juli jackson

09.20.2009, originally uploaded by julibat.

Juli Jackson is a friend I've known since the age of about twelve, when everyone is awkward, pudgy, has bad hair and is desperately searching to find out who they are. There was a period during the college era where we lost touch. She went to film school in Philly, and I stayed in our small Arkansas hometown area for all the wrong reasons. Luckily we got back in touch - I'm not sure if it was Myspace or Facebook or what, but I'm so glad it happened. She's one of the most talented, dedicated, hard-working people I know. She's gifted and skilled beyond belief in everything - photography, film-making, cooking, canning, sewing, crafting - she does it all. Here is a recent photo of hers that I just love. Be sure to check out her art and photography. You'll be glad you did.



Gonerfest 6

gonerfest 6 crowdsurf 2, originally uploaded by cherry valentino.

I took a little trip to attend Gonerfest 6 in Memphis, Tennessee, last weekend and that shit was CRAZY! There was PBR everywhere (including soaking everyone there from it being sprayed on the crowds), fireworks, blood, piss, and I saw at least four cocks at various shows. What's up with that?

I had an excellent time and only wish Asheville had shows like this.



for reals.

so, registration for baking school went okay. i had a little schedule figured out to take, but it turns out what i had picked wasn't an option. in the end it worked out, though. at first i thought i wasn't going to get to go at all due to their lab hour heavy, daytime only classes, as well as their confusing "co-requisites" and necessary time in the restaurant they run to give students practice time. after much fussing, near crying (i'm not really a crier so something has to be serious for me to break out in tears over it) and completely giving up on getting to go since i can't quit my day job for it, my advisor (who strangely enough reminds me a lot of my advisor in journalism school at Arkansas State University) let me know that i could split up the five hour long classes that i thought i had to take at the same time (isn't that what co-requisite means?) which would've had me at school from almost 9-3 daily. yay for me! so, while i don't get to take baking yet, i'll be taking Food Science, Food Science Lab, Sanitation and Safety, and Sanitation and Safety lab, as well as an online class - Intro to Computers, which is sadly enough a requirement that i can't get out of. i was told i could test out after 10%, so i'll probably try to do that. i don't mind paying for the class even if i don't take it - it's the waste of my time i'm worried about.

i also need to figure out what to do about my puggies' mid-day walks. i go home daily to give them a short potty break and then go back to work, but that won't be possible with my schedule that starts next month. i need to look into dog walkers, but that seems like a luxury i definitely can't afford.

i bought my pastry kit from the AB Tech bookstore, and it's chock full of knives, thermometers, biscuit cutters, silpats, pastry bags, pastry tips, and all other kinds of goodness that i can't wait to get into. unfortunately, i'm not taking any cooking classes this semester, so i may have to wait! i still have to buy a scale, my chef whites (!) and get a few shots before school starts, so i'm going to be a busy girl.

Bele Chere is this weekend! my list of priorities:

1. Eat a Funnel Cake
2. Drink a Lemon Shake Up (nothing is better than lemonade that you have to chew due to the gritty sugar left undissolved in it)
3. Eat some Greek food
4. Take pictures of the dumb ass protesters there
5. See the Old 97s

i would love to see Now You See Them, but unfortunately they're playing while i'll still be at work. DRAT! we may also go to the Anti-Bele Chere music thing, but i'm not sure yet.

so, i finally broke down and got a nice, brand new pillow-top king sized bed with all new IKEA sheets, comforters, pillows, and throws, and it's absolutely my second favorite purchase after Nocci. i feel so much better every day when i get up since getting it. i have no idea why i put it off for so long.

exciting things coming up! the pastry arts program starts soon, i'm flying to memphis for Gonerfest in september, my anniversary is in October, then it's time for the holidays and all the traveling and whirlwind visiting that goes along with it.

i need to try to enjoy summertime while it's still here, because as soon as it turns a little cold i'm going to be shivering, whining, cursing the cold, and threatening to move to a tropical island.
yay, summer!



