Friday, August 29, 2008

vintage pyrex and the american dream

recently I have found myself LUSTING over vintage pyrex. lusting. I am looking on etsy and ebay and I fully intend to go back to that portobello road place tomorrow to see what I can find. I am LOVING the orange and yellow in my kitchen too. I can't wait to get the table in there, put a table cloth on it and finally get things set in the kitchen--with plenty of yellow, orange and white. :)

also, I think it's causing problems that some of my purchasing options are things like this guy. I am thinking about getting it and putting it as the centerpiece for the table in the kitchen nook.

last night I made a "crumble." I had some peaches from I'm-not-willing-to-admit-when and Matt got some strawberries. I'd planned to make jelly from the peaches, but I don't eat jelly very often and this was more fun. However, I'm a little torn. I can't tell if a) it isn't sweet enough or b) one of the peaches is past its prime in flavor. I will deffo make this again though! I used the recipe from smittenkitchen, which patty told me about, but altered it a little for what I actually had on hand (used oj instead of lemon juice, added some brown sugar and more white sugar instead of the turbinado, used the dried lemon peel instead of lemon zest, etc). Oh yeah, and peaches and strawberries instead of rhubarb! I was also inspired to take some pictures.

and I tried making botanas again--they were GOOD. I wish I'd taken 'em out sooner or waited to add the onions 'cause they got a tad dry. but yum yum yum! can you tell last night was my first night just hanging out at home for a while?

oh AND I called time warner cable and a nice man named cedric was helpful AFTER I'D BEEN ON HOLD FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF. thank goodness for rollover minutes. I missed Obama's acceptance speech, but I'm about 1/3 of the way through watchign the video and I've heard it talked about on npr and stuff.

and I've got to say...every time I hear about him and his campaign I get a little teary. and inspired. I teared up in the car yesterday while hearing what people think Obama can (and can't) do. This morning I was just overwhelmed when I watched him say he accepted the nomination. People? There's a lot of change a brewin'. We are making progress. We are making steps. Come November we will elect the first African American President or the first Female Vice President. We are really coming out and talking about things that have been a huge problem for decades--things we've been content to brush under the rug before. It makes me want to do something. Write a letter, sign a petition, wear a shirt, tell people. I dunno. Maybe Mattie will get a new sticker. the free on. :)

For the record, I actually pretty much loathe politics. I think it's a lot of pomp and circumstance and show and there's about 15% reality supporting it. The issues are real, but most of the time people don't deliver (or are kept from doing so). Like, I refuse to even really pay attention until the time comes that I'm going to have a say. I'm stubborn like that.

(I also feel reallyreallyreally strongly that the most pressing issue is the environment. Yes, there is a war going on. Yes, our economy is down. Yes, peoples' rights are being infringed upon. Yes. There are many many important things. But if we don't address the environment? These other issues won't even be able to exist. I'm not so sure that (m)any of the others will literally kill us all if we don't deal with it right away.)


tonight we are going bowling!!! and tomorrow I will study and watch movies and maybe even paint while matt goes to the UNC game, I was bummed not to see him at first, but now I think I'll really enjoy the night of rest. I took a two hour nap when I got home and felt soooooo much better but I know I'm still behind on sleep! thank goodness for the long weekend! hope you enjoy yours as well!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I forgot to share with y'all a new word I learned. It's anthropogenic. defines it as "of, relating to, or resulting from the influence of human beings on nature." I say "ohhhh, so that's a fancy word to say we effed up the earth. cool."

I kind of have a love affair with a single word that means an entire phrase. like defenestrate.

so, recently I've been thinking (and had not shared with you) about how I feel like my brain has deteriorated. like I'm less smart or less capable of learning or just not as sharp as I used to be. It's like I feel like my brain needs to wake the rest of the way up to work at full ability. like it's fuzzy.

it has worried/disappointed me. until now.

so, I was like "what happened after high school and college that now my mental abilities seem to have slowed?" I mean, I know the older you get the harder it is, but the acumen just wasn't there. Um yeah, that isn't what's happening. I now understand.

