Monday, May 28

a more finished den

We had visitors today, and in an effort to seem civilized we (mostly Christopher) arranged our den. We hung a shelf, some paintings, wall lamps. In a fit of brilliance we put the sofa under the windows. At the moment it bumps up against our enormous radiator, but we'd like to replace the radiator with a smaller one and turn it towards the corner, and then the sofa will fit.

So, here are some preliminary photos. Clearly we still need to do some organizing, but it's coming along rather nicely, I think. It's cozy, relaxed, less of a dump room and more of a place to hang. Even Dinah has taken a shine to it.

Thursday, May 24

a tag

Here's a quick one, since it's late and I have to do my other blog for work.

I have just discovered that an old acquaintance from college has a blog as well. (Interestingly, we have a similar layout.) We didn't get to catch up so much at reunion, but we did say hello and I met her amazing little girl. In any case, I have decided to tag her for that "7 Things About Me" thread from a few weeks back (the one where I didn't know anyone with a blog to hand it off to).

So here it is. Tag number one: Mango Bounce

The rules are simple: You must list 7 random things about you and then pass it on to 7 other blogs, linking to the blogs in your own blog and also telling them about it on their blog.

Tuesday, May 22

back to school

So I now have a job for three weeks that requires me to blog. What do you think of that? We're supposed to blog when we get home at night and send our entries to the blogmaster, who will eventually organize it all and post it on the main site. It's not a public blog, just a site for everyone on the project to see once we're done. Cathartic but a little dangerous, in my opinion.

We went to my college reunion last weekend. It was not as exciting as I was expecting, mostly because it rained the whole time and so the major events (alumnae parade and the campus illuminated by lanterns) were cancelled. I was really looking forward to showing Christopher that crazy female energy, the pep rally that these events can be, but it didn't work out. The parade was moved to the gym, and instead of us walking in it, the class officers walked. LAME.

It was also very cold and so I changed out of my white outfit as soon as possible after we bailed from the dumb speeches.

We went to a very interesting lecture on geology and wine, which included a wine tasting. We sat with an old friend of mine and her fiance, and we all got extremely drunk. Another woman started passing out baby pictures, and somehow our table was dubbed the "happy table" by the professor. Oops.

(If you're familiar with wine tastings, usually you spit out the wine you don't drink, but there weren't any spit tubs, so everyone there just drank the wine in their glasses.)

We stayed with old family friends in Amherst, which was very low-key and fun. They just opened an ice cream store in Greenfield, so we got to see that and taste their goods (highly recommended) and visit with them a little.

On Sunday morning we went to the Smith graduation, just to hear the speaker: Gloria Steinem. I thought she was incredibly inspiring and energizing, but Christopher was offended that she referred to the "patriarchy." I told him that the speech wasn't really meant for him, it was aimed at the graduating (female) seniors, and that made him even more miffed. He doesn't like being excluded.

Monday, May 14

our green den

We have decided to ignore the problems with the wall, or avoid them, for now. My father said he'd come up this week to help replaster the rotten parts (there's now another huge hole on the opposite wall) and so we're painting whatever doesn't need to be patched, including the woodwork.

Our woodwork is disgusting. It seems that many years ago, when they skim-coated the walls, they also skim-coated all of the molding. This means that all detail has been lost on the woodwork, it's sort of amorphous and globby, covered with shiny, dirty white paint. In every other room we have simply skipped painting the woodwork, not sure what to do with it, but with our den we thought we'd try painting it the same as the walls. So far we like it, though perhaps at some point we'll repaint it with a slightly glossier version of the same paint.

Our painting has made chaos of our entire apartment and I came home tonight wishing it were neat again. The feng shui is definitely off, but it's not worth correcting until we're done with this project. I'm beginning to find it all completely overwhelming (perhaps it's the project I start tomorrow?) and I told Christopher that I'd sew curtains for the den tonight. All I want to do is sleep...

Saturday, May 12

continuing renovations

With my schedule becoming busy very soon, and Christopher now on summer break, we've decided it's time to reattack our apartment renovations. Today we moved the furniture and boxes out of our "den" and are prepping it to paint. Hopefully by tomorrow night it will be Prescott Green.

It is wonderful to see the room, which has become a dumping place, nearly empty. Suddenly I begin to imagine where we should put that table or some shelves on the wall. It needs to be more efficient and better kept. And we need to get rid of the cat odor.

Before Christopher started sanding we went around with putty knives and pulled off any paint or plaster that seemed loose. Of course, this includes large chunks of the wall, and now we're left with bumpy holes that need better attention than I am qualified to give. It seems that the entire wall behind the radiator/below the windows just needs to be replaced, as it fell of with barely any scraping. Oh dear. I get the sense that at some point the windows were really leaky, as in addition to the crappy walls the windows are newer in that room than in the rest of the apartment.

