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Friday, April 30, 2010

Stalking Works

I met Dr. Rosser for drinks this afternoon.  He's the first person to ever ask me, "So, when did you begin stalking me?"  What a good sport.  He claims I'm his first stalker.  Surely not his last.  Interestingly, to me at least, writing about him here drove me to contact him in the first place and to follow-up with a call and then a meeting.  I would never have pursued seeing him in person if I had stayed in my own head.  Thanks, I've Been To Me.

Bang. Whimper. (with lots parentheses and pictures)

I mentioned before that I was starting a round of catalog work this week. I've been waiting since Monday to hear when they need me and keeping my schedule open. (It's called being "on avail" in the acting biz. Except I'm not in the acting biz and I think actors are paid while on avail.  I am not.)
On Wednesday, I went to look at the property where C. Louise's 8th grade dance (they are calling it a "social") is to be held so I can plan my decorating scheme. (My idea of decorating for a party is balloons and more balloons, yet they put me in charge.) The building is on White Rock Lake.  I used to spend a lot of time at White Rock Lake when I was running. I don't miss the running (okay, sometimes I do) but I miss being at the lake.

Here's the bang part.  On Thursday, I got up an hour earlier than usual and did laundry, made all the beds, cleaned the kitchen - including washing down the cabinets.  Manic.  Then, I drove May to school and set out for the lake.  I started walking and decided I would just go ahead and walk all the way around.  I have run around it many times before, but walking 9 miles takes about 3 hours.  What the hell?  I'm on avail and I needed to accomplish something that doesn't involve a computer, a retail outlet or domestic duties.  I called Not Loni and chatted with her as I started out and she decided to cruise on over on her bike and keep me company for a few minutes.  So, with me setting a blistering 20 minute per mile pace and her not even needing to pedal, we tooled around the lake and it was like being a kid - one of us on foot, one of us hanging out on a bike, not really going anywhere.  She stuck it out for the entire 3 hour cruise.
My day kept getting better with lunch at Taco Joint, a trip to Whole Foods, where I ran into one of my all-time favorite people, and book shelving in Miss M's school library.

Add to that an invitation to join my friends at Lee Harvey's on their last night living in Dallas and you have a pretty great day.  Bon voyage, Chaos and Louise (I can use these names because they aren't their real names anyway.  I love people who use aliases!)

Meanwhile, I called Dr. J. Barkley Rosser's hotel and left a friendly greeting.  My phone rang last night at 10:26 PM - I was already asleep as mentioned in my previous post - and it was Dr. J. Barkley Rosser calling me back (!).  He left me a lovely message which will only encourage me to leave him another message today and then he will leave town and our dance will be over.  But not forgotten.

Here's the whimper part.  The art director for the catalog called last night for me to start working today  - oh, man, I was really starting to enjoy this on avail business.  I had already told my all-time favorite person, when I ran into her yesterday, that I would walk with her this morning.  I did not get up an hour early today to get shit done. Whimper.  I did go to walk with my all-time favorite person and here's how it started out.
Ow.  (It was a total fall to the ground, too - twisted ankle, both knees, over on my side, elbow smashed, feet flying around,  head snapping.) I soldiered on, of course, out of embarrassment mostly, but we got rained on during the walk and cut it short.  Ho hum.  Now, I'm about to jump in the shower and head off to the studio. What a difference a day makes.

P.S.  You don't want to step in dog shit when you're wearing those barefoot shoes.
 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Is it raining with you?

It's not functioning at top speed anymore, but my uterus kicks up a  fuss every time I see something like this.  I can't go get one of those, so I find myself trolling around the Corgi rescue site looking for a sister for Oliver. Alas, I know from experience babies and dogs are all like "me, me, me, take care of me" and oh boy, do I really want to go there? I tell my uterus to shut up while I explore options further down the food chain.

