Friday, April 29, 2005

Gratitude Tastes Like Ganache

The Dowager Empress Odie-Bird asked what I was grateful for today. Yet another example of balance (THWACK!!! Thank you, Enlightened Master.) in that after the week from hell crawling through broken lightbulbs on a salt flat, one must not lose track of the few good moments. The coffee breaks in Hell, as it were. Go to the bottom of the page for that joke, if you don't know it. Yes, down there below the line of asterisks. Meet me back up here when you're done.

So, with that in mind, I am:

Grateful that it is Friday, number one.

Grateful that I have many varied interests and will never know the hell that is truly nothing to do.

Grateful that I have fans in a mail art group who will send me stuff!

Joined Postcard X 'cause I like to make stuff. I don't necessarily want to keep everything I make, tho', and I like to swap stuff that is complete in itself (too bad for Addicted to Puffies). I found Nervousness to be standoffish and too rule bound. (Example--to participate in a swap, you have to complete a swap. But to complete a swap, you have to participate in a . . . Not a bad idea, but--see above. Very Vonnegut. Pfffft.)

I did a swap with one artist--I sent her three abstracts, she sent three whimsical ATC's--and a Starbucks card with enough buckage for a beverage and a snack. On the Starbucks card, she appended a post-it that read:

(I know a cat named . . .)



as a thank you

for sharing your

blog . . .

Very e.e. cummings, the way she laid it out on the bitty yellow square.

God bless you, Ms. Rosewater.

Man dies, goes to the Very Bad Place and is met by the Evil One Hissownself. Evil One tells Man that he can choose how he spends Zorostran eternity--but one he's chosen, he can't change his mind. The first choice is a room filled with men standing waist high in boiling blood. Man declines that particular fate.

Next room, men standing up to their shoulders in boiling urine. Nope, not there either.

Last room, men standing in feces to thier knees, drinking coffee. Man asks if he can have a cup, Evil One agrees. This is the best coffee man has ever had. This is coffee the way coffee was intended to be; coffee of the gods themselves. Wow.

Man chooses this room. Evil One assents, locks the door on his way out. Man feeling pretty smug--all things considered, this ain't too shabby.

Stubby tubby devil walks in, tosses down his cigar butt, announces that "Coffee break's over, boys! Go back to standing on your heads!"

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

It's Only a Little Addiction

I wish I could say that today tasted like mango margaritas, brought by a handsome and flirtatious cabana boy while I lounged in the shade between two palm trees, dandled in a Oxhacan hammock; a fine spiderweb where you use your body as the spreader bars. Under a tropical sum, swaying in the balmy salty breeze, charting intricate lace patterns—no, dictating them into a hand-held recorder to play back in Dragon later so I wouldn’t need to proof a secretary’s work.

Unfortunately, today pretty much tastes like cat food smells. Dry cat food, at least. Greasy and crisp, with wheaty overtones, and a vague spoiling milk smell.

I have a bottle of bubbly from America’s oldest winery (founded in the 16th century, when that part of the USA belonged to Mexico) chilling in the fridge for the day when this trial is over, and I will order a case on the day that the verdict is appealed. (Because I know that it will be, and we’ll ramp up at least once more after that. Sigh. Put the lawyers out of business--get it in writing and make sure you understand what you’re signing.) This could be very good business for that winery, but it’s wreaking havoc on my general “life is about balance” motto.

I’m back to yoga in the afternoons. The whole routine fell apart when we went to Mexico last Thanksgiving and I didn’t want to carry the bulk, weight, and space that my mat takes up. (Never again—when we go to Italy that mat is coming with. I can get by on fewer clothes.) So of course when we got back to Arizona it was cold and dark and icky and waaaaaaaah. (Excuses, excuses, mara mara mara.) The morning routine has been rather slipshod until lately, now that it’s warm and the mornings are bright. I look forward to July when it’s in the eighties around 6:00 a.m., and thus warm enough to go out on the porch first thing. I plan to pick up a space heater this winter when such things are again available, and use that to stretch the porch days out for a while. There’s those awkward periods of spring and fall (Na’too’ot, in the native tongue [embedded joke—tourist is talking to Yaqui Indian, says “The Navajo call winter ‘the Season When Thunder Sleeps.’ What do your people call winter?” Yaqui shrugs. “Na’too’ot.” The tourist raises one eyebrow, and asks, “And summer?” Yaqui answers, “Hot.”]—you were warned at the entrance that this is stream of consciousness!)

