Monday, August 29, 2011

Goodnight Irene

I live in a part of Brooklyn that doesn't have to evacuate in any severity hurricane, so we just dug out the flashlight, put a couple of candles and a lighter on the kitchen counter, filled a couple of pitchers with water and called ourselves prepared. We also cleared off the bathroom floor and put towels around the base of the toilet, because sometimes when it rains, the water coming out of the washing machines in the laundry room (one floor down) comes up out of our toilet. This didn't happen, so we came through the storm completely unscathed.

Things I thought I'd be able to get done while we were stuck in the house during the hurricane:
  • do the mending
  • start sewing myself a bathrobe (Now that I've learned to sew in a straight line with my sewing machine, I want to move on to clothes. I figure I can wear a bathrobe even if it turns out like ass. Also, the only robes Macy's has in my size are in synthetic fabric, which is exactly what you don't want next to your skin in a steamy bathroom on a humid day. Macy's also has housedresses in my size, of the style my grandma wore. This is just not a look I'm willing to embrace at this point in my life.)
  • clean the apartment
  • make a loaf of bread with the bread maker
  • watch a bunch of TV and movies with His Awesomeness
What I actually did during the hurricane thanks to the migraine that started Thursday night when the storm was nowhere near NYC and is still lingering (in a greatly lessened state) today:
  • Cleaned out the fridge to make room for the pitchers of water.
  • Found the jar of clotted cream I bought in June so I could make scones for my birthday. (It's a small jar and I've looked for it without finding it enough times that I thought it was the jar that HA dropped and broke. Now I have no idea what was in the broken jar.)
  • Checked the expiration date, which is December, so it's still good.
  • Considered making scones
  • Realized that I was in too much pain to stand up for that long.
  • Continued my campaign to mold the couch cushions to fit my body perfectly.
  • Moaned and whimpered a bit to break up the monotony.
  • Watched massive amounts of TV and movies, both through Netflix streaming and Tivo.
  • Did some reading for my writing group (during the worst of the storm, when my migraine was at a low pain point--go figure)
Some of the specific programs and movies that filled my weekend:
  • Tangled. I dozed through what I think was the comic relief bit in the middle, so I would like to see it again when I'm feeling better. When Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore sang the oscar-nominated song from this movie at the Oscars (You Tube link), their age difference made the whole thing a bit creepy. OK, distractingly creepy. Their animated versions are much more age appropriate, so that was fine, except that I can’t un-see the Oscars performance no matter how much I pop open my skull and rinse my brain out with water.
  • Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Spoiler alert--it doesn't. It was made in 1957 and makes fun of ad men, as well as TV and radio. They actually stop the movie about an hour in so that Tony Randall can come out and explain that they're taking a break for the TV fans who are used to having their stories interrupted for commercials. Then he goes into a radio soap opera-type spiel (Will this happen? Will that happen? Will success spoil Rock Hunter?). Very meta.
  • The new episode of Doctor Who. Loved. One of these days, I'm going to watch all the River Song episodes in reverse order to see the story arc from her point of view. (She & The Doctor are both time travelers and they're going in opposite directions. So when they first meet, she knows all about him and each time we see her is actually an earlier point in her life from the last one. Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey. It's actually less confusing than I'm making it sound, because 4-day migraine.)
  • Passover Fever, which, well, it's no When Do We Eat? which, by its title alone, is the perfect Passover movie. I enjoyed it, and I'm just glad to have it off my Netflix queue because every time I see the name, I think of this clip from The Soup:

And now that song is stuck in your head too. You're welcome.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Weird Dreams

So the pill I've been taking to prevent migraines (moderately effective at best) has strange nightmares as one of the side effects.

Weird dreams I've had so far:
  • I was hanging out with some people, went into Staples to get something and then the whole place was full of zombies.
  • I was hunting down a serial killer. At one point in the dream, he was sentenced to jail, but not for afternoons, so he was still holding someone prisoner and was feeding them every afternoon. Why no one just followed the guy to his lair so they could free the person, I dunno.
  • The Project Runway dream.
Weird dreams I expect to have soon:
  • Zombies on pogo sticks.
  • Kangaroos on pogo sticks.
  • Singing houseplants.
  • All my unread books chasing me, calling "Read me! Read me!"
  • The one where I become Empress of Canada.
  • Poutine, and lots of it.
  • The one where I'm on Hair Battle Spectacular and have to design and execute a fantasy hairdo.
  • The one where I'm an Angry Bird.
  • Angry Birds on pogo sticks.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Over It

I've been stumped for a blog post the past few days because the one in my head is about stuff I'm over and I don't want to be too mean or anything. People *can* hear you on the Internets.