-I struck out with Not Don in my quest to raise chickens.
-I struck out with the bee guild in my quest to be a beekeeper.
No human, no mammal, no fowl, no insect.
Fine.  I want a rain barrel.
I don't know if I'll be able to handle the extra pressure and time demands droplets would place on me.  Am I responsible enough, or will someone else have to take over their care when I lose interest?  Am I worthy of custody? Give me a chance, Rain!  I won't let you down.  My uterus is already singing that "slide down my rain barrel" song.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

WANTED, continued...

Do you remember my former professor who had not accepted my facebook friendship? Today, he turned up again in my newsfeed with a status that he's coming to Dallas this week. What could I do?  I sent him an in-box message pestering him for not accepting me while callously posting about a trip to my city. Apparently, he's speaking at a university and attending a conference at the Fed with a Nobel winner, and so what!  What about me?

He wrote back (surprise! yay!) saying he doesn't have a clue who I am (huh? boo!) and he doesn't accept stalkerish strangers.

I said, "Stalkerish? Take a look at THIS" and I sent him the link to my post.

He started to feel guilty (um, yeah) and accepted my friend request. Hold onto your hat: he offered to get together while he's in town this week. (OMG is all I can say and I rarely say OMG. Being a creepy, annoying, pathetic whiner worked for me. Victory!)  

He said I should call him. He also said he doesn't have a cellphone...

Monday, April 26, 2010

That voice! That brain!

Tonight, Not Dunmire, Not Loni and I went to see David Sedaris.  (Thanks for the Christmas gift of tickets, Not Dunmire!)

I can't retell the simplest jokes and his stories are certainly much longer and more twisted and subtle than most jokes, so I won't attempt to share - it's all a blur of Blue Jays in Guatemala, Irish Setter sex, a horse in sneakers, hotel fires and of course, air travel.  The first lesson of comedy is to do a bit about air travel.  Kills every time.

I saw David Sedaris a few years back and something I love about him is that he's always plugging someone else's books.  I discovered my homegirl Jincy Willett through him.  Tonight, he recommended Irish Girl  and now I'm recommending it to you.  (I haven't read it, but David has and David says to buy it, so I will and so will you.)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Don't blog about facebook, or facebook about blogging.

A simple enough rule.

Here are some other of my personal blog rules:
1) Don't focus on the kids every minute.
2) Don't give advice.
3) Make it personal, but not, you know, personal hygiene personal.
4) Don't talk politics.*

OK, so without blogging politics here, let me say I broke my facebook rule about not talking politics over there.  (My facebook rules are shockingly similar to my blog rules except for the hygiene part.) On facebook, I wrote a tirade and 40+ comments later, I deleted a friend.  I will obsess about deleting a friend for awhile.  It was warranted, but it's not comfortable. I want to be all cool and cavalier and all fuck that shit about it, but I can't. Oy, I hate hand wringing.  New blog rule, #5:  No hand wringing.  (shit - I do that all the time over here -- now what will I write about? wringing, wringing)

*I debate this rule a lot.  I like talking politics, just not sure this is the spot for it. (wringing)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Off the wagon and onto the Porch

I'm drunk (afternoon margaritas with Not Loni and Not Mel) , I'm on the phone with Not Karen (hi Not Karen!), and I'm supposedly getting ready for an "impromptu" front porch party (Not Don is really doing the work), invites announced on facebook.  Sorry for any incoherence, but if you're a regular reader and you expect to see a post from me each day, this is it, bitches.  I doubt I'll be in any shape to write anything later.  If you stop by tonight, you will automatically be a member of Professional Porch Sitters Union, Local 6012.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Shopping List

I start back with my freelance gig, copywriting a catalog, next week.  It occurs to me that I have no word processing capabilities - as far as I can discern - on the new laptop.  I'm going to the Apple Store before Monday.  I'm not looking forward to the crowd.  Boo crowds!  I hate you, crowds, and Apple is always a mess.

I am also in the market for a watch.  I'll have to pop into Target and pick up a new Timex this weekend.  Target will not be crowded and I can get Starbucks right there in the store.  So much better than Apple.

