Archive for May, 2008

Say bird and house!

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Yeah, I think there’s a "6" in there too. It probably meant that I was anticipating my 6th birthday. Kind of like the whole 4-year-old straight pickle thing. I absolutely remember playing with that wonderful felt board and making words! Anyway, The Landfill is still in a state of construction so I can’t really do much around here, although I *did* vacuum my beautiful new chocolate brown carpet today. And I *could* go down and troll around in the dungeon but I just didn’t have the right kind of psychic energy for that today. Instead, I took on a project that I could actually finish! I scanned all of the photos in one of The Commander’s albums. These are from when I’m a baby and my brother too. They are lightly photoshopped. I just changed light levels and “color” a bit and didn’t bother to try to fix the scratches and other imperfections. There’s not a lot to work with here. The pics are old *small* black and whites from whatever kind of camera my folks could afford back then, which probably wasn’t that much and photography wasn’t a huge interest anyway, that I remember. It’s okay. Forget all that. The Commander has commented that it was my grandmother’s album. That explains a few things that I won’t go into. It’s just amazing how easy our technology is now. And one of the things that is the most interesting to me in these pics is remembering the old house and all of the stuff in it. And some of it I *don’t* remember because by the time I was sentient enough to string memories together, The Commander had changed it. Er, like, I seem to be taking a bath next to the stairs in the kitchen, which is where I always remember as being the place for the refrigerator. Click here or on the pic to launch the slideshow.

Quick (non-iPhone) update

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Another new blahg over at raincharm!! My cousin Jay writes from Seattle! She’s my second Seattle blahgger, joining the frizzlefry (nephew). Go and encourage her! What to write about? Hmmm, what does “raincharm” mean and where did it come from? And tell us about the toilet races, for a start. Off to the grokkery store. Ciao, bambinos!

Yes, those are lawn darts! Weren’t we responsible parents?

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Great photographers too, eh? I’m engaged in an on-again-off-again, rather amoeba-like project to scan old photos. Ours. The Commander’s. I make progress in haphazard fits and starts. I totally forgot about this picture but it just cracks me up. I’m guessing this was the summer before the lizard’s fourth birthday. It’s definitely up at Houghton Lake. In an odd way, it has just a tinge of Marilyn Monroe to it, even though it’s just a grimy little munchkin. (Of course, it’s the sunglasses.) If it were a higher-res pic and I could zoom in on the face, I’m sure there’d be some sort of jam or other grime on it. I think about half the pictures I have of this little beach urchin feature a dirty face. Yes, I was a gooood mooom.

If you expect anything coherent outta me today, you aren’t likely to get it. Because of the part of the development cycle my little job is currently in, I didn’t have a lot of hot and heavy stuff to do this week but I’m a pretty resourceful person when I need to be, so I spent every bit of so-called down time edumacating myself and trying to get ahead of the game. And I have finally synthesized enough thousands of little pieces of information from umpteen million sources that I am about ready to start striding rather than tip-toeing. I shouldn’t’ve said that. I’ve prob’ly just shot myself in the foot!

We had a fire alarm go off today. Apparently, the alarm is right over my cube and it was so loud it physically hurt. We have such a benign sort of building that no one seemed to know what to do at first. No smoke or anything, at least anywhere near me. Not like the EPA where there are so many highly flammable substances around that you GET OUT when the alarm goes off. I finally grabbed my brain MacBook and my car keys and my purse (with my iPhone in it) and headed out. Turned out it wasn’t a drill. Exactly. Burned microwave popcorn had set an alarm off. No fire but it automatically called the fire department and they had to be called to cancel, which probably incurs a fee. Meanwhile, a frat house downtown was in the process of burning to the ground or whatever. Not sure that’s such a loss (no one was hurt) except that it’s a historic building. And I won’t go into the latest prom news. All I have to say is that one of my beach urchins didn’t go near the prom. The other one went and she even asked for a fancier vee-hickle than what she usually drove at that time. Yes, I said. You can drive my Honda Accord so your dress doesn’t get stuck on one of the huge rust holes in The Indefatigable. Limousine? Party bus? I mean, I know prom limos have been around for a while, but a party bus? Say what?

