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Stations of the Kitsch


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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

the name of this happy dance

The happy dance I'm currently doing is called Yay! I booked our trip!

Yes, thanks to the miracle of getting paychecks, we now have an actual flight to Amsterdam and an actual place to sleep once we get there.

I've checked a bunch of guidebooks out of the library and will be taking many, many notes. I've already gotten my favorite map for the trip. I love those laminated maps; I like to imagine that it's possible to carry it without looking like a complete idiot. I had one when I lived in NYC and it kept me from embarrassing myself many, many times.


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Saturday, January 28, 2006

There is a reason why I don't plan convention

One change I'd like to see for future diocesan conventions is a rule saying that no one can use a metaphor to argue a point without clearing it in advance with the Metaphor and Simile Committee, who will examine it for relevance and coherence.

One metaphor per person per day will be allowed, and metaphors must not be mixed. Disallowed categories include houses and their foundations (unless you are Jesus), boats, viruses and bacteria, and armies.

If this resolution does not pass, then we could go to a system where people are assigned a metaphor at random when they approach the microphone, and they can have an extra minute of debate IF they can find a way to apply that metaphor. The topic is stewardship training, and your metaphor is cockfighting. Go. The topic is funding for missions, and your metaphor is 8-track tapes. Go. The topic is secret balloting, and your metaphor is Chuck Norris. Go.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

she's talking about yarn again

Ok, who is surprised that the copier is jamming every three seconds today, as I'm trying to produce the Annual Report and all the various things for Sunday that I left until now because I haven't been thinking about life past tonight's meeting? Grrrr. I allegedly have a copier tech on his way over now. I eked out enough reports for tonight, so it's not entirely critical, but damn this machine seems to know when to act up. Most of the time I love it more than I thought I could love a digital copier, but it knows when I'm stressed and has the breakdown that I should be having.

Today we had another emergency, in the form of a yarn sale (Uncommon Threads in Los Altos, for you local folks), so I had to leave the office with Rita this morning to go check it out because it's 20% off everything and I am not made of stone, people.

I now know what will happen if I'm forced to choose between yarn and food; I'm in that fun end-of-the-month place where I'm pretty much out of money, and what did I do with my last $20? Bought yarn. But! It was half price! And it's exactly what I need for this one project! Which I can't talk about because of course it's a gift because I don't actually knit for myself.

Tomorrow is the diocesan convention. Is there a way to express a totally non-enthusiastic whee in text? Whee. Watching ecclesiastical snausages get made can be a surprisingly tedious thing under the best circumstances, but doing it on half a brain after the week I've had...well, at least I have pretty new yarn to take with me.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

hey, future self

So, I'm in the throes of Annual Meeting-related overwhelm, and I guess I was in about the same place last year because today Outlook spit up something I'd planted last year: Future Self: it's just the Annual Meeting. It will be ok. Heh.

Thing that is making my cube more pleasant: Pandora, online radio based on the Music Genome Project - give me that major key tonality and meandering melodic phrasing, baby. But please stop trying to tell me that I like John Denver, ok?

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

from the mailbag, only not really

One of the fun things about moving is Random Mail. Today I got a Harriet Carter catalog, and it contains this product:

They say that the Hair Cutting Umbrella is an essential tool for the home stylist. I say it's a fine Halloween costume waiting to happen:

Sadly, they don't seem to have any nativities. Just beer helmets.

I sometimes forget that these aren't just an urban myth. I call that my Happy Time.

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

I think I'll go to the club car and get myself a bite

This strategy of having the Amsterdam trip to look forward to is totally working. With all the things that are currently uncertain, knowing that we're going away for such a fun time is helping keep me out of my traditional anxiety spiral. Mostly, anyway.

If there is an actual giant trainwreck this week, blame it on St. Ned's, because we're going for a train theme for this year's bigass parish meeting, which is on Friday. Last year's theme was Catch a Wave, which was decided right before the tsunami hit. Awkward. If the pattern holds and there is a trainwreck, then I nominate Effortless Weightloss as next year's meeting theme.

