ALERT: Sandy is growing out her 'do, taking a cue from the follicular progression of the L Word seasons (ha ha?) I am preparing to pass through the four phases of Beatles...when I hit Lennon, I'll have my desired length.
ALERT: Sandy is growing out her 'do, taking a cue from the follicular progression of the L Word seasons (ha ha?) I am preparing to pass through the four phases of Beatles...when I hit Lennon, I'll have my desired length.
Let's talk about Ohio thrift stores. First, the buildings are huge and CHEAP and full of great finds. No inflated prices here, just pure vintage and gently used goodness. I. Am. In. Heaven.
Murf: A presenter that we shot today for a virtual event played the accordion on his iPad.
Blogorelli: Oh. Mah. Gawd.
Well, when I've crossed a line, I admit that I crossed a line. Especially a terrycloth blue one...
Hello, Christmas card 2010! I love the description the most:
Next up: 'dogtails' in mini Manhattan glasses that strap onto The Boys' paws.
A month or so ago, I initiated a "Sister-In-Laws in the City" night out. I know, cheesy title, but don't say that the theme isn't obvious. The plan included drinks/dinner and then (you saw this coming) a screening of SITC2. Of course, since I am cursed with the talent of always driving in the opposite direction from my desired destination, I arrived at the restaurant 10 minutes late. The place was packed with people, and as I waited in the reception area looking for Mark's sisters, a woman my age caught my eye.
The woman stood about my height, straight as a stovepipe, and had a short brunette cut like my own. The rest of her outfit seemed, honestly, a little boyish: utilitarian sandals, khacki shorts, a sleeveless button-up shirt, pouch style bag hanging by a strap that hung across her chest. Don't get me wrong, she was cute, albeit in an REI sort of way.
After smiling, she came over and I figured she wondered -- was I waiting in a line? could I give her directions to the bathroom? etc? Instead, once she reached me, she tentatively put her hand out toward my arm, paused, and then said with hopeful eyes..."...Sandy?"
At first I just looked back, totally mystified and silent. Until I realized that I WAS BEING CRUISED FOR A LESBIAN BLIND DATE!!! Ummmmmm. Don't get me wrong, I felt flattered (and honestly, considering my dating misadventures, it's shocking that this scenerio didn't already happen x 10) but...escape route, anyone? Hello? Testing 1-2-3? Bueller?
Then I spotted my sister-in-laws, politely told the lez girl (I can use this phrase because, don'tcha know, I've watched The L Word) that I wasn't Sandy, and slipped back into hetersexual white noise.
After the fact, The Prof and I were having a cookout with two friends when the wifey reminded me about her alter ego, Kimmie. Basically, Kimmie is kind of a f*ck up, or is sometimes a little evil, or has a long and winding back story that continuously develops...she is both addictively entertaining yet unfailingly irritating.
Right then and there, I decided to embrace Sandy. You might see her around, Inter-net, so watch out. She's wicked impatient, likes to eat (only) Kraft Mac + Cheese made using the full sauce packet but only half the noodles, sometimes skips, drinks like an Irish sailor, once left the water faucet running for her cat and flooded the basement, and will throw an egg at your car if you cut her off in a rotary, you effing Massholians.
So, just to recap. I am not a lesbian, Sandy is bananas...and oh yeah, I'm growing out my hair!
(above, Sandy in an impromptu photo shoot after arriving home from her day job as an ocularist)
This is where I admit that I used to collect stamps as a young Blogorelli. Even the cat is appalled, just observe the look on her face. Back story: while my parents renovated the upstairs portion of our farmhouse (the downstairs of which was/is still a fine dining restaurant,) we lived above the post office in Schenley, PA, population= 74. After getting kicks from putting pennies on the railroad tracks in anticipation of a flattening, I'd spend some afternoons in the post office. I was in no way, however, a philatelist.
I recently found the lot in my old E.T. softsided suitcase while cleaning out Momorelli's storage garage...and realized that now using old stamps on new letters is trendy. VerdeStudio's Etsy store has a great uncanceled and interesting inventory.
100 Layer Cake posted an informative post on finding and using vintage stamps. The Prof and I tried to do the old stamp thing for our wedding invitation postage, but honestly just ran out of time. Also, a note, as with any postage, the post office cancels every stamp so it's unsure as to how beautiful your arrangement will look upon reaching its recipient.
Exhibit A: Mom-orelli's storage garage
Title of scene: Paying the Piper
Mission: Sort through all Blogorelli boxes and bins that have been moved almost 10 times and accumulated since high school days; for 8 hours, I realize that rampant collection of vintage and curbside "treasures" can become a burden in bulk form
Comment: It wasn't pretty, folks
Larde and ickle and are milk (baby) teeth. Or teef. They go on adventures (and are soon to be the stars of a Chronicle Book publication) courtesy of artist Inhae Renee Lee, who molds the molars out of polymer, paints them, and photographs their antics...
(thx to A Classic Girl, who somehow manages to maximize her tiny amount of free time as a new mother of two and find amazing links for me)
Nothing says "Welcome, Sunshine" like an illustrated, tiger-print Speedo, complete with body hair...GRRRRR
1. Upside down planters for tomatoes and eggplant, check
2. Country Carpet Wildflower Seed Mix, check
3. The Worm Factory 360 and inhabitants, check
5. "Lots of Baby Goats, All Sizes!", um
Ok, I didn't get the hub's "check" on that last one.
Date: Friday, Feburary 12, 2010 at 11:37 AM
Subject: Porn Book
"Thanks for the VD gift. Very unique--and very funny. When I first opened the pkg,, I thought--oh, my God, someone is sending me porn that I did not order!! (ed. note: versus porn that you DID order; have something to tell me, Ma?)
Good one, Christi. Will talk to you this weekend.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Well, if a loving daughter can't send her mam some raunch for VD, then who will?
