Not Martha

Last week I drove out to Mercer Island to obtain a King County Library Card for the sole purpose of borrowing Solarbabies, available only on VHS. I previously tracked it down at Scarecrow video, but borrowing it required a hundred-some dollar deposit and I wasn’t willing to bet my VCRs health against it. The movie was awesomly bad-good. I firmly remembered all the roller-bits as people on inline skates, but there were all using the traditional type, with bit orange rubber stoppers and everything. Does this movie predate inline? Bonus: we discovered that our VCR still works, gosh do you remember fiddling with the tracking? And rewinding?! It was so time-warpy, I should have bought Funions and caffeine-free Diet Pepsi to go with the evening’s theme.

· comments [0] · 06-29-2006 · categories:misc ·

Last weekend while at Ikea we grabbed two red Patrik swivel chairs which were on sale. Our office is a little brighter, and the chairs are surprisingly comfy — not for an all day at work chair, but for an at home checking email chair.

We got close to our date to Knock Out The Closet and chickened out. With the walls and ceiling being orange peel texture we were afraid we’d mess up and only have to hire somebody to redo our work. Luckily a friend had a contractor ready to recommend (thanks Maggi!). I’m sorry I won’t get to feel the catharsis that is demolition, but at least I won’t be left sobbing over what a mess I managed to make and don’t know how to fix.

We’re planning a trip to Vancouver. Even though it’s not far away geographically, I think it might count as the first vacation I’ve even taken – the definition of vacation in this case being a trip longer than three days where you don’t see family at any point or attend classes that you are being graded on. I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. My immediate impulse is to avoid scheduling anything. I was even hesitant to commit to a hotel and just drive to see where we end up, but I’m not the type to encounter joyful coincidence on the road. (I’m more the type to encounter unexpected and traumatic car trouble.) We’re considering going without a car and taking the train up, quite a scary thought going car less in an unfamiliar city.

· comments [0] · 06-28-2006 · categories:mumbling · the home ·

some recent product encounters

Yesterday I accidentally took the Dove Ultimate Clear Challenge. I had picked up a sample size* deodorant for my travel stuff and when my regular deodorant decided to finish off, not by showing that little blue plastic thing at the bottom but by crumbling off and landing in small, soft chunks all over my new cotton bathmat, it became my backup plan. After realizing it was the same stuff from those commercials I just had to check. I suppose I’m not like other girls, or maybe the other girls don’t wear black?

* Seattle drug stores have so many sample sized items. I am completely in love.

When I’m engaged in a period of slightly heavy work (like, say, a lot of painting and ripping out of poorly hung shelves from previous owners) my nails split quite dramatically, no matter how short I attempt to keep them. They split horizontally, just below the white tip thingy. They catch on everything and the split grows in a painful fashion. I have resorted to drugstore press-on nails. Just one at a time (the faux French look slightly more natural), trimmed way down. It makes me feel like I’m in Jr. High but it works. Scott tells me banjo players superglue bits of ping pong ball plastic to their nails, I’m not quite there yet.

Related: Last year I spotted fake toenails in the drugstore and made fun of them. But recently I stubbed my toe, really hard. While it didn’t turn black I did chip a good part of my big nail away, and wha-la, I understood the press-on toenails.

· comments [0] · 06-22-2006 · categories:beauty ·

food related things

oven baked chicken and rice at Cooking for Engineers

cheesecake cupcakes also at Cooking for Engineers

which dutch oven should I get? at Ask Metafilter

creme brulee and amelie, with a creme brulee recipe from 1909, at The Kitchen

lemon squeezer thingy, I dunno. I think I’ll stick with my yellow metal thingy

– easiest recipe yet for bacon wrapped filets, it starts “Go to Costco and buy 6 bacon wrapped filet…”

· comments [0] · 06-20-2006 · categories:food · recipes ·

I’ve been looking for wall storage options for my office room* and finally found these – magazine pockets and magnetic pocket strips made by Three By Three Seattle. I’m also eyeing the clique bins (which attach to each other or metal surfaces using magnets, so smart) and cup board wall organizer.

