade it in for something a little more sturdy and snow-tolerant. Which is when I bought my beloved Subaru Forester. With 9K miles (or maybe 11K), it was a year or two old and just lovely. It kicked winter's ass. It was roomy. It held my dog. The then-boy's dog. My bike. His bike. All kinds of work stuff.
And then, I found out that I might be headed to Chicago. (Point of fact, I actually negotiated the terms of my hire in Chicago while sitting in my 'Ru while pre-partying in the parketing lot at a Jimmy Buffett concer, margarita in hand. but I digress.)
This mark my three years in Chicago. In that time, I haven't even managed to get 20K miles on the odometer _ not 20K more miles, just 20K total. (And several thousand of which was added during my moving back and forth from Indiana.)
Truth be told, I rarely drive and try to force myself to use it once a week, if for no other reason than to justify my $403 monthly car payment. (Which makes for a freaking high per-drive ratio.) I walk to the grocery store. I use public transit for work and to meet friends. I walk to church. When it's not sub-zero I ride my bike practically everywhere. Parking is tight in my neighborhood, so I don't use my car after 5 p.m. because I'll have no hoping of parking otherwise.
Now the economy is tanking and I'm a little nervous. I'm not sure I need my car. And I'm fairly certain I don't need *this* car. But it's a great car. I'm not upside down on my payments and if I can last another 18 months, I'll own it free and clear with a car that will likely run until I die.
Or, I can sell it pay off the rest of the note, put the extra toward lowering my credit card balance and sock a little away for a down payment should my life situation change in a few years and I decide I need wheels again. If I sell the car, I'd probably get a zipcar or igo membership. Plus I get the benefit of paying off debt. And I could actually run errands in the evening, thanks to my car sharing service.
I keep falling back on the phrase "penny wise and pound foolish." But I also don't want to be "penny poor and pound poor," you know?
But you guys are smart. And urbane and clever. What do you think? You won't make my decision for me, but maybe you've got other points I haven't thought of that might help tilt the scale.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Among the greattastic things I picked up were drawer pulls for my dresser. Now, I love this thing. It's big and huge and wood and solid. My parents got it for me in ninth grade and I hope to have it with me forever. But the drawer pulls on it were a little, er, outdated. (See bottom left corner in picture for the original.) I'd been eying the drawer pulls at Anthro for years, and today I found a bunch on sale for $2.50 each.
Of course, I didn't plan on buying them, so I accidentally bought 12 instead of 13. You know what that means right? ANOTHER TRIP TOMORROW! Wheeeeeee!
Anyway, I deliberately got them so none match. Sort of shabby chic, you know?
Here's a few close ups of my favs:
So, here you go. All done. Except for the bulletin board I want to put on the back wall.
It's a little eclectic. But hey, that's me.
Friday, January 23, 2009
WTF? I haven't had wine since Sunday. (Scout's honor. I drank it all on Sunday. There's nothing left!)
Anyway, coffee wasn't helping. Neither was water. The bus ride to work made me want to die.
And then it hit me. ... Wait. It's the PAINT.
Apparently, they (you know, those know-it-alls who warn you that fresh brewed coffee is hot and other such duh-isms) were right about the whole painting in a properly ventilated area. And let me tell you ... you SO WILL feel like an afterschool special if you do not crack a window or a door or something after slathering a gallon and a half of Behr Pale Daffodil on your walls.
But seriously. What was I supposed to do? Let in the cool, fresh breeze of January in Chicago waft through my condo while transforming my dining rooming into the world's most marvelous sewing studio?
Doubtful. Unless and of course buying paint comes with some kind of utility bill credit.
But, I digress.
The point being that the room is done! Well, ish. Done, meaning I have yet to hang any of the art that I bought or made. And I still need to tidy. And there's a bunch of other details to finish.
But, done! Almost! Yay!
I was going to wait to post the pictures until everything was completed but someone (you know who you are, ahem, mother) reeeeeeeaaaaally wanted to see pictures.
Here's looking into the room. That big black cabinet is also my food pantry. Not sure why my food appears to be glowing through the vents. Whatever.
That cool-ass piano picture was taken the one and only Lido Vizzutti, a fabulous shooter and former co-worker of mine who you can find kicking ass in Whitefish, Mont.
