Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Little Tease

*sigh*

The only thing I want to talk about, I'm not supposed to talk about. I'm sworn to secrecy lest I jinx it by mocking the universe with my garish happiness.

Buuuut I aaaam happy (said in my whiniest voice)! I am dammit. Unbelievably, magically happy. Deliriously happy.

See also: dense that I didn't snatch this up before. But clearly karma has its own time line because the only explanation is that my good karma is kicking in. Can't rush karma, obv.

GAH! I can't say anymore. Trust me, people, good things. Only good things. Gooey, afterglowy, good things.

a vague hint of proof of said happiness

Monday, May 30, 2011

Photo of the Day: Poppy



So it's not a red poppy, but it's purty anyhow.

In honor of Memorial Day, go check out my article at Sprocket Ink, A Poppy for My Pop.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Song Sunday: Can't Stand It

This song from Never Shout Never makes me happy in my pants and since I'm happy in my pants right now, I thought I'd pass that feeling along. Plus this acoustic version is delicious.

Enjoy!


Friday, May 27, 2011

Senior Hotness (or should I say, Senorita Hotness?)

When Liz at A Belle, A Bean, and a Chicago Dog shared her high school senior photo for all of blogdom, she also proposed we all share our senior hotness and do a linkup.



how fabulous is this?

To which I said, GENIUS! Because she is. She really, really is.

My official senior portraits have a bit of a backstory. I'd had braces since like 1927 so I really, really didn't want to have braces in my photos. So my orthodontist, who was THE coolest ortho ever (he was. don't even try to front.), took my braces off just for the photos and put them back on after. Like I said, coolest ever.

So the big day came and I was all brace free, but my skin broke out pretty badly and no amount of Cover Girl was helping this girl. Nonetheless, I slathered on the makeup and off I went. When the photos came back, I HATED THEM. I cried. I thought I just looked so awful. I bawled. The world was over. I might die of THE HORROR! THE HORROR!

Of course, looking back, I may have just been that special brand of insane reserved exclusively for teenagers. Plus I was probably on my period. Just sayin'.

Well my mom ordered her favorites anyway and then we waited like 6 months for the actual photos. Little did I know, the photographers touch those babies up. So my acne-riddled photos turned out like this:


(sorry, all I had were wallet sizes to scan)

I was seriously not that cute in high school, I swears. But I will take the credit for the shiny hair. I've always had good hair.

But the second photo? My mother ordered a HUGE canvas print of the kind billionaires hang above mantles in their castles. Which they delivered to the school. And I had to carry around all day. Oh yes. I think I maybe even had to take the bus home that day. And before you think that's cute, remember that my mom is INSANE and she was so stoked that I was humiliated. Thought it was hilarious. Told everyone she knew.

For the record, so you know how I really looked in high school, I'll show you my senior ID:

Yup. That's a little more accurate. Though I didn't wear flowers on my head every day. Just for special occasions. Like ID picture day.
  
And here's my favorite photo from senior year of high school:
That's from prom. My date there was one of my very best friends who happened to be on-fire-gay. However, he got the brilliant idea to bleach his eyebrows the night before prom so they would match his hair. No. Just no. Bad gay. Bad. 

Wasn't my dress gorgeous? My aunt in a stunning act of generosity beyond her means bought it for me. It was crocheted with a cream lining and so everyone all night asked if I was naked under the crocheted layer. "Yes," I said, "I came naked to prom. Right." The only thing I remember being wrong about the dress was it was too big in the boobs (as was all my clothing) and I had to get it taken in. 

Now you show me yours. Don't forget to link up!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

This Week at Sprocket Ink

Awesome week this week at Sprocket Ink and aren't you glad to get in on the fun?

I've got a split for you this time 'round, one post sad and the other feisty. Because I'm a giver like that.

Go read:

Missouri Blows Away, Death Toll Rises
Joplin, Missouri was devastated Sunday by a massive tornado and more cities are still on high alert. Plus: ways you can help.

The Great Genderless Baby
Baby Storm's gender is a secret, which is obviously equal to war and famine and disease.

Thanks for reading, kiddos! Please give Sprocket Ink some love and leave me comments on the articles. I'll love you long time if you doooooo.

Raw Photos: Springtime WINNER!

We hemmed. We hawed. We deliberated. In the end, there were a few standout shots that made us go
 WOW!

And we chose our winner.

But first! The runners up. These shots were incredible and you really brought your game. You truly made us work. I'd proudly hang either of these photos on my wall.

