Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wedding Wardrobe Update (the most frivolous of frivolities)

So I am still trying to find some wedding-wear. I ended up hitting the snooty mall to check out the Memorial Day sales and even tried on some stuff that wasn't on sale (very not me, also seems to garner better service from the snooty mall ladies). This was the dress I wanted, so of course they did not have it in my size and tried to convince me that one size too small really looked good. It did not. They didn't have it in the other color and claimed they were sold out of it in any other sizes. They even checked online for me. How kind of them. So today I went online and found it. In purple. In my size. It is on it's way.

These are the dresses I ordered from Anthro:

I have my doubts that they will fit/not need complex underwear so I am hedging my bets with the Ann Taylor dress. I think internet salespeople hate me. I expect to return two of the three dresses I have bought, and honestly, I am ok with that as it still sucks less than shopping in Reno. Stupid shipping is worth it for one good dress. So keep your fingers crossed for me! I am rooting for the green one or the purple one, but the black one would be a good standby...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stop. Just STOP. (also a little bit late, would have made more sense about a week ago but I'm behind)

Yes, the Idol kid is good. Yes, it's sad he didn't win. Boo hoo.

Now STOP comparing him to Freddie Mercury. He could wipe the floor with any of them damn Idol kids, and they need to remember that.

Thank you me darlings, you load of tarts! He sounds like Captain Jack Sparrow... He was not just a rock musician, with that tone and that control. Everything he did was on purpose. Not a throwaway note.

I will stop now, but I am sick of the Idol people trying to compare a talented kid to a musical icon when the kid would probably give his left nut for a tenth of that skill. Freddie Mercury was a real star. And dude could play the piano, while he was at it. That kid wouldn't be making it at all without groundbreakers like Queen.

And also, I don't think he had a stylist. But that's just me guessing. Maybe somebody was out there tracking down the perfect spandex harlequin jumpsuit...

Edit: does that last guitar solo sound like Winnie the Pooh's "I'm just a little black raincloud" to anyone else?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Body Language (late to the meme!)

If forced into motion, what's your first preference?
When there is no snow on the ground and it is less than 90 degrees out (so, just over half the year here), yard work. Planting, pruning, mowing, moving rocks, you name it, it is my exercise of choice. Also probably why it would be great for my health to move back to Oregon so I could garden year-round.

When you have a gym membership, do you use it?

No. As much as I enjoy lifting weights, I hate cardio. If the gym had decent showers, I might be persuaded to swim more, but as is, I have never found any cardio I could stick to (past high school, where, with one's dad as one's coach, it is way easier to stick to the workouts he plans).

If you could change your body type, would you?
Not really. I might make my feet smaller so it would be easier to buy shoes, but as I spend enough on shoes as is, making it easier might not be the best thing for my bank account. Now, if making my skin less sensitive/allergy and acne-prone was an option, I'd be all over that. But I am used to being big with long legs and broad shoulders and it could be worse.

Mandatory high school P/E -- discuss.
Never minded it in junior high, but in high school you got out of it if you did marching band. Or sports. I did both. I am an extra-special type of nerd-jock. Basketball I was ok at, but I succeeded far better in track (not really a team sport so I could win things without success being contingent on other people not sucking). Did you know you can letter in both sports and marching band? I have so many of those letter things I never even bothered to get the jacket as they wouldn't all fit on it.

Worst feature?

Eh. I an not in love with my thighs, gut or upper arms. That seems standard, though, for most women in some form or another. As long as I can run around in a skirt and a t-shirt I am not going to sweat it though.

Best feature?
Long legs. My sister is 6'2" and I am 5'10". If I recall correctly, we have the same length legs and she carries that extra height all in her torso. Yes, she played basketball too. But it sure makes me love skirt-wearing weather.

Also, while my huge hands make it impossible to buy womens' gloves, I am going to go with Wende and point out my 10-note span ;) which made life easy during the brief period when I played upright bass, as well.

There are some blogs I have stopped reading - I don't seem to hate my body enough to qualify. I am, of course, trying to lose weight, but a lot of that is due to comments from other people (for my own good, of course). There is a distinct possibility that, without those comments, I might just turn into a slug, as I don't worry about my body that much in general.