i've been so bad at blogging lately. things have been busy. we took a vacation to the outer banks and i fell in love with Ocracoke Island, i have baking and pastry arts school registration on the 20th and need to start figuring all that out and buying my zillions of chef coats and knives and other supplies that i need, we have friends coming to visit soon, i've been planning trips to memphis to hang out with some bffs and go to Gonerfest, and i've been trying hard to keep up with this 365 Self Portrait project, but that shit is hard! i'll be in bed about to pass out from exhaustion and suddenly realize i forgot to take one! also, when i take a photo with my holga or SLR i forget about it, then upload a crappy digital one i shot, then wonder if i should replace it later or just leave it and have a stash of extras or something? plus, i never write down the date i took them. i guess once they're developed i can replace them if they're good, and ignore the bad ones. ha!

i need motivation to go to the gym. i got off track after a visit from good friends, recovery from a small medical procedure, a vacation, and now it's like i'm starting all over. so difficult. last night i had tomatoes and a baked potato for dinner and jeremy had delicious fried chicken in honey mustard. sigh.

we went to see Jay Reatard at the Orange Peel last night. i was worried because i really don't like seeing shows at the Orange Peel, but it turned out okay. he referred to it as "a big, cold room," which was on point at first, but then it seemed to fill up a little more. they were great, and the opener was great too. yay for cheap shows!



I've been featured on the excellent blog of Little T Jane! I'm beyond flattered! Be sure to check out her blog of fun things! She has the cutest picks daily and I actually bought a cute teapot set she featured yesterday! :)


weirdest chair ever. fake wooden wheelchair?


motion lotion and personal massager at the habitat for humanity store. seriously?


POTD- Holga Edition

so lazy

it's springtime! that's what i'm blaming my complete laziness on. i haven't worked on any photo projects, done any baking, cleaned my apartment much, knitted, sewed, or done any of the usual stuff lately. i think it's just so nice out that it seems like a waste to do anything but piddle around the yard after work. i have to be locked up in an office for 7 hours a day just looking outside at the sunshine, so when i get home i rarely want to upload pictures or count stitches.

me and two friends recently took a trip home to arkansas to visit family and go to the wedding of one of my best friend's little brother. it was possibly the only *nice* wedding i've been to. where i come from, a skanky wood-paneled church and a completely sexist preacher giving a too-long sermon is all you need for a wedding. throw in some non-alcoholic punch and reception in the church kitchen and you've got yourself a typical wedding! this one was outside, lovely, had great food (a mashed potato bar?!), and there was lots of fun and dancing. i was honestly shocked.

after the wedding, we had a big party at my lovely friend juli's house. she put together a delightful get together with a handmade pinata for us to drunkenly swing at, which included fun such as special prizes (actual mix TAPES, not CDs, TAPES), candy, notepads, and gross fake tongues. there was tons of great food (homemade grilled black bean veggie burgers!), plenty to drink, and my best friend's band, Come Sundown, played a show for us. unfortunately, justin's voice was going out because he was sick, and even more unfortunately, i took him up on his offer of $5 to try to sing a song. i know there is video of this occasion, and i hope it never surfaces. i couldn't hear myself and didn't know all th
e lyrics, so it really wasn't pretty.

(photo by kandi cook)

i had a great time, though. i love asheville, but sometimes (as much as i NEVER thought i'd say this) i miss being home. all my friends that i've been the closest to for the past five years or so are there, so i can go home and talk lots of shit, mention scissoring every ten minutes, tell inside jokes, discuss music, books, and photo techniques in a way that i just can't here, go to awesome shows with my friends, see my friends BE the awesome show, and then (even more importantly) there's also the appeal of my little brother. we danced most of the time i was there, and even though i was being subjected to will smith and black eyed peas songs, it was so fun.

i almost wish i didn't dislike the idea of living in memphis or little rock so much. they'd be much closer to home, still in a larger city with stuff to do, and i'd get to see all my awesome friends more. memphis is too skuzzy, dangerous, and humid for me to want to move there, though, and little rock has always just bored me.

anyway. i'm just rambling. the point is, i had a blast hanging out with my jonesboro/memphis/paragould/little rock crew and miss them terribly. even more so now that i got to see them all in one place.

i got motivated to take some photos the other weekend and ended up sacrificing some peeps. i hope no one takes offense to that.


anti-depressant for a crappy day. new music! yay!


Jake Aaron's Photography

, originally uploaded by jake aaron.