It's not that shocking to say that I'm over Kate Plus 8. It's nice to see the older kids a little less unhappy over the little ones grabbing all the parental attention. But I can't manage to care about watching the kids play or go on product placement adventures. Since the show's been cancelled I'm clearly no the only one who's over it.

I hope that I'll manage to stop watching the Duggars when the next season rolls around. I disagree with most of their values (I don't say all just because both I and the Duggars are anti-murder and pro-charity, for example. It's so easy to forget that about people we disagree with)

But I'm feeling a little headdesky over a certain podcast that I've decided not to name, but if you're a knitter, you'll know which one I'm talking about. I've listened to all 100 episodes so far even though I came in after she'd been doing it for a year or so and I still let them pile up like the rest of my podcasts. Regular listeners know that our podcaster has been trying to make a living from the podcast for years. She certainly has a large enough audience to make it theoretically possible. She tried corporate sponsors, took donations and even did a public tv style drive where she said that if people donated x amount of money then she'd be able to podcast monthly or maybe it was even more frequently. The thinking was that if she didn't have to spend time on other paying gigs she'd be able to devote more time to the podcast. Almost immediately after making this pact with her listeners, she stopped podcasting for a chunk of time because life just got in the way (as it does) and probably also because she's an admitted perfectionist which kept her from starting any podcasts before she was 6000% ready.

She's that self sabotaging friend you want to shake some sense into but it never works.

My headdesky moment came in her second to last podcast where she announced that she's finally realized that she can't make a living at podcasting so she's dropping the advertising and removing the donate button from her site. Because if she can't make a living at it she won't accept any money for it at all. Because of the perfectionist thing I imagine. If she can’t make tens of thousands of dollars at it, she won't take any money, even though doing the podcast costs her money (travel to interview people, visit notable locations, etc.).


I haven't cancelled my iTunes subscription yet, though I would t be the first listener I know that she's lost. Because that self sabotaging friend who never learns? Is still a friend. Which I supposed our podcaster would consider success. She started the podcast to reach out to other knitters and as much as she drives me crazy, I'm not sure I've completely had it with her yet.

But the only way to keep up that friendship is to vent to someone. When will she ever learn? Why does she keep doing this to herself? Because otherwise you can't keep watching them shoot themselves in the foot.

Yet, I have ended real life friendships for similar reasons. One time in particular, I remember thinking "I can't keep having a front row seat to this relationship". The couple is married now and although he treats her much better than her 1st husband, I have no doubt that he's still rude to her and selfish and I'm relieved not to have to witness that.

I know you've all had friends like that, so feel free to vent/dish in the comments.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sewing Dreams and Fantasy Hair

Sewing Machine HKLast night I dreamed that I was on Project Runway (automatic video warning) and the challenge was to make outfits for one of the other designers. (They actually did that one in whatever season Santino was in.) I had to make a dress for Becky (again with the automatic video), who is one of this season's contestants.

My dress ideas were all over the place, and when we finally got to Mood to shop for fabric, the store had been remodeled and there was hardly any fabric. At least that I could find. Everyone else found fabric just fine. But everything I touched turned out to be a ready made skirt, or table runner or whatever.

I finally decided to make her a bright red dress and found some bolts of red fabric. I got 2 yards of it, which was probably not enough. When I went to pay, all the other designers were waiting. Tim Gunn had taken pity on me and was letting me shop longer. He'd even left some of his own money to pay for my fabric.

Even more unrealistic than Tim bending the rules was the price the cashier rang up--$6. Not that I know the going cost of fabric, but most weeks, the Project Runway designers have a budget of over $100 for fabric & notions. (Oh, and in the dream, I realized too late that I hadn’t bought any notions--thread to match the fabric, a zipper, etc. Good luck making a dress without that stuff.) Season 1 winner Jay McCarroll once said in an interview that he once paid $15 just to fart in Mood. I visited Mood looking for fabric for my wedding dress. It was cheaper to order fabric online from St. Louis.

I'm just glad I woke up before I had to try to make the dress.

