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March 2011
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May 2011

qotd, my desk might resemble this remark

"Usually his desk resembled a battlefield, or even an architectural miracle; stacks of files slouched up against one another, propped up by cups or boxes or envelopes or even silverware, with corners or edges bent up to form little flags or markers whose meanings he soon forgot. Sometimes he thought his desk was sentient, lurking in the back of the Homicide office and soaking up the perfume of burned coffee and stale cigarette smoke that pervaded the upper floors of the department. Every other day he'd prune it back, removing on of the more outrageous towers of paper and shuffling it off to elsewhere, but then the next day the growth of papers would have almost magically regenerated until it threatened to spill over the edges."

-- from The Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennett


a couple of things, mostly unrelated to each other

* After my next run, I will have "graduated" from the Couch-to-5K program, which really just means that I'll continue to run and try to increase my speed/endurance. But, dudes, I never, ever thought I would become a runner. Never, ever. But here I am, running 30 minutes at a time and not dying. In fact, after the obligatory first few minutes of trying to convince myself that I don't feel well enough to run and the obligatory last few minutes of thinking I'd really like to sit down, I've achieve that runners qvell over. I feel...good. All of the stuff that's been bugging me, like the asshats who write in to the local paper, just goes away. Amazing.

For the locals, I'm planning to do the Jill E. Mattice Memorial Run on June 11. Anyone want to join me?

* Our next door neighbor, who is otherwise delightful, is convinced there is a big mean possum living under our back deck. I'm willing to play along, even though I don't believe in this possum, and we've had a human trap in the backyard for a few days. We've caught a raccoon, who just looked with us as if saying, "really? Again with the cage?" No possum, tho. The downside is that we've had to keep Barney, the mighty hunter inside. We caved this morning and let him out. How long until I have to free him from the trap, you reckon?

(ETA: This is not the trap that's being used.)

* I'll be making a quick trip into NYC this weekend for mostly work-related reasons. I've had the biggest craving for dumplings and/or potstickers. Any lunch recommendations? 

* Lastly, a gratuitous cat picture:

IMG_6670

It's a shame he's so uncomfortable.


up with figs, anger management

Once upon a time, Lisa and Adrienne worked for the same alternative newsweekly. Now, both spend their respective lives mining their creative souls and leading hermit-like lives. And so an idea was hatched. Every week, one would send the other a sketch—either in illustration or word form—and the other would make a companion to the sketch. The result would be posted on both their blogs every week, just for grins. Even if the result isn't award-worthy, the exercise makes both minds more nimble. Hopefully.

Noah

 

I didn’t do it. 

I been here all day, playing with the stupid dirt, ‘cos no one will buy me any good toys. All mine are busted.

I ain’t moved from this spot. 

I haven’t touched any stupid rocks after the last time. 

Yeah? You’re stupid. 

Fat, too.

Your sister, too.

I told you I didn’t do it. I never seen your house or your window or your blue lamp.

How’d I know it was blue? Your mom told me last night, right after I paid her.

Yeah? My dad could kick your dad’s ass. 

Just don’t tell him about the window, ‘kay? 

 

Text ©Adrienne Martini; illustration ©Lisa Horstman. Until the end of time. Or something.


many things make a post

* This is almost too painful to look at.

* I will be sleeping with one eye open from now on.

* All science stories should be this lucid. (Note: do not read while eating an egg salad sandwich.)

* I want one. Seriously. Dude made scale-model tie-line. That's dedication.

* This test is messing with my mind.

* Speaking of messing with my mind, "Einstein's Pedometer."

* I wish I'd "done the month" but can see how it could be more harrowing that not doing it. 

* Heh.

* We're still fighting the Civil War.

* Now I have to figure out which book to drop.


there's too much. I'll sum up.

Thanks to all for the birthday greetings. It was a good day. And, really, 40 isn't all that different from 39, except tomorrow I get to go have a baseline mammogram. Hooray?*

I'm going to do something that I almost never do in public, which is brag on my husband, who is affectionately referred to as the Featureless Saint.** This weekend was the culmination of two months worth of planning. On Saturday, he threw a surprise party for me.***

It was great fun. There were margaritas. There were noodles and fresh bread and fruit. There was more barbecued meat that is seemly. Since the weather was clement, there was a bonfire. 

But best of all were the folks who showed up. Some I see all of the time and yet they managed to keep the secret. A few I hadn't laid eyes on in forever.**** And one of the guests, frequent commenter matthew, I've known for over 20 years but hadn't seen for a few. He and his new bride drove up all special like. 

We stayed up far too late and had a pretty good time. On Sunday, the husband made a big batch of eggs benedict for brunch and we drank mimosas. Life, as the t-shirts say, is good.

This wasn't even my birthday gift, just a birthday party, because he knows I wouldn't have done it for myself. The gift is something that I've wanted to do for a long time - a full Brazilian wax.*****

No, not really. 

