Thursday, November 20, 2008

this is the room where I burn and beat things


So here is where I am every Tuesday... My favorite room is the hammer and mandrel room you see on the left. I love that you have to close the doors to work in here and then you can sit on a tree stump while you beat things on a wrist shaped mandrel.

I'm having some issues with my fourth project. It's going through a very bad ugly phase. I'm not happy with it and am worried that it's going to be very yucky looking. So far all of my projects have had a period where they didn't look like much, but I could see something through the metal dust. With this ring, I see nothing but trouble. It's friggin' huge. The inside is my middle finger size six, the outside part of the hollow form is a whopping size ELEVEN. Who wears a size eleven? Not a five foot four person... unless they have edema. And I'm sorry if you do.

So I've been thinking that the only way to save it is too just make it bigger. Just make it completely outrageous. So after taking my vitamins tonight I either had my latest stroke of crazy or genius: make it a birthday cake ring with layers on top. How can I help myself. Our instructor did say we would never wash our hands with this ring on, it's going to be big. Mine might weigh two pounds at this rate. Urgh. I like pretty things. Not clunky chunks of metal.

All I want for Christmas


I have fallen in love with these boots. Some way or another Mira actually found them. She was working on our computer upstairs while I had the piperlime site up and clicked her way to these babies. I've been looking for a riding boot for about 10-14 years. These are freaking amazing. I'm a size 8. If you love me, please send them.

Matt Berson: Rivington Boot

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Wire

Twisted Brass Wire Bracelet, third jewelry project

little prints

Here are the sheets I personalized for Miss Mira's big girl bed.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

case of crazy


And this would be the row of Mira's pretty little silhouette that would wrap the edge of her pillowcase.
After too much time spent looking for duvet fabrics at G Street and JoAnn's I went online following the recommendation of Lotta Jansdotter's book and found some things that I like at contemporary cloth.

Not really sure if what I've designed on the left is too crazy so I'm thinking about it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Laura Tremain, silversmyth


Over the weekend Eric and I were having a conversation during which I mentioned that I was eager to take more jewelry and metal classes because I think it might be the next direction that I go. In a somewhat shocking move Eric indicated that he had reservations about my safety while investigating such endeavors. I was outraged. And then I remembered Johnny Tremain from sixth grade! Poor young Johnny had an incident that I can't recall entirely but I think he silver-plated his hand and ruined his career before it began. I asked Eric what he imagined me doing when I am at the jewelry center. Could it be better or worse than what I actually do? I'm sure our lab tech is scared of all of us first years wielding our strikers against the torch, heating our tiny metal objects with all the clumsiness of blind animals.

A couple of weeks ago we took a trip to a vineyard in Middleburg, VA. While we drove down a narrow road through the changing leaves we passed several homesteads encapsulated by deteriorating stone walls. I had a momentary flash of brilliance. When we are rich we shall own such a homestead and raise our children to churn butter and I will be a metalsmyth (yes, with a y my sign shall read).

Then tonight, I was looking at my goodreads link on the blog and thinking I should update it because the titles showing up first are some that I read in high school... I logged in to my account and had some new friend requests from people I haven't met. I scrolled down one, and lo and behold I saw one had read Johnny Tremain.

material confessional



Even with the economy gossip and last bits of real estate income drying up in my checking account I can't stop shopping. Ikea, trader joes, anthro, marshalls (Betsey hot pink tights anyone?), internet or wherever. I just can't keep myself contained. Mira needs a big girl bed... so sheets, duvets, comforters, pillows, mattresses, bed frames (purchased the featured low bed from west elm currently on back order)... and on and on we go. In this case, I am thinking about making the duvet and customizing the organic sheets I got from target with her silhouette up at the top and on the edge of the pillowcase. I really want to make it unique. I don't want to hit the target and buy something generically hip (even though this one is quite charming). I want to make something lovely that will be sweet for her to look back on when she's heading off to college... much like the way I remember my jungle spread and rainbow sheets. Now if I did buy something... it would be the Dwell Cowgirl set featured in the center photo above. The only thing is that the duvet appears to be the same forwards/backwards... and even though it has been discontinued is still a small fortune. (HAPPY LITTE UPDATE: I scored the sheets and duvet set for $125 by making an offer on Ebay! We negotiated down from $169).

Oh, and on a make-it-yourself note here is an adorable craft project for that cute little primary colored tote above from readymade.

And finally, I'm in the market for some leather to make belts or old belts that allow you to change the buckle. I'll be expanding my creations for Christmas to include belts for boys.

Friday, October 31, 2008

typical of a modern cuckoo

I was thinking someone might be curious about what I've been making in Jewelry Class, so here you are. Project Deux: Complete. Cuckoo Clock with Detachable Brooches. The project was to design a brooch inspired by an architectural opening working with layers and textures. I'm so f'd up that I decided I had no interest in a wearable brooch so I would make a wall brooch with two brooches. See double, nearly triple the work. Smart, right? And the cuckoo does not appear from a door (typical of a modern cuckoo), but reflects in the window so I have hit most, if not all of the requirements at this juncture.  

Pieces were constructed as follows:
  • Blackened Brass (five by six inch) base and clock hands
  • Roll Printed, Pierced Copper with Fumed Patina cuckoo
  • Hand-sanded Nickel Silver branch
  • Polished Nickel Silver three
  • Acid-etched, Roll-Printed truck
  • Chased Nickel Silver dog.

The Synthetic Pumpkin Lives On


So Halloween is scary for several reasons. Kristin dressed as Sarah Palin, Eric wanted to watch a horror movie, I discovered that I have a shopping problem, and I learned that two of my dear neighbors are voting elephant. One of them even cited family values as a reason. I won't trivialize this with my rebuttal because what I really want to talk about is trick-or-treating!

I bought a pumpkin costume for the dog. For the dog! It was on sale at Target and I just had to, I repeat... I HAD TO. She's sort of large around the middle so even though she seems like a medium dog, she's actually large. So the pumpkin top was too big but she wore it for two hours. When I finally took it off, she seemed cozy around the middle. I bet she liked it.

So at 6:30 sharp Eric, Mira, Sophie and I high-tailed it to the front stoop to meet the other neighborhood kids and parents for trick-or-treating. Out of four girls I would say that three where some sort of princess (including Mira and her haphazard "costume"). The youngest is only six months and he rode stroller style as a baby Nemo. Cute cute. We started on our boring cul-de-sac which barely displayed an illuminated pumpkin. Our lone decoration is a puffy nylon pumpkin that in years past has been beaten by at least one of the princesses out tonight. The synthetic pumpkin lives on. We went to the second cul-de-sac. Boring. Then the third... I started to remember Halloween's when I was ten in Laurel. We lived in a townhouse community and some of the houses actually offered tricks instead of treats. There was an option. Some of the houses were so scary that I remember not being able to say anything. Just standing there, staring wondering what kind of rancid things things were happening in there. The girls did that tonight. There were two or three houses that they were too afraid to go up to. Now this is suburbia, this is a neighborhood so blase that you can go to sleep with your garage doors open and the worst thing that happens is that a cricket hops in and scares you two weeks later when you're taking out the garbage. I couldn't believe how scary some of these boring old splits and colonials turned out to be. It occurred to me that for kids, it must be a real bummer to have to go to the houses like ours, with a stupid stuffed pumpkin sitting on the porch (or wandering on four legs) when you could go to houses that stop you in your tracks. Houses with flickering lights, fog rising from the foam cemetery, a scary body prostrate in a chair with it's eyes glowing red while the kids poke it saying, "its not real" and then it moves.