By daredevil229
IMG_1730
A photo like this is really about having a great eye and knowing how to capture it.
So well done!

By nonspleen
Lacewing
The composition is just perfect. Crips butterfly and soft, leafy bokeh. Yum! 
Awesome job!

But there can only be one winner. This photo really wowed us and the photographer should be truly proud.

So without further ado...
Drum roll please....

......

The winner of the Raw Photos: Springtime Contest is....

By Shnerfle
Spring Business
It's exquisite. The light is ethereal and the composition just lovely. 
The dof is perfect and the bokeh yummy. Plus I just love that little bee.

Congratulations, Shnerfle! You're a Raw Photo Maven!
 raw photo maven
Contact awesomecrazylady at gmail dot com to collect your badge.

~~~~~~~~~~
Don't put away your cameras just yet!

The next contest opens in late June. 

Theme: People
Get creative. 
Maybe it's your family or people on the street or shadows of people or even toys. 
You decide and bring your best work!

Good luck!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Raw Photos: Springtime Finalists

Once again, y'all really brought it. Spring was busting out all over the place and I, for one, didn't hate it.

Sun and I really loved all your shots and hard the hardest of hard times picking finalists. 

BUT, at the end of the day, these five photos wowed us with their beauty and technique. In no particular order, here are the finalists:


By Shnerfle
Spring Business
Exquisite. The soft bokeh is ethereal and the little bee is so sharp.

By nonspleen
Lacewing
That butterfly is perfection. And the focus is gorgeous.

By measagoddess
Flowers.
Oh man. The focus is awesome. the flowers in the foreground just POP!

By Dawn Williams-Summitt
Thorny Springtime
I love love love all the green bokeh. So lovely.

By daredevil229
Those clouds! So lovely and unqiue. And the light is utterly perfect.

We are gonna have SUCH a hard time picking a winner! Stay tuned for the runners up and winner!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Blogger is an asshole, but I love him anyway

You WordPress people. Oh you. I love you. Usually.

I generally enjoy your blogs, but not because they're on WP. Because I enjoy the content and your unique spaces.

I hate when there's no easily navigable way to find a previous post. That sucks.

And I use WordPress over at Sprocket Ink.

I don't hate it.

I struggle with the photo manager there, though, and we all know how important photo managing is.

But I do hate the self righteousness that some WordPress users seem to get as their gift with purchase. As if WordPress is the be all end all of blogging.  

Why do I say this? I am, *sigh*, considering a move to WordPress.

I do not come by this lightly and I have been very, very happy at Blogger. Blogger has, over the last two years, been very, very good to me.

That is until Blogger crashed for what felt like two millenia and stole some of my images (luckily most of my photos are hosted on Flickr) and a crap-ton of my comments.

That asshole Blogger is making it really hard to stay faithful.

But I do like Blogger even still. And leaving him would be difficult.

I like my layout which I customized myself. I dread re-designing because when the hell would I have the time?

I dread moving my readers over. Every blogger worries about the loss of readers who've been subscribing for years when you move your blog. It's daunting.

And then there's the comments. I would lose all of my comments, which is just...just...awful! The comments are the very best part of this blog. The community that happens here is my very favorite part of blogging.

Plus, it bears repeating, when the hell would I make the move? I barely have time to write these days and I rarely even get to comment on all my fave blogs. Those bloggers must think I died.

But I would really like a better way to respond to comments (and I love that WP makes that easy) and I would love a better domain.

How to the ever, I haven't decided yet.

And I don't want any one of you WP people to preach at me to move or to rave about your god the WordPress. I know you love it. I've heard you.

I don't need you to help me decide. I'll do that on my own in due time.

But if you have any tips about what you did when you made a move from Blogger to WP, any pitfalls, mistakes, success stories? That is always welcome.

*sigh*

We'll see.

Monday, May 23, 2011

What happens in Vegas

“Call.”

“Pair of nines!”

“Aw, you win again.”

“Daaaad...”

I giggled. I knew he was letting me win, but I’d put up with that until I got better. Then I’d really win.

Mom was downstairs with her roll of nickels, playing slots.

Dad hunched over our cards. He sat in the cushy, deep armchair and I kneeled on the hotel bed, my little butt bouncing up and down on my heels, the round table between us.

Every now again, I’d lean over and sip my can of root beer out of a bendy straw without using my hands. Dad sipped cheap coffee from the hotel mug even though it was past my bed time. He was old and tough, he said, so he could drink coffee at night.

He wasn’t teaching me the betting or anything. That was too hard for now. Just the different hands and what beat what. I was getting good at remembering what hands were good but kept forgetting what hands were called.

“What was the difference between a flush and straight again?”

And he’d explain patiently. Pull the cards out and show me what was what. Then assemble them back together and shuffle them in a seamless arc that seemed magical to me.

“Can I shuffle?”

“Sure.”

I spread all the cards out face down on the table and moved them around with my little hands until I was positive they were sufficiently mixed to my taste, my dad chuckling at my antics.

“Don’t bend the cards, now.”

“I wo-on’t!”

“Do you want to deal?”

