You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2009.



xmas09, originally uploaded by shksthclwn.

Turns out Flickr’s pretty cool for posting video. Yay. So every year, without fail, I end up with Christmas video of a photo shoot. Someone holding the camera, muttering oaths and people posing. Then the realization that the camera was set to video. This is this year’s entry.

The space between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is always kind of weird. Time feels suspended, somehow.  And because the kids have already had a full break’s worth of days off b/c of the snow, it feels…like too much.  They’re going to NJ tonight to see Oliver with the grandparents tomorrow, so at least that gives them something to do and gives me a break from the constant noise and interaction with People.

We went to Delaware for Christmas, as we do.  We arrived to great piles of snow on Thursday and drove out Saturday, heading for higher ground as the whole Delmarva peninsula began to sink like Atlantis.  The rain melted the snow very quickly and Delaware is mostly below sea level anyway.  The roads were like a path through a lake.  Good luck with those basements, folks!  We live on a mountain.  Suckers.

Anyway, it was a nice enough Christmas and I managed to take 3 whole photographs.  The digital screen on my camera is broken, so I’ll blame that.

Dean, Madison, Lily, Ben, Miranda. Or the other way for the twins. I don't know and neither do you.

Julianna and Steve

Ben and Dean in their matching jackets. Ben is, of course, holy and has a halo.

I also got the obligatory 20 seconds of video made while trying to take a still photo with the camera on the wrong setting.  As soon as I figure it out, I’ll post that.  Because what’s more engaging than accidental, poorly lit video?

We’d given the kids RockBand and Beatles RockBand for Hanukkah, so xmas was pretty low-key.  They got their gifts from family, about which they were happy, and from us they each got a stocking  and then the family gifts.  This year, those were the games “In a Pickle” and one of those “Find it!” tubes–looks like it’s full of sprinkles and industrial detritus?  Comes with a list of what to find?  Only THE LIST IS A LIE!  I have searched for the last 5 items until my eyeballs hang on my cheeks, dangling from their twitchy optic nerves.  It’s a cruel practical joke.  I respect the craft, but I will kill any of the designers that I encounter.  I will hit them over the head with the tube until it finally breaks open, showering down plastic sprinkles and random junk.  BUT NOT A WASHER, NAIL, WINGNUT, SCREW, AND PENNY.  Because they are not in there.  And that is what you get for lying–a book called “The Secret Files of Grown-ups,” and a set of Looney Tunes DVDs.   The children are delighted by the violence.  “He shot him in the FACE!”  I imagine Dick Cheney was reared on Looney Tunes.

In his stocking, I gave Ben some felt and a needle felting base.  He’s been learning how to needle felt at school, and they’d mostly been combining cut-outs from flat sheets.  He decided to make a bird out of wool roving (just loose wool) and I happened to still have my huge bag of naturally dyed wool from Hippie Camp in the trunk of the car.  So he set off to make a Baltimore Oriole and really kept at it.  Check it out, he did this all himself:

He still wants to add a bead eye.  Now he’s working on a female, but wants to make her much smaller. (and in case you’re wondering?  The orange is the alum mordanted wool that was briefly tossed into the cochineal dye bath, but then put into goldenrod.  The black is wool from a black sheep, mordanted with iron and dyed with black walnut. Now you know)

So the kids go to NJ tonight, I have a couple of meetings, and then fondue fest 2009-2010 on Thursday night.  No gluten in cheese.

A quick note before I get off my butt and make some delicious, delicious gluten free treats.  sigh.  First, here’s your holiday card:

I decided to have mercy on the non-FB users and post here, too.  Because it was simple.  I have given up the idea that I will ever mail out cards.  Three years in a row of throwing them away in April has taught me that it simply will not happen. See? I learn.  A little.

And while I’m offering up FB applications, here is a status update collage.  As far as I can tell, it just pulled random ones from the year.  I wonder if I could print out all of them…that would provide an interesting portrait of my year…

And now I must dip my balls in chocolate.  Hee.