Since we've already had an ant infestation, I'm now having visions of some horrible thing coming through that hole. Maybe I need to stuff something in there for the time being... Also, for those of you who are thinking "oh, that paint texture is sort of cool! Why will they paint/patch over it?" think this: that stuff is so toxic! I am 100% sure that it's lead paint and we do not need to be flaking around here!

Tuesday, May 8

7 things about me

There is a sort of chain letter circulating among blogs. When someone is "tagged," they must post 7 random things about themselves and then choose 7 other blogs who must then do the same. I have recently been tagged by boodely, who is someone I have actually met in real life. I can even say she inspired me to start this blog.

So, here goes.

1. I once played Francis Flute in a children's version of A Midsummer's Night Dream. I was about 10 and I took acting classes with my friend Emily (that's her with the knee socks). Though it was a severely cut version, I still played Thisbe with enormous fake eyelashes and had to fall over "dead" onto a boy (Pyramus/Bottom) who was much larger than me. I found the whole romance part of the plot extremely embarassing.
Somehow I also managed to chew gum through the first half of the show. I thought I was very good at hiding it, but my parents (who I visited at intermission) made me spit it out for the second half.

2. I have never dyed my hair or plucked my eyebrows. I actually could care less about either, and was surprised in grad school when a rather queeny costume designer admitted that he thought I plucked my eyebrows. (I'm not totally sure, but I think that's a good thing.)

3. I was a horrible sleeper until about age 16. It always took me several agonizing hours to get to sleep until I was in summer camp and shared a cabin with 7 other girls. One night when we were going to sleep/gossiping, I admitted that I was afraid of the dark, and one girl told me that they were all there for me, that the darkness was a warm, friendly darkness and somehow that was enough to reassure me. I now fall asleep at the drop of the hat.

4. I did horribly in science in high school (I once scored a 16/100 on an ecology test) but I am fascinated by the chemistry of food. I know very little about it, but it is amazing that I can make mayonnaise and salad dressing. Favorite cooking term: emulsify!

5. In another life I would have had a sheep farm and spent my days spinning wool and knitting it. I actually know very little about sheep and farming, but the idea of this captivates me. :)

6. I am happiest when I am busy creating something, whether that's writing, drawing, knitting, or planning what our den is going to look like. Much as I try to deny it, I need a creative outlet.

7. I'm not a big chocolate fan. I mean, it's ok, but I don't understand the whole chocoholics thing or why people are so gaga over it. If I were to choose how to eat my chocolate, I would say I prefer a bar of very good quality dark chocolate, maybe with some nuts in it. The bitterness is good. I like those deep, complex flavors. But chocolate ice cream and chocolate cake, I can do without.

I've been hesitant to write these seven things because I actually don't know anyone with a blog besides Boodely, and I can't very well tag her back with this chain letter thing. I will be searching for blogs... If any of you have one that you're hiding from me, now is the time to fess up! :)

Sunday, May 6

together time

I love being married and having a partner in life.

In some ways I feel very old fashioned, since we only moved in together three weeks before our wedding. (hello stress!) We knew each other pretty well and were sure of what we were getting into, but I also feel like -rather than going through an adjustment period- we've been mellowing into our companionship since then.

Recently we've been taking long walks on the weekends, enjoying spring and this wonderful weather. Yesterday we went to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, where everything is in bloom and the lilacs smell heavenly. We wandered through the garden for about an hour, barely stopping except to record it, and then headed down to an art opening in Park Slope.

I'm not sure how to describe these afternoons together. We don't talk about anything especially interesting, but being together is just glorious. We laugh, we hug, we chatter on about this or that thing on our minds, reconnecting with each other after the work week. I feel so refreshed and whole, relaxed. And it makes me dread the end of the weekend.


a side note:
I have recently been informed that it is hard to leave comments on this blog, that sometimes they don't appear. I am not sure why that is, but I hope it doesn't keep you readers from trying!

Saturday, May 5


The leaves on the trees seem to have finally unfurled, and my dahlia is growing like crazy. Part of me wonders whether I'd see it grow if I watched hard enough. (can you really see bamboo grow?)

I'm posting some photos that I took of them. I apologize for the inconsistancy of the images.

Here they are on Wednesday evening:

And yesterday (can you see my little photo buddy in the reflection?):

And this morning:

I hope the pot is deep enough!

knitting update

Since we're updating things, I thought I'd post a second time today and let you know how my tank top is coming along.

The truth is, I'm currently avoiding it. It was going great, very quickly, until I pieced it together and knit the neckline. There's something horribly wrong. The pattern told me to pick up a certain number of stitches, and I did. But it's not enough. As you can see, it's very bunchy. And it's not supposed to be. It's supposed to be nice and smooth and tailored-looking. As it is I'm not sure my head would even fit through that opening. (It's not very stretchy either.)

So I think I need to rip out the neckline and add more stitches and reknit it. I actually think the neckline is pretty dull anyway, so maybe I can do a little lacey cast off or something. Ideas, anyone?

And since Dinah has made one appearance on the blog today, I thought I'd add in another. She's more or less glued to me today.