Before I had the dream, I was planning to blog about the return of so-ridiculous-it's-awesome reality show Hair Battle Spectacular (automatic video warning--what is *wrong* with these people?!). In season one, all the hair stylists had ridiculous nicknames like Cajmonet (pronounced like "cas" in "casual" and "monet" like the painter, and meaning "cash money"), Fingaz (because she has just fast fingers) and Minista (because she's an internet minister, or something, mostly for the purpose of performing gay marriages).

Minista uttered the best sentence ever spoken on any reality show ever: If Sexy Lexi wins Hair Battle Spectacular, it will be a slap in the face to fantasy hairstylists all over the world.

Sweet, sweet hyperbole, I love it so.

It's hard to tell if anything that awesome will happen in season 2, but I can dream.

Monday, August 15, 2011

What it's Like

There are a lot of Muppet events coming up (a tribute to muppeteer Richard Hunt at Bluestockings bookstore, the "Being Elmo" movie) and I've been trying to make plans to go to these things with one of my muppety friends. She suggested that we get advance tickets for the movie and I said that I can't buy advanced tickets for anything right now thanks to the migraines. (I'll never know if I'll have to cancel at the last minute.)

And that's when it hit me. Suffering from migraines is like dating a commitment-phobic jerk who's seeing 3 other people on the side. All plans are tentative until about an hour before and when your plans don't get cancelled, they could still get ruined. You never know when he's going to leave you miserable on the couch, watching Downton Abbey on Netflix streaming because you're in no condition to watch anything you haven't already seen.

What I haven’t figured out is that if I'm the one dating the jerk, or if my husband is.

Speaking of Downton Abbey, it contains a good lesson in creating dramatic tension for me and all my other writer friends. In an early scene, the kitchen maid end up with a bowl of poison in one hand a bowl of chopped eggs in the other. She goes to the footman to give him the eggs and tell him to sprinkle them over the chicken that he's just taken up. He grabs the wrong bowl, she realizes after he's gone upstairs and she can't just go up after him because kitchen maids don't go into the dining room. As she's begging a housemaid to go stop him before someone eats the poison and she gets hung for murder, the footman comes down to ask which chicken dish he's supposed to sprinkle the stuff over. She takes the poison, gives him the eggs and disaster is averted.

The whole incident lasts only a minute or so and never comes up again. But it makes you care so much about what's happening on screen that it spills over to the less frantic scenes. Kind of like the mad rush to get to the first wedding in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Now if I can only stop being in pain* long enough to edit my novel, I can see about adding a poison chicken scene.

*The doctor warned me that the Botox shots might give me a headache. I had a forehead ache for a day and a half, but not an actual headache. Then I woke up Saturday with the biggest sumbitch I've had in a while. I'm still not 100%, which is why I watched all 7 hours of Downton Abbey this weekend.**

**Best line Maggie Smith (as the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey) has ever delivered: "What is a 'week-end'?"

Friday, August 12, 2011

ZOMG, The 'tox

Syringe 3 With Drops

I finally got my migraine Botox shots yesterday. And well, that hurt more than expected. I always tell doctors that I have a high pain threshold since I'm a migraine sufferer, but wow a big needle in the forehead hurts. I thought I'd be getting them at the hinge of my jaw (at the base of the trigeminal nerve which has tentacles spreading across the face to everywhere migraines hurt), but no. Forehead, and several spots on my head. 4 syringes-worth of Botox coursing through my melon. One on my forehead bled, and still hurt hours later. I got a little woozy which I treated with a Ginger ale and grilled cheese at a nearby diner, plus another ginger ale and a nap at home. Highly recommended for whatever ails you. (Heh, at first I typed "whatever ales you". At least the Botox hasn't paralyzed my rapier wit.)

The effects don't start for a week, so I still have a few days to wrinkle my brow at HA. We've been saying that I should take a bunch of pix of me making different faces so I can just hold up the applicable picture if I'm no longer able to make cranky faces at him. The doc says I just won't be able raise my eyebrows as much, so no more Spock eyebrow raises for me.

And here's the other thing I forgot to mention on Wednesday. On my way home on Tuesday, the subway lines I needed to take were so messed up, that I finally gave up and went shopping until things cleared up. My purchases?
  • A soldering iron & solder
  • Purple nail polish
I'm feeling pretty awesome about that. I've applied the nail polish, but haven't used the soldering iron yet. I'm hoping to use it while still wearing this nail polish. Because I have to amuse myself somehow.