Finally, we grew tired of carrying Mira and her Elmo candy basket containing three candies and two lollipops. We wandered home vowing to each other that we will do better next year. We will decorate. Once home, no trick-or-treaters came and the ones thad had come while we were out did not take the entire bowl of candy as local lore dictates they do. No, this is Kings Contrivance where all of the children can be trusted. By eight we turned out the lights and put on our faded old pj's, ate popcorn and watched Nick Cage hunt for treasure (2).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

10.9.08

Today my Grandfather died. He had a massive stroke on Sunday. My Grandma has been at the hospital all week, never leaving his side. On Monday night, I had a dream that he was walking out one door and through another, passing me in a corridor. He's been in a coma all week and when the doctors reviewed his CAT scan today they discovered that he had another stroke at some point and that there was no chance he would wake up again. The news was obviously devastating, I'm having a hard time thinking about what my aunts, uncle, mom, great aunt and grandma are going through right now, especially my grandma.
Thinking about how much he loved coconut and making sure everyone had enough to eat. Remembering how hard it was for him when my grandma had cancer and how much he hated going anywhere without her. Thinking about how lucky we were to have him in our lives and that I wished I had paid attention more than I did. Thinking about how sad it is that you can't change things... you can only move ahead.
Something about the fall is impossibly difficult.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Zee and her cousin Jesse

So tired... but in the middle of watching Brad Pitt be a bad boy in the assassination of jesse james. Though I typically love westerns (especially the over-produced modern versions, and sadly just about anything since kiefer sutherland in young guns)... I find this one to be a little dry. Maybe it's just because my eyes are having a hard time staying open. Maybe it's the cast. Maybe the plot. I do like the narration though. It's delivered in a similar manner as "little children" or "the royal tenenbaums." While watching I have developed a fondness for Sam Rockwell who was also in "the green mile," I have to say that his performance in that movie made me uncomfortable. He has a perfect bit of crazy in his eye.

There's one amazing shot near the end... Jesse is on ice, strapped to a board, a large format camera pointed at him; but the beauty is in the angle. It's directed at the camera and you see in the lens Jesse and the crowd of people fading to black behind him. And if I'm not mistaken Nick Cave sings a little ditty just after that.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Oh Sarah...

Stumbled across this fantastic blog in the NYtimes today called Domestic Disturbances by Judith Warner. Most of the recent posts are about Palin. It was the post entitled, "Poor Sarah" that made me click here. I thought for a moment that I could be open to the fact that maybe I should see another side (of her, of Republicans); however, after reading more about her and the opinions that followed, I am more sure than ever that I may not be hard enough on her. The last paragraph of the post sums it up perfectly, "Frankly, I’ve come to think, post-Kissinger, post-Katie-Couric, that Palin’s nomination isn’t just an insult to the women (and men) of America. It’s an act of cruelty toward her as well." It is cruel not only to her, but to the citizens of our country who may be subjected to a fate worse than Cheney (see here and here). Is ignorance worse than unbridled power?

It is scary to me, that articles like the one I posted a couple blogs ago detailing how some parents with special needs feel they have an ambassador in Palin. How can they feel this way when she is someone who opposes stem cell research (McCain doesn't)? How can they trust someone that would take away another person's right to chose to abort their own child with Down Syndrome? What scares me most is how she is not alone, so much of the country agrees with her. So I am going to try to understand better, starting with this read, What Makes People Vote Republican.

I feel like I have to understand... watching the debate last night I didn't think that Obama did better than McCain. I saw a Republican do what Republicans are very good at: making Democrats seem whiny and defensive in the shadow of pontificating self-righteousness. Every election I think to myself that Democrats have to do better next time - that we have to fix the political strategies that are causing us to lose the support of many Americans. And earlier this week when McCain called for the debate to be put on hold while the two Senators went back to their jobs to work out our financial crisis, I agreed. I thought yes, that is your job... go back to Congress, meet, decide and do something about this. I didn't agree with the statements that said McCain should be able to do more than one thing at once. It's not about that... it's about doing what is right and doing what is your job RIGHT NOW.

It should be noted that McCain didn't actually go back to Washington; instead, he found some time to work the talk show circuit.

Monday, September 22, 2008

teeny, tiny birdcage in silver

So this is my first project from the art jewelry class I'm taking at MICA. I finished it yesterday and only broke two saw blades! My first attempts snapped three in an hour. So it was very good progress. I've shined it all up and only have to do a jump hoop through the tiny triangle shape on the top and it's ready for wearing. First critique since college is tomorrow.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Stalin with Palin

I really hate to get political out here in the open, since I'm so judgemental it's better if I just stick to settee and make-up comments so I don't hurt any one's feelings... but I've been seriously considering dual citizenship ever since I realized that Palin is actually going to improve McCain's chance of getting into office and filling in those big shoes that know just where to walk in order to ruin what is left of this country.
Worse still - on the facebook I realized just how many people I ACTUALLY KNOW are real-live Republicans (one even went to the convention). Shocking. It's better that I don't know what people are in the voting booth... it's a good etiquette practice, don't discuss money, religion or politics.

read any of these and get back to me:
Palin and McCain’s Shotgun Marriage
The Scrutiny of Sarah Palin
Parents of Special-Needs Children Divided Over Palin’s Promise to Help
Palin On Abortion: I'd Oppose Even If My Own Daughter Was Raped

Ochre

Lovelovelove the settee from Ochre. What you can't see here is how the upholstery is generally a mix of silk with velvet from the same tonal range. The effect is ravishing. Can't remember how I found out but even a small chair is priced in the low to mid thousands. I've visited the store in SoHo and besides the dreamy furniture they have many neat artisan pieces that got my synapses firing. Actually, Ochre is how I first saw Miranda Meilleur. She had a case full of spoons and I took a blurry photo googling all the letter I could make out from my romanticized photograph till I found her.