Anyway—awkward periods of spring and fall where it’s too cold to effectively stretch outside, but you don’t want to warm the house up any more. (Winter will find me and my space heater in the foyer to the backyard, pumping out the joules.) I’m hoping that having a heater to plug in outside will allow me to continue my hatha routine and keep moving and motivated through the winter. Yes, even when it’s dark and icky and cold and waaaaah.

Thinking about ATC’s, my little addiction. (Knitting is the big one—just finished seaming the black and blue cardi, am swatching the moss stitch bands, and contemplating zippers. I think a tight moss stitch band with a plain black or matching blue zip, as this is a classic sweater—nothing flashy except the poured-on fit. Ah, the wonders of ribbing.)

Anyway, ATC’s. A kind soul responded re: shaker cards, suggesting that I sew them together. An interesting idea. I may have to try that and see what happens. This morning, I started thinking about laying them out as a sheet of ten since I use 8.5” x 11” cardstock anyway.

Essentially, I would alter the cardstock on the fronts, then lay out the 10 card cut lines on the back. Cut the windows on one sheet, lay the frames. Lay the backgrounds on the other sheet, fill the frames, lay the glue and dry under pressure. Less likely to slippy slide out of alignment as the little individual cards. Let everything dry, then cut them out and slap labels on. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

And that led to thoughts of quotation cards. I like them—but I hate my handwriting. It’s on the to-do list (I think—that may say “hamburger” after all. {Holds mental list upside down in an attempt to improve legibility.}) So wouldn’t it be fun to alter some cardstock, then use the computer to print out quotes in the appropriate size—then alter the paper to make it fun, in a different way than the cardstock. (F’r instance, paste cardstock and watercolored paper. So the stock makes a frame around the quote, which is a keeny bit on its own.)

Ah well, that’s what weekends are for, right?

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Gremlin of Doubt

Today tastes like salt, chili powder, and aspartame. At least it's food this time.

I've been in a tailspin lately (no kidding, Spike? REALLY??) and it's impacting the creative process. As I mentioned before, I'm very very new to flat art, and I feel like when I go into the paper studio where I also park my car without turning on the light in the kitchen. I'm flailing wildly for the pull string that I know is here somewhere, and at this point in the highly personal movie that is my life, I hear the Carmina Burana (yes, the O Fortuna section with all the sopranos) strike up in classic horror-flick fashion and during periods like this I can almost feel the hand of the Nameless Shambling Horror reach out to put the string in my hand so I can hit the lights and gaze into its slavering maw. (You thought its Maw was bad, did you see its Paw? [rim shot])

So anyway.

Have been wrestling with shaker ATC's. I got two to work well, and then all the rest have been exploding in little beady glitterbombs as soon as I touch them. The acetate is really really slick so the glue doesn't want to adhere. The poor stuff can;t get a foothold. I wound up pulling the batch of 12 apart (and pulling them apart is perfectly apt--it was like shelling boiled shrimp.) and trying again, cutting down the acetate to the bare minimum to fill the window, using lots of Elmer's to hold the foam spacer bits, and using gluesticks on the acetate. That seems to help a bunch. Now I just need the Patience Fairy to stop by (NOW! NOW NOW NOW!!) so I can do one step on one card at a time without going visibly greyer.

Top it off with the topic of the week on the ATC lists being "I got cards I don't like." When you engage in trades with random folks, you get . . . random stuff. Sometimes it will be to your tastes, sometimes it will be well-crafted, and sometimes it will be a smiley face sticker on a torn bit of manila cardstock. If you are unwilling to take the chance that one of your eight hour masterpieces will be traded for a clipping from a magazine--then don't do it! Save your bestest for trades where you can see what you're going to get.

I see a lot of the vintage stuff, and I see the things with wings, and most all of it looks alike to me. People frequent the same stores (both B&M and online) and buy the same products, and while they use them in slightly different ways, the point of a rubber stamp is that each impression by the same stamp looks . . . the same. Perfect when it's an edition, fine for a series where the backgrounds and hand-coloring ring some small changes, not so good when three dozen artists' work starts to become interchangeable.

Those of you who've been here a while know that my ATC's are like my writing (is like my knitting--see a trend here?) and do not look like anyone else's. (This may not necessarily be a Good Thing.) So threads like this are apt to get under my skin, and whistle up the Gremlin of Doubt in a hurry. (It's like the sound of a can opener to a cat--means there might be some good eats here; so hurry over and see.)