And just for fun:

I was going to put in Body Language and try to pretend it was relevant, but I totally like this one more.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Project Update (no pictures 'til it's light out again)

Project 1 - The bathroom walls have been properly textured and the ceiling is now painted white (it already looks lighter in there). One wall is now a lovely milky coffee color that looks great with the dark slate and white trim. Back to HD in the morning to get a gallon of it and do the other walls.

Project 2 -
Stupid recycle place got bought out and is now closed on weekends. And after we FINALLY got all that stuff in the car and trucked it down there, too. Grr.

Project 3 -
I finally broke down and bought two dresses online from Anthro. Therefore, I can't worry about anything else until they show up. Hopefully at least one will work... and no running around to the mall this weekend after all. Oh darn.

Project 4 -
Not this weekend, not no way, not no how.

Project 5 - Go figure, a new branch of a local nursery just opened up around the corner from my house. As in, even closer than Home Despot. So I got three peppers and a salvia. And also some seeds to put in. Tomorrow...

Project 6 - Another not this weekend.

So tomorrow is paint and garden time again. If I can get it mostly done it will have been an awesomely productive weekend. Also, if I can get my lappy to talk to me. Whenever it wants to Install Updates and Shut Down it always is pissy and won't start afterward. I know I am supposed to wait for the black screen to go away because it is processing the updates after the restart but I left it on yesterday and it stayed on the black screen all day. This may require an email to a helpful computer friend. Sigh.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Holiday Weekend = Project Time!

Project 1 - repaint bathroom (too dim, already has dark tile, sick of the blue, ceiling shouldn't have been blue in the first place).
So far the ceiling has two coats of white, and the testers on the wall are both too light. Yes I know I just said I wanted it lighter, but I want it to be sort of a light coffee color and these are both too yellow.

Project 2 - recycle metal pile, cardboard pile

This just involves loading up the car and carting all this stuff off. Wherever it is supposed to go...

Project 3 - wedding outfit?
This just involves sucking it up and driving down to the far end of town and fighting the mall crowds. But it does imply getting it over with so I don't have to keep surfing the Banana Republic and Anthropologie websites to see if the stuff I like goes on sale or comes back in stock in the right color (for example, the Anthro dress is back in stock in the interesting teal color but the brand might run small and it is NOT on sale, sigh).

Project 4 - clean concrete back porch?
If I can find the appropriate toxic chemicals during Home Despot trips...

Project 5 - backyard wants a couple of pepper plants and some more salvia.
Probably not likely, given the amount of time Home Despot trips usually suck up. We'll see what we can find.

Project 6 - weed front yard. Bleah.
Got about half of this one done last weekend, so I'm going to go hit the rest right now before it gets hot...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Three-Day Weekend!

To the Americans, at least. And Happy Friday Hotness to everyone else!

I promise a real post this weekend. And call me, Ewan!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Out of control!

So remember the weddings I have this summer? One is a backyard wedding in the Bay Area, one is a fancy 20's wedding in Pasadena, and one is in an Italian restaurant in Utah. The dream is to find stuff that I can wear to all of them. Hah.

The first dress I ordered was definitely not the right size, so I found this:

So of course they are out of it in the color I like. And my size. Sigh.

This one is on sale, and gets extra points for being a color other than black. Currently the front-runner. My only worry is that it looks like it is giving the model a bit of a tum. Not good.

This is the stuff that I already have and want to use. It looks like it might work with the blue dress...

The clutch is definitely more of a true red than it looks, and it conveniently holds way more than you would expect...

The shoes go with everything, so I am not super worried about them. I went to the local crazy resale/costume store and they have some amazing beaded dresses, but of course they are super expensive and a one-time use type thing. So I may just keep contemplating the dresses above and just wear whatever I end up with with a long necklace and a feather in my hair for the fancy 20's wedding.

