April 2010


Oh porter, oh stout

your depth of flavor, richness,
your soul.
essence of coffee and chocolate
complex flavors of earth.

Nick doesn’t like you
he doesn’t understand you
like I do.

Oh dark beer, our love is pure
pure as your sweet, smoky depths.

You even taste good with ice cream,
poured over like a root beer float
except not root beer.

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Last night Nick and I walked to the library, got cards, and perused for a while.  Then, we came home with books; I had three, he had one.  I just finished the first one.  It was very funny, written by Terry Pratchett, from his Discworld series.  I always assume that an author named Terry is going to be female, but more often than not they’re male.  And from England.  England needs to start either a club or a support group for men with women’s names.  All the Terrys and Chrises and Chelseas and Kellys and Kims can attend and feel not so alone.  Who knows, there might even be a Sue!  (extra special bonus points if you got the reference to Johnny Cash’s song, A Boy Named Sue)
Remember how I mentioned that my family has a few animals right about now, and how mom will be evicting some of the kittehs because there’s no room at the inn for them?  Earlier in the week, I was told by Older Sister that Little Sister went and got herself a puppy.  Because she wanted something to love.  Well gee, Little Sister, what about YOUR CAT THAT YOU ABANDONED WHEN YOU MOVED OUT?  What about the kitten that you had for a while with your husband before you decided to divorce, that our cousin had to take off your hands because you couldn’t take care of her?  In short, WOMAN YOU ALREADY HAVE PETS.  Why, oh why would you have the gall, the nerve, the cheek to take on another animal?  Are you going to leave him or her once they’re out of the cute phase?  Did you take into account bills for vet visits, food, gear, flea treatments?  Did you think about exercise?  Did you research breeds to find a dog that would fit your life and home, or did you just get distracted by something cute and fluffy that will grow to be a gnawing, howling, hyperactive monstrosity?  Gah.  I rant here because I know she doesn’t read this.  I mean, my mother will be evicting pets, pets Little Sister has grown up with.  Why not take them on, give them a home and love (since you can have pets, I guess, and I can’t), instead of condemning them to some shelter and maybe euthenasia.  Pardon me, I need to sink into a helpless depression real quick.

(crickets chirping)

Okay, I think I’m out of it now.  Man, I really need to go through the four boxes of random crap from my move.  See, I think I should keep the stuff because a lot of it was/is/are/were gifts, and could possibly be useful in the future.  But crap, there’s nowhere to put it all!  Unless I get some storage bins, but that involves spending money and I’d prefer to not.  But there are a few spots I can still shove stuff, but I want little drawer units to stuff full for like. . . control of the overflow.  And this is for the stuff I know I want to keep.  Anyone want to keep me company while I straighten up?