My friend and ex-roomie Jake Aaron has some lovely b&w photos on Flickr. He lives in Portland and has been working on his street photography. He seems to like old manual cameras like I do, and the more I see his stuff, the more I like it. Go take a look-see at his stuff, will you? And leave him some comments/criticisms if you have any!


one more thing to add to the list of stuff porter has eaten.



What work looks like

POTD (playing catch-up a bit)

A few POTD posts since I've been slacking. I got five rolls of film developed at Walgreens. Here's a few of the shots I'm fairly happy with, and then there's a whole roll of Holga shots I need to scan in so you can see the spillover on the 35mm sprocketholes. They also LOST a roll and are supposed to call me when/if they find it. WTF? How did they "misplace" 1/5 of my rolls of film? Gah! So frustrating! [I'd like to note that I worked at Walgreens for like two years and don't ever remember "misplacing" someone's roll of film. What's worse - they knew it, but didn't tell me when I came in hoping that I wouldn't notice. They didn't mention it until I ran back in to get the missing roll. Needless to say, I won't be returning there.]

Anyway, POTD catch-up!


porter begging for food. you'd think he never eats, but in reality he eats EVERYTHING, whether it's food or not. he's growing on me, even though he's the naughtiest pug i've ever met. last night he somehow grabbed jeremy's glass of sweet tea off the bedside table and spilled it right in the middle of our mattress. the whole thing. i'm not sure how he managed it without dropping it in the floor, but he was unapologetic.

list of things porter has eaten/chewed up that he shouldn't have:

an entire pound bag of chicken jerky dog treats (all in one setting)
a box of valentine's chocolate
a pack of bubble gum
(this was all in one night. the next day was not so pretty.)

two more packs of gum
a half bag of chewy sweet tarts
a bag of taco doritos
part of an avacado
a curry cheese torte (that thing was so gross i wouldn't even eat it)
various food items stolen off of our plates on the coffee table
about 10 ponytail holders (swallowed and digested, not just chewed)
a roll of film
my bookmark
a painting from a friend (sorry, kandi. i still hung up what was left of it. he dug it out of my plastic art tote, which was also covered in clothes and boxes and upstairs in the bedroom while he was baby-gated downstairs. he jumped the gate somehow, went upstairs, got all the stuff off the tote, found the painting, and brought it downstairs to shred it. i think he knows exactly what to get to push my buttons, much like when Nocci shredded his registration papers in front of me after i had been looking all over our apartment for them for WEEKS. he was hiding them, i swear.)
magnets off of the fridge
several books on the bookshelf
my new shoes
several nails and thumbtacks
the leash handles
tubes of dried up glue (luckily they were all dried up and no harm was done. he got it out of the trash.)
once i found him carrying a knife around. no joke.
god knows how many pounds of rocks (he eats rocks when we take him on walks. we "short leash" him as much as possible, but he swoops down and eats any pebble he comes across and we have no idea why.)

we're thinking of starting a blog called something like "Will Porter Chew That?" because we have yet to find anything that he WON'T chew.

and i'm not just a horrible slob who leaves things like knives and bags of sweet tarts in the floor, people. he is a tricky little dog who has even gotten things off of our kitchen bar, which is like four feet off the ground.

luckily, we're laid back people, he hasn't eaten anything that would kill him, and we're working harder to keep things strategically hidden from him. it's almost like a sitcom, and every day i come home wondering what he's destroyed that day.

but, really, he is growing on me. he and nocci are learning how to interact better, they've only had one or two REAL fights over treats, and they seem to be calming down some. yay!


bunny treasury on etsy!

That Something made a lovely Treasury West on Etsy that includes my sweet bunny painting! Thanks so much! :D

I also just noticed that the number one spot is another Asheville Etsian, urastarhouse! Hooray!



new snails! i can't help it. it's an addiction!


jeremy found these. i had to post them for kandi.


New Etsy Stuff!

New Etsy listings this week!

You Have Dog Mail!

