Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Oh, I forgot a follow-up to the five superballs I mentioned. I gave one to the cats as a toy -- they loved it; they picked it up and carried it around like dogs, just to drop it and whack it away to skitter across the open floor. I left the other four in a shallow bowl on my dining table. The next day I noticed there were only three in the bowl, but thought I might have lost one myself somehow... Except the day after that, all of the balls were gone. My cats had discovered the superball nest and had routed them out! I was only able to find three (under the fridge and the stove... not easy); the other two seem to have gone back to their home planet. I have one in a cat-proof area and I'm letting them do whatever they'd like to the remaining two. (Whatever they like = losing them underneath something immobile.)
First of all, this was interesting reading, in light of the sudden and inexplicable closing of the Quiznos on Main Street last year.

Second of all, I'm going to start using those tags that all the kids are talking about, because they are fun. I like words.

I went to the Holyoke flea market Sunday. I wasn't really looking for anything to buy... It was more of a trip to refresh the library of images and sounds my brain pulls from when I'm dreaming. The best part of the Holyoke flea is the old guy playing (badly) a Casio keyboard with automatic accompanyment -- you know, the feature where you can pick, say, "Bossa Nova" and then hit a key and it'll play a backing track in the chord you want. He is awesome. He has no tip jar, and has no items to sell; he plays his dusty version of "Que Sera Sera" solely to serenade you as you walk by.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Current wish-I-was-there: Kayaking through a bioluminescent bay.

Current number-one TV crush: Mike Rowe.

Current dinner plans: Pasta with red sauce punched up with some Trader Joe's chicken sausage.

Current worry: That I'm coming down with whatever caused my never-gets-sick co-worker to leave early today.

Most recent free-table score: Five superballs.

Current weather: Perfect February melt-a-thon. Go, go, go!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ahh, three-day weekends. Love them. I am now almost totally unpacked at the house, and I hung a bunch of small framed things all together on one wall. I did some cleaning and some clothes-washing. And some other stuff I won't bore you with. I'm looking forward to spring. The propane company came and filled up my tanks -- my tanks were only down to 40%, so it won't cost $400 this time, though it has been less than a month since they filled them last. At my little village's post office area, someone posted a sign-up sheet about forming a propane collective, which I will definitely join. I'm not sure how much it'll help us, unless the price of propane is more fluid and negotiable than I thought it was, but it's worth a shot. Plus the quasi-socialist in me likes local, small-group collectives.

I also visited a newish, modern bar, the Dirty Truth (alt. names: The Deafening Truth; The Devil) a couple of times. I had been mostly avoiding it because it's often loud and crowded in there, but lately I've been liking it. There's a friendly vibe, it's clean and serves tasty food... Once you get into the middle of things it's not unbearable, and I always see at least one person I know.

Yesterday, by the time I made dinner, I was out of mental energy. I decided to give in and give up on being productive. It was kind of a nice feeling, actually. I ended up watching TV with my laptop, playing Bookworm on the computer and IM-ing a little bit with friends. By the end of it Hambone was sleeping in my arms like a baby, her head lolling limply. The cats love the rope-covered post, and will run right up to it, leap onto it and continue running vertically without breaking stride. Junebug is nimble, but Hambone has a hard time getting over the top to the beam. She still likes running to the top and then jumping off. They're good little monkeys.

Things I didn't do: unpack the last few things; my taxes; plan a housewarming party, or at least a dinner; work on the quilt; work on prototypes for selling.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

So we did get to go home early yesterday, and I was able to take a delicious and cozy nap with my cats. After that, I discovered the pilot light in my hot water heater had gone out. I tried relighting it several times, but it wouldn't stay lit. So I worked out, and then took a shower over at my neighbor-friend's house. She is doing a great job at creating the kind of community she wants here, by inviting a neighbor over to dinner who had been living here for ten years without ever doing such a thing. Plus she likes feeding my cats. It's good.

After the shower I went into town, which was largely unplowed, for a romantical dinner tyme out with the new man. We ate fancy cheese and roast duck and chocolate cake and a bottle of wine. Today I shall be eating salads.

A vignette from the toy thing: A PR lady was showing me a new line of pink and purple little die-cast cars, saying, "Finally girls can have the fun of playing with cars!" This was one of a few times I was made speechless, since I played with toy cars all the time when I was little; the lack of nauseating pink color and "bling" on the bumpers didn't seem to be much of an impediment to me. Also, the cars had the typical plastic-track playset, except instead of racing and jumping through hoops, these cars stop at the mall and pick up a new purse. I don't think I need to continue talking about this.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

We're in the middle of our first "Nor'easter" of the season, and I am at work. Until five minutes ago, I was the only person on my staff here. My two bosses are MIA, no word from them. I was shocked that the office wasn't closed -- so sure was I that I almost didn't even call in to check. But I did, and here I am, listening to the sleet clatter against the window.

The toy thing was fine. Mainly I walked a lot, carried heavy bags, and said "That's cool" or "neat" many, many times to publicists. The toy world still divides product along gender lines, with pretty and cute non-active items for girls, and hard and pointy action items for boys. Creating vs. smashing, petting vs. hitting: Be relieved, for the status quo is being maintained by the nation's trendmakers.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

After telling DG a couple of days ago that my cats had stopped waking me up in the middle of the night, they've been waking me up in the middle of the night. Sigh. I really wish they (ok, it's really just half-monkey Junebug) would cut it the fuck out.

I had a dream recently that my new house was a much bigger suburban ranch in bad shape, and in the dream I was showing it to my parents. In the utilities area, my dad noticed the sketchy, filthy, yellow McDonald's-branded tubes coming from the furnace, and he picked up the end of the tube (having been disconnected but never removed), accidentally spilling old fry-oil on the floor. Later I discovered a wing of the house that I hadn't looked at since the first time I'd been shown the place. In this wing was a narrow parlor with sort of ornate furniture everywhere, including a crowded, over-full, double-sided bookcase/cabinet in the center, essentially making the narrow room into two even narrower rooms. Filed among the old books were slices of unfrosted chocolate cake. I took one and ate it and it was fresh and delicious.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

This morning I got my first propane bill: FOUR. HUNDRED. DOLLARS. Shit. I opened it while I was at the oil change place, and it was all I could do to stop myself from driving home and turning down the thermostat. Propane is priced like gas, so it’s $2-something a gallon, and I think I have two 48-gallon tanks. It shouldn’t ever be quite this expensive again, however, since I think it had been more than a month since they’d last come by to top off the tanks.

Other than that madness, the house is great. I’m in the last stages of unpacking and organizing, and will be taking another trip to Ikea this weekend, though they’re still out of stock in the chairs I want (Swede bastards!). Also, I re-found a Home Depot gift card I was given when I bought my first house (more than 4 years ago… closer to 5 or 6, by now), and it turned out to still have the full $100 amount on it! I bought a bunch of rope and wrapped it around one of my posts to make a vertical cat highway to the upper ceiling beams. So far they’ve shown no interest, but I’m going to try to make them love it. I also bought a street atlas for Western Mass and I’m actually thrilled about it. It’s like having Mapquest in my car! It will make my tag sale-ing much easier this spring.

With that stuff, and singing, and Lost starting tomorrow, and trivia, and doing the big toy fair thing Sun-Tues next week, I am a busy lady and I like it.

I am going to try (again) to post more frequently, with less diary/"summations of my life" types of posts. So, shorter, but with more frequency. Cool?