That's right. Llamallamallamallamallamallamallamallamallama....
Apparently, the economy is having an impact all around. There was still shooting last night, but it was nothing like last year. I guess ammo is an expensive luxury no one can really afford in this economy. We both commented this morning that it sounded like fewer people shooting, and less being shot by those who did.
Well, I hope it was enough to scare 2011 away for good, because I, for one, really don't want to see it come back. Here's a kick in the pants for you, 2011! And don't come back!
Well, most of the deadlines have been wrapped up (there's a couple of stragglers, but what can you do?), so I've let out a biiiiiiiiig sigh this weekend. As soon as the new year opens I'm back on the treadmill set to high, but I have a couple of weeks of visiting family and reading novels and maybe even knitting something, in store....
Mr. P's birthday was this last weekend, so I took him out to dinner at his favorite local restaurant. (They still haven't sorted out their seating issues, but the food is purdy darn good. And who can resist tater tots?). I attempted to surprise him with his birthday gift, but was foiled by logistical issues. I got him storage for his tools, but when the larger of the two chests (this one) came out on the palate I knew it wasn't going to fit in my car by itself, never mind with the second one. So I had to call Mr. P to come to the store to pick up his own gift. Not exactly the surprise I was going for....
I also took him to see the musical South Pacific. It had gotten a pretty good review in the New Yorker a while ago, and I must admit that I love the movie. (Yes, yes, it trades in all sorts of uncomfortable and icky stereotypes. But still. How can you resist 101 pounds of fun?)
Wellllll.... the ensemble numbers were good. And the guy who played Billis (though younger than he should have been) was funny. All the singing was good. But the leads for the traveling show.... Uhm.... let's just say that we know why they are in the traveling show.They both sang well, but they both had some major accent issues that were totally distracting. Nellie kept claiming to be from Arkansas, but she was sliding all over the eastern seaboard every time she opened her mouth. She was one part New Jersey and one part Scarlett O'Hara. And zero parts Little Rock. I might have been able to live with the Scarlett O'Hara thing (okay, maybe not, but it wouldn't have been quite so bad) if she'd managed to just stick with it. Every time she spoke it was a little shocking. (She was fine when she was singing).
But she wasn't half as distracting as Emile. He is supposed to be French, but before he'd finished his first sentence I was thinking, "He sounds.... Argentinian. Or Chilean....." And then I thought, wait, he sounds like....
And trust me.... that isn't good. During the intermission we looked in the playbill and discovered that the actor is from Uruguay. Mr. P thought he looked and sounded like Dracula, which puts a whole new spin on things (Emile does say he had to leave France because he'd killed a man.....).
We finished up the weekend by watching an absolutely terrible, I mean mind-blowingly-bad, movie, and eating red velvet birthday cake. Yeay, Mr. P! Happy Birthday, Love!
I've been totally obsessing over having a pair of shoes made for months. I found this woman on etsy a couple of years ago and have been coveting a pair of skips from her ever since. I mean, are these not the cutest things ever?
But as with things like this, it's tough to get into the queue to have them made. I check her site often, hoping that exactly the pair I want will pop up in my size, in the color I'm looking for. Thus far, it hasn't happened, though it's been close a couple of times. I've been right on the verge of buying more than once, thinking, well, Toffee is close to Marmite, right? (It totally isn't). And then I catch myself at the last minute, telling myself, no, no, I'll try to get into the bespoke queue. But, you know, she's a one woman operation, and you can only make so many shoes a month, so she only takes so many orders. I sat, poised, at my computer at the start of the month, waiting for the queue to open, and...... denied. I was suddenly transported back to my youth, obsessively calling over and over and over, hoping to sneak into ticketmaster's phone lines to pick up those seats to see U2. I never did get to see them.
Part of my obsession with these shoes is that the internets make it possible for me to be looking at them at 3am when insomnia takes over. And they are not the only pair of bespoke shoes over which I obsess. These, for example, I covet deeply. And part of it is that I have wanted, for many many many years, to learn how to make shoes. Where does one pick up this skill? I remember going to a shop on Ludlow Street in the city, years ago (years after I'd lived on the street, but around the time when it started to become a hipster paradise), and there was a woman there who would make bespoke shoes. She was in the back shaping stacked leather heels on a gorgeous pair of shoes, and it suddenly occured to me that learning to make shoes was a possiblity that existed in the universe. I've just never been able to figure out where, exactly.