Available at See Jane Work, Fred Flare and, hopefully, lots of stores here in Seattle.

* I’m excited to show you what we’ve done in the kitchen with wall storage, but my last thing is backordered until the middle of July, argh.

· comments [0] · 06-19-2006 · categories:the home ·

Yesterday I discovered two Good Housekeeping magazines in my mail. They were addressed to me, a mystery because it’s not something I’d sign up to get. Turns out they are my replacement magazine for the axed Budget Living (long live Shelterrific). But Good Housekeeping? One of them has Tom Cruise (creepy) smiling out at me from the cover, and they sport headlines like “Look Thinner & Younger”, “Get A Flat Belly Fast! Only Minutes A Day”, and “The 3-Hour Diet”. The other hints that the secret private life of Sarah Jessica Parker is inside (the shocking secret is that she likes to stay home and hang out with her family). When I heard Budget Living was closing down and I’d get a replacement magazine I figured I’d just let it run it’s course, but I think I’m going to take the effort to get a refund instead.

I’m not the only one two finds my Budget Living replacement less than satisfactory, but I think I’d rather have the Redbook that Chez Shoes received.

The same delivery of mail had some news about another magazine that won’t see the presses again, Chow. They’ve become part of the CNET family and will stay website only at I’m glad they’ll survive but sad I will have to be staring at this screen to see them again. That subscription will be finished off with Intermezzo magazine, which I’m looking forward to.

· comments [0] · 06-18-2006 · categories:mumbling ·

Fred Flare is going to have a booth at the Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair, this weekend June 17 and 18. Lots of the creators from the Next Big Thing collection will be there as well. Also, there will be special pricing on things like bags, stationary and t-shirts.

Urban Craft Uprising is leading the Indie Market at Bumbershoot this year and has announced special daily pass presale pricing, enter UPRISING on this page. Jenny Hart from Sublime Stitching, Shoshana Berger from Readymade and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee from Yarn Harlot will be there. Also, the Rat City Roller Girls will be battling teams from across the country at the Bumberbout roller derby.

· comments [0] · 06-13-2006 · categories:craft · events · seattle ·

next to go, the lamp

I used to wonder why people didn’t take more pictures of the process of fixing up the inside of their houses, but now I know why – there is shit everywhere. In any picture I try to take as a Before shot there is stuff lined up on the floors along the walls, on every counter surface and window sill. It’s all useful stuff – paint trays, screwdrivers, plastic shopping bags full of hardware bits – but it looks the equivalent of having dirty dishes strewn everywhere. We have painted nearly every drywalled surface of this house over the last month and I have not taken any pictures because all we’ve been doing is moving stuff we cannot unpack yet from the room to be painted into the room we just painted.

We have finished our orange wall, but the moment it dried and we pulled the tape up it was obscured by boxes we moved out of the bedroom so we can prepare to knock out the closet. We came thisclose to taking a hammer to it before we decided a little preparation research and decided that 6 p.m. on a Saturday night was too late to begin something we know nothing about. Rather than risk having a dusty and hole-y room all week, we’re going to wait until next weekend, and somehow obtain a reciprocating saw in the mean time. But, we have the entryway, dining room and kitchen painted. The kitchen looks so much brighter and cleaner.

We discovered what using bad paint is like – the orange paint we used I picked by color without considering quality since it was just for one wall. It was horrible though, the paint was runny and didn’t spread well. The first coat, while bright, showed roller marks. And when we carefully scored and pulled up the tape the paint pulled right off the wall in sections (despite us having primered). We had to retouch the edges, but it’s finally finished. And now I’m not sure I like the color. The wall color appears quite different when something is in front of it, so I’m going to wait until we actually have some furniture to decide if I want to change it.

Last week I struggled with composing some sort of shelving for my workroom closet. I was taken in by the siren song of Elfa at first. My basic configuration with a few drawers came to such a great amount that I redid the math four times to make sure. I researched as many other options as I could and ended up using a few shelves from ClosetMaid instead. I like the strength of anchoring the hang bar into studs, and the ability to move shelves around and add more if I need them, but the price of shelf brackets alone wasn’t something I was prepared for.

