Thursday, September 30, 2010

Raw Photos Contest: Autumn Where You Live

It's time for another Raw Photos contest! woot woot! So let's just pretend last month didn't happen and this time we're all starting fresh with an awesome theme that everyone can get into:


What's autumn look like in your neck of the woods or patella of the subdivision or tibia of the downtown brownstones?

Lots of leaves turning colors?
Damnable heat and humidity?
Still  more greenery?

Show us what you've got!

Here's a quick summary of the rules:  You get to enter up to two [2] photos during the week the contest is open.  The only limitations are that the photos have to be yours and you CANNOT Photoshop your photo.  Play around all you want while you are taking the picture, but don't mess around after.  The complete rules are on the Flickr page.

Entries begin OCTOBER 1st and run for one week.  THAT'S TOMORROW!!

So get cracking and submit here.

The winner's photo will be posted on our blogs Crazy with a side of Awesome Sauce and The Suniverse, our Twitter feeds @andygirl  and @TheSuniverse, and on Flickr.

Good luck!

wherein I expound the levels of my dorkiness

Warning: in this post, I involuntarily outline what a phenomenal and unequivocal OCD dork I am. I say this so your expectations are lowered and you don't expect one iota of cool. If you're looking for cool, go visit some other blog. You'll find none of that here today. Only dorks lay ahead in these waters.

The rest of my stuff arrived! Can I get a huzzah?

Hey, you! Yes. You in the back there. You didn't huzzah. You'll need to huzzah before we can move on. Don't be a loser. Everyone is waiting on you.

Well, it was a little lackluster, but it'll have to do.

Sorry about that, folks. There's always some jackmunch that has to ruin it for the rest of us. *ahem*

Moving on!

Since the epic Starving Asshats debacle has now come to a conclusion, we can commence with the final phase of the moving process: nesting.

I finally received my two bookcases (one tall, one short), my many boxes of books, one box of VHS tapes (because those dance recital videos aren't going to digitize themselves), and my couch.

So naturally I had to spend the rest of the day organizing and finally nesting. I've been unpacking like a madwoman since I got the first batch of my stuff but really couldn't nest until I had everything.

First things first: books. I had to organize the books. That's the most important thing. I could have left everything else in storage (except my bed), but my books (and I guess my bookcases too) are like old friends. I was beginning to miss them.

But how to organize? At my old place, I had them organized by genre and alphabetized within genre (because I'm an OCD wacko and I worked in a bookstore too long).

But that proved problematic for my psyche when I own books by an author within two different genres. I hate breaking up an author. Seriously, it really bothers me. And I love seeing a row of books by one author. It gives me a perverse kind of pleasure.

Like I said: wacko.

So I did one stack of travel and language books, two shelves of anthologies, how-tos, and non-fiction (read: dork) not including biographies or autobiographies, and then alphabetized the rest of the lot.

But it became clear that I didn't have enough shelf space for all my books as I got into M and N. I got rid of a bookcase in my garage sale, but I also got rid of some books, so I thought it would all fit. Wrong.

Wrong wrong wrong. Durf.

So I spent a chunk of invaluabel time figuring out which books to shelve (because one bookshelf was upstairs and one down), running up and down the stairs with books (my ass is gonna be rockin' tomorrow!), deciding what would both keep me sane until I could procure a third bookshelf and be less work in the long run.

Good god I am a remarkable dork!

I eventually decided to work backwards from Z in the upstairs bookshelf and stack the books in the middle of the sorry ass alphabet on the floor. Poor things. Homeless books are just so sad.

Then of course I spent the rest of my day unpacking everything else that was still in boxes, getting the roommates to help me arrange the furniture in our bizarre house, and hanging pictures.

Our place is starting to look like a home!

Thursday or Friday I'll be off to the Ikea to find a bookshelf (I know some people hate Ikea but damn if I don't love it in my panties!).  I need to get a home for those poor, sad, homeless books.

I will find a home for those books. This will not become The Great Homeless Book Debacle of 1994*.

This post participates in:
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*Not a real event. I just made it up. But it sounds tragic, doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Photo of the Day: Peeking

This little lady is obsessed with anything outside. And now that my bed is all set up in my room, she can jump to the window ledge above it. Where she shoves her head through the blinds just to catch a glimpse of what could possibly be out there. Once I hang my curtains, I'll leave the blinds up completely. Maybe she'll drive me a little less nuts then.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Random Thoughts of a Crazy Lady

You just never know what might happen. An innocent coffee date could turn into something much more fun than you'd intended and to which you wish you'd worn cuter underpants. And talking about sports can create more sexual tension than you ever thought possible or even should be possible. For example, did you know that curling is all about creating a suitably wet surface? I didn't. Yet now I do. And my knowledge is the fuller for it.

Also: more men should invest in arm muscles. Just sayin'.

Mad Men, how I love thee. Your witty drama and abnormally pretty people sooth me in the middle of the night when I cannot sleep and my bed is feeling especially empty. Mad Men, you provide me with both Don Draper and Joan whateverthehellhernewlastnameis to fill my bed with. And for that, Mad Men? I am truly grateful. Truly. Truly grateful. You'll never know quite how much.

Here is my life's dilemma: I like to cook most days. I'm okay at it at any rate. But I hate to grocery shop. Hate it. Despise it with the depths of my soul. So how to get the food to me with minimal effort on my part? See? My life's dilemma.
I awoke this morning to find a child in the bushes in front of my house taunting my cat through the window. I may or may not have scared the child as well. But what I want to know is: why is said child not in school? It's practically October. Kid looks about 10 years old. I'm thinking school is the only reasonable answer at this point. Should I call a truancy officer? Do they still have those?

So, remember the whole Starving Students movers fiasco? Well, the point of that blog post was to tell you how suckmonkey they were right? Well, Ad Sense didn't think so. No siree. Guess what my darling friend Jenny found on my page?