Friday, September 5, 2008

friday

Mira likes the ting tings.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday


visit with trainer who has same name as me... sore for three days.
first art class since college (jewelry design at mica)! broke three saw blades in 15 minutes. so excited to learn new tricks and fantasizing about being a famous jeweler! inspired by Miranda Meilleur when I went to nyc last month. hoping to make baby spoons and little bracelets.
severely publicly embarrassed when i took baby to barnes and noble. was one of those parents that let kid toss books all over the place while i tried to find a book on "how to get your kid to sleep without drugs." left empty-handed because books were alpha by author.
first eyebrow wax today. brows never looked better.
took three pairs of shoes to the kings cobbler. ready next wednesday.
worried and scared of republicans.
thinking about moving out of the country. can canada get warmer soon? if not, maybe i can get dual citizenship to the motherland.
dog barks too much. is de-barking inhumane?

Friday, August 29, 2008

happy happy all the time

I'm trying to be a happier, more pleasant person. It's difficult when I'm so easily annoyed by the little things that probably don't bother actual happy people quite so much. Recently we picked up one of the cars from service. Usually part of the service is that the car will be cleaned out; however, this was not part of our service, just a courtesy vacuum for us. I guess they assume that if you have a car seat you want to keep the sticky white substances adhered to the door and the seats, perhaps they presume that it's all part of the latch system; safety first, you know. This and the smudgy windows is quite enough to upset me for 20 minutes, sometimes longer depending on the length of the car ride home and how close the dirt is to me.

I also get upset when my clothes fall off the hangers... when the mail piles up higher than eight inches in a week and i just went through it the weekend before... when I get more than four credit card offers from the same company in only a couple of days and have opted out(!)... I get annoyed when the baby puts couscous in the dog's fur... when my shoes start to smell... when I'm running seven minutes late again...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Face Time

So it's going to cost approximately $124 to save my face after I use my free sample of something called Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, which according to Nordstrom's website promises to: "reduce the depth of wrinkles by 19% and increase hydration and moisture levels by 10%, this powerful anti-aging cream provides a progressive lifting effect through increased collagen support. The dynamic combination of the marine algae padina pavonica and absolutes, gingko biloba and liposomes delivers visible results within fifteen days."

In the meantime I have contented myself with the $65 Maximum Replenish Night Cream which has less aggressive promises, though perhaps more realistic (I can't help but think of them as Obama and Hillary, respectively):
"This calming night cream with adaptive technology adjusts to the skin's individual needs. Formulated with unique desert plant extracts that adapt to your skin's needs, providing targeted replenishment and supporting the cells' natural regeneration process."

Not that anyone cares but I've been attempting to phase out all of my chemical-based products and trying to purchase products that aren't made with chemicals that Europe outlawed years ago but that our country still allows. I came across this site which allows you to type in a brand and see where it ranks in terms of the harm it causes. Elemis ranked as a 2 (low hazard), but it wasn't clear which products were ranked. Aveda products ranked moderately as a 4 mostly, this provided disappointment since I thought I was safe here. Kiehls sunscreen moisturizer, my other favorite also scored a moderate hazard ranking with a 5. Yikes! Even when you think you're safe, you're just not quite safe enough. So I guess it's time to go back to oatmeal facials, but who knows what Quaker does with those oats.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Cricket and the Arugula

Yesterday there was a freaking cricket in my arugula salad. Don't you know that I had eaten half before I noticed?

Monday, August 11, 2008

getting better all the time

Lately I've noticed a difference in my skin. No longer the smooth porcelain finish I used to hear talk of at the cosmetic counter, I am starting to see the signs of age: a little loss of elasticity, some slight lines developing around the eye area, and maybe a rather large line on my neck. I spoke with Shelley about it yesterday and she seems to embrace the changes while I am wondering just how much I should spend on magic face cream: $15, 25, 55, 95 or more? This is my face after all and skin is something that cannot be altered completely. I'm not suggesting that I'm already planning plastic surgery or botox, just that it's sad that downhill starts when you still think of yourself as young. For example, I'm not yet middle aged and I'm showing the signs of age. It's sad. It is. When you're young you have no capacity to appreciate what could possibly happen to your sweet little face as the years tick past. And you don't need to embrace the changes, you just need to acknowledge that the body is no longer pristine and is ultimately giving up on you around 28-30 depending on how much you smoke or drink. Knowing that at least allows you to know your enemies: time, nature and those ambitious free radicals that I scoffed at in the nineties. And while I may eventually come to have affection for my crows feet and laugh lines, for now I prefer that they stay classified as fine lines and treat them to the occasional dose of peptides and perricone facial serums.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ever listen to something that makes you remember someone even if you never listened to it with them? I have that with the copywriter. A long time go, in a lifetime far away the copywriter and I went Christmas and Hanukkah shopping together after work. He had just moved to Baltimore from NYC, temporarily without his wife and new baby while the details got worked out. While he waited, the copywriter and I visited lots of malls and became fast friends.
On one of these trips, maybe even the first one, the copywriter was driving and playing Ben Folds Five - Brick. In response to the lyrics he told me that he never really knew what being alone was till he became separated from his wife and son. And while the song is actually about an abortion his insight resonated with me.
Another thing he said was that he loved the Counting Crows but knew that in many ways it made him a thirty-something yuppie, which he had particular reservations about as he had left a co-op in the city for a colonial house in the 'burbs. At the time I didn't like the Counting Crows (maybe just a song or two, nothing I would admit to openly). I was only 22 so there was no need, no understanding, no grave nostalgia for anything but a boyfriend or two, being in college and not having to work. These days I love the Counting Crows. Especially when I run. Sometimes I burst into song running down hills, breathlessly out of tune. The sweet nostalgia of a lifetime long ago.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ode to my iphone

power saving
picture taking
misbehaving
with my iPhone.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Belly of the Buttons

Mira found her bellybutton. She just can't stop touching it. Trying to change her clothes is nearly impossible as she uses every opportunity to pull up her shirt to investigate this very special place. She's obsessed and it's quite amusing as she spins herself in circles trying to examine it from new angles. I thought she was content with her own but last night she started looking for mine. Then E's. After the fourth or tenth time sticking her little fingers in my bellybutton I had enough. It makes me feel queasy, the bellybutton touching.

This is my new favorite photo of her. Mira and her belly touching glory.

vitastench

The smell of vitamins makes me sick. I walked down the aisle at roots looking for sesame oil (not of the cooking variety) and wandered through the vitamins. The smell hit me as hard as raw sewage. How do people work around that smell? Just how?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just Married!