Bleah. If I were happier with my sketching abilities, I'd know just what to do. It's bad when the cure for the blues makes you even bluer. So instead, I strted pushing shakers even further. I came up with one where there's an acetate window in the front and in the back so you can see through the card, and I filled part of the void with beads. Maybe I'll do a series of them--or maybe I'll just keep this one in the notebook, and take it out and gloat over it in the middle of the night.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Kinhin, or A Fiber Runs Through It

Today tastes of rosewater, of vanilla extract, of tobacco. I am sucking on a hookah, and want more than anything to spit the foul thing out. But it's attached to the ventilator.

So I knit. I have finished the knitting of the sweater, a ribbed cardigan (raglan, v-neck, black and skipper blue. The body is black and the sleeves are skipper blue with a narrow stripe of black around the left bicep. The neckband will be skipper blue in seed stitch, for those of you keeping track.) It's been my travelling companion for weeks now, from the sofa in my living room to Mischief's housewarming party, to the couch in the lobby at work where everyone knows me by sight. Some stop to chat about who they knew that knit (mothers, aunts, grandmothers, cousins, younger selves), others tell me that they used to, but can't find time anymore (cough) bullshit--we all have the same 24 hour spinning span; time is where you make it (cough) and one has taken crochet hook back in hand, and shows me her projects as she completes them.

One passer-by tells me that one day, ONE DAY she is going to be right there as I finish, and see the final result. I plan to wear this wool sweater to work in the fall and winter (and I'm learning that when you drive a convertible, the cool season spreads out like a fat woman's thighs when she sits) and I plan to make sure to mention that THIS was the project I was knitting on this spring.

So work sucks, and I can do nothing right. But I can rip back the seam on the side and re-work it till it comes out right.

After work I went to FourBuck$ and had a cup of Chantico. It's drinkable ganache--Heathcliff in food form. Dark and wild and brooding and bad for you. I finished seaming the sleeve I had been working on this morning when the clock dragged me away to slog through the workday.

Shrug. No brilliant insights this time, folks, just a sleeve and two side seams, and a cup of hot chocolate.

Monday, April 18, 2005

My Life With Boss and Cabeza de Queso

Today tastes like the aforementioned chocolate cake with raw beef liver frosting (and for those of you who are wondering; that’s a buttercream frosting, with raw beef liver ground fine and blended into the mix) except that now it has been garnished with raw onion, and served with a glass of warm gin.

Rotten pistachios, anyone?

I have reached the conclusion that a particular ex-boss of mine is a monster in the Latin root sense of the word* – every time I see him, things are about to go terribly wrong. It’s ironic—we work in the same neighborhood, and frequent the same Starbucks at about the same hour of the day. Well, he “frequents” it, I “very seldom” it any more. Today was the first time in . . . uhmmmm . . . well, since before Thanksgiving that I’d gone in for a cuppa.

And there he was in the scales, feathers, and fangs. (He only breathes fire on his days off.) We civilly ignored each other—we spoke once since the relationship was dissolved, and that was enough closure for me, thanks. But I knew that today would be one of those days that cracks rocks open to get to the bones inside in order to have something to REALLY gnaw on.

And I was right. About ten minutes after I sat down at work, I was ready to clean my desk extra-well, take an early lunch . . . and then take my chances with the want ads come Sunday.

My boss is deeply involved in an extensive (and expen$ive) suit that goes to trial the first week of May. (He’s a lawyer—go figure.) So of course that means El Queso Grande is also involved in the matter. (Firm is “Queso, Boss & Associates,” more or less.) Well, Cabeza de Queso has his own particular little ways of dealing with complex litigation whereby he takes an organized file and lays it out in one layer of papers scattered all over the office. That would be why there’s a ping-pong table in the employee’s break room.

C de Q conscripts every employee whose job it is to deal with the filing and puts them to this task, which means that not only the file you are dealing with on a urgent basis has been torn apart and flung to the four winds, but all the other filing is not being done and is piling up in drifts in the file room. Alphabetically stacked and separated drifts, to be sure, but drifts just the same. How many last names begin with s, m, or r? More than you’d think.

And C de Q is totally helpless without someone to be there holding his widdle hand and providing energy. Guess who was elected?

I've been listening to the Dahli Lama's Art of Happiness at Work and that has helped crystallize some of my vague feelings about what I do and why I do it. I prefer work that leaves me space to think my own thoughts -- maybe I don't make hella money at it, and it may not be a job whose title is spoken in hushed tones of reverence, but really, if those were the most important aspects of my work, I would have made other choices. Or, in the alternative, I would make different choices starting right now--to drop the art balls and go back to school to get the training for a job to make scads of money or become respectable or both.

