29 September 2008

May You Live In Interesting Times

is a wish full of blessing and curse -- and inevitability too, I suppose -- all tumbling around in one messy, exuberant package.

27 September 2008


Which, actually, pretty much says it all.

But in all this time lounging about in bed I have managed to accomplish two things:
  1. make Lila the happiest cat ever
  2. fuss over some crochet stars.

More on these later. (I promise.)

25 September 2008

For No Apparent Reason

An old picture of us in Seattle.
Up from L.A. for Rick's birthday.
Discovering a new park in our former hood.
Looking equal parts sleepy and giddy.

23 September 2008

Up And At 'Em

Here is a mix that Rick created to usher in the morning gently.
  1. Forever Thursday - How Can It Be
  2. Ingrid Michaelson - The Way I Am
  3. Feist - 1234
  4. The Shins - Caring is Creepy
  5. The Hidden Cameras - Boys Of Melody
  6. Jay Brannan - Soda Shop
  7. Azure Ray - If You Fall
  8. Jack Johnson - Banana Pancakes
A little bit of this and a little bit of sausage sizzling in the pan, and I tell you, there's nothing gonna get you down.

(Not even Sarah Palin.)

22 September 2008

Goodbye Ms. Summer, My Sweet

I have never had a summertime boyfriend. My family was never the type to summer anywhere. And the boys I ran into in the neighborhood were the exact same boys I saw through the school year. And though slightly more tan, perhaps, which has its intrigues, no more interesting than they were the other nine months of the year.

During high school, I did once spend a week at a friend’s cabin (read: trailer) that her parents had at a small resort in central California (read: lake with lots of recreational boating – of the motor kind, of course). Wherein I managed to nurture a small, tenuous flirtation with a boy. He was a terrible conversationalist, I recall. But there was some kissing involved. And even a momentary feel up – over bra, over shirt.

And that, I’m afraid, will have to pass as my one summertime romance.

I never really started to think of summer itself as a paramour until a friend of mine observed aloud the striptease women play with warmer weather. First showing off wrists, then elbows, and finally shoulders. Baring them to be kissed by the sun.

In some conflation of the ideas, summer has been a woman to me ever since – a sultry, sexy femme fatale type. One who will make you crazy with loving her. Then use you up and cast you aside.

So every year now I feel I have a summertime lover. Some sort of tawdry, steamy lesbian affair, I guess, a la Mulholland Drive or The L Word (at least the first season affair of Jenny and Marina). In loving Ms. Summer, I am equal parts scorned and breathless, desperate to leave and helpless to stay.

I am, however, always ready to see her go. Ready for a break from her tumult, her temper. And no less so this year. Hello serene fall. I am ready to be cradled by you – nurtured and soothed. I am ready to fall repentant in your arms, ready to be calmed by your steady assurances.

To you, Ms. Summer, hot and sweet,

You are, as always, purely electric. But I fear I am a bit too worn for all your energy. What I’m saying, I guess, is that I’m not sorry you’re leaving. But I know you’re not worried about that. Come February, I will dream of you again. I will wait longingly for naked wrists and exposed elbows. And I will prepare myself for your angst and your fire. And also, for moments like these:

p.s. These were all shot on film. Glorious film!

21 September 2008


A little lazy Sunday pet love, because I am a sap.

19 September 2008

Brought to You by the Letter H

Perhaps I've been overwhelmed by a surge of nostalgia for the Sesame Street of yore. Perhaps it's just that my brain is mush at the end of this very long week. But I'm having a little too much fun picking out great words that all start with the same letter.

So today I bring you another 5 favorites, starring the letter H.
  1. hirsute
  2. happenstance
  3. homonym
  4. hodgepodge
  5. hissy

17 September 2008

What Was, Once

This is the typewriter guy from Sesame Street demonstrating
how it is over here at odd pear lately. (I found him here.)

And while I'm on the topic of what used to be,
let me also confess that I once wanted to get a typewriter guy tattoo.
You know, because I like to write and all.

It used to be that I could whip out a thousand-word essay for class in 45 minutes flat. (Not stellar scholarship, mind you, but certainly better than good enough.) I could even manage to edit said essay in between ejecting and inserting slides manually into a projector upon uncertain queues from a teacher for the benefit of an art history class I wasn't even taking.

*sigh* I used to be sufficiently ambidextrous.

Now this less-than-thousand-word paper I've been assigned for my US History class (due tomorrow!) has me all tied up in knots. Too much space! Not enough space! And ack! What will I actually say?!

(Rick is tickled by my self-inflicted agony. "You write a thousand words all the time," he reminds me. Some entries on this very blog are a case in point.)

Nonetheless: crap!

Wish me luck.

15 September 2008

A Random List

Of 5 words I like that begin with the letter S:
  1. samosa
  2. spendthrift
  3. swallowtail
  4. scour
  5. supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
What are some of yours?

12 September 2008


Bare shoulders are full of anticipation.

Don't you agree?

11 September 2008


This picture (not my own) is of a Tumbleweed Tiny House, called Weebee.
It looks most inviting there in the glow of the sunset,
don't you think?