Even though we adopted The Boys in July, I still peruse the adoptable pets at the MSPCA centers in Boston and Methuen. Occasionally, I see a dog (or usually, a pair) whose story affects me. Every time this happens, The Prof and I go through my juvenile cycle of: me begging to get another (or two) pooches, his gently and practically pointing out that four dogs is A LOT, and my getting angry and pouting. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I guess that, since we are so lucky to have adopted such wonderful shelter pets, I want to help all the sweet animals who ended up homeless, usually for a reason not their own. This Valentine's Day, I am redirecting my shelter animal affection outward, and encouraging everyone to give a better gift than that Dunkin' Donuts card or cheesy red rose to yourself and/or your partner. Some ideas:
- adopt a pet!
Since the economic downturn, there have been an influx of animals given up to shelters (or abandoned on the street) by owners who can no longer afford their care. Although some animals end up in shelters due to real behavioral or health issues, the majority of shelter pets don't deserve the stigma given to them. Check out shelterpetproject.org for more details.
- support a shelter animal!
Adoption is a big step, I know, but you can also give money and goods to pet shelters (who are always in need of supplies.) For my Valentine's present to myself, I'm sponspring Baby, a four-year-old daschund at the MSPCA Methuen. She was brought in as a bonded pair with Auggie, a basset hound, but the shelter was unable to find a home to take them together so Auggie was adopted out and Baby is still waiting for a new home.
- donate your time!
From our involvement with the MSPCA, I know that shelters are always looking for volunteers to walk and play with the animals for socialization, as well as (here comes the yuck) clean up. Every time that we went to the shelter before and during adopting The Boys, it was obvious how vital volunteers were in keeping things running smoothly.
Just a final note: I understand that there are so many causes in need of money and time from the general public, some equally if not more more pressing than animal welfare. But this one hits close to home for me, so spread your good fortune around a bit this candy-heart holiday. Just sayin.
Blogorelli (and her Loverboys)
and guess who is a new member? I am really appreciative that there is a forum like LoL to offer support and advice to newbies like moi.
" I think about this every time I put our dishes back in the cupboard. I assumed it was just me and that I was crazy."
Thank you, ME TOO! Especially since we only have two people using a dish set for 12. Now, the big question: do YOU rotate?
Specifically, cook A SINGLE recipe from one of our many, many underused cookbooks each week. To sort of "jump start" the effort, I cooked a bunch of things for our New Year's Eve feast at Half Pint+ Mr. Car's bungalow last night.
I am proud to say, all dishes turned out rather tasty.
What I made:
Tuscan Panzanella Salad
(notes: this recipe came from A Classic Girl, so I just found a comparable one online...for the dressing, I used 1/2 C olive oil and 1/2 C red wine vinegar only; also chopped up an orange and yellow bell pepper and added to the mix)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Hashed Brussel Sprouts with Lemon
(notes: I'd definitely recommend cutting out the firm core of each sprout; I used poppy seeds because I couldn't find black mustard seeds, and vermouth not white wine)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
(notes: I found the resulting flavor a bit sweet for my tastes, next time I'd use less sugar OR use 1/2 basalmic, 1/2 red wine vinegar)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Prof made Absolutely the Best Nacho Dip Ever for an appetizer, and Half Pint made a delish warm blue cheese and bacon dip (recipe forthcoming, hopefully.) I have to admit that spending part of the day prepping and cooking was very meditative somehow. I also made a loaf of rustic Italian in our bread machine, a wedding gift which I was initially skeptical about when The Prof put it on our registry but now love.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
UPDATE: Here is the blue cheese and bacon dip recipe (thx HP!)
Warm Blue Cheese, Bacon and Garlic Dip
7 slices bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. half 'n half
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
2 T. chopped fresh chives
3 T. chopped smoked almonds (1 oz) (all I could find was toasted/slivered)
Cook bacon until almost crisp. Drain fat. Add garlic and cook 3 min. more until crisp. Set oven to 350. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add half 'n half and mix to combine. Stir in bacon mixture, blue cheese, and chives. Transfer to a 2 cup oven proof dish. Cover with foil. Bake 30 min. Sprinkle with almonds. Serve with pita, pita chips, pear or apple slices, etc.
Just to confirm that we're truly becoming the "pack leaders"' we should be to our menagerie of furballs, I submit: last night's sleeping arrangements.
SOPHIA --> slept on The Boys' bed
THE BOYS --> slept on Murforelli's bed
The Prof and I are both sick, so the choice was to remain together, and perform a duet of coughs and snores that sounded like Vinz Clortho wrestling with a laryngitic seagull, or...
BLOGORELLI --> slept on the new daybed in the guest room. Quite comfy, actually.
Only SIX years (yes, since I started this blog, before, actually,) half a dozen "missed connections," and the Smith Corona Ghia typewriter in orange is MINE! MINE MINE MINE!!!
I think my excitement at winning the Ebay auction may have been the scariest moment our young married life for The Prof. Hee hee.
MINE MINE! ME ME ME! MINE!
According to the New Wifey Manual, I should...
"Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. and then run a dustcloth over the tables."
Are The Boys going to school now? The little ones do grow up so fast.
Anyway, I *have* found that keeping up with clutter is better than digging out from it, and felt excited to see some Hype (not from Brooklyn!) claiming that things around the homestead could stay tidy with just 10 minutes of cleaning a day. My favorite suggestions:
"Grab a laundry basket, a large trash bag and some small trash bags. Go from room to room, emptying the trash cans and putting the stuff that doesn’t belong in that room into the laundry basket, said Amy Clark, a home management expert for the Kenmore Make-it-Simple Team. Replace the trash bags as you empty the trash." (BLOGORELLI NOTE: if you run out of time, would anyone really know if a gal just chucked that basket in a closet until the next 10 minute cleaning period?)
"Do a surface wipe. Take some disinfectant wipes or some cleanser and paper towels and clean all the counters and the sinks in the kitchen and the bathrooms that get used the most often...”
Real Simple has a version of the quick clean which they claim takes 19 minutes and seems more comprehensive, but only 2 minutes on the bathroom? I call foul.
