Friday, November 30, 2007

Today was a pretty good day. I think any day in which I find my work so interesting that I forget to go to lunch is a good day.

Actually, I've been enjoying work a lot just lately, because it's the Christmas season and people always want more interesting ads for Christmas.

I'm trying to teach myself to use flash tonight. I'm using an older was new when I bought it. Anyhow, it is depressing work. The tutorial is wretched.

All I want is an application that has scroll bars? Is that so much to ask?!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

If you want to destroy my sweater...

I am officially on my last sweater and it has a big hole in it and it fraying at the ends.

My sweater hunt has been a tragic failure, which is kinda problematic since the tempature keeps dropping. One of these days someone is going to mistake me for a homeless person. That could be quite awkward, but I just can't bring myself to buy something I hate just because it's warm. Yes. I know.

But there aren't that many options in the stores lately. Our "selection" consists of jumbo cable knits with rows as thick as medium sized redwoods, demure cardigans that have been tragically disfigured with faux elephant tusk buttons, & old lady sweaters held together by sequins and holiday apliques.

What's a little bit of hoboness when confronted holiday apliques?
Nothing. Nothing at all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'm not a dog person. When I was little my bestfriend had several large dogs and they all terrified me. Later I just found them annoying.

When I was in highschool Holly had a tiny yorky-pek mix (2 lbs.). We loved that dog without a reason. It was never house trained. When it was outside it spent it's time digging holes under the fence so it could go harrass the neighbor's german-sherpherd. When you tried to put food in it's bowl it tried to bite you. It stole all our socks out of the laundry and lined it's cage with them. It did no tricks and did not come when called.

After college I moved in with Alice and her deranged dog. It never stopped barking. Ever.
We had it for less than a year when Alice traded it in for her other dog. At first it seemed like a good trade because this dog didn't bark nearly as much and almost never jumped over the couch while we were trying to watch television. But the fact that it was bigger than our apartment and ate everything in sight began to grate on my nerves.
The past few months without a dog anywhere near me have been bliss.

It just so happens that my roommate's dearest wish is to have a dog. Fortunately for me there are a few things that make this livable.
1. My roommate does not want a small yappy dog nor a descendent of Cliffard the Big Red Horror.

2. We have a yard and basement that we can dump the dog into.

3. Whenever the dog annoys me I can run to Target and buy it a funny outfit.

4. The dogs Robin's looking at are actually kinda on the cute side. You know. For dogs.

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's just another...

Time with my family can sometimes take on a manic quality. It was comparatively calm this weekend, probably because my sisters spent a lot of time working.

Church is always weird with the family. When we came in a blonde teenager I didn't recognize came running up to me, "Hi Melody I haven't seen you in forever!" It was very odd to have a conversation about work hours and making car payments with this very put-together young lady whose class I taught when she was four years old (and older, after I figured out that I don't like small children).

I came back Sunday afternoon/evening. Car rides with Bethy are good because we get a chance to talk about random stuff.

Robin was at Mike's when I got home, but when she came back we continued our soup adventure. We'd bought a lot of veggies so we could make mimosa soup. It's supposed to be this detox soup you drink every three hours for two days. We've heard of people doing a ten day detox, but we thought two sounded more likely for us.

We'd already spent a couple hours chopping stuff up last weekend, but it had taken too long and we'd put in all in the fridge to have this week. We spent another few hours chopping stuff up, boiling it, and running it through the blender. It looked something like the picture above.

About halfway through our boiled veggie mush the blender began smoking. We set the blender outdoors, decided it was a sign from God, and used the vegetables as compost in our garden.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Giving Thanks

I can't go into a lot of detail here, but one of my best friends that I grew up with got clean recently. We didn't know about it because of some tragic things that happened afterwards, but I talked to her on the phone yesterday and she sounded so like old self. I know she can't be the same, she's been through's more than I've been able to hope for recently and the best thing I can think to be thankful for this year.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Starbucks Doubleshot: Nectar of Life

Ok, so it had really gotten so I was barely holding my head up.

I've been trying to avoid drinking energy drinks or coffee at all, because there's so much sugar in them and sugar does bad things to me. And I've been doing ok. Most days I've sort of wondered what's wrong with me for drinking so much coffee, because I've been fine without.

Well, I brokedown and had the reserve doublshot in the office fridge. Viola, instant awake.