So, I haven't been very successful at my POTD assignment for myself, but I think that's partly due to a new project I've started with some photo friends. We're going to experiment with Caffenol! I've been trying to read up on it, acquire my materials, and figure out what I want to shoot. I'm having trouble finding the Washing Soda, but I haven't checked the crunchier stores in town like Earthfare and Greenlife, so hopefully they'll have some and I can avoid having to order it online and pay shipping cost. We're going to try to have some images ready by May 1, 2009, so anyone else that wants to share in this with us, please let me know!

Today was a rough day for me. I screwed up at work, and while it wasn't anything major, it was frustrating and just made me realize even more that I need to hurry and start working towards getting into a new profession. I'm going to try to go talk to the AB Tech advisors this week to see what else I need to do to get into the Baking and Pastry Arts Program there. Like I told my friends today, cupcakes and bread are WAY more fun than angry attorneys and court reporters.

Luckily, my sweet friends brightened my day. Last week a sweet girl I know sent Porter and Nocciola some mail from her little doggy.

I haven't responded yet because I need to get some pictures of the boys printed to include, but hopefully we can start a nice doggy penpal project. (Yes, we are dorks. It makes us happy, okay? DON'T JUDGE ME!) Also, one of my BFFs Juli sent Porter and Nocci some fun treats in the mail, so we went outside to open them and I documented it for her. She doesn't even know how much this made my day, especially since this was such a stressful, pull-out-my-hair kind of day. Here's some photos of them opening and enjoying their treats! Just seeing them rip into those new toys made me relax a little and feel a little bit better about the world. Thanks, Juli! :D


POTD 03.18.09

Birthday Insanity -- the Downhill Slope to 30

Here's a recap of my amazing four day, three state, 1000 mile roadtrip, three concert birthday weekend! I am already depressed about next year's birthday because I know I'll never be able to top this one.

My awesomely bearded and bespectacled friend Trip got into town just in time Thursday night to make it to the King Kahn and the Shrines show at the Orange Peel. While I was excited to see King Kahn, I wasn't exactly excited about the Orange Peel. It's the worst venue in town, the crowds usually suck, and there's this metal bar in front of the stage that keeps you from really connecting with anything going on up on stage. Golden Triangle was opening, and they were definitely a band worth checking out. Lots of tambourines, pretty girls, booty shorts, and good energy. King Kahn came on and they were definitely bringing the energy, but no one in the crowd was responding much. I partially blame the venue. King Kahn and the Shrines are known for engaging the audience a lot, having the horn and tambourine players go out into the crowd, etc., but you really can't do that at the Orange Peel. I'm not sure if they've played there before, but I can almost bet that they never will again. The show was good, but not mind-blowing. Trip and I walked down to Rosetta's for some after-show food, but they had closed early, so I just made him walk in the cold for a whole bunch of nothing. So, we settled on Denny's where we ate Pancake Puppies, joked about Potatchoes and talked about stuff the dude behind me probably didn't appreciate during his multi-hour facebook session.

The next day we did a mini-tour of Asheville and hit Malaprops and Harvest. We left too late for the King Kahn show in Nashville that was at the Exit In because the time change threw us a little bit, but we made it in time to see both the opening bands, one of which was Golden Triangle again. This show was better. There was no divide between the audience and the band, so they were going crazy, kept coming out in the crowd, everyone was dancing, and at the end the band did a march through the crowd and got on top of the bar. There's some great photos from this show here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/indierocklance . I didn't think it could get better. Everyone was into it, the band was happy, the show was great, and King Kahn even mentioned how crappy the Asheville crowd was. I was slightly embarrassed to have been from the place that had the bad show, but whatever. We went back to our hotel room, played too much Connect 4 (Trip really has no mercy at that game), and I put my new King Kahn pillow case (the coolest merch item EVER) on my pillow, joking about how funny it would be if I accidentally left it there. Trip had some disgusting Purple Drank that's made to calm you, and somehow he drank the whole huge can despite the fact that it tastes like too sweet Robitussin. I think purple drinks with melatonin in them are probably low on my list of must try items.

The next day the plan was for me and Jeremy to go back to Asheville and for Trip to head on to Memphis to see yet another King Kahn show. He had been going on and on about how much better the Memphis show was going to be. I wasn't sure that was true because the Nashville show was amazing. At the same time, it was my birthday, I had no plans in Asheville, and Memphis is just as close as Asheville from Nashville. I was thinking before the boys woke up and decided I wanted to go to Memphis/Jonesboro. Our best friend Justin was doing a show at the Edge that I really wanted to see, and it was just laid out perfectly so that I could do that and see King Kahn at the Hi Tone if we rushed. Jeremy said okay, so we made sure my dear pug nanny David didn't mind watching the pugs again and went with it!

