Oh, Ick: MLK, Jr. + I think I’m gonna be sick:

I opened my email inbox this morning to find an email from the Gap, advertising this sale:

Not O.K.

“Sound the trumpets!  We’re going to celebrate one of the most forefront leaders of the civil rights movement by slashing prices on baby graphic T’s!!”  Yes — absolutely — because what better way to celebrate a man who helped organize the nation to change.

Oh sure, — the man who sacrificed his own safety and eventually his life for the preservation of the safety and the lives of millions of others.

Yep — one of the finest speech writers underlined by his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington.  Gap has a dream, too, and it’s 1st quarter earnings so who cares if our sale undermines the integrity of American history and heroes?

Boo.  Today’s gonna be a long one.

"..I've been to the mountain top.." (and rest assured, The Gap isn't there selling denim half off)

Mug Collection: Hearthside Buffetware

Vintage 1970's Mug

Ok, so I don’t think it’s actual Hearthside Buffetware but it’s definitely done after the style of these mugs that I’ve been seeing EVERYWHERE lately.  I like them a lot.  This one’s listed in my shop at $6.95, if you’re local let me know and I can forego the shipping cost if you’d like to pick up!  It’s got a little chippy, but not on the sipping part of the mug.

Home Improvement: Cleaning Up the Attic

Darn it, I know I should have taken some true ‘before’ pictures.  But really, I’m glad I can’t possibly get back to where the attic was before I attacked it with a vacuum and some organization tonight.  Just picture less twinkly lights and more cat fur embedded in the carpet.  Ew.

Music Space

Our apartment is awesome.  The first floor has all the regular living necessities:  kitchen, bathroom, living room, bed room.  But then we get an entire extra floor, the same size as the rest of the apartment, to make art and music in.  Yesss.

Tonight I spent time setting up the music area.  This is about 1/3rd of the total floor space of the attic, the other 2/3rds reserved for my crafting (ay ay ay I can’t get this organized!) and my closet area.  Music was an easy place to start.

keyboards and amps

So now, upstairs, we’ve got a place to make nice sounds.  That seems like a pretty good luxury to me.  If I can get it together again this weekend the next task will be cleaning up the closet/dressing area so that my mornings before work aren’t so hectic.

Then:  the dreaded crafting area.  I think I might actually need a different piece of furniture from what we have to make an actual work area, so this is the biggest challenge because I can never seem to commit to what will be the most functional.

Stay tuned for more improvements, and more pictures!

the rest o' the mess

Merry Unbirthday to Me

One of my favorite places to wander around aimlessly is the Pride’s Corner Flea Market.  JR goes and looks at the records and I move through the aisles like a hawk, with all my senses looking for ‘just that thing’ that I want to take home with me.

On our most recent visit, it was some guitar picks cut from gift cards, but the vendor wasn’t there, even when I circled around twice.  I remembered when I had gotten there I spied an old, beat-up, albeit broken (but still totally awesome) Hell’s Angel belt buckle at my favorite table (when you go there, it’s the one at your back if you’re buying something from the snack bar).

The guy was out, but when he came back I asked him how much it was.  He said “Oh, well — it’s broken, so Happy Birthday!”

Unexpected gifts from people with excellent taste when it’s not even your birthday.  Yesss.

Here’s my new pressy:

Wheels turning as to what I could do with it… big necklace medallion comes to mind, but it would require a little metal work.  It might also be really nice in our herb garden when it gets growing.  Sewn in to a shoulder bag?  Any other ideas?

Night Farming

night farmers

Last night, on the way to band practice, I was thinking about how it’d be nice if we could live somewhere rent free.  Some people can – like live-in nannies, farm ‘apprentices’, homeless shelters.  Hm.  But not a lot of options for people with day jobs other than tilling the soil or cleaning up baby pee.  So then I was thinking if there was a kind of farm that worked at night I could do it, because I get out of work right at sunset.  Immediately I was like “Uh, no, Audrey.  No one farms at night.” …  “…wait, are there people who farm at night?”

We discussed it a little at practice.  I kept on coming up with outlandish solutions like people who harvest those fishies with the lightbulbs on their head, or during birthing season since cows don’t care if they’re giving birth during the day or at night.  Enter:  internet.

Turns out in California, it’s much better for workers to start the grape harvest in the wee hours (4am) of the morning.  The workers are less physically stressed because they are not working in extreme temperatures, they can get more done in the same amount of time, they can also work longer if they need to and the energy spent cooling the grapes to their ideal temperature is no longer spent, amounting to lots of savings for the vineyards.

So there you have it:  a practice in free association results in some kind of inspiration.  I think the best medium would be a story, maybe a children’s book, about night farmers.  I wish I could paint better, because it would also make a great painting.  Well, whatever it is I’ll be sure to share it here when I’m done.  🙂

Oh, so that’s why wine’s so cheap at Trader Joe’s!  Or not.  But I’m noticing more and more cheap wines at all the grocery stores.  Not a bad thing, unless they taste bad, then yuck.

The pictures at USA Today are pretty inspiring.  I’d like to be there when the workers are harvesting.  The article says that some places don’t even use flood lights, they use head lamps.  I think that’s more energy efficient, just as effective, and way more aesthetically pleasing.  I just get this mental picture of dozens of tiny headlamp lights in a field of grape vines.  Like little grape mines in the dark.

CATS: Even though it’s horrifying, it’s actually funny.

