Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Itchy Flower

You may notice that my IMood is often set as "itchy." This is no coincidence. I have had perpetual heat rash and eczema for a while now. You may recall this from my post about The Princess and the Pea. I may seem tough, but I'm a fragile flower. I talk a lot, too. I must be a snapdragon.

Peacock Skirt

The Aubrey Beardsley print my mother had a lot of trouble letting go of, and I had NO trouble accepting. Also see my pretty new curtains and the corner of Grandmother's chair.

I have learned a little bit about this piece. It is a print of "The Peacock Skirt" by Aubrey Beardsley (a brilliant artist who was incredibly controversial and died at age 25). It was originally an illustration for Salomé by Oscar Wilde published in 1894. The original was only 8.94 x 6.30 inches. It’s housed in the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard. Maybe I’ll check out the original some day.

The Rules

Rules of the bathroom... err... tavern! This hung in the bathroom at the house my parents and I lived in from 1974 to 1979. I was so excited to find it when they moved last month.

This bathroom shelf only took 9 million hours to assemble and mount. Piece of cake! Those are my new pretty green towels, an antique vase of my grandmother's that was given to me by my aunt Anna as a wedding gift, and the very amusing, VERY kitschy wire corset I got at The House of Joy in Jerome, Arizona two years ago. It was a copper mining town from the Old West with 8 houses of ill repute! Who knew?!

Pretty as a Pitcher

Mom's collection of small colored glass pitchers. Don't they look purty?!

Name that bug

Anyone know what kind of bug this is? It was on my back steps.


OK, the downstairs neighbor has lowered the volume over the last 5 days, and I'm feeling really grateful. Then tonight, there's this loud banging, bassy horrible music... mind you, perhaps music I'd like if it were in the room with me, but not through a floor or a wall.

Yes, through a wall. The youngish single mom next door is BLASTING house music. Serious disco house music. Now, if you know me, you know I adore going dancing, but it's like 8:50pm on a freakin' Tuesday!

Why is this such a hard concept to grasp? Perhaps it would be better if my hearing weren't so good. I'm going to look into seeing if I can damage my ears so I can live in the world!

And don't get me started on the German Shepherds out back!

Assembly Sucks!

Moving in is draining me of all money and energy! I spend 2 hours this afternoon assembling an "entertainment stand" I bought at Target. You pay $50 and you get to spend a very frustrating two hours trying to decipher their overly simplistic instructions. Just lifting the thing was exhausting. When I picked it up in the store and tried to put it in my cart, I ended up whacking myself in the ear. Getting it upstairs was a total effort. Apparently, it's a "team lift" item, meaning you aren't supposed to pick it up yourself. They have guys with wheely carts that do it for you, only I didn't notice this until I was at home trying to assemble it. It was a last ditch solution to a very specific problem: I had no furniture that was deep enough for my stereo. Now, I have a solution, so I guess that's good. I just want to stop coming across tasks like this. Mounting the bathroom cabinet using molly bolts is honestly one of the hardest things I've ever done. The hardware and mounting accessories sold in stores now are not conducive to working on pre-1920 buildings. I usually love assembly and pride myself on my skill in this area, but right now, I'm just SICK of it! Hell, I'd rather be working on my dissertation!

On a side note, I just wanted everyone to know that me having a lot to say comes from somewhere. Check out mom's comment activity as of late!

Monday, August 30, 2004

The other side of the kitchen... Notice that there is no dishwasher! This is a new thing for me, but so far, so good!

The kitchen improves. You can see the pasta machine out. I made ravioli from scratch. VERY nice.

The other side of my living room. The painting on the wall was done by the art teacher at the Memphis City School where my mother taught in the 60s. It's been on my parents' walls for as long as I can remember. Now, it returns to the city where it was born.

The living room is improving.

The Dempsey's do their thing

The Dempsey's

I'm up in the middle of the night. I hate that. Saw The Dempsey's tonight at Huey's downtown. It was perhaps the first time I'd ever had band members ask me if they could have some gum during the show. This is a local rockabilly band, very fast-paced slapping bass, very frenetic, but no punk sensibility, so definitely not psychobilly like The Shackshakers.