Y’all have got better things to do than read my disorganized, half-hearted rant. So go do ’em.

Kayak Woman

“Everybody else around here has a cabin but *I* have a museum!”

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Thus spake My Dear Uncle Harry as he contemplated how to renovate the loverly Old Cabin that was bequeathed by my long-departed grandparents to his dear wife, my aunt Bubs, without ruining the character of the place. And yes, I meant to write Bubs. No, that’s not the name that’s on her birth certificate but it works, in fact, it’s especially good for a blahg pseudonym. Anyway, I doubt that back when My Dear Uncle Harry was growing up in the Bronx, he ever dreamed he would be saddled with own a log cabin on Lake Superior. And it is a real log cabin, not one of those cheap (or prob’ly not cheap) fakey looking things that are available these days, dry-wall on the inside et al. Built in 1924, this one has real logs with some kind of cementy-type stuff chinked in between them to keep the nice gentle Lake Superior breezes gales out. Roight. It can get pretty dern cold in there if you aren’t handy at keeping a huge faaaarrrr going in the big stone fireplace.

Anyway, there is a sleeping porch in the front. It faces Gitchee Gumee and it has always been a wonderful place to sleep. In the summer, anyway. I know this because I spent the first six summers of my life sleeping there. It had windows all the way around and you could flip them up and hook them open when it was hot. When a storm blew up in the middle of the night, someone — most likely an adult, and *sometimes* my now long-dead great-aunt Elizabeth — would get up and hurriedly shut the windows so all us little chickies wouldn’t get wet. The cabin has been settling over the years and even though it isn’t used in the winter, the snow that was drifting in through the front door was getting to be a problem, among other issues. So My Dear Uncle Harry did some reconstruction. It isn’t the same but it’s an 84-year-old cabin, fer kee-reist, and I like what’s been done to it.

The pics below are the original cabin front porch, the Old Cabin “charter”, and the new front porch. Click on the gallery pics to see larger versions. Thank you Harry! Good jorb!

Don’t mind me, it’s just my allergies acting up.

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

“Will work for food.”

“Homeless, hungry.”

“What would Jesus do?”

“[insert-war-here] vet.”

Etc., etc., etc. They are everywhere here on The Planet Ann Arbor. Somebody’s dad or brother. Somebody’s baby. They’re at all the freeway exits. I pass them every day. In my nice, safe, warm, reliable (knock on wood) motor vee-hickle. Not a fancy vee-hickle or a clean vee-hickle or a brand-spanking new vee-hickle. But still. I always feel a little stab of guilt but then the light turns and I drive on and by the next traffic light I am a trillion miles away, muttering under my breath yelling at some nincompoop driver cutting in front of me or whatever. After all, what can I do? I don’t have any work to hand out. I could hand them money but I’m just one little person and I don’t have enough money to save them all. I don’t have the answer to this problem. My little blonde pea-brain can’t even figure out all the questions.

This morning, the sign read “Homeless, hungry. Vietnam vet. Will work for food.” He was standing in the median on South State. I was one lane away, over in the right lane, stopped at a light, poised to take off and pick my spot to merge into the left lane, the one next to the median, which was where I would need to be when I got to Ellsworth. I didn’t have any work for the guy but if I had been one lane to the left, I’d’ve had a really hard time not handing him the $20 bill I’d just snagged out of the National City ATM.

He looked almost exactly like my dad.

Upward, hopefully

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

It is a wonderful thing to start out the day by pulling yet another tick (dog variety) off of your body. At least I think it was a tick. I was in the shower, it was on my thigh. At first, I thought it was a poison ivy pustule or whatever it is you call those things. Except it came completely off in my hand. Tick-like. I didn’t see it. It fell and must’ve gone down the drain or something. Good riddance. Too much information? I’m sorry. Hopefully the day will improve? Please??