My third shopping excursion may be to West Elm in search of rugs. My pine floors downstairs are splitting like crazy and need protection. Plus, Greg (ahem, Not George, I guess?  Have I named him yet?) is painting and we're turning everything white.  New rugs will be so much fun for my pets to poop and puke on.  I can't wait for the poems on the futility of domesticity that will pour forth while I'm cleaning up after them.  That's inspiration you just won't find in the Apple Store.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Accidental Earth Day Tourist

I showed up to Miss M's class today to help out in the garden.  It occurred to me much later that this morning of ecology must have been scheduled in honor of Earth Day.  There were three moms and we each had a role.  Mom #1 was the planner/organizer.  Mom #2 was the plant and soil expert.  Mom #3 (me!) was the-person-who-yelled-at-the children.  Not yelled, really, but harangued with instructions like, "you're done, put down your gloves and tools, wipe off your feet and go back inside so the next group can have their turn.  Now."  Mom #1 remarked, "It's hilarious the way you keep telling the kids to go away."  I don't think she thought it was hilarious.

Then, I took my car to the shop because the check engine light was on.  I left it there to be noodled with by my Amelia Earhart look-alike mechanic and walked to lunch, then home.  I conserved energy (my own) by taking a nap, then I embarked on foot to Miss M's school.  I read the Earth Day unfriendly signs "Trail Closed", "No Trespassing" on the hike-and-bike path and took the road more traveled instead.  Then, home for more napping.  Thank goodness my car pooped out so I could cancel afternoon obligations.  And, thank Earth Day for putting my day into context.

I love the word harangue.  Fun to say, fun to spell.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Be My Guest

{I'm in bed, covered up in a prayer shawl.  I'm sweaty, but have decided I need the therapeutic shawl effect more than I need ventilation.}

My friend, Not Dunmire, introduced me to Apartment Therapy and I'm spending a lot of time there.  Here's my dream home.  It makes me happy to see that my dream home and my actual home are not that different in style.  The dream is clean, but I'm sure they just cleaned up real nice-like for the photos.

I want one of these gorgeous works of art.  I discovered it on Making It Lovely where my dream closet is also featured.  (When I tried to purchase a wardrobe at IKEA on Tuesday based on this inspiration, I couldn't find any employees to help me and I got all down-trodden and that was when I started feeling ill.  I left IKEA again without spending any money - except on meatballs -and it's a long damn way to go for meatballs.)

I need a last push on my home improvement projects of the moment...I'm running out of steam.  Can't someone plan to come and stay at my house?  (I'll let you use my shawl.)  That will motivate me to get stuff done.  And a houseguest is way easier than having another baby.  Usually.

Similes are like so stupid.

I'm feeling bitter like my coffee; fragile like this egg shell and bland as a piece of toast.  If only I had some jelly to sweeten my outlook.  (I'm scattered, like hash browns; nasty, like grits; non-sensical, like french toast; beaten, like pancakes  -- take your pick!)

Turns out my immune system rejects make-up.  I've had an eye infection ever since my eyeliner-with-contact lenses extravaganza and it hurts like a motherfucker.  Right now, I'm getting ready for a charity luncheon at a country club where the Bishop will speak.  I'm pretty sure I can't get away with an eyepatch:  "and also with you, arrgghhh."  The eye gives me the excuse to give up on the make-up shenanigans this go around.  I have bigger concerns anyway, like the elastic impression my athletic socks left on my ankles that is quite visible now that I'm in my lady shoes.

So here I go, a lady who lunches at the country club, in a greasy spoon mood.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Filmy

Two months ago I said I wanted to see An Education.  Finally buckled down and watched it last night.  Lovely film.  However, I found Saaaarsgaaard to be smarmier and pastier and creepier than I can bear.  Peter needs to play Steve Carrell's sidekick or Sandra Bullock's love interest just once to cleanse the palate before he can go back to his comfort zone of sleaze.

I miss The Garden State.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Shopping Violations On The Rise

I walked into the bookstore and saw her.  She was on the floor, motionless, with a vacant look in her eyes.  I didn't see who had done this to her.  The perps were long gone and she was abandoned.