I think I might paint that bookshelf too. Oh, and the picture on the top right is something I shot. The one on the bottom shows the fountain in Dupont Circle where I used to live and was a gift from my friend Jay.
The desk is currently covered with stuff I need to hang. But here's a closeup of a few things.
This cool word art is from Beth Gumnick, a great folk artist (and drama teacher) in Chattanooga, Tenn. If you like her stuff, you can find it here. What's totally cool about this piece is that it used to hang on the wall in one of my favorite folk art stores and galleries when I lived in the Scenic City. It was an easy walk (there, not back. There was a big-ass hill) from my house and the store's owners had awesome parties. We knew they'd be great neighbors when they invited us in to look and around and offered us beer from the keg on their back porch. This used to hang by their record player (yes, record player) and I wound up buying it during a New Year's visit.
I also picked up these printing press letters during that trip. There weren't a ton of letters available in the store, so my options of spelling things out were limited. But I liked the idea of a hint. Half secret. Half whispered. A helping hand. And I especially like hanging it in the same room as amplify, which is decidedly not whispered or secretive.
I'm also planning to make a big cork board wall. But that will come.
What do you think? Any ideas on what else I should do?
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Looks like I'm not the only one filled with silent, seething, festering rage. Turns out people dug my letters post yesterday. And most of them are way wittier (more witty?) than I am. So I threw open the gates and asked them to compose their own anonymous missives.
Here's the result.
What would you write? Type away in the comments!
Dear Facebook Friend From ,
Although we have not spoken since graduation day two decades ago, I'm so happy that you asked me to be your friend on Facebook.
Trust me, your profile photo (featuring one of a surprising number of children you've had since we last talked) brought back lots of memories I imagine I would have had we actually been friends in high school.
I'll look forward to random updates in the future indicating that you are bored or watching "Lost." And I'll also enjoy untagging myself from photos you have of groups of acne-faced children in 9th grade.
All the best,
P.S. While I appreciate the thought, I will not be accepting your friend suggestion. That guy was a total dick to me.
From The Modern Gal:
Dear Pedestrian Dressed in Dark Clothing While Crossing the Street at Night:
I realize finding crosswalks can be very difficult. It would be nice if the city would paint some sort of pattern on them to indicate that particular location is the designated place to cross a street. In fact, wouldn't it be nice if the city installed some kind of lighted signal that would let you know when it's time for you to saunter out into an intersection?
I know walking can be very difficult, what with the giant pants you have to hold up with your hand because your belt is just not strong enough to keep your britches from falling to your ankles. And I realize that it's often difficult to see cars approaching, particularly at night. You would think auto companies would install some kind of light in the front of cars to help warn you of their approach.
Thanks for keeping me completely alert as I drive through Atlanta's streets at night. I always wanted to have a heart attack/panic attack/mental meltdown while navigating a car.
Dear investment bankers who caused the credit crisis,
Thanks so much for kicking us out of our house because you want to
jack up the rent by $1,100.
I hope the three college guys who will occupy the house come August
will tear it up beyond recognition with their wild parties.
Because, everybody knows college kids take better care of a house than
a young married couple.
I bet those guys will not swiffer the hard wood floors, nor clean the
with that special cleaner.
You suck royally, Frances.
P.S. I really enjoyed your skanky daughter leaving cigarette butts in
my toilet after she showed the house a couple of weeks ago. That's one
classy lady you have there.
**The opinions expressed above are not necessarily those of Patches & Paws. She just thinks they're funny as shit.**
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Dear Person Walking Slowly In Front Of Me While Carrying An Umbrella The Size of Jupiter:
Hi! You probably don't see me, after all, it's got to be impossible to have any kind of peripheral vision with that thing. But I'm the girl ducking and weaving behind you, trying to pass your magnificent umbrella without losing an eyeball so I can get to my bus and get the hell home.
See, while I'm glad you golf (after all, what other venue would require an umbrella big enough to whisk away a rotund Mary Poppins), I thought I might make a suggestion.
Perhaps you've seen these new-fangled travel-sized umbrellas. (They appear to be available in virtually every major retail outlet.) Buy one. Now. Because at rush hour, just like the streets, the sidewalks of downtown Chicago are jam-packed.
Or, alternatively, perhaps you would consider walking slightly faster than my 100-year-old grandmother.
