22 December 2009

Dumpster Diving Adventure

My dad was staying in Miner, MO for work last month and he called me one Saturday afternoon, leaving an urgent message that began, "Jeannette, this is not an emergency; I just want to tell you about my dumpster diving adventure."
He took out his trash and noticed an abundance of arrowheads and other artifacts strewn about. Curious, he climbed into the dumpster to see what he could find and saw a generous amount of arrowheads, rocks and other things that we aren't sure what they are. There's quite a collection.

The guy who dumped the relics owns storage units and apparently, someone hadn't paid their bill, so he emptied the unit into a dumpster and then smashed down the 'trash' with a backhoe. It's sad to think about what my dad wasn't able to salvage.

Dumpster Diving Adventure
Piles of arrowheads....

Dumpster Diving Adventure
...big and small.

Dumpster Diving Adventure
I'm not even sure what these were for or from.

Dumpster Diving Adventure
I'm not exactly sure about this stuff either.

Dumpster Diving Adventure
This might be a tooth?

Dumpster Diving Adventure
What was this jug used for?

Dumpster Diving Adventure
Found bottle necks, strung together on a wire.

You can see more of the rescued artifacts by visiting the set I've created on flickr. We aren't sure what much of the stuff is or where it came from. The collector had obviously catalogued many of the items, but without his records, it's still a huge mystery. I've emailed someone at Cahokia Mounds, but haven't heard back. Besides them, would you have a suggestion as to who he'd be able to speak with?

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Listening to: Thomas Dutronc - Jeune, Je Ne Savais Rien
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12 December 2009

O Tannenbaum

I have a four foot Christmas tree given to me by my Gramma Sue and decorated with ornaments made by her and also by my Grandma Charlotte. No two ornaments are alike, and that's the way I like it.

Christmas Ornament from one Grandma or another
The Mouse is in the House - Meeeeoooow

Christmas Ornament from one Grandma or another
Notice how this is made from some sort of Mary Kay box.

Christmas Ornament from one Grandma or another
My Gramma Sue crocheted this doiley thing and glued it to the string ornament.

You can see the other ornaments here.

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Watching - 30 Rock (on Hulu)
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09 December 2009

A simple misunderstanding

A couple of weeks ago, one of my friends stopped by after work. When Josh came in, I said something like, "Sorry, I just tracked mud in my apartment."

His response: That's okay, dude. Everyone farts.

Me: Huh?

Josh: You JUST said, "I cracked butt...."

Me: Mud. I tracked mud.

Day 113: Whatever

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Listening to: Moros Eros - Pride and Joy
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07 December 2009

Viva la Thrift

I'm a huge fan of thrift store shopping. It's amazing what you can find with a little time to mill around the store, snooping through the racks of clothes and walls of bric-a-brac. I went on a shopping spree over the weekend and spent under $45 on 19 articles of clothing - that averages out to $2.37 per item, including tax.

Viva la Thrift

1 scarf
1 pair of jeans
1 cardigan thing
1 button-up shirt
2 pair of dress pants
2 t-shirts
5 sweaters
6 long-sleeve shirts

All pre-loved. All perfectly fine. More than half the stuff looks brand new and the other items look barely-worn. I can't say enough for Goodwill, The Salvation Army, Feed My People and the like.

I'm always on the look out for new thrit stores to visit. What shops do you frequent? And what are your favorite stuffs to thrift for?

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Listening to: Modest Mouse - Perfect Disguise
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01 December 2009

Plumbing. And Thelma.

To bring you up to speed since my last post: the problem is not fixed. Today is the eighth day. Each day's high point has been one of two things: me bucketing out all of the tub water (from my upstairs neighbor and possibly from the washer located in the basement... because there's just so much, water. WHERE is it coming from?) -- I digress -- or the bathtub filling and then overflowing, which requires me to first mop up a bunch of water and then empty the tub bucket by bucket.

The flooding and bucketing have happened no less than five times each. Sometimes doing several of these events in one day (aka laundry day) and then going one whole day with neither activity. It's a vicious and suck ass circle. Because folks, let me tell you that eight days without a shower, it fucking sucks. Pardon the eff word and all, but I'm going to just throw that out there.

