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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Morrisa's LiveJournal:

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    Saturday, November 14th, 2009
    4:32 pm
    Pomplamoose!
    nj introduced me to Pomplamoose a few weeks ago. Pomplemousse is French for Grapefruit. Pomplamoose are Jack Conte, the runaway train of energy who plays every instrument there is, and Nataly Dawn, a slender sylph with a Marilyn mole near her lip, a versatile singing range, and a lovely Bjorkish tremolo. They make videosongs and post them to YouTube. Their subscriber-ship which was already quite respectable for unsigned YouTube amateurs, recently skyrocketed after they covered the Beyonce song, "All The Single Ladies" and got some popular blog coverage.

    Here's their channel.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/PomplamooseMusic. My favorites are September, La Vie En Rose, and Mr. Sandman.
    Here's their myspace page where you can download their covers for free and their originals for a buck each.
    http://www.myspace.com/PomplamooseMusic.

    They met through YouTube where they each have their own channels, fell in love, and make beautiful music together, the new millennium romance. They work pretty close to by themselves at their homes in Marin, doing a lot of overdubbing to get a pretty sophisticated sound, she harmonizing with herself, sometimes in several layers, but they're also awesome live, as I found out last night.

    Last night was their second live gig. They played the Brainwash Cafe in San Francisco, and I went there with my friend Gwen, also meeting up with pal Lance. The venue was much too small for their adoring following. To show my devotion, I made a big batch of Grapefruit marmalade with meticulously hand-shaved long curls of grapefruit zest a-floating and brought eight ha'pint jars for the band. It's absolutely delicious, but still syrupy--so fresh it hasn't set yet. I hope I used enough pectin. If it sets, it's marmalade, if not, it's pancake topping, nom nom nom!

    I was on a cane last night (torqued my knee a bit earlier in the day, the one that I broke years ago. There's not much in the way of pain, but I'm very unsteady right now. I feel like I have one leg and one wobbly stilt.) Gwen who is tall, gorgeous, and as a bartender emeritus, is good with the physical language of nightlife, muscled me and my cardboard box of goodness inside through the pressing crowds of well-behaved hipster-geeks, found the drummer giving them extra gig support, (hard for anyone to play a drum kit AND keyboards at the same time, even Jack Conte) and asked if we could give them marmalade.

    Jack Conte is an enthusiastic machine of a guy. He came over immediately, smiled and bubbled like a little kid on Christmas Day the the sight of the box of marmalade jars, and whisked me through the cafe's bar/kitchen right up front, planting me in a spot next to his own dad, woo!

    Brainwash has no stage, and the band has no security team. They were just set up on the floor by the wall so they could use the electrical outlets, and the polite but enormous throng of devotees was right up against them. It was the most intimate venue I've ever seen in terms of the band's own personal space. Even in my wayback days of moshing at Crash Worship concerts at 925 Gilman, at least there was a low platform of a stage! Last night was like a lovefest combined with a stare-down match. One of their opening acts, Danielle Ate The Sandwich, a one woman youtube phenom in her own right, faced down the crowd with nothing but her ukelele. "Hi. I'm Danielle, and um, being this close to this many people makes me very uncomfortable," she said into the mic, and then launched into song.

    When Pomplamoose came on, I had to lean back a little on the crowd to keep from banging Nataly Dawn's bass, and for a while I wound up being one of the front row people to hold onto the pole the speaker was mounted on to keep it from falling over. And they were STILL engaged and friendly and exuberant with their crowd. They even went outside and did an acoustic song for the dozens of chilly fans outside the cafe, watching through the windows.

    Nataly was perched on a stool rubbing elbows with the crowd, and stayed very still to keep her balance. Jack, and the drummer, however, had the luxury of using the good two feet of room between the keyboard and drums and the wall for rocking out and antics. Jack plays like a man on fire, even in a room heated by the warmth and breath of hundreds of bodies. Halfway through their set, he took off his pants. His boxers were predictably adorable with a cute skull print.

    I said to Jack's dad, "Your kid has unbelievable energy. I bet he was hard on his tricycles!" and scored a hearty laugh.