Thanks and have a great day!
Dear Behr Paint:
Thank you for making Pale Daffodil.
It's looking quite splendid in my new sewing studio and has the added benefit of being a cathartic breakup cure. Perhaps, given the recession and the fact that virtually everyone _ everywhere _ is seeing revenue vanish faster than that free makeup department stores gave away yesterday, you should consider marketing your product to the recently single.
I can see it now! You can partner with therapists. And bakeries. And wineries. And hair stylists, who most often bear the brunt of the female post-breakup angst. Just teach your sales clerks to look for that dejected shopper lugging a half-eaten pint of ice cream with them to the hardware store.
Oh, and while you're at it, perhaps you could figure out a way to dog-proof your paint. My excited mutt left an ass print on a wet wall and now is sporting a rather odd 1980s look, thanks to the streak of yellow paint that she won't let me clean off the side of her face.
Dear Mother Nature,
Ha ha. You win.
Dear Chicago Transit Authority:
What's with the flying-high-on-uppers-happiness that seems to have overtaken your train conductors and bus drivers? Did you give them a raise or something?
Don't get me wrong, I completely prefer this to the jerkfaces who pull the bus away while I'm still standing at the corner. When it's -30.
But, seriously. Let a girl get some coffee flowing through her veins before assaulting her with their Prozac-fueled morning bliss.
Dear Girls At My Gym:
FYI: Make up is not necessary for your daily workout routine. Why? Because half the dudes at our gym are gay.
See, it's spitting distance from BOYSTOWN. I know the name sounds confusing, but trust me when I tell you that these boys are just not that in to you.
Plus, you and your fake eyelashes are giving me a complex.
But I do think it's totally fair game and a-political to say that I got a little misty-eyed yesterday reading this open letter from Jenna and Barbara Bush to the Sasha and Malia Obama.
This part at the end really got me. Although, I fully confess that perhaps it was PMS.
And finally, although it's an honor and full of so many extraordinary opportunities, it isn't always easy being a member of the club you are about to join. Our dad, like yours, is a man of great integrity and love; a man who always put us first. We still see him now as we did when we were seven: as our loving daddy. Our Dad, who read to us nightly, taught us how to score tedious baseball games. He is our father, not the sketch in a paper or part of a skit on TV. Many people will think they know him, but they have no idea how he felt the day you were born, the pride he felt on your first day of school, or how much you both love being his daughters. So here is our most important piece of advice: remember who your dad really is.
I mean, regardless of what you think about politics, policies and political issues, who can't relate to the bond of family, even if you can't imagine living your life and growing up on such a public stage?
So three cheers to big sisters and little sisters and helping each other _ related or not _ through what will most assuredly be a life-changing event.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I DID however, accomplish a totally different project. A collage.
Yeah yeah. I know. What am I, 3? Bite me, jerkfaces. It was AWESOME.
JoAnn's was having a sale on these cardboard letters so I got A and H, because they are my initials. Then I attacked a stack of magazines and some fabric scraps, completely covering my newly vacuumed floor with tiny bits of paper and thread. Then I modge podged the crap out of them after the glue was dry. I think I'm going to put them up in my soon-to-be-decorate sewing room. Or, maybe I'll stick them somewhere else.
I also did all the sides, which made for some glue-covered fingers and kindergarten flash backs.
Here's a close up of one of my favorite sections:
But, just because I felt compelled to walk around outside without long johns and an extra layer of wool, it's still cold and icy. Like, red-state-on-Nov. 5 icy. Especially along the side of my building, where, by order of The Condo Board, all pet owners must take their mutts out for walks.
I've discussed my issues staying upright on ice at length, but suffice it to say that I risked life and limb to share these pictures with you.
This, btw, is one of the rain gutters along the side of my building. The ice coating goes up all four stories.
Ice gutter close up:
Who wants to fly me to the Bahamas for a few days!?
I am poor.
Ok. Not food-stamps-poor. But poor enough where my checking account mystifyingly reaches the single digits in the day before pay day.
So, because of this, I'm waaaaaaay psyched about my forth-coming tax refund. Woot to the refund! (Yes, yes, I know all you smart people say I should just adjust my withholdings, otherwise I'm giving the government an interest-free loan. But whatever. I enjoy, nay, heart, the refund.)