She's plush, sure, but she didn't deserve this.
















Then, I went to the grocery store and found them pimping out Little Debbie. 10 for $10?  Disgusting exploitation.  A working girl needs to make a living wage, Big Grocery.  Those saucy nurse's caps don't come cheap.



















And me?  I was victimized today, too.  I was compelled to buy both a House Beautiful and Country Home magazine.  Oh, the shame.  I was asking for it.

A compliment wrapped in a directive.

I had some anxiety getting ready for my friends' Dad's 80th birthday party.  I'd made a tactical error and had my eyebrows waxed at the last minute, so I had to wear make-up to cover up the angry redness.   (Plus, I baked yesterday, so I figured, why not be a girl two days in a row?) I'm never comfortable in make-up - it's not a confidence issue, I just don't look like myself and I feel like I'm in a mask.  It takes time, it takes maintenance, it's a hassle, etc.  But when I decide to wear it for whatever reason, I'm always frustrated by my lack of skill resulting from my lack of experience.  Too much?  Too little?  Wrong color?  Shit!  (Okay, so this is when it turns into a confidence issue.)

My friends were saluting their Dad during the party and I cried off a lot of mascara listening to them pay tribute to him.  The common thread in all their speeches was gratitude and awe at his unflagging support, love and guidance.  Each of his kids shared how his wisdom and advice had shaped their lives.

I spoke to this 80 year-old oracle toward the end of the party and he asked me,
"Not Stacy, why do you look different?"
"I'm not wearing my glasses and I have on make-up."
"You know what?  Forget natural.  You need a little something.  Forget natural beauty."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Too lame for even a facebook status.

I cleaned my house today. I straightened, swept, vacuumed, mopped, dusted, polished and scrubbed. For real. Then, I baked vegan cupcakes. The cupcakes are chocolate-vanilla marble. I made both vegan buttercream icing and vegan chocolate ganache so everyone could choose their own poison.

Who am I?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Unbecoming

Here's what I'm not doing this week:

1) Becoming a vegan.
2) Becoming a yardsaler.  (Yardseller?  Yardsailor?)
3) Becoming a beekeeper.

Because:

1) Hungry.
2) Unprepared.
3) I had an interesting conversation with the honeybee guild lady.  She's quite nice and she is, in her words, a beevangelist. She told me the guild is not a club and it doesn't deal with hobbyists.  Bees and environmentalism are their life and livelihood and they only add new folks to their guild (not a club) that are very committed and that fit a certain profile.  She suggested I find a mentor (a Bee Marm) to advise me and immerse me in the bee culture.  (Again, the guild is not a club and she could not recommend anyone to serve as a Bee Marm to me.)  She told me to e-mail her now and once things settle down after the guild's flurry of activity this month due to Earth Week, she will contact me.  (I don't think I'll fit the environmentalist profile since I thought it was just Earth Day, not Earth Week.)  To attract her - like a bee to a flower - I titled my e-mail like this:  WANNA-BEE!
(OK, wanna-bee is just genius.  And, since I'm a genius, I don't really need to become any of that other stuff.)

Women of Color
















My dear friend, Not Henry, sent me this card many years ago.  Whenever I run across it, as I did this morning, I have to give up my Brown tendencies and be Yellow for a day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

If I call it a chiffarobe, will I like it better?


I hate this armoire.  Always have.  It's too large to go up the stairs and I've never found a suitable place for it downstairs.  It's our Art Cabinet, as we presume to call it, and it multiplies art supplies.  I cleaned it out with plans to sell it or donate it or hire someone to bust it up for kindling.  Now that it's empty, I feel a little more affection for it.  It's now filled with possibilities.  I'm not sure if I can let it go.  As much as it rubs me the wrong way, it hasn't done anything wrong and I might miss it when it's gone.  (I feel several potential country songs bubbling up here.)  It's also the only piece of furniture large enough to contain that giant ass can of Playdoh.