What's the weirdest combination of items you've ever bought on the same trip? Anyone who can beat the Radio Shack/Sephora combination gets major bragging rights.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jen is Random

If you haven't seen this segment from Monday night's Daily Show, do yourself a favor and watch it. I already knew about the news story, but it's so hilarious, I couldn't stop laughing.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Forecloser
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

I swear there were at least 2 more things I wanted to write about, but it would appear that my brain has ejected the information.

Hmm...let me try to free associate and maybe it'll come back. Something political, motherfucker, douchebag...

OMG, this wasn't one of the things, but have you seen those horrendous Summer's Eve talking vagina ads? Think twice before clicking that link. You can't un-see that shit. Senor Wences has been ruined for me forever. I've acted the ads out for His Awesomeness (ay yi yi, I'm not feeling fresh down here) and he may never recover.

Speaking of HA, one of the things I wanted to share was that he told me that whenever I say "Rick Steves" he thinks of Rick Dees and the Disco Duck. See how I love you so much that I'm not linking to the song?

Monday, August 8, 2011

What I've Been Up To

  • Revising my novel
  • Having anxiety attacks related to revising my novel. I suspect part of the problem is that in my current office I have no room for the sign that says "You do not suck. Now shut up and go back to work." When we rearrange the desks later this year, I'll fix that.
  • Listening to His Awesomeness telling me that I don't suck, but what the hell does he know?
  • Actually, he's pretty talented himself, so I guess he does know, but still.
  • Discovering how bad it smells when you leave the compost container on the counter during the hot summer months.
  • Washing my hands 3 times after washing the compost container and still not removing all the stink.
  • Recommitting to not volunteering for the community compost group because those bins must be introducing new smells every moment.
  • Trying to keep up with our CSA half share. At least the Kale onslaught seems to be over. Do you know what Kale Chips smell like? They smell like green. Aggressively so. Do you know what they taste like? They taste like green.
  • Discovering that I can stand eggplant if I slice it so thin (<1/4 inch) before breading and frying that it's more breading than eggplant.
  • Admitting that making eggplant parmesan would be less exhausting if I sliced it more thickly so there'd be less pieces to fry.
  • Rejoicing that this year's giant cabbage was actually smaller than my head this time.
  • Watching The Dick van Dyke show on Netflix Streaming. That sure is one catchy theme song.
  • Enduring His Awesomeness' suggestions that we throw a Dick van Dyke Show style party, where everyone gets up and performs.
  • Knowing that if we did that, our friends would either be afraid to perform, or come up with something mildly disturbing and/or dull as all get out.
  • Looking forward to getting Botox shots for my migraines because I have had it with these motherfucking migraines in my motherfucking head. 70 out of 90 days with a migraine is too many. (And yes, I know about the giving up gluten thing. I may try it if the Botox doesn't work, or when the first shots wear off. But doing it at the same time won't tell me which thing is making me feel better.)
  • Reading a book about treating migraines, which took months since it hurts to read when I have a migraine, and the whole 70/90 thing.
  • Playing games on Facebook.
  • Ignoring my invites to Google+ because I just can't be bothered.
  • Realizing this damages my techie cred.
  • Not caring.
  • Playing Angry Birds.
  • Watching Angry Birds tutorials on You Tube when I've failed a level 30+ times.
  • Buying a carnivorous plant to deal with the housefly situation. (That's not mine in the picture up top, but it's the same kind.)
  • Naming it Audrey 3 because sometimes you can't fight the obvious.
  • Peeking at it to see if it's doing anything.
  • Realizing that it doesn't work that way.
  • Peeking again.
  • And again.
  • Imagining the plant saying "Mo-om, she's looking at me!"
  • Realizing that it doesn't work that way, either.
  • Leaving it alone anyway.
  • Listening to the Travel with Rick Steves podcasts I downloaded 3 years ago when the economy turned bad and I thought I'd do some vicarious traveling, then realized that I couldn't keep up with one more weekly podcast and unsubscribed, but kept the ones I already had because they sounded interesting.
  • Being astounded that Rick Steves had to be told by his guest that you don't call French waiters "garcon".
  • I mean, honestly.
  • Rediscovering the joy of wearing nail polish.
  • Staring at my fingernails, because silver shatter is hypnotic. It's like crackle paint, which I've seen plenty of times, yet I can't look away.
What have you been up to?