The day is looking up.


I spent last night at the mall.

Evidently actual colors on pants are out this season. Instead all dress slacks are a blend of black, white, and tan, so that they aren't a real color and can't actually be paired with any other neutral colors...or really anything else at all.

I did find some nice tan pants at Macy's, but they cost $150 and that seemed excessive.

I found some at Old Navy too, but they had metallic gold thread woven through them. I'm not the type of person who wears pants that shimmer, but the pants I finally ended up with from Sears are just so ugly that I might end up returning to Old Navy to buy the goldish ones anyhow.

I hate this. I hate the frenzied search for something I do not want or need just so I can look dressy in a place I don't want to be.

Then, to compound my frustration, I got lost trying to get back to my house. I'm not much a fan of being lost either.

Then Robin and I went on a walk, which was good at the time, but today I'm all zomby-like because I didn't get much sleep. I'm going to need a lot of caffiene for the drive home.

Fortunately, I thought, I have most of my work done so I can just coast. Except for not because my boss wants me to sort and pack stuff. I'm not sure I have that kind of energy, but at least it doesn't involve much thought.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hide & Seek Fog

Vicki Austin walked through the fog of New York pretending she was a Bronte in the English countryside. When I first read The Young Unicorns (Madeleine L'Engle) I had no idea who the Bronte sisters were (even though I'd already read Jane Eyre), but I love fog so I figured Vicki, Emily, and Charlotte must be ok (I changed my mind after realizing Charlotte Bronte was responsible for Jane Eyre, I hate that book).

It is really foggy today and I'm hoping it lasts through my lunch break. The fog is one of the things I love about Indiana. In Ohio the fog doesn't last, there might be little wisps of it in the morning, but by 8 or 9 they're gone. In Indiana there's always the possibility the the fog will hang on till evening when it is most fabulous.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Downtown...everything's waiting for you

Thanks to me and my disfunctional alarm clocks, we left an hour later than we meant to. When we arrived it was 10-ish and nothing was open. So, in retrospect, the alarm malfunction have been some sort of favor.

The goal of our little Chicago day-trip was to find coats for my roomy and I. We didn't so much as find a light jacket, so from that perspective we may have failed, but we had a fun time doing it.
We started off well and oddly (for me) optimistic. Well, the city will do that. Christmas decorations were up, the most impressive being the never-ending Macy's. Seriously. Never ending.
Also, this might sound silly, but it was rainy and a bit chilly. For what-ever reason, this made it better. Can't explain it. I love the city.

We got to experience the overwhelming Nordstrom Rack. This is the discount version of Nordstrom's. You might think that even a discount Nordstrom's would be classy. You would be wrong. All discount stores are terrifying. The fact that people are now fighting over Steve Maddens and Michael Kors that are marked down 75% only heightens the maddness.

But, as exciting as fighting through crowds of middle-aged women digging for burried Donna Karan was, I think my favorite part of the day was getting to go into an actual brick-and-mortar Blick art store and Urban Outfitters. I didn't get anything in Blick, though I do covet the $50 messanger art bag, not to mention every pen, pencil, and paper that they stock. In Urban Outfitters; however, I bought four Kurt Halsey paintings. I mean, they're not orginals, but they are printed onto stretched canvas and even have a vaguely turpentinesque smell to them.

I adore Kurt Halsey. Rather, I adore Kurt Halsey's art work. I've never met Halsey himself and I imagine he's an uptight, emo work-a-holic obsessed with getting proper recognition for his work. So the infatuation ends with me paying $55 to hang some of his various paintings on my walls. Robin found this a little outrageous. But, I was going to buy them at some point and this way I saved on shipping! They make me very happy.

We didn't cover that much of Chicago in our walking. But we were walking around the Madison St. area and it's many department stores for 8 or 9 hours. We try to go on a walk every day around town, but those are usually 1-2 hours. Not 9.
On our drive back we stopped to get coffee. When we got out of the car our legs were in so much pain that all we could do was laugh. We couldn't walk for a few moments, just laugh.
But it was a really great trip. It was so nice to be in Chicago. So nice to do something different and see something different.
Indiana is always gorgeous. I have it-so-pretty-I-can't-breath moments at least once a week, lately every day. So I'm not discounting that. But the city has always had a special allure for me. The massiveness of the buildings and the crowds. The crazy art, the ancient and new architecture all jumbled together. I love it. I feel safer, happier, more at home - in the city.
Happy Weekend.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Butler Did It

Robin, Celi, and I went to a play at Grace tonight.