Thank you, Joan from Mad Men -- "C'est magnifique!"
Why do I suddenly have a fascination with "Ugliest Dog" contests? Blame are the photographs, like this photo essay from Time Magazine, but also have some my odd obsession with the finding attractive of that which is generally regarded as unseemly.
[says] proud owner, Susie Lockheed, of Santa Barbara...
'People are always horrified when I kiss him. He may turn into a prince yet. He's definitely a toad," she said. "I always thought he'd be great on greeting cards or on a commercial for Rogaine.'"
But seriously, why do their tongues stick out?!? Isn't being hairless yet having a cowlick a hard enough lot in life?
These two look like that crazy hyena from The Lion King.
From "The Internet":
There are two types of Chinese Crested - hairless and powder puff. Along with the hairless gene comes the gene for weak dentition - which can include missing teeth. The tongue starts to hang out when their teeth fall out. Dogs don't have lips like we do, so the teeth hold the tongue in. Proper dental care can help, but sometimes there's nothing you can do.
So there you go, another fascinating look into how I pass my time on the laptop while continuing to procrastinate on designing our wedding invitations.
How I feel these days with ALL THE RAIN (STOP RAINING!), as expressed by the 2009 Ugliest Dog winner, Pabst.
I am a queen of procrastination, especially when something big is on the horizon. Even though The Prof and I are less than three months away from our wedding, I decided that my time would best be spent searching online for a dog to adopt and love in our new apartment. Two weeks ago, I found him:
The dog's name is Manny, but because of some Red Sox prejudice due to a certain player, I proposed that we call him MANWICH. Oh, what a wonderful weekend I spent inside my head, thinking about "Mr. Man" and how he and BKP Sophia's fur complemented the other's so perfectly, and how cute would matching sweaters be for all of us?
Then, just as suddenly as the whole thing began, I got a little tipsy at a picnic, forgot to call MSPCA Methuen, and the next time I checked, Manwich had been adopted. I'm happy to know that he's in a great new home (even if said home may not perhaps understand the necessity of clothing for pets.)
Luckily, I can refocus my puppy love on Tara + Hal's new guy:
(I know that you're not coming home until August, Thor, but Auntie Blogorelli is gonna squeeze you good when we meet, you lovable fluffy canine cupcake.)
Today, rain poured down in The Bean during all eight of my work hours. As I was walking to the gym, I saw someone jumping a "curb puddle" (something any pedestrian in Boston knows well, a phenomenon that takes place when the storm drains overflow, creating a massive yet shallow-looking puddle right off the curb's side) and thought of the Ned Ryerson scene from the movie Groundhog Day:
Ned: Ned... Ryerson. "Needlenose Ned"? "Ned the Head"? C'mon, buddy. Case Western High. I did the whistling belly-button trick at the high school talent show? Bing. Ned Ryerson, got the shingles real bad senior year, almost didn't graduate? Bing, again. Ned Ryerson, I dated your sister Mary Pat a couple of times until you told me not to anymore? Well?
Phil: Ned Ryerson?
My grey mood lifted slightly when I came home and discovered this little gem of a site. Now I can actually look forward to checking the forecast...
Appropriately enough, the torrential downpours also marked the beginning of my second official season as a Baseball Widow. Happy Opening Day, everyone!
In the coming months, I'll be mostly doing wedding planning while wearing earplugs to prevent hearing loss as The Prof screams "TAKE THAT, F*CKER!" many many times during televised games. I'll also have a lot more free time during the evenings -- call me, anyone with interesting plans who needs a plus one.
This story speaks for itself. (And I'll put down a crisp $20 that Mr. Wygle was coming home from a bar in a basement.)
NEWARK, Ohio—Authorities in Ohio say a man has been charged with drunken driving after crashing his motorized bar stool. Police in Newark, 30 miles east of Columbus, say when they responded to a report of a crash with injuries on March 4, they found a man who had wrecked a bar stool powered by a deconstructed lawn mower.
Twenty-eight-year Kile Wygle was hospitalized for minor injuries. Police say he was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated after he told an officer at the hospital that he had consumed 15 beers. Wygle told police his motorized bar stool can go up to 38 mph.
So...should I not drive my typewritermobile after more than a two cocktails?
(thx to Cho for the link)
Benjamin Franklin, Karl Marx, and Rudolph Valentino, step aside -- pleurisy is no longer just Colonial/Victorian/Silent Movie Era chic. In fact, I found out last Thursday that I have The Pleur, "an inflammation of the pleura, which is the moist, double-layered membrane that surrounds the lungs and lines the rib cage." I know, I only get the sexiest afflictions.
Aside from knowing that I am suffering from a malady that sounds akin to something pirates contract on the high seas, I get to tell acquaintances, after my massive coughing fits, "Don't worry, I'm just working through my...pleurisy" and watch them slightly edge away in uncertainty. Just so everyone out there knows, The Pleur is not contagious, but is commonly treated by sleeping on the affected side and drinking strong alcoholic concoctions. Ok, I made that second part up, although being slightly drunky does help me to not notice that every breath hurts. Ow.
The pain is getting better, and my doctor said that the condition will eventually just heal itself. Apparently, the only treatment option is an anti-inflammatory (Aleve, etc,) even though I suggested that perhaps a reunion with my sweet, sweet Vic would better help me cope.
What's next, scruvy?
Last night, I did it: I sold Vinny the Volvo. After 10 happy years and many adventures, Mr. Vinchenzo will be motoring out his golden years (appropriately,) on the Cape with his new owners, a young sweet couple.
Even though Mark and I decided that selling Vinny and only having one car would be the most responsible path, making the move and actually signing over my old boy was hard. I cried after the new owners left. In a way, I feel like Vinny represented the last vestige of my quirky single days. He was also my only, actual "paid off" (by Dad-orelli) asset in the world. In some ways, I know that it seems silly to develop first-name-basis bonds with the inanimate objects of our everyday existence...but, to me, Vinny was a pal, a means of independent travel after too many Greyhound trips between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, a big Swedish tank.
