Tuesday, October 31, 2006

You Make Me Weep

and wanna die
Just when you said we'd try
Lovin', touchin', squeezin' each otherI need Journey on my side today.

"Don't Stop Believin'" might have been a better choice, thematically speaking, but this one's my favorite.

Advice

Don't piss off an Arkansas woman (or any woman, really):

Oct. 27 1: 15 a.m. A man at 2602 S. W. 17 th Place reported a female acquaintance entered his home and slapped him in the face, and this isn’t the first time.

10 a. m. A caller on Grimes Drive in Rogers reported that a woman found out her husband was cheating on her and was on her way to his girlfriend’s house with a pistol.

1: 05 p.m. A woman at 716 N. W. Second St. reported her ex-roommates broke into the residence and were throwing her belongings outside.

6: 58 p.m. A man at 508 Bella Vista Road reported a woman threatened to burn down the house.

On Tenterhooks

I was asked about the source of this phrase and did a little research.
A tenter is a frame on which cloth is stretched during manufacture, so that it may dry evenly. The frame is outfitted with sharp hooks or bent nails that hold the cloth stretched. These hooks, you will not be surprised to learn, are called tenterhooks.

Cloth-stretching being outside of most people's range of experience these days, tenterhook is rarely found except in the figurative expression on tenterhooks, meaning 'in a state of uneasy suspense or painful anxiety'.

Tenterhooks is used in similar figurative expressions from the sixteenth century onwards: Sir Thomas More and Byron both used the word meaning 'something that causes painful anxiety', and the fuller expression to stretch on tenterhooks 'to strain beyond a normal limit' was in use until the nineteenth century. The bare form on tenterhooks itself is first recorded in the mid-eighteenth century, in Smollett: "I left him upon the tenterhooks of impatient uncertainty" (Roderick Random).

Some other examples: "He felt quite sure that his old friend was simply on tenterhooks of anxiety to repair the almost irreparable error of dividing two whom Nature had striven to join together in earlier days" (Thomas Hardy, Woodlanders); "Still, just then, being on tenterhooks, he desired the female's room more than her company" (Joyce, Ulysses); "Mick sat on tenterhooks, leaning forward in his chair, glaring at her almost hysterically: and whether he was more anxious out of vanity for her to say Yes! or whether he was more panic-stricken for fear she should..." (D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover).

The literal tenterhook is first found in the late fifteenth century. Tenter is from the fourteenth century, probably borrowed from a Middle French word meaning 'to stretch'.

Source: The Mavens' Word of the Day

Monday, October 30, 2006

Torture

I'm having to sit on my hands today to keep myself from typing and saying too much too soon.

All I can say is I really hope to have good news to share very soon.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Stanks For The Memories

How long is it going to take before we can transfer scents over the internet? I wish y’all could smell our kitchen right now. Angela made puttanesca. Mmmm...whore’s pasta. The aromas....
I’m really going with this idea of sending scents via technology. Don’t have time to order flowers? Just send your lover an email that releases gardenia or tuberose or lilac scents. I’ll work on cellular compatibility later. It’ll be the new scratch ‘n’ sniff. You could anonymously send your boss the “dog shit” special. You can send grandparents the smell of the baby just out of the bath. Just think how it would enrich the two-dimensional online experience.

Interesting Weapons

From yesterday's crime reports:

6: 36 a. m. A woman at 2285 Cody Circle reported a man threw hot pizza on her. (hot pizza at 6:3o in the morning?)

4: 23 p. m. A man at 3065 N. Quail Creek Drive reported a woman hit him with a light bulb.

9: 00 p. m. A man on Nichols Road in Bentonville reported his wife threatened to shoot him with a crossbow but she isn’t strong enough to use it.

Devilish Fun

From Sara's camera.I look like a demonic streetwalker. How very regressive.

Last Night

Roller Derby was lots of fun.I hate the flash so my pictures at parties turn out like this.
And This.
Suki made a perfect Alice in Wonderland.
Sara as Marie Antoinette.
Emily as some Butterfield 8-era Elizabeth Taylor/blond floozy hybrid.
Angela the nurse and Scrambled Eggs, lead jammer for The Hardwood Harlots (and mother of 3!).