Seriously, Ad Sense? Seriously? I think this one is one big massive FAIL on your part, mmmmk? Perhaps it's time for me to start selling ad space myself. Can't have ads for asshat movers on my site now can I? Nope. Not even. 

Update on that front: Starving Students agreed to move the rest of my schtuff for free but I have to pay the weight, which I would have paid anyway. But, I have no clue when they'll deliver it. Could be next week. Could be 2015. 

I'm crafty, remember? Crafty like a fox.

My new thing is ring making. Out of buttons. Look at my first two creations:

Cute right? I know. I'm completely brilliant. But really, what do you think? I enjoyed making these so much that I'm thinking about opening an Etsy shop.  It would be inexpensive of course. And I could do earrings and necklaces too. 

Would you buy something like this?

parents love me or they hate me

My darling friend Lizzy has this new blog hop happening: Words of a Wanton Woman:

And I've decided to play along. You should too. This also officially counts as me pimping this out. Done and done.

So this week's topic is meet the parents. Hooboy. Should this one be fun!

Generally, parents love me. Especially dads. I get the, "you let me know if he doesn't treat you right" speech pretty often. I love dads. They make life easy.

And with the exception of D's mom, who loved me too, moms can be a leetle protective of their sons. D's mom, though, was hilarious. The first time I met her, she stuck me against the wall and added my height measurement in pencil to those of her kids and their many friends and partners. She was just an uncommonly warm and welcoming woman (how's THAT for alliteration?).

But the mom who takes the cake is Joe's mom. (Joe is not his real name, but it's pretty damn close and he is the one ex who I would punch in the throat if I could because he's a little douchebag so I have no qualms using close to his real name.)

She hated me. HATED me. Seriously. Joe was her baby. And that made me the antichrist.

Apparently, even though she didn't take any time to get to know me in the slightest, my only goal was to steal her baby boy away and ruin him for all eternity. In her defense, that not that far from the truth. Snort. Riiiiight.

But really though, I don't mind if someone doesn't care for me. There are certainly plenty of people out there who aren't my biggest fans (shocking I know!) and I'm okay with that. Can't please 'em all. But I'd like that dislike based in some reality, especially if I'm seriously dating your son and you may have to deal with me for some long period of time in the foreseeable future.

Aside: that thought makes me throw up just a little bit.

But try to get to know me, woman! I was making an effort. She could have too. And if she still didn't like me, well then okay. But if I'm just a mysterious threat based in paranoia and an Oedipus complex, well that I'm not so cool with.

I could share many stories in which she did her damndest to snub me and make me feel unwelcome, but I'm feeling like that's all in the past and I'm over it. No need to drudge up old grudges.

But here is my advice for meeting parents:

  1. It's trite but true: you can only be yourself. You can't make anyone like you. Either your partner cares about his (or her) parents' opinion or doesn't. And THAT'S what you need to know.
  2. If a guy is so attached to his mother that if she hates you you're never going to win? Well, honey. That's how it is. You may have to accept that he'll never cut the apron strings and his mom is more important to him than a relationship. Move on.
  3. Being polite never hurt anyone. I'm a big believer in holding the higher ground. When Joe's mom was acting like a snatch, I was sweet as pie. It didn't make one hell of a difference in my case, but I still felt like a good person. 
  4. Be aware of the parents who like you too much. They may take it awfully hard when you break up. Just sayin'. 
  5. Everyone likes baked goods. If they don't, run. That's just a bad sign. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Love Song Sunday: Love and Some Verses

Raise your hand if you love Iron and Wine!

Well, if you didn't, you will now. Sam Beam's sound is slightly nostalgic with a sweet whisper and a  melody. It's quirky but sentimental. Poignant yet simple.

And this song? This song can play on repeat in my heart for days.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Sexy Saturdays: When it mattered. She knew.

How much are you guys loving Sexy Saturdays? So much you can't even handle it? That's what I thought. Well get ready for even more awesome. I am so excited to host this week's guest poster, one miss Meredith Blumoff of oh, THAT meredith.

This little lady is a Twitter superstar and I couldn't imagine the social media and blogging world without her. She's so special (not in THAT way), in a fuzzy, sweet, drink too much and DM you from Twitter jail special. When I was stressed and frazzly and moving to Portland, she sent me cookies. Literally. Not cyber cookies or something. She sent me a tin of yummy yummy cookies. I think they were shortbread with rosemary. They were amazing and you're jealous.

And when this lovely lady finally started her blog, I woohooed like no one has ever woohooed before! She's a rock star. After you read her highlarious story, go follow her on the Twitter and subscribe to her blog. Doooo iiiiiiit.

My mother's always told me she'd know if I did something wrong or bad or out of line, even if I was convinced it'd never get back to her. But I had experience on my side, having gotten away with more minor infractions than she'll ever know.

And yet. When it mattered. She knew.

I was 17. He was 19. We’d each sorta had sex -- or at least started the process too fucked up to actually get anywhere – but were still bumbling virgins, when it came down to it.

For the life of me, I can’t remember how we met – which, frankly, isn’t that much of a surprise, since I’ve been losing my memory for months – but surely it must’ve been through friends. He’d dropped out of high school, gotten his G.E.D. and gone to work in the gas station near my house. Which was very badass, grownup and hotttt with extra emphatic Ts.

And ooooh, was I over the moon for John. I knew I was smarter than him, I knew more and wanted more and would reach farther than he’d ever dreamed. But I was smitten, completely, and convinced he was my future.

As, of course, I convinced myself with every boyfriend. No surprise there, either.

Around the end of our second month together – an impressive wait, you know – we decided -- in what was probably my most mature conversation to date – it was time. We. Were. Ready.

This, of course, also coincided quite conveniently with a week-long trip my parents were taking, leaving me all alone in the house with the pets.

