Monday, April 29, 2013

tally me bananas

You guys have given me much food for thought re: cabinets.  Thank you.

Because I don't think I have nearly enough projects going on, now I will start researching the advisability or lack thereof of starting a little cafe in our town.  I feel all warm and fuzzy about the general concept, but it would rule our lives, which is maybe not great.  Really what I want is a good shaved ice place.

Last night I went to bed and was asleep probably by 10:30, and then this morning I woke up at 5:30!  Without an alarm or anything!  Yuck.  I wanted my full eight hours.  I hope I don't turn into one of those old people who never sleeps.  I don't care if I don't need to sleep that long, I want to sleep that long.

The birch tree across the street is dead and is going to fall through the roof of the house, and then they'll never be able to sell it.  The house, I mean.  They'll be able to sell the tree no problem--just a couple of weeks ago a guy was driving past and came and asked us if he could have the branch that had fallen onto the lawn.  John was like, "Uh, we don't live there, but neither does anyone else, so you're probably fine."

At lunchtime I was coming back from the school--there was a small almost-emergency when it looked like we had lost the punch passes for the carnival on Friday, which would be a total disaster--and at the dairy a mile or so west of my house there was a small river of cows that had escaped and were making a break for it to the field across the street.  I took a picture of them and texted it to the girl in my YW whose family owns the dairy, saying "Oopsie, some of your cows are out," and she texted back "Oh shit."  Then she realized who she was talking to and apologized for the farming words, and I told her NBD, because animals don't listen to anything else.  I don't use many farming words about my animals, because they don't stress me out, but John sure does.  His farming words are mostly about irrigation, though.

We put our bees in on Saturday.  They are nowhere near as chill as last year's batch, but maybe what I thought was chill was actually sickly, and that's why they didn't make any honey.  Maybe these guys will be pounding it, honeywise.  Hope so.  John joked with one of our Goat and Bee Consortium friends that from now on what we're going to do instead of buy bees is just get eighty dollars and set it on fire.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I forgot what a boring song that is

I have four cabinet doors painted now! Moving right along, I am. Right now I have in the green glass knobs I was using before, but I'm wondering if I should be a total joiner and get some oil-rubbed bronze knobs and bin pulls. They're so played, but they look so good with white cabinets!  I already have some in the hall closet, and they look really nice. What do you think? Vote in the comments, green glass or oil-rubbed bronze.  
Green glass:

Oil-rubbed bronze:

Also I was moving the furniture around yesterday and what can I do with these stupid cabinets? 

I switched out the dumb wooden knobs for the pretty white ones, which helps the dining room not look like such a dog's breakfast, but I guess I'm in a natural-wood-hating mood these days.  Should I paint them?  Stain them a darker color to match the buffet?  If paint, what color?  Am I using capiz shell chandeliers and pine cabinets to avoid the very real problem that is the basement which is in a state of complete upheaval?  My children are sleeping on the couches and floor downstairs because they don't have a room.  Is this bad?  How bad?  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

but it's soon, catch the moon, one-handed catch

Yesterday on Twitter Mike Birbiglia (a comedian) was opining that we should stop glorifying and celebrating murderers by giving them endless streams of news coverage.  I concur.  Then on NPR I heard the ridiculous idea that some members of Congress think that Tsarnaev (or Bomber #2, as Mike Birbiglia thinks we should refer to him) should be tried as an enemy combatant in a military tribunal, not in the civil justice system.  Unacceptable!  What a ridiculous, perverse, dangerous assertion!  He is a terrible, horrible person, but he is also an American citizen!  What person does not see the slippery slope of denying American citizens who are accused of particularly heinous crimes their constitutional rights?  Would our esteemed congressmen also be interested in themselves being tried in military courts when they are accused of one or more of the myriad crimes they seem irresistibly drawn to?  Stupid.  Everybody is stupid.

I have two of my cabinet doors painted white now.  Only 27 to go!  You will probably not be surprised to learn that the results are not as nice as if I had just gotten white cabinets in the first place, WHY DID I LISTEN TO YOU, MOM?  But it is acceptable to me.  When you live in an old house you have to relax your standards to a certain extent.  Either that or have more money and time than I do.  I also painted all the trim in my bedroom and so I feel like a hard worker.  My next project, while I'm working on the cabinets, is to make a fake capiz shell light fixture for my bedroom.  I think it will be silly and fun.  I like the fake ones, because the light bleeds through the paper and makes the whole thing glow.  

