Friday, September 30, 2011

Son of the Gothic South

"Work is the only device I know of [for improving one's technique]. Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade, just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself."

Truman Capote said that. I especially like that last sentence. It is his birthday today. Any excuse for cake. But I'm not lighting 87 candles. Not even for Tru.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Consignment Clothing with Colleen

The only thing I like better than a snappy alliterative title is a bargain. From left to right we have brown, pink, and black. The brown is barely worn and part wool and incredibly soft. I love the little button detail that runs around the inside of the neckline. It's also shaped like me, meaning it allows me to be curvy, and fits like a dream. The pink cable tank is 100% cotton and will layer beautifully with a jacket for upcoming chilly fall days. The black 3/4 sleeve Laura Ashley number was a steal at six bucks! I didn't even have to try it on because I have a burgundy one just like it in my closet already! Note the original tags! If I remember correctly, the original price was around $44, the markdown price is $32.99. And don't worry your pretty little head none, I bought the burgundy version retail. But off a yellow tag clearance rack. For maybe seven or eight bucks. The only thing I will enjoy more than feeling smug over these great bargains is wearing them.

Artsy Glass

As far as glassware is concerned, I'm a sucker for amber and cobalt blue. I don't collect for value, which is a good thing, because I have absolutely no knowledge of artglass value. I collect for that purest of reasons. Love. These two pieces spoke to me so I had to bring them home. The amber hobnail vase was in the window and I claimed it when I was barely through the door. It's a little over 4.5 inches tall, and has found a home on the little bookcase in my bedroom.

The cobalt bottle caught my eye because of its interesting form. I think it was some type of product packaging due to the smooth area suitable for a label on two of the sides. Old? Maybe. Also could be fresh off the shelf at Hobby Lobby.

I especially liked the bottle's asymmetry. I believe that's an isosceles triangle forming the base. From the Greek isoskeles, meaning with equal sides. And that concludes the artsy glass geometry lesson for today.


If patience is a virtue, I'm most definitely a slut.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Process

I think the hardest thing about the beginning of a relationship is the unknown. And being patient enough for those unknowns to come to light. I'm doing my damnedest to not (NOT!NOT!NOT!) project previous crap perpetrated upon me by other men onto these unknowns. And once they are revealed, letting them lie without judgement when they don't pertain to me. It's a process. One that I wish to remain present in. I am, after all, a process kind of girl.

Bad Girl Shoes

Sure, bad girl shoes are everywhere. But at Kohl's? Yes, indeedy! Thank you Vera Wang, for your fashion influence. More shoes that cannot realistically be worn for any length of time or distance.

Note the cute zipper detail!

And what possessed me to purchase these completely impractical shoes? There is just something that feels so incredibly sexy once you have them strapped on! Oh, then there was the price tag. Some girls may have paid the original $75 for them. But since we're talking Kohl's here, it's more likely they were in the 40% off price range. I paid $14.99. Which was great fun.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Me Again

At least, I'm going to pretend it's me. Okay, really it's just another occurance of my relatively rare name. Just now, on the encore broadcast of this week's A Prairie Home Companion, I was listening to Garrison Keillor relate the news from Lake Wobegon. I was listening rather distractedly, since I was finishing up the crossword puzzle. Then I heard my name. Carla. Carla the Homecoming Queen. Who had some sort of traumatic experience involving the oversize duck decoys. The memory of which returns to her whenever she sees a '53 Chevy. I really need to pay attention when it runs again at 5 this afternoon. It could be some kind of weird portent for my future. An alternate time line. Or something. One thing's for sure, there's no way I'm moving to Los Angeles. They can't make me. So there.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Football Face

I ring the doorbell. He lets me in. We smooch hello. I walk toward the table and set down my purse and switch to my indoor glasses. And what should meet my eyes first but a particularly hideous, yet matching and in excellent condition, couch and loveseat appointing the living room. I say nothing. He makes the football face* and remarks, "I really hate this furniture." We laugh. The evening is off to a grand start.