No idea where my siblings were during this trip – having five of them makes it oddly perfect we were alone. Hmm. No clue. But in retrospect, thanks, y’all!

And no, sorry, Andy’s forbidden me from writing you erotica – I KNOW, SHE’S SO AWFUL, IT’S LIKE SHE DOESN’T EVEN WANT YOU TO READ THIS! Ahem. – so you don’t get any of that story.

But suffice it to say, it was amazingly tender and shockingly good – despite our complete lack of experience and racing nerves.

And it set off what I like to call my love affair with sex. By which I mean I’m a big fan. Biiiiiig fan.

John and I spent that week rolling around in bed, learning about each other and ourselves in all of those trite ways you’re imagining.

And by in bed, I mean in my mother’s bed.

Go ahead, groan. I know; it was a terrible idea.

But the rest of the house was full of twin beds! I was actually convinced at the time that we’d fall out of bed if we had sex in mine – my understanding of physics hasn’t really improved that much since. Shut up.

And so, after six bliss-filled days of being officially a grown-up – ‘cause that’s what sex does to you, you know – we washed Mama’s sheets, remade the bed and sent my new lover away to return home for the first time in days, sure I’d just gotten away with everything that meant anything.

My parents returned from wherever it was they’d been and I tried to hide what I was sure was the heavenly glow of a newly sexed woman – or, you know, actual teenage contentment. They told me about their trip, unpacked, did laundry and went to bed.

The next day, in the middle of a routine conversation – where my mother shoots mundane questions at me and I answer absently – directly after “How were the dogs while we were gone?” and “School ok?” she asked, “How was your first time having sex with John?”

I. Was. Dumbfounded. My heart skipped, my lungs deflated, my stomach hit the ground.

She laughed.

Once my voice returned, I didn’t even try to get around it. I stammered out, “How did you know?!” and sat down, hard.

She asked again how it was and then if we’d been careful.

I blinked, breathed and braced myself.

“It was good. We were safe. Can I go now?”

She laughed again, but sounded slightly annoyed – I was certain she was mad.

“Good,” she said. “I’m glad. Don’t be stupid.”

I then hightailed it to John’s, relayed the story through tears, hiccups and staggered breath – until he pointed out that while maybe I hadn’t gotten away with keeping anything a secret, I wasn’t in trouble – I wasn’t some kid that had to be punished for breaking a rule. I was, in fact, an adult, being treated like an adult, by another adult, who happened to be my mother.

If there was any growing up that happened in the entire experience? It was right there.

For years after, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how she knew. And even more strange, while I was never punished – though severely warned of consequences – she remained slightly annoyed by the whole affair.

I asked her just recently what had tipped her off, and ooooh, it was ridiculous.

I’d made her bed incorrectly, in a way apparently anyone could’ve seen, with the duvet at a ridiculous angle and pillows tossed willy-nilly – but even better than that, I’d left an empty condom wrapper smack in the middle of the shelf of the headboard, for all and sundry to see.

Face. Palm.

Portland *is* weird

I'm not in California anymore.

Never has this been more evident than the last 2 weeks. If you've ever had to deal with the California DMV, you know that whatever it is you need done will be a daunting task.

Need to get your emissions tested? Need to register your car? Need to apply for a driver's license? Need to replace a license?  Expect long lines and surly employees.

Need to do more than one thing? Expect to spend at least one whole day at the DMV.

It's painful. But part of life.

As a new Oregon resident, I needed to get a new driver's license and register my car.

First step? Get my emissions tested. Which I blocked out hours for. Because that's what you would do in California.

It was the easiest process of my whole life. In and out and the employees were so freaking chipper and friendly, I thought maybe I'd landed in Oz.

Then the DMV.

First step? Drivers license. My number was called up so fast I missed it and had to ask for a new number. Seriously. I wasn't expecting to get called up right away. I paid my fees. Showed my documentation. Took a written test. Which, is all fancy now. I haven't taken that test since 1996 and let me tell you. Fancy. Then the eye test. Then they hustled me over to get my picture taken (Which turned out crap of course. Why do I make the weird faces? WHY?). And I was done.

And with the exception of the guy who issued my eye test, who was terrifying, everyone was super duper friendly. Bizarre. I thought it was a national law that DMV employees hate their jobs. I mean, I would. I would be all surly and unpleasant. Just because I could. Maybe eye test guy had transferred from another state. Because he was scary.

The one hiccup was that I couldn't get my car registered. Turns out (and they didn't post this online) that I need more paperwork on the title of my car (because, you know, the bank owns it) that I didn't need in California. So that's gonna have to wait a while. But they were even nice about that. So weird.

They say keep Portland weird. And they mean it. I think this qualifies.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Photo of the Day: Turn Over an Old Leaf

turn over an old leaf
I had grand plans for a blog post today, but I just got so busy and I find myself getting home at the end of the day and I haven't even eaten yet. *sigh* And what did I accomplish? I'm not really sure. So, instead, I'm cheating. Another photo of the day.

However, I'm quite proud of this shot. It's really beginning to feel like fall here. The air was crisp and cool tonight and you can feel a crackle of energy in the air and the leaves are beginning to change. It's magic. I love it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Photo of the Day: Dreamy

I haven't posted a cat lady photo in a while. Have I ever mentioned that Jeté has the softest, most touchable fur? She does. And she the sweetest when she's sleepy. And when she's really sleepy, she pulls her paw over her nose. I guess to keep bugs from crawling in? Whatever. It's adorable.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

hair cuts and language barriers

I spent most of my day at the DMV today, but I don't want to talk about that yet. I'll tell you about that some other day.

Because I want to tell you about my hair cut.

Myyyyyy hair cut.

After the DMV, I went to get my hair cut.

I went to a beauty school to get my hair cut today. This is not my first time doing so. But it is the first for this particular beauty school.