John and I went to a production of West Side Story the other night.  I love that show so much, not sure why, since it's a total downer.  Poor Maria.  I feel so sad when she says she can kill now because she has hate now.  I sort of feel bad for the Jets all along, especially during "Gee, Officer Krupke," but then the scene with Anita in the drugstore?  BOOM.  Done with them.  Yes, you inherited a lousy world, but you don't get to make it more lousy.  Don't act like you don't know right from wrong.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

and you can just stop with the cutesy flavors while you're at it


Surely two articles mean it's for real, right?  Plus yesterday Kai Ryssdal was throwing shade at a girl who started a cupcakerie in SF that accepts bitcoins--teasing her about the combination of two bubbles, and asking if she's worried about the future.  I don't know if I'm right, but I have a sneaking suspicion that if the guy from Marketplace is voicing concern about your career choice you might should be worried.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"brain matter leaking out your nose" sounds bad, but I'm no doctor

I love Sherman Alexie's writing, as you may remember from a past book report, and a while ago I thought, hey, I should follow him on Twitter.  Mistake.  His tweets are awful.  He is so negative and self-absorbed that it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  Plus he only sees the world through the lens of minority oppression.  I get why he would lean that way, but buddy, just as an example, the Boston Marathon bombing is not actually about you, and it's super tacky to try to wrench the discussion in that direction.  I had to unfollow him.

The Magic Eraser truly is.

Every time we do another season of soccer I want to punch the old me--the me who looked around at all the people who I thought were overscheduled and said "that will never be me"--in the mouth. What did I know?  My kids all have one sport, and two of them have a musical instrument, and just those few things keep us running running running in the daytime.  I was a self-righteous idiot.  Surprise!

Preach, sister.  (there is swearing)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

all I dream of lately

Let me tell you why starting on May 1st our town will no longer have recycling bins.  It's because the sheer volume of garbage, actual, un-recyclable garbage that people keep putting in the container, is so ponderous that we can't afford to clean it up anymore--like, we literally do not have the money to pay someone what it would take to get it cleaned up.  Mattresses, boards full of nails (there is a sign saying no wood), glass (ditto), expired prescriptions, tires, and in the words of one esteemed councilman, "bags and bags of dog sh*t."

You stay classy, townspeople!  Don't you realize that you're adding weapons to Belle's arsenal of self-aggrandizing arrogance?  Shut up, Belle.  I hate you.  You are a parasite.

But back to the recycling.  Most of the people who live here are using the bins correctly.  They're full all the time with legit recyclabes.  But then we've got residents and non-residents who know about the bins who I guess just want to not drive so far to the dump?  So they throw all their shower doors and kitchen cabinets and old sheetrock and recliners in with our milk jugs and cardboard boxes.  I imagine this is only one of many outlets for their psychopathy, and they generally suck as human beings.  And now they've ruined it for the rest of us.  I don't wish them death, but I do wish them harm.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

the end of my australia trip, SAD

My last full day in Australia, sniff.  So sad to leave.  But I'm excited to see my kids, and considering the abundance of prezzies in my suitcase, they're going to want me to do a vacation like this every year, right kids?

We drove to Manly Beach and rode the ferry to Circular Quay.  It was cool to see the harbor, and there are a bunch of cliffs that look like the Cliffs of Insanity.  Elaine went on a tour of the Sydney Opera House and Claire and I and the kids walked over to the Botanical Gardens and let the kids run around a little bit and did Facetime with Grandma and Grandpa BB.  Then we met Elaine, who told us some very interesting stories about the Opera House (e.g. the seats are designed to resonate like a human body, so that whether you're playing an empty or full hall the sound is the same), missed our ferry back to Manly, ate at an overpriced but delicious tourist trap restaurant, then caught the ferry to Manly.  I cooked tomato soup and Dutch oven bread for dinner, and then we began the laborious process of returning some sense of order to our luggage.  I am very, very glad that I brought an extra suitcase.  