Teddy and Krissy -- be good to my Vinny!
After spontaneously cutting my hair into its current bob last year, I've decided to grow the locks out so the western Pennsylvanian beautician will have something to shellac onto itself, or perhaps to my veil?
Currently, the bob is between chin and shoulder level. By spring, I hope to have something more like:
Then, by the time wedding bells ring...
Our last South End Open Market (Oct 5) was totally hoppin', mostly due to the Baked Fresh event, complete with bands and scads of college students. We hd a busy day in the booth and loved all of the great crowd energy. Plus, I made it into the "SOWA Style" photostream (see below)!
We only have one market day remaining: October 26, 2008, which is also the closing day of the SEOM and Market of the Living Dead. The day promises lots of fun costumes, a pumpkin carving contest...and perhaps some deep discounts to clean out the "cabinet" for winter, hmm?
Hope to see you on the 26th!
Some shots from Baked Fresh...
The booth, full of shoppers!
Wündercabinet table display (thx to A Classic Girl for all her help during the entire day; I couldn't have done it without ya!)
Do these ladeez have crazy good style, or what?
Mark yer calendars for OCTOBER 26 -- the last market (for us, and in general.)
Sadly, I think that Labor Day may signal the end of entries to Cho and I's Lake Winni Signs group on Flickr. Maybe next year we'll recruit more members besides just us?
Regardless, Cho rallied by taking two more shots during her most recent trip to the lake.
ME! I don't know when Joanna Goddard or the author of "Chasing Harry Winston" jumped on my bandwagon, but I declared utter disgust at the word panties during my very first post in 2003. I reiterated my stance in 2006, and yes, I STILL hate the word panties. <Shiver.>
Some of the alternatives offered in the article's comment section include "piddies" (really?), "chonies" (huh?) and the good old straightforward "undies." I still prefer my Gammy's Hungarian-influenced option: gutchies!
Thx to Skydiving in Stilettos for the heads up!
Today, I am proud of myself (and The Prof, too.) Not only did we power through looking at/in about 15+ properties yesterday, but this morning we got up at 6:45 a.m. and went for a run. GRRR!
By the time I arrived at the office, I needed a little *something*. Luckily, I just read about The Big Word Project last night, so I clicked on over and bought myself a word:
If you could be described by just one word, what would that word be?
Last night, The Prof and I attended The Wolf School's annual Discover the Difference event. Wolf, located in East Provi, is for "children with learning differences who struggle in traditional elementary schools." The Prof edited their graduation video this and last year.
Besides information about the school and a few alluring silent auction items, I found something else at the event: a new identity. Now presenting "me", as indicated by my name tag from last night.
Mmmkay. Not only is the first name misspelled, but the last name isn't mine...it belongs to The Prof! Not. even. close to reality. I guess, for one night and based completely on Avery nametags, we had a de facto marriage. Hee hee. We acted very contemporary, too -- I bought the drinks (although he did drive.)
What would Christie Murphy be like, I wondered as we drove home? Might she have athletic leanings, be a teetotaler, actually read books from start to finish, and not give a damn that Mariah Carey just got married to a guy 12 years her junior who proposed with a recycled ring, or that Bobby Kristina tried to slice her wrists after failing to stab her mother Whitney Houston? Would CM have long wavy hair, maybe in a nice shade of (dyed) blonde and strong, shiny fingernails that were the envy of her acquaintances? In other words, is Christie Murphy my possibly evil, health nut, perfectly groomed Doppelgänger? I'd love to find the other me, even if she did spell her name with an "e" at the end.
I guess I (and you too, Inter-net) will never meet this "Christie Murphy" character though...because if I change my first name, I'm going for the full-fledged 1970s-esque "Kristy" (with a heart dotting the 'i',) and I already told The Prof that no marriage will my last name change. Besides, as Skydiving in Stilettos so succinctly put forth: "What would you do, change the name of your blog to Blogomurphy?
This week, I am ready, waiting, and all about Spring. Even though New England doesn't technically have a season between Winter and Summer (we just have rain,) slightly warmer temps do mean I can start giving Vinny, or more specifically his big empty trunk, some lovin'.
I got a jumpstart on salvage season by scoring some free wooden fruit crates at the grocery. My plan is to use them to package and transport the numerous vintage plate sets that I have in stock for Wündercabinet. Until I either sell the sets on the local Craigslist, or at The SOWA Open Market, the guess the cute crates will live in Vinny's trunk.
It's funny how the proverbial (or actual) flood brings with its waters insight and rebirth. Such was the case when our basement flooded last weekend AND I got an email from A Classic Girl letting me know that Etsy had been featured on the Martha Stewart show. As many of you know, I've been storing hundreds of items in various locations for 2+ years in the hope of launching an online store. Whether because of programming deficiency, lack of time, or just plain procrastination, "the store" sat dejectedly in Vinny's trunk, then The Prof's study, and now, our basement.
Not anymore! The Prof and I carried everything upstairs into our dining room, and for the past five days I've been burning the midnight oil photographing, measuring, and describing the many treasures. Since apparently Etsy is the next Google, the time seems ripe to send some of these goodies off to new homes as Martha Stewart mention=mad site traffic. Admittedly, selling on Etsy is not as great, in terms of look and feel, as having my own Wundercabinet url and store design. Also, PayPal is a slight pain in the arse and I hate paying commissions on sales to both sites. However, until I can get my sh*t together (or just in case I never do, heh,) at least the goods are out in public doman.
(He must love me...below, our kitchen, overrun by items waiting to be listed)
(Below, some mint condition Russell Wright Residential melamine dinnerware, finally ready for its moment in the sun -- literally! I think these pieces would be great for Spring/Summer picnic or patio dining.)