I went in for a tiny trim (maybe half an inch) and to get a few layers in front. See, I'm growing my bangs out and I wanted to add some layers to make the bangage less obvious. More on purpose. I was a little worried about the layers, but not at all about the trim. Easy peasy.

First bad sign: the lady assigned to cut my hair didn't speak much English. Now, I support her right to not speak much English. In fact, I support her right to not speak English at all. However. How to the ever lovin ever, how was I to communicate what I wanted when she didn't speak my language?

Side note: I got my hair cut when I lived in Paris. But I researched how to say what I wanted (and my French was fairly good by then) and even confirmed with my French teacher before going for the cut. And it turned out great.

So anyway, she barely understood me. When I introduced myself, she looked at me like I had three heads. Right.  So I was pretty nervous by this point.

She sits me down and I explain with many hand gestures and demonstrations what I want done. She nods and off we go to shampoo and condition my hair.

Where we spend the next sixty years.

I swear. How long does it take to wash hair? You can't fuck this part up! It's clean, woman. You did good. But my neck is killing me laying my head in a sink (Pee Ess, who designed those? There is no way someone thinks those are comfortable) for the last several decades. Let's move it along.

After we get back to her station, my hair is now grey and I explain, once again, what I want done.

She combs and clips up sections and pulls a tiny amount from the bottom and clips it. Then (and this was pretty cute), she shows me in her hand the amount of hair she's just clipped. "Like dis?" "Perfect," I say. Just half an inch.

Then she proceeds to take another 60 years to trim up the rest of the back of my hair. I wasn't complaining about that. She seemed methodical and I guess that's better if you want someone inexperienced to do a good job. Even if I was falling asleep and the top of my hair was completely dry by the time she got to it. Aaaaaaaand, it's not like I could see what she was doing back there.

Oh! Side note: at no point was this woman supervised. When I had my hair done at a beauty school in LA (granted, an Aveda school but still), supervisors kept a close watch.

Then she starts on the front. Where I explain what I want yet again. She starts doing a bowl-cutty type thing from my bangs down and I have to stop here and say I want more chunky layers. Which I suppose freaked her out. Because I couldn't get her to put in very many layers at all. I mean, it's like she barely did anything to the front.

But that's not the worst of it. Okay, so the layers are pretty invisible. But she didn't take a half inch off the bottom. No. Woman took like 3 inches. My hair is all gone! My hair that was getting long. That I'd been growing out for so long. Is all gone! I have shoulder length hair again. Goddammit.

By the time I'd figured this out, it was too late of course. How was I suppose to get my hair back? I can't. Exactly.

I will not be sharing pictures because I am so fucking unhappy with my hair right now.

Here's what it kinda looked like before 
(except I'm way cuter than Katie Holmes, obviously. I mean, who did her hair? It's awful):

And here's what it's like now:
Just kidding.

It's more like:

Oh Mandy Moore, I hate you hard. 

Moral of the story: you should always speak the same language as your hair stylist.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Those Asshat Starving Students

I have my things! Well, most of my things anyway. I have my bed! And last night was the best night's sleep I've had since like July. Ahhhhhhh I love my bed. And my cats are stoked too. They are so happy and have been sleeping and bounding all over the boxes and furniture.
So soft and cozy!

But, like I said, some of my things didn't make it.

And thus it is time to tell the tale of my mountains of crap and the extraordinary logistics of moving it all from So Cal to Portland.

When I decided to move to Portland, I couldn't afford to rent a big truck. I could only afford a trailer. So the plan was to sell most of my stuff off and then hook the trailer to my car (which I want to drive up anyway) and drive it up myself.

My father, however, was extremely worried about leetle ol' me wielding a trailer for 18 hours. And rightfully so. My wielding anything that unwieldy is a frightening proposition. Is the word wield starting to sound weird to anyone else? Wield. Wield. Wield.


He proposed this (and had to really talk me into it): he wanted to hire movers (my dad is a notorious cheapskate so he obv meant business), but in order to do so, would have to borrow against his 401k. But he couldn't do that until August. I was moving in July. In fact,  I had already given notice on my house and at my job. So we decided to put all my crap (still sold some of it) in storage in So Cal and I drove up without it.

In late August, my dad got the funds, waiting for them to clear in his bank, and about 2 weeks ago, started calling moving companies. We chose Starving Students because they seemed nice and were inexpensive (well, in comparison).

I guess you get what you pay for. Let it be known: never hire an asshat company.

They got squirrely pretty early on. First they said they'd call us with a 2-12 day window of when they would pick up and deliver. Ummmm, not okay with me as we all have lives and things to work around. Never mind that my dad would have to take off work and drive 45 minutes to my storage space to open it for them so it makes it hard if we don't have a specific time.

Then they gave him a pickup time last Thursday at noon. When they didn't arrive at noon, my dad called them and they hemmed and hawed, "aw man, we have another pickup, it'll be at 3." So he waited. Until 3. Nothing. They called him, "aw man, it's going to be tomorrow instead." Excuse me? My dad took off work to come down and they couldn't even make the appointment on the same day? He told them as much and they promised to show up the next day.

They did show up that time. BUT (and a very large but indeed), they had picked up someone else's stuff already. The truck was over half full. So then they squeeze my stuff on, but my couch, TV, books, and book shelves wouldn't fit. For the record, my dad had told them how much stuff I had and the dimensions. And if the truck wasn't mostly full, it would've fit.

Now, if it were me, I would've had them unload the truck and said we'd go with another company. But my dad is not me. He figured it was already loaded, so may as well send it down and he'd yell at the company and they'd send the rest for free.

Now, this sounds like a scam to me. They knew my stuff wouldn't fit. And if they'd picked mine up first, someone else would've been screwed instead. And they load it up and go, oh no it doesn't fit! Like you're gonna unload it after that. Bullshit.