It's really weird to be back at Grace not being a student.
It's even weirder when other former Gracies are there as well.
I'm really glad that I live far enough away to not be one of those people who always hangs out around campus.
It's really nice to enjoy a Grace activity without dealing with schoolwork or rules.

During intermission we decided that we should go out for dinner and drinks. After the cries of excitement died down I said that I love the excitement we have over being at Grace and being able to go out for drinks.

When we got back to the theater a student stopped us and asked us if we were former Gracies, because of my comment. She said she's not a rebel, but she is looking forward to ditching the rules. We know exactly how she feels. I don't think any of us miss college.

The show was cute. A little confusing, but cute.

Then we went to Applbee's. I recommend the White-Peach Sangria

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Party of One

The traumatic thing about the holidays is that people are always expecting you to come to some sort of gathering where you will be forced to mingle with unknown company for extended periods of time.

They lure you in with promises of tasty desserts and the creation of fond memories, but the truth is that you will find yourself seated uncomforably on an over-stuffed couch, sipping punch, while you desperately try not to invade the personal space of the complete stranger next to you.

Even if you should happen to know a few people, the conversation you are going to have with them will last two minutes and goes like this,

"How are you?"
"Oh, good, you?"
"Mmm, yes."
"Anything interesting?
"Oh no, the same."
"Well, it was good talking to you."
"Yes, glad to see you."

No number of desserts, be they ever so tasty, can make up for an evening spent in this way. I don't care how alone you would at your own empty house. Anything is better than being alone in a room full of people with whom you must pretend to be ready to converse with, despite the fact that your only knowledge of each other is that you have no commonalities between you.

On the other hand, if you do stay home you must be prepared to hear of you pitiable state from others. Everyone was lovely, the funniest thing happened, they missed you terribly. With a knowledge of what these events really entail I can only assume that 1. It was such a disaster that their mind creating a more acceptable reality for them to live with, or 2. They had rather more wine than was good for them.

So if you insist on throwing a party this holiday season, allow me to layout some guidelines for you:

1. Plan an activity. No one ever got to know anyone because they were sitting on the same couch. Whether you plan a game, cooking, dancing or just watching an intereting show it will give people a shared experience to discuss and that's honestly all you need.

Note: Eating does not count as an activity unless you're such a bad chef that your guests will be forever bonded by the trauma, and possible illness, caused by your food.

2. When you invite someone invite at least two other people that they will know enough to talk about more than the weather with. That way, when your planned activity flops, they can have discussion during the awkward pause.

Note: Your relatives do not count. Either a) everyone loves you relatives and they will be in demand by all the guests, b) no one can stand your relatives and the lonely guest will be forced to slit his or her wrists to escape them, or c) your relatives will be helping with the party and be too busy to entertain properly.

I'd like to add a third rule, because three is a good number. But I can't think of anything. Seriously, all you need to stop torturing your guests instead of entertaining them is a planned activity and a few of their friends.

What the devil?

I saw this "ipod cozy" online and, given Jon's recent issues with the ipod nano, I found it somewhat amusing.

Not an armband, Jon, but not made in China either.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Vector Art

My favorite part of my job is that sometimes it requires me to make my own art work for various ads. I love creating vector images. I never thought I would when I first started using vector stuff, but I love the nice clean lines. Makes me happy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Veering sharply back in to the murky waters of consumerism - this post is dedicated to artwork. All available for very reasonable prices on etsy. Click the picture to visit the site.

I Will Wait For You Here
$20, $5 s&h

I got bored with what the artist had to say, so I'm just going to tell you that I really like the colors and and children's story book feel to this picture.

A Bucket of Led
$10, $4 s&h

I like the graphic qualityto this and John Clark's other works.
I adore the use of book pages as background/texture. Adore it.

Bird on Blue
$13, $2.50 s&h

I love the sweet speudo-realistic feel to this. The shapes are so great and clean and accurate, and yet the artist didn't go for full blown naturalism. Lovely.

My Tree Is Special
Cotton Fabric Print $6 (pictured)
8x8 Semi-Gloss $15
2¼" Pocket Mirror $10
$2.50 s&h

There a million other prints from this artist that are just as fabulous. I love the characters, I love the rich colors, the shading, all wonderful. Makes me happy.