So I guess what's important to take along at times like this (because pain IS inescapable and part of the human condition) is that there are choices. There are ALWAYS choices. You just have to decide your priorities.

* “Monster” from monstera, to point out. Monsters are not the noun lurking under your bed, they are swats on the head from the divine, demanding that you wake up and not just smell the coffee, but notice that the kitchen has caught fire and that the house is burning down around you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Guest Artist

Today tastes like cat food. Pretty much every day tastes like cat food, when you’re a cat. Which I am.

I deign to live in the same space as my big pink monkeys, Spike and Gareth. They call me Rodentia. Sometimes I answer to it. If I’m in the mood. Vishnu, my species-sibling (we’re not littermates at all. We don’t even smell alike.) (And I’m not so sure about the “species” part, either. I think she’s a dog in a cat suit, and one day, I’m going to find the zipper. I will show the monkeys the terrible monster that has been living under their big pink slow noses all this time.) lives with us, too. Sometimes she licks my ear hat. Sometimes she’s okay.

I am sitting in front of this big black box without moving pictures, poking at the keys. Just like Spike. (I suppose that makes me a copycat.) (She calls this thing “a chunk of glorified sand.” I don’t know why. I know what sand is, and what it’s used for, and this isn’t it. Then again, my sand doesn’t have little buttons to poke.) She spends a lot of time in here, doing just that. I’m not sure why she finds it so entertaining. But then, she doesn’t see why I can sit and watch the light shift about on the wall for minutes and minutes and minutes. (Must have to do with thumbs. Cats gotta look, birds gotta taste good, Thumbed Ones gotta poke.) But I must admit that the smooth plastic keys feel good on my paws.

Sorry about that. I blinked, and the screensaver came on, and I was watching fish swim by. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, fish. How can a word that hisses at the end mean something so ineffably yummy?

Spike says you can find anything on the 'web--pet supplies, patterns for catnip mice, recipies for Shrimp Toes. I'm looking for plans for world domination a massage table for my monkeys. Any suggestions?

Unblocking the Blocking Block

Today tastes like Coca-Cola cake with raw beef liver frosting. 'Nuff said.

I finally finished off the exchange shawl, and I'm mighty proud of how DAMN FINE it looks, pinned out to a fare thee well. It's been waiting for this moment for weeks now. On some level, I just wasn't quite done with it yet.

But now I am. And I am ready and open to whatever comes my way in return. I have had the experience, and that's the reason I sign up for these. I get to try something different, and then let it go.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Blocking block unblocked. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

No French Hens, Thanks

Today tastes like vanilla, coconut and candied lime peels. A sweet green new day full of promises.

More on the birthday without end—I received a metric boatload of ATC’s from the birthday databases of the lists I subscribe to. The mailman may never forgive me, but his chiropractor will certainly never forget me. (Hey, another card!!!)

Of course, my favorites were the ones that had nothing whatsoever to do with birthdays. I’m just ornery that way. (Please do realize that “ornery” and “ennui” rhyme in these ‘yere parts.) But of course, the Pinata of Pleasure is intimately tied to the Guilt Stick (Whap! Whap! Whap!) and so now I have the need to pay it back by doing cards for birthdays meself.

I try to set myself challenges when doing cards because otherwise I will never get to the corners of stuff. That is, I will packrat things away to be used later, except we know “later” never comes. At least, not until you open Fibber McGee’s closet and all the scraps of paper, dried up glitter glue pots, and miscellaneous photo bits rain down upon your wee head. So I’ll set myself a challenges such as “Use all the bitty bits remaining of this watercolor.” “Go through this magazine, and use up all the full page ads.” “Use this pile of interesting photos somehow.” So the last challenge was to use up interesting photos/full page ads that were too big to fit well onto ATC’s.

I was leafing through a quilting book (I was telling the Dowager Empress Odie-Bird the other day that one should always look through anything interesting [trust your inner mongoose] because inspiration could come from anywhere. I have no interest in learning to paint, but I have many lush backgrounds because I’ve looked through watercolor books, and tried some washes and spatter/flow ideas.) and saw some embellishments regarding woven strips and cut outs. “Hmmm,” says I, “I can do that with paper.” So I made several weavings with paper strips sliced fine.