    There were glitches, feedback, early problems mic-ing Nataly correctly, amps unplugged a couple of times because the band had no room to walk, but still, the vibe was like breathable oxytocin, a simmering, hot-chocolate stewpot of LUV, and I think EVERYONE had a good time. Not as good a time as me and Jack's dad, mind you, but a good time. I wish Pomplamoose many real venues in the future, venues with a stage, security, a dressing room, a proper merch booth, and lots of perks for the band, but I'll never forget getting to see my fave emerging band so very close.
    Friday, May 29th, 2009
    11:57 am
    Forest friends
    My house overlooks a canyon view with a modest forest of coastal live oaks below my back yard.  My upper deck is four stories over my back patio, no stairs to the yard like the lower deck, inaccessible to raccoons.  There I have a couple of big, neo-French Provincial pedestal bowls.  One I fill with water as a birdbath, and one I fill with bird seed, sunflower seeds, unsalted peanuts, and stale bread.  My neighbors have proper songbird feeders that discourage squirrels and bluejays.  They're non-native, large, and aggressive.  But hey, I'm non-native, large, and aggressive, and I deserve to eat, so I feel for them.  They visit all day long.  Some look nervously around, swoop down, snag a nut and fly, some fill cheeks and run, some squabble over the territory, and some just sit in the middle of the bowl and lunch languorously right there.  Better'n TV.

    So I go out to fill the food bowl, and a huge healthy squirrel with a gorgeous puffy tail sits up and begins speaking to me:
    "Oh!  You're here!  Excuse me Missus, if you please, I've come to thank you!"

    "Thank me.  You talk, and you're here to thank me?"

    "Oh yes Missus!  My name is Fingerly Clevers, and I'm here to thank you for so graciously putting out food every day!  You see, now that I've so little hard work to do, gathering in the forest, I've had time to finish my book!"

    "A book."

    "Well, a memoir, really, I--"

    Then another squirrel bounded up the deck and chattered brusquely at Fingerly Clevers.  "FINGERLY!  Come along!  Fill your cheeks and bring the food home.  We have to store up for the kids.  You think this dilettante will be interested in feeding us forever?"

    "Oh, Missus, this is my wife," said Fingerly Clevers.

    "Your wife.  Um, pleased to meet you."

    "Yes yes," she muttered impatiently to me and then snapped,  "now come ON, stop dawdling with humans!"

    "What's your name," I asked, surrendering to the day's o'erweening whimsy, "Twinkles Honeytoes?"

    "No," she scoffed with annoyance, "Kate.  Kate Jones.  I kept my last name."
    Friday, April 3rd, 2009
    11:44 am
    The Great Hogmorph Rescue
    My friend Jamie had spent his last vacation at the Island of Dr. Moreau, mostly to investigate the legendary cocktails that the human/animal denizens made for visitors, but surprised us all when he came home with three hogmorphs to work security at the DNA Lounge.  The hogmorphs had the bodies of huge, ripped weight lifters.  They had dappled and bristled skin, and sported the enormous tusked faces of fearsome wild boars.  The hogmorphs were thrilled to leave the insular world of their island for the excitement of the big city, and took to their work with enthusiasm and loyalty.  The drunks and bored troublemakers became docile and well behaved patrons.  The very sound of one of their grunts coming up the stairs was enough to extinguish every mystery cigarette in the house.  The DNA was fast developing a rep as the safest , cleanest, rockin'est house in the city, but other club owners were jealous.  

    Three of San Francisco's worst mafiosi conspired together to lure the hogmorphs away, and distribute them among the other clubs with offers of more money, but the hogmorphs' frightening faces belied their tremendously loyal hearts; no mercenaries, they.  The hogmorphs gave the first hoods to offer them a "better deal" a merciless beating.  It took four big guys per hogmorph and an unexpectedly large cache of ether to manage the job, but one night at a particularly hopping band battle, they were spirited away, and the disaster of inadequate security was immediately felt all over the club.  The terrified kitchen staff were held up for their tasty Mexican treats at knifepoint, a strong-willed coat-checker up and quit due to some tag-team harrassment, the absinthe bartender was overwhelmed by some determined and amoral liquor collectors who ransacked the stock and left running, the bathrooms were a nightmare of inappropriately delivered excreta, and some asshole smashed a brand-new video camera over a computer kiosk.

    EVERYONE was out searching for the hogmorphs.  Jamie, morose, heavy lidded, and silent,  was having tea with Miranda and I at the treacly teashop Lovejoy's, taking a break from searching the city all night.  At the next table, a tattoo'd little waif in heavy black eyeliner  was listening sympathetically to her mother, dropping her eyes demurely under her vintage veiled tea-bonnet.  Her mother, a stodgey matron in a coordinated stretch jersey ensemble, complained  in a low whisper about  how awful hogmorphs smell, and how glad she was to get away from the golf course for a day. "Sunol is such a lovely town, Honey.  I don't like them things, but this whole kidnapping business taints us.  Can you imagine what this would do to the reputation of the golf course, of the whole city, if it got out we had hogmorphs tied up in the basement?  Oh, the sooner those things are gone, the better!"