Today in class I realized that I was absorbing more of this stuff, that I was "getting it." And then I realized why. I am, presently, a bit sleep deprived, you see. I slept for 5.5 hours tuesday night and then, gosh, 5 hours last night? I am a tiiiiired girl. So, when I was in that classroom this morning? I had to pay realreal close attention or I was going to fall asleep in class. (which, by the way, is something I've never ever done).

So I'm not sure that I was any smarter before, I just got a lot less sleep and had to concentrate on the material to stay awake. This would also explain why I feel like it's all a fuzzy recollection--I'm not remembering anything from college because I was a half-zombie through it. Oh yeah, and stressed, a bit too thin/scary skinny, possibly anemic and slightly malnourished, maybe? Not on purpose, but being an engineer can do that to you. I'll take my generally-well-rested, well fed, with boobs self, thank you. :)

oh yeah and. while doing homework last night the cats helped. hazel kept sitting right next to me on my notes and binder. gobi knew right wher
e to be, he's been doing it for years. later in the evening he decided he would keep my homework "safe"--see? matt was SO amused. he's never seen this happen before. so he took pictures. (and so did I) and do note how gobi kept licking the bottle of newcastle. actually, that's usually hazel's trick.

(and yes, I'm having a beer while I do my homework. I actually had three. and for the first two problems I did it was a beer per problem--that's a baaaaad ratio. fortunately they began going faster and the ratio wasn't so linear. :) )

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

for those of you who don't's how you play two truths and a lie.

you come up with two truths.

for instance, since we did it based on our summers mine were:
1. I visited 14 states this summer.
2. I bought a house.

and then you come up with a (as believable as you can think of) lie.
for instance mine was:
3. I saw the world's largest spoon.

share them all. in whatever order you like. preferably do not tell the two truths and then the lie, though someone has to or you'll know the last one's never the lie.

people guess what your lie is.

ideally, they do not yet know you well enough to be able to tell when/if you're lying or to know that, say, you actually saw the world's largest fork, gift shop, rocking chair, chair, catsup bottle, cast iron statue, etc. you laugh when the one you thought was the lie was true, or when people say all ridiculous things, or the like.

and now you know!

dusting off my brain

I did not take into account that my air pollution class might require me to reach deeeeep into the recesses of my brain and pull out equations from, what, seven or eight years ago? Like, calculating the enthalpy or those statistic and money questions from when I took the FE. I know what net present worth is, I didn't know I'd ever have to calculate it again. I mean, I can do it, but it's kind of like when you, say, used to ride your bike like all the time, and then years later someone wants you to ride--you are certainly capable, but maybe you need to steer with your hands instead of your knees and you'll feel a little shaky at first?

I dunno. It's how I feel, though. It gets harder and harder to find that knowledge in this head o' mine. I'm sure it'll work out though. I also have NO IDEA how I used to go to college and take 19 or more hours and manage to fit in having friends and a being in a sorority and senate and intermurals and um, everything else. Oh yeah, and study for all those hours. Seriously, I feel like any free time I have is spent reading or doing homework, and it is only the second class!!!!

(granted I have a full time job and he did assign about 40 pages to read by today and 30 pages by thursday plus homework, and I'm not accustomed to that, but still. anyway)

So, factoids I've learned that might interest you (and ones I didn't know/didn't occur to me)...

From "global warming" (or, if you are one of those nay-sayers, just pretend I'm talking about the very obvious temperature increase across the world)--the oceans have already risen a foot just from thermal expansion (how water takes up more space when it's hotter).

After the pH of a lake or ocean lowers to ~4.5, fish start dying. To put this in perspective, here are some pH values for common substances...