I guess my dad talked to them today and threatened litigation (it takes a lot to piss my dad off enough for him to do that) and they were like, "go ahead and sue." So he's calling the supervisor before anything else. But we may end up in small claims court.

But it's not just that. Now I have to pay another month of storage. And if it was just furniture, I'd say sell it. But it's my books. And my picture albums. And yearbooks. I just can't lose those.

So the moral of the story is? Never hire Starving Students! Spread the word.  I'm starting a boycott. Never hire Starving Students!

Because they're total asshats.

This post participates in:
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UPDATE: Starving Students agreed to move the rest of my stuff for free if we pay the weight (which we would have paid anyway). Hooray!!

Where we hang our raw photos in shame

So Raw Photos. Yeah. So The Suniverse and I apologize for making this month's theme, well, a little narrow. Too narrow. Okay, a lot too narrow.

We got two entries. BUT, I want to show them to you to see how they would've been in the running:


First day back!

Good job, Lizzy and TJ! Really!

So no winner this time, because no one really wants to compete with only two entries right? Right.

So we've changed it up to make it easier next time. First thing? We're announcing the next theme now! To give you some time to get out there and shoot some photos.

Next month's theme: Autumn Where You Live.

This one is totally up for interpretation. Just make it personal to you. We'll open the contest October 1st.

Here's a review of the basic 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.

Have fun shooting and we'll see you in October!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Photo of the Day: Rainy Day

rainy day

It's been rainy lately. And I lurrrrve it. I have no delusions about the grey days here in Portland though. Ask me again in a few months how I feel, if I'm sick of the rain, I'll say so. But for now? Breathing in the damp air, I lurve it.

Love Song Sunday: New Soul

This Sunday, I bring you the intriguing voice of Yael Naim. She's a Franco-Isreali and I think her accent is completely magical, like there are several languages dancing behind her voice. Her sound is something new altogether.

I love this song. It's about loving yourself. And making some magic in your own little world.

I'm sorry about the advertisement. It's the only video of this song I could find with embedding. Click here to watch sans ad.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sexy Saturdays: Sex before marriage? Yes please!

I am proud to announce a whole new series here on The Blog: Sexy Saturdays. Chock full of my fave-oh-rite subject: The Sex. Sex stories. But not, you know, erotica. Just real sex stories from real people. Hooray!

The first guest poster is a woman I love ferry ferry much. Bitter Betty at Diary of an Angry Fat Chick. This little lady and I have been getting into trouble since 10th grade and when I start telling you some of the stupid stuff we did, you will hang your heads in shame. After you laugh, of course.

I have known this phenomenally funny woman for 15 odd years and I thought I knew everything about her. She's gorgeous and fun and a great dancer and a kickass mom and always smells great (she loves the Bath & Body Works). But when my friend started her blog, I was genuinely surprised to find that she was a fantastic writer as well! How did I not know this about my friend? Go read her blog and follow her on the Twitters and love her as much as I do.

When my husband and I first got engaged, we lived in different states, and before I agreed to move back to California to live with him I made him very aware that I wanted to “try” to abstain from all sexual activity until after we were married. He, being the good, kind, and patient man that he is agreed to my ridiculous demands.

Every now and then my hub would trek out to Vegas to visit. We were pretty good for a while, but folks, it just isn’t that easy to turn a horny 28 year old male down, and good lord was he EVER persuasive! Eventually, I gave in and we screwed like m-effing rabbits! The longer I made him wait, the longer we went with out seeing each other, the steamier our phone convo’s and sexting got the harder it was to try abstaining again. The next time we saw each other it was marathon sex, all weekend, hardly coming up for air. I’m getting all turned on just remembering that! *sigh*

Now I was very determined to stick with this whole “No sex” project, so I wanted us to try again. Now, people, if you are trying like hell to give something up, you don’t go putting yourself in the line of fire, I mean an alcoholic wouldn’t go and work in a liquor store would they? So moving in with my horny fiancĂ©? Probably a bad idea. But, stupid, overly optimistic little me? I did it anyway.  What can I say? I was 25?  And, the no sex rule? Didn’t last.  Again, Olympic, marathon nights, days, mornings.  Every room of our tiny, expensive apartment (even the closet), explored with reckless abandon.  Those days, the sex we had was awesome, amazing and plentiful!

But I was still dead set and trying to accomplish this “no sex” goal. Trying to wait became six months prior, when that failed, three months, then one month, then two weeks, then one week. By that time, we had failed miserably, but I’ll be dammed if it wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had at failing to accomplish a goal! By the week of our wedding, I wasn’t even trying to abstain anymore, what was the point? Then the big day came and we had practiced so much, that at our wedding and following honeymoon in Hawaii, we carried a little token of our failure with us, although unknown at the time.

Three days after returning from Hawaii, on an odd whim, I took a pee test that told me I was preggo. Later that week we found out I was almost five weeks pregnant. Guess practice makes perfect?

We still joke to our son that has already been to Hawaii.
sorry about all the booze buddy

but don’t worry folks, he turned out just perfect!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Photo of the Day: Hints of Fall

hints of fall

Fall is coming! It's rainy this week. And the air, well, it's humid as fuck. But it's not super hot. And the leaves! The leaves are starting to change! *happy contented sighs*

fishcunts and cum dumpsters

Disclaimer: I'd hate to start a feud or hurt anyone's feelings (which is why I'm not naming names), but something has been nagging at me lately and I need to say something about it.

This is what my blog is all about, after all, having a space where I can vent my feelings about a particular subject. And today? I am taking full advantage of this forum. Even as I write, though, I feel badly. Like I'm being a spoil sport. Like I just can't take a joke.

But I'm gonna keep on writing, because this is important to me. Because some things just aren't funny. And I know funny.