Merry Christmas, yer ass, I pray god it’s our last.

Julianna was inducted as president of our school’s 4-H club on Wednesday.  Or, she and Rhiannon were married, we’re not sure which.  Phone photos, quality will be poor.

Our first year, she was historian, last year she was vice president, and now she begins her reign of terror as President.  Bow before her!

After the meeting,  5 or 6 families went out to dinner together.  It was spontaneous, so we didn’t call ahead.  I’m sure the restaurant was thrilled to see us.  But we were all very well behaved, even though we had a kids’ table and a grown-up table.  It was really fun and very nice to see what a good bunch of kids we have.  There were about 15 kids at that table (aged 7 to 13) and while they certainly talked and laughed, it was never out of hand, they were no louder than the adults.   There are a pair of “strolling cowboys” who come by and sing songs, so it’s not like the place is quiet, anyway.  Not when you can get both Feliz Navidad and Ring of Fire.  We had the “how long have you lived here, where are you from?” conversations.  Steve and I were the old Frederick residents at 15 years (gah!), and it was always interesting to see how mobile Americans are.  Most of us had lived in another country, all of us had lived in more than two states.  We’re a restless people.

There’s a 100% chance of snow tomorrow, according to weatherunderground.com.  Doesn’t that seem a bit…bold?  Seems like unless the snow is actually floating down around your ears you wouldn’t say more than 99.9% chance.  Maybe the forecasters were hoping that by saying “Oh it is GOING to snow” they could tempt the snow into moving right along to some other state.  Snow being notoriously contrary.

I hit Trader Joe’s this morning, since we were out of peanut butter and maple syrup.  TJ’s has the best price on organic pb and it has the best taste, so I bought 4 crunchy and 6 creamy.  So the snow can do its worst, we are ready.  Ready to develop a severe nut allergy.  I also got two containers of maple syrup, as TJ is a bit cheaper on that, as well.  And, of course, an assortment of cheese and chocolates for teacher gifts (in case I don’t get around to making caramel corn, like I planned), and clementines, and chips, and these wonderful bags of frozen fire roasted onions and peppers (so good for omelets!)…and soon I had a cart brimming full.  The store is only 20 minutes away, but b/c it’s in Montgomery County, it feels like I have to drive to the end of the earth, so I load up.  Plus, you know, snow.  Gotta lay in the stores in case we can’t drive for a couple of hours.

As I was in the cellar, putting away the raft of peanut butter and pallet of canned mandarin oranges, I noticed that the miceperhaps the offspring of the mice that ate 10 whole boxes of ice cream cones and 6 boxes of pudding mix–had eaten a container of Crisco sticks.  Empty plastic tub surrounded by shreds of foil and mouse poop.  So I’m killing them.  But sloooowwwly.  Like Archer Daniels Midland is doing to us.  I’ll slip some high fructose corn syrup down there next.  Soon, I’ll have a generation of gluten intolerant mice with autistic pinkies.  Mwahaha!

Holiday concert at the school in an hour.  Should I rupture my eardrums now or let the recorder chorus do it?

We’re back.  It was a short trip, but fun.  We caught our plane at 7 am this morning, so nothing exciting happened today.  Yesterday, though, I went to the Mission area of SF to browse about.  It’s very funky and I wish I’d gone earlier so that I could have gone back again.  It started to rain while I was there and I didn’t stay as long as I might’ve.  My friend Karen told me about a discount fabric place and I spent a lot of time in there.  They had a HUGE selection of fun fur, but it was all $49 and $59 a yard.  That would make for a rather large price increase in the ol’ Nom Nom bags.  When I’m famous.  Then I’ll get all that fabulous fur.  They also had oil cloth for 2 bucks a yard cheaper than Britex.  Boo.  I did get some upholstery cloth samples that were only 99 cents each and are a bit bigger than fat quarter size, good for bags.