11.0 Ammonia
8.3 Baking Soda
7.61 Formula 409 Cleaner
7.4 Human Blood
7.0 Pure Water
6.6 Milk
4.71 Sunny Delight
4.5 Tomatoes
4.24 Sprite
4.0 Wine & Beer
2.6 Coke
2.0 Lemon Juice
1.0 Battery Acid

So right between Sprite and Tomatoes fish start to die. That AMAZES me. Not for why you might think--it amazes me because they last so long. :(

The greenhouse effect--the term really gives off the wrong idea. I've actually always been a little confused by what they were getting at, I mean, don't we NEED to trap heat to live? We don't live in an exothermic world. And yep, we do need to trap it. It's about the excess heat, which makes sense (though using that term makes about as much sense to me as north carolina's system of naming roads, but anyway). And? If we didn't have any of the actual "greenhouse effect" and didn't trap any heat? The earth would be cooler by 33C/60F--which means that right now, in my neck of the woods, it would be roughly 18F. Clearly, we would not be living here.

right, so moving on from the nerdiness...

Matt took some SUPER cute pictures of Gobi and Hazel on Saturday afternoon. He's quite the photographer, yes? I like 'em, so I'm sharing. :)

tonight I will be rock climbing and then coming home to read and do homework. and if I'm lucky, watch exactly one episode of heroes!

Monday, August 25, 2008

i started to write a bit of a down-and-out blog

but I'll let that one sit for now (it was about my granddad. it's been just about a year since I last saw him--and saw him for the last time. it still gets to me at times)

instead, I shall sum up what I did this weekend.

friday=volleyball. beer + sand + friends = yay! I still hate that rule about the two-man. matt identified why though--I have no beef with the actual rule. I just hate it that people just watch the ball fall on the ground instead of going after it because they assume someone else is going to get it. yeesh.

saturday=lunch with megan. and her doggie charlie. he is a CUTIE! and he's a doggie that smiles, and I really like that.

came home, napped, had celebratory sushi (and tried a new japanese beer, orion, and was unimpressed) and watched the fountain. that's a friggin weird movie. glad I saw it, but WEIRD. very weird. unusual. interesting. hard to follow. but glad I watched. I dunno. It also made me think of ender's game in parts--the piggies or whatever the longer name was.

sunday=earrrrrrrrrly church. woke up with some pretty icky sinus stuff going on but made it to church and went on a low ropes course with the youth group. It was fun, but by the end of the day I was beat. Some of the challenges were pretty rough, too. One was called the giant's finger. That one was certainly a toughie.

It was also hard to be a "silent leader." We did have to interject at points because the youth were getting out of control, but for the most part we tried to stay quiet. I must say that some of the leaders understood the purpose of this more than others.

Also, these kids had NEVER played two truths and a lie. Not. A. One. Only one adult had played it, too!

have you?

  • indeed!
  • I am not sure.
  • I think not.

after all the youth were collected I came home and crashed for a bit (and skipped out on the summer concert but didn't feel too bad about it since I was stinky, needed to do homework, didn't know the song very well and had already told joe I might not show up). I NEEDED that nap! Oh, and before that I showered because seriously? ICK.

And then Matt made dinner--one of my very favorites--macaroni and cheese with blueberry muffins. :) It made my day. We watched an ep of heroes, I read some of the IPCC report for my class and started reading a book I've had to read for a looooooooooong time. I like it already. Thank you, Katie, for suggesting it oh-so-long ago! I'm only like 5 pages in and already I enjoy it. AND one of my fave authors, Neil Gaiman, wrote a very positive review of it that appears on the back cover--I'm pretty excited!

okay, let's see what I can finish up in the next hour before my TAP officer's meeting. I feel like today hasn't been a very productive one!

Friday, August 22, 2008

"someone gimme my shot or I'll rot here."

~little shop, little shop of horrors

I got that song stuck in my head. I also have a joke to tell you:

where would you find a penniless octopus?


on squid row.

you're welcome. :)

last night I went to a spa thing with the KDs. I felt kind of awkward (though I've been assured that I wasn't) because I had to read the ingredients of the products and was WAY worried that I'd react to one of them. It was kind of like if I were allergic to nuts and then went to a peanut butter tasting party. I guess I didn't think about the spa thing involving lotions and cream, just like spa items (vibrating slippers, the hot neck wrap). Anyway. I also wouldn't let the lady put anything on my face. I did buy some (unscented) hand lotion though. And if it hadn't been $26ish I would've bought the instant manicure as well.