Of course, even if I were to find a place to learn this skill, I'm sure it would take years and years to figure out how to make anything cute and wearable. So I'm back to trying to get into the bespoke queue.
So I haven't been around these parts for a while.... the last couple of months have been a bit like this:
Nothing too earth shattering, mind you, just constant. Highlights?
Basically, in the last few months I haven't had a single day where I didn't have to work on something for someone that was due immediately. It's Thanksgiving, and I have five looming deadlines of things that need to be done by Sunday morning, plus pies to bake. (Also, as a sidenote, I had an epic journey trying to get a Tofurky. Not because, as I would have expected, it is not a product carried by the grocers of, ahem, Richmond, but because every. single. place. sold. out. I'm not kidding. Even Whole Foods. I did, finally, find the one place that hadn't-- yeay Trader Joe's! Not that you should get any ideas here-- on this journey Richmond went ahead and performed true to character in the form of two redneck-hiphop styled teenaged boys who were filling out job applications at one of the grocery stores. After explaining to the customer service folks what Tofurkey was one of them looked up and said, "I could kill you a turkey." Which was, you know, 1000000% the opposite of what I was looking for. And he was not being ironic. Five minutes later he asked the customer service person how to spell Charlottsville. Which is apparently something important to his personal history-- you know, his residence is there, or he worked there-- as it was something he needed to put on a job application. Please file under: Not Impress Potential Employers, How To). At one point I hadn't spent more than 18 hours in Richmond, but had been to the airport three times. The upside of this is that we have finally figured out how to use the unmarked secret airport exit that will send us to the road headed toward our house and not the opposite side of town. The downside of it is that, you know, who wants to be at the airport that much?
Here is how hairy it has been:
Why yes, those are my glasses. Not the ones I usually wear, mind you. Those, well, those I broke twice in the last two years and Phil super glued them together. But in September things got so wild that I lost them. LOST THEM. I've never lost a pair of glasses. So I went to the back up pair. Which, within a couple of weeks, had split down the middle. Which left me with the back up back up pair, which sit crookedly on my face and slide down to the end of my nose so that I'm constantly poking myself in the face to push them back into place. It took me two months to get to the eye doctor to get a new prescription. His office is literally around the corner from my house. And? He's open on Saturdays.
So, yeah. Busy. Need to go make pie. And get back to these deadlines. Wish me reprieve! And how is everyone I haven't been able to talk to since the summer?
This summer has been a wild, wild ride, on all levels, with a whole lotta work to boot. Some big changes that have left me scrambling just to hang on-- but exciting things on the horizon if I manage to do that. In the meantime, it's a bit of a bumpy ride. Which is all to say that if I haven't answered an email you sent me in June...
Speaking of bumpy rides, we made it through the Week Of Natural Disaster (TM) in Virginny, starting, of course, with the earthquake. I know a 5.8 isn't much to old hands at these things, but it was big doin's down here. Not nearly as big as some people seemed to think (yelps that the end times had come seemed, well, misplaced), but big enough to knock things off shelves at work and at home. There've been aftershocks, but I've only felt two, one of which was a 4.9 that woke up Mr. P and The Kitteh. I, however, was already awake, despite it being 1 in the morning. In both the lead up to the actual earthquake and to the late night, sizeable aftershock, had a headache that went away immediately after the earth started shaking. Which either means that I'm like the cats and dogs that freak out just before an earthquake, or it's just a coincidence.
Then five days later, Hurricane Irene. While we were in it, it really didn't seem all that bad-- very, very wet, and sometimes pretty windy, but we left the front door open (just the glass outer door closed) through the duration, so it didn't seem too worrisome. Later, we found out we were just lucky.
