Monday, January 28, 2008

Do ruffles make the sniffles go away?

Stuck at home today with a cold. Well, I would be stuck at home anyway, but today had the distinction of including a headache. I tried to do my reading for class but didn't get through it all and not much stuck to my brain. I didn't even try to do some dictation. Too bad really, because this week I might actually be busy. Wednesday I want to bake and assemble treats for Movie Club at our house. Thursday I'll be helping film interviews for my old job. Saturday we'll be filming a good old Movie Saturday (fingers crossed!). I hope all my resting today will help this cold blow over quickly.

One thing I can still do is ogle pretty shirts from Anthropologie. I love the feminine details! Even if these are several times the cost of what I would ever pay for a shirt.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Yeee Haw!

sheep, originally uploaded by Ben Mason.

For the first time we went to the National Western Stock Show on Friday with the Walkers. It was fun to go as a cultural excursion. Everything was new to me. Everything was familiar to Ben and reminded him of his younger years. We saw cows and chickens and bunnies and sheeps and dogs. The dog agility show was pretty fun, but they took far too long to set up their courses, especially since it was just a demonstration, not a contest. I had a giant hot dog with kraut for dinner. There are more pictures on Ben's flickr site.

Name that disease

Man, I was really hoping for Doogie. I made some dumb assumptions. - The Disease Test

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Taking a cue from Oh Happy Day (a blog Miranda turned me onto), instead of buying some clothes I'll post pictures of them.

These are from Forever 21. I cleaned out my closet this week and made a huge donation pile. I realized I have very few blouses. Many button ups (I hate wearing them but felt compelled to buy them for work) and MANY t -shirts. I like the ruffles and poufy short sleeves.

Ta Daaaa

Welcome to my redesigned site! If you check my blog on a feed reader you should click through to see my new decor. My html skills are totally 1337 ;-) Seriously though, this took much twiddling to get out all the little kinks, all the strange roundies, the wide margins with short borders, the residual side bars.

Yes, that's me in the header. The colors are kind of weird so my eyes don't look blue. Those are flowers Ben gave me for May Day when I was living in my closet, I mean, dorm sophomore year. I'll probably change the picture from time to time. Maybe I can come up with some iconography. What other new features are there?
  • Wide window for viewing two photos on a single line
  • Larger font for easier reading
  • Colors that are easier to read
  • Updated profile
What do you think?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

- work zone -

If you've logged on tonight you might have noticed the site looking all sorts of different. I'm trying out new templates and trying to customize them to my liking. Still working . . .

Secret Message

Craft Room Decorating

The spare bedroom has been a slow work in progress. I use it as an office, a craft room, a dressing area, and storage. With a little extra spare time this week I made some strides in personalizing and organizing it.

I got these sweet black boxes when my office bring emptied. Now there are neatly labeled boxes for pens, scissors, embroidery, ribbons, etc. Next to the desk I set up a charging station for all our electronics. Above the ironing board (that I use more for clutter than ironing) is the painting Andy made me for Christmas.

My vanity (how did I live without it?) with my Black Apple print. On the right is the cabinet I rescued from our dumpsters. Behind the dress form is an improvised scarf rack made of foam board, fabric, and thumbtacks.

My little sewing desk, now with bulletin board so I can quickly glance at my patterns. Now I just need to get my sewing machine fixed ;-)

By the way, a certain someone has a birthday coming up. She has a list here if anyone is looking for ideas. Ben and I still want to make a better wish list site, but for now this ugly one will have to do.

Cooking in the New Year

It's time to get busy in the kitchen!

Buffalo Chicken Pizza was absolutely delectable! My fresh ham sandwich was also tasty.

This winter meal was made with alternative cooking vessels. I steamed the sprouts, carrots, and parsnips with herbs and butter in a clay pot. I cooked the lentils in my pressure cooker (which I'm LOVING) and stirred in some kielbasa.

Desserts! This lemon pound cake got a little too brown because my oven was too hot. I covered it up with lemon glaze. I couldn't wait to eat the cinnamon rolls before taking a picture. They have cream cheese frosting but I store it separately so the rolls don't break down from the gooey-ness.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Things are looking sunnier

I dismantled the "defective" part to further investigate the dripping. After tightening it up I think I might have fixed the problem. Ben's uvula is shrinking back to normal. Jem's eyes have been clear since we replaced her kennel bedding. I spent a good part of this morning cleaning out my craft room/office and I'm quite pleased with the results.

It's week three of my online Ethics course, five weeks to go. At times the class is thought provoking and interesting. Most of the time I'm bogged down by the online course format. I hate the forced thread posting for credit. It makes me glad I've gone so long without having to do an online class. Tey r teh suxor.

I'm taking a Monday night ballet class this term. It's great to stretch and leap about. I'm trying to do aerobics everyday so I can improve my stamina. (Denise Austin in hilarious.) I think I'll do better in dance class if I don't wear out so easily.

Bugger. The toilet piece is hissing at me now. It's not defective, it's just bad design. Irg. I still don't want to pay for another piece after I bought the whole kit!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fix up day

Two hours spent fixing the toilet not counting buying a part, checking the tank, and returning it for another part. One hour was spent on this step:The old plastic parts were so old and corroded I couldn't get the large nut off. After wrenches, knives, and a blowtorch I found success by pounding nails between the nut and bolt and then prying off chunks of the bolt.

And when it was all done and I turned the water back on, it appears that one of the parts in the kit was defective.

I think it will work fine. Probably not worth the hassle of explaining to the Lowes returns cashier that they need to take back just part of this kit and give me a standalone part - for free.