Told ya, not fixed. on Twitpic
*Note: Since stopping MySelf Portraits, I use my phone's camera a lot. The quality is super crappy. Also, this is my tub filled with The Water.

Tuesday: Bath, followed by not draining tub. Then the tub filled and overflowed. The toilet, it also filled and overflowed. I emptied the tub bucket by bucket into the kitchen sink.

Wednesday: Tub filled and overflowed, twice in the morning and once in the afternoon. No plumber came. My landlord wouldn't return my calls. In between the overflows I was bucketing and mopping.

Thursday aka Thanksgiving: Tub filled and overflowed. I bucketed and mopped. My landlord still had not called me. I was supposed to be in Kentucky, man.

Friday: Landlord still wouldn't call me. I tracked down numbers for two other dudes. In the afternoon the one guy finally calls me back with a brilliant excuse: Sorry I haven't returned your calls, my child has swine flu.

Fucking Swine Flu? And this means you, you didn't have access to your cell phone - which I called several times - for the past few days? Swine Flu. Really.

Still Friday. A younger plumber guy showed up (he kept calling me 'Miss') (I realize that has nothing to do with anything, but I feel it's worth noting) and within minutes explains that he needs to knock a hole in my bedroom wall. Before he leaves, I ask if anyone came on Wednesday and he said, "I did. But they didn't tell me there was a problem in your apartment. They said the main line was messed up, so I never even came in the building." OhMyEffinG.

Still Friday, but now it's late in the evening. The guy who fixed my furnace a few months ago, he calls me in a drunken state and says he wants to come over around 9 to work on my plumbing. When I tell him Friday isn't good, he says he might call me to come out Saturday evening or night. Whew. Whatever.

Saturday: Bathroom flood. Two averted floods. A two-hour bike ride followed by a whore bath. Fucking thanks, guys. I stay home, work on my mosaic, scoop tubfulls of water here and there, and then suddenly it's 8:15. That dude calls, again, sounding all drunk, again, wanting to come over around 9pm to work on my plumbing. I don't think so. I hurried up and locked my doors, turned all my lights off, brushed my teeth and got in bed. He called back once but I didn't answer.

Sunday: Two averted floods. Bucketing and whatnot. I call the late-night plumber and he chastises me for not letting him come over last night when his van was all packed up and ready. I wasn't sure how to politely explain I was uncomfortable with a late night visit.

Monday: The one guy who was avoiding my calls, who's daughter had swine flu. I just happened to be home for lunch when he was visiting the neighbors across the hall. I opened my door and he says, "Hey, Jeannette, I bet you're glad to get that plumbing problem all taken care of." All taken care of? You're kidding, right? Come look at my tub. Blah blah blah, excuses.

That afternoon a new plumber shows up. He doesn't have a key so I have to come home from work to let him in. He has no idea he needed to cut a hole in my wall, so no plumbing progress happens. But then . . . I found this picture of my mean neighbor, Thelma.

Tuesday: Plumber dude shows up at five. I get to see what's brewing in the empty apartment below me. He works on my drain for about an hour and a half, knocks a hole in my bedroom wall and doesn't plug it up (it smells wonderful, by the way), and then says he's not sure if my plumbing is permanently or temporarily fixed. Now I get to scrub my tub a zillion times over so I can test it out with a shower tonight. Yeah.

But, whoa, did you see my neighbor? The real life photo captures her emotion much better. I'm going to make it into a fridge magnet.

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Listening to: Poney Express - Les Petits Matins
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25 November 2009

You owe me a turkey, all the fixins and a four day weekend - Dude

Day 020 Year 2: Gracias for the Chocolate

If you follow me on twitter, you are probably aware that my bathroom flooded last night, and then sometime overnight, again this morning, and once again this afternoon....

It started with a bath.

And then the water wouldn't go down the drain.

After consulting a variety of people (pardon the technical jargon you're about to encounter), I decided the tub plunger thing on the wall of the tub, that lever thing to use to open or close the drain, its wall plate needed to come off. I imagined myself opening that can of worms unscrewing the plate, digging around inside the hole I've now created, and finding a chain that I could fidget with to open the drain. Except, by the time I was ready to do this, 40 or so minutes had passed and the tub was now an inch away from being full.

