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After several months of tortured trips to various animal shelters, creepy Craigslist encounters, and ogling every damn puppy at the dog park across the street, we brought home our new dog last night.

Well, I say "our" but she really belongs to my roommate. That's okay, she still lives with me and I get all the benefits of having a dog but without the commitment. This is my approach to pretty much everything in life.

But our new dog is a border collie mix named Alabama. She is about 5, the shelter wasn't entirely sure, and is a complete sweetheart. Pictures to follow. Yay!

Alabama vs squirrel, part 1
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It is so strange to have the house to myself. So odd to wake up without my alarm, noise from the kitchen, or one of my roommates asking if I want to go out to breakfast.

So weird to make food for just myself, to not have to feed the cats first thing when I come downstairs. No video game explosions from the living room, no one running up and down our very creaky stairs.

My roommates went to Seattle to visit relatives for a few days. The cats we were cat-sitting for one of my friends went back to their proper owner yesterday. The house is now back to an acceptable level of cleanliness, multiple batches of pickles, pesto and zucchini bread have been made, and now I'm restless.

Yesterday was the first day in ten days that I was home for anything other than sleeping and showering. My schedule for August is about the same. I am not sure if I am actually becoming an extrovert -- I know the definition is more about how you feel energized than how you actually spend your time -- but this weekend, having time to catch up and rest and relax, is making me twitchy. I'd rather be out socializing.

I'm sitting in the kitchen, listening to KCRW, drinking coffee, and plotting out birthday presents and going-away-presents and house-warming presents and hostess presents. I think today I will stop at the fabric store and start working on making pillows. Maybe the library. Maybe nothing at all.
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For my own reference, the PDX Vegan 100 )
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Last night, after a hard day attending beer festivals, picnicking and watching a live episode of Star Trek (TOS, of course) in the park, we were all gathered 'round in my backyard hula hooping and spinning poi and learning how to spin flags. Or poles. It's a color guard thing that my new roomie is teaching us. And it is totally fantastically fun.

Except for when you haven't quite figured out how to catch the damn steel flagpole and end up possibly breaking your hand.

Okay, so I exaggerate. Not broken. Just swollen well beyond normal size and more or less incapacitating. Eating with my non-dominant hand is well, not pleasant. Why do I have to go and be such a klutz?!
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I really need to acquire power tools. Yes. So many projects calling my name!
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Tiger Beatdown keeps getting better! This week: Sady and Amanda take on Atlas Shrugged

“I am going to play video games now,” B. Michael said, sneering.

“Men built those video games, you know,” said Sady Doyle, also sneering. Both of them were sneering. It was very arrogant and mocking and sensual. “And now, I will write the intro to Sexist Beatdown, the recurring blog feature I write with Amanda Hess, the brilliant and sensual blogdustrialist of The Sexist, who is unfortunately also a woman. It’s about Ayn Rand this week.”

“Do you mean Ayn Rand, the greatest philosopher of all time, whose razor-sharp novels of ideas showed us, with their brilliant and uncompromising prose, the way out of a collapsing society dominated by bad architecture and Communist welfare moochers?”

“No,” said Sady Doyle. “I mean the one who wrote The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.“
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So I attempted to make flan for THREE HOURS tonight. And I couldn't manage it.

Mostly, I couldn't get the sugar to caramelize and THEN coat the bottom of the pan. For fuck's sake. The first batch skipped caramel and went straight to hard candy. The second batch got to the right consistency, but never changed colors or taste - just sticky sugar water. The third batch was perfect but didn't coat the pan -- it just glomped and made a huge sticky mess. The fourth batch didn't change color OR taste. What the fuck?

So I made custard instead and will be buying a caramel sauce for drizzling on top tomorrow.

I haven't had a dessert-related failure this bad since I was SEVEN and made brownies without the sugar.

*headdesk*
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Looking at my student loan balances and repayment schedules and realizing exactly how many thousands of dollars I have already paid over the last few years, and how much I still owe.

As a corollary, realizing that in no way, shape, or form do I qualify for any of the public service loan forgiveness programs now available.

*headdesk*
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Really, I am. Existential angst day/week all over.

And in 14 hours, I will be on a plane to Hawaii! *waves*

See you all in 10 days

poem spam!