    I let Jamie drive.  I didn't know my Forester could reach speeds so high.  We arrived at the golf course off Andrade in less than 30 minutes.  We entered around the service side.  I said in a self-important voice when the security guard at the entrance asked us to roll down the window "Day Care!"  He waved us in and pointed to the left of a large building.  We parked, entered where he told us to avoid looking suspicious, rode a freight elevator down to the basement, and began searching the echoing hallways of the catacombs beneath the golf course. 

    After a tiring and fruitless search, Miranda, ever alert, said "I hear snorting!  That way!"  I scooped her up and we ran down a narrow side hall, peering into rooms, until we found them!  They were tied onto desk chairs with heavy ropes, drugged senseless, and snoring as only boars and men with allergies can.  The wheeled desk chairs helped, but the hogmorphs were very heavy, even so.  It took both Jamie and I to wheel one, then we'd go back for the next, then the next, twenty feet at a time.  Finally, Miranda said,  "what about a golf cart?"  We high fived her, and Jamie sprinted off.  He returned slowly, the electric thrum of the golf cart echoing down the hallway.  We sawed through the hogmorphs' bonds with my embroidery scissors, rolled them into the golf cart, and trundled heavily back toward the freight elevator.  The hogmorphs started coming out of their stupor, and were so glad to see Jamie, they started grunting and planting big, groggy, piggish smooches on his cheek with their snouts.  "Hey, guys, guys, cut it out!  C'mon, we're men here!" cried Jamie, as overjoyed as they.  Our celebration were short lived though, for the woman coming back from the kitchen with doped-up soup for the hogmorphs had noticed the absence of the precious captives, and had sent out enforcements. 

    Jamie and I were terrified as they ran pellmell down the hallway toward us.  The hogmorphs were barely lucid yet, and we had a top speed of 10 miles an hour!  But never underestimate a hogmorph.  As the first tough tried to mount the cart, one of our bleary charges lashed out with his huge, bristled fist, BASH!  One after the next, he and his brothers dispatched them all, BAM, SMASH, KAPOW!  Miranda jumped up and down and squealed happily.  She kissed one of them right on his hairy cheek and cried "You guys are the best pig men EVER!  I love you!"   I swear, even beneath his dense hair, he blushed.

    Current Mood: optimistic
    Thursday, January 22nd, 2009
    9:46 am
    Your president too
    My pomeranian looked at me intently, using his doggie eye-beams to burn his meaning into my brain, and then gave a low, important "whuff!"

    Jokingly I said, "what is it, Fizgig?  Did Timmy fall down the well?"  but something in the intensity of his gaze made me put down my Economist and follow him.  He scratched at the door, I opened it, and followed him into the cold, drizzly night.  He scampered with poofy purpose through the wet streets to an overpass, ran behind a pillar, and pausing to make sure I was following, entered a huge, cement pipe that was slowly dripping water.  

    My claustrophobia seized at my throat, but I wasn't going to let my dog die in a sewer, so I clenched my teeth and followed, crying "Fizgig!  Fiz?  Come back buddy!  Let's go home!  HOME FIZGIG!  Fiz?"   I heard my footsteps echo in the black tunnel, and followed the sounds of his claws scrabbling on the concrete.  If I didn't go fast enough, he encouraged me with grumpfy little growls and woofs.  We felt our way in the dark,  deeper and deeper into the hillside, all the way to a huge, auditorium- sized room, dimly lit by the last few bulbs that had not burnt out.  With no dog-treat in sight, he did a perfect dog-training-class sit-at-attention, and I knelt beside him.  As my eyes adjusted, I could see that the vast room was packed with dogs of all shapes and sizes, from huge great-danes to the tiniest teacup poodles, and all were sitting ready, ears perked.  A few dogs noticed me with curled lips, and growled menacingly, but Fizgig gave a few explanatory yips as if to say "She's with me," and they all huffed and turned back around to face the screen.

    The enormous screen suddenly went bright, and we were in a teleconference with President Barack Obama, giving his address to the nation's dogs.

