Monday, March 31, 2008

A Short Recap

I had a great weekend. It was Christa's birthday and we celebrated with Pad Thai (of course) and Karaoke Revolution for the Wii. I can't imagine that the neighbors didn't hear us drunkenly warbling into the wee (get it) hours of Sunday morning.

Wii is a little behind in the curve in the karaoke genre of games, but still, despite the fact that the game was the "American Idol" edition and didn't have as many songs to choose from as we would have liked [read: we'd like to have every top forty hit from 1950 to present available], we had a very large time that included a faux-hawk and Rockette kicks and at least one party-goer who informed me that his level of inebriation was the highest it had ever been in his entire life. That's right--he had his drunkest experience EVER right here at my house! I was understandably proud. And you thought I wasn't really accomplishing much these days. Wrong! I'm doing IMPORTANT WORK HERE, PEOPLE.

Anyway, the Wii technology is amazing, the game somehow can recognize whether or not one's singing pitch is correct. The added benefit of Paula Abdul, evil Simon Cowell, and Randy Jackson critiquing our performances was actually pretty much of a hoot. I figure Saturday night was just the beginning of what may end up being some pretty fierce competition. At the very least, I foresee a lot more drunken singing going on up in here. (Apologies to the neighborhood.)

The photo at the top of the post is of my latest retro addition to the hacienda. Those model cars were actually gifted to me--how cool is that? (Thanks unidentified gifter!) The cars live in the bay window in my kitchen.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Sometimes, I can’t believe I’m single. That it’s over. That I made it out alive and sort of internally okay. That I don’t have to keep trying. That I don’t have to feel bad. That I don’t have to be sad. That I don’t have to cry. That I don’t have to be the tragic lonely figure at the Christmas/Thanksgiving/Fill-in-the-Blank family/friends gathering who is married but always alone anyway.

Sometimes, I wonder how he is and if he is okay now, really okay, and wonder if I was the reason he mowed our yard for four hours each week. And I remember how surprised I was when my ex-wife came for a visit, offered to mow the yard, and was done in thirty minutes without even breaking a sweat. And I asked her how she got finished so fast and she said, “Your yard is tiny, you know.” I and I was all, yes, I know, but when he mows it, he’s out there for hours and hours. And she was all, I can’t imagine what he does to the lawn for that long. And I was all, maybe he is trimming each blade of grass individually? And she was all, whatEVER [unspoken subtext: Hate it for ya, sister], and going on about her business.

Sometimes, I look at my cell phone and think about calling him and, you know, asking about the yard. And then I wonder what he will do this summer without a yard, because I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have one now.

But then I think, a phone call is sort of EXTREME isn’t it? All that dialing and talking and being vulnerable.

And so I send a card instead.

But it doesn’t mention the yard.

It just says I hope he’s okay.

Friday, March 28, 2008


So, yesterday, I'm at TJ Maxx when I run across THE most fabulous pair of white croco embossed leather chairs. Many of you are familiar w/my B&W couch, so you know that a pair of white leather chairs (with black legs) are just the ticket for my living room.

I have up to now been using what were formerly my outdoor balcony chairs for additional seating and, while they're cute chairs, they are not comfortable (wicker flower chairs from Pier One) and once gotten into? Can be fairly difficult to get out of, especially after a few adult beverages.

I had to have many little talks with myself yesterday at the Maxx about the chairs, the state of my finances (frightening to the point of pants soiling), being responsible, the dangers of impulse buying, and why I can never seem to cut a ball on the rail into the corner pocket...

Oh, wait that last issue was a whole 'nother conversation.

Anyway, I'm having all my little internal talks and circling and stalking the chairs like a starving cheetah in the Serengeti, when I notice, high up on the back of one of the chairs, some black scratches. And bingo! That's when I knew they were mine. Because I could totally smell the damaged mark-down, baby.

Sure enough, the helpful folks on the floor knocked $50 off the price of EACH chair and ba-da-boom, before you could say ARE YOU INSANE YOU UNEMPLOYED TWIT?! I'm licking my chops and driving home with a pair of shiny new only slightly damaged chairs loaded into the back of the Subaru. Wee!


You really can't see the embossed croco finish in the photo, but it's there and it's, trust me, very cool. I have a thing for croco. Also, you'll note the previously discussed and voted on deviled egg dish table works surprisingly well with the new chair, even if I do say so myself. Also? The dog. Who, the minute the camera came out, made sure she was cozied up to the chair herself (but is all not looking at the camera and trying to make it look like a total coincidence).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Back? Maybe.

Hey. I'm back. I think.