And now I will enjoy the cinnamon rolls I baked today.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Do you ever feel like everything is broken? Here's our current list:
  • upstairs toilet
    • Ever since the water came back on it won't stop running.
  • Ben's watchband
    • He tripped and busted a piece off.
  • my engagement ring prongs
    • They've needed replacing for almost a year now. Just had my 6 month inspection/cleaning and they reminded me.
  • my macbook keyboard
    • stops working for a few minutes periodically. Probably a loose connection. Just don't want to give it up to get it fixed.
  • sewing machine
    • has needed repairs for who knows how long. It's extremely clunky now
  • Ben's uvula
    • He woke up with it stretched down, touching his tongue. Icky.
  • my ipod
    • tells me I need to reformat it. Strange, it worked fine when I had it tuned to windows. Now it doesn't like the mac ;-)
  • Jem's eyes
    • Red and oozy since New Years. We have eye drops that help, but it comes back after we stop using them.
grrrrr. And no money to fix any of it. Life is great, eh? I console myself by trying to list the things that aren't broken. That list is much longer. The others still irk me though.

Flick her

I finally relented and set up a flickr account. SIGH. I've always been annoyed when people link to their photo set instead of actually posting their pictures. But Blogger hasn't improved their photo upload capabilities and I'm too lazy to go through each Christmas photo individually. So here. I will try my best to continue posting pictures directly on the blog. Like this one of the cake I made for Ben's birthday:
Do you recognize it?

How about now?He had a portal-licious birthday :-)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Neighborhood Flix

Neighborhood Flix, originally uploaded by Ben Mason.

Last weekend we saw "I'm Not There" at Neighborhood Flix in Denver. It's a new theater that combines dinner and a movie in a swank atmosphere. It's located in the same complex as the new Tattered Cover and Twist and Shout. The crowd was hip and polite. The food was delicious, healthy, and well priced, and the theater had the nicest employees I have met in a long time. What a great experience! We can't wait to go back for lunch and a matinee, where tickets are only $5. Sadly, they only run a few movies at a time and there's nothing coming up that I want to see. But you better believe we'll be back soon.


Holy crap. This is may be the weirdest thing I've found on the internet. Live reenactments of Garfield strips, followed by "artistic" music videos about Garfield.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Water house again!

They turned the water back on, although we hear rumors that the leak actually isn't fixed. It's been a big ball of confusion here. For a while the upstairs sink wasn't working, causing much consternation because everything else worked and it doesn't make sense. Then we took it apart and found a big piece of crud blocking the spigot. Fixed! For now we are happy. When our hoa fees are increased to cover the (possibly ongoing) repairs we'll see how happy we are.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Day two is done

The water came on after 2 1/2 hours, and even still we don't have water in the upstairs sink. Strange. They said they haven't fixed the leak yet, but they're giving us water for tonight and then turning it off tomorrow. We were able to do the dishes that were interrupted on Monday (stinking up the kitchen) and flush the toilets (stinking up the bathrooms). I wiped down all counters and refilled the pets' water. I took a long hot shower. I filled various containers with water so that I can cook dinner at home tomorrow and clean up afterward. Since I won't be in the office I stockpiled to ensure comfort while waterless. Overkill?


a quick update: as I walked by the work site a plumber said to me "twenty minutes." that was two hours ago and still no water

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Three down, how many utilities can I lose?

Here I sit, nearly 24 since losing water. Still can't poop in my house or wash my greasy bangs. Then I come home from my office and find that the internet/phone are down. Comcast can't check on it until tomorrow, when I'm supposed to be in the office again. I jiggled and reset all the wires to no avail. I really hope Ben can fix it when he gets home, and that the water gets turned on soon. Right now I'm at a friends house to use the toilet, and I just jumped on the internet to check emails and such.

What a crappy day. At least I got to spend most of it at the office.

update: Ben determined that our modem was kaput. He got a new one and after registering it on the phone with comcast, we are back in business! Still no water. They're saying they can't locate the leak, that it was higher up the pipe than they anticipated when they busted up the parking lot this afternoon. So more digging tomorrow and hopefully it will be resolved by the evening.

Monday, January 07, 2008

No Water in this House

Awesome. We've been without water since 4:30 pm. It's 9:20. The HOA just distributed fliers saying it may take 24 hours or more to fix the break in the main line that made it necessary to shut the water off.

I'm glad I have close neighbors who let me use their toilets. I hope I don't have to go to work greasy-haired tomorrow.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Hot sauce and rock stars

We switched to 9 am church with the new year, and let me tell you. It is GLORIOUS. As much as I hate getting up early on the weekend, it is totally worth it for a free afternoon. Last year we had church at 1 pm. So you sleep in, eat brunch, dress, go to church, and then it's 4:30 when you get home! Time to start thinking about dinner. And the day is gone.

Today I squandered the afternoon playing Rock Band at Brian's house. I know, not the best Sunday activity. But man, is this game fun. I wish I could play hard on SOMEthing. I'm medium on guitar/bass, easy on drums (although I can limp through a medium), and singing is completely hit or miss. If I know the song really well I'm fine. If it's punk or new to me I'll fail on medium.

I made supper tonight using Ricky's Hot Sauce, which you may remember from The King of Kong as the hot sauce made by the villainous Billy Mitchell. We got the sauce in our stockings and Santa refused to name his source.

Tomorrow I start my Health Care Ethics class at Regis. It's my first online course, which is kind of shocking. How did I make it this far in the 21st century without a class on the webs?

P.S. How could they dare make the Rock Band game without including Queen or Journey?