And, crazily enough, when she did a little relaxing visualization thing it totally didn't work for me--because she told us to imagine being at the beach and laying out in the afternoon sun with the ocean breeze! That immediately made me tense up--ha!

Fortunately, I had a good time AND it was good to see the girls!

also, I have decided to stop wearing a bandaid on the mole that was removed, what, almost a month ago? I have been rotating and moving and switching sizes and shapes on bandaids to minimize my reaction to the adhesive, and at night I try to use paper tape and gauze. welp, I've HAD ENOUGH. unless I *need* it, say, for volleyball tonight or something, no mas! also, oddly enough, the bandaids whose adhesive irritates me the least? bandaid brand.

oh, and I submitted my photos today. here are the ones I chose. it was hard. BUT I ended up looking a lot at a) what would catch someone's eye, b) what other people wouldn't take, c) what people wouldn't just "brush off." e.g., that picture of nicole's fam? it is an AWESOME picture, but I am afraid people would look at it and say "nice family photo" and not actually look at the composition. so, here we go.

this one is actually matt's. we think. well, we aren't sure. we're entering it under his name, anyway. we call it "kentucky sunday."

this one I LOVE. it's called "midnight metro."

and this is also from the metro. I had a very difficult time naming it. special thanks to jamie and matt for suggestions and to jackie for the winning name, "escalate into the blue."

ah, matt and his sunglasses. I named this one "on the road again."

and this one is a little dark on purpose. it's called "oh say can you see."

and finally, I LOVE this picture. I want to blow it up really big and put it somewhere in my house! it's called "all in the details."

also, do y'all think my photos are too dark? I emailed the small versions to someone and they brightened 'em up 25% and mailed em back to me saying they were "too dark." personally, I think it washed out a lot of the color, but I also think they must look WAY different on his monitor. anyway, I wanted your input. input?

I am SO GLAD it is the weekend. I can't even tell you. so glad.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

end-of-the-day thievery

so, sarah did it. and then jackie and melissa. and now brooke. and now, yours truly. what can I say, I follow trends if they're good ones!

IF I WERE AN ANIMAL, i'd be a fox. they're good looking and clever and quick. ;)
IF I WERE A MOVIE, i'd be sweet home alabama? joe versus the volcano? I have no idea.
IF I WERE A FOOD, i'd be a pineapple.
IF I WERE A TV CHARACTER, i'd be buffy the vampire slayer.
IF I WERE A PIECE OF CLOTHING, i'd be colorful flip flops or flats.
IF I WERE A DAY OF THE WEEK, i'd be saturday. or maybe thursday, but only the evening. yeah, thursday.
IF I WERE A HOLIDAY, i'd be earth day! (you should've seen this coming a MILE away)
IF I WERE A PIECE OF FURNITURE, i'd be a kicky little shelf.
IF I WERE A COLOR, i'd be yellow. bright, fun, but sometimes a leeeetle much?
IF I WERE A U.S. CITY, i'd be san diego or tulsa. unlike jackie, I'd like to get rid of the beach!

it seems I may have bitten off more than I can chew...

you know, in being green.

current things I'm considering:

1. eliminating/reducing my use of the blow dryer. this is going to be a CHORE. but then I read things like this, and I'm like "I could do that. dammit." It's like as soon as it is pointed out I go "dang-it, I am going to feel guilty now." I mean, eliminating it entirely isn't really possible for me--I can go without it on like saturdays and stuff, but one of my least favorite things EVER is having wet hair on my neck. EVER. A step in the right direction: waiting to dry your hair until the last possible minute so it doesn't take as long.

2. making my own granola bars. it doesn't look like rocket science. if I can make a pizza from scratch I bet I can manage these. I think I'll try next week or on Saturday.

3. making my own kitty litter. this sounds a little trickier, and I'm not so sure that gobi and hazel are going to go for it. but I could try. even if I just got to half litter and half this, that would be SOMETHING. and besides, hazel already loves to shred paper, so maybe I could let her do that part for me. :)

4. indoor plants. right now I have one jade and two little bamboos. I think I might get a few more and also try to get cuttings from the jade plant to grow. and make an indoor herb pot to get me through the fall and winter. we shall see.

so far things are going well on other fronts though...