So last week, I had a glass (ok, fine ... a bottle) of wine and set out to figure out my refund. Of course, since TaxCut (my trusty tax software for the past three years) got all high-tech this year, I couldn't use it since my poor iBook's operating system is so old.
No problem, I thought. Millions of people do taxes by hand. How hard can it be?
I printed the forms. Downloaded the instruction book. Sharpened a pencil. Turned up the music and ...
OMG! OMG! OMG!
I'm getting an $11,000 refund! Hallelujah! Sweet Jesus! The tax gods have smiled on me! That's five whole digits back!!
I continue to swig chardonnay while doing a pajamified version of my happy dance around the condo. I mean, I know they said homeownership comes with great tax benefits, but holy shit! $11,000!?!?
This means I can pay off my credit card bill! And seed that emergency fund that I know I should have! And afford a plane ticket to San Francisco! And maybe splurge on a massage or something!
I'm freakin' ecstatic. Even The Mutt seems caught up in my enthusiasm, throwing her tennis ball at me. And running around in happy dog circles.
But, hum. Wait a minute.
$11,000? Really? That seems, well ... wrong. That's like getting all of my federal taxes back. And, like, that doesn't happen. At least, not to working professionals.
My refund high and I are beginning to crash. Hard.
Maybe I'll get an accountant. Maybe I'll burn some kind of herb as an offering to the tax gods. Maybe I'll....
It's daytime. I'm sober. And I have TurboTax. The math seems less ... magical.
I am NOT getting an $11,000 refund. I am not getting half that. I am not getting a quarter of that. I'm getting ... a lot less.
Where's my wine?
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Here's some pictures of projects that are on deck.
I pieced this top forever and ever ago and just found the perfect home for it. I won't give many details because it's a surprise for a little boy whose mom read this blog, but here's the fabric I'm going to use for the back:
Here's part of the back for my Flea Market Fancy.
And here's some fabulous fabric for another surprise project for a great friend who digs a certain color:
Dude. I'm a kick-ass friend.
I'm not so much with the sports. I mean, I'm marginally athletic (when I'm not sitting on my ass while slurping down a bottle of Chardonnay.)
But unless it's total cliches like gymnastics ("OMG, that bobble totally cost her. I wonder when she'll hit puberty.") and ice skating ("OMG, that shaky landing totally cost her. I wonder when she'll hit puberty.") and swimming ("OMG, Michael Phelps.) I'm generally 100 percent sports ignorant.
This is especially funny (or, problematic) because in the context of my career, I need to be somewhat sports literate. I've had assignments that involved attending the Indy 500, the Final Four, pro basketball games and various other duties.
The Modern Gal, a girl who loves SportsCenter as much as Sex in the City, knows her shit and helps me out. She's even gone so far as to allow me to fax her a box score while both of us were at work, so she could talk me through the mix of numbers.
But, while I know jack about sports, I do know a thing or two about trash talking, a skill that comes in handy several times a year during any period known as "the playoffs."
This should explain why I was downright GLEEFUL to find out that the Baltimore Ravens will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in something called the AFC Championship tomorrow. (Ok, I'm not that sports illiterate.)
Because, yours truly hails from the great state of Maryland. (Woooot! Free State in the house!)
Now, aside from the fact that cheering for the Ravens and Redskins is some kind of birthright in Maryland (along with crabs and lacrosse, but I digress), the main reason I dig the Ravens for this: they're literary!
The team is named in honor of Baltimore's adopted son, Edgar Allen Poe, and his most famous poem "The Raven." The team's mascots _ three cartoon birds _ are named Edgar, Allen and Poe. (As a word nerd, this warms my heart.)
So, with that said, com'n Pittsburgh. STEELERS? Really? What the hell? That'd be like calling Maryland's team the Baltimore Crabbers. Or the Baltimore Oysterers. Or the Maryland Jousters (true fact, Maryland's official state team sport is jousting.)
Steelers, sheesh. Laaaame.
I bet your team doesn't have any connection to great works of literature.
Btw, that super cute embroidery image is courtesy of Urban Threads.
The way it works is that you get all the extra bubble wrap you have that's lying around your house. Lay it down in the middle of a street (preferably one where you're not going to get struck by traffic), gather a group of people and on the count of three, begin jumping up and down until every last popping bubble has burst. It's a total hoot. (Btw, this is equally fun with or without beer.)