Saturday, October 28, 2006

New Digs

We're still unpacking and have to get slipcovers for the couches so please excuse the raw state...but here are a few pictures of our awesome new house.Living room (fireplace!). That window looks out over all of the west side of Fayetteville...incredible sunset view
Living room/dining room.
Kitchen (duh). Magnum P.I. watches over all.
The sloping yard.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Good Things About Staying In On Friday Night

  • Having floors swept, laundry done and bathrooms clean before Saturday.
  • Plenty of time to finalize plans for Saturday night.
  • Making playlists for imaginary scenarios.
  • Unexpected visitors bearing pudding pops and beer.
  • Long, uninterrupted conversations with self.
  • Long, uninterrupted conversations with pets.
  • Stella and I engaged in parallel play.
  • Saving money.
  • Making lists.
  • Plenty of room to stretch out.

Sourpuss

I left half a lime on the cutting board all day. This is the pattern left behind. Doesn't it look like a kiss mark?

Sifting Through

Today's one of those days where everything is sorta shitty but there's also a lot to be grateful for.

Like a good parent/teacher conference at my daughter's school where I feel like maybe I get some things right.

Like how vibrant the colors of the trees look against the overcast, gray background.

Like turning on the radio and hearing your song ("Young Folks" by Peter Bjorn and John) from the beginning.

Like meeting for lunch and allowing it all to come out (not lunch - gross) with a friend who's weathered every phase and been by your side, literally, for The Big Stuff. Christina was the one standing next to me, holding my hand, when I was in labor. And she wanted to be there! I love you, girl. Thank you.

Dirty Thoughts

Thursday, October 26, 2006

New Favorite Song

"The Perfect Crime" by The Decemberists

Redemption

I was about to give up on Weeds; it had just gotten so ridiculously over-the-top and seemed to have lost any emotional resonance to rein it back in.

But this last one? Wow. There's a lot to talk about...the sexualization of the black male, exactly how men make women crazy and why women have to go crazy once in a while, Zany and Zanier plot points (Eskimos! Crossing Guards! Zoey Deschanel!)....but I don't want to give anything away. Mary Louise Parker makes my parenting look like......wait....let me think of it....there has to be at least ONE famous example of a good mother! I wanted to say Mary Poppins but she was a nanny. Mother Theresa was only a nun....hmmmmm

Hottest Thing On Wheels

Something I'm very much looking forward to is this weekend's inaugural NWA Rollergirls bout at Roller City in Springdale. I'm rooting for the Hardwood Harlots, primarily because I've known most of those girls for years and years.

Other than that...still unpacking, still healing.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Feeling Very Much At Home

The chill came in overnight, but the sun is out, so bright it threatens to bleach the purple red sumacs and deep orange maples that are peaking RIGHT NOW. The windows are sweating fog and all the pets are sleeping.

We're just about moved. Last things get out today then....the Colossal Unpacking.

A big mug of chai and a soundtrack of Laura Nyro, Elliott Smith, Dusty Springfield & The Kinks are working to motivate me. For some reason I arranged my library by song length so I'm moving from short to long.

Pictures later.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Friday, October 20, 2006

Last Thoughts After Having Spent The Past Five Hours Moving (Again):

  1. I have entirely too much shit. I am a packrat, even worse a sentimental packrat. I am drowning in little slips of paper that remind me of people, stories, phases. Packing and moving is an extremely emotional process.
  2. I can't wait to take pictures of my album covers.
  3. I've got to figure out if I'm ever going to make jewelry again or if I should just sell it all or give it away.
  4. Chandra would kill me if she saw the layer of dust on the violin case. It should be in open view at the new house to encourage me to practice. Who am I kidding?
  5. 31 YR-OLD WOMEN SHOULD NOT LIVE WITH THEIR MOTHERS. It goes against Nature. Especially mothers who may or may not be just a tad bipolar.
  6. Bruce Springsteen: over- or underrated?
  7. Is it really worth keeping my VHS collection?
  8. I Need Evening Primrose Oil in a bad way! Maybe I'm the bipolar one.
  9. Well...at least I'm doing a lot of lifting.

*To the uninitiated - I've been living with my mother for the past two years. The chain of events leading to our "temporary" stay is very complicated and painful and bizarre (not to mention juicy!) but that story is for another time.