Spontaneous tub filling: interesting phenomenon.

And then the upstairs neighbor took a shower and my tub began filling quite fast. Within about two minutes the water spilled over. While this was going on, my toilet also filled up with the same soapy water and it too was spilling over.

Taking the advice of my friend, "You've got a bucket and a window - get your ass to work," I emptied the tub bucket by bucket. I then left my apartment to stay elsewhere (hello, no working toilet) and returned in the morning to find my bathroom flooded again. I cleaned it up and within a couple of hours, it flooded again. And then it flooded this afternoon.

I called my landlord last night and he explained that it's a building-sewer-drainage issue and I can't fix this myself. It's been 21 hours and no one has come to look at this problem. I've called twice today and the dude won't even return my call.

And now I am too afraid to leave town for the weekend like I was supposed to, for fear of returning to a catastrophic mess.

Thanks, dude, for being a non-responsive asshole landlord. Your inability to respond totally screwed up my Thanksgiving. You owe me a turkey, all the fixins and a four day weekend.

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Listening to: Wax Tailor - Que Sera
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21 November 2009

I wanted a snow cone, I swear

In the distance I heard The Ice Cream Man's creepy music and grabbed every dollar I had in preparation for a snow cone. Today is November 21st, so of course he was out of anything snow cone related, had none of the cartoon-character-shaped-with-gumball-eye-balls ice cream and after four times hearing, "I'm out of that," I asked him to point out what he was out of.

Wrong question.

"I'm out of this one, these four, that one, these two, these three ---"

- What DO you have?

"I have one of these, three of these, and two of these."

- You have six total things in stock?

"Yes."

- So what two items can I get with four dollars?

"This."

Stupid Ice Cream Man

Watermelon-flavored, (giant) phallic-shaped ice cream thing.

Score.

Let the slurping noises begin.

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Listening to: Wax Tailor - Ungodly Fruit
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15 November 2009

My next tattoo

When Geoff came to visit me a few weeks ago, we paid a trip to the Army Surplus Store here in town. It was full of army clothes and guns and knives and stuff, but then there were a lot of random things that were too awesome. I would've loved to take photos, but they are very serious about no one taking pictures. As the store is full of guns and knives, I wasn't about to attempt sneaking in a few snapshots of things like a gorilla head statue (WTF?).

The good news is, Geoff scored this awesome patch. What's not to love about a fire-breathing winged seahorse riding a rocket?

This patch is full of win

I think I'll get this tattooed on my forearm.

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Listening to: Mechanical Me - I like
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13 November 2009

Baseball and LSD, count me in

I hate baseball. And being from St. Louis, that is truly a Cardinal sin. Watching the game is boring, listening to it on the radio is tolerable, going to a game in person is meh. It moves too slow and over an entire game, there might be one minute of excitement for me.

On the other hand, I love people. It's amazing the amount of diversity on the planet. Every human has differing perspectives, unique beliefs, their life has provided them with an array of experience that is theirs and only theirs. Everyone has a story to tell -- it's just a matter of presenting it in an interesting and informative manner.

Last night a friend sent me a link to an animated clip, Dock Ellis & The LSD No-No. Baseball might be stupid, but Dock's story, which has been animated, is quite fascinating and entertaining as well. This clip is well worth the less-than five minutes of your time it will eat up.



Sadly, the great Dock Ellis died last December at 63. A year before, radio producers Donnell Alexander and Neille Ilel, had recorded an interview with Ellis in which the former Pirate right hander gave a moment by moment account of June 12, 1970, the day he no-hit the San Diego Padres. Alexander and Ilels original four minute piece appeared March 29, 2008 on NPRs Weekend America. When we stumbled across that piece this past June, Blagden and Isenberg were inspired to create a short animated film around the original audio.

10 November 2009

I went (to Colorado, back in July), I saw (lots of) stuff, I went home

I uploaded photos on Sunday from my trip to Colorado in July. It was a whirlwind experience.

