Saturday, April 26, 2008

Pencils and Picks

Oh man oh man oh man! (Mama) Laura's having a story published in a fancy pants literary magazine! Hell yeah. I haven't known Laura very long, but we're all so awesomely happy for her and look forward to more great things. In fact, she's already ruling musically as the matriarch of The Red Mountain Family Band, in which I play washboard (!!!). Our first show is on June 1st at the Cigar Box fundraiser and it's gonna be freaking rad.

Yeah, I'm in a band, which I never thought I would be because I have no musical inclination. But George, who has the utmost confidence in all of his friends, convinced me to come to practice and put a washboard in my hands. It's a lot of fun, and even though I can't write a base line or even understand the phrase chord progression, I feel useful, so yay.

Anyway, I have a lot of cooking to do so stop distracting me. Jerk.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Black Elizabeth.

Devon has come down for the weekend and probably doesn't know what she's gotten herself into. I was asked a couple of weeks ago if the Rowe School would host the thirtieth birthday of a one Mr. Michael Andrew Morgan. Being the jovial gentlemen that I am, I replied--with an immediate and startling dearth of reluctance--"yes, of course."

This time Devon has attempted and in large part failed to come prepared. Previously she slept on a yoga mat on a hardwood floor like some sort, well..yogi, but this time she bought an air mattress but not a pump. Right know she's overexerting her tiny lungs in a noble attempt to conquer this huge gray slug.

Evan: You realize that you might actually die before you blow that thing up, right?
Devon: At least I'll have a comfortable place to die.

In light of this clever, albeit fallacious response, I've decided not to come to her aid.

However, I urge everyone to come to Andrew's aid as he attempts to conquer his thirtieth year of existence. Mr. Morgan has been one my closest friends for over ten years now, and I expect you all to come singing his praises and showering him with valuable trinkets, twinkies, trinkies and hugs.

And for you, my curmudgeonly rube, bon courage in your third decade, even though I'm pretty sure you've been thirty for as long as I've known you!



p.s. As you all expected, I am not making good on any of the promises I made in my last post.


Monday, April 21, 2008


Oh, my adorable little beet sprouts! I assume that's what you are because you're in the area where I planted beets. Please do not turn out to be weeds. I've already killed one of my cantaloupes, and I really need the reassurance of your presence.

I'm out of batting and should order more. Every day I wait for the mail, hoping that my state tax ID will arrive and that I will be able to order wholesale. So I've been putting it off and now I've run out of quilting supplies. In the meantime, though, I have other projects. Some embroidery, the koi quilt I've been working on for months and months, and buttons for Cigar Box. But first I have to pull myself away from Word Twist. Damn you, Facebook!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weird Evan Loves Chess

For those of you who don't know Weird Evan, it will suffice, for the purposes of this post, to tell you that he brings a chess set with him everywhere. I suspect that this might conjure images of some douchey guy you knew in college, the same one who probably reads at bars, hoping someone will ask him about whatever novel or philosophy book he happens to be posing with at the time. I assure you, it's not that kind of thing. Weird Evan really just loves chess. Because of this he'd like to get a group of people together and teach it to them. So if you're interested in learning or brushing up your mad skillz, let it be known, and he'll show you how it's done. Represent.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Newspaper Is Depressing

Of course the paper has always been depressing to a greater or lesser extent, but these are the things that I've read about today:

– Nalgene bottles, among other things, contain a chemical that caused precancerous tumors, urinary tract problems, and early puberty in lab rats.

– Mark Bittman's writes about Coca-Cola and India in his April 16th blog post. Probably I could have found a million other reasons to boycott Coke, but I've never really wanted one. My grandfather was once an employee of the Coca-Cola Company and instilled in me a deep love of the beverage. Now this is staring me in the face. Good-bye, Coke Zero.