I want a kitten, or perhaps a grown cat to be friends with, even though Nick and I both agree that we need a year of marriage without killing each other before we introduce another living creature.  As far as pets go, I’ve grown up with them.  None of them were “mine”, per se, but I loved them all and they all loved me.  Binkie was the first. Binkie the cat was around before my eldest sister was born, and she hung around till long after.  She was a calico-ish mongrel of a wonderful cat.  If a family member was ill, Binkie would sleep with you until you were better.  She would play with the plastic zip things off the tops of milk jugs, and she would climb up to my top bunk almost every night, purring like crazy, to cuddle with me.  She would bite my nostril if I was over-cuddling her.  Next up, after a small series of kittens that wandered off within a month of joining our family, was Tiger Lyle.  He was originally Tiger Lily, because we were in a Peter Pan phase and we thought he was a girl.  His name changed to Lyle once he was determined to be male.  He was skinny, and kind of a pansy.  He lost a lot of neighborhood catfights, but he was wonderful and he loved me.  Even when he used my closet as a bathroom, I loved him, too.  In the middle of these cats we added our first dog, Dappy.  She was so named because of her dappled coloring, but so many of my friends misheard that she was also called Daffy for a good portion of her life.  She was a great family dog, and she loved my mom much more than anyone else.  About 5 or so years into her life, my dad wanted a dog that could be his, and Buddie came along.  He was a chocolate lab crossed with a Black-mouth Cur, which is apparently a variety of Southern hunting dog.  Indeed, the definition of cur is: a bad-tempered dog.  Buddie almost fulfilled that part of his breeding, but he became much more bonded to us during a couple stints in the hospital: a run-in with some bad salmon, and a bad fracture of his back leg.  Somewhere in the middle of this we lost Binkie, and my mom was broken-hearted.  So, we got a half-grown feral kitten from her grandfather, and we named him Bootsie.  Bootsie, it turned out, had FIDS, and Feline Leukemia. Bootsie didn’t make it to 2.  After Bootsie, years later, we got Little sister a cat – Tigger.  Obviously an orange tabby, he had a white chest and a tail he held straight up, like a flag when he ran.  She lost interest in Tigger after he stopped being a small, cute kitten, and shortly after she realized that having a cat meant litter-scooping, so Tigger became a family cat.  He also became incredibly large.   In the middle of that, we lost Dappy.  And we lost Lyle, so we got me a kitten!  I named him Beauregard, Bo for short.  He was black and white and pretty and I loved him so much.  After he got old enough, I let him be an outside cat too, because he deserved the responsibility.  And then the neighbors started feeding him.  And then he stopped coming to me when I’d call.  So I lost my cat.  In the middle of that, Buddie was heartbroken over the loss of Dappy.  He was howling all day when we were gone to work and school, and he was biting great chunks out of the couch.  We knew we had to get him a puppy.  We found our current dog, Murray.  He’s quarter lab, quarter terrier, and half Blue heeler.  He is stripey and adorable and I love him and it’s really hard for me to be married and away from him.  Murray was Buddie’s companion, and it worked out okay.  Buddie was like a surly uncle – young enough to play with but only as long as it was his idea.  Erin wanted a kitten, so we got her Naddi.  Fat, grey, stripey.  Hilarious.  Mom wanted a cat.  She got Dedee.  Dedee disappeared.  We lost Buddie a year ago.  We got mom another kitteh, Pippy.  Not Pippi Longstocking, Pipsqueak.  Dedee reappeared, bringing the cat grand total to 5, technically.  Except the only ones in the house were Tigger, Naddi, and Pippy.  Well, and Dedee.  She disappeared again.  Bo still thinks he belongs to someone else.  I am moved out and many cities away, and I have no pets.  My mom just called me saying they want to get rid of a cat or two, and don’t we totally need a cat or three?  Mom’s new husband and stepson have like three or four cats themselves, and a chinchilla.  That my mom pets.  While naked.  I still don’t know why she told me that particular story.  I guess she decided to be affectionate to Chinchy just out of the shower?  Add their four or five pets to the four living in mom’s house, that’s a damn lot of cats.  And I don’t want any of my babies being given away, but man, I can’t take them and my heart is breaking into tiny, furry pieces.  It’s too early to drink to suppress emotion, right?  Yeah, it’s ten a.m.  That is too early.  I may just bake instead.

Not that I have to make any decisions today, just that I’m going to do so. I found a link (okay about 5 million. yay google.) on how to sketch faces and I’m going to practice!  I like to sketch people but I’m lousy at faces.  I can generally get the lips and eyes pretty close, but noses completely elude me.  I blame uncle Dan.  He stole my nose with frightening regularity at family functions.  He also was a concert player of the rib-fiddle.   And he gave equestrian lessons, “this is the way the lady rides,” etc.
Anyway – I will be sketching today and I am excited about it.  Also, I plan on embarking on an hour of yoga, to completely kick my own butt.  I got the DVD super-cheap at a Ross Dress-for-Less, and it is slightly ridiculous, and that makes me love it even more.
Oo! Oo! Oo! I forgot to mention something – I found a library within comfortable walking distance, and easy biking distance!  And even better, Nick and I walked there last night, just to find it for ourselves, and it’s open till 8 pm six days a week, so this is very exciting for me.  Also, evening walks to get or return books is just one more thing we can do together, instead of ignoring each other across our living room.