I've been trying to write here for days; I have no less than three entries saved in my hard drive that I began and then couldn't finish for one reason or another. It is so easy to lose the thread of blogging when you don't do it for a while. I keep getting calls from people checking on me. They always remark that I'm not writing. Sometimes I don't know if this is a bad or good thing.

I did have the worst case of the flu that I've ever had in my life. I had fever, lost my voice, coughed, and was utterly devoid of energy for upwards of ten days. I think I'm still suffering the effects--I sleep a lot and will fall asleep any time I get too still, even now.

I don't suppose it's any wonder that I would contract such an illness considering all the upheaval in my life these last three months. No doubt, my defenses were down.

Still, I've managed to keep up a fairly brisk pace of fun when my energy level permits or when I just simply can't stand to be still any more. I've managed to brush up on my pool playing skills considerably, I got in some hiking before I went completely south with the flu, I've driven to NashVegas a few times and managed to see "Chicago" at the Carson Center.

I'm hoping to get back to blogging on my regular schedule now, but I know better than to make promises.

Because with me these days? You just never know.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


My love for fifties and sixties retro style is pretty well documented here. So, perhaps you'll understand why, in my feverish state, I've been unable to stop watching this video that I stumbled across at James Lileks' site today.

I can't really, for the life of me, understand why I am so drawn to the objects of an era that was so unabashedly Stepford Wife-ish, conservative, and sexually repressed. It is the antithesis of who I am and how I live my life. Nevertheless, I continue to covet all the home furnishings and even some of the appliances featured in the video. It's all so desperately modern.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Under the Weather

The bad news is I have the flu: coughing, aching, fever, etc.

The good news is that I am being dosed with every imaginable medication for this condition. I should be back up to speed in the not too distant future.

I miss you guys.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Any Excuse for a Photo

My friend Keena headed west just now, on her way to a brand new house and new life.

Keena also happens to be the Ex-Man's ex (stay w/me here), so this means her boys were my boys for the duration of my marriage.

Our paths all briefly crossed here today for what will likely be the last time for a very long while. And so, as trucks and cars were loaded and unloaded, out came the cameras. In homage to the Usual Suspects, rather than saying "Cheese!" we settled on repeating "Give me the f!cking keys" since we all thought our photo location was reminiscent of a police line-up.

My neighbors must be so proud.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I Wanna be a CowGirl

By popular demand (oh! twist my arm!), I'm posting a photo of the latest addition to my ever growing boot collection. I'm always a little partial to my newest pair, but, I have to say, it is taking a mighty long time for the shine to wear off of these (it's showing no signs of waning even now). I still can't believe my luck to have found them by the side of the road.

My house guest, Keena, and I managed to ride out the oft predicted Winter Storm that area meteorologists were all no doubt mightily relieved to finally welcome. For TWO WHOLE HOURS yesterday afternoon flakes fell from the sky while West Kentuckians frantically (I'm guessing) dutifully mixed, cooked and ate their french toast.

Keena and I bravely fought the elements together enjoying having shouted exchanges like these:


(Obviously about to take her dog out for a potty break.)



I'll admit we didn't eat french toast, but boy howdy, did we ever eat. I cooked up a chicken stir-fry heavy on the fresh veggies in the wok and Keena contributed a crispy crunchy romaine salad with high-dollar Cesar dressing. We counteracted all these greens with chewy turtle cookies (caramel, chocolate chips, pecans) fresh and warm from the oven that we ate while watching Slipstream, a hallucinogenic film written and directed by Anthony Hopkins that starred everyone in the world.

It is mine and Keena's cosmic fate to have to watch these types of movies whenever we get together. She reminded me of our last visit during which we watched Inland Empire, David Lynch's schizophrenic film featuring a perpetually alarmed Laura Dern.

The good news about these types of movies is that they are largely without a plot, making it possible for us to both play on our laptops while still soaking in the cinematic weirdness.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Checking In

I am so out of touch these days. For all of you who've been concerned: I'm Okay! Really!

I miss writing here when I don't do it, but sometimes, real life takes over. At the forefront of my activities these days is my job search. Obviously, time is of the essence, and although I don't want to jinx anything, I may be headed back into the workforce very soon.

I have incredibly mixed emotions about rejoining the nine-to-five world again. One part of me feels the need for this structure and productivity and (most importantly) INCOME, but the other side wants to run into the woods with nothing but my dog and an internet connection. Okay, so let's be honest, I'd also need a generator for my blow dryer and a free standing shower. And my cell phone.

Okay, so the woodsy thing is a bad analogy.

As it is, I'm spending a lot of time just plain old unplugged, often with a beer in one hand and a pool cue in another. I've cut my hair (traditional bob that is very short in the back). I found some really cool cowboy boots by the side of the road that just happen to be my size. I'm obsessed with wearing them everywhere.