*football face refers to this smirky expression he makes, which I find adorable, that includes a curled lip, scrunched brow and implied eyeroll. If and when permission is granted, I shall most definitely post a photo.

And So, It Begins

Yes, it's true. I have been keeping company with, gasp!, a man. Really. Believe me, dear sisters and friends, I'm not holding out on you to be stingy. I just don't know what to say. This feels like something I want to keep close for a while. Mostly because I'm not entirely sure what it is. Or how to define it. So until I do, this is what I want to share. He is sweet, kind, smart, funny, generous and handsome. He is gentle, honest, flawed, curious, deep and caring. I really, really, seriously enjoy being with him. And for some reason this annoys me. Just a little. His blue eyes are twinkly and he is quick to smile. He's a genuine smartass. And a most excellent kisser. I think he likes me. After all, he did show me his rock collection.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Wisdom of MCC

I have nothing to say today. I don't wanna talk about it. That is all. Move along. Wait a second, Mary Chapin Carpenter has this to say:

And if you ever wish for things that are only in the past
Just remember that the wrong things aren't supposed to last
Babe it's over and done
And the rest is gonna come when you let it

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


What's in a name, you may ask. This is a particularly important question in the naming of pets. This is my dear friend Sara holding a couple of too cute kittens. They already had names when adopted, they were christened after the main characters from the sitcom, Cheers. It would seem that Norm, Sam, and Diane already had found homes as these two tigercats are Cliff and Carla. I so rarely am in contact with another Carla, we're just not that common. It pleases me immensely that Sara has a cat who shares my name. I'm going to pretend she named her after me. Cheers.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meditative Monday

From now on, Mondays are devoted to sandwiches and banjo music. I think they may have roofed over the vent for my range hood. The father of my first serious boyfriend died last week. I can't quite get over the fact that he died on the anniversary of the day his son deflowered me. I went for my first bike ride in two months today. The twelve mile ride. It felt most excellent. I have a pretty fair working knowledge of my new phone now. I bought new panties yesterday! No, I have not worn any of them yet. Maybe tomorrow. Just when I was really feeling hungry this evening, Reid walked in and offered me his leftover half of a bacon cheeseburger with a few sweet potato fries. Maybe I should now think of how I could use, say, a quarter million dollars or so. Pardon me while I crank up the banjo music, put on some new panties and meditate.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Brown Thumb Tribute

I don't think we have officially frosted over here quite yet. My thermometer read 38 degrees on the chilliest morning last week, there was frost on the rooftops in the neighborhood. The dahlia in front of the garden shed is still very happy. I may even experiment with bringing in the geraniums and see if they will successfully winter over inside. I might as well put those south facing windows to good use! Any little bit of green in the dead of winter is a welcome sight.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I do enjoy the Coen brothers. Raising Arizona in particular. Holly Hunter is an absolutely a-ma-zing actress. Though I do not understand why they inform us via subtitle that the date is April 12th. I do understand from an inside source at Kimberly-Clark that while they got tons of screen time for their Huggies diapers, they did not care for the context. It also occurs to me that those adorable little blond baby boys must be about 25 years old now. Time does fly, even if you are paying attention. Except perhaps when you are changing a diaper. It's all relative. Or my name isn't Nathan Arizona.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm Not a Lawyer, But...

It seems to me that when the insurance company chooses the doctors who then render opinions in their favor, at best this is conflict of interest. At worst, collusion. Either way, it's bad medicine. Bottom line is, I was injured on the job and incorrectly diagnosed. Subsequently I was denied benefits and treatment and fired from my job. There is something very wrong here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

13 Books on September 13th

The pile of books on my nightstand. By my count there are thirteen. I have read four of them. Four are in progress. Two I have started reading but probably won't finish, three of them I haven't cracked yet. Eventually I will reshelve the ones I have finished as well as the two I likely won't. The in progress category may eventually fall into the probably won't finish designation, but I'm not ready to give up on them. Not quite yet. And we'll just have to wait and see about the ones I haven't started. If we throw into the mix that I now have thirteen dedicated followers, we have arrived at the coveted, yes indeed, trifecta of thirteens! Triscadecaphobics, bind yourselves with bubble wrap and say a little prayer.

