Saturday, October 31, 2009

First post typed on netbook!

I read all these blogs about managing your finances, (a strange and uncharted territory in my family) managing your career and managing your household. I link to all of them from the Gawker site lifehacker, because I am a tool of the machine.

Anyways, it tends to be a bit male oriented. (As an example, they have about fifteen posts on shaving; making razors last longer, using hot soap as a lather, using a straight razor- but no mention on shaving anything other than your face. Ever.) I started wondering about the spouses of all these money-saving gurus. Do they do a lot of eye batting and sighing when their husband decides that they'll be brewing the laundry detergent from here on out?

So I searched for tips on marriage. Or I searched "spouse" "husband" "wife" and "marriage". There's a lot of dross: my wife talked me into eating more greens, how to time the dissolution of your marriage, adding emergency information to your phone. There's the same goddamn article on training your spouse using positive reinforcement- like Shamu! There's one on conversation hacks. By and large, there aren't any tips on say, broaching the topic of your newfound efficiency and keeping your beloved from giving you the look. The look says, "You won't help me clean the bathtub and you want me to do what with your razors whenever you shower?"

PS: A second friend of mine appeared on a Gawker website: while Brenny's Lego TF2 is much cooler, TMW's technique for pumpkin carving a.) counts and b.) is something I will actually use.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Household Tips from My Brother

If you live in a single room of an aging Victorian house, you often notice a bit of a funk pervading your living space. Some people might tell you this is from unwashed dishes or moldering laundry, but it never really goes away. If you're going to have a girl over- or your mom's about to stop by- you should drink at least three cups of mint tea and leave the used bags in the trash can, sitting on a plate, etc. The pleasant minty aroma will defeat other unpleasant smells.

He's actually a much better housekeeper than I am.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I pull my weight.

I tried to convince C that doing housework was important to me- using economic theory, studies that link it to more sex, and yelling. Yelling and crying. I also tried schedules, baby steps, positive reinforcement, and tips from large animal training. Anyways, I think made some progress, and I'd like to share my technique with y'all.

I quoted Avatar the Last Airbender.

Try that on your seemingly insolvable domestic issues, and let me know how that works.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Drank some milk without sniffing it first. Came to regret said action immensely. Stupid cat.


C can't tell what species the firewood is. This is strange to me- I can remember not being able to tell the difference, but I also remember not being able to read. The oakness of oak is obvious, due to its weight and grain and the moss that grows on it. The pineness of lodgepole pine is also obvious, with the cornflake bark and the lichen (very different from moss to the untrained eye, I'm sure) and the abundance- they wanted to burn thirty years ago, and have died ignoble deaths instead.

Of course, my first word was "wood". I'd point at woodpiles on long walks with immense gravity and declaim: "Wood."

Which according to the mad science of children book I'm reading, probably means my father and mother did a lot of gesturing at woodpiles while saying "wood" in many different sentences.

Betcha C's first word was "phone". Or "wash". Sadly, it has been lost to science. The closest I can get is this excellent quote, "I called soap the word for butterfly. Or was that pants?'

According to one of those identity stealing Facebook apps, my most commonly used words in posts are "German", "poison", and "rain". I will have very strange children.
There are all sorts of country songs about hometowns with the general message "every reason I left is every reason I returned". I wish to posit the inverse. Every reason I wanted to stay is now a reason that I wish I were somewhere else.

Except for the lower bar for physical attractiveness. That's nice.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

C visited for a couple of days- he just left for home. My parents are off camping. I am alone in the house for the next three-four days- I don't know whether to be excited or sad.

What Zaphod and I were interpreting as some very aggressive circular dancing by Jim turned out to be caused by a wayward fly. We are chastened. Also, Jim's perfectly willing to sleep covering my feet with his warm self, but Zaphod insists on lap space that is already being used by laptops.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Double Posting with Facebook


He says his proudest moment is swimming across a certain "alpine" lake. In August. Round these parts, we call that Tuesday.

"I'm sorry... I don't remember that. For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me... it was Tuesday."
M. Bison, Street Fighter: The Movie.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


It started with bacon. It usually does.

Bacon seems like a perfectly reasonable- even decadent- pizza topping. With a little cheese, it's practically ambrosial. But the brain, it figures that if bacon is a reasonable topping, things eaten with bacon are reasonable toppings too- and then my brain recalled the Full English Breakfast.

We put mushrooms and tomatoes on pizza already, right? Early experimentation revealed that frying them first proved worthwhile in terms of flavor.

So I tried grated potatoes. They were pretty good.

I tried raw eggs. I'd recommend against it.

I tried chopped hard boiled eggs. C did not approve, but I thought it was pretty tasty.

I tried fried eggs- heavenly. My lord.

Tonight, I smeared the crust with some marmite Thrasher left behind. (Enthusiastic consumer of vegan umami products, that one. Not vegetarian.) It was... salty. Very very salty.

I can't figure out how to incorporate toast. Or coffee and tea, for that matter. But beans and blood sausage is only a matter of time. (It's funny- I'm sure C is wincing right now and doesn't know why.)