The practical goal would be to just find a great top/wear a top I already own with my nice black skirt and the already existing accessories. But what fun would that be? The real goal is to only buy one dress for all the weddings. Beyond that, I am not going to stress. But wedding #1 is coming up soon! And this is the one I am going to without a date, and where there will be multiple people there who I may or may not have briefly dated in high school. Talk about insecure, needing to dress to impress them. Sigh. But really, the bride-to-be was my maid of honor and I do need to look good for her. Yeesh.

Monday, May 18, 2009

It must be a community service thing.

Who chooses the tuba?

You can get a child in there!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Things I Love Thursday

Church Gigs - there is nobody more appreciative than a Sunday morning audience. They likes their brass LOUD. I am good at that. Also, they pay.

My Garden - it is finally getting warm enough at night that stuff is starting to either sprout or bloom, that means this weekend will be bonzo planting time for the tender stuff: tomatoes, basil, peppers, zucchini and maybe some melons or squash, we'll see. Green stuff now sprouting includes lettuces, beets, kale, carrots and radishes (and I have been thinning the radish sprouts already and they taste great! very peppery, they might make it in a salad tonight...). And I still have spinach seeds and pole beans to plant!

Any Excuse For A Party - we had friends come into town to hang out last weekend, so I made crepes. I am going to have to make some more excuses to make crepes, we had strawberries and whipped cream and tart apples and lemon curd and powdered sugar for the sweet, and sausage, roasted asparagus, spinach, sauteed mushrooms and feta for the savory. There were four of us. I made a double batch of crepes and we still ran out. Yum!

Image from here

My New Bag - it is official. I am SO not a small bag person. From here.

Swedish Blogs - oddly enough, I have three Swedish blogs that I kind of love:
Chez Larsson satisfies all my Martha Stewart tendencies,
satisfies my wanderlust and general Euro-philia,
and Letters From The End Consumer just makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.

Summer Is Coming - this means live music down by the river, barbecues and sundry outdoor parties, and graduation (so I can park at work since it's not full of students stealing my parking spots).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On Being A Grown-Up

There is no quicker way to make me flash back to junior high than to pop some retainers in. And guess what I did yesterday. When you wore braces and retainers for years and then stopped wearing them, with time, your teeth are likely to migrate all over the place.

I thought I could just go get some of those fancy Invisalign things or something, but entertainingly enough, insurance doesn't cover any fancy orthodontics once you're over 19. So if I had a kid, they could have orthodontics, but I get to pay cash. So I just got some nice shiny new retainers (for literally 1/10 the cost of the fancy shmancy stuff). And MAN is my face sore after wearing them for one night. This is where I need to be a grown-up about this shit though. The more I wear them, the better they will work and the faster this will stop sucking. Gaah!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Reno shout-out (check me out!)

The lovely A at The Glamorous Grad Student is running a post by yours truly on what to do when you're traveling in Reno - go check it out! Due to the format I didn't get to give a shout-out to some of my favorite restaurants and shops, but as there are too many restaurants, I will just add a link to my favorite bookstore in town.

Not mine, swiped from here.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Review time!

The weather isn't quite nice enough to garden every night after work yet (sunny, but we get these late afternoon winds that are crazy blustery) so I have been doing some reading. I've got a pile of books people have recommended to me and I am trying to make a dent.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - I could not put this book down. It is beautifully written, as a series of letters from a woman in post-war London to a group of people on the island of Guernsey. Guernsey was occupied by the Germans in WWII and the letters become the story of the occupation and the heroic people on the island, as well as the story of the woman in London coming to Guernsey and falling in love with the island and the people. It is so vivid and a joy to read, I have to recommend it very highly. I read my mom's copy and had to go buy my own, as I am sure I will be reading it over and over.

My Life In France - I have always been fond of Julia Child, and this just made me love her more. It is the story of her time in France learning to cook and writing Mastering The Art Of French Cooking and I love how interested she is in getting all her recipes just right and how The Book just kept getting bigger and bigger... it's a great portrait of how times have changed - everyone wanted to cook easy stuff and not spend time in the kitchen and the publishers wanted quick and easy. She loved how the French cooked and ate and she was so methodical about everything being fresh and done by hand. It is just a fun, light read (although a lot of the recipes do sound kind of crazy when you think about it). Also, now I can't wait for the movie of Julie and Julia, partially based on this book and with Meryl Streep as Julia Child. Talk about awesome casting!