· comments [0] · 06-10-2006 · categories:the home ·

The search for jeans continues. My latest pair is Calvin Klein, slight stretch, flare, sit just below waist, nice dark wash, and (thank goodness) come in a 30-inch length. I found them at Macys. They were a bit more than I usually pay, but hopefully worth it.

I generally prefer bootcut because they don’t seem to get as narrow in the knee area, but the bootcut I found sat at the waist, which I cannot stand. (It has something to do with wearing a school uniform for eight years.)

· comments [0] · 06-9-2006 · categories:shopping ·

This ice cream cone cupcake pan at Williams-Sonoma is adorable. via anh-minh.

· comments [0] · 06-9-2006 · categories:food · things I think are neat ·

Ask Metafilter:

best kitchen counter material

what should I look for in a manual push mower (see also, Matt’s post about his Brill mower)

– new york city apartment windowsill herb garden

scaring away a bird that has fallen deeply in love with your car’s side view mirrors (and a previous question)

dry rub recipes

favorite messenger bag features

stripping wallpaper

· comments [0] · 06-7-2006 · categories:food · links · the home ·

Fred Flare has announced all of the winners of this year’s Next Big Thing. (And look, Amy Sedaris is among them!) Everything is so very cute, but my favorites are these happy pocket mirrors from My Favorite Mirror and the Dachshund Stitch-it Kit from Egg Press And I’m excited to see Karissa Cove’s Apple Apron.

· comments [0] · 06-6-2006 · categories:shopping ·

I’m thinking about games right now for two reasons: One, we went to the Game On exhibit at the Pacific Science Center last weekend when we found ourselves between walls to paint. Two, I’m sipping a lemon tea which I will always associate with Shadow of the Colossus (awesome game). When we moved into our last rental house, a very temporary situation, we found it was mightily cold in January so we took to obsessively playing Colossus and sipping hot herbal tea before bed (we’d trade off). This was before we had Tivo and cable. Anyhow, it was this same lemon tea and now I’m having a strong scent-memory thing happening.

The Game On exhibit was pretty cool, there were lots of people our age wandering around suddenly remembering old games and gawking at the ancient consoles. Everything was set up for you to play, it was like being in the version of heaven someone arcade obsessed would dream up. I played a game for the sight impaired that was done using four arrow keys and audio cues, it was surprisingly spooky. I also got to play Nintendogs and Brain Age, and I’m seriously considering buying the DS Lite when it comes out.

The exhibit had the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy text adventure game, but we couldn’t find a Zork anywhere. Also, no Klax, Joust or Burger Time. (Though, if you are jonesing for some Burger Time the Zesto’s burger place in Ballard has one.)

I’m finally getting to play the recently (and long awaited) Dreamfall. I bought The Longest Journey a few years ago on a “it’s only $9.99” whim and loved it. (How much? I read the website of it’s creator, Ragnar Tornquist, I am fangirl.) Dreamfall came out the same week we were in escrow so I’m just now settling enough to play it.

I also recently found cheap versions of old Monkey Island games. Too bad it’s not winter, I have a lot of sitting inside to do.

· comments [0] · 06-6-2006 · categories:misc · seattle ·

I heart the Petrie Sofa at Crate and Barrel. We’ve done some we’re-not-really-serious-yet sofa shopping and this is my favorite, nice firm cushions, unfussy look. But then I spotted a similar couch with a bench seat cushion in one of the last scenes of the last episode of Six Feet Under* and I think I heart that even more. I might even ask Apartment Therapy to see if, by some chance, somebody knows where I could buy it.

But before we buy a couch we’re going to buy a dining room table. We simply must stop eating in front of the tv!

* Did I grab the remote to reverse and inspect furniture in the background instead of finding out the fate of our beloved characters first? Yes, I’m ashamed to say I did.

· comments [0] · 06-5-2006 · categories:the home ·