“YES!”

And he walked me through dealing out one for each of us until we held five cards each. I was good at fanning them out in my hand so he couldn’t see what I had.

“I’ll take two cards, please.”

“Here you go, sir. I’ll have two as well.”

“Dealer takes two?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Call.”

“Four threes.”

“Four of a kind? That’s a good hand! You win again. Oh well.”

“Da-aaaad, show me your hand!”

“Nope. You win. Trust me. I had nothing. Do you want to deal again?”


This was a post for the RemembeRED prompt: This week, we want you to recall the games you played when you were young. Did you love Monopoly, Yahtzee, or Uno? Or did you prefer backgammon, Trouble, or Scrabble? Write a piece that explores one of your memories.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Song Sunday: Walk Real Slow

Somehow Lady & Bird manages to be both quirky and morose, with delicious harmony and haunting melody.

I think you'll like.

Enjoy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

This Week at Sprocket Ink

Exciting things abound this week! And since I'm sworn to secrecy about one, I'll just have to tell you that Sprocket Ink got a new look and feel this week! Very sexy sexy. See that new badge on the right? That's just a little tease. After you go read my articles, poke around the site a bit.

But first! Go read:

Trump Abdicates the White House
Trump announces he's not, in fact, running for President after all. Americans respond: NO DUH.

Too Fat to Fly
Southwest Airlines told a weight loss blogger she was too fat to fly. Yes, seriously.

As always, I'm begging you to leave comments! PLEASE? 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

like a bird

Did I ever tell you I have three tattoos? I do.

I love them all for the most part, except for the one on my ankle.

I don't hate it, but it's not exactly how I wanted it. I was young  and let the tattoo artists bully me into a design and colors I didn't want. The colors I never liked have now faded and I feel the design is way too young (which I knew even at 22).

That one,  once I have the funds, I will be covering up with a tree. I have the basic design ready. It will be feminine and graphic and simple. But it will be very large and therefore expensive.

First though, I have another tattoo in mind. I'd been planning this tattoo for years to put on my forearms, but I now work in a very conservative office and since two of my tats are already visible, I'm not going to make them more uncomfortable and I think I'll be moving it to my shoulderblades.

The metaphor:

Do you know about the swallows of San Juan Capistrano? Every child who grows up in California learns about the California missions and my favorite was always Capistrano, speficically the swallows. Every year, the swallows migrate south for the winter (I assume) and every year, without fail, they return to San Juan Capistrano.

I've always loved this idea of this, felt it suited my personality uniquely, the idea of wings and roots, of something that migrates and roams, but always returns to the same place. The nomad that always goes home.

So I'll be getting a swallow on each shoulder blade. Graphic, of course, not too cartoony or realistic. Something like this:


Or this:

Or maybe this:


Hopefully I'll start it soon. And I'll keep you updated with photos of course. Of course.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On Relationship Energy

This post might be fraught with landmines of inadvertant offense. I'd like to state that by describing myself, I in no way mean to demean others who are different.

Except if you're not like me, you suck. Just kidding. I love you.

My relationship style can sometimes lean to the masculine. By that I mean a traditionally societally masculine way of conducting myself in relationships. Blame it on how close I am with my dad or blame it on some inner energy neither I nor society has any control over.

Whatever the reason, it's how I am.

Like a lot of stereotypical guys, I tend to like my space and alone time and while I certainly desire plenty of things that many, many women do (love, marriage, babies), I waver between jumping into a commitment I don't really want and running away for fear of getting hurt. And I have found myself acting out of character in certain situations, but I think this is the norm for me on the whole.

But that's not my biggest problem à la moment. My biggest problem is that I think my masculine-esque energy might be attracting its opposite: needy little bitches.

I kid (not really).

The women I've been involved with are clingy and controlling and high maintenance (of course many women are not as such) even though most of the women I've desired are very androgynous and low key (they just have no interest in moi.) And the men? With several exceptions, many of the boyos in my life have been worse than the women. Needy little bitches.

Why the hell are you asking my permission to do something? Why should I give a fuck that you want to hang out with your friends or watch 12 hours of whatever sport is in season? I don't give a fuck and I'm not your mama; you shouldn't need or want my permission. Maybe just a head's up that you won't be free for a certain period of time would be sufficient. I'll go take advantage of all the delicious alone time. Lots of writing to be done, books to be read, photos to be snapped, tea to be drunk.

Generally, my only rule is if you say you're going to do something, do it. If you can't do it, just let me know ahead of time. I don't like flakes.

But these are the guys I attract.

I've told you about several of these dudes, most recently about Guy Who Tries Too Hard. It's like, take a breath, dude, and just be yourself. It makes me exhausted just thinking about him. 

