Archive for January, 2009

Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book won the Newbery today. Yay! Tonight is devoted to finally reading it.

Read Gaiman’s Coraline yesterday, which I cannot recommend highly enough. It’s geared towards early teens, but really, it’s an anybody and everybody book. Just creepy and surreal enough, well done, and an awesome girl protagonist. What’s not to love? I wanted to make sure I got to it before the movie came out, and I thoroughly loved it. Iexpect to be sending it off to a few younger readers I know.

Anyway, time to bury my nose in a book.

…do I need to remind you to get this from your local independent bookstore? I didn’t think so. I’ll also remind you, except not, that if you have no local independent bookstore, powells.com is a good choice.

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Our House

Can’t get that song out of my head!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been slowly moving in with my boyfriend and his roommate. Between work and living my life, I haven’t had time to settle in and nest as much as I’d like to. I feel frustrated at not feeling like I have my own space so far — because I haven’t had time to make it — and that makes me feel restless. In an effort to take that negative energy and make something from it, I decided to document some things in the house I like, and share them with you all. Stay on the sunny side…

Thing 1: The silhouettes from our bedroom window.


Part of why I moved back here was to live somewhere where there are actually, you know, trees and stuff. Voila. Redwood forest, everywhere. Lovely.

Thing 2: The new bathroom


I love showers. I mean, I really, really love a good long hot shower. Before I moved in, I was afraid to use the shower in this apartment. The shower head was responsible for a spray that made me feel like I had a bunch of kittens climbing on me — and not in a good way. There was a lot of mildew, and frequently a draft, and white shower curtains that really disoriented me. Also, a bathmat that never dried. My amazing, fabulous boyfriend, along with my amazing, fabulous roommate/friend, cleaned the tub/shower and got rid of the sketchy things. The boy and I went to Bed Bath & Beyond (for all my hatred of corporations this one feels ok to me) and found these lovely curtains with a coordinating bathmat. I’m not one for uppity matchy-matchy, but man, seeing these makes me happy every time, with the coordinating colors but the circles and squares playing off each other. AND the boy replaced the old shower head with my low-flow, chlorine-filtering shower head. Now the bathroom is pretty, has shower curtains I can see through a bit so I don’t feel trapped in a white vinyl bubble, a lovely flow of water, happy clean space, and a bathmat that is dry. Add that to the fact that our water heater is heat-as-you-go — which means unlimited hot water — and you have a happy girl. I think I started drooling the first time I showered in the new shower. I was that happy.

(Wow, I didn’t expect to have that much to say about a bathroom! I guess it’s the combination of feeling more comfortable in the space, and making it more comfortable, plus knowing my boy put in the time to fix it because he knew it was important to me.)

Thing 3: Dinosaurs in the kitchen


This apartment has passed down through many boy generations. That means a lot of random boy stuff. Like dinosaur cards strung up in the kitchen. They make me really, really happy. Also, the bird in the corner. How long has that been there? God only knows. Honestly, no sarcasm, these make me really happy.

Thing 4: Nerdy boy stuff abounds


This is in the hallway, near our bedroom. Add to that at least three different video game systems, three or four different kinds of Nerf guns, a big Guinness sign, long lists of drunken quotations, and, up until recently, a cardboard cutout of Will Smith from I Am Legend, and you have yourself a genuine boy house. It’s new territory for this girl, and I’m enjoying things like finding random packs of cigars in the pantry, that we have at least two open bottles of Jameson at all times, and the number of nerdy movies in the house. But, lest you get the wrong idea, these are also classy boys. They are charming, and I love them dearly.

So, that’s my house. I’m looking forward to the adventures that will be had…

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Over the holidays, the unthinkable happened. My mom gave me her boxes of embroidery floss.


These boxes are full of at least 100 colors of embroidery floss, each wound on a card with that color’s number written on it in my mother’s beautiful, perfect handwriting. I honestly couldn’t believe it when she gave them to me. These boxes were the possession of my mother’s I most coveted growing up. I know for some it’s a piece of heirloom jewelry or furniture. Nope. I constantly climbed in her closet to grab these boxes and sort through the colors.

Usually I needed them to make friendship bracelets, which my mom wasn’t crazy about. Yards of embroidery floss haphazardly tossed about in a braid that was quickly abandoned. More than a few times she asked me not to use her embroidery floss. I don’t think I listened. How could I resist all the colors, all in one place? Maybe those moments are responsible for my total love of color to this day.

Around age eight, my mom’s mom taught me to cross-stitch. That was also frequently responsible for my raids of my mom’s embroidery floss collection — including for a secret project when I stitched my mom a pansy, her favorite flower, for Mother’s Day. I did the work all in the safety of my grandmother’s motorhome that parked in our garage for months during the winter when they visited. I guess you could say embroidery floss tied the women in my mom’s side of the family together.

So, these boxes and I have a bit of a history. I’d say it’s one-sided — me coveting and using the floss at my own discretion — but I’m tempted to think the colors benefitted from my use as well. Who else appreciates five vibrant shades of red more than an eight-year-old, needing to make the perfect friendship bracelet?

I guess the answer’s me, over a decade later, reinvigorating my love for embroidery floss, and my mom, who has always shared her colors with me. I hope she knows how much these boxes mean to me.


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Read a Fucking Book

and get it from an independent bookstore while you’re at it.

My new favorite website.

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List made last night to remind me why I shouldn’t spend crazy amounts of time doing stupid stuff online. Granted, I don’t have TV, and a therapist I once had recommended a half hour of mindless TV everyday — apparently it gets your mind to unravel — and internets are the closest thing I have. BUT. Now that I’m working longer weeks, I don’t want to be spending my time doing stupid stuff online.


Happy book that will get read! Good old-fashioned books. Hooray.

And my favorite detail:


I basically live in a giant redwood forest. It’s a sin to not walk in it regularly.

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