– Both Citigroup and AT&T are set to lay off loads of people (9,000 and 4,600 respectively)

– And then there's this article about underage pregnancy in a polygamous sect

Just yesterday Evan and I were saying that we should get our NY Times subscription going again. I may, however, prefer to remain ignorant.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Why Elix's Dad Is the Best Dad Ever

Yay for kitchen gardens! Yay for help building them! Elix's dad came over today to take a look at things and then took us to the store to buy everything we needed for making a raised bed. And then (!!!) he built one for us! We planted tomatoes, squash, and beets with a day lily at each end of the bed. He also tilled another spot for us to put in cantaloupe, but I need to get some more soil before I plant them.

While Elix and I were off getting gardening stuff, Evan taped off the trim in the dining room for painting, which I guess we'll do tomorrow. Yay for Evan, who never complains when I steal his weekends.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Last weekend I bought some plants and seeds for a vegetable garden. Every day I feel more guilty about not having done anything with them. To be fair, I potted the herbs (thyme, basil, oregano, and rosemary), and I was waiting for toilet paper rolls in which to start my seeds. Now that Rodney has kindly bestowed them upon me, I can probably take care of that part this afternoon. My big plans for building a raised bed in the backyard, however, keep being pushed back because I'm intimidated by the project. Not only building the bed, but the whole kitchen garden thing. But watching the poor little tomato, cantaloupe, and summer squash plants die in their plastic containers on my porch is a lot worse than just starting the garden.

So that's my first weekend project. The second is to paint the dining room, which is a really gross color of green. Honestly, the color isn't so bad, but it makes the room sort of dismal (and it really doesn't go with my complexion). If you're handy with a paint roller and really want to give your arms a workout, come over on Saturday and I'll put you to work. I mean, as a favor to you.

I'm finishing up the binding on the latest quilt. I had enough fabric for two of these. As much as I dislike the cutting and pinning part of the process, things really go faster when you do more than one at a time.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Litmus Test.

The Rowe School blog, so far as I can see, has found its niche as more a dayplanner and travelogue (minus the travel--domilogue?) than a creative outlet. This is not an insult in the least: the former are far more interesting and widely less fraudulent than the latter. In classic Rowe-School fashion, I am going to make a list. In classic Rowe-School fashion, the list will lack adhesive, teetering between a checklist for goals or shopping and a list of upcoming events, then tottering into mindless soapbox proselytizing. Ready? Let's begin:

> For the past two days I've awoken to the sound a bowling alley makes when you put it in a blender. Roofers. After a dozen calls to the realty company explaining that "our porch is raining," they responded not by calling back but by sending a ruthless band of merry men, presumably made of windchimes and unoiled hinges, to our house at what is probably the crack of dawn in California. At least they're doing something about it, which is more that I can say about the smell in Elix's room.

> Today we got the security system activated, which ought to protect us from criminals if not the ceaseless vengeance of the restless ghosts who haunt the basement and secret room. I hope angry, unforgiving spirits can't set of a motion detector, because that could get annoying. When you turn on the alarm, you have eighty seconds to walk twenty feet to the door and close it behind you. This may prove a challenge for Elix, who is never and has never actually been ready to leave.

> Crime is afoot at the Rowe School, and I think it's an inside job. The mysterious overnight disappearance of sliced cheese has rocked the lunch-sandwich community. The bread population is stable, so someone is taking it straight up--a shameful act at which at least one of my two suspects would scoff. I know who you are; you know who you are, too, cheeseburglar. I'm going to Matlock a confession out of you if it's the last thing I do.

> I'm afraid I'm not going to make it to the proselytizing. I had a lot more bullet-points to come, but I'm afraid I have some actual work to do. Next time: new publication (work-in-progress), updates on my essay about secret underground baby-trading, as well as breaking news about American military operations. Here's a preview:

U.S. Military Unveils New Secret Weapon: Criss Angel

David H. Patraeus, Commanding General of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, announced at a press conference in Washington this afternoon that the U.S. government, exercising the power of imminent domain, has purchased Criss Angel from A&E Network for the price of $724,000 for use in the overseas conflict.