I drove to St. Louis on Thursday, met at my mom's where her, myself, my Gramma Sue and my mom's youngest brother, Kenny hitched a ride to the MetroLink station in East St. Louis. It took about two hours to get to Lambert airport and we ended up riding a total of four trains just to get there. Breaking down sucked, but at least our train car was under the shadow of a bridge. After that, we had to miss several train cars before finding one we could pack into. And at every stop, one person would get off and five more would get on. It was tightly packed and I was stuck next to a very smelly person who's armpit my nose was inches away from.

And that was the worst part about the whole trip.

Once we got to Lambert things went smooth. I even spied a piece of artwork that I'd never seen before.

Then time started moving fast.

Fly to Denver, land, meet up with my cousin Jeremy and wait for my Aunt Diana's flight from Kentucky. Pick up our rental van that holds seven passengers, drive to Jeremy's, snack and talk, get ready for bed.

Wake up Friday, eat breakfast, drive to Red Rocks, explore it, drive to Loveland Pass, explore it, stop at a gas station before driving past some wicked forest damage caused by mountain pine beetles on our way to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Ahh, Friday.... we easily covered 200 miles this day.

Red Rocks
Red Rocks with Denver in the distance

Rocky Mountain National Park
Moose and some mountain pine beetle forest damage.

Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park

Saturday was much less hectic, but still with a lot of driving.

We drove from the suburbs of Denver to Canon City to take the train through the Royal Gorge before we headed to the bridge. And then we headed to Pikes Peak. We had to have been in the car for 300 miles that day.

Royal Gorge
Royal Gorge Bridge as seen while riding the train.

Royal Gorge
People rafting the Arkansas River while we rode the train.

Royal Gorge
The Royal Gorge Bridge is 1,053 feet above the Arkansas River.

Looking down from the Royal Gorge Bridge
Looking between the boards of the suspension bridge. See the two rafts below?

Royal Gorge
That bridge was totally cool.

Royal Gorge
Well worth the visit.

That was fun. But we had to skee-daddle and make our way to Pikes Peak. The last ten miles or so, we were caught in a terrible hail and lightning storm. Thank you, Jeremy, for getting us to the top safely.

Pikes Peak
Photos cannot do the view justice.

Pikes Peak
I could see for miles.

Pikes Peak
Lots of switchbacks to make our way to 14,110 or -15 foot elevation and back down.

Pikes Peak
Oh, and hairpin turns, too.

On Sunday, four of us flew back to St. Louis and my Aunt Diana headed back to Kentucky. It was a quick visit but it was so nice to spend time with my family. Well, a portion of my family.

Loveland Pass

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Listening to: The Flaming Lips - Slow Nerve Action
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27 October 2009

So this homeless guy walks next to a grocery store...

I used to write several times each week and I want to write more, but it seems that I have nothing positive to share – which is an odd thing for me to admit because the last year I’ve felt happier than I can ever remember feeling. But my happiness has been overshadowed by a never-ending job search. It took me eight months to find the job I have now and that experience can best be described as a long, unsuccessful attempt at finding work in St. Louis, only to end abruptly with an unexpected job offer 100 miles away.

Now I’m working, but I’m not really making ends meet and my job is less than satisfying. I want to make a positive difference, have a career that is challenging and is something I can be passionate about. However, I basically shuffle paper from point A to point B, and while, if I didn’t do my job it would have a negative effect on a variety of people, I’m capable of much more. If I were a dog, my owner would come home from work to find the couch torn to pieces out of frustration.

Yet, I feel fortunate.

I have an insane amount of friends and I’m making more all the time. I have an amazing family who supports and loves me, offers advice and help, and am surrounded by an overwhelming amount of people who love and care for me. I’m lucky, I’m blessed, I am fortunate.

Could things be better? Yes.

Could things be worse? Hell yes.

The never-ending supply of people willing to push aside their own problems and concerns to listen to mine, it’s astonishing. I am thankful, but I feel that whatever I do will never be enough because I’ve been given so much. I am indebted to everyone who touches my life and I do my best to give back and pay it forward.

