7.17.2012

Wish me luck...

And cross all your crossables.

Setting the mood

When I need to clean the house, I put on Hoarders.

When I study, I watch bland comedies like Just Friends, The Proposal, and Legally Blond.

When I want to avoid any triggers that will irritate me, I turn on HGTV. It is my safe zone.

When I need to vegetate in front of the TV, I watch garbage like The Real Housewives (yes, judge away) and My Fair Wedding.

When I do graphic design, I need fast-paced, catchy music.

When I write, I require stony silence.

7.05.2012

Unintentionally sounding like a serial killer

Me: Hey, do you have a decent saw I could borrow?
Friend: My dad has one in his truck, but won't be here for another hour or so.
Me: Great! If Muse is still struggling by then, I may need to use it for a bit.

Today

6.21.2012

Minimalism

Thanks to an infusion of motivation this year, I've been organizing up a storm.

First it was the living room shelves, now it's transferring all of my CDs onto my computer, tossing the plastic cases, and saving the album artwork in a little box. (And with a world music curator/DJ for a father, this is going to take awhile.)

I'm curious to see where this ends. I've had a recent urge to get rid of as much stuff as possible.* Opposite of nesting, perhaps?

* Left as tribute to the LA trash gods (or the people who love curbside finds): one of two bedside tables, ten pairs of shoes, and a shelving unit; selling on Ebay: several old phones, and a PDA (still works!); selling on Craigslist: king-sized box spring; donated: thirteen bras, and lots and lots of clothes (and more to come as I go through the other closets). 

6.11.2012

Love

Fiona Apple.

6.09.2012

...Is that a threat?

Me: So, I posted this on Twitter, but I'm guessing you didn't see it.
Muse: Hmm?
Me: I was in the car and this woman crossed in front of me, looked directly into my eyes - my SOUL - and littered. She dropped some garbage on the ground without blinking. Like she was trying to intimidate me or something.
Muse: First world anarchy.

6.08.2012

Ah, Friday.


(From Hipster Zodiac)

"Yessss, self-controlled," she thinks while taking another bite of a doughnut.


5.31.2012

Big dreams, big disappointments

What is it about doing things for myself that makes me so terrified? I'll jump in to defend/protect/help a friend in a heartbeat, but if it benefits me...I freeze up.


Yes, internet. I'm asking you to solve all of my problems.

So, uh...hurry up.

Thanks.

5.30.2012

Golden Gate Anniversary Fireworks

Edit: It seems they've disabled sharing. :( Video can now be found here - http://vimeo.com/channels/staffpicks/43004940

Original Post:

Oooooh, shiny timelapse!

Up & Down

Now, the energy crash.


5.29.2012

Faux Monday

As usual, post-San Francisco trip I'm feeling great. Got a ton of items on my to-do list done done DONE.

  • Fleshed out some passive income stream ideas in a Google Doc.
  • Made some updates to a non-profit site I'm working on.
  • Finished a newsletter and scheduled it to go out.
  • Scrubbed the bathroom.
  • Did some consulting work.
  • Researched FHA loans.
  • Made two new Cafepress designs.
  • Charged through a bunch of work for a freelance client.
  • Did a bunch of work for another freelance client.
  • Oh, and I also managed to fit my day job into all of this.
Now to conquer the world.




5.23.2012

Happy birthday!

Muse's birthday was yesterday. I made him breakfast, bought him dinner, and brought home an ice cream cake with his name on it. Oh yeah, and he's getting an iPhone with my new every two next month. Not bad, me. *smug self-congratulatory pat on my own back*


Have I mentioned that he is the best? Well...he is. 

Me:
 Has it been a good birthday?
Muse: I am full of nachos and ice cream cake!
Me: So, yes?

See? Totally the best.

5.09.2012

Reluctance

It has been years since I systematically went through and organized all of my graphic design assets. I think the time has come...but it makes me haz a sad.


4.19.2012

Ramblings on weight and autonomy

So this has been making the rounds on Facebook:

Original caption: "Each of these women weighs 150 lbs.
I'm comfortable with the message - women come in all shapes and sizes. Period. Some of us have more muscle, some have more body fat, some of that body fat can be fluffy or firm ... it varies. It is what it is. We are what we are.

It's sad that we still need to make points like these. There's far too much time spent auditing men's and women's bodies - we need to look like X and anyone who doesn't fit that mold is inferior/a freak of nature/lazy/etc. AND, if you have the audacity to fail to be X, let me give you boatloads of unsolicited advice on how to force yourself to fit that mold.