Did I mention I finally gave my number to Hot Bartender? I realize he's a bartender. I had no illusions of starting anything of substance with this guy.  But he was HOT. I thought we could hook up a few times. Fun had by all. But then he gave a long ass speech about how it's complicated with him and he has a kid and he's not looking to be tied down, blah blah blah. I couldn't help thinking that in his assertions of his need for freedom, he was showing that he was actually kind of needy and high maintenance. We hadn't even had sex and he was already scared that I would trap him in a marriage. Yikes! Who needs it?

Like I said, there have been exceptions. I know several of my exes read this blog and I just know they're on the edges of their seats waiting for me to un-emasculate them. Well I'm not telling who. HAH! Figure it out for yourselves.

But those exceptions, while they obviously didn't work out for whatever reason, I enjoyed the balance of energy, the energy which felt most like my own. I don't necessarily do well with the extremes. I appreciate someone who's more like me in this specific way.

I really said I wouldn't blog about this next nugget of information, because I always do this and the universe thinks I'm mocking her and it never works out. But I may or may not have met someone new. We may or may not have spent the evening talking and laughing and I may or may not have felt that he was a lot like me in energy and sense of humor. I'm not counting on this. I could be wrong. Lard knows my radar sucks. He may or may not call. 

But I'm hopeful. Hopeful that he's not a needy little bitch. Okay, I'm hopeful about other things too. You got me.

Monday, May 16, 2011

J'ai fumé

Paris held boucoup des choses pour moi.

Bridges and architecture. A pink setting sun over the Seine. Sitting in a cafe, drinking café from a minuscule cup with a cube of sugar on the saucer. The glow of the Sacre Coeur from my flat window. Battling roving Frenchmen hands in the metro. Fresh, warm baguettes smothered in brie. A glittering Tour Eiffel seen from everywhere in the city. Hours studying Le Langue Français and hours drinking the language away in wine. Wandering winding streets and losing myself in museums. Quartier Latin for class and Le Neuvième for home. Delectable pastries and cigarette smoke.

It seemed to me smoking was as integral to French culture as hot dogs and apple pie are to Americans.

Paris for me was a young man dressed all in black, jaywalking in the middle of impossibly dense traffic, no hat or umbrella, smoking despite and to spite the heavy rain, a “fuck you” look on his face that he was born with.

It was four course meals, including a cigarette course, snaky trails enhancing bitter espresso and long conversation au Franglish, sips and drags and laughter.

It was spoken word performance, a cigarette in a poet’s hand, swirls of smokey air tinging each word with poignancy, murky air carrying the metre, hazy breaths punctuating each pause and stanza.


It was loud jazz music in the park on a warm, humid, summer night. Syncopated notes mingling with smoke and setting a delicious scene in my memory, a souvenir all its own.

It was Vogue cigarettes, endlessly long and thin in my fingers, making me feel like fucking Audrey Hepburn or Brigitte Bardot, the rose flavor sucked down with relish, the whorls emanating pure, smokey sex, no matter what the surgeon general says.

J’ai fumé. I smoked shamelessly in Paris. Perhaps it was an effort to fit in. Perhaps it was a deluded way of feeling more Française. Perhaps I was just giving myself over to the culture, letting my preconceived notions and cultural taboos go for a bit, opening my mind and experiencing something new. Savoring a different way of living that centered around truly, truly living, setting aside my endless worries and enjoying a meal and good company and conversation and the sweet buzz of a cigarette.

J’ai fumé à Paris, but I quit several months after I went home to California. I wasn’t prepared for the culture shock of going back to a place that had been home for 26 years. And smoking wasn’t as acceptable any longer. Didn’t hold the appeal. Didn’t punctuate poetry or enhance experience, didn’t ooze sex Français.

I still have the last box of Vogues, half empty, sitting in a box of French memories, nestled next to maps and postcards and metro cards. That’s how smoking will always be for me. In my box of memories of Paris. The experience its own souvenir.

Photobucket

This was a post for the RemembeRED prompt: Write about the first (or second) memory that comes to mind when you see this:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Raw Photos Contest: Springtime



PST!

Guess what?

The Raw Photos Contest opens tomorrow! Monday! I KNOW! It's exciting.

The theme for this contest is SPRINGTIME.

So get creative and submit whatever that means to you and where you live. But make sure to submit your best work because the competition can get fierce up in here. HOWEVER, don't be intimidated. We're all our own worst critics, and you never know what the judges (that's us!) are going to love. So have fun and get those photos submitted!

Here's a review of the rules:

1. You have to have taken the photo [duh, don't be a jerk and enter someone else's photo. NOT COOL.]
2. The photo has to be a raw photo. What does that mean? That means NO PHOTOSHOPPING. You can screw around all you want with exposure and white balance on your camera, and we'll even let you crop the photo, but that's it. No changing hues. No intensifying colors. No adding aliens or unicorns. RAW PHOTOS, baby. That's what we're looking for. (Both digital and digital scans of film are okay)
3. You have one week to enter a photo. You can enter up to two [2] photos per contest.