Sadly, it seems the Shackshakers are off in strange places for a while. I was hoping they'd be around soon now that I'm nearer their neck of the woods. Aw hell, I've heard that they sold out anyway.

Anyway, back to the gig. It was super-fast-paced, and these guys are formidable musicians. It seemed a strange place for a gig. It's an old burger joint with a menu not dissilimar from Applebees. I was sitting at a table in front of the bass player, who slaps some seriously fast bass, climbs all over his instrument, and is a total goofball. All three guys can play all three instruments, and there are a lot of little gimmicky tricks they do to prove they're worth their salt: two guys playing the guitar at once, switching instruments, drummer drumming on the bass strings, etc. It's all very fancy. I liked them a lot. I wasn't insanely over the moon for them like I am for The Shackshakers. I think it's because the Shackshakers have that almost icky quality: a bit like you oughtta wash when you leave the gig. Why this makes them so good, I don't know, but there you have it.

OK. Why am I awake? I think it's time to try sleep again. Zzzzz.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Woman Crush

You know how straight guys say that have man crushes? Well, then I guess I have a woman crush on Nigella Lawson. She's articulate, beautiful, passionate, and she know her way around a kitchen (in a competent, non-Donna Reed kind of way). When I grow up, I would like to be her. I'm not saying. I'm just saying.

Weather Pixie

Isn't my Weather Pixie so pretty? Her outfit changes to suit the weather here. And the background reflects my local weather!

The WeatherPixie

Friday, August 27, 2004

Numerical Information

  • I have 55,455 miles on my car.
  • At 9pm tonight in Memphis, it was 89 degrees.
  • It is 1.8 miles from my apartment to the main public library.
  • DSL Lite is 5 times faster than dialup.
  • I have had DSL Lite for about 2 hours.
  • PIN numbers to access my library account must be between 1 and 4 digits. My PIN is not 0.

Here's the other end of the wall, which corners the wall that was painted the day I moved in. If you look closely, you can see the sock monkey my friend Anne made to look like me.

This wall wasn't green at lunchtime!

Thursday, August 26, 2004


I hope I haven't completely bored you, but everyone has been asking for pictures of my new place. Ask and you shall receive. As always, start from the bottom up. The top picture is always the most recently posted.


Here is my very favorite part of my whole apartment so far. The shelves were mostly installed by me, with some help from Dad getting the screw stable in the right side... old plaster is a bitch! Several of my favorite things are in this picture: the Tibetan-themed bowl and pansy canister I painted at The Latest Glaze in Bloomington; the espresso machine I bought in Levanto, Italy in 2000; my kitchenaid Stand Mixer in Glacier Blue; the blue sponged antique pitcher in which I keep all of my large kitchen tools; my knife sharlener; my bright blue electric water kettle; and my VERY groovy mortar and pestle, which I spend an enormous amount of energy tracking down, after watching way too many episodes of the Naked Chef. I'm such a food gadget fiend. Man, I'm going back into my kitchen to gaze! :D

Here's the kitchen. It is slowly starting to look like an actual kitchen.

I took this while standing in the door of the living room. You can see the kitchen to the left and the bedroom straight ahead. Notice Jeep!

Living Room #2

Living Room #1

View out of the window in my sunroom at dusk

Sunroom into the living room. You can see that I am still very much in unpacking mode.

One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong... OK, these are the Rhodes students I met last night, when I inadvertently found myself in a seriously undergrad bar! It was party time, and these girls just couldn't believe I was 34. It was kind of a hoot. Not sure I'll ever go there again, but it was an adventure to remember for sure!

I met Marjie last night at Neil's, a local bar. The reason she is wearing these goggles is that she just has lasik eye surgery, but that was NOT going to deter her from bar-hopping. I loved this woman!

A cooler of 40's at Schnuck's, my grocery store

Anyone else find humor in the fact that you can buy Salt & Vinegar Pork Rinds?

