dispatches: talking bookcases in Ethiopia

Inexplicable phenomena happen when you are lunging forward inside a big metal can at 30,000 feet.

Some of these phenomena come from me.  I cry like a baby at most things on airplanes.  Who knew Edward Scissorhands was the saddest movie ever?  Not me, until 3 hours into the 13-hour flight I just stepped off of.

Crying can have bonuses like occasionally scoring you an extra mini bottle of wine from a sympathetic flight attendant, but mostly it just brings you stares of pity and mild embarrassment from your fellow flyers.

Other inexplicable phenomena come from other people, and thus are maybe only inexplicable to me.

Like clapping when you land safely in a location like Addis Ababa.  I have to be honest, clapping at landing really only makes sense to me if the majority of people on the plane had real reason to believe that they might not be able to clap when the plane hits the ground, due to fiery crashes and the like.

It definitely makes no sense in a very smooth landing in prime conditions.  Isn’t this the number one responsibility of the pilots?  This should not be seen as an exceptional action.  No one claps for me when I answer emails or pay invoices on time.  Or even when I make bitter comments because I feel inferior to pilots (4th coolest job ever).

And it definitely does not make sense when the clapping comes before the plane has safely slowed and steadied on the runway.  There is still room for error, folks – let’s not count our chickens.  I feel like I have some authority to say this because I was on a plane in Ghana once that narrowly missed overshooting the runway.  (I actually have no authority.)

What does this have to do with house things?

This is my pre-taxi applause:

we will be landing shortly.

we will be landing shortly.

Traveling for the next 12 days, I had to scrape the bottom for some recent house updates that are getting pushed into the spotlight not quite ready for primetime.  Including my increasingly soothing and lovely office bookshelves.

You may remember them as this:

not cute.  not at all.

not cute. not at all.

No more, friends.  Check out these sexy MoFos:

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They still have a little ways to go … I am missing a shelf and need to paint the red trim white, plus fill in the other shelves.  So this post may mark the beginning of me skidding off the landing strip right as my hands are hurting from clapping so much.

But I am tickled pink all the same.  Even this little update brings a certain serenity to the office.

Which is nice because the folks I hired to applaud me upon completing a reference check have failed to show up for work for a few weeks.  Clearly we need to have a little come to jesus.


so not neutral … part deux

Oh hi.  How are you?  It has been a while, I know.  Sorry – I have been busy listening to Fred Armison impersonate Ira Glass while riding the train (not riding the snake, for those intergenerational SNL fans.  bonus points if you get the reference).

Actually, mostly I have been working.  And preparing for work trips.  To Uganda and France.  And since I do not know Luganda, I can only translate the title of the post into French.  Partially. Pardon, ya’ll.

Okay, so in addition to worky things, we have been doing a few housy things.  Like this:

boom shakalaka.

boom shakalaka.

Who is neutral?  Not these bitches:

black and white photography can't hold back this rainbow.

black and white photography can’t hold back this rainbow.

Okay, so we had a busy weekend.  And that weekend could be best known as “The One in which Michelle is ALWAYS Right (as much as it kills me).”

We spent some time in the best fabric store in the WORLD.  And we found some fabric.

Actually Michelle found fabric and I said “yeah, maybe that is okay” while inside seething that I did not find it first.  #SupportiveSpousesForTheWin

Girl has an eye … just look at who she decided to marry (cough cough).

So the duvet fabric will have to wait for another day.  But after identifying the fabric that would become (will become?) our duvet cover, Michelle found the curtains of my rainbow-loving dreams:

rainbow = gay = happy = who does not get this?

rainbow = gay = happy = who does not get this?

The original curtains were a little hippy-dippy with string ties at the top, which is a little too casual/pot-den for our taste.  So we remedied this by getting some curtain ring clip thingies (je ne sais quoi) and adding a little class to those crinkly fabrics of joy.

Don’t you hate it when your loving cohabitant is right like 50 times in one day?  But damn they look good.

yeah I'm looking at you.

yeah I’m looking at you.