Once all the photos have been entered, we'll take a few days to look them over. When we decide who the winner is, that winner's photo will be posted on our blogs Crazy with a side of Awesome Sauce or The Suniverse, our Twitter feeds @andygirl or @TheSuniverse, and on Flickr. Plus, the winner gets an AWESOME BADGE to post on their blog, showing the world that they have mad photography skills.

Submit here

Good luck!

Song Sunday: Arms of a Woman

How about some yummy Amos Lee this Song Sunday? 

Note: to truly enjoy this song, make a nice mug of tea, curl up in your favorite spot, maybe a cozy chair, in a patch of sun, or under a down comforter, inhale the steam of your tea, sip slowly, close your eyes and let the song wash into you. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Friday, May 13, 2011

This Week at Sprocket Ink

PhotobucketIt was a busy, busy week at Sprocket Ink and I have three posts for you to read. I know. It said it was busy, okay? Ahem.

Anyway, this week, go read:

Keep Toking, Get Life in Prison
Fourth marijuana conviction gets Slidell man life in prison. His cell will be next to Manson’s. Just kidding.

Arizona Takes Racism to the Supreme Court
Arizona takes controversial immigration law to Supreme Court, takes its place in history alongside a long line of racists. And I go off on a rant to beat all rants.

Obama to Push New Muslim Outreach
President Obama is planning to renew Muslim outreach to appeal to the Muslim world after the death of Osama bin Laden. I'm pleased.

Thanks for reading, as always! Please please please be a pip and leave some comments and if you feel like helping me out and sharing on Facebook or retweeting or liking on Stumble, I won't hate it.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Living (almost) Gluten Free

 *After Blogger decided to become a suckmonkey and crash, it took all your lovely comments on this post with it. Suckmonkey. I'm sorry. I did love your comments.

Well, kiddos, I've been doing the low-gluten lifestyle for some amount of time now and I've gotta say, I feel better. I feel so monumentally better that I can't even describe the feeling. When you've lived your life with a constant stomach ache of some kind, it's incredible when that ache is gone. The drastic difference of knowing a feeling you didn't even know existed is utterly indescribable.

Not only that, my body seems to be even more protective of that feeling now. It's like my body has been to the most beautiful place on earth and won't go back to boring suburbia. When I accidentally get a bit of gluten, my body is like, WAIT A SECOND! WE DON'T LIKE THAT ONE BIT!

Apparently my body speaks in the plural. Maybe I'm counting all my organs as independent entities.

Anyway, there's no way I'm completely gluten free. For one, I'm just learning how to be diligent and check every thing. At least I'm used to checking labels because of my life-long soy allergy (which evidently is really common for those with gluten sensitivities.), but I've yet to train my brain on just how much food probably has gluten.

But I've taken it out significantly. I've yet to find a bread I like and I didn't love gluten free pizza. But I did find english muffins I like and I made little pizzas with those that were delicious. So I make do. I've found lots of healthy (and no so healthy, because I do love some junk food) alternatives and have been pretty happy thus far.

Someone balked the other day because I made quinoa pasta mac n cheese with velveeta. Let me just say that eating quinoa doesn't make me some super health nut or anything. Quinoa is not only gluten free, but so much tastier than wheat pasta (I had no idea!), but mama still loves her some creamy cheesy mac, so adding velveeta isn't the end of the world. I don't expect to become a health nut (not that there's anything wrong with thaaaat) simply because I'm now gluten free (or low gluten or whatever).

I've been stoked to discover plenty of my fave junk foods don't have gluten: Cool Ranch Doritos, Snickers, and Cherry Garcia Fro Yo are all gluten free. I do miss Cheez-its and cheeseburgers (because lettuce wraps just don't cut it), but when and if I visit California, I will have to sacrifice my digestive system and get a Double Double. It's worth it.

Anyways, between my stomach's new found happiness and my new birth control that lets me skip my horrendous periods, my quality of life just improved by about a thousand.

Now if only I could skip days like Mother's Day and/or a secret rich relative would die and leave me a fortune, I might die of happiness. Just kidding. Or am I?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Photo of the Day: Tiger Lilly

tigerlily

This is from a bouquet that my darling friend Claudia from California sent me before my move just to perk up my day. Seriously, friends like that make life the best.

I had so much fun photographing it the other day in the late afternoon light, playing with the white balance and the aperture. I get such a thrill out of a narrow depth of field and lots of yummy bokeh. If you love it too, check out this shot and this one aaaand maybe this one too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Random Thoughts of a Crazy Lady

I was so excited to come to the Northwest and finally leave the obsession with tans behind. In So Cal, it's so hard to embrace one's whiteness, let me tell you. And every year, I succomb and get some lotion plus a touch of sun, or whatever. I always get tan with all my time in the pool.

But for once, I was ready to be white and let my translucent skin glow.

Except everyone here tans! They actually go to tanning beds, which, even in So Cal, is scary. Okay, maybe it's not everyone, but I have met a chunk of people who do and I see tanning salons on every corner.

I just don't get it. It's like cancer in a box.