Imagine there is a website that you love. You love it because it is liberal and talks about The Sex. You read it religiously, because its columnists are some of your fave bloggers and because it makes you laugh. It is total awesome sauce, which, admittedly, is one of your favorite things.

But one day, said website posts a column poking fun of smelly vaginas and calling slutty women "fishcunts" and "cum dumpsters," and if you sleep around, "you’re gonna smell like the dirty girl you are."

And while this was genuinely not meant to hurt, but be funny, you can't help but feel hurt. Like the butt of a joke you're not in on.

So what to do? My plan was just ignore it. It doesn't affect me. It's a site and I don't have to visit. And I still don't, I guess. But that makes me sad, because I do love that site. But this gnawed at me and gnawed at me. I had to tell my side of the story, dammit!

I get the joke. I do. It's funny to make fun of such things. I get the comedian crossing the line to make the joke. I get it. And I'm not faulting the author of the article. I'm faulting the concept that sluts are somehow excluded from acceptable sex dialogue.

Is talking about sex somehow okay only for the monogamous? And the rest of us are, what, "cum dumpsters"?

Vaginas smell. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad. But I'm reminded of the Vagina Monologues here. Why don't we love all vaginas? Why are some vaginas good and some disgusting? Some too gross for proper society? Why is it that we have a class system of vaginas?

These cum dumpsters, women who sleep around, clearly their vaginas are disgusting. Our vaginas are disgusting. What I truly don't get is the connection between these lower class, smelly vaginas (because we've already established that's disgusting) and sluthood.

I'm really trying to understand. Sex is awesome, but only if you do it with one person?

So what does that have to do with vaginal hygiene? I see my gyno. I get tested. I pee after sex (no infections for me, thanks). I wear my cotton panties. I drink plenty of the agua. I don't "scrub" my hooha, because the skin is sensitive down there and my gyno said don't scrub, but rinse gently with plain old water.

And still? Sometimes, because of hormones and body chemistry, my vajayjay smells.  Yup. It does. Better fucking believe it. And I'd bet a good bunch of money that plenty of monogamous women out there practice the same hygiene and still have smelly vaginas sometimes.

I'm going to channel my inner Eve Ensler and declare that we should love our vaginas. We should revere our vaginas. Our vaginas smell. And they're hairy. And they're delicate. And they're amazing and beautiful and unique.

But beyond the fishcunt moniker which just gets under my skin (because I think there is a line between something funny and something derogatory), my issue comes back to the derision of "loose" women. This is a bigger problem, beyond sex websites. Beyond what Summer's Eve tells you (read this article by Lissa Rankin, btw!). This is about sexual revolution.

Somewhere along the way, sex became more acceptable. But not for everyone. Somewhere along the way, it was decided that you, as a woman, can like sex, but ultimately must want it only with one person. If you have sex with multiple partners, you're a slut, a whore, a ho, a cum dumpster. Somewhere along the way, a woman who has lots of sex with different partners became equal to a sex worker, one who gets paid for sex acts, a prostitute.

And even as we take back the word slut, even as we reclaim our sexuality as empowering and important and vital and a source of pride, we're nowhere close to achieving the goal. Because sluts are still funny. That stupid cum dumpster smells like the dirty girl she is.

Because having lots of sex is clearly poor hygiene for your vagina. Or something. And that's funny I guess.

The problem with that is that it's only funny if everyone agrees it's clearly sarcastic and wholly untrue. But people still buy that. They buy that lots of sex is bad. For women anyway.

But I see it as derisive, not funny. Where does the joke end and the harmful archetype begin? When we poke fun at women who are "sluts," it doesn't feel like fun to those of us living a lifestyle that might characterize us as sluts.

I was told, in a sense, to lighten up. That it's all in good fun.

Some jokes are only funny to the comedian and those in a select circle who aren't the butt of the joke. Some jokes are passe or in poor taste because the societal mores have dictated that it's no longer appropriate to joke about.

If I heard a joke today about a lynching, I'd cringe. I could never be forgiven for blogging about racism "all in good fun," so why is this any different? Why are women who aren't monogamous or who have multiple sex partners still below society's esteem? Why?

I can't tell you how much that angers me.

So what would you do?

I'd love to challenge everyone to (first) love your vaginas!

Do you have a vagina? What do you love about it?

If you don't have a vagina, go love a vagina today. It will thank you for it.

Sex writers and people who read about sex, hell, people who have the sex: let's value all vaginas equally.

I totes want this vagina pillow
who wants to buy it for me?
hug a vagina today!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

no new news

I have nothing to say. I have nothing to say.

But I want to write a blog post. I really and truly do.

But what the hell do I talk about?

I'm sick for the thousandth day in a row. Over it, frankly. And feeling all cabin fever-y. But when I leave the house, I get actual fever-y. Which is not fun, despite how insanely fun it may sound.

I have no new news.

My stuff was supposed to be picked up by the movers out of storage today. But the assmunches pushed it until tomorrow. Point to note: never go with Starving Students. So who the hell knows if they'll actually pick it up tomorrow. So who the hell knows if I'll ever see my furniture again (pronounced ah-gayne. like the British say it.). Fuckers.

I had to get the emissions tested on Lola today so that I could register her as an Oregonian vehicle next week when her California registration expires. And THAT was a unique experience. And by that I mean, I'm not in California anymore. But I'll blog about that more next week after I get the registration done and get my Oregon drivers license.

OH! I dyed my hair (I almost wrote "died," which would have been funnier, however untrue.). I'm a brunette again for the first time in a million and three years. Here's a lovely, high quality, camera phone shot:
Please don't mind the pale, sick for days skin or the bags under my eyes
Also: no clue why I make the funny faces. 'Tis a mystery

I just remembered! I do have one bizarre story to tell. It's a bit old, but like all good things, it kept nicely in tupperware and stored in the freezer.