The Supermodel and the Cow Posted by Hello
As you can see, once I finished, I took a look and they were rather nekkid. The edges were too discrete, and it looked like the placemats you weave in kindergarten out of construction paper—all sharp shapes. So—another challenge—use up the glitter pots. I had found 16 pots of various colored glitter in mucilage media at OfficeMax, and my inner three year old was simply enchanted. Multiple colors, multiple shapes, and in colored glazes, to boot!

Well, when I got them home, I found out why they were on sale. Clearly they had been sitting on the shelf for some time, and were beginning to dry up. So saving them for best would be counterproductive—by the time “later” and “best” came, they’d be little wrinkly balls of glop that couldn’t be used. I decided that the new ongoing challenge would be to use these up, too. So I slapped a thick coat of sparkle on the woven cards, which melted the edges away and gave a sparkly dreamy cast to the whole thing. Now the cow and the supermodel looked like they belonged together. Now I get to watch for all kinds of magazines at the garage sales.

But—birthdays. Birthday ATC’s. I have been thinking about “shaker” ATC’s, where there’s a window cut in the front, and then the message shows through the window. If you seal the hole with an acetate sheet, then mount the front card so it’s raised up a smidge, you can fill the space between the front and back cards with “stuff”—glitter, confetti, seed beads—and the stuff will make noise and swish about when the card is moved—a “shaker” card.

So wouldn’t it be fun to make shaker cards with paint chip backgrounds (easy peasy coordinated stripes) filled with assorted rainbow beads? One could print labels with a general happy thoughts wish, and boom! Shaker ATC’s for birthday doings.

And windows—hole in cards that stuff shows through. How about stars and little pics from yarn catalogues to show through the stars? Bits of garments, and the close up shots of swatches, and the more distant photo clips to show the color ranges? And then another general happy wishes sticker, and some more cards –not quite as labor-intensive as the shakers, but ornamental.

One could go back through cards sent by other artists, and send the A-list shakers for their natal anniversary, and the B-list stars, and feel quite good indeed

Monday, April 04, 2005

On the First Day of Birthday . . .

Today tastes like grapefruit sprinkled with sugar and baking soda—bitter, sweet, and fizzy.

Celebrated the twelve days of birthday this weekend—actual day is today, 4/4. I am as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth. Oh, and I’ve been able to run for president for a couple of years now, so my last truly significant birthday is behind me.

It’s funny how we can’t wait to add another year for so long. “I’m four AND A HALF,” we say. “I am sixteen going on seventeen.” “I’m almost twenty-one.” And then, after a few years, for the rest of our lives we resort to evasions—“thirtysomething.” “Fortymumble.” “Not quite old enough for Social Security.” Or we flat out shave off five or ten years—which I think begs the response “My, but time has been unkind. I would have taken you for fortymumble, not thirtysomething.”

I recognize that I’m guilty of evasions, as evidenced by the opening paragraph. However, I plan to begin ADDING years when evasion no longer works. At least, until someone tells me that I look my age. Yes, I too think that song is about me. (Don’t I, don’t I.)

Anyway—the twelve days of birthday. First Consort Gareth complained that HE didn’t get twelve days of birthday, and I told him that his lack of imagination wasn’t my problem. I rather like the idea. I’ve blogged elsewhere about the twelve days of holiday, and the logic holds. Any celebration is worth stretching out and enjoying rather than trying to cram it all into one whirlwind day.

So first, I took Monday, my actual birthday off. An attorney I used to work for made it a point never to work on his birthday, and I really liked the idea. Hey, that’s what I have personal days and vacation time for. I remember being really bummed when my birthday fell on a school day—bright spring morning, full of promise, just getting warm after winter—AND MY BIRTHDAY—and I had to spend it crammed in a classroom. Ick. I was so jealous of the kids whose birthdays fell during the summer when class was out.

Friday night, we had plans to go out to dinner with a couple of friends. Not the “intimate party” of ten or so, but a grand total of five. Wunnerful, wunnerful. All of them people I either want to get to know better, or can spend oodles of time with and enjoy every minute of it. We went to our favorite little Polish place where the food is a thing of beauty, and the only thing that could derail it is the service, which needs to come up a notch or two to be ghastly. They don’t have enough hands to go round, and the staff they have are charming and pleasant—but forgetful, and don’t cover the gaps in service well. If you sit me down, then plop a drink and menu in front of me, you can walk away for quite some time before I begin getting antsy. But don’t sit me down, take my drink order, and then take a hike. I’ll notice.