I took this on the way to work on Saturday-- a week later. That's the roof leaning against the front of the house. Mr. P passes this way most days and said for most of the week the top was open and you could see right in-- for the first couple of days with the tree still inside. We know quite a few people who lost power-- some for more than a week. We only lost it in short bursts (when we heard transformers blowing up nearby-- probably from trees landing on them). We did lose internet for a week..... Yeah, really not anything to complain about.
The storm blew away our internet, but also brought in a lot of rain and a whole week of cooler tempertures, which was actually pretty awesome. The garden did Not. A. Damn. Thing. this year, pointedly refusing to thrive. I got beans. That is all. Not one tomato (despite having a dozen plants, different varieties). No cucumbers. Even the flowers have refused to bloom. Actually, most things have looked terribly diseased. But, weirdly, some things seemed to like the abuse of Hurrican Irene dropping ten inches of water and little (and not so little) branches all over them.
All summer I've had morning glory vines, but no flowers....
And then there's the tomatillo plant, which grew very tall and looked healthy, until we got back from Maine and found two thirds of the leaves had been stripped off, by this:
An enormous tomato horn worm. Since the plant hadn't done aaaaaanything, I just left it out there. The day after Mr. P and I investigated this thing it disappeared.... we assume some bird's super duper dinner. Two days later? Hurricane. Two days later? Three tomatillos finally started growing. Perhaps I just have masochistic plants?
Sadly, neither earthquakes nor hurricanes can disrupt my insomnia. This week's 4:30 am project? Knickers! (American ones, not British ones).
Black courdoroy. I saw a picture of some chick in a magazine wearing knickers and thought, hmmmm.... those look kinda cool. I mean, they kind of remind me of being a kid in the 70s when I feel like I saw people sporting knickers. But I thought, where would I be able to get knickers? Wait! I know! I'll make some!
So I did. I put a shiny button on the cuffs.
Spent a looooot of time reading theory and philosophy today for a project that totally snuck up on me.... Damn those stealth academic projects! In between reading I put some of my haul from the farmer's market into action:
First apple pie of the season. And it is yummy, boy. Ohmnomnom. So I guess all in all not a bad weekend. I had to go to work on Saturday, but got enough done that I didn't have to go in today (the day of the labor), which would have been kind of depressing. Here's hoping that things let up so I can catch up with laundry and novel reading and maybe even blogging and not going into the office.
Yesterday was my birthday, so I took the day off and made myself a birthday giftie....
A cape! It's what all the cool kids and superheroes will be wearing this fall.
It's got split flaps so I can get my arms out.
I kind of can't wait for it to get cold enough to wear.
Extra special bonus-- Mr. P was home yesterday, so we got to hang out and have lunch together on a weekday, no less. Yeay!
It's been a busy summer. No, really. Busy. Stupid busy. So we went on a road trip.
To Florida! First night plan: camping in Georgia, right on the Florida border. Plan scrapped when the skies opened up. Instead, we watched a giant puddle swallow cars from the safety of the Days Inn lobby in Stark, Florida.
Plan for day two: Weeki Watchee!
Success! Followed by a couple of days with my dear friend, Fran, with whom I have numerous wacky college memories involving a fair amount of Brooklyn hijinx and terrorizing Ireland. Sorry about that, Ireland.
After a scoot through the Everglades, we headed south. All the way south.
Camping in the Keys. I enjoyed it, though it would have been better if a) we'd had a spot on the beach side of the little road where there would have been a nice breeze. Cause it was pretty hot. And, b) the people next to us had SHUT UP. It is the danger of car camping, of course, that there are going to be people there. Other people, in the spot next to you, which is only fifteen feet away from where you're trying to sleep. And it is a danger of which I am well aware. And yet, I convince myself it will be better this time. Which, of course, it isn't. In the Keys our neighbor told camping stories well into the night. They all started, "This one time, we went camping...." Really. At one point, Phil rolled over toward me and said, "this one time, we went camping, in the Florida Keys, and the asshat in the spot next to us WOULDN'T SHUT UP." It didn't help.
They Keys are purdy purdy, I must say. Wish we'd been able to stay longer.