We ate at a diner called Noshville and had the meanest waitress ever! She was old, fat, grumpy, didn't check on us hardly at all, and generally treated us like idiots. We loved her. Jeremy said if he goes to a diner he expects the waitress to be bitchy, which I totally agree with. We hit the comic book/movie/music store next door and then headed out to Jonesboro. We called our mommas and made plans for a quick visit with them. I suddenly realized that I had forgotten my King Kahn pillowcase at the hotel, called Trip so he could laugh about it too, then tried to get ahold of Juli so maybe I could see her while I was there. When we got to town I got to see my mom and brother for about 40 minutes, and even though my sweet 6-year-old brother got upset when I left, it was still good to get a quick visit in. We went to the Come Sundown show, which was AMAZING, and luckily all our friends were there anyway, so we got to see everyone in the short time we had! It was the best! Justin sang happy birthday songs and Tom Waits' "Chocolate Jesus" to me, he sounded amazing, and I love his new songs. I got to see all my dearest friends, and then took off to Memphis while Jeremy stayed with the boys.

A dear friend of mine that I don't get to see enough and I talked and played catch-up all the way to the Hi-Tone, then met more friends there. It was the Hi Tone, so of course the show started late, but Trip was totally right about the energy at the show. People were already going crazy, dancing, and totally getting into the opening band (again, the Golden Triangles), which was a great sign. People were totally into it. The band was totally into it. When the Golden Triangles show was over we were right up front, but I really had to pee, so I ran back to the bathroom and waited in line. King Kahn walked by, and in my tipsy state I grabbed him and told him that I had been at the Asheville and Nashville shows and he still hadn't played "Took My Lady To Dinner," and that he really should in Memphis. He said he wasn't sure he remembered the lyrics, but he'd try. I peed, made it back up front to where Trip was, recounted my story about asking him to play that song to my friends, and then we waited FOREVER for them to come on. That stage is tiny, but somehow they packed everyone on it. King Kahn and his cheerleader came on finally, and it was OUTSTANDING. Trip just kept nodding at me with that smug "You know I was right!" look on his face. I was next to four sweaty boys who where going crazy and ended up taking off their shirts and jumping onstage. There was some girl in a mini skirt rolling around on the side of the stage. People were stripping off clothes and stage diving and crowd surfing. I think Trip got his glasses smacked off at one point. King Kahn did the same set list he'd done at the other two shows, with a few changes to the "Erotic Gospel" part. The energy was totally insane. I can't even put into words how it felt to be there, especially with some of my best friends. Everyone was so into it, it just felt like being at a really good party with hundreds of friends. I was completely overjoyed, overwhelmed, and so happy that my friends were sharing the experience with me. The band was having fun and kept running into the crowd to play. They took a short break before the encore, but since there's not really a backstage they came back on quickly. Then, after the first encore song, King Kahn said something to the band and then they started playing TOOK MY LADY TO DINNER!!! One of my friends grabbed me and just shook me with happiness because it was the song I had asked him to play! I was so excited! Everyone sang along and it was outstanding. After the show I was totally covered and damp with sweat - mine and everyone else's. I smelled like sweaty boys. Trip talked to some dudes in the parking lot that he had met, we watched an almost fight break out, then we left. Photos from the Hi Tone show can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lichtc

I stayed up all night after the show with Trip and Kandi watching the Office, talking about scissoring, and fast forwarding to the good parts of some Vanilla Ice movie (if you can say that there are good parts in it). It was amazing and fun and I was so happy that I decided to make the trip home. We went to bed at like 5 a.m. Jeremy came and got me at about 8:40 or so the next morning and we started our drive home, stopping at a gas station Denny's on the way. There was a bike rally going on outside of it, and one of the guys had a dirty little Pomeranian doggy.