~~~~~~~~~~

In an effort to make my blog more user friendly, a while ago, I turned off word verificiation. The consensus beung that no one gets so much spam to make it worth it and no one likes filling it out.

But I've been getting so much spam and it's making me insane! I get a couple spam comments a day, which may not seem like a lot, but it's enough to really annoy me. Even with Blogger's spam detector, I still have to check and delete those comments. It's irritating and it makes me cranky pants.

So what do you guys do? Do you just delete the spam? Do you get as much as I do? What the hail?

~~~~~~~~~~

Fleas. My house has fleas. I do not blame my roommate in any way. (Do you hear that, roomate? It's not your fault!) But it's been sucky and a pain in the ass.

First of all, my poor cats. They've never had fleas and they are miserable. I got them flea treatments and hopefully that helps, but they move into a new house and suddenly they're itchy and in pain, the poor things.

And even though I've sprayed the carpet with de-flea spray and sprayed my bed and washed all my bedding, they're still scared. Jeté won't get in my bed (which breaks my heart. we haven't cuddled in forever) and she won't walk on the carpet. She jumps around the room using the furniture. She hides in my closet mostly, sleeping on my dresser and she hasn't left my bedroom in days. It's heartbreaking.

A guy is supposed to come soon and spray or something (but I am concerned about the kitties breathing that), but we also need to get rid of these damn fleas! Any advice?

~~~~~~~~~~

This woman is a spitfire! I am in awe of her, truly.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dust Devil

When most people think of sand, they think of warm, white beaches, burning their feet as they race into cool, frothy ocean waves.

I think of desert sand.

I was raised in the Mojave Desert of Southern California, a place of tumbleweeds and Roy Rogers, of quail and Joshua Trees, of cacti and cowboys. Of wind and sand.

The wind and sand are inextricably linked in the desert. The wind blows mild or fierce 360 days a year. The wind makes it all the more freezing in the winter, burning your ears as you walk to school. It makes it hotter in the summer, blowing the 110 degree air into your lungs. It spooks the horses and rattles the windows. Most of all, it blows the endless supply of desert sand.

Blows the sand into your homes, leaving a permanent dusty film on every surface. Sand climbs under your nails and no matter how much you wash, you’ll always find a dark line, a reverse French manicure. Sand embeds in the creases of your skin and rides on your eyelashes.