Today I got married on facebook. E just joined. He's mad that I don't use my married name on it but I just don't think anyone would find me with the new name. And isn't finding people what facebook is all about? Oh that and how many friends you have. I think my sister Chelsea has over 600. How is that possible?! I don't think I could keep that many people straight. I'm keeping it real around 40 something and finding that most people that I know just don't bother with it. But if anyone changes their mind... you know where to look.
In Baltimore lives a man that I have been worried about for the last seven years or so. I saw him first at the Barnes and Noble within the Power Plant monstrosity. I had to go there once after poor Bibelot closed in Canton, this was way back when I lived in the Canton Cove building. I was behind him in the queue - I might have been eyeing a copy of Lucky magazine while I waited. As he was given his change I began to take him in. First I noticed that he was missing a hand, and had a prosthetic hook, then another hook, then I noticed that one leg and the other were also prosthetic. So concerned about his welfare and wishing I had noticed how he retrieved his money to pay and how he had put his change away I couldn't get him out of my mind for weeks. Everything about the damage the RUF in Sierra Leone had done was pretty fresh in my mind and it was the first time I had seen a person with so many amputations. The more I thought about him the more I really wanted to meet him, to know how he survived and what he did for a living. At this point, I thought he had to be making it since he was buying books and somehow able to read them.

Around the same time I had bought my first dooney and bourke bag and imediately decided to return it and to donate the money to Amnesty International instead - hoping the funds would somehow benefit someone in Seirra Leone who had come upon the same misfortune. Knowing of course that even though I was amassing massive credit card debt I still had it better than so many people. Sometime after that I saw him again. He was panhandling downtown. I was so upset because I thought he must have been doing well enough - buying books and all. You don't often see homeless people at the bookstore. I saw him a few times after that - each time I was never at the right location to get my cash to him, or I simply didn't have cash when I saw him. I never give money to the homeless. I donate to pre-screened causes thinking somehow that it's better to work toward the greater good than to the benefit of the individual. But for this man I would give. I always look for him when I drive through the city.

A few days ago we were on our way to Hampden and I saw him on President Street. Older now, and missing one of his AE prosthetics he was at the intersection at Baltimore Street. I knew I had money and rounded up dollars leaving enough for my own emergencies. I asked my husband to roll his window down and to give it to him. As the moments wore on, my man moved slowly, I guess my husband noticed what was wrong faster than me. He hopped out of the car and ran across the lanes to give the man his money. His legs were uneven. Both lower prosthetics were missing and he was clearly in pain. As the light changed and E hopped back in the car I regretted not giving everything in my wallet... how selfish I was when I finally had the opportunity to help him. What has happened to his prosthetics? What kind of a world do we live in where a man must live without the benefit of his limbs? Has someone robbed him? Taunted him, who would do that? Don't we have any public services to offer him? What is Baltimore doing for him? Does he have family, anyone caring for him? And I have some guilt for my own worries over him, like he doesn't need my sympathy and I shouldn't stare in the first place. But I truly wish I could help him or wish I knew that someone was helping him. Does anyone know his story?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Yes, I'll take the gas please!

Certainly sedation dentistry seems the way to go. I'm just back from a 3.5 hour visit with the dentist. It was a joyous occasion. I took the gas, because really why even ask - doesn't everyone want a little laughing gas with their dental pain? I've had it once before, back when I had my wisdom teeth removed by a pervy dentist in Catonsville that took every opportunity to look down my shirt. Perhaps that's why he so eagerly introduced me to the world of nitrous oxide with your dentistry. That day I wore a turtleneck even though it was the summertime.

So I opt for the vanilla scented gas because I really can't stand the smell of a drill and feeling tugging in my mouth. It just upsets me. But I could sit through it if I wanted to. However, for 200 dollars a little controlled substance seems worth it. I have so few opportunities for these things nowadays.

As they hooked me up to the pulse ox I watched my readings 61 over 97 to 70 over 97 and tried to control it down again. It's funny how you can do that. They told me to let them know if I felt woozy and then all of the sudden I did. I remembered my sister once described her nitrous exposure to feeling like she was on a game show. Maybe it was the beeping of the machines that made her think of buzzers. My reaction was slightly different. I felt giddy at first. Everything was very funny but because of the gauze and giant q-tip sticking out of my face I felt like I couldn't laugh. But I did in my head and thought the technicians must see this and think the patients are crazy; this made me squint my eyes a little bit. Someone asks if I'm okay. If they only knew! Definitely not okay. The wooziness comes in and I feel like a drunk person that has said too much. They ask you questions but you really can't respond reasonably because you're temporarily without reason. Then the gas comes off and all is well again. One final thought I had whilst I wiggled my legs in the chair was that it would be even more comfortable to have the procedure in a massage chair, maybe even to have had a pedicure. Next time dentist, next time.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

of ray and 300

Can't stop listening to this record. The song "Empty" is making me feel like i need to write something poetic again. There's a line that says, "will I always feel this way. so empty so estranged." I love it and the staccato way he places the words ever so... Just love that it makes me think of when I was 20 and of all the crazy things that I might have done but can't remember anymore and I just can't turn my ipod off to stop the feeling. And now 2 hours have passed with the headphones stuck in my ears.

Of all things recently the ridiculous movie, "300" gave me some visual inspiration that is making me feel ready to paint helmets of warriors and flowers. I even have a title for the series worked out and am ready to head to the library to start researching armour and victorian wall prints. Certainly the two things have no relation but I am making one. You never really know what is going to inspire movement from inertia. The last time I felt this welling up was when I listened to ok computer's exit music (for a film). I felt it was connected to the film until the end of the world and was so inspired that I could not separate the two. There is something inspiring about the end of the world... reminds me of something I read in the nytimes.... ;-)

have you got the times?

I have some concerns about my obsession with the nytimes. A few weeks ago, after a three year standoff, I renewed my weekend subscription and haven't been the same since. All week long I find myself declaring to anyone who will listen what connections I have made back to "something I read in the newyorktimes." Not only that, but I read so many articles that I'm becoming delighted by all the story lines that link back and around to oil, air quality, conservation, Japan, China, the Olympics, and France. The only trouble is that there are so very many connections that I'm starting to get things confused (as if I didn't have that problem already).
It hearkens back to my old days printing in the darkroom at Grace's hopped up on dorito's and an apple while NPR warned of the dangers of Russia bombing us that very weekend (I think it had something to do with Iraq/n selling things to them or them to Iraq/n that allowed for creation of nuclear weapons.... can't remember the details anymore but I was quite upset that weekend).
For me, getting the actual newspaper is not the same as reading the articles online. When I read the online version I selectively read the articles about fashion, cocktails and travel. I rarely read anything negative, dare I say newsworthy unless it has to do with a gruesome discovery. I prefer the entertainment columns as I click through the headlines. And the times caters to people like me. They have a beta program - called "MY TIMES" where I have ticked off various categories that interest me and thereby created my own paper. It works well enough, but I can't change the layout and most of my headlines go down the left side of the page creating an unequal and very long distribution of food, chocolate, and shoe headlines next to the more universal headlines that fall in the middle of the page. Not too many photos appear which is usually what draws me in anyway. What can I say... even the times could stand to learn a little something new.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

pregnant man... this one is for you JTH

UPDATE: See Thomas as Tracy below... There are only a few things that I find truly outrageous. Sure, things upset me and I am mock-horrified by human behaviour and bad decisions made by friends and neighbors. But once I saw the promotion for the Oprah show a few months ago about a pregnant man I just about lost it. The issue for me is not the transgendered position this (wo)man is in. No, I care not that she was a woman who became a man, that is after all his/her option. My issue is the publicity. The news and print coverage was marketed as though this person was actually a natural man, with actual man parts that all the sudden became pregnant with the holy child. Please don't waste my time with the promos and the hype. This is a woman (XX, remember - that part doesn't change) that takes hormone therapy to have facial hair. She did not have the surgery to remove her female parts so it is just not unusual that she would become pregnant when she impregnated herself.