The night of my birthday, I encountered a drunk cyclist! NOW, for those of you who do not live in a bicycle-friendly city like Portland, this may be surprising. And indeed, being a new Portlander myself, it was a first and quite a surprise.

But it makes sense. All the people traveling by bike, it makes sense that some asshole will get trashed and attempt to ride home three sheets to the wind (pee ess, I hate that saying) just as plenty asshole shit for brains drive their cars drunk. Those people should be shot in the leg and left to die in the street. But I digress.

ANYWAY, I was driving home (sober!) fairly early in the a.m. and came upon a bicyclist riding pretty far into the road (cyclists here are very courteous for the most part) and slowly. I couldn't pass him where I was and he was also riding a little swervy (that's a word, I swear). So I just drove slowly behind him until I could safely pass (mind you, I was still nervous to pass him because of the swerviness). I finally did pass him, safely, and thought no more about it.

Then I came to a stop sign. At which point, Drunk Cyclist blows through the stop sign, flips me and the car behind me off, and proceeds to swerve dramatically and purposefully back and forth across both lanes of the road. Seriously. SER-IOUSLY! So what was I to do? I just rode behind him until he finally turned onto another road.

I mean, I really, really just wanted to drive over his drunk assholey ass. But I though that his bike might do some damage to Lola. Also: witnesses are a problem.

But seriously? This cannot be legal. I think the same laws should apply. If you're drunk, you don't get to drive a car, so you shouldn't get to ride a bike.

Also: Drunk Cyclist, you are a douchecanoe. Your little drunk ass does not own the road. I hope you try to pop a wheelie and end up in a ditch with a broken nose.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Photo of the Day: Alley

I have no idea why I love this photo so much. But I do. I took this in the hotel lobby last week in Kansas City. It's one of those trying to hard to be artsy tables with an indentation down the middle just for scuz. But up close? It becomes something else. Something abstract. And intriguing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I have weird dreams when I have a fever. In fact, there are a few dreams that I always have had when I have a fever, ever since I was little. I always know when I have a fever because I have a certain set of dreams.

People get paper thin. And a steamroller rumbles through my childhood home. Every time.

Then there are the more bizarre, hallucinogenic type dreams. When I was a kid, I was sick with bronchitis and had a 104 fever. I dreamed my dad was trying to kill me. THAT wasn't reality (and made my poor father feel awful). That was a fever dream.

Last night, I dreamt I met a man who looked like Cillian Murphy in a parking lot playing a piano. Then when he leaned in to kiss me, his face distorted and he turned into a flesh eating zombie and tried to eat my face. That was a fever dream.

This morning, my fever broke. My cold migrated from my throat to my head. And I decided I was on the mend.

Then I had a meeting this afternoon. It went well, then I decided to wander around a nearby mall. Maybe buy a new book. I rarely venture into malls anymore. I'm not opposed per se, but the good shopping isn't necessarily in a mall and I don't often have a need to go into one.

As I wandered through this mall, it felt surreal. Bizarre. There were stores I didn't even know existed anymore. Which was...weird. But mostly, I felt like I was floating through the mall. Wandering past the endless stores. Trying to keep my sense of direction in the indoor corridors which all look the same. Bizarre. Like a dream sequence in a bad eighties horror flick.

Wasn't sure if the mall experience was truly that odd or if the fuzz in my head had clouded everything into a haze. Or if my fever had returned.

Turns out? I have a fever.

And with that, I give you THE sexiest song ever performed.

Peggy Lee is the inimitable songstress. My dance troupe did a number to this song years ago, but it still comes back to me. Never before have I felt sexier dancing.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Girls

Friends, go check out my guest post over at The Antics of Miss Lizzy today.

When Lizzy asked me to guest post, I was so honored. I love this little lady as if we were in real life friends. She's strong and sweet and kind. And a brilliant poet. She always greets me on the Twitterverse and asks me how my day was. In short, she's awesome.

Go now! Go and read! It will make at least four of you cry. I hope.

this random girl

1. proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern: the random selection of numbers.
2. Statistics . of or characterizing a process of selection in which each item of a set has an equal probability of being chosen.
3. Building Trades .
a. (of building materials) lacking uniformity of dimensions: random shingles.
b. (of ashlar) laid without continuous courses.
c. constructed or applied without regularity: random bond.
4. Chiefly British . bank3 ( def. 7b ) .
5. Building Trades . without uniformity: random-sized slates.
6. at random, without definite aim, purpose, method, or adherence to a prior arrangement; in a haphazard way: Contestants were chosen at random from the studio audience.

This week's word of the week is random. Geez, how the hail am I supposed to use that in a new way? I already have a random thoughts post that I churn out randomly (in keeping with the definition). I already pepper my speech with randoms, even when I don't actually mean it was random per se. I really mean it was unexpected or strange.

But then I remembered, I just watched Creation this weekend. That movie with Paul Bettany (swoon) about Charles Darwin. It's not what I thought it would be about, less about the science and more about Darwin's emotional and philosophical struggles when writing Origin of the Species. It was excellent, anyway, I mean Paul Bettany (swoon). 'Nuf said.

But the film has had me thinking about life lately. How up until 150 or so years ago (that rhymed. hehe), destiny was the name of the game. Darwin changed all the rules. Forget about killing god, or whatever, what it came down to was fate, destiny, a plan, versus the random. And for the last century and a half, it's been two camps: religion vs science. Yes? Still with me?

(Oh dear, I fear this post is turning into something frighteningly esoteric and maybe even a little preachy. Sorry about that. I'll try to make my point quickly. Also: I won't pretend to be a Darwinian expert. Just go read about him yourself.)

