Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A stop-gap perhaps?

Everyone knows that I will own a Kelly Bag before my time runs out.

Well before I can afford the real thing, I'm going to make do with a paper one. I actually think that I'll hack it a bit and maybe do it with reinforced felt so it'll have a bit more durability.

Real thing:

The incomparable Grace Kelly with the bag Hermes named after her:

And the new Paper Kelly, offered gratis from Hermes: (follow link, click the dot in the center of the squares in the upper right-hand corner, and click on the paper Kelly Bag)

via: Design Freebies

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Daily Yoga and Kitty Paws

I have been an enthusiastic, though not always disciplined, student of Yoga for years and years. It sprung from dance - the stretching and the posture were something I wanted to continue even after my studio days were over and at that point there were no pilates classes readily available (another class I love taking. I always feel 3 inches taller...) So I have a subscription to Yoga Journal, which I love. This month has a cover article about Yoga in the morning to wake up. Anyone who's spent any time with me in the mornings knows that I need a solid 45 minutes to form complete sentences. I'm hoping this handy article will help that.

The other handy bits in the magazine are the pictoral spreads that are meant to be cut out and used as part of your home practice. I have mine on the door to my office and have completed every pose but the headstand. Quite frankly, since the brain-swell I'm a little freaked out to be upside down. I've even cut my Downward Dog time in half.

It's actually quite motivating. And I wrote at the bottom of the Sun Salutations (at the top of the image, under the girl in Downward Dog) that is a common belief among Yogis that daily sun salutations can effectively help mental illness. I'm thinking they're probably leaning towards things like depression, which is a result of off-balanced seratonin and endorphins.

I found Yoga Today, a site which offers up daily hour-long yoga sessions for free. Different every day and you can choose from a selection of back-stocked videos. The instructors are very knowledgable and give rather precise instructions that tell you where every muscle, joint, and limb should be in the midst of any given pose. At least for the beginner classes, they do. I did the Power Of Intention a few days ago and it kicked my ass. In the best possible workouty way. It's fab.

Anyway, that's my pimp for today. On to funnier topics.

Rubber tips for kitty claws, from Softpaws. These are great. They allow the cat to keep its claws, which is the equivalent of allowing you to keep the part of your fingers where your nail is located. Think of how often you use this part of your finger. Not a total loss if it's gone, but it would certainly require some adjustment, particularly if you've gone your entire life having said extremity and then wake up one morning to find it missing. I can't bring myself to do that to my cats. We're not as diligent about capping their claws as we should be, of course, but we make an effort and the cats don't mind. Usually we get pink for Polly and black for Kipper but this last go around it was purple for Polly and Grey for Kipper. I'd post pictures, but I haven't applied them yet and they're usually unhappy enough afterwards that they hide under the bed. Plus the hate the camera. So I scanned in the how-to card that came in the package. Note the expression of pure kitty hate on their model:

and now I'm going to leave you to go watch Josh Lyman, who is certainly on my list....a topic which deserves a blog entirely devoted to it. :-)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dessert...or Drywall?

You be the judge.

Steve, bless his heart, was at Jimmy's picking up some yummies and saw this box:

He thought..."That looks like hazelnuts in some kind of chocolate thing. Maybe chocolate covered hazelnuts? Emily would like that!"

Which is a true statement. Chocolate + Hazelnuts = yummy goodness. Just crack open a tub of Nutella if you don't believe me.

This, however, is not what was in the box. It looks like drywall. It tastes vaguely the way drywall tastes (sit on top of a 15 foot ladder and drill into the ceiling directly above your head and you'll know what drywall tastes like. Also, paint.) except I imagine drywall is easier to chew.


Right. Drywall. Nutty Drywall.

So when I went to Whole Foods this morning I picked up replacement bars: a hazelnut milk chocolate and a chili's and cherries in dark chocolate bar. Serious yummies.

Also - I'm going to cobble together a couple of different recipes to make Peach pie. Can't wait.

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tonsils, Butt Muscles, and a Mini Reviews

Kris had her tonsils out. I've spent every day this week taking care of her. Apparently it blows. Which I've witnessed but not experienced. I have a new respect for Steve for taking care of me for a year.

I tried to get some snaps of her dogs because she'd like to have portraits of them, but she's a teacher and they're dogs...so the amateur steps in. Seth, the male, has no problems coming right up and trying to lick the lens. He smiled and almost posed and was basically a camera whore. Amunet, however, climbed to new heights of scaredy-dogness. At point she was asleep on her bed and heard me pulling out the camera. She was in the master bedroom cowering before I even turned around. Then Kris pulled out the food and she hung out a bit...we'll see how the images turn out.