The other evening I ran to the grocery store to get a cheap bottle of wine and as I approached the store, I saw a homeless man and heard him ask a young guy for one dollar. The young guy says he has nothing to give and walks away snickering. I was perturbed and at the same time, I felt like, although I don’t have a pot to piss in, I’m at the store buying wine – I can spare a dollar. I’m not sure what I gave him exactly, four or five dollars, I just handed it to him.

As I walked into the store I decided that I should buy that homeless man a sandwich. I stood in line for-ev-er because the checkout girl wasn't 21. By the time I get outside the guy is headed around the corner, so I run after him and say, "SIR! I bought something for you." I hand him the sandwich. He thanks me profusely. I walk away and after about five steps turn back just in time to see him peeing on the side of the grocery store.

…when you gotta go…

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Listening to: Solange Knowles – Sandcastle Disco
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Happy 40th Birthday, Ryan!!!

19 October 2009

Happy Belated Birthday, sort of

Today is Sandra's birthday and all I can do is think of her. I want to call her so badly, but she's dead. And, fuck if I don't feel like a bitch for so bluntly writing, "she's dead." But she is.

It's been 17 months and it still hurts.

Like I wrote before:

My silly aunt, the shit-disturber, the feisty one, the one I got together with to misbehave, make inappropriate jokes and share secrets - she wasn't supposed to die at 46.

But it happened.


Happy Birthday, Sandra. I miss you terribly.

We all do.

06 October 2009

Real Chance of Mixup

Tonight was the 9th Monday in a row that I've gone to a friend's to watch Real Chance of Love 2. Like most people, I'm not A Monday Person (technically I'm not A Morning Person), but I can't wait for Monday night to roll around. And the first thing I do when I get home from watching the newest episode, I get online to watch the Bonus Clips so I can see the unaired show footage.



Dude, that's not Real - that's Chance - on a date with Mamacita.

I sometimes make them myself and I sometimes overlook them, but I love to catch mistakes like this.

It's very exhilarating.

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Watching: Real Chance of Love 2 - Episode 9 Bonus Clips
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04 October 2009

I got yelled at by a crazy person

Day 100: I'm still not in the best of spirits AND I have to go the DMV today - for the second time this week.

At roughly 3:15 this afternoon, Nico bolted out of my apartment building to chase a squirrel. She dragged me down the stairs, I wasn't there to catch the door - and it slammed. Loudly. It happens. And I'm not the only one who does it.

So I'm wrestling with my dog, the door slams and I'm mid-cringe when I hear someone from above yell out their window, "Blah blah something, Jennifer, blah blah blah." The only word I understood was Jennifer, but I thought I heard something about the door, so I look up and confusingly ask, "what?" To which I distinctly heard, "YOU'RE A MORON! Slam the door a little harder!!!"

I said, "thank you," in a stunned but polite and slightly sarcastic tone of voice. She abruptly closed the window.

I took Nico for a quick walk and played the incident over in my head.

The lady upstairs -- the one who, at every time of the day and night, I've heard yelling and stomping from room to room, throwing things onto the floor over and over again, beating on the walls, slamming doors, storming out of the building, only to come right back in and do all that nonsense over again. As proofreading this blog post, the door slammed, someone stomped upstairs and they're stomping in the bedroom above me right now. It's 10:34 pm. I've heard this at midnight, at two in the morning, and one day last week she woke me up for work at 6:36 am. At that time of the day I don't even want to talk to anybody. She was up there yelling, throwing things and jumping on the floor repeatedly -- that lady, she just called me a moron.

Really, a moron? Really, someone just yelled out the window, to me, Jennifer, that I'm a... moron? I don't even know what to think, but dang, that kind of sucks.

I wouldn't shut up about it this afternoon. While standing in the thrift store (the pink elephant was there today!), my friend stopped me in the middle of at least the 16th rant, he put his hand on my shoulder and rationalized, "it sounds to me like you got yelled at by a crazy person. I wouldn't let it bother you too much." And he's right.

Damn, lady, I'm sorry the door slammed. But I think it's a little messed up that I'm apologizing for a door slam, when you're upstairs kicking over the refrigerator at 4:30 on a Wednesday morning. Get a grip.