But I bore you.  I had pretty food at a Japanese restaurant.  I was about 3/4 through it when I thought “crap, that rice probably had some soy sauce on it.”  But it wasn’t much and it didn’t bring pain, so yay.  But look:

the carrots are flowers!  The gourd strips are tied into a knot!  Taro root loveliness!  Each veg was cooked perfectly, the rice was perfect and well seasoned.  AND they had the same rice cooker I do b/c I heard it singing in the kitchen.  So much good food to eat.  So few days.

Then I stumbled upon the coolest store.  It’s called Paxton Gate and it’s just…bonkers.  On one of their cards it has a quote from “Time Out London” that says “Martha Stewart meets David Lynch” and that is a perfect summation.   Apparently, it started as an eccentric gardening and landscape store and gradually branched into natural sciences and then home decor.  My first impression when I first went in was of an 16th Century artist’s cabinet of curiosities.  It was just little bits of lots of things, but arranged well so that they flowed from one thing to the next.  There was a table of things mushroom-related–a book about mushrooms, mushroom jewelry, dried decorative mushrooms, etc.  Then insects–mounted insects under glass, brass insects, books about insects, woodprints of insects.  It was all beautifully arranged and displayed.  There was also a lot of taxidermy, but it really fit.  Some were your standard mouted head, but also jackalope.  And mice wearing costumes.  There were signs everywhere that said “no photographs” and I tend to be a hopeless rule-follower in those situations, but luckily I found some rebels on Flickr and I’ve posted their photos.  most are from curiousexpeditions whom I wish I’d found earlier b/c there’s some other cool stuff in SF I’d like to see, now.

This is the counter in the front.  Each of those wee drawers has stuff in it–taxidermy eyes, cork bottle stoppers, dried insects–it was a delight for my nook and cubby-loving self.

This is just as you come in, on your left.  See how the first table there is mushroomy things and then flasks and bottles, then jewelry?

Flasks and bottles, looking cool.  I love these things. We use an ehrlenmeyer flask as a wine decanter.

I love how displaying things as art makes them beautiful.  Or maybe that’s just me.  Tell me, vat do you see?  Intriguing display or big pile of dead gophers?

To your left as you enter.  Taxidermied unicorn and antique wheelchair.

View of the store from the front.

Big piles of ephiphytes.  There were SUCH cool plants. I don’t usually go in for weird-ass plants, I’m not a fan of orchids, really.  I find them interesting, but I don’t want to be bothered with them.  But they had all sorts of bizarre succulents and things that I found super cool.  I wished I could have taken them home.

And then…my favorite thing.  Equally horrifying and utterly charming was a display case of taxidermied mice in costumes.

Seriously, who WOULDN’T want dead mice on their wedding cake?  Name one person.

Check out wee Hamlet, with his little skull.  so. cute.   And, equally, creepy.  I couldn’t find any photos of the little mouse angels with their feathery wings and outstretched legs, hovering over the rest of the scene.  Seriously, I just gaped at these.

They also had a kids’ store a few shops up that had fake taxidermy that was aMAZing.  Birds made of paper that look like real birds until you’re right on them.  Soooo cool.  If you’re ever in SF, go to the Mission, go to Valencia street, 824, and enjoy!

Yesterday involved meandering and hanging with the gays.  A perfect San Francisco day, it seems.  I spent the morning poking around the Union Square area (where the Rich Ladies shop).  It’s loaded with super chic Asian 25-35 year olds.  It’s very good at making you feel poor, tall, old, and schlubby.  I bought a 6 dollar umbrella at Ross b/c it is supposed to rain.  It was that or the $500 Prada raincoat.  I came back to the hotel to do some last minute work on my dress for the party–I had to make the ribbon belt, add a hook and eye at the top of the zipper, and make wee belt loops to hold up said ribbon belt.  Also, ironing.  Then I met Steve at the Power Source cafe again.  mm.