-using the kitty litter bottles to collect our water is WONDERFUL. it is easy and convenient and has become a habit. I like it.

-greening my cleaning. it's a process. I'm working on it. I am having a hard time giving up bleach for whites. I just read that oxyclean is an acceptable substitute--both in cleaning/disinfecting qualities AND in eco-friendliness. I will try it. otherwise, I'm doing quite well, thank you, method, shaklee and seventhgenerationg.

-bokashi composting--this stuff is superawesomefantasticamazing. my plants LOVE the stuff I drain from it (it's like compost tea but slightly different) and it is now ~2/3 full. and I have only been doing it for, what, three weeks? between that and recycling our amount of waste is SMALL. by the way, we get to just combine our recyclables (lucky, I know) but it's pretty rad that we empty the recycling more often than our trash! I think I am going to try putting wax paper on the top of it (right now I'm using a plate) so it will "seal" better. I'll let you know.

-energy consumption--I am excited to get the next energy bill, is that weird? I want to know if things have helped--turning up the thermostats to 80 during the day, unplugging more and unplugging my cell phone charger if I'm not charging because apparently it (and laptop plugs) use 90% of the electricity they use for charging when they're not in use.

-spending less money--even with my recent purchases, this is going quite well. it's not necessarily green in the classical sense, but less money spent = less packaging, shipping, emissions, etc that I'm funding and creating a market for, and I'll take it!

a gun rack? you got me, a gun rack? I don't even own a gun, let alone enough guns to necessitate an entire rack.

~wayne's world, wayne's world, party time, excellent!

um, I'm actually talking about wine racks here, people, but same diff. except that I have lots of wine, and it necessitates an entire rack.

I'm thinking about getting one that you mount on the wall. I'm thinking about putting it in the dining area, or maybe the living area, or maybe the kitchen. or the basement (aka the bonus room). If I don't get a wall mount one I'll want a tall skinny one. We simply don't have the floorspace for anything bulky, and most of them aren't my style. Here are some I like.

There's also the option of putting the wine under the bar in the dining room area (they potentially intended for you to have barstools there, but it is RIGHT NEXT to the dining table, wtf?) pottery barn has some horizontal under-a-cabinet/ledge shelves. anyway. not pressing. But yesterday I saw this picture and it inspired me! I found it when I was looking for reasons why a mirror shouldn't be hung horizontally. I think that's hooey! (I read on someone's blog that someone else thinks that's a huge faux pas.

Today was my first day of class. I was 5 minutes late. Traffic was fine after I got out of the park, but at nc state it was a nightmare. I was glad I don't have a 10am class though--traffic was MUCH worse when I was leaving.

I used my new supplies that I bought yesterday--a binder they told me was eco friendly (but I think that's a lie, I just looked), my greenroom-eco notebook, and I reused some other things. oh AND I got some notebook paper made from sugarcane waste. I'll take a picture at home.

While in class he told us that, amongst other things, the graduate students had to write a paper. Is it weird that this filled me with glee? I'm sure I'll bitch about it later, but for now I am pleased. :)

And? I am TIRED. There's a KD thing I'm going to tonight, but I don't think I'll stay long. I. am. tuckered. out. Last night when I got home from the shopping and the meeting with the youth advisors I searched frantically for some glue for my pictures (I'll have to go buy some tonight!) and we watched about 40 min of the olympics before matt fell asleep and I started nodding off myself. It was messy. I need a nap.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

roadtrip-day 12

so, I'm feeling kind of relieved to be finished with the roadtrip blogs. it's kind of funny 'cause that's EXACTLY how I felt about the trip!

we got up, had breakfast, ate lunch with rosemary when she got back from the library (george, his dad, was out of town), packed up the car and rolled out. we went to see augusta's cursed pillar, which has a variety of stories, most of which involve someone dying not long after touching it. yikes. clearly, neither of us got near it. but here's a picture.