This morning we got up and got ready. My suitcases are wicked heavy.  Claire and the kids took us to the airport and we said our goodbyes.  I cried of course, because our wonderful vacation is over, and I still have a bunch of time before I see my family.  It's the worst part of a trip.  It was a glorious time, and I am thoroughly charmed by Australia.  It is fascinating.  I'm sure America is that way too if you aren't jaded by a lifetime of residence therein, so I will have to do a better job of sightseeing in my own country. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

people wouldn't lie about my tight pants

That was a nice spring break.  We were toying with the idea of visiting Zion National Park, because we are trying to do better at being tourists in our own land, but we decided to stay home and do projects instead.  We wanted to get the armoire built, the walls patched in the boys' room, and the cupboards sanded.  In typical fashion, because John and I are not what anyone could accurately call "handy," the only thing we got done was the armoire.  But it turned out nice, I think.

What a beaut.  It took so much longer than we thought it would, but on the bright side, it cost a third of the cheapest estimate I got from a custom cabinet builder.  It's just a Pax armoire with Bergsbo doors from Ikea that we set on a platform and put moulding around on the top and bottom to make it look and feel built in.  Thankfully our great next-door neighbor is very handy and built the base for it and helped me get it all installed, so really all John and I had to do was put on the doors and moulding, which was plenty.  It was tricky, because our olde-tymey plaster walls are not square or plumb or whatever walls are supposed to be, so we had to be cunning and crafty with the moulding.  John had to cut the top front piece about six times before it was right.  But it is finally done, and I think it looks good.  I love the knobs--they are 1 1/2" honey amber glass knobs from D. Lawless Hardware, which is my favorite place for knobs.  

Now to patch the walls.  In dark moments I contemplate just covering them with masking tape and calling it a day.  I hate that stupid room with its pipes and holes and general suckiness.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

they're kidding me with this "finding dory" thing, right?

Which is the worst small appliance, do you think?  Blenders have a bad rap, although they seem to be a bit more reliable than they once were, and I hear bad things about coffeemakers, but I think we can all agree that toasters are the worst.  THE WORST.  Always breaking, inconsistent performance, phantom bagel toasting, crumb trays that are only nominally so . . . I have anger in my heart because of my toaster.  But it's not bad enough that I can bring myself to replace it with another likely as poor-performing.  The devil you know, as they say.

I made pound cake for the first time yesterday, from Tipsy's book.  I assume you've bought it by now, and if not, I can't help you.  But back to the cake--I have eaten a few pound cakes; enough to know that pound cake is rarely worth the calories.  But I was in the mood for pound cake yesterday, and who am I to question the fates?  I looked askance at the teaspoon of nutmeg, because I didn't want eggnog cake, but I made the recipe as written, which if you know me at all means I have tremendous respect for Jennifer.  She is one of very few cooks whom I trust enough to make the recipe their way the first time, and modify later if needed.  And I was right to trust her, because the cake was wonderful.  Moist, dense, with a crackly, almost shortbready crust, and the nutmeg is present at the perfect level to add nuance and warmth to the cake without being immediately identifiable as NUTMEG.  Or, as we call it at our house, buttmeg.  We are immature and gross.

I'm not saying that the "war" that North Korea has declared with us is for reals, but if I were North Korea or similar and I wanted attention, I would absolutely wait until my powerful enemy had overextended itself for a number of years in a series of ill-considered wars and then bring the pain down upon them.  Granted, this pain might not exist because I am a destitute and exceedingly poorly-governed country, but then again this pain might exist after all, because by grinding the faces of the poor and oppressing the hireling in his wages perhaps I have found some room in my budget for off-brand/reconditioned nukes.  But then again, maybe the nukes had to be hocked to pay for my new vanity palace staffed by flying weasels.  That's what's fun about North Korea:  not knowing.

I'm beginning to lose patience with the crowd of people dismissing anti-GMO sentiment as being anti-science.  We can't feed everyone without them, they say.  There's nothing to fear from them, they say.  Yes, I see.  We must have been studying genetically modified crops for so long now that we know everything there is to know about them and their possible effects on our world.  And this nonsense about how we can't feed people without them--there is such incredible waste of food right now that it should sicken all of us.  It's not that we don't have enough food, it's that certain segments of the population are consuming far more than we should.  I realize that not all GMOs are created equal.  Some are malignant and some are benign.  Isn't that a good reason to monitor and control them carefully?  Let's not be so naive as to think that Monsanto and its friends just want to feed the world and it's our pesky regulations holding them back.  If only they didn't have to live every day under the shadow of a potential lawsuit!  Then they could really do some good.

I saw a picture of a botfly larva, and now I'm afraid that there were botflies in our hay last year.  But a botfly larva wouldn't hang out in hay, would it?  It would only be in an animal, right?  Ugh, parasites are so gross.  And now my head itches.