    "Dogs of America!  Workers, players, shepherds and runners, comforters and guardians, you are the diggers, you are the smellers, you are the lovers of our children, you are the joy of our seniors!  You give your lives protecting our homes, serving in our military, helping our police, guiding our blind!  I thank you for your service, and I call upon you!  There is work for you in America, and there are grateful homes for you in America! You did not vote for me, but I am your president too.  I know the road is hard for many of you, the abandoned, the exploited, the homeless, the sick, but I will not rest until you are all treated as well as my daughters' new puppy.  You are good dogs!  GOOD DOGS!"

    And as our president's voice rose in triumph, reiterating the soothing, rewarding words that a nation of dogs longs to hear, thousands of tails wagged wildly in the night.  Thump thump thump thump thump!
    Friday, December 5th, 2008
    11:05 am
    Fear and Loathing in Piedmont
    Hard times are upon us all. It's June 2009. Though nj escaped the big layoff in December of 08, Adobe has finally cut his team too. We were so confident that with his talent and pay-grade that he'd always have good work, but we're being evicted. My deepest anxieties are made reality.

    My garden was just taking shape. My dwarf trees are beginning to fruit, and I must leave them. I won't be able to walk my poofy little dog through my pretty, friendly, safe neighborhood. Miranda will never attend the excellent school district we worked so hard to enter for her. And I am a vortex of stuff. We have so many things, books, tchotchkes. Oh God. My studio takes months to disassemble, and there's no time. I need more time to pack, more time to sell stuff, more time to donate things, but today, the Repo Clowns have come, and they're serving their bright orange and lime-green over-sized repossession warrants to everyone including the Pomeranian.

    A subversive website a friend pointed me to advises disobedience. Repo clowns can't resist combat, especially if there is potential for comedy, so they have a strong tendency to walk straight into traps. I'm finding that while open windows, greased bathtubs, and jury-rigged trebouchets are all helpful, the most effective trap seems to be marbles. We collage artists all have a lot of marbles. They're de rigueur, just like clock gears, plaster dental casts, and glass doll eyes. I take my crate of marbles and strategically roll handfuls of them under the feet of the onslaught of clowns. Their arms flap madly and their feet fly out from beneath them. They hit the ground padded butts first and unseen cymbals crash loudly as they hit. Their bright red noses honk with anger. Nj nets them and hurls them into oversized moving boxes addressed to Post Restante, Upper Volta.

    We are safe for the moment. But tomorrow they'll send reinforcements, and if they have suction cup clown shoes, we are surely doomed.
    Sunday, November 23rd, 2008
    10:22 am
    The garden
    The backyard was a problem.  Not a journey, but a ski-slope.  All hill, no dale, dangerous and difficult to manoever.  We pretty much ignored it for the first six months we lived in our house.  Then our huge, three story oak tree with the breathtaking rainbow arch of a canopy FELL DOWN in the winter rains, breaking our back fence, so we had to do at least a bit of work.  The arborist said it was a combination of saturated ground, the lean of the tree, and a couple of key, rotted roots.  The soils engineer said the house was safe.  My neighbor said, "Hey look at that!  Your yard is full of sunshine now!  Why, you could grow vegetables in the shady hillsides of PIEDMONT! " But I wept for the tree.  It was a great beauty, old and well shaped.  The squirrels frolicked in it the live long day.  Frolicked, I say.   But laying on the ground on top of the fence with its eight foot rootball all exposed and tentacular did us little good, so we had the tree removed.

    When we bought the house, our former owner had told us that our property was much bigger than where the fence arbitrarily stopped on the hillside, that it pretty much went down to the edge of the park by the road, but who wants to take responsibility for a forest of ivy and thorny blackberry?  But as the guys took out the tree, going down the hill to the park, as down is so much easier than up, branch by branch, hunk by hunk, they trampled down the ivy and blackberry, and we could see that we had a couple of large, pretty flat terraces below our broken fence.  Hmm.

    We had the fence rebuilt lower on the property line to include the extra terraces, and had some of the ugliest and failing hardscaping replaced.  Turns out that saving out some money for landscaping was wiser than investing in the stock market this year, so we cut our hardscaping budget by two thirds.   Whatever I can't manage with my own hands of the lower yard will have to wait until next year, and I'm pretty much stuck with the ugly but very functional i-beam and treated wood retaining walls, but we also have some lovely new stone walls, new stairs for the upper yard, and this week begins the installation of the banisters and arbor archway made by metal artist Michael Christian (the guy who made the famous bone archway at Burning Man).