This is Bath Salts' logo, actually. But it's like what happened this morning.

I’m sorry, I just can’t not share the magic of my Monday morning with you today.

I’m someone who has lived with cats, by choice or not, for a good 24 years out of my total 28 years of life.  Considering the frequency of my exposure to cats, my exposure to gross cat things (i.e. fleas, tape worm, poo-poo, pee-pee, hair balls, dead animals being dragged home… the list goes on…) is pretty remarkably low.

Besides the errant hair ball or the random turd nuggest flung from the litter box in a fit of post-BM cat joy I’ve only had one major incident.  Until now.  Until this morning.

~~~

The year was 2007 and I was living in Watertown, MA with a rather large group of people in half of a house.  There were two cats there (one mine, one belonged to my roommate) and his cat was a major, ornery pain-in-the-whiskers.  She was this massive thing with a big, fat head and not the kind of big cat that is endearing, no — the kind of big cat that laid in wait to attack feet and other kitties just to pass away the fatty fat days until it’s time to go to cat heaven.  She was miserable – and my first introduction to a cat that I ‘didn’t like’ (although secretly I liked her, because for the two or three pats you could get in before she hissed at you she was still a sweet thing.  Sometimes.  Way down deep in there.  Plus I kinda pitied her…)

Anyways – I had just gotten a job at a furniture company in Framingham and I was super excited for my first day.  Not like any other job I’d had (ahem… it wasn’t in food service) I was just super psyched to not have the threat of ketchup stain and espresso machine burns FOR ONCE in my ding dang life.  So the night before my first day I laid out my outfit and hung it on the bedroom doorknob:  an angora sweater and a pretty, shimmery silk skirt that I had just gotten that holiday season.  Simple and understated, yet true to my need to wear comfy fabulous things whenever possible.

So I put the outfit on in the morning, drive the insufferable 10 miles on Route 9 out to Framingham, and spend the first half of the day kinda sniffing around – something wasn’t right.  Was it me?  Was it my new coworkers?  Was it my pits?  When was the last time I washed this sweater?  Pee-ew!  Something was subtly, horribly wrong.

Fast forward:  lunch time.  With more opportunity to investigate I found my skirt, which had been hanging on the doorknob outside of our bedroom all night, had been brutishly DEFILED by this big monster of a cat.  I didn’t even know lady cats sprayed.  I dunno, maybe she was a boy and I just didn’t know it.  In any case, I’d smelled like sickly ammonia cat pee for the first half of the day and would have to suffer it gladly for the second half.

Horrified, embarrassed, but seemingly undetected by my coworkers (it was a pretty subtle smell, surprisingly) I sat in wait until I could get the hell out of there.  P.S. if you are wondering – no, you can’t get cat piss out of silk:  you just have to throw it away.

~~~

Monday, January 2nd 2012:  A stinky start to the New Year.

Last night, I got super excited about seedlings.  It happens sometimes, and rarely at the right time in the year, but this is the closest I’ve been in a long time.  I whipped out the seed collection while JR was out-n-about (I love doing house-y things when I have the run of the place) and gleefully decided what I could start early, without confusing the hell out of the poor little plant.

We have a rocky patio outside that our landlord said we can use – most things will be growing in pots, anyways, so I decided to start my rosemary in two, small terra cotta pots (should be about two bushes by the time September gets here!)  I also started a really nice tray of habañeros and poblano peppers and cilantro.  Whoa!  Was I excited:  a south-of-the-border medley to ensure delicious, fresh salsas all summer long.

With my kitchen table full of promise for the future, I shut the lights and went to bed.

This morning, when I woke up the bed was so super comfy and the blankets and comforter so warm.  I didn’t want to get up!  So I procrastinated a little, set the alarm a couple times, had a really lazy go of it.  When I finally got up I did the usual routine:  teeth, clothes, splash splash, collect random items that migrated from the purse, breakfast.

So I go in the kitchen to get breakfast and while the rosemary pots are in tact, the tray of delicious, spicy salsa is DESTROYED.  My cats have dug in my plants before, usually in the middle of the summer when they’re on the deck and pretty easy to save.  However!  Seedlings that say they need to be 1/4″ from the surface mean exactly that – once a kitty goes digging around in there there’s little hope of that seed doing well.  In attempt to save what one of my cats (I’m pretty sure it was the gray one) obliterated I kind of tried to push the soil back where it was supposed to be, in hopes that maybe the seeds would go back with it.

OH GOD.

Cupped in my hand, within the layers of upturned soil, was a big, steamy CAT TURD.

OH MY GOD, OHMYGOD.

I was TOUCHING IT with my hand.

Apparently when I had laid out the seedling tray (of mouth-watering salsa ingredients) this big dummy thought that I was being a super-nice Cat Mom and putting together an entirely new litter box for the two of them.

He’s all like “Whoa!  You’re putting MINE on the kitchen table, Mom?  I love you so much!  Thank you!  I will poo in it now to show you how much I love it!”

I don’t normally talk to myself at home but I was carrying on big time as I ran over to the sink and began furiously washing my hands:  about 7 times or more.  As the water poured out of the tap, though, and I thought about it my swearing turned in to uncontrollable laughter.  His little feeble cat brain logic was spot-on, it was totally my fault my hands were covered in dookie right now!

So, my salsa seedlings will have to wait.  No big deal.  New Year’s resolution:  swear less, laugh more.  I think next time I’ll put them on top of the fridge…