Ah, but the angels eat their goulash, and vie to be the next one to visit this plane of existence, just for the experience. So—bring a book, and learn where the iced tea pitcher is kept.

Saturday we went for an art crawl to our favorite hanging spots around the Valley. First Consort Gareth and I like museums and other public sorts of spaces, where you can go and see the art without having another consumer experience BUY THIS BUY THIS BUY THIS BUY THIS flashing in your face. Until you get to the gift shoppe. But then, you can always choose to skip that part of the tour. Shrug. Some kinds of cake are for looking, others are for eating, and I like to keep the two separated so I don’t end up with a big bite of crystal sugar and cardboard.

Over by the Nelson gallery on the ASU campus, they have opened up the Experimental Ceramics gallery—which has been coming for literally years. I had given up on ever getting inside. But while we ran through the Nelson (and there’s a great installation of a couple’s personal collection of challenging works there, including a sculpture in the Inuit tradition with a boy mounted on the back of a loon, red and black paint on both their faces. The lines of flight are so wonderfully captured; they are both so free in the wood. Perhaps I’ll be seeing wings on the Big Bad Muse.) the gentleman in the gift shoppe mentioned that the ceramics gallery had opened; had we been there yet? Why, no, but we were going to fix that in a hurry.

So we moved the car to a garage where we could leave it for a while and not have to scurry to feed the meter. Off to the ceramics gallery, where they had an eclectic collection of sculpture. I understand that dusting and touching presents a problem, but still, I hate it when they put sculpture in glass-front bookcases so you can only see one side. That makes it like flat art, you can’t see the back of the painting. Or rather, you can, there’s just not a different view. It’s like a movie rather than a play; it reduces your opportunity to interact with the thing—even if you have to keep your hands off.

They had many many charming teapots—both functional and not. I guess when your thang is ceramics, a large part becomes teapots. I liked a demitasse set where the pot and cups were halved—there was a straight wall down the middle so it could still hold liquid, but you would by default only get half a cup. Another set I liked was soft and melted, with the pot in the center and cups that fit into the pillowy niches of the pot. It was graceful in form and functional as well—all that shared heat would keep the tea warm longer. Yummy.

We went to lunch, as we were way past the four-hour rule at that point, and then to the Tempe Arts Festival on Mill Avenue. Yes, all sorts of stuff and things and things and stuff and then some more. All with big fat “buy me!” signs out.

I wasn’t really in an acquiring sort of mood. I’d received prezzies Friday from my dear friends; and then Saturday I got a book press from First Consort Gareth. In general, I like stuff you can make stuff with—so a book press was perfect! I’d mentioned I’d been lusting for one for a while to Gareth, so getting one was really snazzy. Hence, the artsy-craftsy fair was wasted on me—all I wanted to do was nose about and shop. Picked up an idea for shaping a backpack, and enjoyed seeing all the wooden turned vessels there.

Then off to Barcelona for dinner—just carpaccio, spinach and goat cheese salad, and dessert for me, thanks. I was still full from lunch! But really good sangria with dinner, so all was well there. And dessert was espresso gelato, in a mug lined with chocolate and hazelnuts . . .

Sunday I went for a massage, and then met brother in law and Most Excellent Grandmother for dim sum. The rest of the day I just wasted . . . well, not really. I’m thisclose (makes the hand gesture) to finishing a series of beaded ATC’s, which is good because they have to be in the swapmeistress’s hands by the fifteenth, which is too too close for comfort! And on top of that I have thank you cards to make and send to my bestest pals who give me goodies. Is there any way to get some extra hours from all the daylight other states save? Just three or four more would help ever so much, and I’ll trade balm from our balmy winters. Any takers?

Monday I washed both my old car, Huitzilipotchli, and Sherman (who I believe is actually Incitatus. Sometimes you just don’t know until you interact with them for a while.) That took most of the day. Even miracle cleansers that wash clean and dry spot free take time to use, and then put away.

The plan is to sell Huitzilipotchli. We don’t need three cars, and an unused car is a car that is rotting. With care and a low-mileage commute, Huitzilipotchli should see another two-three years of solid use. We’re figuring he’d be good for a college student who lives a few miles from campus and works a few miles further out—say, 4-8 miles round trip each day. Or perhaps a SAHM who wags the kids to school, does a handful of errands, and carts the kids home in the general neighborhood. Not a cool car, but inexpensive and reliable for a little while more.