October Mix

If you want a copy of this October Mix, let me know. Some people (you know who you are) were lucky enough to get first pressings, er, burnings.

1. Hurry On Now - Alice Russell Feat. TM Juke
2. Use Me - Bill Withers
3. Young Folks - Peter Bjorn And John
4. Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix) - Feist
5. Consolation Prizes - Phoenix
6. Boy From School - Hot Chip
7. If I Take You Home - Van Hunt
8. Rainy Night In Georgia (Boozoo Bajou remix) - Tony Joe White
9. I Missed Again - Genesis
10. Time Is on My Side - Irma Thomas
11. Boys Don't Cry - Grant Lee Phillips
12. Saturday - Josh Rouse
13. Superheroes - Esthero
14. It's A Mistake - Men At Work
15. This Must Be The Place - The Arcade Fire

I can add more songs. I may have to work on this.

Brings New Meaning to "Heated Debate"

Okay so this column in The Onion cracked me up. And got me a little hot.

If you're lucky enough to find someone who turns you on AND with whom you can discuss foreign policy, do not let that person go!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"No Shit" Of The Day

Women who are told that women and men are equally good at math perform math better.

So you mean that people become what we say they are?

REALLY?

So if we say that certain genders or races or sexual orientations or ages are better or worse than others that breeds belief which breeds reality?

ARE YOU SERIOUS?


The headline chosen to accompany this news wire really pisses me off too:
"Some Women Perform Well In Math."

Again...no shit. Way to undermine the message of the article with a misleading, sexist headline.

Pretty Much Sums It Up

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Halloween

Stella's going to be a pirate.

I'm thinking of being an African baby in hopes some rich white celebrity will adopt me.

What are you going to be?

Joy Pack

In desperate need of some joy last night, I turned to a place I knew could provide it:The Asian market!
I made spring rolls from scratch. I forgot what a pain in the ass that delicate rice paper can be.
Angie made the dumplings and the trio of dipping sauces: peanut, red chili/sriracha and sesame/soy sauce.
We all felt a little like Gunther after our meal of appetizers.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Rare Alannah Sighting

I'm usually behind the camera, but Chris managed to get this one of me at the wedding on Saturday:

Crime Spree

From the police reports in this morning's paper:

11: 28 p. m. A man at 2332 N. Windwood Drive reported someone put spoons on his car and set an item on fire on his porch. The previous night he reported someone placed pepper packets and taco sauce on his windshield.

12: 11 a. m. A woman at 2300 N. College Ave. reported customers were causing problems and one customer threw a stapler at the cook.

1: 09 a. m. A caller at 612 S. College Ave. reported several people singing offkey and she wanted them to stop.

A caller at 401 W. 24 th St. reported 10 to 12 people outside fighting and throwing a tricycle back and forth.

Monday, October 16, 2006

That Time Of Year Again

It was cool, gray, foggy and drizzly all day. It was the perfect day for....stew! This is the recipe I have been stuck on for years, with variations as necessary.

1 1/2 lbs organic chuck roast (I don't want to hear anyone bitch about the price of organic meat. I paid $10 for this cut and you would easily pay twice that in a restaurant...and not even for organic meat. Especially after reading Fast Food Nation I believe it's a moral imperative to only eat local organic meat. I really do.)
1 large onion, chopped
6 bulbs garlic, diced
1 28 oz. can Muir Glen diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 lb. Buttercream fingerling potatoes (still on those fancy potatoes, self-proclaimed food snob that I am)
1 1/2 c. cabernet sauvignon, or any strong red wine
2 large carrots, big slices
4 ribs celery, big slices
1/2 lb fresh green beens, whole
3 small serrano peppers, sliced
3 large shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 lb white mushrooms, sliced
plenty of chopped fresh basil, cilantro & green onions, to taste.

Sear the meat with the onions & garlic. After it browns add the next four ingredients and let simmer with about a cup of spring water for oh...20 minutes or so. Then add everything but the herbs and green onions and let simmer for about 45 minutes. You can add a lump of vegetable bouillon if you want more salt and oomph. Add the herbs & green onions just before serving. We ate this tonight with toasted and buttered dark rye bread and pinot noir (ummm...can't remember which one. Have to ask Ang tomorrow).