Isn't there just something terribly alarming about the weedwacker and george michael look?

Friday, May 30, 2008

my call to action

My jury duty was called off. Perhaps they were tipped off by the "hang 'em" comment.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Down the Hatch


Oh what the freak! I love Lost. I love Ben and Locke. I wish they would just have a beer together and talk about the good times - like when they thought Ben arrived by a happy face parachute and had him hunkered down in the hatch. Can't you just picture them at the cabin kicking back with Jacob (who's at the BBQ) while Claire makes Sangria? It feels like with all this stress these islanders live with they could use a little Dharma sauce.

My favorite episodes are those which center around Sayid. I could watch him be a badass all day. What delightful, shall we say "stage presence" he has. Yummy.

Now that the 2 hour season finale has come and gone I feel like I have to watch all the seasons over again. There is just so much information and most of the time I'm too distracted to savor all the juicy bits.

But after the final scene tonight - I wonder if they have to bring this body back - wouldn't it be easier to have it cremated? And what a perfect title for this show, Lost. Sure they were lost in the beginning but now everyone left on the island is even more lost than before, not to mention everyone who made it off metaphorically and all. I'm so satisfied with the writers when I think about how hard they must work to think of innovative ways to tie all these past and future events together with such ambition.

J to the 'enna

Well it's true -I read it in Baltimore magazine - the blonder first daughter is moving to Baltimore. I was slightly surprised to read that J and Henry will be shacked up on busy Charles Street of all places (though close to watering holes may have been one of the search criteria). I have to admit that the house is pretty cute in a very traditional, perhaps Federal way; however, the kitchen is not quite my taste. Interested in taking a peek? Sales Price: $440,000.
More than anything I found it remarkably amusing that the buyers got $5,000 in closing help for this one.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

finally someone is talking about oil!

And this is great. Finally some one is taking these oil execs to task for all their money grabbing.

Humanimal = Cybrid?


I came across this thought provoking article on the Times' website. Britain's House of Commons has voted in favor of passing legislation that will allow the creation of human-animal embryos for medical research. It's really quite fascinating. The cell of an animal is stripped of it's nucleus and implanted with Human DNA. The cells (embryos) are destroyed within two weeks - the purpose is to use the stem cells. Since there are a shortage of human eggs available for research this new technique opens things up by using animal eggs injected with human skin cells. Sounds confusing but the article is very well written so even I could understand it. They don't plan to grow actual animals just "clump cells." However you look at this scientific possibility one thing is for sure... this is the beginning of a whole new era.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Not a Pretty Girl


Today is Ani DiFranco Day. I'm listening to Not a Pretty Girl (1995). I'm thinking in honor of all my 90's nostalgia I will dedicate the entire month of May to the Nineties. Any objections? I didn't think so... Tracks 4-7, 9, 10, 12 and 13 should do the trick.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

whitechocolatespaceegg

I'm feeling very whitechocolatespaceegg (1998) today. I remember that when this album first came out I wasn't that into it. I had to listen to it over and over and over again. And then I loved most of it. Especially numbers 3. Perfect World, 10. Go on Ahead and 14. Fantasize. Makes me just want to sit outside with an icy drink, headphones and my ipod on repeat.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

If there was ever a question about my morality...

Here ye, here ye. All ye people shall be considered on notice that our local government has found me fit to contribute my opinion to the fate of a fellow citizen.

It's true that I, LCB have been chosen to be a juror for an upcoming trial in hoco later this month. I've been wondering when this little bit of paper sunshine would appear. If selected, I promise to be fair, strict and to, er, hang 'em! If guilty of course.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

1999


I've been rummaging around some old boxes and found a treasure. It is my old Mao travel journal from Europe 1999 & 2000. There are some really funny observations in it (maybe just funny to me). I'm trying to decide if I want to scan the whole thing in or just parts & type my old comments. I may start a side blog with just that stuff in it. I have forgotten just how funny Dawn was! The teddy bears are from The Teddy Bear Museum at the Castle in Prague (1999).

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Behaving on Film

There's a new film out about Patti Smith. The filmmaker (Steven Sebring) became a dear friend of the family while filming Patti over 11 years after her reemergence in 1995.

The Post article does mention that Patti only reveals what she wants to reveal. Which is what we all do anyway. But some of that is in the editing. A recent Penelope Trunk column about why Journalists misquote everyone mentioned how interviewees are often misrepresented - and discussed that the reason she met & ultimately fell in love with her husband was because he had interviewed her for a film about memory. She behaved on camera in a way she thought might attract him to her. Ultimately he was fascinated by how charming she was on film that he made the whole film about her. She said when she finally saw it he had made her "look like a lunatic." She fell in love immediately.

The Grass is Always Greener...



Came across this modern mower today. Uses a rechargeable battery and retails at $479.
*
If you must mow - why not use something that looks like a cute frog with a handlebar?
*
Goes up to 1/3 an acre at a stretch.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Retraction!

The book to throw across the room definitely improved after my post earlier this month. I finished it over the weekend. After the first section things became more interesting as the characters began behaving a little bit more badly. I do love a badly behaving character.

Might be worth a borrow but not a buy. Save your dollars for milk!

4/25 - Today I donated the book to the Salvation Army.

Milk Service


I came across an interesting article about the resurgence of milk delivery on the Baltimore Sun website. It appears as though I may be able to have Milk delivery to my very own home address. Certainly it comes at a premium. There is a $3.50 delivery charge in addition to the milk being priced a bit higher than the average carton. But I'm going to be getting milk in glass bottles without having to wake up super early on a Saturday to make it to the farmer's market in CV (not that I do that anymore anyway).

Though the farm is not organic, they do abide by greener practices and have high standards for the products they bring from afar. I'm just so excited I can barely type! I ordered the metal bin for the front porch to keep the milk cool after delivery and created a standing order consisting of the following:


South Mountain Creamery also offers prepared meals! Some sound pretty good but I'll have to make sure that we remember to get the milk in the house in a timely fashion first.

Yippee! How very Leave it to Beaver of me!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Open House this Weekend!