In another explanation as to why I've been repeatedly MIA, my pregnant co-worker and dear friend Jackie had her baby about a month ago (Hi Bridget!) and so my workload at the office has increased significantly. I come in earlier, sometimes work later, and have less time to take lunch. As such, output here at Blogorelli Corp. has suffered, and I do apologize. Once I make it through today (Friday) and get all the remaining items up on Etsy this weekend, I anticipate a comeback. Thanks for sticking around and checking on me in the meantime.
And now, a funny story.
As I mentioned, I've been up pretty late consecutive nights working on inventory. That, combined with the early mornings at the office and just general stress, have made me a bit squirrelly. Which might explain why this site seems like the best thing that I can imagine in the whole universe. Prove me wrong and find something better than "the world's most photographed squirrel," who lives in Boca Raton, has a "small, lime-green parrot named Rio" as a companion, and "loves to dress up, and has over 2,000 outfits with matching hats and accessories....and has her own, posh studio with an elaborate stage and thousands of stage props, and has posed for over 5,000 photos since her modeling career began."
Come on, now!
I sold a few items this week, one of which was a metal squirrel nutcracker, and was packaging everything up to ship out. I bubblewrapped the squirrel and put him in a cute gift bag from IKEA. Being completely metal, the nutcracker's weight caused the bag to sag a bit. See below:
(Bag o' squirrel)
It was almost midnight when I went to check on The Prof, who was working at his computer in the study. I bounded in, tired and crazed look in my eyes, held up the bag in my hand and said, "Look!"
He looked up and replied, "What's in there?"
I said, "The SQUIRREL!" (Well, I was excited about selling the nutcracker because it was my first sale since I started putting items up on the Etsy store again, and so maybe I was a little too emphatic in my reply.)
He paled. Then, "What...squirrel?!?"
I looked back quizzically and replied, "The squirrel nutcracker."
He exhaled. "Whew, ok. I don't know, maybe you had a live squirrel in there and..."
I realized that The Prof thought we had a Sugar Bush Squirrel-gone-wrong scenario on our hands. Yikes. It's not as though I'm an amateur who doesn't know how to dress animals in outfits! Besides, where does one find a squirrel at midnight EST? No really, someone clue me in.
However, there are no clothed rodents -- alive or dead -- in our apartment (that I know about, anyway) and it's definitely time for the weekend. See you on Monday, Inter-net.
T G I F !
The Prof is off once more, traveling to Florida for the next week on business. At least he's staying at SeaWorld, which means maybe this year for Valentine's Day, I'll get a little something special:
Behold, the Shamu "Believe" toothpick holder. I can't imagine a gift more fitting of our love or decor. Of course, over the next week, I'll mostly miss our constant banter.
While watching a movie...
BLOGORELLI: "Did that lesbian in the movie just say something about her cheese pot?!? Is that some secret hot lesbian sex move?"
THE PROF: "She said 'G Spot.' G SPOT...for the love!"
(Just ask Famke Jenssen if you want to know about cheese pots...she brought it up!)
While surfing the Inter-net...
BLOGORELLI: "Sweetie, your blog won't come up. Are you having technical difficulties?"
THE PROF: "I don't think so."
BLOGORELLI: "Nevermind -- I accidentally typed in 'dongsfromamixtape' instead of 'songsfromamixtape!'"
(Making a fake home page for DongsFromAMixTape.net was taking too long, so use your imagination on how I might have taken it there...)
Talking about apartment decor...
BLOGORELLI: "Look! We can buy instructions on how to make a Murphy bed out of IKEA parts! I've always wanted one...can we make it?"
THE PROF: "What for? You've already got a Murphy in the bed!"
At least our new couch is being delivered on Saturday morning, so that's exciting...but the BKP and I will miss you during the inaugural sitting, babe.
(Admittedly, this whole post was a mere excuse to use the following...)
Just a friendly Blogorelli public service announcement that this year's crop of colds, flus, and viruses is coming on full-speed. I've already noticed an increase of people sniffling and sneezing in the T <flinch.> So wash those hands -- and well!
Here's the "proper" technique, as outlined by Jim MacDonald at Making Light:
HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS
1) Turn on the water and get it to a temperature you like.
2) Lather up using soap. (Soap does not kill germs in the time that the germs are exposed during hand washing. There’s stuff that grows fine on a bar of soap. The surfactant action of soap helps the running water flush the germs away. That’s how it works. It’s purely mechanical. Antibacterial soap is a waste of time and money, and just helps breed antibiotic-resistant bugs.)
3) Rub your hands vigorously together, paying special attention to the fingernails, getting up onto the wrists, for as long as it takes you to sing one stanza of The Star Spangled Banner or two verses of Little Mattie Groves. (Blogorelli note: this seems like a looong time! I did an experiment with this technique yesterday and worried my co-workers might start wondering why I spent such an extended amount of time in the loo.)
4) Rinse off the soap with the running water.
5) Dry your hands with a paper towel.
6) Use the expended paper towel to turn off the water. (Blogorelli note #2: I feel like I am reliving my childhood -- this paper towel thing is classic Dad-orelli! Want to take it to the pro level? Open the door with the towel and then throw it in the wastebasket.)
Tonight, The Prof returns home from his extended business trip. He mentioned on his blog that this trip marks the most nights we've spent apart (6) since combining households. I can't wait to see him at the airport tomorrow, but I must admit that I've enjoyed these past nights at home alone. For one thing, I get to use his new computer, which is sweeeeet...abeit a bit of retina burning due to its extremely bright screen.
A few other things I've discovered during my "singleton swan song" at Castle Murforelli:
- I like to brush my teeth in the shower
- Coffee is hotter in my to-go mug when I set the timer for 7:30 instead of 7:00 on the pot's timer
- I need a bigger computer monitor
- Bourbon just tastes better when consumed after 11 pm
- I hate to unload the dishwasher
- Despite my utter fear of the oil system, our apartment heat does work
- I do not know how to mow a lawn or roast a chicken
- Just tonight, I executed a perfectly round bun (see photo below for proof)
The BKP and I had some quality girl time, too, since Saturday. She's slept with me every night, and joined me for a hot cuppa and some magazines before bedtime. I guess, though, that I need more companionship than that of a non-speaking cat. So, BKP -- talk!...or, Mark, come home (and start growing that winter beard! Hubba hubba.)