Update: slideshow now up

Click here or on the pic for more.

Pickin’ off ticks. Think they’re in my vee-hickle.

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Don’t worry, they’re dog ticks. Gotta go home today. Can’t really process the weekend enough to write much about it, so random sentence fragments will have to suffice. Chilly, sunny weather through yesterday morning, then warmed up and rained on and off. T-storms last night. Flowering trees are just beginning to flower, last year that happened much earlier in the month. Just heard on NPR (just now! Green Guy is streaming it) that Lake Superior is seven inches higher than last year and it’s true the water is higher. No sandbars this year. I dunno. I know that low water is not a good thing but there’s a part of me that loved that huge, luxurious beach. Kayaks are out but never got around to putting one in because of weather (and laziness). Skunk cabbage hunting expotition to Naomikong yesterday. Click here or on the pic, only got one skunk cabbage shot though. Gotta get on the road today. Very reluctantly. Suggest folks bring sleeping bags this summer if at all possible since your favorite washerwoman will not be available to schlep laundry around when you leave. Also more plumbing work will probably need to be done at some point. I do like what was done with the Old Cabin’s front porch. Nice interpretation and I’ve got a couple of pics I’ll post later in the week. Didn’t go inside. Back on the road again soon. Sigh.

Haha! This just in from one Kimberley Winston at subject: “Best”. Message: “Your life is crap.” This is one spam email I actually entertained replying to for a split-second: “Thanks! I needed that! :-)”

26.6666666666 + 8.666666666 = x, 226 – 141 = y, z = 42

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

Readers wanna know!

Memories Pooh? Trespassers W? Dunno how it got there. iPhone editing and somehow couldn’t get it to scroll through all the categories. I know of someone who uses something like 11 categories in her iPhoto. Right? Not me. And that’s why I don’t normally use categories at all. Because I always end up with umpty-nine squillion categories. Which kind of makes them useless, right? Anyway, we are here at the beach and we currently do not have Internet access at the cabin at all. Well, not quite at all because I can get online with the iPhone. We are wrestling out how to steal some bandwidth from the Green Guy Internet Cafe but a plumbing disaster interrupted our efforts. So, if I want to get my “real” computer online, I have to go down to the beach (if it’s not foggy) or over to chez Green Guy. And last night, I, Kayak Woman, actually chose face-to-face social activities over my MacBook. Whaddya y’all do with categories and tagging and all that stuff?

Two. We were turning on the water Friday afternoon and I was futzing around in the kitchen and suddenly The Commander screeched, “Did you get water on the floor again?” “Probably,” I sighed to myself. Then I turned around and saw that the amount of water on the floor didn’t even come close to equaling anything I had been doing at the kitchen sink, plus it was coming from the other direction! A pipe had split over the winter and the GG had to take the cabin apart to fix it. It was loads of fun and now we own some kind of a torch or whatever!

Three (and four). I will have to turn over the time traveling flux capacitator question over to an expert. Froggy? Are you awake yet? And I don’t think I’ll tell y’all about the squirrel undertaker. No I did not get a picture!

Grok grok grok! I wanna snore in front o’ th’ Saterday mornin’ cartoons too! grok grok grok!

Plummin’ at the cabin

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Brought to you by the folks at Comtrend, beach internet access at your service.

Here’s a link in case it won’t play.

Grok grok. This one’s fer Sam. Er, I meen th’ arkee-olygist, not th’ ol’ yeller dog. I giss it c’n be fer him too tho, wharever he is.

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Here’s a ol’ link jist in case ol’ utoob won’t show my luvverly mooooovie on my blahg. Grok grok.

quick iPhone update

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

you guys, I did some dishes by hand this AM and I think I fergot to drain the water. So sorry 🙁

Goodnight, from Houghton Lake

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Oh. And somebody around here is turning into an old fuddy-duddy. And it is *not* me!