I'm holding an open house this weekend at my new listing in Canton. Come check it out! It has 2-3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. The location can't be beat... just off Patterson Park, near the Can Company as well as the Square. Great price - complete renovation in 2002 and lots of storage.
Sunday, April 20 from 12-2PM. Click the link for details/address.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More BPA Nonsense

More information about BPA from The Washington Post. Wonderful article, quick read and lots of funny stuff in here. Consider the following knee slappers:

  • "Last year, another expert panel using outside scientists minimized the health risks of BPA, but its findings were widely assailed after a congressional investigation found that a firm hired to perform scientific analysis was also working for the chemical industry."
  • "Public health advocates said the report should spur the government to ban BPA, at least in baby products. Formula-fed infants are most vulnerable to the chemical, since it is found in baby bottles as well as in the linings of cans of powdered and liquid formula. "They get a double exposure," said Anila Jacob, a senior scientist at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group."
  • "But Steven G. Hentges, executive director of the polycarbonate/BPA global group at the American Chemistry Council, said the new report does not mean BPA is unsafe."

So glad we asked him!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Books to throw across the room


I'm reading a really horrible book. One that I've considered moving to the recycling bin and visualized throwing across the room on multiple occasions. It's "All He Ever Wanted" by Anita Shreve. Don't bother with it. I can't think of anything nice to say about it. There have been a few Shreve books that are well worth your time - like "The Pilot's Wife" - don't hold the tv movie against it and "The Last Time They Met" which was very good, but this book is not one of those stories.
The first section is so awful and pre-Victorian in the worst way. The only reason why I keep reading it is because I read somewhere that the main character is actually a villain so I keep waiting for him to do something bad. He's turned out to be a manipulator that actually cries to get a woman to marry him when it is very clear that she moved to be away from him. The last few books I've picked up of hers have reminded me of something soft and icky... like an apple going mealy. You think it's going to be satisfying in the way that lovey fiction can be and then you sink in only to find ultimate disappointment.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Seeds & Things on Fire


I've got about 21 plants that I am nurturing from the seed form. Some will be harvested and eaten. Others will be scattered throughout the land. Mira picked up one of the taller sprouts and popped it in her mouth.


When I was coming home today I saw a tow truck with two cars, one was on fire. I tried to call 311 but Verizon had me blocked. Perhaps I have reached my quota of 311 calls this month?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

To Market!

I think the real estate market is picking up lately. Prices are stabilizing. People are interested, sniffing out the market. Homes are being listed at less ambitious prices. However, there is at least one listing that is taking the opposite approach. It's a very interesting Columbia house on Shadow Lane. These folks are clearly hoping to double their money from their purchase price a few years ago - having made some upgrades in the kitchen and maybe even refinishing the floors. Great setting and near perfect appointments on the first floor, but I kid you not - until its recent price reduction it was listed for 200k more than any other recent sale in the hood. Not only that, but they have employed the pricing theory that oddball numbers appear to be more of a value. Reduced by 21,510 dollars (I wonder why not 21,509?) - they still have approximately 196,276 more to go before I can overlook the awkward tile floor basement and outdated bathrooms.

The Hampden Special

In between appointments today on the Avenue in sunny Hampden I semi-witnessed a hit and run. No actual people were hit, just a car. But we've all been that car haven't we? Not the bad car, but the poor, battered, abandoned-without-a-note-car. I probably would not have noticed the event were it not for a gal in front of me who turned at the noise and appeared shocked, more shocked, and finally dumbfounded as the assailant eventually drove away without so much as stepping out of his vehicle to examine his own car. I turned to see what she was looking at and saw the adventure vehicle still pulling out of the spot and noticed a piece of the poor VW lying on the street. The adventure car slowed, and eventually pulled up an alley. I had time to grab a pen and note his plates.
You wouldn't believe it but this sucker actually reparked his car after driving around the block a few storefronts down. I was in the process of writing a note for the victim when I saw him in my rear view mirror. I felt awkward about getting out of the car, leaving a note. Like I might actually get in trouble for the whole thing, or he might confront me and remove the note since he could see me now from behind. So I waited. I kept an eye on both cars and had noted the shop the other witness went in. In the meantime I finished my muffin and sipped my latte. Moments later - the bad driver actually pulled into the now vacant spot in front of my car. Thankfully, he did not strike my car - but I preempted his parking skills by backing up as far as I could. I felt like I had to do something but just didn't want to get close to the VW for fear of confrontation. In the meantime, I did have to call home to remind myself what the right thing to do was - I was in the process of waiting it out when the bad driver finally emerged from his car he walked with a cane. He went into a shop, he had the appearance of a business owner. His car bore many battle scars on the VW striking side.
I went into the Chocolate/Shoe shop where the witness was and confirmed that she saw the whole thing. We agreed to call the police - and found they didn't care since no people were injured. They said I could leave a note with my contact information. You won't believe what happened next - but the women who owned the car actually entered the store and looked out the window to see what we were talking about/pointing at. It was then that they realised it was their car! I was able to direct them to the store where the assailant went in and had to go off to my next appointment. What timing!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I'm going to be 32 next month. Short skirts are definitely out and I find myself more frustrated at jeans that show not just muffin-top, but crack. Really... who decided that otherwise fine fitting jeans should exhibit crack on grown women? Didn't we abandon these styles 1,000 britney headlines ago? I no longer buy clothes in the junior's department and I've ponied up plenty for designer jeans; you would think this would absolve me from the curse of crack. I have a pair of Sevens (in my opinion the worst for crack, but most flattering for everything below the button), Joe's jeans (runner-up for exposure but otherwise good fit), Salt (perfectly fine, aside from the bad flared tailoring on the hem, courtesy of an ebay seller), and Paige Denim. My Paige is the best and probably the most expensive at around $180 (incidentally, these are the only ones I paid retail for). The only trouble is that I have 3 pounds of weight flux that make regular wearing of the paige wide leg somewhat unpredictable when I'm retaining. I don't remember having these troubles when I was 22. 

Failed my dosha adjustment...

So I was all hyped up on this dosha business but after I made stewed prunes it went downhill. I'm the kind of girl who calls prunes "dried plums" because it sounds so much more pleasant. Perhaps prunes a' la stewed made me recall a special order I used to make by the dozen long ago when I worked at Charlestown Retirement Community (back when minimum wage was $3.35 an hour and I clocked in at 3:38 to serve DINNER!). Said special order consisted of the following, either: stewed prunes with gooey light brown sauce (read: their own juices) spread next to cottage cheese OR bright red beets aside a healthy portion of cottage cheese. You can just imagine the medley of colors intertwined can't you?! Don't get me wrong, I am one of the few that actually likes beets and dried plums/prunes, but at the time it was just gross.