    Now that some of the hardscaping is in, I've been frantically planting a lot of seeds, bulbs, bareroots, divisions, rhizomes, and other baby plants, getting them in before the rains, planting the mail-order, half-off, end-of-season, already-sprouted plants.

    I planted about three pounds of wild flower seeds on the slopes, california poppies, calendula, birdsfoot trefoil, lupines, and some california bluebells. 

    I began a garden for Miranda with lots of pink, which I don't ordinarily use in my own garden.  With the help of my strong tree pruner Daniel who helped me start the heaviest of the scaffolding made of twisty tree branches, I've begun making her a bower-like playhouse.  Needs some filling in of branches, and one white potato vine plant is not enough, needs a couple more, but it's looking very Celtic and lovely so far.

    Freebies from dividing my own plants, friends, neighbors, my parents, and a couple of people from Craig's List included 50 or so big, hardy divisions of Lily of the Nile, a bushel of white and deep purple bearded irises, about two dozen butterfly lily sprouts, 40ish strawberry runners, 20 calla lily babies, a dozen yellow canna lilies,  a few purple sages, and a startling geranium of hot pink edged with wine.

    Things I actually paid retail for that went into Miranda's garden: Two pink christmas cacti, a low pink camelia, a tall white camelia,  and a potato vine.  Also bought five nice, aggressive creeping fig vines and eight creeping rosemary  to help cover fugly treated wood walls.  I'll need more of both.

    Bought a few cheep one to three dollar rare sages, vine babies, and geraniums from Hector, a guy who propagates plants as a hobby in Albany.

    Half-off bulbs that have been planted:  150 tulips, 40 yellow day lillies, 20 oriapet lilies including a few stargazer pinks for Miranda, 20 astilbes, 100 pink and white creeping phlox, 5 pink bleeding hearts, 50 pink oxalis.

    In order to plant, I've been using loose, landslidey dirt from the lower yard, and making a point of digging in an earthen stairway as I fetch my bucketloads.  A stair is about a bucket, and I've dug in a good forty, making my access down much easier.  Hopefully the stairs will partially endure the rains, but even if they don't, I did get plenty of topsoil out of the exercise, and lost a few pounds to boot.  It might be worth it to use some bender board and decomposed granite to make the hand-dug stairs more permanent.  I'll have to ask my landscaper what he thinks.

    The five hundred daffodil bulbs and fifty blue squill bulbs look healthy enough in storage to wait until after Thanksgiving, and I'll hold off on fruit trees and a vegetable garden until plans for the lower yard get a little clearer, but I think I've done a damn good job.  I conduct the very spark of life, and I have the soil under my fingernails to prove it.

    I'm afraid that except for the splendid new hardscaping, it looks a lot like it did before.  But give it a couple of months.  My Eden is working its way toward the sun even as I type.

    Current Mood: accomplished
    Sunday, November 9th, 2008
    8:50 pm
    Friday, October 24th, 2008
    9:44 am
    OMG, BFF
    anarqueso  is super-keen and swell.  I highly endorse this product or service.  She came by and we ebulliently exchanged life stories, and I let her borrow some chemistry glass for the mad science cheese counter at Rainbow Market in SF.   Sometimes you meet your friend of a friend from the internetz ether and it doesn't go as well as you'd hoped.  But that's only if you're not meeting anarqueso .
    Thursday, October 16th, 2008
    6:19 pm
    Stupid Nature.
    I bought a couple of packs of halloween punchballs. They blew up like thick, high-quality, very round balloons, bright orange, each with a swell jack-o-lantern smile on it. I carefully edged out on the thin, one-and-a-half-foot wide, decorative veranda outside our home-office and put up a nice row of them on the railing. Smiling at the street, bobbling in the breeze, they made a simple but satisfying house decoration, sufficiently un-scary and festive enough to please my four-year-old Halloween-loving princess Miranda. I went inside happy.

    Later in the day, I heard a dim "bang!" I went upstairs to the street level and as I mounted the steps heard louder and louder
    Bang!
    BANG!
    BANG!
    BANG!
    I ran outside expecting to yell at some bored Piedmont teenager targeting the balloons with a slingshot or a BB gun, ready to really rip into the thoughtless brat, since the balloons were so close to my windows. Instead, I saw a bluejay. I watched in slack-jawed disbelief as the dorky bird landed on the last grinning punch-ball, cocked its head sideways, and gave it a mighty peck dead center. The punch ball exploded BANG! under the bird's feet. It shrieked, and then flew into the tree.

    Blasted fowl, wrecking the decorations I put up for my daughter!