On an unnamed street in San Francisco

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Quick, quick update! Gotta get into work early and plow through about a mountain of stuff today, then we’re off to inaugurate our Mackinac Bridge commuter card. Thanks to the UU and The Beautiful Gay for the surrogate parenting and the pics. Congratulations to The Beautiful Renee. Maybe more later (much later). Maybe not.

Infinite loop

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

if (time = time_to_go_home) {
enter westbound I94 at State St.
stumble back into cubicle

if (exit = “Jackson Rd”) {
take Jackson Rd exit
continue until (exit = “Jackson Rd”)

if (n_maple = “construction”) {
turn left and go the ‘back’ way ’round
turn right and do the regular route

if (route=”back route” and brain_engaged = “yes”) {
go straight past the freeway entrance
elseif elsif elif else if (route=”back route” and brain_engaged=”brain on crack”) {

Do not pass go. Do not pee the seat. Ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

Life, the universe, and everything.

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

So, what’s good? What’s good is having a career that actually pays me for my time. What’s bad, or maybe hard is a better word, is being new and not having a whole heckuva lotta vacation time available. Not that I’m looking for enough time to circumnavigate the globe on a camel or anything. But I don’t have a whole lot of time. Of *course*, I knew that going in. I knew that this summer would be hard. I won’t have all that much time to get up to the beach. The last couple years in particular, I boomeranged back and forth all summer. 10 days north, 10 days south, ad infinitum until it got too cold to stay there. Not this summer. I am ready for that (I think). It’ll get better. My employer is not a slave driver, actually, they seem to be more than generous in many ways. But what *is* hard is that I can’t get to see The Commander as much as I want to. It has hit hard the last couple of days, as I have finagled an extra day off this weekend so I can go up north and schlep boats and furniture and octo-women around and clean toilets, etc., that I am my moom’s only living child and she’s five hours away and she can’t drive here and I have so little time to drive there. And you really cannot fly from here to there. I know that there are plenty of other people in the world* that will use every last bit of personal/sick/vacation time that is allotted to them, whether or not they need it or have actual *work* to do. I am not like that. My work ethic makes it hard for me to even ask for what little time I am entitled to.

* I’m talking about the world in general here, people where I work seem to have quite the work ethic.

Quick [non-iPhone] update

Monday, May 19th, 2008

The Marquis has started his own blahg! I guess I encouraged him. He is an uber-bicycle rider and I think his bike trip accounts are wonderful. And now he has his own corner of the web. Love it. <3 <3 <3

I have no title

Monday, May 19th, 2008

I didn’t think I had any words either, except that these work guys are still here at 7 PM and I wonder when they’re gonna leave. I mean, I want the work done but I can’t relax while they’re here and I need to relax. Ah wall well. When I was a kid, I wouldda been all excited. Sigh. Eet’s a gallery. Cleeeck the gallery peeecs to enlarge.

And this is the wing they’re gonna stuff Commie into.

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Just kidding, all you Commie High grads (the two that read this). As far as I know, there are no plans to try to assimilate The Planet Ann Arbor’s popular alternative high school into its newest comprehensive, the vertigo-inducing Skyline High. You never know when that might change though and I don’t particularly trust elected officials in general although there is one school board member that I actually know personally and I know her heart is in the right place.

So, we are getting a new high school here. We have two huge comprehensive high schools already, Pioneer and Huron. And there’s Community (Commie) High downtown, where my alternative little theatre rats went to high school. And a couple more small schools of “choice” that work with the kids that, well, I’m at a loss for words here, have difficulties conforming to a huge, bureaucratic environment.

I wasn’t a supporter of the new school for reasons too complex to describe in this blahg entry. But we’re getting it anyway. It’s on N. Maple, just north of M14 and it opens in the fall. My kids would attend Skyline High if they had been born, lemme see, 10 years later than they were. Er, not putting Commie High into the equation, that is. It takes a lottery to get in there and they both won it, thank the gods!

We had a chance to tour the school during an open house a few weeks ago. I was dizzy dern near the whole blasted time. Going up and down the staircases gave me the same feeling I used to get in the stairwells when my kindergarten class at “Stinkin'” Lincoln went upstairs to the second floor to show off our Halloween costumes to the big kids. Vertigo anyone? *Inside* a building? Of course, I also got that way at Ikea. So.