Below: The (Blog)orelli Gals. BKP Sophia is such a camera whore!
My attempt at "helping out" with the lawn work by mowing our ridiculously overgrown backyard last night didn't go so well:
Um yeaaaah. Our landlord told us that we could get $35 off our rent for each time we mowed the lawn. We (The Prof) did the mowing once this month. We skipped the backyard that time because our upstairs neighbor was working on growing grass in the area seen above, which resembled a dust bowl mere weeks ago. We got a few days of rain and -- poof! -- suddenly the back lawn could only be described as "lush."
Then The Prof left for his business trip and I decided after work last night that I was fully capable of mowing the grass, even though I've never mowed grass, or even started a lawnmower for that matter, before in my life. How hard could the whole thing be, really?
After 10 minutes of pulling the cord to no avail, I went inside and looked up How To Start A Push Mower. Has anyone else heard of this "prime button" thingy? Anyway, I pushed the "red, squishy button somewhere on the mower's body. Push it between 3 and 8 times in order to force the gasoline into the lines." I pulled the cord. The mower shot to life, and I felt both fear and elation.
Since I had the mower positioned exactly in the center of the yard, I started there and cut a straight line across the grass. When I got to the fence, I looked back (note that, at this point, the sky was basically dark.) The grass looked so...short...and dark...almost like, um, dirt. Suddenly, I had the worst thought: what if I had the mower too close to the ground and basically tilled a patch of dirt across the entire width of the yard?!?
I shut off the mower and investigated. All turned out to be well, the cut grass felt short and there was no dirt. I went back to the mower, hit the prime button, and pulled the cord. Nothing. Push, pull, repeat. Nothingx2.
"How To Start A Push Mower, step 2: Make sure you have enough gasoline."
The upstairs neighbor confirmed that I had, indeed, run out of gas. So now The Prof is going to handle finishing the whole operation when he returns on Thursday. Until then, our yard is sporting a reverse Mohawk. Too bad I couldn't get at least one or two more "strips" done...then we could say our lawn has a bi- or tri-hawk which, let's face it, just sounds cooler.
This confession is a long time coming, but here goes: I'm not doing so well lately.
For the past six months, I feel like I've gone into a downslide and the results are weighing on me in every way, like some kind of uncomfortably wet wool blanket. My physical appearance could use some improving, I feel disconnected in my relationships, numb emotionally, and I've started doubting basically every aspect of my life: my work, my self image, miscellaneous decisions, this blog, etc.
The buck stops here. I'm so tired of being, well, tired. I don't want to feel frustrated every day and angry inside at everyone for no reason. Being disgusted with yourself is exhausting. I just want to feel and be happy (or at least happier?) So I need to start a new regime, and I'm declaring its birth in the only public forum I've got -- this blog.
BLOGORELLI'S NEUE SACHLICHKEIT
Agenda Item, #1: Eat healthier and start a consistent exercise routine
I've realized that I just don't love to work out (at least, not unless said fitness is Zumba dance.) However, unless I'm going to some back street plastic surgeon in the near future, The Intertube (my nickname for my excess chub, formerly referred to "The Turtle" when said fat was only parked near my abdomen) is not going to magically disappear. Besides, how am I ever going to look like Tracy Anderson if I don't move that thang?
She looks self confident and sassy, yes?
Agenda Item, #2: Really work on starting my (online) store selling vintage goods
Just to give myself a little credit, I have sold some of my "treasures" on Etsy, but I need to get truly inspired by the ingenuity of sites like Shopsin's General Store and DO IT already...especially since the marketplace is getting fuller.
Bacon scarf! Bacon scarf! Bacon scarf!
Agenda Item, #3: Work on my Life List
(in both the listing and doing sense) and concentrate on the aspects of my life which should make me feel good, not bad.
Agenda Item, #4: Plan my 30th birthday trip
Since The Prof is starting a new job come October 1 (although we'll keep his title here as The Prof and not The Producer, which he will indeed be), he can't take any vacation days until at least Christmas. I want to celebrate turning the big 3-0! So, I've decided to take a week of travel to reflect and commemorate, um, me.
Here's where I need some help: anyone have a good suggestion as to where a gal on the go alone might vacation? I'm totally open, but I'd like the place to be fairly public transit friendly and not super duper expensive.
Rockapella isn't coming along for the ride.
(Exhale.) I do feel better having come clean to the Inter-net about why perhaps I haven't seemed as *razzle dazzle* as usual. I'm finally ready to brace myself and lunge forward, however awkward that might feel. If there's one thing I've learned after all these years, it's that, irritatingly, a person has to make things happen in this big life:
Muriel : "When I lived in Porpoise Spit, I used to sit in my room for hours and listen to ABBA songs. But since I've met you and moved to Sydney, I haven't listened to one Abba song. That's because my life is as good as an Abba song. It's as good as Dancing Queen."
Wish me luck.
Last night's anniversary festivities went well. We had dinner at local eatery Delfino and then came home to chill out at our place. The best part, though? My present:
I've wanted a melodica ever since seeing one in a Cambridge music store's window about six months ago. Here's an elementary schooler showing proper melodica (or 'melodic-er', as The Prof's mom and every native Bostonian might say) playing technique. Where was this instrument when I had to jam on a flutophone in grade school?
Now, I played the clarinet in elementary band class (should I not have revealed that, I wonder?) so the fact that the melodica is a reed instrument should only make my mastery of it easier. Plus, "If you ever wanted to play accordion, or the harmonica, or even the piano this is a great way to learn about music and play along with others also." Hello...I've wanted to learn how to play my accordion for years!
The melodica that The Prof got me is a Hohner, which is, according to the Worldwide Homepage of Melodica, the company that created the instrument (in 1959.)