But religion is just a code word for the comfort of a plan. I'm not knocking that. It's appealing. We all know I don't believe in a god. But it's not about god, really. Whatever your beliefs, I commend you for sticking to them, but I can bet they contain some element of a plan. It's about not feeling alone in the universe. We as humans have a consistent need to feel safely on a preset path. Whether by god or gods or stars or simply fate or destiny.

(Here is where the believers start condemning my soul to hell. I know. I spent 9 years in a Christian school. And here is where I say: hey, if there is a god, color me corrected. But I prefer to live my way.)

Instead of randomly banging around the universe without any known course other than survival.

What's interesting is that I don't find the latter all that scary. I find destiny scary. I find the idea that everything is laid out before me and I need to read the signs or make the right decisions in order to stay on the "right path." Or whatever. The idea that my choices mean nothing other than deviating from my set destiny disturbs me. Makes me feel imprisoned.

Maybe it's my rebellious spirit, but I've always been drawn to ideas that color outside the lines. To birds outside of cages. To animals outside of zoos.

I like the idea of randomness. I like the idea that my choices mean something. That every step I take makes a change in whatever path I choose. That survival is the one major rule. That maybe survival includes societal mores or normatives, but that's what we work around. I like the connectivity of species and each generation of life affecting the next. I like to think that humans aren't preordained to survive on this rock, but each choice we make changes the next and the next and the next.

I've lived my life in that way, I suppose. On some level, I've bounced around, taking life, as random as it is, as it comes. When I feel the need for change, I decide to change. My personality be damned. I'm organized. Anal retentive. Detail oriented. I should like the set path. No random variables. No haphazard life for me. Right? Bullshit. I'm a complicated being. I'm changeable and moody. I like my clothes organized and my life a series of random events. I chart my own course and I'll deviate at will.

Who I was 10 years ago is not who I am today and who am I today is not who I'll be 10 years from now.

And who's to say that I'm making my own path? That I'm, as Nelson Mandela put it, the master of my fate, the captain of my soul? Who is to say? There's no way to really know. But I like the idea very much.

This post participates in:
header 150x150

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Random Thoughts of a Crazy Lady

When you're sick, it's never wise to make significant life decisions. Especially if those life decisions affect others. And especially if you've come to said decision simply because you're sick and cranky and want to punch someone in the throat to share your pain. Therefore, I have grounded myself from any and all decision making until I feel better. That way no one dies. Except possibly me. Of a sore throat.

When riding in the car to procure sicky supplies with the radio off because the incessant blather of radio DJs makes you want to climb into the radio and chop off some heads with a katana a la Kill Bill and you're waiting to turn right but the oldest lady on the planet is taking a million and twelve years to cross the road, the sound of your turn signal can make you go insane.

Little old lady taking a million and twelve years to cross the road, I respect your right to be a pedestrian. In fact, I encourage it because who the hell can imagine the mayhem you might cause behind the wheel of a major piece of machinery. However, for your own safety and my sanity, don't wait to step off the sidewalk until the light turns yellow. In this case, even a healthy, spry person would have to jog to make it across in time. In your case, you're just holding up traffic, punkin.

Lard bless the young emo Latino at working checkout at Target who asked me my birthdate to buy Nyquil. First of the all, who knew you had to be 18 to buy Nyquil? Second of the most, kid should get a pass straight to whatever he considers heaven for thinking I look under 18 (Don't any of you burst my bubble and say he has to ask anyone who looks under 80 mmmmmk?).

When I get sick, all I want to do is curl up in my bed and watch TV on my laptop. How to the ever, there are NO new television episodes right now which makes me think there is some kind of massive conspiracy against me. When I'm busy, oh sure, churn out the quality drama and snappy wit. But when I'm sick? Nada. I demand televised stimulation, people!

So instead, I've been watching lots of movies and episode after episode of Bones. Damn that show is goooood. Also: I will be marrying Hodgins. You're all invited. What can I say? A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do (pee to the ess, I love that gotta is apparently correct according to spellcheck. what is happening to the world today?).

I can't decide what I should go as for Halloween this year and need your help. Should I go as:

Rachel from Glee
She's the one on the left.
Though going as Kurt is tempting as well

Or should I go as:
Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's

Or Audrey from Funny Face

Aaaaaaand vote:

What should I be for Halloween?

Love Song Sunday: Andrea

Is it possible to die of a sore throat? I'm pretty sure it is. Yes, I'm sick. Blech. And dying probably. In lieu of flowers, send cash.

Anywayyyy, because I'm all misery and fuzz in my heads (not a typo), I didn't work too hard to pick a song this Sunday. Luckily for me, a friend totes did it for me. Huzzah! 

The other day, the lovely Morgan said to me: "Have you ever heard Joe Purdy's song, "Andrea"? Go listen. And love."

And I did. Then I said: "Love. I always wanted a guy to write me a song."

To which she replied: "Marry him. I A) Don't know how old he is or, B) If he's even still alive (you know how these musician types are with life expectancy). But marry him anyway."

And you know what, Internet? She was right. This song is delicious, even more so because he's singing to me. To ME! (For the new kids, my name is Andrea. Often referred to as Andy.)

Sorry it's only audio, but the live video sounded craptastic. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Photo of the Day: Power and Light


Took this last Wednesday evening in the power and light district in Kansas City. It was just getting dusky and the light was absolutely delicious.

I love the geometry of urban centers. The structures and cables and lamp posts. All changeable in different light.

Friday, September 10, 2010

New Raw Photos Contest!

Announcing the 2nd Raw Photos Contest! 

The next theme is........

(drum roll please).........

Back to School!

Admittedly fall is my favorite season and back to school is large part of that. Go out and capture what makes you think of back to school. 

Submissions open September 12 and you have a week to submit.

For those of you new to the contest here are 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 & The Suniverse, our Twitter feeds @andygirl & @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.

And if you have any questions, just ask:

We can't wait to see your back to school goodies!

Andygirl and Suniverse
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