Note: when you have the surgery that I had performed, they cut through some muscle. It's muscle you never think about using. It's muscle that has functioned the way it's supposed to your entire life. But once they cut it, you'll realize that you do use. Every day. For walking, sitting, standing...everything. And as it heals you'll realize that you work it a lot just living. And then you'll decide to wear heels...and the next day a muscle you've never even thought about will be sore. In your butt. Word.

Unrelated: picked up the She&Him Volume One. It's fab. In case you're not addicted to Stereogum like me, I'll fill you in. "She" = the incomparable Zooey Deschanel. "Him" = the equally incomparable M. Ward. And together you get:

They've got an EmmyLou Harris/Marvelettes/Patti Smith/Janis Joplin/Beatles in the Islands sound going on. I'm not going to do a song-by-song because look what I'm listening to:

Do not adjust your screens. That is, in fact, 12 inches of vinyly goodness. That's right the Old 97s put their newest album out on vinyl. And I bought it. And I'm listening to it. Nothing sounds better than vinyl fresh out of the plastic. :-D

Anyway, back to She&Him and the greatness of their debut album, which has been in heavy rotation on my ipod since I ripped it (yes, ipod. I'm not a total luddite. Although if it were available on vinyl you know I would have gone that route.) There's a nice little cover of You've Really Got A Hold on Me (originally by The Miracles for Motown) and another of I Should Have Known Better (Lennon/McCartney) that I actually had to concentrate on to place. It might have been the steel drums that threw me off. Oh yes, I said steel drum. Kettle drum? Popping up on the other gems are steel guitars and enchanting vocals. You can sing along with every song, which I like. The lyrics are compelling and intentional. Trust me. Lucky for us - their first video is also the first song I heard from the new album (thank you, Stereogum) and I love it. The song and the video.

Here you go:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Something Must Be Done

My alarm went off this morning and it happened to start BLARING Marketplace at me. I love this segment. I like Marketplace Money so much that I subscribe to their podcast. The morning Marketplace report is almost as important as the weather....and this morning, much like when I hear the weather for the month of February, what I heard made me want to crawl under the covers and not come out until Jan 21st.

Yes. I know that Jan 21st will not be a magic bullet. But it is - as the bumper stickers say - the end of an error.

What did I hear this morning? Job losses everywhere. Interest Rate Pressures. Asian markets down. All of the Stock Markets down. Death. Destruction. Abject poverty. Coupled with the rest of the Doom Harbingers out there....under my covers was looking pretty good to me.

But get up I did and went through the day thinking that Something Must Be Done. In our life. Our every day life. To prepare. Just in case. Because I have a job that is one of the first places people stop spending money when they tighten their budget. Seriously. Behold:

"I hate our couch."
"Yes, but I like the roof over our heads."
"Interior Designer: you're FIRED!"

The End. Luckily, and counter-intuitively, Steve's job will probably not go as quickly as mine. And given that he's a boy scout it might not go at all. But I want to be prepared.

Also there's this: Squirrels don't have a lot of nuts because they make a lot of nuts. They have a lot of nuts because they SAVE a lot of nuts.

So. Step one. Get control over our grocery situation. This translates to being a bitch about eating what's in our house. So I googled Meal Planning Templates and after a lot of really boring I-Could-Have-Done-That-Myself...I found this. It's straightforward but darling. It won't skeeve me out by being ugly and hanging on my fridge. It will help organize the food.

Issue: We buy a lot of our produce (exception: lettuce. It doesn't grow in Texas. I might start substituting with other native leafy greens...if there are any. Or perhaps cut it out altogether....) from the local stands at the farmer's market. It's not totally a 100-mile-diet but it's pretty darned close and I refuse to give up beer/wine/chocolate. But it also means that we're at the whim of the seasons and the productive crops. So I can't really plan until after we've gone there.

So my meal planning is always a bit backwards: we buy and THEN plan. Right now it's working...or would be if I remembered to actually plan. Hopefully cute planner will help with that.

So that's step one. I haven't figured out the other steps, yet. But I bet they'll be less fun (because I love food) and not nearly so cute to plan.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Nerdiest Video...possibly EVER

But I love it. Here's what I love about it, in a numbered list (Huzzah!)

1) It's the Old 97s, and though they get little screen time, when you do see them, Rhett is singing and he's hot.

2) It's NEW Old 97s and sounds great.

3) The long takes. I like that they do continuous takes rather than a lot of cutting. It's requires more talent on everyone's part and it's easier to follow.

4) Tricia Helfer is waaay cuter when she's not being a cylon

So. Enjoy!