Click here or on the pic for more. Y’all know what to do by now.

Do you want to rearrange the furniture?

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

I peered at the newly carpeted “back room”. I looked at the cluttered shelf that holds our birdhouse collection, at least the part of the collection that isn’t currently attached to the outside of the house holding baby birds and their families. (I don’t have trouble with the birdhouse collection per se, it’s the other crap that has insinuated itself onto the shelf *with* the collection.) I had a pretty quick answer: NO! I want to get rid of the blasted CLUTTER!!! Honestly, the way the furniture in the back room has been for, oh, about the last 10 or 15 years is just about the only way it *works*! I’m not sure why. It just does. Or maybe it’s just that I can’t see past the clutter and dust. I hate to dust. And vacuum. But I would probably do both of those things a heckuva lot more often if I didn’t have to move so much crap, crud, corruption, flotsam, jetsam, and cosmic debris around just to do it. And then move it all *back*.

I’ve been living one of my recurrent dreams this week. Does everybody have recurrent dreams? I have several categories of them. There are the frenetic processing dreams, where my brain forces me to go over and over and over and over ad nauseam whatever it is I am working on at the time. Notes and fingerings for a new piece of music, computer code in whatever flavor, a large Word document, Flash project, bead-weaving pattern, you name it. Then there are the shoreline dreams. The Fin Family Moominbeach folks know what I mean. My shoreline dreams don’t limit themselves to freighters coming into the bay, the shoreline goes through all kinds of bizarre permutations for me, including fire engines and lots of smoke on the morning of September 11, 2001. I kid you not! Prescient? I’m not sure I really wanna know.

And then there are the packing dreams nightmares… I dunno if I’ve been having packing dreams my whole life or not. I know I’ve had them since I began schlepping the beach urchins around. In a typical packing dream nightmare, I’d be sitting on the floor with a diaper bag surrounded by baby clothes, toys, books, and whatever. Madly stuffing all of that cosmic debris into the diaper bag. I would get it all in there and manage to zip the blasted bag up and, yes I am done with this and we can pack our vee-hickle, yay! And then. I’d look around and there’d be a whole bunch more baby-related flotsam and jetsam and cosmic debris. And I would open up the bag again and push all the stuff down and miraculously, there would be enough room to stuff some more junk and paraphernalia down in there. Usually about that time, I would force myself to wake up.

I have been living that dream nightmare all week. Emptying rooms so they can be re-carpeted and rebuilt and… I won’t go any further here. I was futzing around in the back room today actually *dusting*! Hey, because I *could*. I could reach various little collections of knick-knacks without moving a whole bunch of furniture and other junk. And I rediscovered the kokeshi dolls of my baby-hood. Y’all have kokeshi dolls? I do. I have had those kokeshi dolls since whenever it was that my brain could string memories together into more than little flashes of things. They actually came *from* Japan, where my wonderful now 92-year-old aunt (and still kicking, thank you veddy much) taught for a few years after WWII. The big one is the outer shell of a set of nested dolls, you can see where she comes apart. I can’t remember how many were inside of her but I sure remember taking them all apart and putting them back together again about a million times. I don’t know where most of them went but the leeetle wee doll that you can hardly see, on the left, is “Bug”. That’s what I named the inner-most nested doll back in my toddler-hood. Bug doesn’t come apart. The little red kokeshi doll on the right used to have a partner. A blue doll almost like her. I don’t know what happened to the blue kokeshi doll. I do know that I won’t willingly get rid of these, *ever*! Clutter be damned. I guess that is all.

Er, except that maybe if we would get rid of some of the *other* clutter, I would dust and vacuum a bit more often.

A nice quiet cubicle.

Friday, May 16th, 2008

We did it! New carpet in the “back” room. The old stuff was old when we moved in. That was 24 years ago. Click on the pic for more. We’re off to Knight’s.