This was by far the best birthday ever. I got tons of great stuff from my wonderful friends, got to see all the people that I care the most about, got to play with my brother, saw two great bands three times each, ate at fun diners, got to see Come Sundown play, sang loudly in the car with Jeremy, stayed in fun hotels, and saw the best show I've ever seen. I couldn't have asked for a better birthday and thank each and every person that helped it happen.


POTD 03.15.09

epic birthday blog coming soon.


POTD 03.10.09

POTD 03.09.09



I'm going to make a conscious effort to start taking at least one photo I like every day. It seems small, but taking those few minutes to get a photo right can be hard to do when you're also trying to walk two dogs, fix dinner, make it to the gym, possibly go do fun things with friends, clean up a little, and yadda yadda yadda. I'm not saying these are going to be magnificent pieces of art or earth-shattering, never been done before pieces of photographic genius -- just slices of whatever caught my eye that day.

I think I'll label them POTD (photo of the day). I'm sure that this will prove itself far more difficult than I'm expecting it to be, and I'm not sure if I'd rather do it here or somewhere else, but I'll figure it out.

My penpal now friend Amber visited from Atlanta this past weekend. We'd never met in person and had only talked on the phone twice, but we clicked right away and I was so glad. I find it very hard to connect to most people, but she and I have the same interests, sense of humor, and brash personalities, so we get along great. I taught her to knit, she taught me to crochet, and it was an all around great time, despite the fact that I had a migraine for about 10 hours of the visit, and she was sick the day after me from a late night with too many dirty martinis.

This week I have another friend coming up to visit, and I'm super excited because we're going to see King Kahn and the Shrines, not once, but twice! We'll be at the Orange Peel show here on Thursday, then after brunch and a short Asheville tour we're going to Nashville to see them there too! We've got a hotel booked downtown so we can wander around and have fun without worry about driving or finding parking, and the next day he's leaving to go see them AGAIN in his hometown of Memphis. I wish I could make that show too, but I can't imagine the drive back to Asheville the next day. That's one long, frustrating, boring drive, and it would come the day after my birthday and two days of partying. I don't see it happening.

I'm not even going to update on the pugs right now. I'm incredibly frustrated with Porter after a night of him being as bad as I could possibly ever imagine a dog being. Hopefully when I get home he'll have gotten all his badness out and I can quit gritting my teeth with rage.

I wish spring would stay. It's so very lovely.


for kandi and her weird gas station food obsession. sassy pickles? really?

when jeremy moved to colorado for the summer i would send him care packages, and sometimes they contained bagged pickles. sometimes they also contained his very favorite t-shirt which i was returning after he sent it to me so i could smell his scent on it, wear it and send it back to him for the same reason (how sickly sweet, right?), which happened to be a shirt of a band that no longer exists, and also a shirt that is now impossible to get another one of when the post office loses the box you put said shirt into, no matter how much you seach ebay and random hardcore message boards in hope of finding another one. sigh.

google jason molina and get everything he's done. it's good. i'm obsessed with okkervil river and magnolia electric company lately. it's all i want to hear.

i took a trip to charleston with some girls this weekend and it was fun. much more fun than i had expected, and i'm glad i didn't wuss out and have a social anxiety attack like i had figured i would. i also taught another person to knit this weekend, and i'm so happy to spread the knitting love around! i'm no expert, but i'm so happy to pass on my very limited knowledge. after i taught kandi she took off with it and is so much better of a knitter than me now (much to her husband's chagrin since she tends to be obsessive with crafts and hobbies). perhaps it won't be a dying, obsolete art! hooray! now i need to find someone more experienced than i am to help me finish this tank top i started. i got most of the front side done, but now i'm stuck and have been stuck for so long that the project has been on the shelf for months. i know, a knit tank top? totally lame right? but it's just a stepping stone between scarves and sweaters for me. doing a whole sweater freaks me out, but i've got to break out of just doing scarves and simple hats sometime. the tank doesn't have sleeves, so it's not as intimidating as a whole sweater. if i can finish it, though, the sweater attempt is the next. and then maybe CARDIGANS! ah! the thought makes me giddy. hand-knitted CARDIGANS? i've got to settle down before i start getting too excited at work.

anyway. i hope it warms up soon. i'm ready for some beach trips and sunshine.



car inspections are lame.