I recently leveled up (imho) when I realized that I needed to stop making jokes about skinny people. I have long been a fan of the fat acceptance movement (because STOP AUDITING OTHER PEOPLE'S LIFESTYLES UNLESS YOU ARE THEIR PHYSICIAN), but still cracked "she needs to eat a cookie/sandwich/etc." jokes whenever Anne Coulter came up in conversation. Or when someone particularly slim passed by me on the street. Or... whenever. It finally hit me - if I'm tired of fat folks having to explain their fatness (medication/injury/love of food/etc), then skinny peepz shouldn't be criticized either. You never know why someone weighs what they do. Or looks the way they do. And really, it's none of  your damn business, other than to let them be - their own bodies, their own choices and don't you dare act like they need to justify it to you. I'm happy to have come to that realization. Becoming a more positive, supportive human being is a journey, after all.

Anyhoo, I guess my point is that critics should shut their pie holes (even the "I'm just worried about your health" types - it is condescending, and some people refer to them as "concern trolls"). I'm fine discussing obesity and eating disorders in general terms, but interrogating/attacking individuals is cruel and unnecessary. 

4.18.2012

Apologies: Doing them right (The Oatmeal Edition)

For those who asked:

- This morning The Oatmeal posted a rather cruddy comic.



- The Twitterverse and Blogosphere understandably blew up.
- The Oatmeal kind of apologized.
- The Twitterverse and Blogosphere were still understandably pissed.
- The Oatmeal apologized the right way.

 I apologize to any female gamers who I offended.  I didn’t mean to perpetuate the idea that women are treated more nicely while playing games online.  It sounds like in a lot of cases the opposite is true.

In short:  I’m sorry for making a stupid comic today. 

Lastly, apologies on the internet mean about as much as farts do in outer space. So I went ahead and donated $1,000 to the Women Against Abuse foundation. 

Hugs and asspickles, 

-Matthew

Yay. Major points to him for being a decent human being, humble/brave enough to admit a mistake and cool enough to make amends for it.

Kitchen Gadgets You Actually Use

I'm certainly not immune to impulse buys. Many are cooking oriented, but only a handful have been truly useful.

Here's what I've ended up using on a regular basis, long after the initial purchase:
- Slow cooker. Once I discovered the little liners, this became an amazing purchase. Virtually no cleanup, good results, and a nice time saver.
- Breadmaker. So cheap to make the loaves, SO tasty, and the whole apartment smells incroyable.
- Rice cooker. Beats the heck out of that 10-minute rice junk.
- Electric mixer. I have the cheaper handheld version (as opposed to those glorious, but expensive, KitchenAid mixing stands), but golly do I ever get some good use out of it. Cupcakes and mousses and frostings, OH MY!
- Airpopper. Noisy noisy noisy, but yum. Infinitely yummier than the microwaved stuff - AND healthier. Win-win.

Despite my best intentions, these have mostly gone unused:
- French press. I don't have a dishwasher, so I don't feel like adding to my daily dish load. Delicious as a treat, but I only pull it out a few times a year.
- Handheld milk frother. Super cool, purchased to help me make a homemade version of Starbucks green tea lattes. Also delicious, but I haven't even dug it out of the cupboard at all in 2012.
- Blender. It's just such a pain to clean. I dreamed of a life filled with breakfast smoothies, but it was not meant to be.
- Espresso maker. Muse had one when I moved in, and we've maybe used it three times since 2004. Apparently I don't value my kitchen real estate enough to get rid of it.
- Drip coffeemaker. Used a few times a year, but it's just not as good as the french press and/or the stuff we get at the local coffee shop down the block.

P.S. Links go to the actual makes/models I purchased with my own real-world monies. :) 

Various fruits (or baked goods) of my labor:

Orange cranberry cupcakes with buttercream frosting

A mushy but lufferly rainbow layer cake

Angel food cake with Cool Whip, blueberries and strawberries for the 4th of July

Yummy rum cake

Interior of rainbow cupcakes

Exterior of rainbow cupcakes, plus chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.



You had to be there (Dream Edition)

Last night's dream was a mix of Cary Grant as the leading man, Jim Carey as a cab driver, and a suspenseful thriller movie. I spent a lot of time running down long hallways.

4.13.2012

Accidental Awesomeness aka A Fast Track to Diabetes

- Mix up a box of brownie mix, following the instructions on the box (eggs, water, oil, etc).
- Spread said mix across the bottom of a baking pan.
- Gently plop a layer of cherry pie filling on top of the brownie foundation.
- Mix 8 oz of cream cheese with one pound of powdered sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a half a stick of butter.
- Even more gently plop that on top of the cherry pie filling.
- Sprinkle a 12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips over the top.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes.
- Let cool.

Enjoy an overly sweet, gooey pile of awesomeness. A glass of milk is recommended.

4.11.2012

Marital Blur

Inspired by Jen Doll at the Hairpin.

- The one where I puked. I was five and got sick all over my dress. My parents whisked me away in a taxi before the reception.

- The one where I was a flower girl. My super cool, magic-trick wielding, motorcycle-riding cousin was getting married to a gorgeous lady who sported leather jackets. (They're still together, and still cool). I vividly remember trying on the peach satin dress with white lace overlay and later pairing it with a gigantic white flower & streamer headband.