Elvis Jumpsuit for the kids

Ducks at the Peabody

So Riddle Me This

If your new downstairs neighbor regularly played techno at 7:15am and also at 11:45pm, what would you do? Leave a note? Knock on their door and complain in person? Pound on the floor? Call the office? What do you think?

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Mom and me on my back landing on the way down to my parking lot. See my car?

Me, bruised, not looking my best, in my new apartment

The wall that is painted "Gleeful" from a distance

The wall that is painted "Social Butterfly"

Oh wait. Maybe Barksdale's is my new favorite place to eat breakfast. I can't decide.

Here are Aaron and my mother at the Home Depot self checkout. I think this is on the second trip. I'm so sick of that place!

The remnants of my breakfast. That's country ham, eggs, and cheese grits. There's a tiny bit of biscuit left. I don't know why. The biscuits were amazing.

Mom at the Blue Plate Cafe, my new favorite breakfast restaurant!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Mom and Dad following behind in Dad's new black Dodge Ram!

That's my hallway. The bedroom door is on the left.

The view from my sun room

My new kitchen on the first day

Going over the Mississippi River into Memphis. Check out the pyramid on the left. That's a sports arena!

OK. This is way gross. Here is Maggie on the sedative. You will notice that her inner eyelids are half-closed, yet this kitty would NOT sleep. So stubborn... just like her Mama.

There was no way to get both cat carriers into the front of the U-Haul, so Jeep and Maggie shared the larger cat carrier. That wasn't exactly a peaceful arrangement. The first line of defense was to give Maggie the sedative. That wasn't enough, so I decided to just let her out. She liked that much better. So did Jeep.

Kyle had to work in the morning, so when he got to my apartment, all that was left to do was to eat the donuts... and some pie. He helped marvelously in this domain! Thanks to Scott and Michelle (and Michelle's mom) for some extremely tasty blueberry and lemon pie.

My Bloomington helpers depart after a highly efficient one hour 15 minutes of truck loading

Me blogging, tribing, gmailing or SOMETHING from the computer, which I set up on the floor in the corner. The computer was one of the last things packed.

Maggie atop packed boxes in my Bloomington study

Me after the U-Haul sign-out in Bloomington had clearly begun to take a very long time

Festivals, Fittings, Food

There’s a festival happening down the street from me on September 18th. Here’s the description I found online:

One of Memphis' most celebrated events, the Cooper Young Festival, located in Memphis' largest historic district, is a free festival that offers a wide array of artists' booths to browse as well as music and family fun.

Yay! I’m hoping I can talk some friends from afar to come see my new digs and to go with me to this festival. I’ll be there either way, no doubt chatting mercilessly to poor unsuspecting booth vendors.

I’m still exhausted, although I slept for 11 glorious hours last night. I’m a little more moved in, and I think I’ve made my last trip to Home Depot for the time being. I’m getting sick of that place. REALLY sick of that place. While this apartment has many lovely quirks, it also has its drawbacks: a downstairs neighbor with no understanding of the appropriate volume for a stereo, German Shepherds that bark whenever anyone parks their car in the back, a back door with only plate glass keeping out intruders, and bats… LOTS of bats that live in the chimneys on both buildings… although I think that’s kind of cool.

Oh, GREAT discovery today, thanks to my Uncle Mike. There’s this place near my house called Easy Way that sells fresh produce and not much else. I adore Southern food, and now I know where to get my collards, my country ham, my okra, and many kinds of yummy relish. Oh BOY, I love this place.

Saturday, August 21, 2004


I'm here! I'm here! I'm frickin' exhausted! The moving party was a complete success. I have amazing friends. More about that in a few days. After the great U-Haul packing, the cleaning took all damn day. I didn't see the people I meant to see that last night. Instead, I got in "bed" (actually the air mattress) at 9pm and was actually up most of the night feeling rather unwell. Details are really not worth sharing.

I made my getaway at 4:30am and arrived here at 2:30pm. Aaron drove the entire way while I tried to soothe the sedated yet stubbornly awake and crabby cats. They didn't enjoy the trip at all. They are doing pretty well now though. Unpacking has begun. There is one green wall and one orange-yellow wall now.