I was a tiny little thing. The kind of tiny that made friends tease and older cousins toss me around. “Light as a feather.” The kind of skinny that made nosey adults cluck at my apparent malnutrition.

I was simply walking to class. It couldn’t have been that far from the chain link fence to the second grade classroom, but in the wind, the hot Santa Anas, it felt like miles (Though I’d yet to reach that grade where you learn just how long a mile actually is. But a mile seemed like an awfully long way.).

I struggled to walk upright, my tiny body practically a plastic bag blowing in the wind. I stuck my head out first, my eyes on the ground, my body at a diagonal, being forced back a step for every two I trudged out.

And then I saw it. They say that tornadoes only exist in the Midwest, but the desert has its own twisters: dust devils. Truer devils than any devil I learned about in Sunday School.

Everyone, boys and girls and teachers alike, screamed and scattered hoping to avoid the sandy demon, but some of us weren’t so lucky. It hit me with its full fury, blasting sand into every part of me, every bit of exposed flesh assaulted with the cruel, sandy sting.

My hands instinctively covered my face lest the sand set up permanent residence in my eyes. My bare legs and arms stung with the kind of torture reserved for prisoners of war. My hair flew about me, possessed by the wind. My clothes whipped my skin mercilessly.

And just like that, it was gone. Dissipated. Blown away to torture another little girl.

Gone, but the sting would last for hours. I would be shaking sand out of my hair and clothes, digging sand out of my ears and from under my nails, picking sand out of the corners of my eyes, for hours and days.

I’ve never liked the sand or its best friend the wind.

This was a post for the RemembeRED prompt: So this week, we want you to write about sand. Yes...sand. It doesn't have to be summer-related, but the impending summer and my proximity to Lake Michigan and it's glorious beaches are what inspired me to tell you to write about sand. So. SAND. GO.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Song Sunday: Wow and Flutter

I completely adore April Smith. You should too.

Try not to die of happiness overload when you hear this song. Then go listen to this song. It's particularly lovely.

Enjoy!


Friday, May 6, 2011

This Week at Sprocket Ink

I'm sick. *cough cough* Blame it on going going going plus one coworker whom I love but gave me her cold.

But have no fear! I still wrote two posts for you (just you!) this week at Sprocket Ink.

Go read (and don't dawdle, now):

The Tweet Heard Round the World
Misquoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr will always make you look stupid.

Planned Parenthood, How I Love Thee
I go deep under cover into the Planned Parenthood and come out a happy clam.

Happy reading! As always, please please please comment and like and retweet and digg and stumble! MUAH!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Photo of the Day: Like Velvet

like velvet

Do you like tulips? I like tulips. They're not my most favorite flower, but I love them nonetheless.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Random Thoughts of a Crazy Lady

Random Thoughts are BACK! Did you miss my rambling brilliant brain? I know you did. But don't worry, punkins, I'm here for you.

~~~~~~~~~~

I'm all moved in to my new casa. And can I just tell you? Moving is a motherfucking bitch. I have moved...hold on...let me count...yeah I don't even know how many times. Too many. Too damn many. Maybe I'm just nomadic. Maybe it's because I lived my first 18 years (excluding the first couple of months) in the same ramshackle house.

Either way, I move. A lot.

And it sucketh. I will spare you the madness of the day, the unexpected hiccups, the annoyingness. But I will say that my friends are the bestest of the bestest and showed up wearing bells (or something) and saved the day and moved my ass! Seriously. I have awesome friends.

Anyway, I'm all moved in and because I worked hard all weekend, I didn't take as much care of myself as I normally would or even intended to. I got insanely dehydrated and piling that on top of normal moving soreness, I felt insanely shitty last night. Bad Andy.

But I've been guzzling water and electrolyetes for a day and a half and I'm just starting to feel better.

BUT! I love my new place and my new roomies and the cats aren't quite so sure, but I know they'll come around.

~~~~~~~~~~

It is big pimpin' time! I've haven't pimped friends' blogs in a long time, which is entirely too lazy and/or selfish of me. So hopefully I can redeem myself a little karmically today.

Both these bloggers are real life friends and so I get a little extra special thrill pimping them out.

Firstly, you must must must go read my friend Coco at Coco McKown Photography. Coco is an insanely amazing photographer in Southern California (tell your friends!), but she's also one of the funniest ladies I have ever known. Ever. Ev-er. I even wrote a post about her once which I won't link to because I'm feeling lazy to go search for it. Just know that half the movie quotes I put on here are just for her.