I gave the dosha adjustment my all. For two weeks I really did! I ate the pills (7-10, 3xs daily), I weaned myself off of dairy and almost everything else but in the end it just wasn't convenient and it wasn't cheap! The first installment of herbal supplements was approximately $136 USD. And at about 17 days I was nearly through my entire stock. Times two and I'm looking at over $250 for the month (plus practitioner visits, acupuncture and constant grocery visits). It's not cheap to be healthy. It all came to a close this weekend when Mira had her first birthday party. I've had so much cake that I have surely undone all the goodness that I had done.

So here I am again.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Book Report: In Pursuit of the English

I forgot all about Doris Lessing for the last ten years. The last book I read was Memoirs of a Survivor. Before that, the Golden Notebook which I loved.

In Pursuit of the English combines my favorite topics: Africa! and London. Hooray. Can't believe I waited so long to hear about this Pulitzer award winning book. Set just a few years after WWII in a bombed out neighborhood in London a young, single mother finds her self in a boarding house full of characters. With descriptions so rich that you can clearly picture the halls she walked, the rooms which she lived you find yourself immersed in her life, making 7 pounds a week. Her BFF Rose, whom she met at a local shop and inquired whether she didn't suppose she knew someplace where she could live, operates as her guide into the nonsense. 

Doris' character plays more unwitting and pliable than you know she is. She allows her new friends the extravagance of thinking they are helpful to her, and that she would be lost without them. All the while they are giving her the resources to write the story of her life. What a delightful story!

Number One


Mira is one. It does go by fast, like they say. All I can think of is that we're 1/18th into this with her and then she'll be leaving home. Sure, after college she'll do her laundry, ask us for money and to pay her car insurance and school loans. She might occasionally come home for dinner if she lives nearby... but we don't have much time left! And next year we'll be 1/9th of the way there. So saddening because she's so much fun.
More than this, I worry about what kind of world we're leaving her. I think about having more kids just so she won't have to go through what might happen alone. I watched the movie Children of Men at some point after her birth and got my head caught back up in ideas about the end of the world. E doesn't think about these things - I asked. And I worry that she won't have potable drinking water (a la Waterworld or some other horrible movie). I worry about all the plastic we send to the landfills and wonder if that's where someone thought up the idea for the Jetson's. Are we really going to have to move into the atmosphere? When you look at how much rubbish we, and our neighbors produce on a weekly basis, consider the amount of garbage a restaurant puts out nightly, and think about where all this goes it becomes quite terrifying - to me, at least. On NPR's Science Friday program I heard that 80% of the world's water is used for agriculture and a large portion just for watering lawns. Cutting down our animal product consumption would be as beneficial to the enviro as driving a Prius.
Not really where I meant to go with this post but my goodness, I have a daughter and she's only one.

Monday, March 10, 2008

More trouble at the gymboree...

Mira fell off the gymboree equipment. And what a scream it was! I was trying to coax her through a tunnel and in the time it took for me to come out from the other end of it she had tipped off the 1 foot high riser. I'm sure this kind of thing happens all the time but it was quite horrifying to have a public "accident."
Usually, we can tell when Mira is tired because she starts bonking her head on things and tipping over, like a cow in the night. I've been concerned about her wayward behavior more and more having just read a story about a family whose twins were taken away from them after one daughter had bonked her head while the mother was changing the diaper of the other daughter.
Is this really the best way to handle these situations? Taking the children away, putting them in foster care, and charging parents with criminal offenses? Has no one watched a baby lately? Unless you put the child in a room made of flubber (probably someone's version of child abuse anyway) you're going to get some head bonks and wipe some tears away pretty much as soon as they start crawling.

It's not me, it's my dosha...

I went to an Ayurvedic practitioner last week for my frequent sinus infections. I was advised that I'm Vata with a slight Pitta and bigger Kapha imbalance. While I listened to some of the signs of a Kapha imbalance it began to make sense! I have so many issues that could be related to this. To correct the Kapha imbalance I should cut out dairy, nuts and bananas among other things. The news was very shocking to me since those three things are most of what I eat in a day - all starting with my banana nut smoothie! Basically nearly everything I eat has been bad for me and probably contributing to my health problems. I began making the switch last week so it's early to say if anything has changed just yet, not sure how long it will take. I think the biggest hurdle has been snacking - there isn't a lot of food just hanging around for grazing that I can eat while trying to correct the Kapha aggravation. Later I plan to make a few recipes like cranberries and a curry to have on hand. There's only so much warm rice milk with ginger that a girl can take!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Wish I was In Treatment

I've been watching the HBO series In Treatment lately. The programme centers around a therapist played perfectly by Gabriel Byrne and his 5 most compelling patients during their visits throughout the week. The fifth episode of the week ends on Friday nights when Paul visits his own retired therapist (Dianne Wiest) to sort through impact the sessions have had on his life and own marriage.

I just reached the first episode of week 5, where Laura and Paul come to the end of their sessions because Laura has declared her love for her therapist and he feels they can no longer ethically continue because he is also attracted to her and can't bear the weight any longer. An impossible sadness closes the episode as the two embrace, perhaps for the first and last time before she walks out the door.

Tuesday is a manipulative, grating, doomed and highly reactive pilot who challenges Paul's observations and provokes reactions from him. Wednesday is a young gymnast named Sophie, she may have tried to commit suicide by throwing herself into a collision with an automobile. Thursday brings a volatile couple working their way through infertility, pregnancy, and lies (if you're wondering where Josh Charles has been you can find him on this day). Occasionally little snippets of Paul's own life make it into the room while his own marriage buckles.

Highly addictive and very difficult to watch, even the most frustrating visits shine light on the darkest of feelings. I can't stop watching. Something about it makes me wish that I was in therapy. Know any therapists like Byrne?

Curious? You Tube will let you watch a few episodes for free.

Fourtune, Telling

Today I popped open a leftover fortune cookie hoping to find some infinite wisdom along with satisfaction for my sweet tooth. There was nothing inside. How disappointing is that? I was hoping for something like: "You are going to have new clothes." or even "Help! I'm trapped inside a fortune cookie factory!"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Gymbo is a clown?

Yesterday in addition to voting and mailing off some Valentines I treated Mira to her first day at Gymboree (the activity center, not the store). Skeptical at first, she approached these children with the utmost caution. We made merry with maracas, hand drum, cage bell, and peek-a-boo scarf. Little did I know that Gymboree actually has their own version of a scary clown that joins in the singing and dancing fun. Somewhat embarrassing, for me at least, was all the singing. Of the one song that I partially remembered the words had been changed (oh do you know the muffin man... who lives on Hickory Lane?). Overall I am glad that we went but watching the staff and other parents interact with the kids I became aware that I probably don't baby our baby enough. We don't do all those little nursery rhymes and itsy bitsy spider things. Mostly we make up our own songs and games; consider the classics: throw the pacifier till your mama takes it away, feed the dog our snack and make her fat, who's got a stinky?, and of course, this monkey is a carnivore - courtesy of her dad.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Kristin Met Bill


While I was watching a tv show about chocolate...
My sister Kristin met Bill Clinton. She's so lucky!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Chocolate all the time!