Lunastrella Mix Tape Cassette

$30, $5 s&h

I don't know why I like this picture. I just do.
I also like the Lunastrella Radio.

My absolute favorites though are from
Belle&Boo. I love the adorable storybook quality they have.

In the interest of showing alternative points of view (and some mad design skills), I present the Junky Car Club Calander - $12, looks awesome, feeds orphans. It's a win-win-win.

They're not in order. They're not even all here. I do play favorites. Go to to see/order the whole thing. If you like you can even join the junky car club. I don't know if I'm going that far, but I definately want this calander.
If you're interested in that kind of thing you can also swing on by Ethur and read about their polite revolution against mass thought. But I personally find Deadly Viper to be more interesting/thought provoking.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Shop till you drop: Clothing For Everyone

I think this illustration style apple shirt is cute and fun. At $30 it's not cheap, but surely you love someone $30 worth? (s&h $5.00)

Don't you just love apples? I have screen-printed this cutie using red, green, and black fabric ink. The design is heat-set so it will be washfast.

I adore this detailed ship design. The color's pretty great too. Again, nice if you're shopping for someone who doesn't want to be the same old department store clone - this is trendy without being typical.

May the wind be to your stern. Very high quality 100% cotton super soft american apparel Ladies longsleeve shirt. 100% made in USA and sweatshop free. This shirt has a nice shape so it's cute. The shirt is olive green with big big big boat print. Very stylish very Unique very limited!

$32 - $5 s&h, no s&h if shipped with something this Blooming Jade Tree baby doll T or the Undersea Wraparound Chrome Seaweed Hoodie (mens).

This is a hand-dyed Medium/Light Teal/Blue Maternity T-Shirt, with a sweet Safari Animal Mobile hanging over your growing baby.

This smart maternity shirt is a steal at $18.00. You have no idea how much I wish I knew someone who was pregnant so I could give this to them. It wouldn't matter who they were or even if I liked them, I just want to buy this for somebody.

Once again, $5.00 s&h but only $1.50 if you ship with something else. The peacock t or the scribble guitar t are both way too cool to be maternity and they're both $20.

If your pals have already had the little bundle of joy (as my friends have) you can choose from assorted cutenesses at JackSprat.

Sweet light-gray cotton poplin shirt features contrast red stitching and buttons. The buttoned flaps on this dapper top open to allow for comfortable on-and-offing. Front pocket can fit at least two medium-sized toads comfortably. The light gray and red are a striking pair.
Cuteness has a price: $28.

2-4T size crocheted beanie with a little visor and a big flower. This hat fits kids approximately 2 to 4 years of age and is made with 100% cotton yarn.

This comes at standard cuteness price $28.

Or, if money is an object - you can horrify your friends and relations by purchasing the Pink Peony Headband. $12. Not worth it.

If my brother ever, ever dressed up for anything other than weddings or funerals I would totally buy him this tie. I love it and it's a lot cooler than some kind of weird paisley or striped pattern. $15.

Monkey Belt $15, free s&h world wide.

What a great addition to any outfit!This brown canvas belt has a coated image of a monkey on the silver buckle/ closure part.

I think it's real cute. Ok, not for the sophisticated, but if you're buying for a girl between the ages of 6 and 15, they'll be delighted.

These fingerless gloves seem to be the next big thing. Personally, I think it's because they've discovered gloves are easier to make without fingers and yet mittens are extremely uncool. But, if you know someone whose jumped on this band wagon or who likes a little bit of punk in their wardrobe, this is your place.

The white cable knit on the left - Brand new pair arm warmers!100% Acrylic, Machine WashableColor: cream, purple, brown or old fashion pink (not baby pink)This model is very comfo! Each IMBROGLIA model is handknitted and produced in a very limited quantity...$45

The red Tubeway Armies in the center - Keep your hands, wrists and arms toasty and snug in these two-of-a-kind armies made from recycled, boiled and felted 100% wool sweaters. Wear them from autumn to spring, indoors and on the streets. Great for keyboarding, cycling, walking the dog or just living warmly!$25
The Joy arm warmers on the right - This elegant design was inspired by a pair of 19th century fingerless mitts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. $8.98
Or you could just make your own out of socks or a sweater. Either way.

