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!


It’s a new year, and that means it’s time to set some goals for the upcoming months. I hate to call them “resolutions” because those tend to go ignored, but here are a few goals I have for 2009.

1. Clean the apartment LESS. Yes, I said LESS! I spend hours every week picking up stray socks, putting shoes away, rearranging my craft supplies, scrubbing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning bathroom counters, sweeping, putting away the dog toys, fussing over what mail has piled up on the kitchen table, and you know what? It always looks just as trashed in a couple of days.

Jeremy and I have a lot of stuff. Sometimes I feel guilty about all the stuff we have, but really, when you look at it, it’s not just junk and materialistic purchases for the sake of buying stuff. We have tons of books stacked everywhere, lots of subscriptions (The Big Takeover, Vegetarian Times, GQ, Time, Under the Radar, The Believer, Wholphin (DVD), McSweeny’s, and probably more of Jeremy’s I can’t remember), so we get a lot of mail – and not just that, but mail that takes some time to read, months sometimes. We also both really like books, and we also live pretty close to Mr. K’s, a HUGE and awesome used bookstore. We also tend to accumulate musical instruments, camera equipment – for both film cameras and video cameras – I have a mini darkroom set up in the bathroom, I’ve been painting and selling stuff on etsy, I have tons of knitting stuff, and then Nocci has about 20 toys scattered at any given point in time. There’s also camping gear, bicycles, kayaks, etc. We really just have a lot of stuff, but none of it is crap just taking up space like collections of action figures or cabinets of china or something. Anyway. I’m trying to convince myself to let it go. I read recently that a clean house is a sure sign of a boring life, and when I looked around our apartment it was filled with canvases, paint, banjos, fiddles, mountain bikes, music, and great reading material, and that’s not a bad way to live. I think half the problem is that we need a bigger space to put it all, but then again, I’m sure as soon as we get a bigger space that will just mean we need more things to fill it - probably more musical instruments and a full blown darkroom instead of a mini one.

Anyway, back to my point. I’m going to try to accept the clutter. It’s there and it’s not going anywhere - it never does. As long as there’s nothing moldy, the kitchen is clean, and Jeremy is at least attempting to help, I’m going to try to let it go and not hyperventilate when I’m surrounded by stacks and stacks and piles and piles of stuff and clutter. I know this is the opposite direction that most people go, but I’m at least going to try it out. I’m sick of coming home after work, cleaning the kitchen to cook dinner, cooking dinner, cleaning the kitchen after dinner, doing laundry, then going to bed. That’s not a fun way to live.

(Sorry if you just read that boring list of my possessions - this is more for me than you, though, so pffffft.)

2. I’m going to try to just do more. I’m really bored lately, and I know it’s because I never do anything. I’m used to working full time and juggling a bunch of classes, and right now, that’s not happening. I’m a boring 9-5 office hack and then I come home and stare at the TV. I’m starting fiddle lessons next week, and as soon as I find some money I’m going to sign up for some more lessons of some kind - maybe ceramic, maybe knitting, maybe quilting, I don’t know. I’m going to try to develop more film, figure out my negative scanner so I can upload them and try to do more on my flickr, start some new etsy projects, maybe find a knitting circle, start going to classes at the YMCA on a few nights a week, take Nocci to the dog park more, try more new recipes, etc. It’s REALLY easy to just veg out after work, but I need to stop it.

3. I’m going to try to accept the fact that I hate most of the common ways of socialization. I hate going to crowded bars and clubs. I hate parties. I hate dinner parties where I don’t know people – or even where I do know people in some cases. I’m much better at smaller events - dinner parties where I know people, game nights, etc. Every time I try to force myself to a party or something with the rationalization that I need to meet new friends and get out and not be boring, I just hate it, feel like hyperventilating, want to leave, ruin the time of whoever I’m there with, and make my friends feel like they have to babysit me. I just need to stop going.

4. I was trying to save this one for last, but I’ve got to get in better shape. I was going to the gym for awhile, but then I fell off the wagon and realized that I suck at getting anything done in the gym when I’m not being directed by someone. I would goof off on the elliptical machine for half an hour and barely break a sweat, but the classes were all at really awkward times for me to fit in my schedule, so I stopped going. I’m going to join the YMCA if I can get past the crowds and the smell ( I walked in there once and immediately walked back out without even getting past the lobby), and I’m going to try to go at least to three or four classes a week. I know people that go to the Y, so maybe I can get some kind of thing going with them so I feel more motivated. I will add that I was going to start this as soon as the new year started (like everyone else in the world), but I broke my toe and there’s no way I could do any kind of work out on it for a few nother weeks ( I realize that’s totally incorrect, but I typed it that way because that’s the way I said it in my head and it’s funny, so I left it.)

5. Stop saying “a few nother,” or anything else that interrupts the word “another” and splits it into two words.

6. I want to volunteer more with the Animal Compassion Network, and also maybe start doing some kind of knit for charity thing.

7. Pay off some debt. I’m not in horrible debt like some stories I’ve heard, but I do need to pay off a couple of credit cards. They’re not terribly run up, but I need to buckle down and stick to a budget. And eat out less. Me and Jeremy are really bad about that. The Early Girl is so damn good, though!

8. Travel more! I’m so envious of Kandi for her frequent road trips! I need to just travel more. Maybe I’ll start taking weekend trips while Jeremy is gone. There’s a ton of cities close to here to visit.
9. Buy more music. I have a long list of bands I want to check out, but I never remember to do that until I listen to Last.Fm again and hear a song I love by someone I’m not familiar with. Last.Fm is great because you can favorite songs and it keeps a long list of what you’ve listened to and you can go find it again, but I need to follow up with that.

10. Not get frustrated and actually practice my fiddle. I’ve never fully learned to play an instrument because I have NO patience. At all. I liked the piano class I took in college and did well in it, but I forgot it all immediately. I’m really going to try to learn the fiddle. I may need someone to nag me and keep me from slacking (Jeremy), but I’m really going to try.

11. Watch less TV. We watch too much TV. I think I’m going to try to limit my TV watching to one or two days a week, or maybe an hour a day or something. I’m sure this will be easier in the summer when there’s no new episodes of House and the sun is shining until past 4:30 p.m.

12. Learn to swim. This one has been on the list for four or five years and never been accomplished. I need to just get it out of the way. It's so scary though!

I guess that’s it for now. I’m sure I’ll probably forget half of these, fail miserably at most of them, and maybe kinda do one or two, but isn’t that what new year’s goals are for?