Storm Front - Jim Butcher writes mysteries, but they are in the fantasy section at the bookstore. I like a good mystery, but these are a bit much. It's fun froth, but no real substance. I think I'll get the rest of them from the library.

Down With Love - This is still an adorable movie. Fluff at it's finest, with fantastic costumes and Ewan MacGregor doing his best Cary Grant. Renee Zellweger pulls off the banter and costumes beautifully and isn't even too squinty-faced (aah, the good old days). The supporting cast is fantastic (yay Sarah Paulson and double yay David Hyde Pierce), and I love Tony Randall.

Middle Cyclone - Neko Case's newest album, at first I was a little bit "eh", but I kept listening to it and now I am definitely a fan. There are a couple of tunes I skip, but apparently those are both covers so I am not holding them against her quite so much. I have trouble not listening to certain songs over and over and over...

Friday, May 8, 2009

God Sarah Haskins is funny

And I swear I have had this same conversation with myself every time this has been on tv. Except mine wasn't as funny.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

random cooking question (a.k.a. a cry for help)

So can some of the more knowledgeable cooks out there give me any tips here? I am a big fan of making my own soup stock whenever I've got a spare chicken carcass, and will toss it in any of my favorite soups.

However, I am currently in possession of a ham bone that needs some love. I wrapped it up and tossed it in the freezer after Easter and have been putting off dealing with it ever since. Do I just boil the bejesus out of it with random vegetable bits like I normally do? And what kind of soups is it good in? The only vague idea I have is lentil soup and I am not a huge lentil fan. Can it sub for chicken broth in my less chicken-y soups (mushroom soup maybe?) or is the flavor more dominant than I want in something that delicate?

Anyone? Anyone? I am not going to let that thing sit any longer!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Holy crap this should not be so exciting

... but it is!

My seeds have started to sprout! Looks like I've got some heavy radish action, with a little bit of a showing from my greens as well! Too cool! It's only been about a week and a half, I think, so this is a good start! Nothing much in the carrots or beets yet, and only the tiniest (un-photographably small) sprouts of kale. However, they get extra points for being purple!

I promise the next garden-related post will have some flowers in it. Or at least more visible green. Spring has actually sprung out here and stuff is starting to bloom! Not lots of it, of course, but as long as it doesn't snow again, I currently have lilacs, one very perky purple salvia and for some reason, tons of tiny thyme flowers. Go figure.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Random Happy Music Post

So one of my favorite things to do when I am a little bit blue is to crank up some loud music and dance around like a total goober. Or, if I am in the car, sing at the top of my lungs until my throat gets sore. Thus, this post is a little roundup of happy-making clips, mainly comprised of the music I can't hold still to. I can't embed this one, so click the link, watch the video, and I promise you will want to shake your booty.

Sting was not only mad hot back in the 80's (even though the sequin outfit is a bit Ziggy Stardust), this song is SO catchy!

Try not to groove to the Pretenders' newest single"

I dare you to not sing along. Freddie Mercury's beautiful voice and such a corny, catchy song with all that heavy harmony and that big fat fuzzy tone of Brian May's red special (who, incidentally, just finished a Ph.D in astrophysics that he had put on hold 30 years ago so he could go play with some band. Brian May did, that is, not the red special)

Another un-embeddable but ridiculously catchy song, I have developed an adoration for this band ever since I heard them on the new Doctor Who tv show (yes I am a nerd) and this is another one I will dance around to in my underwear and sing at the top of my lungs when there is nobody around ;) and yes, the video is nuts.

And I have to say, I have a soft spot for this Supertramp song - that triumphant modulation at the end is so satisfying (yes I am a music nerd).

An insanely cool band with quite possibly the grooviest baritone player I have ever heard. You may have caught this over the Borat end credits, if you sat through the whole thing, it was the best part of the movie by far. This is Balkan Beat Box:

Cake with line dancing. I love Cake so much. (And it's low-calorie!)

Sesame Street with and without guest stars:

So put on your favorite underwear, turn up the volume, and DANCE!