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Listening to: The Isley Brothers - Footsteps in the Dark
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26 September 2009

It doesn't really look like my face to me, but sure enough, This Is My Face

Several months ago I found this drawing while rummaging through some childhood memorabilia at my parents' house. I drew this picture circa 2nd grade, which was circa 1985, back when I lived and went to grade school in Cahokia, IL. I had some sort of assignment called, This is my face. It was simple enough - draw my face and then finish this phrase, "Most of the time my face is _____."

I decided that my face was better than okay, it's very good ...most of the time. Whatever that means.

This is my face
Most of the time my face is okay very good.

Kids.

Here's me with blonde bangs, circa 2006:

In Arizona

And here's me reenacting myself as a sleepy head, merely three months ago:

Day 359: Sleepy head

These three images have one thing in common, to me, not one of them looks like me.

Why is that?

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Listening to: David Carradine narrate my Faces of Culture telecourse DVDs
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Break time is over. Get back to work.

25 September 2009

How do I spell 'Problem Solved'? u-n-g-u-l-a-t-i-o-n

So you've probably heard me gripe about how I had somewhere around 3,100 tweets run away from home?

They're back!

Want to know how I coaxed them to return?

I simply had to tweet ungulation to @Charles.

A month ago I posted something on twitter's Known Issues page and last night I revisited that page to find an update. It explained that I needed to send one word to @Charles - ungulation - and the problem would be fixed. No need to elaborate, just say the word.

Eff yes.

That was easy.

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Listening to: 3,796 tweets and growing
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21 September 2009

That was dumb.

When I made coffee this morning, I did not put the coffee pot in the maker.









DOH!

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Listening to: Israel Vibration - Rebel for Real
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01 September 2009

Biscuits and gravy and toilet paper

I can honestly say that tonight was the first time I've ever traded biscuits and gravy for toilet paper. Although, if you were judging by my repurposed containers, you'd think that I traded hummus and cottage cheese for toilet paper.

Odd trade, but freecycle worthy.

I made homemade gravy yesterday - enough for 8, at least - and I'm down to the last half of my last roll of toilet paper. I made an offer: I'll give you a large hummus tub's worth of gravy and a large cottage cheese container filled with biscuits, if you give me two rolls of toilet paper.

Deal.

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Listening to: Modest Mouse - Bukowski
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29 August 2009

I'll see your astronaut and raise you an Abe Lincoln

All anyone could talk about was the Fair this, the Fair that, I hit it with a wiffle ball bat. Last week I was lucky to experience, for my first time, the Illinois State Fair for free (thanks, Donnie!). I wanted nothing more than to lay eyes upon the butter cow. I don't know why, but the thought of looking at a lifesize cow sculpted out of butter seemed intriguing. I found out from KBO that Iowa's state fair not only had a butter cow (with its own facebook page), they had a butter astronaut, too.

We had a butter Abe Lincoln.

Actually, it was a whole scene carved out of butter. There were three butterflies, an odd leg on the milking stool, a mouse, The Liberty Bell, three wood splitting tools (wedge, mallet, axe), a kitten, a snake, a wooden milking bucket, a small pile of rocks and a large pile of rocks (and of course, this was all listed on a sign).

Poor Abe, from the looks of the butter sculpture, he had a weak chin. Maybe that's why he moonlighted as a giant axe murderer.

Axe Murderer Abe

I stared at this tall and skinny 30-foot anomaly, doing my best to examine it from many angles and all I could imagine was the sky growing dark and this booming voice, laughing maniacally BWAH-AH-AH-AH-AAHHH. And this creepy statue is right next to the welcome sign for the Senior Center. How welcoming.

I digress. Back to the butter sculpture.

What surprised me most is how anatomically correct this butter cow was. I really thought it was going to be smooth like a Barbie doll, but nope, it had a functioning butthole. Okay, I doubt it functioned, but check this out:

Surprise! It's a GIRL butter cow!

Blink.

I spent at least ten minutes envisioning some artist wearing a maroon beret and white lab coat, laboring over this butter cow's nether regions, meticulously examinging photos of cow butts in a feverish effort to recreate its likeness almost too realistically.