We did this in Atlanta when some neighbor folks decided to ring in the New Year by creating our own sound of fireworks.
Should you want to try this at home, I totally recommend it. Just, you know, watch out for cars. Also know that the bigger the bubbles in the bubble wrap, the easier (and more gratifying) it is to pop when you're using your feet.
BTW, that's me in the front.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
This post is mostly geared to Chicagoans, but anyone, please, pipe up.
I'm venturing the 'burbs this weekend and it got me thinking, out side of Vogue in Evanston, Quiltology on Halsted and some place in Batavia that scared me by the vast amount of calico in stock, I'm pretty ignorant to fun fabric and quilting stores.
I'm in to hip, funky and modern prints. If it looks like it belongs in Little House on the Prairie, or is a batik, it's probably not for me. (Not that there's anything wrong them...)
So, what say you girlies? Pony up the deets.
So, what's worth the gas in the area? Anyone? Bueller?
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Or this, its bolder-hued sibling?
Personally, I think both are cute as can be. And I'm all about folk art. But is $50 for a bouquet of six a good deal? Maybe for flowers that are always fresh....
I'm planning to start off the weekend with a humor reading, conveniently located in a bar, headlined by my one of my favorite authors. (Deets are here, Chicago peeps, if you want to meet up.)
Then there's a co-worker's "Fabulous, Slightly Blasphemous Martini Luther King Party" on Sunday, where the slogan is: "A martini delayed is a martini denied."
Yep, because that's how I roll.
But in between, I want to sew, sew, sew.
I totally want to try making this fabric bowl, featured over at Craft Stylish.
OMG, isn't it cute???
And I've already written about my intense, overwhelming need to decorate and re-nest. Which, btw, has been heightened since I saw this super-cute pillow over at Chickpea Sewing Studio, which is the perfect inspiration for my effort to re-cover my own pillows.
I also have an ambitious plan to unbury my car from its icy encasement and head over to Ikea, which, who knew, has FABRIC BY THE YARD? Of course, the Scandanvian's won't let me buy it on line so I have to trek my ass way the hell out to the suburbs. But, wouldn't you do it for a chance to own this at $6.99 a yard??
I know! Me, too!!
Ack! Why can't it be the weekend already?!?!
So, while I sip tea and procrastinate on writing something for work, I thought I'd share with you some great vintage winter pictures, courtesy of Millie Motts.
I like to think that this is a very chic 1940s or 50s version of my imaginary alter ego, running down the mountain to work, or to meet some handsome intellectual professor/scientist type while discussing global affairs and politics.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Which is why this book of postcards is one of the best gifts ever, purchased for me by my super-fantastic work pal who thought I needed some cheering up. It arrived at the office today via the lovely folks at Amazon. And I totally cackled for a good 10 minutes before hobbling over to share the entertainment with my equally minded coworkers. Howling laughter was heard for a better part of the afternoon as the book was passed from desk to various desk.
Among the gems:
Aren't friends who know you the best thing ever??
Regardless of whether I completely change my tune in the dead-still heat of summer and get all wistful for autumn and crisp air (sweaters! yay!) and shit like that, let me go on record as say this: WINTER CAN BITE MY ASS.
Winter in Chicago is like a special breed of sadistic, pain-enducing, alcohol-swilling, blanket-layering, extremity-numbing cold. (I like to refer to this as bitch-ass cold.)
I know it's not Alaska and there are other places with latitudes worse than mine where it sucks even more. But that does not keep me from frequently (and with an expert amount of only child finesse) complaining to all my friends who live in the practically tropical climates of the Mid-Atlantic and deep South.
In fact, my complaints have become so standard that we have an unspoken deal. I am given unfettered complaining rights from roughly October until mid- to late-April. And then, it's their turn. I have to shut up and listen to the freakishly hot and humid stories of life in Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama, just to name a few. I think it's a fair trade.
In addition to cold-weather bragging rights, Chicago's winter also involves learning to navigate the slip-and-slide that is virtually any flat surface within a day of snowfall. Sure, shoveling sidewalks is required by law. Does it happen? Riiiight.
Twelve hours after flakes fall, unshoveled sidewalks start to get slick. Twelve more and shoveling is almost impossible after all the trampling. Twenty-four more and you may as well strap skates to the soles of your shoes to try to make it to the bus stop without a concussion.