Monday, September 12, 2011

ByeBye Lyrica!

The pain doc has dismissed me from his care! This is a very, very good thing. The nerve block shots have been successful and tonight I pop my final capsule of Lyrica! Then we see how it goes. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome can be treated. It can be managed. But alas, it cannot be cured. I have been virtually pain free for a month, and I believe I have already stated that this is a very, very good thing. My hands still don't function normally but being free from pain feels like a miracle. After being referred from one ortho doc to another, for a grand total of four of them, each time with a different diagnosis and varying degrees of relief for two years, I am here. To sum this up I would have to say that being dismissed from one doctor's care after successful treatment beats the crap out of three dismissive ones. The second ortho doc was actually concerned about me and did his best to treat me. While I was under his care, a number of maladies were ruled out. Doc #1 was a MCP and kind of a pain in the ass, but at least he could admit that he had reached the end of his ability to diagnose me when he referred me on. Three and four should go have a drink together, maybe start a club. I think they might enjoy each others' company. They were both miserable, arrogant jackasses who weren't able to say these simple words; I'm sorry, but I believe your problem isn't orthopedic in nature, and I am therefore not able to correctly diagnose and treat you. Since this is outside my area of expertise, let me refer you to a neurologist or perhaps a pain management specialist. Caring comes before curing, and not just alphabetically.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Today, yes today, is one of those fascinating numerological phenomenon days. We're consecutive! Remember what you were doing at precisely 12:13 and fourteen seconds this morning? I expect I was sleeping. At that time in the pm I was listening to Wait, Wait! Don't Tell Me! and preparing to clean the upholstery on the big comfy chair in my office. I really wish the neighbors would keep their cutie-pie little calico cat indoors overnight. She was out on my deck howling at the patio door in the wee hours this morning. Newton and Einstein were going bananas inside. A whole lot of fur fluffing and hissing going on. And what does all this have to do with upholstery shampooing? Let's just say the boys feel the need to mark their territory after such an incident. I do love those miserable little pissers.


This is on my mind today. Are there any real men out there? I'm feeling my pre-injury, pre-relentless pain, ornery yet adorable self. So I'm ready for you. Bring it.

What's the Score?

The middle toe on my left foot is purple. I noticed this while in the shower yesterday morning. I attempted to scrub it away, but the discoloration that I assumed to be dirt did not budge. Then I remembered a sharp pain in that very toe while descending the stairs to the basement the day before. Still can't quite figure out how I managed to injure myself, but it seems that I did. The purplish black discoloration is a bruise! Lisa would appreciate this! We are in some sort of undeclared competition as to who can injure herself in the most unique fashion through pure klutziness. Both of us also have more than our share of run-ins with uncooperative food. Making us the undisputed Queens of stain removal. Pardon me while I don my tiara and haughtily survey my domain of bandaids and dirty laundry. Purple is, after all, the royal color.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Weekend Begins...The Summer Wanes

Perhaps the last hammock-worthy Friday afternoon of the season. Lovely. Just lovely. The lawn needs mowing, but there's time. The flowers still need water. And the windows will be open to catch one more summer's evening breeze. I feel as though anything is possible. Maybe everything.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Photogenic Food

Oh joy! The very first incoming call on my new phone was the garage that whisked away the Forester yesterday. And it wasn't good news. Over three hundred bucks just to tow it to people who can fix it! Something that went well today was getting some of those perennials moved. All that pretty, feathery yarrow from what has become a thicket composed of fifty percent plants I wanted there and about 150% weeds is now in a new spot. And the thriving lavender has been sectioned into three parts and spread out to fill its space without spilling out onto the lawn. Now all that remains is clearing another area of the thicket in order to expand the lilac hedge. Cooking is much easier than yard work so I made an omelet for dinner. Slaving away in the yard can take years to yield a noticeable result. Slaving away for twenty minutes in the kitchen produces something yummy for immediate consumption. Whoever said instant gratification is a bad thing doesn't cook. Or maybe just doesn't cook very well.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