    I know bluejays are loud and mischievous. I know they terrorize other birds, steal fruit, and dig up new seedling plants. For the most part, I forgive them because, well, because they're bright blue. It's hard for me to hate anyone who's bright blue.  But really. I'm feelin' the hate today.  I curse the blue vandal.  I don't know if birds dream, but I hope that one's nights are haunted by the shocking sensation and sound of explosions underfoot for weeks to come.


    Current Mood: Fowl, er, um, Foul
    Saturday, October 11th, 2008
    11:04 pm
    Pollyanna, the Quickening
    It takes a special sort of girl with a herculean streak of Pollyannaism to find the bright side of having "a history of bronchial distress and pneumonia," but I AM that girl. The GOOD thing about my third bout of pneumonia in 14 months is that I get cred. Four days ago I called my doctor's office wheezing, my voice shattered and keening like the love-child of Demi Moore and a Madagascar fruit bat, and said "Think the doctor can squeeze me in during the next few days? I think I've had this lingering aftermath of a cold before. I think I have pneumonia again." Bam. Two hours later I had the appointment. No blood tests to check for infection, no waiting an hour in line for a chest x-ray to see if I had "lung cloudiness" again, she just listened to my breathing through the stethescope, shook her head with the sad recognition of a parent whose kid has just called from jail again, and gave me a perscription for the industrial strength anti-biotic Zithromax and a complimentary Advair robo-transformer inhaler.

    Today my voice is mine again, and I think in a few more days I'll be able to sing again. Azithromycin is the bomb. If cipro is the cadillac of anti-biotics, azithromycin is the Lamborghini: ZOOOM! Six pills, two on day one, one each day after that, I'm not even at day five yet, and the coughing seems to be over. I'll be eating pro-biotic yogurt with extra cultures for a month, but oh, so worth it.

    Tomorrow isn't Miranda's birthday, but she's been wanting to have a party, just because she feels like it, the way grown-ups have dinner parties. So we will be hosting a "just-because" princessy high tea-party for the girls in Miranda's Montessori, plus soup, bread, and fancy cheese for the parents. There will be cake, cookies, princess costumes, tea, bubble-blowing, dolls, coloring, AND clear oxygen-rich lungs. I'm really looking forward to it!
    Friday, October 3rd, 2008
    9:26 pm
    My superhuman might
    I doubt that even on endangered-child adrenaline I could lift a car, but it's nice to know that despite arthritic hips and bad ankles and stenosis and such, I still got game when it counts. I took my dad to his physical therapy appointment at Kaiser Vallejo today. The ordinarily adequate sidewalk between the parking lot and a hospital is very narrow on Fridays due to the swell little farmers' market that sets up on the walkway there. While people enjoy it, it is pretty awkward as all the people with walkers, canes, and wheelchairs try to manoever around the shoppers. A large man in a large electric wheelchair couldn't quite make a narrow point, ran a wheel off the sidewalk edge, and started to list alarmingly. So I hustled over and I lifted it back onto the sidewalk by myself. Go me!

    Current Mood: proud
    Monday, September 29th, 2008
    11:02 pm
    I am Nero, baking while Rome burns
    Pie day was overly ambitious. I should have done this morning's big shopping run late last night, but still. Yum!Collapse )

    Current Mood: peaceful
    Monday, August 18th, 2008
    11:16 am
    Happy Birthday to me!
    For my birthday today, I got a podiatrist appointment! Wahoo! Dr. Subotnik in San Leandro is a sports medicine surgeon and podiatrist who has written very important books about feet and *I* scored a cancellation appointment with his oh so busy self. He gave me pain blocking and cortizone shots in my ankle for damage to one tendon and two ligaments. I feel very wobbly, but much better. Time for lunch with my Mommy and Daddy! Did you know that Todai sushi and Asian buffet will give you a free meal on your birthday If you show them ID? I am a happy cheap date!

    Current Mood: grateful
    Saturday, August 2nd, 2008
    9:34 pm
    Don't envy me, visit me.
    And bring yarn.

    It's swell being a collage and fiber artist. After you've been making stuff for a while, people start giving you things. Vintage magazines and ephemera. Wood veneers. Airbrushes. Doll parts. Intricate computer innards. Fabric remnants. Chemistry Glass. A trashcan full of cool, vintage vacuum tubes. Mannequins(which I gave to Jamie when we moved.) You know, things.