I set out on my quest to find some of the things I wanted to see.  First stop: Alessi flagship store.  Alessi is an Italian design firm that makes happy things.  I adore them.   They put the fun in functional.  We have this corkscrew:

and a smiling pasta fork named Lola.  Not everything has a face (although I always did want to live in Rolie Polie Olie’s house), some things are just really cool, like the Phillip Starck juicer:

and some are just lovely, like the stemware and coffee service–clean, modern lines.  Like Ikea with a better-paying job.   The store was a happy place, the employees seemed to really like being there and weren’t at all “I work in an Italian design boutique.”  More “I work in a place where the spoons have smiles.”

Continuing my art adventure, I went to the San Francisco Museum of Craft+Design.  I was disappointed that it was only one exhibit, but it was at least a nice one.  Michael Peterson was the artist.  Lovely pieces, and it was very, very hard to obey the “Do not touch” signs b/c the wood was so smooth and “please touch me” looking.  There was a write up about the artist near the entry which of course blathered about his vision yadda yadda and his evolution from the use of the lathe to the chainsaw (okay!), and then said that he works out of doors, never using a tarp even in sun and wind and rain so that he can be at one with the elements that shape his wood…That, paired with the fact that he makes driftwood art AND that he lives on the Washington coast, makes me suspect that ol’ Len Tukwilla was inspried by Mr. Peterson.  Because lord knows I thought “I find a piece of driftwood that looks like a squirrel, and then I polish it, and then I glue eyes on it”…

All full of culture, I girded my loins for a foray into Sephora.  I wanted red lipstick.  I have purchased many red lipsticks in my time, and almost all end up in the trash b/c they look okay in the store and then look coral or purple when I get them home.  So I meandered around in the store until I gave up and found a gay.  Michael looked to be about my age and had the cynical twinkle in his eye that draws me in.  He took on my challenge at once.  “You need to match the red to your dress or go with a nude.”  I told him that I’d read that if I matched my lips to my dress people would point at me and mock me and I’d show up on Go Fug Yourself.  “Not for a holiday party.  But it has to be exact.  Do you remember the dress well enough?”  I told thim that I’d made the dress so I was pretty familiar with the fabric.  He dropped his hands to his sides and walked away a few paces.  Um, come back?  He turned around and said “Stop.  You SEW?!”  And seriously, it was like I’d said I was an alchemist.  Apparently it was a good thing b/c he dove in with new vigor.  Dragged me all over the damned place smearing lipsticks on his arm.  He looked like a teenaged cutter.  He’d smear one on and say “Is that red rusty?  Does it have an orange cast?” in a way that suggested I was being quizzed.  I think I did okay.  I’m no good at makeup but I do know color.

He narrowed down our choices to two and plopped me on a stool.  We chatted while he worked and shared our love of Bravo programming.  Each time I said something that delighted him, he’d drop his arms and walk away.  It was totally cracking me up.  Also, he looked a lot like John Locke from Lost, but younger and gayer, and had the sort of face that hides not. one. thing. Every emotion he had went right to his eyebrows.   Once we’d settled on a lipstick (literally a stick, some kind of pencil that I then put a gloss over.  And apparently would never ever come off.  he emphasized how hard it was to get it off.) I asked him to tell me what to do with my eyes as well.  Off he went, back with two colors, a fleshy tone and a dark brown.  “You must never wear green, purple, or blue,” he told me.  So now I know.  He daubed away at my eyes and asked how I learned to sew, “My mom was a home ec teacher.” Drops the arms, but does not leave, just gives me eyebrows.  “And now you just sew and sew.  Do you pass it on to your kids?”  “I’m a 4-H instructor.”  He walks clear to the other side of the store and comes back.  “I grew up in San Francisco and all I wanted was to take 4-H.  But we didn’t have it!”  So I told him that Julianna was taking pack goat and I thought he was going to actually leave the store, but he recovered.  Clearly I come from a magical land far away.