Nobody warned me. After I explained my surprise to a Springfield local, he said: "Oooh, I forget that you aren't from here. Along with, 'Don't stare into the sun' and 'Don't spit into the wind,' remember 'Don't glance at the butter cow for more than a few seconds.'"


NOW you warn me.

Besides the two Abes and one butter butthole, what else did the fair have to offer?

Surprisingly, you could find out if you were going to get into heaven. That's right folks, it merely took a stop at the God Mobile and by answering two simple questions you will know if you've been a good little boy or girl and are getting in to heaven. This, of course, takes place after a visit to the neighboring stand for a corndog, hotdog or hamburger and a cold drink.

Are you going to heaven?

The Sky Lift offered great views. It was a little scary listening to the sounds of the cables creak and squeak while carrying each little seat through the air and bobbing up and down, swaying back and forth. It was hard not to notice that the fairgrounds were mostly empty, but I think that was because it was Republican Day (and it was a Thursday).

View from the Sky Ride

There was a nice variety of rides that all looked super sweet and of which I rode none.

Not the best photo, but those swings looked fuuuuunn

Besides the readily available corndogs, cotton candy, salt water taffy made before your very eyes, sno cones and the beloved lemon shake up, fried anything is available at the fair. Fried mushrooms. Fried cheese curds. Fried green tomatoes. Fried Oreos. Fried Twinkies. Fried Snickers. Fried Hot Fudge Sundae. Fried cheesecake. Fried Key Lime Pie. I heard all about fried Pepsi but I never came across the stand that sold it.

The fried cheese curds were freaking amazing

Dinner

And damn, that fried cheesecake.

Fried cheesecake

With chocolate sauce drizzled over it.

Fried cheesecake with chocolate syrup

Drool.

I had no idea fried cheesecake was so deee-lish.

As the woman handed it to me she exclaimed in her best carnivaly/step-right-up voice, "I cut your cheesecake in two, INstantly transforming it into a finger food!" Thanks, lady.

Now get me my stretchy pants.

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Listening to: R. Kelly - Thoia Thoing
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27 August 2009

I scream, you scream, we all scream... for pizza!

If you are ever curious about my ethnicity, it is half-genius, half-eeediot. I may have said that before, but I'll never know because I'm related to Forgetful Jones.

I mean, how difficult is it to cook a frozen pizza.

Step 1: Look on the package to see what temperate your pizza requires.

Step 2: Turn oven on and set it to the temperature you discovered during Step 1.

Step 3: (Optional and from what I can tell, this is unique to me) Bust that frozen pizza in half over the edge of your counter.

Step 4: Remove pizza from its packaging.

Step 5: Place the pizza directly on the oven rack or on some sort of pan, whatever.

Step 6: (Optional.) Set a timer so you don't burn your pizza. The recommended time will be on the packaging near where you found the temperature at which you need to cook the pizza.

Step 7: Somehow, without burning yourself, remove the pizza from the oven. (Virtually every time I remove anything from the oven, I burn myself just a little bit; therefore, I cannot offer any sort of advice on how to successfully fool around inside a hot oven without getting hurt. Advice wanted. And yes, I am aware of potholders.)

Step 8: Let it cool for a minute or two.

Step 9: Cut that bad boy.

The pizza is now ready to serve to your dinner guests.


Recently I screwed up somewhere around steps 4 and 5.

The proper way to cook a pizza

I removed the pizza from the oven, set it on the stove next to...

the crust.

That's right, I managed to cook the pizza sans crust.

Cheese and toppings only for this Top Chef.

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Listening to: Jamie Foxx featuring Ludacris - Unpredictable
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PS - if you're wondering why the crust is in two pieces, see Step 3.

17 August 2009

The lady upstairs

Many times I hear my upstairs neighbors. Someone is yelling, but I can't make out the words. Things are being slammed around. I hear heavy stomping. I hear someone yell and then leave, exit the building and slam the door, only to return and stomp upstairs and begin yelling again. This happens all the time, almost every day. But I never see these people.

Tonight, I was on my way out the door with Nico. A woman approached me from the laundry room and introduced herself. She said she's seen me around and that she wanted to meet my dog. She went on to say how good Nico is because she never hears a peep from her the entire day.