    Today, I got a hell of a thing. I am the proud and rather intimidated owner of a 6'wide by 4'deep by 5'high standing, ten-harness, weaving loom. You see, my sister Robyne's friend Liz's mother is a weaver, and she is buying a BETTER loom. Hard to believe there's a better loom, but there it is. She tried donating it to St. Anthony's church and letting them sell it at their rummage sale or on Craig's list, but, get this, because the College of Marin recently closed down its weaving class and lab, there's now a glut of big looms on the local market in Marin. The church wanted Robyne's friend Liz's mom to take the loom back. So. There was a free, enormous, complex, vintage, cherrywood loom worth thousands of dollars laying around, and because I AM that girl, they thought of me.

    Despite having ripped an ankle ligament early this week trying to pet a cute corgie dog after we got back from our awesome vacation in Las Vegas and Disneyland (maybe I should have blogged about those things too...) I managed to make this happen. Hobbling about on a cane with an ankle all bruisey and puffy, I can't lift or be particularly sure footed right now, so I called Lorna, my swell housekeeper. She found a couple of day laborers and supervised the moving about of furniture from floor to floor and even into storage below our house so as to accommodate the piano-sized loom.

    I reserved a rental pickup truck for today. If you need a pickup, try Enterprise first. According to Budget, Hertz, Avis, and U-Haul, pickup trucks are somewhere between rare and non-existent, but Enterprise in Berkeley had them to spare. The catch of course, was that Enterprise closes at 1:00pm on Saturday and is closed on Sunday, so to avoid being charged an extra day, we had to drive an hour up to Marin to meet Robyne's pals Chris and Mike at St. Anthony's in Novato, lift the gargantuan machine whole into the truck bed, bungee it so that it was safe for an hour on the freeway, drop it at our house with the help of a neighbor or two, and get the truck back in the space of four hours.

    I have some ROCKIN' neighbors. Boris the German engineer and Steve the South African materials scientist helped us photograph, mark, and disassemble the monstrosity, move the pieces inside, and then with hours of kibbitzing and discussing, put it back together. I must take them to dinner.

    Miranda was quite a trooper, very patient and self amusing. I know a certain little girl who gets to take some of her new Disney polly-pocket toys and go visit grandma tomorrow.

    August 18th is but a fortnight or so hence, but I can't throw myself a birthday party this year. My ankle hurts too much. If anyone wants to just come visit, I'd so love to see you! Please come and see me and raise a birthdayish glass of juice or beer or juice-beer with me while I elevate my foot. I put some weaving books on my wishlist at amazon, and if ANY of you work large, multiharness looms, Oh please, please, pretty-please come visit! The loom is taking up enough space that I should charge it rent, so please, let's figure this sucker out so I can at least get the return of a few scarves out of this vast piece of real estate!

    Current Mood: thankful
    Friday, July 18th, 2008
    12:51 pm
    Real, Surreal
    I had uterine surgery last week (no cancer, relax), and got a thorough Roto-rooting to deal with lengthy, frequent, and painful periods due to an "unstable lining". Convalescence took a bit longer than I expected, but despite some tiredness, I'm starting to feel a lot better.

    This is good. I need to feel better. Next week nj and Miranda and I are going on vacation, first to Las Vegas. We'll be meeting up with nj's sister & husband, who will be there for a bridge tournament (they are seriously good card players), and to see nj's dad, and meet his girlfriend, and to see the Cirque du Soleil show performed to Beatles music, "Love". Second leg of the trip, taking Miranda to Disneyland. She's so excited she needs to run to the bathroom when we talk about it. I doubt there could be a more magical trip than taking your four year old girl to Disneyland. I'm pretty excited too!

    Before the surgery, so my system wouldn't have any problems with the anesthesia, I had to stop taking the medications I usually take: an anti-epileptic for spurious nerve pains in my legs, and ibuprofen for arthritis in my hips. On night two of no meds, my uterus, legs, and hips had mixed me a powerful cocktail of pain, and all the endless bleeding of the previous weeks had me weakened, nauseous, and feeling constantly cold. I tossed and turned, trying to get comfortable, and annoyed nj a great deal. He moaned and tossed every time I woke him. I finally just started trying to meditate my way through the waves of pain, and stared at the ceiling, willing myself to sleep, annoyed as I noticed the clock eating away my potential sleep with every half-hour. Suddenly I saw a huge spider crawling across the ceiling. This was no ordinary spider, but something the size of a Brazilian Goliath bird spider, with a leg span the size of a dinner plate. I wondered how it could have gotten into my home, if maybe I shouldn't have bought the box of mangoes WITH the box. I also wondered how it could possibly crawl around on the ceiling like a small spider, for surely gravity should weigh it down. The thing had to weigh a good half pound at that size.