He informed me that my eyes “love makeup.”  and I told him that they were lying to him b/c they wanted to look cool to the Big City Man.  He asked why I didn’t wear makeup normally and I told him that my life is not really very glam and that I’m very bad at applying it.  He insisted that I was just fine at it b/c I sew (yeah, I know).  Then I told him that I’m really only good with Fairy Festival makeup with swirls and flowers and glitter.  He was gone.  When he returned he clasped my hand and said “We’re kindred spirits.”  Which I totally knew and if I lived here we would be SUCH good friends and would watch Project Runway together.

I had about 90 min until my hair appt, so I went over to a little mall complex.  I caught sight of myself in a window–heavy evening makeup and an LLBean pullover fleece. Not a good look.  Like a hooker from Maine.  So I went into a bathroom and wiped most of it off.  The red came off with a bit of scrubbing, but first it smeared so I looked like Florence Henderson at the beginning of Shakes the Clown (go rent it, I’ll wait).  I went into the Sanrio store which was not as much fun as it used to be.  I think I’m close to Kitty-ed out.

I poked about Chinatown for a while.  I think maybe it needs to be renamed “the hideous light fixture district”  Mither-a-gad, that stuff is terrible.  I first saw this through a window:

(phone pics, sorry) and because of the angle, I saw that weird squiggly red and orange one first.  And I thought, “wow, that is an ugly light.”  And then I saw the giant blow-glass flowers and imagined that surely these were one-0f-a-kind.  Some artist friend of the shop’s owner, perhaps?   Then one shop over:

And a couple down from that:

But wait, that’s not all!  in addition to hideous glass you get questionable sculputure.  This guy is nearly my height:

It was truly a wonderland.  Like, “I wonder what sort of drugs you have to take to think this crap’s a good idea?”  they ship world wide, though, so that’s nice.

Then off to get a haircut.  While my stylist was washing my hair, he turned to the girl beside him and said, “I’m so glad you were honest with me.  it means so much to me that you trust me.  Still, I am sad.”  SEriously people, how do you–as a nasty East Coaster–not crack up?  he gave me a good cut though, and I went back to the room and suited up and off we went.

The party was at an apt in the Marina district, very pretty.  It was loud and too hot, but everyone seemed nice.  We were the chicest people there, of course.  And I certainly had the best bag.  Steve is too tall to be my official photographer, and I’m too light sensitive to be a Top Model, but here’s the look:

And now I’m off to explore some more.  We have a 7:30 am flight….

I’ve walked a lot these couple of days.  It hasn’t seemed worth it to figure out the public transportation just to go a few blocks, but those blocks are l o n g.  Yesterday, I plotted out a few places I wanted to visit and tried to figure out how best to get to them.  After I met Steve for lunch at a yummy little hippie-food place (The Power Source Cafe , thanks to the Veg Out iphone app for finding it), I decided to find Britex Fabrics.  It’s a 4 story fabric store near Union Square. Without a project in mind, it’s just overwhelming, but I browsed about.  I meandered up to the 4th floor, where I heard there was “oilcloth” (really vinyl), fake fur, and remnants.  Three things I use.  I spied a terrific faux fur, grey and brown and kind of mangy.  Hideous. but would make for a really fun monster bag.  But it was NINETY FIVE DOLLARS A YARD.  American.   Seriously, it looked like a terrier mutt with mange.  I cannot imagine someone buying it non-ironically and irony should not be that expensive.  So I didn’t get that.  I did by a yard each of 3 kinds of the retro Mexican oilcloth I use to make reusable sandwich wraps.  It was about the same price as on-line, but no shipping.

It’s vinyl, as I mentioned, and thus stinks to high heaven for a while.  I was carrying it around, browsing another section of the shop and a woman asked if I was doing okay.  I said “fine, but the smell from this stuff is killing me”  and she said “Yes, at least the smell goes away!” and I replied “Yeah, I’m just glad I don’t work in the factory to make it,” just, you know, making idle we-gals-know-about-fabric conversation.  Her face fell and she said “oh.  now I’m sad.”  I totally killed her buzz.  I felt like I’d kicked a puppy.  On the East Coast we say, “Yeah man, sucks to be that guy.” and move on. Here, they become sad.