Hopefully, I'll look like one of these cool cats once my as-yet-unnamed melodica arrives early next week:
But I'll probably just resemble "The Queen of Casio," Lorraine Bowen:
Not to worry, I won't assault anyone's ears with my delightful playing...at least not until I learn 'The Pennsylvania Polka".
The other night, as I drove to my old apartment to finish cleaning, I happened to notice (with my keen trash picking eyes) two vintage metal chairs discarded next to the road. They both had some rust, one a considerable amount actually, but I still stuffed them into my backseat and took them home. I love a good "project."
I've never repainted anything metal before, so I wasn't sure what kind of special tools or processes I might need. Turns out that it probably won't take me more than a Saturday afternoon to make the twins back-porch-ready. Here are some handy and simple instructions about how to refinish metal patio furniture that I found on eHow.
How to Refinish Metal Patio Furniture
Step 1: Remove rubber tips and cushions (if there are any).
Step 2: Wash furniture with a mild detergent (you'll probably need some rags or a scrub brush) and rinse.
Step 3: Use a wire brush to scrape off rust and loose paint flakes.
Step 4: Look carefully: if paint has bubbled (a sign of rust underneath) use a screwdriver or chisel to break the bubble and chip away the bubbled paint, and then scrape with a wire brush.
Step 6: Remove rust with commercial rust remover.
Step 7: Paint or spray with rust-resistant paint. If the furniture is very corroded, you may want to prime first with rust-resistant primer.
Step 8: Let dry. Plan on 12 to 24 hours for each coat, depending on weather and temperature.
Step 9: Replace any rubber tips and cushions.
Tips & Warnings
* If you're a perfectionist, you may want to sand the furniture after removing rust and before painting - but sanding metal is like scratching your fingernails on the blackboard, and these are going to sit outside anyway! (If you do sand, don't forget to wipe off dust with a tack cloth before painting.)
* Be careful with the wire brush: it's the tool for the job, but it will take off skin if you slip up.
* All rust-resistant paints are alkyd- (oil) based, so make sure you've got mineral spirits on hand for cleanup.
While looking for the instructions, I found a great website, VintageGlider.com, which sells both professionally restored and original condition metal gliders, chairs and tables. The prices are reasonable, and include freight shipping. For some odd reason, even the aged rusty pieces are somehow appealing to me. As someone with a collector's personality, I also love knowing the different pattern names: basketweave, wedding ring, lattice, piecrust, wagonwheel, pinhole, wheat bundle, dotted circle, sunburst...
My only surprise at learning that AutoVantage had named Boston #3 on its national list of Rudest Drivers 2007 was that we somehow got edged out for the top spot. Miami, #1 for the second year in a row?!? What the hell does anyone in Miami have to be digusted about while in the car? Sand up their cracks? Too hot leather seats in their convertibles? Hair that's not 'did' enough? Hasn't everyone seen The Birdcage? Well, I did (and I've visited Miami, natch); it's like a freakin' paradise down there.
Bostonist summed it by pointing out that, in The Bean, road rage is more essential than a blinker. Kudos! If driving in or around Boston, cut someone off by going left on the green, lay on the horn, stop right over the middle of the crosswalk, but when someone challenges you, have the cuyongas to give at least a quick flip...or go back to Connecticut.
Weirdly, I've lived in three cities that placed in the top 25 (Boston, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh) and I am swelled with pride that my beloved 'hometown' ranked the lowest out of the three. However, if you're ever behind me on the freeway and wonder why I'm lackadaisically going 35mph, well, now you know: exposure to all those rude drivers has given me a sort of driving lobotomy. And, hey, sometimes I just am not present.
The list, ranked from those reporting the most incidents of road rage to the fewest:
(red designates cities where Blogorelli has witnessed said driver)
2. New York
4. Los Angeles
5. Washington, D.C.
8. Sacramento, Calif.
10. San Francisco
14. Minneapolis-St. Paul
16. Tampa, Fla.
17. San Diego
21. Dallas-Ft. Worth
22. St. Louis
25. Portland, Ore.
(When you encounter a rude driver, just think of this glittery unicorn and everything will be a-ok.)
The other day, I mentioned to The Professor that how, this year, I might actually celebrate Valentine's Day versus QuirkyAlone Day. He replied that, actually, he did not believe in the "Big V" because "why should I love my Sigot* any more on February 14 than, say, June 1?"
And I agree...he should like me best all the days in any given month! But, his declaration reminded me of a sad past Valentine's Day which consisted of the same machismo postering, a solo viewing of "Great Expectations", and a bottle of chilled Lipton Sweetened Iced Tea (ah, college) left in my apartment as a lame condolence prize that night.
Still, I am in sync with The Professor...the best time to let someone, anyone, know that (s)he is cared for, loved, adored, etc., is right now. No time like the present -- possibly literally. So I'll let him slip by on a technicality.
If other gals aren't so inclined, may I suggest dropping some heavy hints now for Katherine Dejarnette Babin's "unusual, striking pieces with carefully selected materials such as vintage glass beads, lockets & brooches, semi-precious stones, metals & textile"? I especially love (no pun intended) her Object Trouvé collection.
(Hint, hint, Professor.)
Just kidding...I'll take you sans baubles, any and every day.
(*Sigot = Significant Other)
Some big news, Inter-net,
I have a boyfriend.
And he makes me happy...!
Hereinto, we will call him The Professor (so named because he is an actual college teacher.) Now, a funny and embarrassing story about him:
A few weeks ago, I took The Professor to dinner at Cho and Bobby's house. Half Pint and Mr. Car also attended. The theme? Taco night. The mission? Assimilation of said boyfriend with part of The Gang.
We arrived and did introductions. Everyone chatted a bit in the hallway and then I went off into the living room with the girls and Lincoln, while The Professor headed into the kitchen for beers. He handed Bobby Crocker his beer and said enthusiastically, "Here you go, Bob!"