Then we drove home. The rest of Florida kind of blends in together. We stopped for a dip briefly at the beach in St. Augustine. We spent a night in Palm Beach. We contemplated camping at the Georgia camp site that had been rained out on the way in, but when we got to the exit for it, it was raining. Again. So instead, we stopped in Savannah. Lots of people have told me how nice Savannah is. And the historic part is awfully pretty. But, it became quickly apparent that everyone had failed to mention that the historic part is surrounded by many blocks of serious urban blight. It was a bit of a shock.
We stopped at a wacky flea market on the way out of town, browsed and browsed. Mr. P picked up a couple of neat things, we saw other neat things we couldn't afford, and then we skidaddled on out and headed home to the Mr. Tibbs welcoming committee.
And then there were so many emails in my box it has taken me a week to get through them. Sigh.
A number of years ago I applied to law school. I was trying to finish up my dissertation, and it could have been going better. I was having a crisis of faith in my area of scholarship and its applicability. I thought I saw a way to use the brains what I got for something useful. So I applied to law school.
Admittedly, I did not do superduper on my LSAT. I have never done spectacularly on standardized tests, and the LSAT was no different (although I've recently been told that my GRE scores, which I'd always thought of as just okay, were really pretty high. So go figure). Anyhoodle, I got into a couple of places outright. I decided to defer one, turned down the others. I was waitlisted at a couple, including my number one choice, but wasn't given a spot in the end.
At the time I was living in DC. I applied to one law school in DC, and was waitlisted. They declined to give me a spot. Ultimately, I realized that I probably wasn't meant for law school. I never did go. But somewhere in the interim American University upgraded me from waitlisted law school applicant who didn't get a spot to alumnae.
Apparently I'm invited to the alumni BBQ! Whoooo! Maybe I can see my friends who went to AU there! We can talk about old times! I wonder how far this confusion goes? Would they give me a recommendation?
Meanwhile, I've lost track of how many doppelgangers I have out there. I used to think there was only the one-- the one that used to live in L.A., but now lives in New York. But then I realized that there were two-- the L.A./NYC one, and the English/Scottish one. I seem to have lost the English/Scottish one. I assume because after getting the last notice that she was meant to have a phone interview at a Scottish uni I got a follow up email telling me that "my" in person interview was scheduled for the following week. I'm assuming she managed to do her phone interview on the fly, since she apparently never got the notice, so rock on, English/Scottish doppelganger, for impressing on the phone all impromptu and whatnot. I decided it would be mean not to attempt to rectify the situation. I emailed the uni and let them know it was the wrong email addy. I've only received one errant email obviously meant for her in the year since, which I take to mean that she sorted her address book out. Here's hoping she got the job.
The L.A./NYC one seemed to have figured out that something was amiss (after a year of her building emailing me to tell me that the keys are at the front desk, or that I have a package waiting for me downstairs). This is the one who once emailed me a picture of her own bloody dog. For a while there was radio silence from the city.I mean, outside of the non.frigging.stop emails from Express, William Sonoma, Pottery Barn, amd yoga retreats that come into my box, for which I believe I can thank her.
The Canadian one has become a force to be reckoned with. I think she lives in or around Toronto. Initially, there was the one wayward notification from a grantmaking organization that, although she hadn't received the last grant, she was eligible to apply again. That was a couple of years ago. Even at the time I thought, hummm.., interesting. I mean, what percentage of the general population spends their time chasing grants? What are the chances that two people, with the same name, both of whom happen to believe they have the same email address (only one of whom would be correct, thank you very much), would both spend their time doing this?
Well, it is, apparently, the case. Only she apparently applies for grants having to do with education. In much the same way I do. Sometimes it's enough to make me wonder, just for a second, if I am not in some three faces of Eve situation.
Meanwhile, another one, or maybe the New York one? I don't know, someone has appeared. I am notified about many of her financial transactions. She is quite lucky that I am a scrupulous person. There are more than 300 messages in my box meant for one of them. And just a handful for the actual me.
Sometimes I wonder if I could run away and be one of them, and ponder what joys that might bring.
Andy Field: Discovering Statistics Using SPSS (Introducing Statistical Method)
Surprisingly funny and accessible. It's major downfall? Still about statistics.
George R.R. Martin: A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One
Blah blah blah, what everyone else is saying.