I did get my big bag of fabric and I got to carry it around and feel like I was on Project Runway San Francisco (in which all fashions are made from recycled fabrics and Tim Gunn wears latex pants).  I hoofed it back to the hotel to change before dinner.  Steve and I were meeting a friend of mine from Dickinson (hi Karen!) at a fairly swank restaurant, so I wanted to de-grub a bit.  I set off again with plenty of time, my iphone in hand to show me which way to go.  You know how sometimes Google maps GPS thing doesn’t actually show where you are?  It’s a few blocks off?  Well it did that, only it was showing me to be going where I wanted to go, when in actuality I was going in the opposite direction.  I didn’t pick up on that for a couple of blocks.  Thanks, Google!  That meant some more hoofing it.  There’s a great feature that tells me how to get there on public transport, but it just says something like “Take the 14I” or some such and doesn’t tell me if that’s a bus, train, trolley, or Segway.  So I just walked. Fast.

We ate at Town Hall, which was tasty and then we came back to our hotel and shared a really good bottle of wine.  We talked a lot about comic books and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Because we are 12, apparently.  Also, I noticed that the Academy of Art sign looks like it says “Academy o Fart.”

This morning, we went back to the Holy Temple of Coffee, Blue Bottle.  I had a fine cup of coffee and really, really good greek yogurt with an apple compote.  I did a bit more meandering around in the Market st shopping area, just seeing how things connect and such. Now I”m back in the hotel room, doing some last minute sewing on my dress for the party tonight.  I needed to make the belt and add a hook-and-eye.

As promised, the view from our room:

And, because it amuses me, the weird microscope slide art in our room. first, anthrax spores:

And muscle cells:

When I called home last night, my mom wasn’t weeping, so yay!  Her awesomeness for undertaking this task is unequaled.

The title of this post comes from, yes, I’m in California now, Beach Boys and all that, but mostly b/c I surfed here.  We flew Virgin Atlantic and had free WiFi, so that meant Facebook status updates and web surfing alllll the way across our nation.  Steve worked much of the way across–he finds the fact that he can work most anywhere equal parts blessing and curse.

We flew out of Dulles and had plenty of time before our flight so we went to find some grub.  I got to see the cool tunnels where the mythical trams will someday run from terminal to terminal.  Right now, they’re still using the “mobile lounges.”  Steve loathes them as they slow him down right when he wants to be d o n e with his journey, but I find them kind of charming, swarming around out there on the tarmac with their weird dorsal fins that make them look like upturned yachts.  Also, I love the name “mobile lounge.”  Apparently, they used to be more lounge-like, with drink service (because a moment spent not drinking during air travel is a moment wasted.  Or, not wasted, as the case may be), but the name lingers to distract from the fact that their really just Thunderdome buses.

We ate a surprisingly decent meal at the Tequilaria (the waitress seemed stunned that we didn’t want a margarita.  People, it has TEQUILA in the name!) and were in the bathrooms when we heard the “Passengers on the Virgin Atlantic flight to San Francisco please report to the gate immediately.”  That was ALSO the moment that I realized I was standing in what I assume was human feces.  I’d chosen that stall b/c the seat was up, suggesting that it had just been cleaned by the attendant I’d passed on the way in.  Perhaps she only does toilets and not floors.  Union rules, or some such.  But there was definitely poo on my shoe.  Which I didn’t have time to do more than give a wipe, before trying to sprint to our gate.  I do not sprint often ever. So I didn’t get far before I had to make the miss the flight/barf on the concourse decision.  I chose the former.  Steve was able to push on so I just wheezed along at a mall walker’s pace.   I hate being that lady who is clearly too out of shape to run for a plane but must anyway.  Luckily I don’t fly much or I’d have to consider getting into shape.