The one at the Faire. Renaissance theme in the woods around Tahoe, family I'd forgotten, and my mom glaring at my grandma for dancing too close to younger men. I don't remember much else, but I kept the program in an old photobook.

- The shotgun. My high school bestie and his wife-to-be started their family very, very early. I was a groomsman (woman?), wore a vest, and lent my skirt to a bridesmaid (in favor of pants). It rained the best kind of rain at the reception (big, warm droplets). I ate nacho cheese from a crockpot and danced outside.

- The other cousins. Swanky country club, swanky Greek Orthodox ceremony, not so swanky wrap dress from Target.

- The one with bees. I ----ing hate bees. My boyfriend at the time took me as a date to his friends' wedding. They had rotten-tasting champagne in mini bottles marked with the names of the bride and groom. I wore a stretchy lavender floral dress.

- The one with garters. I was feeling adventurous, so I put on a black wrap dress and thigh high stockings held up by garters. My date was the same as before, and this again was his friends' wedding. I knew no one and the mother of the bride glared at me and my stockings.

- The one with a new friend. Three weddings in one summer and again it was my boyfriend's friends. This time I ended up becoming forever friends with the bride. She is brilliant and funny. Every table had a camera, so I snapped silly shots of people I hardly knew. Can't for the life of me remember what I wore.

- The one with an old friend. Up to Montana from Colorado to see another high school bestie marry a gal from our rival high school. I'd dyed my hair red, wore all black, and sang at a Catholic ceremony. It was lovely seeing all of the old crew from high school - far enough out that we had plenty of news, but not so long that we'd lost the closeness.

- The one in the mountains. Up to Big Sky for a serene and gorgeous mountain ceremony. The black wrap dress came out again and my latest boyfriend met a man who was actually named Bubba. Who does that to their children?

- The one in the backyard. Overcrowded, Christmas lights, and a marriage that lasted a year. Oh, yes, black. Wrap. Dress.

- The sweetest one. My favoritest cousins, an aunt, and my favorite set of wedding vows. "Til life or love leaves us." I wore a long black maxi dress, burgundy cardigan, and red kitten heels. Ooooh, and the gluten-free cake: AMAZING.

Customer Loyalty

-- Paraphrased --

Me: Hi, I'm a longtime customer and stay with you virtually every time I've been in the bay area over the last several years. I very much prefer your location to the Holiday Inn Express in Walnut Creek, but it's a $100 price difference right now. Is there anything you can do in terms of a discount so I can go with you guys again?

Holiday Inn Express in American Canyon: No.

Me: Best Western it is. 

1.09.2012

Goals for 2012

1. Up the ante and read ten for-fun books. (Up from last year's five.)

2. Climb a wall.
Image by: amrufm 

3. Apply to grad school (minus the beard).

4. As a carry-over from 2011, travel outside of the U.S.

5. Stay true to my Weight Watchers plan. Despite their creepy video.

6. Go bowling. I love bowling*, but never go.


7. Run a mile without dying. No matter how fit I've been, I've always hated running - however, it lends itself to my plan for #8. (Also sans beard.)


8. Operation: SUPER OMEGA TOP SECRET. You'll see.
Image from here.

9. Sing more. Way more.
Image from here.


10. At 11:59 p.m. on December 31st, feel like this:

*Don't judge.

2011 Goals - Results

Some fantastically awful personal events derailed my resolutions for 2011, but I thought I should grade myself anyway.

1. Secure a job in the Bay Area that does not kill my soul: Despite some close calls, this didn't pan out. Fail.

2. Move to San Francisco, preferably the actual city-city: See #1. Fail. 

3. Travel outside of the states: Nope. Fail.

4. Read no fewer than five "for fun" books: Yay! I got one!  A Place of Yes, Dreams of Joy, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Kitchen God's Wife, Treasure Island, The Devil in the White City, and Bossy Pants. I pulled this off partially because I spent more time than usual on planes, and because I downloaded the Kindle App to my Android. I've switched from endless rounds of solitaire to reading when insomnia strikes. Success!

5. Find Cheeto a friend to hang with regularly: Does a stuffed animal squirrel count? She carries it around with her, cutely. Fine, okay, doesn't count. I get it. Fail.

6. Host a par-tay: Yup. Yay! Success.

7. Finish the upgrade on catwendt.com and finish the two secret sites I've been working on: Yay! I actually did a lot more website-y stuff than I had originally anticipated. Success.

8. Focus more on myself: Yes and no, but way more yes than usual. :) Success.

9. CLEAN ALL THE THINGS: Yup. More Success.

10. At 11:59 p.m. on December 31st, feel relaxed/calmly happy: Despite the no good, very bad, awful, terrible year, I managed to have a low-key blast hanging out with my cousins in the Bay Area. It was wonderful. Success.

Total score = 6/10.

All things considered, I'm rather pleased.