The second is actually someone ya'll here on the blog also know, at least if you've been reading for quite a while, buuuuut, I don't think I'll tell you who. Because it's much too delicious to make you figure it out. Anyvajazzle, Aaron at Hiking as Homotopy writes an entirely too smart (seriously, some of it goes over my head and I'm freaking brilliant.) blog in which he flays up his life and foibles and observations in an incredibly honest and raw way. Methinks you will likey.

Pimped. Out.

~~~~~~~~~~~

So I don't want to talk about work because I do want to keep my job and I don't think it's appropriate to discuss the details of my professional environment. Ya dig?

But I will say this: If you fill out forms, some of the information just might be important. Therefore, you might want to consider using neat handwriting. Like, if it's an illegible number in your address, that might not be the end of the world. But, if it's something important like, say, your social security number, and someone has to read that shit, you don't want that messed up!

And look, I get it. I have awful handwriting. I have the handwriting of the terrorist pirate on death row. But on forms, at least with the important info, I try my best to write neatly.

Because that crap is important.

~~~~~~~~~~

It's such a shame that no one uses adverbs anymore. And I catch myself doing it to, using an adjective to describe a verb. But that is wrong! Wrong.

~~~~~~~~~~

This is magiaclly delicious (even with the copious misspellings) and oh so not safe for work:


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Photo of the Day: Sea of White

sea of white
I took this several weekends ago on a particularly gorgeous day. I was playing with the perspective and depth of field and really like how this one turned out. It's kind of Alice in Wonderland in a way. Very dreamlike.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A long time coming

I was miserable. I was sitting in what was possibly the most uncomfortable chair in the history of chairs. Sweating through my black gown, the sun baking my face, I thought I might pass out. I really wished I’d said fuck it and carried a water bottle. The guy behind me was moaning as his hangover kicked in and I threatened him with bodily harm should the back of my gown be decorated with the churning contents of his stomach.

Yet it was one of the happiest moments of my life thus far.

Out of high school, I’d taken a different path than most of my friends; I never expected to finally be there, accepting that symbol of years of hard work and accomplishment.

Now there I was, baking in the Greek Theater, 9 years wiser, the proud owner of two Associate’s degrees, and finally at the last door to that club called the Bachelor’s.

To say it hadn’t been easy is is a huge trivialization. There is a reason people go to college when they’re eighteen. That’s when you have the energy to study and work and maintain decent grades and some semblance of a social life.

Yet I had powered through, worked several jobs to pay my rent, and took out enough loans that I probably won’t pay them off until I die.

I’d absorbed inhuman amounts of knowledge, slogged through hundreds of novels, wrote thousands of words, delighted and detested Faulkner as he plagued me through my honor’s thesis, and forgot what the word sleep meant.

I was the eldest in my study abroad program, but I came home richer in wisdom and having something akin to fluency in French.

I’d driven myself slave-like for two and a half years and somehow sustained a 4.0 and a love of the written word, not to mention invaluable friendships with both professors and peers.

At last the time came for the Literature majors to stand and march across the stage. Hearing my best friends cheer for me as I accepted my fake diploma, I was particularly careful to smile for the camera as I inwardly laughed.

I dawdled on the stage, hugging each of my professors, and thus reaching the stairs at the same time as the girl after me. After her, I was too excited to pay attention to silly things like rails and tripped a bit down the stairs. Catching myself before a most embarrassing and potentially painful fall, I recovered like a champ.

Hours later, after the turning of the tassels, it truly sunk in. Yes, walking across that stage was symbolic. Yes, that diploma in my hand was fake and my real diploma would arrive later in the mail. I’d actually finished after my last final exam. I’d really achieved my degree after my professors had posted my final grades. But it hadn’t felt real until wearing that gown and motor board, shaking hands with the president of the university, turning my white tassel.

I was a graduate.


This was a post for the RemembeRED prompt: Tell the story (without any trivialization or modesty) of something in your life that you are proud of.

I was happiest to have water.
Bonus photo (so you can see how sunburned I got that day).
 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Song Sunday: Honestly

How about some Cary Brothers this fine Sunday? I love this guy. He's rumply and sweet and I think I could cuddle with him for just ever and ever.

I can't even tell you how this song speaks to me. How it holds up a mirror to my heart that still bears little cracks, old cracks that never healed. How I know this feeling so well. Wishing love away, because it lingers and lingers and won't let you breathe. No matter how much time has passed.

In other words? So much truth. Old truth, but truth nonetheless.

Enjoy!

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