I asked which apartment she lived in and she simply pointed up.

Her eyes welled with tears as she began apologizing for all the noise coming from her apartment. She clutched her chest and muttered broken words, "My daughter. We fight."

I could see the anguish in her eyes, in her body language, in her everything. We stood in the stairwell - her apologizing to me, me assuring her there is no reason to apologize - and my heart was breaking for her. As she fought back tears I gave her my name and asked for hers. I finally said, "Jo Anne, if you ever need anything, ever, just to talk, just to step out for a moment, knock on my door." (As I said this, I was thinking, wow, that could help me into an awkward, uncomfortable or maybe even dangerous situation.)

Jo Anne went back and forth between wiping her eyes and clutching her chest. She slowly explained, "I'm sorry. It's just, just, so hard. And I don't know- I can't- I'm- it's a lot- It's so much to deal with-"

While I said, "it's okay, Joanne," in my heart I knew things weren't okay. I offered, again, for her to come by sometime to talk or just get out for a bit.

She slowly shook her head up and down and replied. "God bless you in Jesus Christ's name. ...you're one swingin' chic."

And then I walked out the door.

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Listening to: Nil8 - Stone Thrower
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06 August 2009

Two and Two-hundred

Today marks two years since I started blogging.

Also, this is post number two hundred.

And here's a photo of that mosaic project I've been working on. I've only completed phase one, as I need to grout the tiles and paint the wood. I have no idea what color I want to do either, so I think I'll start another tiling project and worry about grout and paint colors when I have a few projects at that stage.

Mosaic Serving Tray

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Listening to: Mike Jones - Back Then
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03 August 2009

Creativity on hiatus

I'm putting the self-portrait project on hiatus. I've been feeling less than creative for a while now. I seem to have a hard time coming up with anything more than a picture of my hands or feet, me driving, or me holding a handwritten sign. I think I officially stopped two or three days ago; I haven't even posted the last few weeks worth of photos, but I'll get to that soon.

I believe my creativity is drained between finishing my last class, trying to figure out a way to get the rest of my belongings to my apartment, coming up with something cool to do in my pottery class (not happening), and then my quest to acquire dishes to break and then turn into a mosaic. I literally have bought more than 90 plates at random thrift stores near me. In fact, on Saturday I was recognized in two different Salvation Army locations. One person called me an Artist, which I thought was kind of cool, although I don't think of myself as an Artist.

Okay, back to breaking dishes. I'm almost finished with this first tray I've been working on.

















I have a lot more than this completed, I'm just too lazy tired to take a photo, put it on my computer, adjust the color or whatever, then upload it to my blog. I already have this one from a week or so ago.

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Listening to: Modest Mouse - Dashboard
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21 July 2009

Inappropriate Attire

Have you ever gone to a formal event, but been the one person wearing less-than-casual attire? Or, maybe shown up at a friend's bar-b-que severely overdressed? How about, worn an early-1980s prom dress when everyone else is wearing clothes circa 2009?

Oh, you haven't? I have.

And can I just say, aaawkward? For me to say I felt awkward, that is an amazing feat because I rarely feel that way. I do some really embarrassing things, but it's not until much later, when I am in the midst of a guess-what-dumbbutfunny-thing-I've-done-now story, that someone brings it to my attention about how embarrassed they would have been if they had done the same thing.

I'm sure it was the announcement that Craig would be wearing a 'vintage' tux that compelled me to buy a totally-80s-style prom (or bridesmaid) dress, but on Sunday, I went to Kim's dinner/dance fundraiser for the scholarships in her daughters' names. ...and I was the only one who wore a 1980s prom dress.

I even sent Kim a text a few days before, telling her about the dress and my plans to look like a total idiot and she seemed excited. As it turns out, she was excited... that I would look like a total idiot; I assumed she was excited for my dress.  (By the way, I tested my curlers two times .)

Everything seemed fun - but then, everyone - besides myself - was wearing attire current for the year 2009. 

Versus me in my 1981 dress:

Day 037 Year 2: 80s Prom

Seriously. 

Awkward.

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Listening to: Blame It - Jamie Foxx featuring T-Pain
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