(Would this be the appropriate time in the story to mention that Bobby Crocker's actual and correct real name is Tobin? Or that my boyfriend is one of the most affable people I've ever met?)
Driving home, The Professor turned to me and said, "Cho's husband's name is Bobby, right? Like you call him on the blog?"
Turning to him with a perplexed look on my face, I replied, "No. It's Tobin. I introduced him as Tobin, yes?"
The Professor turned pink before pointing out, "I thought his LAST name was Tobin. Like, Robert Tobin. And that you called him 'Bobby Crocker' on the blog as a nickname."
"Like, Robert Crocker Tobin? So why'd you call him BOB, then?" I asked, laughing.
"Because one grown man shouldn't call another Bobby!" he replied sheepishly. "And make sure that you tell Robert, er, Tobin...because he probably thinks I'm a total tool."
The next day, I relayed the story to Cho and Bobby. Tobin said that he had suspected as much with the initial "BOB," but figured on the blog/confusion factor.
Then, he turned to us and proudly said, "From now on, you can call me 'Robert; Robert C. Tobin!"
(I think you're 'in', Prof)
Like the overcommitting fool that The Gang all knows I am, I have agreed to serve as Co-Director for the AIGA 's Best of New England (BoNE) Show this June. Besides having a list of directives that spans over the next eight months and at least a 3" binder's width worth of paper, one of the immediate main goals is doing the Creative and Judging "asks."
Basically, this task requires my co-Director (coincidentally, A Classic Girl, who sometimes comments around here) and I to contact well-known local designers/design firms and "ask" them if they'd be interested in doing the show's collateral materials pro bono. Oh yeah, we also have to ring up certified "design celebrities" and
beg ask them if we can fly them to Boston in early March for the judging weekend.
After over a month+ of making lists, checking spreadsheets, attending meetings, and pretty much procrastinating in any way possible, this morning I tackled my Judging Call List. Like a gawky AV club boy asking the homecoming queen to Prom, I put on a facade of confidence and called Michael Beirut, Bruce Mau, and Pat Samata. I had to leave messages for all three (could they have been screening? Ha ha.) Beirut called back almost immediately. Of course, by this time I had already gone out for
a strong liquid lunch, so my co-worker had the thrill of taking the message. She mentioned that she had recently read one of his articles recently and that it was funny.
"Funny like peculiar?" he replied.
I've asked others for all kinds of odd things throughout my life, mostly unwanted (free) stuff, curbside salvage and, in a recent weird incident, postpartum mesh briefs. Some people want soap remnants, some locks of celebrity's hair, and some will even beg for Fish of the World posters. But I've found that the most interesting thing about asking for anything is not whether the recipient agrees or not…but how he or she reacts to the question itself.
Jonathan Safran Foer, in a project that seems so, well, HIM, is asking writers for the next page on which they would have written something. The whole to-do is officially called The Empty Page Project, and started with a blank page from Isaac Bashevis Singer's belongings that a friend passed on to JSF. (See, haters? Keeping other people's garbage CAN turn into something great!)
If I may:
"Richard Powers was the first to respond. 'The favor is indeed strange,' he wrote, 'but wonderful. The more I think about it, the more resonance it gets: a museum of pure potential, the unfilled page!' He sent along the next sheet from the yellow legal pad on which he writes...
I received a piece of paper from Susan Sontag. It was slightly smaller than the standard 8 1/2" x 11", and her name was printed across the top – for archival purposes, I imagined. John Barth sent me an empty page. It was classic three-hole style with the red strip up the margin...His note: 'Yours takes the prize for odd requests and quite intrigues me.'
A sheet of empty graph paper came from Paul Auster, which evoked his style. An absolutely gorgeous mathematician's log from Helen DeWitt, accompanied by advice to the young writer about getting to know one's typesetter. A page ripped from David Grossman's notebook – small, worn even in its newness, somehow strong...A clean white page from Arthur Miller, no accompanying note. Paper from Zadie Smith, Victor Pelevin, David Foster Wallace ('You are a weird bird JSF'), Peter Carey, John Updike…"
Collectors, weird birds? Why, I couldn't have chosen a better descriptor myself.
The crisp edge to the air whispers what everyone is thinking, "Autumn has…arrived?"
This is a favorite time of the year in the Blogorelli household. Not only does my #1 holiday (my birthday) occur during the season, but the temperature is perfect for quality back-to-school fashion, picnics in the afternoon sunlight on a light wool checkered blanket with a warm beverage-filled thermos, and general coziness. Not to mention the peak offering of many fine apple and pumpkin products: apple butter, pumpkin pie, apple cider, pumpkin beer, apple crisp, pumpkin seeds...
Fall is practically perfect in every way. Except that the season is when I've decided to start my new "hardcore" (ha) exercise regime in order to prepare for winter hibernation. September usually still signals a fresh start in my mind, harkening (did I just really pull that word out? Yes, yes I did) back to the time when I was in school, which meant new supplies and new outfits, and a (mostly) "clean slate."
This fresh-eyed approach also applies to life in general…which is how I found myself up at 5:30 this morning and at Ballys Fitness by 7am, strapped onto a bike with a very muscular man screaming, "RIDE THE EDGE!!!" at me. That's right, I've started spinning.
The principle behind spinning seems easy enough: riding a bike. Who can't do that for an hour? Duh. But ride a bike up a hill for an hour? No. No fucking way, Al Gore. Ten minutes in, I was sweating so much that, had someone given me a sweatband, I would have worn it seriously and wholeheartedly across my forehead.
After 40 minutes of the instructor yelling, "PUSH! BREATHE! PUSH! PUSH! PUSH! GO! EMBRACE THE EDGE!" I started to vaguely understand what being in labor must entail. As a classic rock guitar solo ended the class, my thighs wept — literally, with sweat.
One shower and a lot of caffeine later, I'm at work and moderately productive. And oh yes, I'll take the class again…if not for the workout, then at least for the total indulgence of listening to a little stadium rock in the early a.m.