    As it skittered over the bed, I determined to stop just lieing there wondering things, and take action. I've got a sensitivity to insect bites, and a little kid to boot, so I couldn't just let it stay, and if it's a non-native spider, opening the door and letting such a huge thing out into the California environment could be disastrous. I'd have to kill it. I got up as quietly as possible. I put on a bike helmet, in case it fell on my head. I could ill afford losing valuable reaction time seconds to the distraction of squeamishness with something so big. I went to the garage and found my old, leather, elbow-length welding-gloves, and put them on. I got a step-stool, so I could reach it better. I felt about under the bed, and pulled out a shotgun. No sense in starting something if you don't finish the job, I always say. Then with the step stool and the shotgun clattering against each other despite my best efforts to tiptoe, I slowly chased the spider around the room, trying to get close.

    nj finally sat up in bed and said "Shit, what are you clattering around for at this hour?"
    "Oh good, you're awake?" I replied.
    "OF COURSE I'm awake. Who can sleep with all this noise?" he asked, irritably.
    "Good." I said, feeling the satisfying TCHICK-TCHICK as I locked and loaded, took aim, and fired. The spider exploded into pulpy putrescence, juicy legs scattered all about the room. An odor of charred meat and gunpowder hung in the air. nj curled into a fearful ball in bed, his eyes wide with surprise, and I could hear Miranda in her bedroom shouting anxiously, "Mommy! MOMMY?!"
    "Gonna have to get that fixed," I muttered, looking at the smoking hole in the ceiling.

    I startled awake. No hole, no spider legs, no gloves, no helmet, and whew, I definitely don't have a shotgun, under the bed or otherwise. I gave a pleased, whispered laugh when I looked at the clock. I realized I had DEFINITELY been able to fall asleep, AND I still had four hours left until wake-up time. I settled back under the covers, closed my eyes, and sighed blissfully, but audibly. nj turned over and groaned in annoyance.

    Current Mood: twitchy
    Thursday, February 14th, 2008
    6:59 pm
    A happy valentine's day indeed
    And all I gave him was a couple of cards and a live journal blather!

    nj, who is NOT a dupe of the Hallmark and chocolate conspiracy, and who loves me for who I truly am, bought me a Laura Zindel vase decorated with a tarantula. See illustration:


    He may call me "Bunnykins" all he likes now.

    By the way, anyone who thinks I'm hard to shop for should bookmark Zindelceramics.com.
    10:18 am
    Happy Valentine's Day
    I love Valentine's Day. I always have, whether I was in a relationship or not. Fine. I'm a sap. I'm a dupe of Hallmark and the chocolate industry. Valentine's day is a national guilt-trip to get people to call their parents, whether the family is happy or not. It's stupid to buy into an official, sanitized, sanctioned version of love with traditionally approved tokens that are meaningless to the realities and special intricacies of individual relationships. There's no spontaneity. There's no thought. It's all mindless expense on disposable froth, a giant dumpload of sugar on an obese and diabetic populace.

    I don't care.

    I LOVE Valentine's Day.Collapse )
    Tuesday, February 12th, 2008
    9:23 pm
    The end of an era
    Verio will no longer forward me email addressed to magpie@best.com.

    I am now morrisasherman@gmail.com

    Please make a note of it.

    That's morrisasherman@gmail.com

    Sigh. I am no longer your favorite corvid in name. But I still like chattering and picking up shiny stuff off the ground.
    Thursday, December 13th, 2007
    1:44 pm
    Who's your daddy?
    nj will be gigging tonight, playing Jazz at the Park Ave. Bar and Grill, 4184 Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, between 41 and Linda, 7:30 to 10:30.

    I'm taking Miranda there so she can check out daddy doing "music work," which she seldom sees, as gigs are usually later and further from our house. If you'd like to drop by and get an nj Jazz fix AND a Miranda fix, we'll be arriving around 7:15 and leaving pretty early, like 8:30, 9, so we don't mess with bedtime too much.
    Friday, November 23rd, 2007
    9:09 pm
    Mmmm. So full.
    The buzz is still going. Tonight We had our friends Lise and Doug over for leftovers, and even the leftovers were lush. My friends left with full bellies and I stayed here with a warmed heart. LongCollapse )

    Current Mood: thankful
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