Before












During












After

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ho hum *achoo*

My good day has fizzled.  I started strong with a teacher conference, Starbucks with Miss M and a visit to the garden center.  I planted my pots, finished a project, grocery shopped and cooked a meal that everyone (sort of) ate.  Ho hum, but a really good ho hum:  the ho hum where productive meets relaxing.

Have you heard this is a horrible pollen season?  Now I'm mainlining red wine, albuterol and benadryl.  I'll sleep for sure, but my eyes may not actually close.

   Before                                                             After

                                                          

Sunday, April 11, 2010

html is my style

I took this fashion quiz and scored preppy, so I retook it and scored bohemian. It's no better or worse than a facebook quiz, I suppose, but you do get brand suggestions at the end. I'm really just posting this because to do so, I had to correct their html to get it to work and that makes my preppy/bohemian/Capricorn heart happy.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Yard Sale

Spring has sprung, for sure.  I'll be preparing for a yard sale all this week.  Usually when I think about having a yard sale, I come to my senses and donate everything instead.  This time, my kids are interested in making some do-re-mi and want to help.  I'm emptying drawers and closets.  Today I also pulled out piles of magazines to recycle and books to sell at the used bookstore.  Next up will be rearranging the furniture and changing bedrooms around again - get ready, Not Don.  I'm going to post some before/after photos of my rooms as I go.

I'm so over Kristen Wiig.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Social Profiling

Several friends on facebook alerted me to the site spokeo.com.  It's essentially a phonebook that includes a lot of personal data compiled from around the internet.  I'm not sure if I should be concerned about privacy or not - seems like that ship has sailed.
I reviewed my profile.  True that I'm married, in my early 40s and have an unknown occupation.  False that I'm a Capricorn.  Capricorn?   Crappy website can't get my astrological sign right and I'm supposed to worry about someone using this data to...what?  Steal my identity?  My identity as a Capricorn?  (Is it really necessary to capitalize zodiac signs?)  I love that I live in a home that is both worth $1M+ and located in a "below average" neighborhood.  One of those two pieces of data is wrong, but I'm not saying which one.

Age:  early 40's
Gender:  Female
Ethnicity:  Caucasian
Zodiac:  Capricorn
Relationship:  Married
Children:  Yes
Occupation:  unknown
Education:  College Degree
Hobbies:  Sports, Reading
Home Owner:  Yes
Residence:  Single Family House
Length of Residence:  9 years
Est. Home Value:  $1M+
Neighborhood:  Below Average

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Might Be Giant

I love dollhouses and miniatures.  There, I said it.  Not cool, I know, I know.  I bought dollhouse furniture at a store called The Wee Wreath as a kid, even though I had no dollhouse to put it in. I've foisted dollhouses and tiny dolls and tiny furniture on my children all their lives, even when they could have choked on them.  I believe my compulsion to constantly rearrange furniture is rooted in dollhouse mania.

Today, I saw a photo essay in the New York Times about a collector of modern dollhouses.  Suddenly, dollhouse collecting looks very cool and grown up without going to the "nutty old lady with dolls" extreme.  It could totally be my hobby, but I know I would be obsessed and then I'd have no time for my life-size family or actual home, or blogging.  At least blogging is free - and it takes up no space - and it never needs dusting.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wanna Be

I was thinking about my diet today and I decided to become a vegan.  I have gone through long periods of eating vegetarian, but I've never been a vegan. Today, I decided I was ready.  I started working on my resolve and my motivation and my rationalizations:  "hey, I don't even eat much meat as it is."  (I had a huge roast beef sandwich on Tuesday and Swedish meatballs today, but I'm sticking with my "not too carnivorous" self-image.)  I decided to get a couple of cookbooks, buy some soy products and throw away all the old cheeses lingering in my fridge.

Then, I went to Whole Foods and spied this product:

Those words you may or may not be able to make out on the label are: DOUBLE CREAM WHITE CHOCOLATE MILK.  The Oreo-meets-Double Cream White Chocolate Milk image overpowered me.  I quickly reneged on the vegan thing.