in arkansas we didn't have to get car inspections, so this whole process of registering my car every year and having to get it inspected first is throwing me for a loop. lucky for me, my entire tax return will be spent getting new tires, alignment, and windshield wipers so i can pass my inspection and get my car registered. yay for me!

i'm ready for spring. and sunshine. and lazy sundays in the yard drinking sweet tea with a good book and my feet in the kiddie pool.

i've broken two sets of headphones this month. and my dog ate one. i need to buy like 15 pairs of them and have them laying around everywhere.

i'm going to charleston this weekend and hope it's fun. i figure i'll freak out at the social aspect of the trip and spend most of the night in the hotel reading a book and knitting leg warmers, but that's actually fine with me. i need to get away from itchy little dogs and consistently cluttered apartments, even if it's just for a day or two. i get so overwhelmed sometimes at the clutter and to-do-list and walking schedule.

i know i have it easy, so don't think i'm melodramatic. i just need a day to NOT do those things. i think we all do.

i applied at AB Tech for the fall semester in the baking and pastry arts program. i'm not sure if i can afford it, how i'll make it work, where i'll be employed while i do this, but i figure if i don't just apply and try to jump in it will never happen. there's always going to be something in the way, so i need to just do it. their system is kind of weird, so i'm waiting to see what to do next. i had my transcripts sent and hope i don't have to take some kind of placement test since i already have a bachelor's degree. maybe that will get me out of some of the basics i would have to take too.


they're liking each other more every day! i've started leaving them together during the day instead of separating them. i haven't noticed any issues yet, so maybe they're past trying to dominate each other. they're still completely different personality wise, so that is definitely taking some getting used to. i think once it warms up and we can play outside more they'll like each other even more. i've been wondering how much it would be to get a little fenced in play area for them in our yard. nothing big, just something so they could get some sunshine without being leashed and without having to pull porter off of the other dogs at the dogpark. he's kind of yippy and slightly aggressive at the dog park, and i'm just too anxious for that to work.

i did my taxes and got that over with, and also filled out a fafsa for the 2009-2010 year. maybe i'll start the baking and pastry arts program a bit early. the economy is looking rough, and it might be a good time to start it. i don't think i'll really be able to afford it, but it's going to be one of those things where there's NEVER a good time to start it. i just need to jump in.

i'm going to be sending valentines out this week! i'm excited about it. i've already made a list of about 50 people who will be receiving them, and a select few are getting a mix cd as well. i don't have time to do one for everyone, and i'm sure not everyone would even want one.

i used to really hate winter and snow, then we moved here and it seemed more tolerable. the snow is fluffier, it actually accumulates instead of turning instantly into packed grey ice and sludge like in arkansas, and it's prettier here in the mountains than it was on the fields back home. i was a little happy when it started snowing the other night, but after two days of walking the dogs in the bitter cold with wind blowing snow and grit onto us, we're ready for it to warm up. i also think the salt on the road hurts the dogs' feet. they'll be walking and suddenly stop and flail their little paws around like something is stuck in it. i've had to alternate carrying them on our walks until their paws warm up. this is the kind of weather that makes me wonder why i couldn't be a cat person instead. it's supposed to be 60 degrees this weekend, so maybe me and the boys can hang out in the yard with a good book, some chew toys, and some sweet tea. yay!



uh...conflicting message.  go green, but rip off a sheet a day to see what day it is? 


This weekend we adopted a new pug, Porter. His name was Nick, but he told me his real name is Porter, so we're going with that. He's around 11 months old, and was found wandering the streets with a very messed up front leg. He's a very sweet boy who tries to do his best to please us. He and Nocci are still getting used to each other, but every day seems to be a little bit better. We're keeping them separated while we're at work so there won't be any huge scuffles, but hopefully in a week or so we won't have to do that. Nocci is obviously grumbled at having to share his bed, toys, parents, treats, etc., with a newcomer, but I think that eventually he'll be happy to have someone to play with.

