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it's pretty cool to suddenly be able to see stuff again. as i tweeted from the mall, dizzy and astounded: holy shit new glasses. i can see into the eighth dimension now. yup.
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last night we opened kirk's homebrew IPA and guess what? it is really fucking good. so we all had a celebratory round at home while answering the door to trick or treaters. my folks came over with my nephew for the ceremonial not-quite-two-years-old-and-doesn't-get-it trick or treating session in our neighborhood. at the last minute, with no time to plan, he was a race car driver. cute, no?



then josh and kirk and i went to kirk's friend eddie's party over in southeast. the kitchen was completely dark, not even a lightbulb in the fridge, and a massive fucking strobe light was going at a slow flash, which made it dizzying to even go in and get a beer, but also kind of fun if you could avoid bumping into people.

in the next room was a closed circuit tv hooked up to a torture cam in the basement:



this thing fucking ruled. all night, people would go down there and put on some pretty awesome shows. eddie, who was the bloody cook, tortured, butchered, and cooked up his own wife erin (we saw them get married this summer).

kirk, who was dressed as a press man from the 1950s, went down to the torture chamber and acted as papparazzi on the unfortunate torture and death of a young tennis player. i'm sure we'll get to blackmail his family with these pics later:




watching this upstairs, it looked pretty creepy in black and white, but also despite their good acting it was pretty comical, since kirk kept jumping in from the side to take pictures, ha. in fact, most of the scenes ended up being pretty comical. in one, we could all see the dude on the side splashing the blood from the squirt bottle as the axe murderer killed some nice girl.

ok. on to more torture!

click for 4 more pretty bloody but awesome photos )
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spent all morning going around town finding jewelry to go with my sari. i came home and tried it all on, and then someone knocked at the front door. i answered it like this:


and i think i scared away that nice young man trying to give out religious pamphlets! he did a bit of a double take when he saw me. ha ha. he was going off on his spiel, haltingly, so i interrupted him. "is that about god?" he said, "yes." i said, "i'm really not interested." and he took off pretty quick.

sadly, no one sells real kundan jewelry in portland that i could find. there sure are a lot of people selling crappy (that is, cheap) tibetan stuff though. i went all over the place. i ended up buying earrings for $10, vintage necklace for $12, bindis for $1, anklet for $3, 8 bangles for $3.50, and i actually found another sari, for $10. i also bought a shawl scarf thing, since i have one and i wear it ALL the time, and i need some variety. that one was $18.

anyway, now i really want to order some kundan jewelry online, even though it won't come until way after halloween. at least it will be authentic!
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we're in austin! doing...things. apparently this city is infested with bats, but we haven't seen any yet. we did see a bum sleeping on the road! also a lot of car accidents. the food is really good here but no one seems to give a rip about local ingredients or whatever. it is kind of the anti-portland? i googled locavore restaurants and found only a few, and they have like a "local specialties" menu section. very weird.





i bought a slightly creepy doll. she moves her head around when you move her limbs.


more on flickr.
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my favorite thing about traveling is putting my toothbrush and toothpaste in a little glass in the bathroom.

the view this morning, still foggy as hell:

(wish i could go hangout on the rooftop pool with the tiny forest!)
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Yesterday I bought a copy of the Joy of Cooking, a 1974 edition. My 1920s Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking School book was really a little too outdated to be a reliable kitchen reference for certain things.

It is a beautiful eggshell blue color with two red ribbon bookmarks.



We discovered it was autographed by the authors:



When I opened it up, I discovered a bunch of torn-out recipes from a 1976 TV Guide, and this postcard:





it reads:

"4-12 [1977]
Hi -
Left Alaska - couldn't take it - $'s not worth it -- Plans to leave D[enver] for the East same time in May - Dad wants me to rent a truck & take all his stuff with me - tow my car - Don't know itinerary yet -- Plan to spend a few week w/ M & D & J then off to the beaches. Maybe England early fall - S.E. Asia shortly after. B said early July for family reunion in MD. -- Congrads Paul - Hope u like R....& thanks for the material I requested
Hope all goes well
Love John"
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1. kirk and i finally watched cloverfield last night. i was surprised they showed the monster so much and so early. i wonder if i would have been freaked out if i'd seen it in the theater? as it was i was scared enough, but mostly interested in how they kept the whole conceit going. my brain is definitely WAY INTERESTED in thinking about the movie all the time, all night and all day. woo, go brain! let's relive it again!

2. meet a new inhabitant of my kitchen windowsill:

he is made of iron and imported from japan. the same people who make those iron teakettles, i think.

3. haircut tonight!
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Practice babies for home economics students at Cornell University, 1919-1949




"Each student in the homemaking apartments takes entire responsibility for the care of the baby for one week."

Practice babies,
Practice babies,
Practice babies.

"I'm sure I got excellent care. That's not the hurtful part," said Kirkham. "It's that I was used."

I could drive down to Corvallis to see some photos of Oregon practice babies.
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yesterday i finally put the birdfeeder up in the backyard, and this morning it attracted little chickadees and a giant bluejay. pippa watched them from the kitchen window and made those funny little i-want-to-eat-you cat noises.

i put up the birdfeeder because i found it while cleaning off the shelf in the laundry room where i want to put my seedling tray. i have to keep it warm somehow, but there's no heat in that room. i wish my heating pad didn't have that stupid auto-off feature. maybe i can just use lamps with incandescent bulbs? almost all of our lamps now have cf bulbs in them now. i need to hurry, the stupid onions were supposed to be seeded several weeks ago :/

i think yesterday was actually the first day that the house was fully recovered from me being sick for two weeks this month. even though i've been better for a couple weeks now, the house stayed messy. the whole place needed a good sweeping and dusting and straightening

in addition to cleaning, we also got a new rug, table and lamps from ikea this weekend. the living room is so much more cozy! i am pleased with it.

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i made cheddar cheese today!


here i am stirring the curd and adding the salt. more pictures on flickr if you click the photo.

it is being pressed overnight under 20lbs of pressure, and tomorrow morning we flip it and press on the other side for another twelve hours. and then it cures for at least a month. it will take a loooong time, but when it's done we are going to have a belated housewarming party, with grilled cheese sandwiches on homemade bread, and apples to apples (another christmas present). yay!
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today i made an apron from a book on vintage design and patterns of aprons that my mother gave me for christmas. i borrowed katie's sewing machine and managed to dredge up vague memories of using my mother's ancient sewing machine in order to get this one working. it was so satisfying! even if a bit back-breaking. i even hand-stitched on a little detail on the pocket of green tomatoes. if you click on the picture, you can see more photos from the project in my flickr stream.

soon my mom and i will be ordering a boatload of seeds from seed savers and i will be making seedlings of a number of things for both her garden and mine. i haven't grown a seedling since kindergarten, and the last garden i tended was a weedy flowerbed when i was 11, which lasted about three days. but i have high hopes! and a compost heap that is already started, and raised gardening beds that came with the house. i am very excited for experimenting and growing and such!
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I slept, and dreamed that life was Beauty;
I woke, and found that life was Duty.
Was thy dream then a shadowy lie?
Toil on, sad heart, courageously,
And thou shalt find thy dream to be
A noonday light and truth to thee.

-- Ellen Sturgis Hooper (1816-1841)

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