To AC, or Not to AC

Would it be rude for me to knock on my neighbor's door and ask them why in the wide, wide world of, um, tuna fish is their air conditioning running? I was minding my own business, doing some yard work. It's around seventy degrees with a light breeze blowing. It is sunny and the humidity is low. A gorgeous day. About every twenty minutes or so, the quiet was shattered by their AC unit kicking in. And I'm wondering, are their windows painted shut? Do they suffer from debilitating allergies? Do they eschew fresh air? I swear, they go directly from heating the house to cooling it in less than a twenty-four hour period! I must confess to being a fresh air fiend. Whenever the weather is suitable, regardless of the month, I'll have the windows open to allow some of that fresh outdoors indoors. I often have my bathroom window open on a cool summer or fall evening. Clad in flannel pajamas and brushing my teeth, I hear their AC roar into life! It then occurs to me, if flannel is appropriate attire for the pleasant draft drifting in through my window, why the bloody blazes are they cooling their indoor atmosphere?!?! In conclusion, yes, it would be rude to bang on their door and demand to know why they set their thermostat where they do. Particularly if I'm in my pajamas and have toothpaste foam dribbling down my chin. But it does make me wonder.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Goin' for a Ride!

Kind of difficult to sell a vehicle when the darn thing won't start. So long, Forester, hope it's not too expensive to fix you. And then, if it's not asking too much, that we find a new owner for you who has just the right balance in their checking account.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Luck of the Pot

Here in the midwest, there is a social phenomenon known as the potluck supper. They take place in varied settings, church basements, park picnic shelters, the neighbor's garage. There is never a menu but sometimes there is a theme, and everyone brings something to share. You will feast on a variety of tasty foods because whatever people contribute, you can be sure it's a personal specialty that the cook has received multiple compliments over. Some specialize in desserts or salads, others are known for their fried chicken or macaroni and cheese.

Whatever you might happen to bring, you always want to make it easy for the hostess to make sure you get your brownie pan or casserole dish back at the end of the meal. This is the reason many containers have a faded strip of masking tape on the bottom with the name of the owner written on it. Tupperware may have the name written directly on it with magic marker. I have seen lids marked as well. This ensures that the anal retentive cook will get their lid for their bowl rather than an identical one from someone else's kitchen. This casserole dish is special, and I need to send it to my sister Pam. It already has her name on it.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Few Adjectives

Astonishing. Blue. Childlike. Delightful. Euphonic. Fabulous. Goofy. Hilarious. Indescribable. Jubilant. Keen. Loud. Messy. Novel. Ostentatious. Pandemoniac. Quixotic. Rambunctious. Salient. Theatrical. Unifying. Volatile. Weird. eXotic. Yeah! Zealous.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Save Your Landfill!!

Don't throw this stuff in the garbage! Recycle your electronics! All that plastic, steel, and heavy and precious metal can be extracted and reused!

Computer components, CRT's, rechargeable batteries, cables, cell phones, and more can be recycled. Our landfill charges $40 per ton but I think this is a very reasonable cost for keeping these items out of the landfill. Make less garbage!

This is more that ten years worth of leftovers from electronic experimentation! Michael got it out of the basement and into the garage. Now that it's out of the garage, that space can be used for parking cars this winter. Which could happen any day now.

Evil Caffeine

Somehow I forgot to make coffee yesterday morning. This could be one of the seven signs of the apocalypse. Then, around three in the afternoon, I wondered why I had a headache. Coca-Cola Classic to the rescue! Love that crack-fffssss noise when you open the can. I am hopelessly dependent. There's a monkey in my mug.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Every Two

There she is. My new phone. Should arrive on Saturday. Then I expect I'll spend the next five years figuring out how the darn thing works. So if I don't call, please don't take it personally. Two important features. It has a qwerty keyboard! And it's pink. Rather, it's actually a dull grayish black. But I got a pink cover. Which is sort of like a pink dress for my device. Next thing you know she'll ask for shoes. Maybe a tiny handbag. Then her own phone to put in the tiny handbag. Slippery slope, here we come.