So what crazy fabric might we have gotten for le duvet cover that might match this awesomeness … next time, friends, next time.

overcoming inertia

Meet Maurice:

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i wish i was a little bit taller, i wish i was a baller

We got lots done this weekend.  Like superhero power lots.  Which means lots to share.

But one of my favorite things we accomplished this weekend might be the man upstairs (and by “upstairs” I mean in the above picture, just to clarify).

So when it comes down to it, Michelle and I both suffer from a little bit of the inertia.  This may surprise you given our shuffling around the new house … but we are busy ladies with busy jobs who sometimes (read: often) will turn to each other at the end of the evening and say “do you really really want to go to that concert/meetup group/gallery/CSD dance recital that we have been excited about for the last three weeks?”

And the answer is pretty much always: “no?  me neither.  let’s stay at home and watch CSD watching My Cat From Hell.” (I don’t know what is more entertaining – the show or her captivation.)

We spend a lot of quality PJ time when we should be out partying like middle-aged, kind-of pathetic rockstars.  #managingexpectations

So how does Maurice fit into this?

He is a bit of an amalgam of my love of lists and Michelle’s love of telling me things to put on my list.  With a dash of “how come we have been talking about going to <fill in the blank here> for 9 months and have not been yet?”

What does the Maurice party pack consist of:

  • A blue mason jar friend (named Lulu – because I love naming things almost as much as I love lists) that is filled with little cards that have things we want to do in the RVA.
  • A little blue and green bag (that I sewed with my brand new Brother sewing machine as practice for a very big project I have up my sleeve) that contains blank papers for when new ideas for Lulu come to mind.
  • Maurice – with a pen through his head.  A little gruesome, yes.  But Girl needs a good pen when an idea strikes.  And it is one of my nicer travel pens that I hoard from international trips (this one from Kenya … they have good pens, those Kenyans).

Basic idea … when we feel a little spark of energy, we pick out a card and have to do whatever is on the card within the next 7 days.  No returns, no passing go.  Just a little push to get our inert asses off of our sofa with butt indent marks.

For those considering visiting, you too can play with Maurice, Lulu and Pals.  You too can help cure inertia.

covering up those bits and pieces

So someone in our house likes to prance around naked from time to time.

2012-05-03 02.36.17

Okay, someone besides CSD.

Now I will not share the identity of said member of the house, but that someone also recently had a moment of clarity that maybe the neighbors would not appreciate nude prancing.

Or maybe they would.  Who am I to say?

So both members of the house with opposable thumbs decided to visit our favorite place in the world that is not Disney World or any number of drinking establishments … the big orange box.  And we got us some master bedroom window coverings – huzzah!

What did we get?  Bamboo blinds.  We were looking for something pretty private and natural and eco friendly.  I was inspired by the young folks.  Michelle was inspired by another recent trip to the big orange box (have I mentioned we are regulars?).  Agreeing spouses for the win!

How did we hang them?  With one very sexy new drill that I now know how to use after some serious and determined youtube viewing.

How do they look?  You be the judge:





Still after (not to insult your intelligence or anything)

Still after (not to insult your intelligence or anything)

We really like them.  Who doesn’t like them?

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No way to tell whether her dislike stems from the blockage of prime fox-watching windows or her disdain that our house may be turning into a nudist colony.

waking the beast inside of me

What is this beast, you may ask?

still life with cat and drill

still life with cat and drill

I have finally busted out the power tool (again, 1 word or 2?).  And it. is. awesome.

The power!  The buzz!  The fact that I still have all of my appendages, minor and otherwise!

Less awesome is the fact that it took me 30 minutes and 2 youtube videos to learn how to insert the drill bit.  My favorite was of a very nice young Latino man who was very informative and liked to hold the drill like you see people hold guns in TV’s Gangland.

I tried to do this – but the effect was somewhat diminished by my pink polkadot pajama pants.  Packing heat I am not.

You will have to wait until tomorrow to see the destination of the virgin drill voyage.

Hint: the neighbors will be pleased.  Except maybe any pervy neighbors.