This makes for particularly dangerous walking when you're someone like me, who might be charitably described as gracefully challenged. (I have on more than one occasion been called a walking bruise. Also, a gazelle. By, um, my mother. Seriously, there was the Ass-Over-Elbows Escalator Fall of 2006 that almost required an ambulance; the Gushing Mountain Bike Injury the summer before that really should have involved stitches. There's a list.)
Anyway, this is a long-winded complaint that leads to this:
That's my knee cap after a rather stunning fall this morning on the bus. Ice-caked shoes and a snow-soaked floor are not a good combo and I bit it. Hard. Making matters worse, the bus had barely started to pull away from my stop. I really should have just gotten off at the next stop and hobbled the hell home to mope in the comfort of my bed.
Fast forward 45 minute to me, grateful to have shaved in the last millennium, sitting at my desk with with my jeans and long-johns rolled up while icing my bare leg. Classy.
Is it spring yet?
I'm in the mood for some serious redecorating. It started with the breakup. As a remedy, I decided to turn my dining "room" (a designation, which by anyone's standards, is charitable) into a sewing studio and the unofficial headquarters of Pieces of Yay! Designs.
On deck: new paint in the pale-yet-warm-and-buttery yellow variety.
I am turning a found bookshelf into an all-purpose storage center. I want to paint it a cerulean blue and store my stash (which, btw, is neatly organized in oh-so-cute wooden clementine boxes), my sewing books, my sewing box and supplies and my sewing machine.
When I went to Atlanta for New Years, I picked up some super-fun folk art pieces that I can't wait to hang on the wall. And yesterday, during a pop in to Anthropologie (aka, Noodle's Hall of Happiness), I snagged this super cute small rug at 50 percent off.
Anyway, now I'm like a girl obsessed. I'm not feeling my living room decor that much any more, it's a little too, er ... my mom. (No offense, Momma. Your style is AWESOME.) But I just want a fresh start as I reclaim my space. I'm not talking going overboard. I love my space. I love my stuff. I just a coat of paint to get rid of the bland beige walls. Some curtains. A new area rug. And maybe a new big picture to hang up behind the sofa.
I've already re-arranged furniture. And now I also want to paint the living room a similar yellow. I love the Anthropologie curtains, which of course I cannot afford. And then there are these super cute ones at Ikea, which also make my heart skip a beat.
I also fell in love with this:
Of course, at $400 for a 8x10, cost prohibitive is pretty much an understatement. (Have I mentioned that I am demonstrably broke, so this entire post is mainly just to put words to my interior decorating fantasy.)
Still, I just want _ and desperately need _ change. I'm planning to use some of my fabric to recover some outdated pillows. I'm working on quilts. I already have a kick-ass table runner that I made.
Anyway, the natives are restless. And I can't wait to bust out the drop cloths and the turpentine. Bring it on, baby!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
My favorite sketch by far was their "Save Broadway" skit. Totally entertaining for a theater dork like me, right down to the fact that they met in a back room at Sardi's.
(Did I mention that we also got eight million feet of snow? All of which is piled on top of my car.)
So, I hunkered down and decided I needed an easy-to-complete project. I'm not sure why, but I wanted it to be pink. Maybe it's because my pink stash is getting out of control. Or I'm unknowingly trying to boost the estrogen in my house. Whatever the reason, this is what I came up with:
The pattern is flea market fancy, by the lovely Amanda Jean over at Crazy Mom Quilts. It's totally simple to sew and cut and comes together really fast. (I started Thursday evening and finished Friday night, with a full day of work in between.)
I loved how she used white sashing in one of her's, but I wasn't going to leave the house, so I used some magenta-ish solid cotton that I had lying around. Everything in it was in my stash.
I took some pictures of my favorite squares, but most of them are blurry. (I was in a rush.) But here's an OK one. On my aging iBook screen, the pink looks purple. But, it's not.
I've got some really cool ideas for doing patchwork on the back. I'm thinking, essentially, concentric squares in the center _ some solid, some in patchwork.
I've given away (or have homes planned for) all but one quilt I've done. (That one is going to be my practice learn-to-stipple quilt.) But this one, in all it's pink glory, is totally mine.