Small Price To Pay

I just gave a pledge to my local NPR station, KUAF, for its Fall Pledge Drive. Because I'm po' white trash single mom I only pledged $52...I figured a dollar a week is well worth the wealth of information and entertainment I get from NPR. This American Life is worth the price alone. Contrary to urban myths and chain emails, public radio relies very little on government funding (I've read something like 2%). Instead it depends on donations from individuals. People like me who use it as background noise every morning and evening. If I can afford it anyone can, so I encourage y'all to ante up.

/guilt trippy public service announcement

What They Don't Tell You

One of the hardest parts of being a parent is seeing in your child the manifestations of your own neuroses, fears and weaknesses.

I Never Went to CBGBs

And now I never will. I’ve walked past it at least a dozen times, hung out across the street for hours on end...shit, my sister lives down the block and around the corner from it, but for some reason I never stepped foot inside CBGBs. Maybe I don’t like places that only remind me I was born too late and in the wrong place and all that’s left are memories and stories. If you want the stories, though, I recommend Please Kill Me.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Tasted Even Better Than It Looks

Congratulations Rachel and Sam. Thanks for having a wedding that didn't make me grateful to be single.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Beats The Hell Out Of A Haunted House

Last night I went to a party hosted by a forensic anthropologist. Among her many interesting tchotchkes was this little conversation piece:I apologize for the blurry picture. It's a brainless, malformed fetus split in half and preserved in two pieces of lucite.* I also got to hear stories about "defleshing" a corpse. I'm never going to another English department party again.

*Correct me if I'm wrong, Sarah.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Boo!

In honor of Friday the 13th, I'll leave you with a truly terrifying image (via Awful Plastic Surgery)
Oh Shannon...Look at yourself. This is what being a Republican does to a person.

Good News For A Change

Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

This makes me SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY. I heard Yunus quoted on NPR this morning saying how important it is to offer loans to women in particular and how there can't be true democracy until women are offered the same opportunities as men. AND he's giving away his prize money to fund grassroots causes. I fucking LOVE THIS MAN.

Thoughts On: Sofia Coppola

I saw a trailer last night for Marie Antoinette, Sofia Coppola’s new film. Because I’m a girl I was sucked in by all the pink, the finery, the New Order songs, but because I’m also a woman I got a little disgusted. Nothing like revisionist French history filtered through the lens of new wave music, Manolo Blahniks and Sofia champagne. I started thinking about Sofia Coppola’s two previous films, The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation, in relation to this new one and the seed for this post was germinated. Something about Sofia Coppola doesn't sit right with me.

I have complicated feelings about Miss Coppola. On one hand, she is a high profile female director in an industry where we desperately need more female directors making accessible films. I also think she garners attention only because there are so few. On the other hand I think hers is one of the weaker female voices in Hollywood, and Lord knows how those weak female voices are most palatable in male-dominated fields. I was pissed off that she was nominated for Best Director for Lost in Translation. Was it a good film? Yes, I think so, but not necessarily for its direction. I think Nicole Holofcener (criminally underrated), Mira Nair and Jane Campion, for example, are much stronger, experienced directors who manage to tell complex stories with both substance and style. I’m always interested in their perspectives. In comparison, Coppola is just....pfffftt....airy, fluffy, a pink meringue, champagne with a straw. She seems stuck in adolescence. Her films are pretty to look at and listen to but I don’t find myself caring about the characters or the plot. Films that appeal to the young and fashionable....not exactly rocking the status quo there. Sofia Coppola reminds me of an ultra-girly, trendy model-type whose eyes glaze over at the mention of Laura Mulvey. I will give her some credit; Coppola does have a gift for matching music to a scene. I'm thinking specifically of Trip Fontaine walking down the hall to Heart's "Magic Man" and Bill Murray singing Roxy Music karaoke.

Will I see Marie Antoinette? I’ll probably rent it just to see Versailles used as a set and for the music but certainly not to see snaggle-toothy Kirstin Dunst dance around her pink mansion. Why is she still getting roles? She’s bugged me since she was a little bratty vampire.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I Can't Believe I'm Saying This

But based on what I saw tonight, I liked Jeffrey's pieces the most....so far.

He and his rat tail still gross me out though. Rat tails are NEVER a good look. Never. They're up there with the elastic waistband/front pleats combo and Christian rock - just always a NO.