I love crafts. I love creating things, and knowing that they’re useful. I’d really like to take a sewing class that would teach me how to freestyle sew, instead of using patterns.  Patterns make me twitch a little bit and they totally make a project take twice as long and also probably three times more stressful. Reasons why: 1. Patterns are very fragile, being made as they are from tissue paper. They are easily destroyed, making a project more stressful.  2. Patterns make rules for a project, and projects are meant to be creative outlets.  3.  Patterns have many different sizes marked out in concentric shapes, and unless you cut the pattern to your chosen size (which adds twice the cutting time to your project), you never really know what line to follow.  If I were to use a pattern I’d lose all my momentum and interest by the time I had the pattern cut out, and I don’t think that’s too conducive to making myself a darling little sundress before December.

Yesterday was Nick’s birthday, and it was fun. The plan, as agreed on by him and his parents, was to go to Benihana for yummy foods with them, us, Gingy, and the Baron and Gingerninja. After, we’d retire to our apartment for wine and dessert.
With a game plan like that, it was entirely obvious to me that we (I) needed to clean our (my) apartment or we (I)’d be judged on its appearance, cleanliness, and lack of being completely moved into and no art or pictures or personal touches on the walls.  I work Saturday mornings, so I spent those hours itemizing what I needed to do once I got home.  Happily for me, an hour or so before I was done with my shift, Nick texted me an itemized list of what he had done to clean the house.  It was a good list.  I got home and we took a nap, by which I mean he stayed with me till I dozed off and then he went and played on his computer.  When we started to get ready, I started to panic. I hadn’t cleaned the house myself, we didn’t have enough art, our furniture wasn’t nice enough, I didn’t have any pretty clothes and couldn’t go buy any, Nick wasn’t helping me, and the world might have been ending.  Part of it was real panic and anxiety, but a good portion was low blood sugar and no protein.  I get mean when that happens.  Nick force-fed me a snack, and I got better and we went off to dinner.
Dinner was delicious, dessert was nice, we played a card game called In a Pickle, and Nick declared himself happy with his birthday. However, I felt, and still feel, a little grumped because his parents planned his birthday.  I mean, I’m his wife.  Granted, I’ve only been his wife for a month and a half, but still. I’m his wife, so shouldn’t I be the one planning special things for him?  I do tend to procrastinate, but I wanted to do something that he wanted to do, not just do something that I’d appreciate done for me.  I guess this year I did put it off, but I still am not super happy that I didn’t plan for him.

I biked over to friends’ place again to workout, and I must say that the second attempt went much better than the first.  I finally remembered how to ride a bike: like standing up whenever possible, and not wearing a helmet that squeezes my brain.  It was a rousing success.  I even brought a snack so my blood sugar didn’t crash repeatedly, and I was able to converse with my friends and actually exercise with them!  I was very happy to ride home because I knew how far it was and I still had some energy to make it and not feel like dying at the end.  Unfortunately, either the hot water in our building is experiencing difficulties, or I’m just too impatient to wait for it, but I took a cold and unpleasant rinse-off shower.  I think it was the fastest shower that actually cleaned me, that I’ve ever taken.  Nick had to take a cold shower this morning, too, and the poor man has next to no body fat.  He got out of there shivering, and was shill shuddering fully dressed. It took a cuddle and a cup of hot tea to set him right.  I am also jumping on a bandwagon: I am watching Glee. My only solace in my sudden fit of trendiness is that I am watching season 1 on DVD borrowed from a friend.  I am not trying to stay current.  That way, I must not be truly trendy, right? RIGHT?!  I finished an amazing book series today, too.  By Kate Forsyth,  “Witches of  Eileanan” is entrancing and complex, and to my personal relief, the authoress remembers all the random characters on the fringes and wraps up their stories, too.  I highly recommend it.

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