I was handed a red box. Inside was a tennis ball. Also inside was a promissory note for tickets to the U.S. Open. I've long mentioned that one of my bucket list items is to see all four Grand Slams; this is the start. 

He's a good guy, the FS, and I love him even more than I would have thought possible when we got married nearly 17 years ago. And not just because he gives me tennis balls but because he gets why I would want one.

In six months, he'll turn 40, which means that I have six months to plan. Any suggestions? And, no, Tiger Woods doesn't do birthday parties. I checked.

--------------------------------------- 

* Yes, I know that the general health maintenance tests get much more invasive as the years roll on. This is just the first of what I hope will be many. So, you know, upside is that I'm alive to get the tests. Downside are the tests themselves. 

** He is neither - but it is a nickname born from a negative review my first book received. 

*** It wasn't a total surprise, because five-year olds are untrustworthy. That is a story to be told later.

**** Emily is alive! 

***** This is a joke. Really. 


qotd, on comedy

"I get very charged by comedy when it’s fearless in the face of severity. I’ve always thought, Why do we give the high ground to people who want to be cerebral and serious? Humor and comedy is a great art form, and people get kind of stuffy, and say, “Stop being stupid,” and it makes me think, Fucking comedy done properly is not stupid, it’s sublime, it’s fast, it’s quick, it’s rapid, and intuitive and dangerous."

-- Russell Brand, from this interview


Sweater Quest: The Podcast + this day

First - Sweater Quest: Chapter 3 is now available in podcast form here. In the first ten minutes, you will hear a loud crash. The source of the crash is one orange cat who managed to drag a manila envelope full of yarn off of my printer and onto the floor, taking with him everything else on that side of the desk, because he is the personification of grace.

Also, this is the chart to which I refer:

Sc00597654

Second - today marks the first day of my 40s. So far, it has been pretty good. It started with a brisk 2.5 mile run (yes, run! I'm stunned, too) in which I expended a lot of energy to stay in one place. Then some errands. Then the work I absolutely had to get done today. Then a pedicure, where I had my toenails painted a lovely spring green, in the hopes that it might be spring soon. Now my plan is to ignore all of the stuff that I ought to do - because I am now 40 and feel it is my right - and will go knit and watch both America's Next Top Model and Bethenny Ever After. Real reality can wait until tomorrow.


up with figs, noxious phone

Once upon a time, Lisa and Adrienne worked for the same alternative newsweekly. Now, both spend their respective lives mining their creative souls and leading hermit-like lives. And so an idea was hatched. Every week, one would send the other a sketch—either in illustration or word form—and the other would make a companion to the sketch. The result would be posted on both their blogs every week, just for grins. Even if the result isn't award-worthy, the exercise makes both minds more nimble. Hopefully.

Noxious phone

 

My mistrust of the telephone started in the 1980s, right after I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street, the original, the one with Johnny Depp, the only one worthy of the name.

There’s a scene with the main girl-in-peril, who’d later wake up with a fetching grey streak in her hair, is trying to phone for help. The handset grows a mouth and lips and waggles its tongue at her. Obscenely. And whenever I pick up the phone, my brain sees that scene, those lips, that tongue, the thrusting and the invasiveness. 

That movie the reason I mistrust stairs as well. But that isn’t what you’d asked.

 

Text ©Adrienne Martini; illustration ©Lisa Horstman. Until the end of time. Or something.



many things make a post

* I'd like to see Food Stamped when it comes out.

* Michael Palin's advice to would-be diarists.

* For the Amazing Race fans.

* He's got such a supple wrist.

* The housewives tarot.

* Jody Rosen says what I've been saying for years about Britney Spears.

* On Bossypants, a book that I might have to own. 

* How to steal like an artist.

* I'm debating about knitting a Lanesplitter. I love Noro but am not a big wearer of skirts. Thoughts?

* Lev Grossman on David Foster Wallace's last works.

* Where children sleep.

* For when you're having an Emo Pony kind of day.

* I don't often get to say this about a Vanity Fair writer but, dude, I went to college with one Max Potter, who has a piece in this month's Vanity Fair.


shameless self-promotion, 347 in a series + a bumper sticker

From this weekend's almost-daily: I puttered.

One of the reasons I'm so very behind today - and, lordy, so behind - is that I was in Lodi, NY, on Saturday to work on a story for Edible Finger Lakes. On the drive back, as I was coming through Ithaca so that I could go to Wegman's, the one true grocery, I spotted this bumper sticker:

IMG_6663

(click to embiggen)

It's a sticker that only those who pre-ordered their copy of The Pale King the instant it was for sale will get, I suspect. But it made my heart do a funny little thing in my chest. 

And your daily dose of cat. 

IMG_6658