When I met Rick, I was living in a ground floor studio apartment next to the train. Square footage? I couldn't even begin to tell you. But it had a large, eat-in kitchen, a sleeping alcove, a walk-in closet, and a washer dryer hookup (which totally underwhelmed me at the time, but I would not -- let me assure you -- be so naive about their value ever again). It was perfect, really. And I had just gotten it painted exactly the way I wanted it. Down to the Brady Bunch-esque green striped bathroom.

Weeks later, as Rick and I worked to combine our lives, it never once occurred to us that we could actually both move into that space. Together. As a permanent solution. Someone asked about that, I recall. Maybe my mom? And we scoffed. Too small! We decried. We'd never stay married, heh heh. So we hefted all of my stuff into his overpriced, swanky, high-rise one bedroom.

We didn't stay there very long either, it turns out.

No, instead we hightailed it to Seattle. And after a variety of temporary living arrangements, we settled into, of all things, a 420 square-foot studio apartment (on Capitol Hill, if anyone is keeping track). Turns out, we loved it there. Every last inch. We even felt generous enough with the expanse of our castle to invite two cats to join us. And the four of us got along very well.

Since then, every time we move our apartments have gotten larger. Now we rattle around in a two bedroom duplex that, though still technically a small home -- it comes in somewhere at a thousand square feet -- we have little idea what on earth to do with all this space (though we're learning). And every once in a while we throw ourselves what-could-be parties (a more nostalgic version of the pity party, I guess) wherein we dream of what it would be like to live, once again, in a truly small space. Yep, we get into furniture, layouts, to murphy bed or not to murphy bed -- the whole bit.

How clever we would be with a studio now that we are small-space tested. Now that we finally know exactly how we'd like it to be.

My first little studio has since, unfortunately, burned down. But it's the space I always imagine in these hypotheticals. It would be the perfect for us, actually. With all it's kitchen. It's storage. Even a place to stash the washer and dryer we bought to fill up some of the rooms in our current house. (Four hundred square feet (ish) AND a private laundry! I squee on the inside. Sign me up!) I'd even pick tame colors for the bathroom this time.

Today though, reading up on the new small houses in the New York Times, checking out all these great Tumbleweed houses, I wonder if a rental -- no matter how magical -- could ever really fill our small-home yearnings. You know? Our little rental would, of necessity, be tucked into a cranny of some high-rise building. It would likely be undertended, but every scrap of mismatched crown and floor molding, useless hallway, and badly remodeled kitchen cabinet would be declared immutable by a landlord who just wants to keep up status quo. Our neighbors there would be young, restless, and transient. And no matter how charming the space might be despite or because of these things, it's still not a space with a patch of yard we can tame or a front door we can paint a friendly shade of orange. It wouldn't be a space we could transform into a bastion of coziness.

Because that's how it goes in California. Small rented spaces are what you live in before you've made it. They're not where you land when you're home.

I hope that won't always be true.

10 September 2008

The Novice Gardener Ponders

How do seedless grapes propagate?

Does that sound silly?

But I am a simpleton who believes that all plants must start out as seeds. So, if that's the case, where do the new seedless grape vines come from?

Also: will I grow to regret posting this?

-- Nah, you all already know I am a great big dorkaramus.

09 September 2008

Refreshed. Relaxed. Returned.

Rick whisked me away to Southern Oregon last week. To a little resort called Lake of the Woods. To a small, rustic cabin with two bedrooms, a full kitchen, and a screened porch. -- Oh, and Rick's mom and grandma. -- All under one roof.

And this place has everything:



a lake,

furry friends,

and a fully stocked lounge.

Which was, it turns out, was the perfect place to take mom and grandma for their afternoon rum and cokes -- albeit slightly stronger versions than they usually have. (Yes, grandma swears by them. 92 years old, and she confesses that the secret of her success is a rum and coke every day at 4.) Just strong enough, in fact, to draw out stories of the cabin that grandma and grandpa used to own on the other side of the lake in the 30s.

The one that grandpa lost in a poker game.

"And their house too," mom added. "Same game."


p.s. I also took some film of the adventure. And though it's not yet developed, I'm already smitten with it.

I'm excited to show you.

03 September 2008

Gone Fishing

Well...or, not exactly. But I am lured by the siren song of a cabin that promises me lakes and trees and the sort of outdoor adventures only summer can bring.

So I'm packing shorts, repellent, sunscreen, and the latest installment of the Penderwicks.

Really, what else could I do?

I'll be back at the end of the week.

Dreams of summer camp,

02 September 2008

First Blush

Aha! My late bloomers have brought forth their first red tomato. And I am so pleased with myself (as if I've accomplished a feat more heroic than merely water and fertilize them); and I am so proud of them -- my little Manny, Mo and Jack. Ah!

Rick likes to tease me by wondering aloud if the tomatoes will ripen sometime before the first frost comes and steals them from us. (I am less amused by this thought than he is.) But I guess our answer -- or rather, the boys' answer -- is, unequivocally, yes.