I have to go... the movers from Atlanta are finally here, and my mother has wandered off to find my Dad, who (of course) wandered off. I can't believe the are here! They overshot the distance and ended up in Arkansas.

OK. Gotta go tell them where to put stuff. This is exhausting! But my apartment is AWESOME and quirky! More details when there is time.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Packing Update

The truck is packed. Repeat. THE TRUCK IS PACKED! That is all.

Busy Brain

It is 5:28am. I am awake and have been for about an hour. Right now, I am blogging from my computer, which is no longer a desktop... more a floortop. It's set up in the corner, and the monitor is sitting on the printer box.

I have busy brain, as is probably normal for people about to move, but I need sleep, and it just isn't happening. I have another two and a half hours I can sleep. I hope I'm able to catch some more z's before then. About a dozen people are coming to help load the truck. In what order will I load the truck? How should I organize all these people? And perhaps most importantly, how many bagels should I buy and what flavors? Do people really want blueberry and chocolate chip bagels? Isn't that an afront to all bagelkind?

So many things to deal with... and even though I know it will all get done, it's very hard to detach. I already feel a bit controlling and noone is even here yet! Normally when I feel controlling about things, I leave, like when people are cooking. I have so many opinions about it that I am best to just stay in the other room and busy myself. Some people welcome my kitchen tips, and some people feel that me giving advice means I think they are doing it wrong. Anyway, the hard part of it is that I sort of DO have to supervise and direct. I can't just disengage. I will be so glad when it's all in the truck. So very glad indeed.

I sure hope the girls are OK. I am so concerned about their well-being right now. Jeep is on anti-depressants again. Gave her the first one last night. She's had some real trouble adjusting to change in the past, and knowing this, I didn't want to throw her into another situation in which I know she'd feel terrified. I hate medicating her like this, but it's either that or knowingly put her in a situation that I know she isn't equipped to handle on her own. Man, I love my girls. I hope they aren't too traumatized by all of this. They've never moved before.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Gleeful Social Butterfly

I'’m so very excited. In my new apartment building, I'’m actually allowed to paint. This is the first time I'’ve ever been allowed to paint, which is pretty sad given I'’m 34 years old, but that'’s the grad student life for ya. I have now purchased all paint supplies, so that when we arrive the first day, we can get right to it! I was hoping Sherwin-Williams would have their paint chips online, but they don'’t, so I tried to approximate the colors I chose using Glidden'’s Color Selector (which is actually TONS of fun if you'’re bored).

The color on the left is the color I'’ve chosen for the sun room. I’'m hoping it will be tranquil with much light, although I really have no idea, since I haven'’t actually laid eyes on my apartment yet. I wanted a color that looked like the color of plants in springtime. The name of the Sherwin-Williams color is “Gleeful,” which is a really fun name.

The color on the right is for the living room. I will have a lot of my parents’ antiques in there. I could have chosen something really traditional, but I wanted something bright and fun. The idea I went in with was the I wanted something that approximated the color Turmeric added to food.

I have a nice middle-value, dusty coral picked out for the bedroom, but I have no idea of the dimensions of that just yet. I't’s supposed to be the color of my lips... well, my lips when they aren’t chapped, pale from cold, etc! Half the time, my lips seem to be the same color as my face! The idea I have in there is that I want it to look like wildflowers colorwise, but actually that could be almost any color!

I just want things to be very much a color. I’m so sick of off-white walls, I could die!


The packing update: I have the U-Haul out in the parking lot now. Almost everything is packed, and there are lots of people coming to help pack it in the morning, so it should go quickly. We went to Scott & Michelle’'s this morning to help pack after a raucous time at Poornima and Nanu'’s last night, only to find that the entire truck had already been packed by their landlord'’s maintenance guys. SHUWEET! So we sat down and ate the bagels we’d picked up, drank our coffee, socialized a little, then took off. That was a great bit of luck! It isn't that often that you get to appear helpful with no actual work!