I spent yesterday at home with books and yarn and another round of Gracie Investigative Reports (in this episode, she takes a closer look at What's Behind Here and Can I Eat It?). So today we're going out for a post-church movie date and grilled cheese with pickles. Life is not as difficult as I imagine it to be a lot of the time.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

as funny as can be be be

We've been cheering ourselves up with a plan to do a bit of traveling in March. Due to our long-held love of wooden shoes and funny hats, we're going to go to Holland.

The timing is directly related to some concerts Dennis wants to cover, but Amsterdam was our first choice for a honeymoon. It just wasn't an option at the time. So we're going to take our irresponsible, child-free selves to cheap Europe while we still can. Dennis will be an excellent guide, since has been there several times. He knows where the flea markets are, but he's kind of useless on the topic of yarn shops. I guess that's what google is for.

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Monday, January 16, 2006

Commence to Bloggin'

Blogger mysteriously wouldn't let me into my account for the past few days, which was maybe an ok thing since I'm kind of losing it.

Last night was the going-away extravaganza for TheRev, which means he's actually gone. I didn't really want to go; Rita and Joanna convinced me to stay for the service (and Holly gave me awesome tissues with duckies on them, which I used liberally), which was about as wrenching as I suspected it would be. The best part was TheRev wasn't supposed to preach, but he couldn't resist jumping in, and when he started, SassyPriest's wireless microphone was still on but she didn't realize it, so the small comment she made under her breath about this not being part of the plan was amplified. Heh.

I put together a slideshow (Twelve Years in Five Minutes), which seemed to go over well; everyone laughed when they were supposed to and went awwww when they were supposed to.

The office is closed today; conveniently it's an actual holiday, although I suspect we would have come up with something else if we had to. I slept until noon, and woke up to find that Dennis was making me comfort food for dinner (baked roma tomatoes!) and had arranged everything for me to have whatever kind of day I need to have. I would just like to note for the 15,294th time this year that my husband rocks mightily.

I'm kind of a morose little muffin today.

I captured this a few days ago, when Dennis was the victim of the dreaded Venus Bellytrap. Why yes, come pet my soft soft belly fur...if you dare.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

cat-centric post #7,923

I will now post photos of my cat.

The only thing a Gracie likes better than a lap is a basket of fresh laundry, right out of the dryer.

Write your own caption.

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

if there were never another quasi-amusing blog post about visting the vet, would the internet be worse off?

I took MC Grace E. Grace back to the cat rescue today to get her microchip and another booster shot. It was fun to take her back and let them know how well she's doing. She has gained a whole pound since we got her. We'll take her to our vet in Sunnyvale from here on out, but the adoption wasn't final until we had her chipped, so I got her shot done, too, and they gave her a manicure. I wanted another demonstration of how to clip her funny feet, since I've been intimidated by the double-claws. Some of her claws are set right next to each other so they have to be cut together, and now I know the best way to do that.

Gracie sang a very sad song to me when we got into the car, about the most abused kitty in the world who was ripped from the bliss of the front window and shoved into a box and taken out of the house and put in a car and then the jerk who did that kept poking her fingers through the cage like that was going to help, so she needed to be swatted. The last line is, "...and everything is horrible and will never be good again." It was a tragic, tragic story.

I'm sort-of sick, in that I have a headache and a sore throat, but I haven't progressed past that. Dennis is sort-of better. This is a house of vagueness.

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

ok, maybe it's not ALL suck

Just heard from the direction of SassyPriest's office:


The squirrel has been chased out now, so the world is safe once more. That little black squirrel has a fun story to tell his squirrel buddies out in the garden.

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So far, I am not impressed with 2006.

I would go so far as to make accusations regarding its activities with monkey butts, even. There is sucking.

As always, it's stupid petty shit that is making me feel especially worn down and hopeless. Generally, I'm able to maintain well enough, to keep everything going and be perky and reassuring, and then someone says one stupid thing to me and it all comes crashing down. I break rather than bend, and these are bendy times I live in.