It's funny because Porter and Nocci have completely different personalities. Nocci is shy and doesn't really care to play with other dogs at the dog park. Porter jumped right in and was chasing shephards, giant poodles, mastiff mixes and anyone else he could. Nocci refuses to eat crunchy treats or bones of any kind really, and Porter wolfed down an ENTIRE pork shin in about four minutes, which is crazy since he's so small. Nocci prefers to play with people over toys, and Porter seems to like playing with toys more than people. It's crazy how different they are, but hopefully that will work out and they'll have a lot to talk about. :)

I'll update as they reach new stages in their relationship, and hopefully all of those will be good developments.


sweet tooth

I listed another cupcake on etsy today! I almost kept this one for myself I like it so much, but I decided that I had enough of my own stuff on my walls! I want to raise money to buy other people's art for my walls!

I also listed a custom order that I hope is well-received, and I painted an extra special Valentine's Day cupcake painting that still has to dry and be sprayed with sealant. 

In non-etsy related news, I joined the YMCA and went for the first time today.  I was confused by the weird "put your name on a list to get on a machine" thing, but I asked a YMCA person and she was very nice and helped me.  I also managed to get next to this really fit chick that was jogging on the treadmill facing BACKWARDS while pumping little weights, so any pride I felt at merely being at a gym for the first time in months was immediately trampled.  I also got tangled and knocked my ipod under the treadmill, then accidentally knocked the emergency stop thing twice, thus displaying my extreme gracefulness.  I'm going to try to lose 25 pounds, which is a daunting task, but hopefully if I stick to my plan I can make it. It's not a strict plan or anything, but I'm going to try to go to the gym at least four days a week, maybe more, drink only water and juice (no sweet tea or sonic coke runs), and I'm going to try to eat only fresh, healthy food -- no prepackaged crap or greasy pizza just because it's in front of me.  I told Jeremy we would likely have to start eating separate food, but it's going to be hard to resist buttery  mashed potatoes and deep fried vegan hot wings.  I think I'm going to be eating a lot of potatoes, kale, soup, and yogurt, but I like all those things, so maybe it will work.

wish me luck!


Hot Chocolate Weekend

It's finally Friday! This week has seemed super long, and unfortunately I had a case of the severe grumps for the first half of the week. I started my fiddle classes and sadly, I don't think they're the right kind learning environment for me. It's a pretty large, crowded, loud class, I can't hear what I'm playing (or not playing), and I have no previous musical experience so I'm utterly lost in the technicalities like how there can be two G notes played on different strings and things like that. I'm not a patient person, I don't like large groups, and I have to really work to be able to play things -- it doesn't come naturally to me like it does to some. I'm going to try to drag myself to at least one more class before I give up completely, but I dread it so much that I think I'd rather eat the money than go back. I may look into one on one classes, which I think would work much better for me. I'm not sure I can keep up in a group class environment.

This weekend I plan on finishing up a custom etsy order, making some homemade hot chocolate, volunteering for Animal Compassion Network (I hope the adoption day is indoors this time, because it is COLD out!), and making some more Valentines! Valentines Day is my very favorite holiday, and it's less than a month away! I try to send everyone I know a handmade Valentine, and every year I'm up til 3 a.m. at the last minute trying to get some more Valentines made! Hopefully this year I've given myself plenty of time to be done ahead of time. I also need to test some new bread recipes. I've been trying to make all of our bread from scratch, and no, I don't have a bread maker, but lately I've been stuck on this one really easy white bread recipe. I need to branch out some.

I've been having a lot of fun with my etsy store lately! I've gotten two custom orders, one of which was a trio of bunny paintings! It was super fun to do, but also stressful! It was my first custom order, so I was super paranoid that I make it as perfect as I could!

I've also been working on scanning in the Holga shots I hand developed in my tiny little makeshift darkroom! I'm only doing negatives right now because of lack of space/time for a full blown darkroom, but maybe someday I can make prints again. Anyway, here's one of the shots that turned out okay. I have a Canoscan flatbed negative scanner, but it's tricky getting it to read the full negatives with the sprocket holes and all because the 35mm carrier covers up the sprocket holes, so I'm having to find a way to scan them without using the carrier. Tricky Tricky.

One more update, my lovely friend Kandi has started listing prints in her etsy shop, and I highly recommend you check them out. She's an amazing photographer and has been published and recognized a ton lately for her images. More info here: http://superkantastic.com

I hope everyone has a great weekend and stays warm during this cold front!


grits, veggie sausage, vegan waffle...nummy!