Friday, January 28, 2005


I spent most of last night pinning and sewing and ripping out seams. I'm making my first skirt out of what's turning out to be two pairs of pants and, possibly, a necktie. I have no idea what I'm doing, and no straight pins. It might take me forever, but I think I'm going to be happy when it's done--if nothing else, it will be very punk rock.
I was telling Jen-L all about my last few months over coffee yesterday afternoon, and I discovered that as well as sewing, I am taking up life drawing and card making and painting. I cheerfully suck at at least two of these things. It's interesting--noticing how bad a painter I am makes me realize that I'm used to being pretty good at things right away. It occurs to me that maybe I need to do more things that are a stretch, if that is the case. In the meantime, skirt. Skirt. Skirt. I lay awake for an hour or so in the middle of the night thinking through a new idea I had for how it would fasten. It might be ready in time for spring.

Sunday, January 23, 2005


I believe that the New England Patriots have made a deal with the devil. How else could people who play such evil, boring football go to the Superbowl year after year?

"I'm so sick of it," spook complained "it's like--they play, I hate them, and then they win."

Plus, I think at least one of the guys doing the commentary has a shrine to Tom Brady in his bedroom, and might need some help to deal with his special feelings.

If they win the damn Superbowl again this year I may have to gouge my eyes out.

p.s. mr. pixie: "I just had a terrible thought. One day Tom Brady will retire and then he'll become a football commentator like the rest of them." Oh, thanks, now I'll never sleep again.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

what our apartment does when we're not around does not concern us

When I got home this afternoon, I discovered that the organization elves had been at work. There was a new makeshift table set up in one corner of our living room--covered with one of what used to be drapes, it looks very fetching. This meant that our single dining chair, which had been serving as my nightstand, now serves as a place to sit. And possibly dine. At least, when the stability issues have been worked out.
The weight bench had migrated to the quasi-hallway in our bedroom (if you haven't seen it already, don't ask--it won't make any sense even if I try to explain), freeing up some space in the actual hallway, where we had been talking about putting in some shelves.
All of our arranging and rearranging is an attempt to make more rooms in our apartment instead of moving somewhere with more space. More space usually equals more money, and I can't face the thought of giving up our enormous south- and west-facing windows, much less the thought of disassembling our ten thousand pound Ikea storage unit.
The shifting of objects uncovered two enormous bags of giveaway clothes that somehow never made it to the given away stage. Not to be outdone, I took a spin through my current wardrobe, discarding items with a terrifying lack of care. Then I decided that I'd have to take the bags to the donation box down the street.
Now, when I say "down the street," I mean literally--it's maybe two short blocks, across the major street, in front of the No Frills and from there your biggest problem is wrestling with the drop box door, which is like the testiest mailbox in history. It's close enough that someone, say, me, might feel like a bit of a wimp if they weren't able to carry two bags of clothes all the way there. Did I mention they were really big bags? And that the handle of one of them popped as soon as I picked it up to carry it to my front door? Pshaw. I am the same macho asshole who decided to wrestle our eight-and-a-half foot Christmas tree out to the curb by myself. This little errand was nothing. All I needed was a plan. Unfortunately, I thought of one. We don't have a wagon or a bundle buggy, but spook has a skateboard. I dug it out from behind the tv and set one of the bags on it, rolled it experimentally. Yep. Works pretty good. That established, I stuck it under my arm and wrangled the skateboard and maybe forty pounds of clothing down the three flights of stairs in my building.
The skateboard rolled pretty well on the sidewalk, except in the few places where there was a buildup of slush. At those times--there were three of them--I had to heft the bags and kind of kick the board along. Rolling is easier than carrying--except that I couldn't stand up straight while doing it. I started to get a crick in my back, and to notice that the skateboard steers like a cow. Are you picturing me, crouched over my bags, executing a kind of shuffling crabwalk while trying to keep up any momentum I can get going and also nudging the skateboard for direction with the toe of my boot? Good. Now picture me having to stop while this couple and their two dogs--one a pug, one some other, floppier, small breed, both in sweaters--walk up and past me. The dogs want to sniff me. I'm so grateful that they're not laughing at me that I'm willing to forgive the little pink sash on the girl dog's sweater. The pug, bless its wheezy, insectile little face, heads for me with an enthusiasm he's not showing for any of the rest of this "walk" experience. I smile awkwardly and wait for them to pass.
The real problem with this jaunt is that it's not something you can abandon halfway when you decide it isn't working. I got the bags all the way up to the corner, and then I thought about trying to cross the busy street, with the salt and the car-slush, and the curbs. Uh, no. I took a deep breath, said a quick prayer to the gods of concealment, and stashed spook's skateboard under an abandoned Christmas tree by the side of the Catholic church. Then I grabbed my bags and waddled over to the dropoff.
On my way home, skateboard tucked safely under my arm, I passed the dog people again. I tried to appear nonchalant, as though this was something I do every day. Ever notice how the times you're trying hardest to look cool are the times it's the most pointless?
Next time, I will consider simply burning all of my possessions.

Monday, January 17, 2005

mostly we've been living here uninjured

Things that have been fixable in our world in the last little while:

1. spook unscrewed the cover of our deadbolt and tightened the screws within (there are screws inside! who knew?) so that the lock wasn't threatening to fall out of the door anymore.

2. my attempt at gravy, which resulted in a disastrously thick, floury sludge, became if-not-great-then-at-least-edible when I added boiling water and spook added seasoned salt.

3. when his cookies came out weird, I was able to deduce that the problem was the addition of an extra cup of flour, and so we doubled the recipe.

4. Sarah banged out some of the dents in my little heart by listening to me talk about the stuff that's bugging me lately and being, as always, more perceptive and steady than I ever imagine will happen.

5. after much deinstalling and reinstalling and fiddling around, spook got most of the programs on our computer running again, and stuck a little dancing Gir icon in the middle of our desktop.

6. spook's great-aunt Helen once again proved herself to be a splendid-aunt by sending a sweet card congratulating us on our upcoming barbecue of love. (um, that would be in honour of love. we're not barbecuing anyone's feelings, at least not on purpose. "This veggie burger tastes weird...")

7. I got sick of barely being able to open our front door for all the coats, and improvised a closet using only our existing shelves, a broken extension pole intended for roller painting, and a willingness to fail.

Here's to the little things.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

there's not enough coffee in the world to turn me into a reasonable human being

That said, this post is brought to you by caffeine--caffeine, the gift that keeps on giving. Do you know it's got a half-life of something like ten hours? In my new "Go to work at 6:30, yes, a.m." lifestyle, that's important information.

So, a Christian rock band from Texas wants to cover one of Under the Attic's old songs. How cool is that? How did a band from Texas even hear our song, much less get really fond of it? I got email from Adam who got email from a friend-or-colleague because someone in the band had written him (the friend) asking if he knew how to get hold of Adam. (Following this so far?) He (the friend again) had no idea who this guy (the Texas-band-member) was, or how he'd gotten that email address...
So it's all rather bizarre.

I wonder if it's weird that my first thought is about whether or not I would like them--the people, not their music. I could live with people doing a musically uninteresting cover of my song. I just don't like the idea of people who, say, use their stage time to talk about how God disapproves of queers covering my song. (Sorry, Christians, I swear I don't blame all of you for some of you, but the some make me want to scream.) I wonder if they're gonna have the guy sing it. I wonder why a band from Texas wants to cover a song about a bus ride across Canada, although I suppose the only specifically Canadian reference in it is a mention of Alberta, the Texas of the north.

What should I do, guys?