I think what's hardest is that no one at St. Ned's is really ok now...usually when there's a tragedy or upset of some kind, it is concentrated most heavily a few people, and if you are one of those people, you can figure that there are other people who are doing a little better than you are and can be the voice of reason or something. They're fighting their own, different battles and can give you some perspective on yours. Instead, it's like every person who walks through the door is wounded in some way by the very same thing that is wounding me, so there's no chance to get and maintain a sense of peace. I'm not explaining this well. But it's getting harder and harder to throw myself back into it every day.

Dennis got home from New York on Tuesday with a horrible case of the flu, so he had an especially lousy birthday yesterday, unfortunately. I'm officially shifting his birthday to next week since he spent the day sleeping under the watchful eyes and furry butt of Gracie.

I'm also probably getting sick myself, but I'm not thinking about that right now.

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Sunday, January 01, 2006


So, if the lame-ass thing that how you spend New Year's Eve influences the rest of the year is true, I'm in for another year of knitting, watching MST3K, and eating Kettle Korn, and you know what? I'm fine with that.

Dennis is off on another writing adventure, so I hung out with Ryan and Jon and Sarah the Hussy and special guest star Leigh last night, and commented on the really weird pecs on Miles O'Keefe in Cave Dwellers. We also watched the strange ripples in Ryan's belly since the baby in there really wanted to see the funny pecs, too and wouldn't stop moving around. We made a lot of Alien jokes which were unoriginal but amused us anyway. He's supposed to get out in another eight weeks or so, at which point he will figure out that his aunts (genetic and otherwise) are kind of goofy.

I threw a baby shower for Ryan and Jon on Friday night, and I think it was one of my better parties. I invited a lot of people, so I borrowed the hall at St. Ned's, and spent most of Friday decorating it, with help from Ryan's parents. I was going for a Dr. Seuss theme, so I used lots of bright colors and swirly things and furry fabric and goofy centrepieces made out of cheap Cat in the Hat hats with glittery branches in them. Leigh's cake didn't work because it was so humid the poured sugar infrastructure wouldn't hold together. It was supposed to be a big strand of DNA, but we ended up just eating the very tasty cake in a concept-free way.

The shower was co-ed, so we didn't do any games or have a long enforced present-opening exhibition. They opened presents as people arrived and then we put them on a table so people could swing by and be amused by the Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner onesie and the other cute widdle things. We had a craft, of course, which involved fabric markers and a pile of white onesies, and the baby is going to be very stylish in his clever little shirts. Sarah did a great Katamari one that says Roll and Grow Bigger.

The only other activity was making a bead strand; it's something we do at St. Ned's showers. There's a bowl of beads that gets passed around and everyone takes one and strings it on a strand while saying a wish or prayer or whatever for the new family. Then it gets turned into a necklace that the mom can take into the delivery room to be reminded of all the good wishes. I need to finish knotting it.

I made a monster hoodie for the baby, which turned out really cute, although it will be way cuter when it contains an actual baby.

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robot slave

I am weak. I wanted a robot to do my bidding. I mean, it's the 21st century - shouldn't I have a robot? Yes, yes I should. Our vacuum cleaner gave up on life a while back, so we needed a new one, and the red Roomba was on sale and...ok, I just wanted a robot.

So I purchased and brought home Tom Servo, our new round robotic servant. I was concerned about how Gracie would feel about a loud plastic tribble running all over the place, and was prepared to reject it if they weren't compatible.

I would have to call it a successful encounter; she didn't let it out of her sight, but she was mostly just curious and there was no hissing or puffy tail action or hiding in the closet. I have to remember to pick up her food, though; Servo pushed her dishes under the table and she didn't like that. We don't like things messing with our food.

It ran out its battery doing the kitchen and living room, but I'm not surprised given that the blue Extreme Dirt light was on for most of that time, and I dumped an incredible amount of Gracie (and probably some Clyde) out of its belly. It seemed especially concerned about our front entryway, and it really looked like it was humping the front door for a while there.

It doesn't watch movies with me or dress up in costumes and sing, but it's a start.

Hopefully it won't participate in the inevitable Robot Uprising, when the Roombas and the Tivos will team up to rain down doom and destruction and lint and Law & Order reruns on an unsuspecting world.

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February 2005
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