then we went on a little beer hunt. I wanted some sweetwater beer--not the 420 or the pale ale or the blueberry, the sweet georgia brown. we went to three stores and they had everything but! we got some other random beers we'd never seen before and began our trip home.

it rained. a lot. we stopped in hobby lobby because, y'know, it's my favorite store, and while we were there got some plates for outdoors and also stuff for scrapbooking. right there, on the spot, we decided to scrapbook our trip! matt helped pick out a lot of the stuff, so that was fun. and then we ate dinner at mcalister's. mmmmmm.

we had planned on stopping at the world's largest chest of drawers, duncan phyfe chair and highboy chest, which are all near high point, nc, but it was still pretty gross and late and we decided we'd go by another time. besides, hpu now has a marie curie statue, and let me tell you, we're finding her and I'm taking a picture with her! she's my hero!

we did see a very pretty sunset though--it cleared off for a bit before the evening was through, and here it was. we got home around 8 and it was raining again! It was wonderful to see the kitties and get the mail and sleep in our very own bed. theeeeeeeee end.

roadtrip-day 11

okay, home stretch!!! one more day to go!

we woke up, piled our belongings back into the car and searched for a place for me to take my mississippi pictures. this took longer than we though.

first we went to elvis presley lake which was just a short drive from our hotel. there wasn't much that I really really liked here, but we drove around a little bit and saw signs and a pinecone and a really distressing can that was too far off the pier for me to reach. :(
then we tried elvis presley's birth place. we met 13 year old elvis, who was HOT! literally. and took all sorts of car and surroundings pictures. and went to the gift store where we obtained a plastic cup and a christmas tree ornament!

and we were on our merry way. while making the trek through 'bama we saw a sign that directed you to "twin," so OF COURSE I wanted a picture with it. that required turning around--and at the next exit it just so happened that there was a second sign I wanted a picture with. see if you can guess why...

when we went to alabama in may for mary alise and michael's wedding we had wanted to see the vulcan statue but opted instead to see the ram's head storyteller one. we also wanted to eat at dreamland, which pretty much everyone told us was amazing. so, we did. thank you kindly, jack m. garmin.

the vulcan was first. we went from the backside (we didn't know it was the back!) and had to move our car, but that was okay. it looked like it was going to rain something fierce so they wouldn't let us ride up in it, but the view was still pretty spectacular. oh yeah AND I got in trouble for "raising my camera in the air" in this weather. yeah, lightning is going to strike li'l ol me, not the gigantic iron statue. suuuuuuuure. by the way, the vulcan statue has ALL SORTS of history, including some involving mccain. it used to have a beacon that would turn red every time a birmingham citizen died in a car accident, and he's been used as all sorts of things. oh, and by the way? it's the world's largest cast iron statue. so that is YET ANOTHER world's largest. rock.

next was dreamland. mmmmm bbq. and I was pleasantly surprised that the served chicken! I had some of matt's ribs as well, but I was glad for my chicken sandwich and sweet tea! (I'm not a pork fan. at all.)

we went to anniston, al to see the world's largest chair and an alabama-shaped reflecting pool, and then went to atlanta.

here we had dinner at the varsity, which was HUGE! "what'll ya have! what'll ya have!" that's what they yell at you! it is the world's largest drive in restaurant. we also walked to this huge torch tower thingie that we assume was built for the atlanta olympics, but info on it was vague at best. we each had one of the varsity's specials--I had the F-O, the Frosted Orange, and Matt had a naked dog. we also saw a weiner-mobile.

then we went to find some statue, which was in an awkward spot and hard to see and poorly lit--AND it was raining cats and dogs, so we went on to our next place, the first waffle house ever built. it has been a chinese restaurant for a while but they're re-doing it to it's original diner decor. The pictures didn't turn out great but it was fun nonetheless!

and then, augusta, here we come. it was late when we got there but rosemary (matt's mom) stayed up until around 130 just talking with us about our adventures. it was sweet. after the talking, let me tell you, I was THRILLED to get to sleep. :) honestly, I kind of wish I were asleep right. this. second. anyway, that is day number 11!
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