A generous reader of this blog made it possible for me to finally experience a few Lush products first hand and from what I can tell, it's all as good as it looks. Most notably, I've happened upon their Big shampoo. If you have fine, limp hair? You owe yourself a jar of Big. Trust me. I'm only slightly less obsessed with Herbalism, a facial cleanser I received as a sample. It's a little like washing your face with gritty guacamole with extra herbs, but the results are yummy, smoother skin that's not the least bit sting-y or irritated (quite a feat when you're as sensitive as I am).

During the glorious weather we enjoyed last weekend, I took a little trip with FurGirl to Giant City State park where we hiked a trail and spent time perched lazily on a high, smooth rock contemplating nature. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there are places in the Shawnee Forest that will make you swear you can't possibly be in Illinois and Giant City is one of them. The topography there is as far removed from flat, symmetrical rows of crops--what I at least associate with Illinois--as you can possibly get short of an actual mountain range.

After the hike, we came home by way of Carbondale in order to make a stop at the Neighborhood Co-op Grocery, the closest thing we have to a whole foods store in the region (as far as I know). I browsed through their collection of essential oils, tinctures, and herbs, all of which made me contemplate possible new Bizzy Fizzy scents and ingredients.

I took another side trip earlier this week to Murray, Kentucky to visit Jasmine, a Thai/Sushi restaurant that I keep hearing buzz about. Located in a strip mall on 12th Street, Jasmine definitely has the more upscale Asian look going on and the clientele was surprisingly, happily without the WestKY vibe I sometimes dread (probably due in large part to the college).

It was a lunch visit, but I nevertheless ordered up a big pile of food including Pad Thai, Tom Ka soup, and a shared sushi appetizer. I'm sorry to report that I found the Pad Thai so drowned in an overly sweet sauce (and nearly devoid of any other ingredients) that it was nearly inedible. The sushi, however, was perfectly acceptable and the soup...THE SOUP! Heavenly. I had only ordered a small bowl, but found it so delicious and perfectly flavored with lime juice and real live galangal root and lime leaves that I would have been more than content to have only ordered that and a huge bowl of it. Next time? I will order just that and be grateful it is to be found a mere 45 minutes from my front door.

After lunch, I took a drive down Olive Street in search of a little music store I used to frequent back in the eighties called Terrapin Station. I didn't have much hope of finding it, since it had been so many years since I'd visited. Back in those days, the shop was a comfortable groovy sort of out-of-the-way place in a little house in an older residential neighborhood. You could trade albums or cassettes and browse their eclectic collection in a fog of incense smoke.

And in fact, just as I suspected, Terrapin Station was no longer to be found on Olive Street. I was disappointed, but not surprised, and so I decided to just take a leisurely drive around town, maybe find a book store.

I made a few lazy turns in my usual disconnected reverie and was driving down a busier road when I noticed an older strip mall to my right that I turned into on impulse. I drove past a few stores and was contemplating my next move when I looked up to find myself directly in front of ...Terrapin Station (noise) in what turned out to be their new location which I've now learned is 920 S. 12th in the Bel-Air Shopping Center.

I sound calm about it now, but I assure you at the time, I was so surprised to have unknowingly driven directly from Olive Street to the new location utterly by accident that I nearly shat myself. After I got a hold of myself, I parked in the conveniently available FRONT ROW parking space the cosmos had clearly reserved for me directly in front of the store, and strolled in.

The new location is obviously larger and more commercial than the old, but the vibe was comfortingly the same: something Grateful Dead-ish drifting from the sound system, incense wafting from the back room, and a new staff of hemp clad hippies greeted me from the cash register.

Although they do still offer some record albums for sale, the Terrapin Station now trades primarily in CD's both new and used. Of course, they do sell tie-dyed tee-shirts and now offer a line of cool cloth purses made entirely of recycled materials and a small but astute collection of high quality new and used books. LOVE! I picked up a William Burroughs novel in honor of the occasion.

Otherwise, we are all here in Western Kentucky currently hunkered down in our homes trembling with fear that snowflakes MAY FALL from the sky AT ANY MOMENT. (Please note: they haven't yet despite dire predictions that the blizzard should have begun last night.) Nevertheless! Residents of the area are observing the law of the predicted snowstorm and continue to scour the shelves of local grocery stores in search of french toast ingredients: milk, eggs, bread in the Great Tradition. Don't ask me why. It would seem more reasonable to me to lay up a supply of nonperishable food items in case we are socked in until spring.

But hey! What do I know?

Monday, March 03, 2008