Of course, once we reached the gate, we stood in line to board the plane for 15 minutes.  A saunter–after a good thorough shoe cleaning–would have done fine.  As it was, I just wiped my foot a lot on the carpet of the  waiting area.  Sorry, Dulles!  It wasn’t my poop!

We had bulkhead seats, which was lovely.  I’d never flown Virgin before, but it was niiice.  Steve gets reimbursed for his flights, so we were only buying mine.  I’m grateful that he didn’t just plop my butt on a JetBlue flight “so that we are on separate flights.  For the children.”  I’d shoved all my devices and headphones and books and stuff into my computer bag, forgetting that it would have to be stowed for take-off.  Then the air was choppy, so we couldn’t get up for more than an hour.  So I had to watch my little seat-back TV with no sound.  There was a foreign film channel, so I figured that’d be a safe bet, since there would be subtitles.  First, I picked a film about South African comedians, but apparently it is mostly in English since there were only occasional subtitles.  I hoped for Bollywood, since those are awesome just to look at, but there were none.  I chose a movie called “Opera Jawa,” figuring that at least the Indonesian scenery would be lovely.  it soon became clear that it was, in fact, an opera and all the dialog was being sung.  An opera on mute.  But even with no sound and clunky dialog (opera lyrics, especially translated, are seldom lovely on their own), it was captivating.  So when I was able to get up and get my headphones about 20 minutes in, I did.  And I loved that movie.  It was so of The Other, so…foreign.  Really it was something I’d never seen before and that is always such a treat.  But on top of that, it was beautiful and the dancing blew my mind.  Art in motion.

The trailer:

I recommend reading a bit about the plot first (it was a pretty big deal, apparently, so there are plenty of places on the web that will tell you the rough outline), but even without knowing what on earth was going on, I really enjoyed it.

But after the movie, we were STILL over Nebraska.  Nebraska takes about 4 hours to fly over.  Steve and I were talking about what it must have been like to do that on a horse.  What kind of bad-ass would you have to be to make that cross-country journey on horseback and foot and wagon?  I figure the reason anyone ever settled Nebraska is that after 3 months in the same terrain, they just said, “This is clearly never going to end.  Screw it.  I’m building a house.”

We finally landed and got a cab to our hotel.  Our driver was an old dude of some Slavic heritage.  He had that short fuse that comes with your taxi operator’s license.  When another taxi blocked his way for about 5 seconds as we left, he let loose with a stream of something that was probably Czech or Russian, but sounded like “RAARRAARRGGHH!”  and then hurtled to our destination.  Seriously, it was like the car had been fired from cannon.

Our hotel is lovely and we have a nice view:  Which I’d show you if my connection wasn’t such crap.  Later then.

We went to coffee Mecca this morning.  Blue Bottle coffee.  They have turned brewing coffee into Science.  I’ll upload a photo later when the connection is less bolluxed up.  Today, I’m trying to find some cool craft shops/museums.  I’ll keep you posted.

After futzing around in the 50s and 60s for a couple of months, Winter suddenly appeared.  four or so inches of it.   I didn’t make the obligatory run for bread, eggs, and toilet paper,  making us ineligible for the French toast and dyssentery that everyone else gets.  Luckily, our road gets plowed quickly.  I needed to be snowed in anyway.

I’m ankle deep in monster orders.  I have bags and hot water bottle covers enough to keep me sewing until Christmas.  Only the catch is, I’m going to California next week.  So I have to sew double quick, which–of course–makes me not want to do it.   How does one reach 42 years old and still have this inclination?  I’ll show ME!

Also,  Janet and I are dangerously close to launching our website for the birthday biz (yep, still at that.  We’re…not speedy), and I’ve got plenty to do for that.

So leave me alone, ferpetesakes, I have crap to do.

a

Stalked!
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