Life is Unfair

Otherwise this man would be my spiritual guide, guiding me in the right direction, giving me honest critiques and cheering me on. Screw fairy godmothers....I want Tim Gunn.

I don't know what I'm doing for dinner tonight. Something with salmon, haricots verts (fancy green beans), fingerling potatoes (fancy potatoes) and dill and I'm jonesin' for the St. Clair sauvignon blanc again.

Daily Dose of Depression

655,000 Iraqi deaths blamed on the war. That's more than the population of Washington D.C, more than Boston, more than Seattle. Assuming this figure is correct and Iraq has (had) a population of around 26,000,000, then Iraq has already lost 2.5% of it's population.

I feel sick.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I Need Out of Mine

Worst Meals Ever

Salon's featured article today is a collection of essays written by food writers describing their worst meals. Some are hilarious (the guy who ate the duck embryo for spiteful reasons), some are obnoxious (the guy whose "worst meal" is a $700 gourmet tasting menu gone wrong. Worst meal EVER? Really? Fuck you, asshole) but all of them reveal how we value good food.

My worst meal? That's tough. I was raised by a mother who gave no regards to flavor in her cooking and was a strict macrobiotic to boot so I'd have to go with one of her meals that combined burnt onions, miso, cold brussels sprouts and oatmeal (yes....oatmeal).

Do you have any memorably awful meals?

In Honor of Rocktober

I need to call a time out on new words being invented by combining other words (Portmanteaus which become neologisms). I guess with English being a Germanic language we are well within our rights to just shove together whatever words we feel like in order to create new meanings but this is getting OUT OF CONTROL!

I'm including a short list, off the top of my head, of the most irritating examples:
  • Bacne
  • Blogosphere (anything containing "blog," really)
  • Brangelina (and all it begat)
  • Chocoholic
  • Croissandwich
  • Guesstimate
  • Infotainment
  • Islamofascists
  • Netiquette
  • Reagonomics
  • Sexpert
  • Webinar
And I'll leave you with one I do love: trustafarian.

What portmanteau words make you cringe?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Tasty Autumn Dinner

It was nice to have time to cook again. Tonight's dinner was quick, fairly easy, healthy and oh so delicious. It was a simple hearty Italian sausage/tomato sauce served over polenta.

For the sauce I cut up turkey Italian sausage (just as yummy and much healthier) and sauteéd the hunks of meat with garlic and onions. Then I added pureéd Muir Glen canned whole tomatoes, some good Tuscan tomato paste, splash of wine, a ton of fresh basil, sliced mushrooms and red & green peppers. I let all that simmer together while I made the polenta (just boil broth, add cornmeal and cook for a while then spread onto a cookie sheet until it firms up). The polenta was cut into squares and topped with the sauce and grated parmesan & asiago cheeses.

We had this wine - Valdubón Reserva 2001, a Spanish red. Its low acidity and earthy notes complemented the meal quite well. Fuck. I'm becoming one of those people...people who describe wine in terms of "notes." That's what happens when you live with a wine expert. I can hardly be blamed.

Maxfield Parrish skies

More ephemeral beauty this morning.That first one is a bit blurry. What can I say, we were running late for school.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Lovely Sunday, or Why My Crotch Aches Like The Dickens

Angie and I drove to Eureka this afternoon, had some yummy brunch at Cafe Soleil then drove out to the King's River valley to see Pearl and ride her horses.
This is Apache. He's a very bumpy trotter.
The view from Apache's back.
The ride to Sky Mesa.
Pearl on Junior. He's a frisky 2 year-old. Pearl's pretty frisky herself.
Angie on Shine.
Just after this photo I retired my camera and we took the horses galloping by the river, past Trigger Gap and back to the barn. We then dismounted and waddled to Pearl's house where we....
found some kittens!

Stella with "her" kitten.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I ♥ America More Than You

Y'all I've really been struggling, trying to find a real special way to show what a deep and competitive and solid love I have for my country and its policies. Tattoos are so 90s, bumper stickers too bourgeois. How can I adequately announce to the world, "I LOVE AND SUPPORT AMERICA MORE THAN "YOU!"??

Well I think I've found a way!
Ain't she a beauty?
I call 'er Oil is Thicker Than Blood, And Don't You Forget It
She's made from the smelted remains of the twin towers.
Nevar forget.