I can start eating a vegan diet tomorrow, right after I have 9 cups of coffee topped off with Double Cream White Chocolate Milk.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cut, copy and paste, and other lessons learned today.

1.  People are nice.*
2.  If you go for a walk rather than go to Starbucks, do not panic.  Just go to Starbucks at 11:00.
3.  Too many coconut macaroons make you unhappy late in the evening.
4.  'Command' on the macbook is the same as the control key on the PC.
5.  When you want to write something long but don't have time, make an inane list instead.


*This one is my favorite.  #1 with a bullet.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Letter of No Merit on a Topic of No Import



Dear Not Cheetah,


The Masters' starts in Augusta this week.  One thing, please: you must win.  Please, go ahead and win.  I'm tired of hearing about your dumb-dumb personal life and want you to go back to being a golfer.  This is America, land of hero-worship and short attention spans.  All the people who are vilifying you now won't give a shit about your girlfriends once you win a major.  Just win, please, so the gawkers can get on with their lives and the haters can love you again.  If you lose, I'll have to endure breathless, aroused talking heads analyzing you and your whores constantly until the next major tournament. Once you win, all this crap will be forgotten and you'll be a hero again because this is America. Get on with it.


Sincerely,


Not Stacy

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Throw The Book At 'Em and They'll Throw One Back

I still have my favorite novels from my childhood.  They are:  All-of-A-Kind Family, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Nantucket Summer, The Ghosts and Little Women.  I have force-fed all of these old favorites to my kids.  I've read them all aloud, partly because I love to read aloud and partly because that's the only way I can be sure they're sharing in my love for these books.  (They MUST share my love for these books.)

I have also loved making up for lost time by reading books to my kids that I missed growing up.  The Secret Garden, Misty of Chincoteague, Black Beauty and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe were all a pleasure to discover along with the girls.

Now, we're having a turn about.  Miss N. recently insisted I read When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.  I told her I would and then set it aside for a few months.  Yesterday, I finally picked it up and read the whole book.  It has a great protagonist, Miranda, who is already obsessed with A Wrinkle in Time when she begins receiving mysterious notes from the future.  It's a sweet story.  I cried - I always cry.  Maybe N. will keep this book in her library, even as an adult.

I still love reading kid lit and I'm pleased my kids want to push books on me now.  I won't get into who convinced whom to read Twilight.  That's another topic all together.


*I would have linked to When You Reach Me, but I haven't figured out how to copy and paste on the mac book yet.  I've been so busy with Peeps and whatnot.

Will that bunny ever get here?

Over-the-top is how I describe my Easter this year. I'm wrapped up in the clothes, the crafts, the Peeps, the Honey-baked Ham, Chocolat, the bunny cake. The Easter Bunny herself just finished her good work with the baskets and they're ready for morning. I'm putting great store in Easter.  I'm ready to renew.  I don't know what form renewal will take, but I'm going to figure it out.

I'm ready to keep going, too, I've decided.  I'll be hanging out here at I've Been To Me awhile longer.  I don't know what my "rules" will be now that Lent is over.  I'll figure that out, too.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

18 Beers and A Lot of Glue

My crazy idea this year was to make non-traditional Easter baskets for my girls.  I drank 18 beers and then decoupaged the 6-pack carriers:


For the 8 year old - wallpaper roses on gingham wrapping paper.









For the 14 year old - layers of flashy wrapping paper.









For the 11 year old - cut up Anthropologie catalog.

Hygiene Class

Good morning, children.  Today, we're going to use this designer handbag to illustrate female genitalia.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Maundy Thursday

I never heard of Maundy Thursday until I was in my 30s.  My church at the time observed the day with foot washing.  There are ways I'd like to be like Jesus, but that isn't one of them.  I don't want to wash or be washed.  I don't get pedicures for that reason and because I hate the smell of nail polish remover.  Jesus would hate nail polish remover, I'm sure of it.  It would be cool if Jesus and I kept our white shoes on and washed each other's hair instead.