Sunday was some sort of food network chocolate marathon. The best thing I saw was Giada on Everyday Italian making a chocolate soufflé. I have made soufflé before but this one just seemed extra special. I made immediate plans to have it. This one is special because of the truffle-like rounds at the bottom - which when cooked melt to an exquisite sauce to be sopped up with the rest. Though we didn't have frangelico I used kahlua and the results were quite delicious.

Next up is her Panini with Chocolate and Brie. The husband is skeptical but really, it's chocolate and brie so why not?
AIR TIMES:
February 15, 2008 4:30 PM ET/PT
February 17, 2008 7:30 AM ET/PT
February 22, 2008 1:30 PM ET/PT

Friday, February 8, 2008

Bottled Up


Our little country has got issues, serious health issues. No one, I mean NO ONE is looking out for our health relative to toxic exposure of consumer goods. Today I read another article about the bisphenol A (BPA) controversy. This time not on a mom board, not from an email chain, but from a place that I consider a reputable source - The Washington Post. I've held off being reactive to the BPA controversy. Maybe plastic baby bottles leach chemicals when heated and maybe they don't when they're cool. There is no conclusive evidence or report being released or fessed up to by any company, business or health organization just a lot of writing, speculating and crazy mom blogging. Toss 'em all, the extremists have said. My hesitance at first was that we had just bought them, they weren't cheap and if I tossed them they'd be going to a landfill (no recycling logo)... I asked the pediatrician if he had any thoughts on BPA - no concerns from him. But after the Post article today I finally threw out my Avent bottles. Whether they leach BPA or not I have read too many articles indicating they "might" cause reproductive harm!, leukemia!!, AUTISM!!!, and given up any hopes that anyone in our happy, red country is in charge of our health. I just hope that I haven't potentially, unwittingly poisoned baby M to the point that I have done harm.
I have other bottles - tried the Born Free (5 pieces! how much time do I have to clean this nonsense?!) she didn't like the flow anyway. We have the drop-ins... but today I found something BPA-free and ORANGE from thinkbaby. Hopefully the change will make some difference. But this isn't the only way I may be poisoning our baby... Gerber puts their organic baby food in #7 plastic containers. #7 polycarbonate has been ruled unsafe, especially when heated for some of the same reasons BPA has. Besides that I always thought that only #1's & 2's could be recycled at most facilities so why is an "organic" product put in a non-recyclable container to begin with? And don't even get me started on plastic blister packaging. Impossible to open, harmful to humans and the environment (cancer, anyone?), and requiring their very own infomercial scissors to cut through. I think that companies generating these products should be held responsible for the madness and taken to task. Can we have an election about that?

Friday, February 1, 2008

praise for wiki!

I love wikipedia. I really can't imagine how I got my information before I noticed it. The Daily Show or e!online maybe. Every now and then when I can't think of which celebrity micro-tragedy to research I just head to wiki and think, "hit me!" The hit me wiki button is also known as "Random Article." On one quite memorable occasion I was not ready for bed and wanted to find something good, really good. So I hit it, hit it, hit it till I came up with The Purple Rose of Cairo. I knew this was good so I went to bed, saving it till tomorrow. Over my morning coffee I followed all the leads until I actually landed on dear Ava Garder (whom did not trust anyone to get her bio right so she did it herself, and my what a story she told!), sideways to the iron lung, the genius son of Woody and Mia and even back to the Sudan! Amazing how it's all connected. Actually while collecting the links to make your life easier I caught up with the Beatles too! Who knew! It's like six degrees of separation for the entire universe. Did you know that my grandmother met Ava in Spain buying flowers?

Sad but true: I heard about wiki on NPR. The piece I heard (this wasn't it) was about how anyone that has a wikipedia account for 24 hours or so can post whatever it is they want about whatever it is that they think they know. This is my kind of storytelling! I can't even tell you how many things I think I know what I'm talking about but can't remember everything so I just go with whatever comes out.

You get what you pay for, I guess.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

jaloux!

I can't help but be a little bit jealous of this flickr member. I've neglected my own photography skills for so long that it hurts a little bit when I am reminded that some people are taking & posting new photos every day. Besides her obvious talent for still, interior compositions she's always sneaking in a clever self-portrait. She has the work ethic of a 3rd year photo student, which is to say quite prolific! Oh well, here are my blueberries from last week.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

inspiration from strange places

Recently inspired by a couple of flickr pages and design blogs I decided to make my own. My favorite so far is a celebrity real estate blog. I came across it by way of a Gwyneth Paltrow reference. BTW, have you seen these photos? more here. I love all the pink and the cute little A for Apple on the pillow cases! Can't believe it's just in the Hamptons - it doesn't seem like a northerly beach retreat.
I've realized recently that my taste has gone from subdued earthy tones to more happy colors. I haven't been able to implement yet. Next house... I'm thinking. In the meantime I'm hoping this will help me keep track of all the things that I like.

Stroller Theory

During a supposedly quick trip to the baby store I was reacquainted with just some of the reasons why I love this place. For starters they have a huge selection of things like designer strollers, car seats, and high chairs. Unfortunately the Comfort First showroom didn't exist when I was pregnant a year ago - so I came to them late, after having made several regrettable selections on my own. At times I have refused their helpful comments preferring as I do to make choices based on aesthetics or enticing magazine profiles. On more than one occasion they pushed the sunshine kids car seat on me. Some of my resistance was due to the rather spartan design. After the third visit comparing the ultra-stylish and colorful Maxi Cosi Priori (didn't like the clasp) with the ever-popular Britax Marathon monster I accepted their advice and the Sunshine Kids radian 80 Manhattan was ordered. Apparently it took a long time to come in because production & crash tests were delayed due to the unavailability of an 80 pound crash test dummy (usually it's 65 or so). However it's here now and so far so good! We did have one issue with the strap that was corrected on the spot by their on site certified car seat installer, Kitty.
The actual purpose for my shopping trip was baby gates. I do so wish someone makes a mass-market modern gate soon. My favorite so far is something spotted while searching for "modern baby gate," sadly my husband vetoed this DIY idea. Since he's the one with the saw I have been forced into more ugly, plastic purchases to keep miss mira safe from harm.
The photo above is Mira in the phil & teds stroller as recommended by the staff when I complained about the defects relative to the Mia Moda Cielo (for travel - on our 2nd, first did not survive an airplane trip) & Peg Perego Aria (cup holder broke!) that we have. Apparently this brightly colored thing is not made of plastic and will jog up to 10 miles to your hearts content. It also has room for a future baby by way of attachment. It's pretty stylish I guess and perhaps half as much as a bugaboo.
My actual theory on strollers is that it may be better to pony up and get the nice one since we're on our third, maybe fourth stroller. All these stroller dollars could have just bought the ol' bugaboo.
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