I've done a bit of extra reading for this post- turns out that there are more things in the Full English Breakfast than are dealt with in my philosophy. I'm now dreaming of a bubble and squeak pizza....

And again, C feels a twinge of fear.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The elves will take care of that

I live with my parents now, because I am lame.

C lives with his parents because he's gotta get experience that might someday lead to a job in his field.

I live with my parents because someone needs to take care of the cat. As I said, I'm lame.

The sad part is that they're pretty good as roommates. (Do you know the balls required to refer to your parents as roommates when you're living in their house?) The saddest part is that I'm beginning to figure out that living with them fostered all those quirks roommates have trouble coping with. For example: rocks. No one leaves rocks on the floor, in the washing machine, on the bathroom counter- except my family. Eventually, all flat surfaces will be tiny cairns. It's why we had to move out of our last house.

If I hadn't already used my superlative, I'd say that the most sad of all the sads was that I'm probably picking up new quirks as we speak.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have eight half finished cooking projects to finish- the point isn't the kimchi/apple butter/spaghetti sauce/tart/salsa/chili/muffins, it's leaving behind a kitchen filled with flotsam and at least eleven filthy pots and pans.

(I counted boiling the pasta as a project.)

(And I made two kinds of kimchi.)

(And some chicken.)

But the cat is very happy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shameless Plugging.

I just deleted four jpegs of a stylized woman's mouth- dark lipstick, beauty mark. The files were of varying sizes and image qualities- I have no idea where they came from. Suggestions?

There's a crumb under the question mark key on the keyboard- each time I press it, there is a most disconcerting noise.

If you- or someone near you- is interested in reading long winded discussions of video game strategy, I urge you to check out C's blog. Every tilde is in place- and it's the most interesting discussion of Secret of Mana I've ever encountered.

That's a compliment, by the by.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Things I have now that didn't exist ten years ago.

So I read this article 10 months ago. I am on top of the game!

Of course, when I read it, I looked at my desk. Ancient Mac, lots of rocks, folded laundry, tiny plastic pony... nothing new and strange.

Later, I thought about it in my thinking room- the kitchen. Sure, some of the foods I eat weren't widely available ten years ago- I don't think anyone was excited about fermenting things on their counter then, and no one gave a flying fox about where a tomato came from as long as it was tasty. Also, every bit of kitchen ware I have is ancient- I swear it's permanently 1979 in there. Laurel's influence is still palpable, most of my appliances are from that unfortunate era, and I have relics from the outlaws' first American kitchen. And there's nothing older than filth, right?

I thought about it while driving... I thought about a lot of things while driving. I had a GPS- but my dad had one when I was a tot. My iPod and CDs were stolen, so I was listening to a lot of radio. I wondered if country music was as subtly racist ten years ago. I wondered what was around instead of the hip hop stations. I drank a lot of Starbucks- that was new, right? Were the maps I was using more accurate? Would I be able to do this job without a cell phone?

Anyways. I was at the outlaws, bored out of my skull, when I found the treasure trove of new fancy stuff: my purse. I'm going to list my favorite things that didn't exist when I was in high school.
1.) Cell phone. Most of you have gotten both the "I'm lost, help me find this address" call and the "Walking through a dark parking lot, chatting with you like I'm about to bump into you." call. Amy called me the other day so that someone would know if she fell into the deep pit she was working next to. It makes me show up for more appointments on time, and it makes me feel safe.
2.) Maxalt. In High School, I'd have to stay home or go home with a migraine about once a month. (Exactly. Exactly once a month.) It's not really acceptable at a job- particularly if you're in the middle of nowhere when one strikes. But I have my $25 a dose beta blocking super medication now- I take one, the headache's gone in ten minutes, and I get all giddy and silly because my brain chemistry's been radically altered. Yay pharmaceuticals!
3.) Zyrtec. My major migraine trigger? Pollen. (and stress, and loud noise, and perfume and...) Benedryl? Yeah, I can't really function on Benedryl. Last time I took it was after my stinging- I don't know how much of the weakness, shaking, and body aches was due to eight wasp stings, and how much was due to a potent antihistamine. Which is why I love my impotent antihistamine.
4.) Chicobag reusable shopping bag.
5.) Thumb Drive. It has a current resume, a decent headshot, and the hulking relics of whatever project I haven't deleted yet. Oh, and a complete key to the flora of the Northwest. With pictures.
6.) Tamarind flavored candy.
7.) Burt's Bees chapstick. All my wussy chemical sensitivities confined me to Carmex ten years ago. Or, you know, butter. Or horrifically chapped lips.

You'll also find Ibuprophen, a ball of string: so I can find my way out of a maze, a prism: in case I get transported back in time and need to barter my way to power, and smooth rocks.

I'm not sure how much I've matured in the last ten years versus how much the world has decided to support people as scattered, disorganized, and physiologically incompetent as I am. We'll find out after the crash, eh? Eh?

Found it.

Craft Singles are actually cheese, but this...

This is a travesty of food, yes yes, but I also get to prove myself wrong! Awesome!

PS: Guess who figured out how to use links?