'Tis the Season: Jewelry

I discovered through Lucky Magazine and Domino Magazine, both of which have featured artwork there. With Christmas coming I think it's important to make other people aware of the myriad of unique gifts available there. All the photos are linked back to the site, so you can view the shop of the person selling and/or buy the item if you love it enough. The site's description of the product is in italics.

First stop, jewelry:

This natural bamboo tile necklace features pretty white Queen Anne's Lace design. One side has a sage green background and the other side has a blue background.Reversible, it's like getting two pendants for the price of one! Both sides are decorated with coordinating images.

$12.00, s&h $2.25

I think this necklace is really nice for 14 bucks. And while it makes fine use of the silloutted flowers/plants trend it is unique enough that forty million other people won't be looking fabulous in the exact same thing.

Tragically these red lucite birds are sold out and I don't know if they plan to stock more, but the shop does sell more necklaces of the same idea. Trendy, the birds, the plasticness. My only complaint is the beeding. I know they're trying to make it nicer, but a plain metal chain would have been nicer.

These 1" diameter wooden circles were covered with decorative papers and finished with a clear water-resistent seal for a unique piece to accent any outfit. Wear on any chain, cord or ribbon {chain not included}. Each comes tied through their silver ring to their individual packaging, looking professional for those who want to give as gifts...

$4.00 plus $1.25 s&h = amazing

They have a ton of cute pendants in this shop, plus earrings and bags and all kinds of other cuteness. I think I could do half my Christmas shopping just at Tinker With This.

Adorable fork, knife, and spoon charms hang from a silver-tone 18 inch chain. Silverware measures approximately 1 inch long. Has a screw-tight barrel clasp closure. Necklace has a nice, vintage feel. So cute!

$12.00, s&h $1.64

Quirky and interesting. It's a good thing my sister doesn't read my blog because I'm pretty sure she would adore this.

I like the shape and color of these copper earings, but I'm also highly amused by the artist's naming them Suzabelle.
These earrings have such vintage appeal...just love!Metal mixes ...using both distressed copper ear-hooks & hoops and antique brass findings. Paired with glazed looking emerald facetted glass beads...fabulous!
$13.00 & $2.50 s&h make these barely on the more expensive end of the jewlery I looked at, but it's still a great price and a wonderful find for anyone whose gift list includes lovers of one-of-a-kind adornments.
Well, I'm off to my lunch break, but I've got much more to post - next up - clothing and other odds and ends.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Rescue 911

We noticed it last Saturday sitting under the pine tree in our backyard (it's trimmed underneath so people can sit under it). I don't like animals in general. They annoy me. But I love rabbits, I think they're adorable. Smarter than dogs, sweeter than cats. So I joined Robin in her, "Aaaw, a bunny!"

We've seen rabbits every now and again so we didn't think too much about it. But the fact that it was a Rex kinda snagged in my head.

When we were back outside a few hours later the rabbit was in the exact same spot. Not normal. We stood there looking at it and the rabbit didn't tremble in fear or bolt. We worried that it was hurt, but it was healthy looking. It had a huge dulap (roll of fat under the chin, cute on rabbits, real gross on humans).

So we started wondering if it is a pet rabbit that was abandoned and made it's home in our backyard. It just sits under that tree all day - the way a rabbit in a hutch sits and doesn't do much. It doesn't seem to understand that it is supposed to have a burrow, which worries us because that tree won't be shelter from the increasing cold.

Well, today I went online to find out how to tell the difference between a wild rabbit and a domestic one. Sometimes it's real obvious. Angora bunnies do not live in the wild. But a rex looks similar to a wild rabbit. Except...not. In my defense, there are experts who have trouble telling the difference. But the truth is...there's no way the rabbit under our tree is wild.

According the websites wild rabbits don't accept domestic rabbits as rabbits and they can't interbreed, so when a domestic rabbit is set loose it's a pretty bad thing for it. It will have trouble finding food and it might do something stupid like make it's home under a pine tree.

So, armed with this information and a paragraph about how to make friends with a rabbit, Robin went out to start our mission to save this bunny from a frozen death.

She has a very promising start of having chucked some apple slices at it. We're hoping if it realizes we're good for treats it will warm to us faster. She also put a box with a towel in it under the tree. If the rabbit gets the hint it will make this it's new (warmer) home. Also, it'll make us easier to catch the poor thing.

So...wish us luck.

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