Apr. 13th, 2010 04:31 pm
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maybe...
"you've got to burn
straight up and down
and then maybe sidewise
for a while
and have your guts
scrambled by a
bully
and the demonic
ladies,
you've got to run
along the edge of
madness
teetering,
you've got to starve
like a winter
alleycat,
you've go to live
with the imbecility
of at least a dozen
cities,
then maybe
maybe
maybe
you might know
where you are
for a tiny
blinking
moment."
— Charles Bukowski (Bone Palace Ballet: New Poems)

Confused

Apr. 8th, 2010 06:40 pm
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So why is it "back East" and "out West", but not the other way around?
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Cute boys, with cats!

as discovered by my roommate this morning
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I love Tiger Beatdown so hard. Today's offering: VISIONS OF MANLINESS PRESENTS: Pilgrim’s (Lack of) Progress: The De-Gaying of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Also, in case you needed one, have an evolutionary psychology bingo card
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YES MY SHOW IT IS BACK AND STILL AWESOME!!!

oh, and ps

Mar. 29th, 2010 07:52 pm
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You should all definitely read Araminta, or, The Wreck of the Amphidrake, by Naomi Novik.

I really want this story to be set in the cracked-out world from Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, but crazy pirate genderfuck, flavored with Orlando, Heyer, and Atlantis , as the author describes it, is just as good!

yay me!

Mar. 24th, 2010 08:05 am
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I biked to work today! It's only 2.5 miles and sometimes when the weather is nice, I walk home, but this was the first time I borrowed my roomie's bike and peddled in. It was about 1 minute faster than taking the bus.

I think I need to buy a bike now. Portland has gotten to me: I've gone completely native.
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I really, really enjoyed this post from Tiger Beatdown. You should go and read it too.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT STUDIES DEPARTMENT: The Boys of Summer

On a familiar narrative, "stories about the MONSTER WHO DID NOT WANT ME TO BE HER BOYFRIEND":

Okay, so; you go to the diner for breakfast. And you are like, “French toast, please.” And they are like, “sorry, all out, would you like an omelet?” And you are like, “sure, one omelet please.” And they make it, and they serve it to you, and you look down at the omelet on your plate, and you take a bite of the omelet, and then you are like, “what the FUCK, this French toast tastes FUCKING TERRIBLE!” And then you, I guess, throw the plate at the waitress to make your point. Good show, dude!

On expectations:

So the verdict, in case you were wondering, is that if girls fall for boys, and those boys don’t fall for them, they are clingy bitches. And if girls don’t fall for boys, and those boys DO fall for them, they are heartless bitches. No matter how this situation goes, if there turns out to be an inequality of desire, you’re getting called a bitch.
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I absolutely, positively adore my emerald green totally shiny patent leather 3 1/5 inch round-toe pumps but sweet fuck do they hurt after 10 hours.
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Excerpt from The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, as passed along by my yoga teacher this week:

"...Mostly we use the word to spread our personal poison - to express anger, jealousy, envy, and hate. The word is pure magic - the most powerful gift we have as humans - and we use it against ourselves. We plan revenge. We create chaos with the word. We use the word to create hate between different races, between different people, between families, between nations. We misuse the word so often, and this misuse is how we create and perpetuate the dream of hell. Misuse of the word is how we pull each other down and keep each other in a state of fear and doubt. [...]

There was a woman, for example, who was intelligent and had a very good heart. She had a daughter whom she [...] loved very much. One night she came home from a very bad day at work, tired, full of emotional tension, and with a terrible headache. She wanted peace and quiet, but her daughter was singing and jumping happily. The daughter was unaware of how her mother was feeling; [...] She felt so wonderful, and she was jumping and singing louder and louder, expressing her joy and her love. She was singing so loud that it made her mother's headache even worse, and at a certain moment, the mother lost control. Angrily she looked at her beautiful little girl and said, "Shut up! You have an ugly voice. Can you just shut up!"

The truth is that the mother's tolerance for any noise was nonexistent; it was not that the little girl's voice was ugly. But the daughter believed what her mother said, and in that moment she made an agreement with herself. After that, she no longer sang, because she believed her voice was ugly and would bother anyone who heard it. [...] Even speaking to others became difficult for her. Everything changed in the little girl because of this new agreement: She believed she must repress her emotions in order to be accepted and loved.

Whenever we hear an opinion and believe it, we make an agreement, and it becomes part of our belief system. [...] Her mother didn't notice what she did with her word. She didn't know that she used black magic and put a spell on her daughter. People who love us do black magic on us, but they don't know what they do. That is why we must forgive them; they don't know what they do. [...]

These types of spells are difficult to break. The only thing that can break a spell is to make a new agreement based on the truth."
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