"As a responsible government," said Patraeus, "it is our duty to make sure we harness every available resource to ensure victory in Iraq. To overlook or ignore the tactical advantage a powerful wizard could give us would be, well, foolish."



Saturday, April 5, 2008


I was in the kitchen all day yesterday, but it was totally worth it. We now have enough pasta e fagioli soup to feed all of Southside. I made no-knead bread with rosemary and olive oil by adding 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary to the dough and drizzling with olive oil during baking (midway through, when you take the lid off). The oil didn't seem to do anything of value, but the rosemary turned out pretty awesomely. Also, strawberries were on sale at Publix, so I made Rodney some shortcake. It occurs to me that pretty much every picture of food so far has involved strawberries. This is merely coincidence. I want to say for the record that I love all berries and find them equally photogenic.

In non-food-related news, we went out to a couple of big thrift stores today. Evan and I scored some sweet vintage suitcases in awesome condition for $4 and $3 respectively. We also picked up some books, dishes, and National Geographics, which Elixabeth is gutting for maps.

I finished my first quilt for Napoleon and am almost done with the second (the orange one above). Just have to finish binding it. Some sweet fabric I got pretty cheaply at Hancock last week should keep me going until I get my tax id and can buy stuff wholesale.

I've been thinking about how to keep track of the fabrics that I use and I think I've decided on scanning. I've only done two fabrics at this point, but I basically just scanned them right where the selvage gives the pattern information. Then I named the file by manufacturer (e.g. Moda) and pattern name. I'll let you know how the system works out/evolves.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

News Stuffs

I dreamt a silly dream in which everyone I've ever known (including myself) was graduating from some big, outerspace university. The ceremonies were extravagant and lengthy. Ralph Nader was supposed to come, but when I asked about him, Michela smirked, "He's over in Deliverance, France, helping out with the frog epidemic." I wondered where "Deliverance" was and why I'd never heard of it. I also wondered whether she might be referring to some kind of biblical catastrophe that I'd likewise not heard of. No time to ask, though, as we were busy hedonistically scarfing down an infinite number of delicious celebratory cupcakes. My sulky ex-boyfriend arrived shortly after, and I began to panic in shame of the cupcake orgy.

For other relevant news subjects, please see the following bullet points:

*I am nearly finished (I think?) with my first ever domestic venture: baby quilt! Even though I'm pretty bored with the fabric at this point, the project itself is still very exciting to me! It seems proof that I am feminine and adult!

*I'm starting to wonder if my reluctance to sleep alone in the dark is at the source of my recent (or recurring) fuzzy sleepyheadedness. For the past few days, I wake up more sleepy than when I went to bed. It feels like gravity is holding onto me in a great, big, loving bear hug. I still haven't slept without the light on in my new room. I don't even mean a night-light or a closet light. I specifically mean the main overhead (maximum brightness) light. For this, I feel both embarrassed and guilty.
Michael mentioned, however, that it might be due to seasonal allergies.
This brings me to the next news bulletin:

*The Brain Age doctor has been sneezing relentlessly for about the same amount of time that I've been feeling fuzzy. I admit I was a little miffed that he didn't express much joy when I finally opened up the DS to see him after a lengthy period of unexplained absence. Michela insists he said he missed me, but he didn't express any of this to me! Nevertheless, I can't help but worry when he's sneezing and complaining of discomfort every time I turn on the game. I tried googling the case, but to no avail. I came up equally empty-handed when I tried to find out why his glasses are always getting dirty. Dr. Kawashima seems to be a mysterious character, indeed. If anyone has any information, please share.

*Another thing that seems worthy of mention is the fact that we've been enjoying a considerable amount of family TV time. After a brief hesitation, I succumbed entirely to the first season of "Veronica Mars." The first season of "Alias" seems to be the natural progression of things, but I have to admit that I'm not sold, so far.

*The offensive stink is nearly gone from my closet. For this, I am so happy!