Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pictures...I got pictures...I got stacks and stacks of pictures.
268 of them, to be exact, all the best of one and a half years of digital camera ownership, plus some extras from friends.
And because Meijer was having a sale, they were 10 cents each.
Now...albums. I want to try to make some using some of my favorite fabric remnants as covers. Because I don't have enough projects to do!

Monday, June 25, 2007

The first of the "pantheon" gets married

On Saturday I trekked out to Chicago for the wedding of one of my dear college friends, a woman of strong will, brains, and achievement, from whom I learned a lot about respect for myself and disregarding what others think of me, even if I couldn't always apply these lessons. She looked amazing in a silky, creamy gown, with a long chiffon "veil" worn across the back of her head. The service was conducted by a Father and a Rabbi, which sounds like the beginning of a joke, perhaps more so when you learn that their names were Michaels Michelini and Sternfield respectively. They told a few jokes, actually, and the whole service was lighthearted. I sat with another one of our small group, Holly, both of us on our own, which seemed best because we so often were in college. We reminisced big time and snuck jokes back and forth. We "represented," if you will.
Did I mention the wedding was in the gigantic Rockefeller Chapel on the campus of U of Chicago?
After the service, Holly and I went to the Oriental Museum and a coffee shop, and we wrote out a little joint card with an extra memento for the bride, then arrived at the buffet reception. We sat next to another of Lis's MSU friends, whose name we recognized, and we all chatted through dinner and cake. Highlights of the reception included watching Lis and Phil in the traditional chair dance (Horah?) and hearing that, if we wanted, we could have cake cut in any shape we wanted. We chose rectangle.
Long about 8:30, Chicago time, I decided I was ready to go. It was a good party, and the dancing was going on, but I felt satisfied with the day, and I wanted to drive back home. I said goodbye to Lis and parted from Holly, and off I went. It was a nice drive, and I even got to see a firework. I got back around 1:30 Ohio time.

Through all of this, I got lots of chances to think about those years in college and some of our gatherings since. So much happened--we were living all on the same singles dorm floor, and I was so grateful for these girls because we all had our eccentricities and we were all able to spend time with each other despite how busy we were. We kept each other from getting lonely, and we took care of each other when we were troubled. I remember one day I'd had it up to wherever and was desperate for sleep, and I snapped at them for chatting outside my closed door. Later, Lis totally called me on it while I was working on choreography was like an intervention. But it gave me a chance to apologize and describe to them how completely overwhelmed I was feeling, rather than continuing to clamp down on it. I needed these girls to keep me from drawing into myself. I can't imagine what I brought to them, but I hope I at least offered something. We had such ridiculously fun times together, and I remember so many of the things we did as if they happened last week. Pool games with henna drying on our skin, making chicken-flavored rice and orange cinnamon rolls in the kitchenette, drinking wine coolers and margaritas, attending hockey games, going to the Renaissance Festival and horseback riding, playing Life during Finals Week...the list goes on forever. My favorite times were when we all gathered in someone's room, and watched TV or a movie, eating, drinking, and laughing, dishing about boys and our floormates. I was so sad when Lis and Holly graduated, and Elisa moved into an apartment, and Em was long gone. I was so busy senior year that I didn't have much social time, but in the quiet moments I missed those girls tons. It was a joy to watch Lis get married, and I hope it won't be too long before we can all see each other again.
3 Mason Rules!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Secret obsession

Okay, it's not that exciting, but I am just a little obsessed with reading the trivia on for movies I enjoy or have seen repeatedly. Do you do this? Where else can you find out that Prof. Umbridge's office carpet cost 50000 pounds to make? Or that in Lemony Snicket Emily Browning had to wear heels because Liam Aiken grew so much? Or that, in AVP, the ice cutter is named Piper Maru after an X-Files episode named after Gillian Anderson's daughter? All in one convenient location?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

ATHF + Baby Boom/Paternal Awesomeness

Gah! Even Master Shake suddenly had a child for a 12-minute episode! Why? WHY?
Steve, you almost got texted in desperation at 12:16 last night, to help me cope.

In other news, my Dad rulz.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I know, two posts in one day.
But I thought you deserved to know that I found my little reward for my poetry.
Trying to solve a big sewing problem yesterday, I went to two Joann Fabrics stores. Whilst wandering around the second with what I hope will solve the problem, as well as about a yard's worth of remnant peach shantung, I came across some Dupioni silk in a lovely, subtle shade of blush. It was, I believe, 19.99 a yard, which is completely extravagant for my standards, but I held the Golden Ticket: 50 % off coupon.
I was going to get a yard or two, and then I was trying to talk myself out of it, such was the expense, so I went to look at patterns--no pattern, no fabric would be the rule. But then I found this great skirt pattern, which included a drawstring skirt and listed shantung as a potential fabric, which is similar enough. I know, I know...drawstring with 20 bucks/yard, 100% Dupioni silk? But I thought it would look adorable and I got excited. Then, I couldn't find the pattern. I looked it up in the book again, and sure enough, I'd copied the number down incorrectly.
All this adds up to the obvious: I wanted the fabric.
And I bought 4.5 yards. Half-off. You do the math.


I'm a little shirty about this. In order to "assist BGSU employees with weight loss, smoking cessation and education on a variety of wellness topics" the HR department folks "have already begun planning an employee wellness day and other wellness-related events."
I'm sure that sounds very nice, but honestly I'd rather they just give me free entrance to the rec.
The rec's fee is probably lower than a standard gym (it's $110 per semester), but to be frank nothing turns me off healthy exercise more than paying for it (and, uh, sorry, parents, because I know dance wasn't cheap). Once, I wasted 80 bucks paying for a summer rec pass. I went, like, six times. If you pay per day ($5), that's 30 bucks. I guess if you're going to go swim often, it would be worth it, but I can't face that price.
This, I believe, is at the heart of the reason why I have been jogging outside in the summer, even though I don't really enjoy running all that much. So I thought, anyway.

Things may be changing--your little Avacious is, for the first time in her life, using an asthma inhaler.
As my nurse practitioner says, they're shrinking away from "exercise asthma" labels now because, if you are experiencing symptoms, then you have asthma, regardless of when it rears its head. For years, after exercise, I have often felt wheezy...not usually actually wheezing (well, maybe a little), but feeling that need in my chest. It wouldn't matter whether I was in what I'd consider good shape (dancing regularly) or not (jogging after a five-month break). I also get winded more quickly than I'd consider normal, even in peak condition. And of course, there's the allergies. I asked my NP, "Is there anything I can do, short of drugs?" She said no, but wrote me a scrip so I could "think about it." I didn't have to fill it, but I could if I wanted.
So I did.
This from the girl who thinks taking Advil requires a laborious decision-making process.
Yes, I went straight to the drugstore and got the inhaler. Then I tested it. On Monday last, pre-inhaler, I did my first run of the summer, stopped to talk to people twice, stopped to walk twice, and barely made it. On Friday, after the inhaler, I made it my whole route and didn't even feel like stopping once, and I even threw in an 85 percent sprint toward the end. My lungs outlasted my legs, which is unusual. Last night's run wasn't quite as successful, but I still made it without stopping, and my breath came back to normal pretty fast.

Could it be that what I thought was a questionable, occasional small problem was actually a very mild but persistent condition I didn't notice except when provoked by allergies, smoke, or running? Could it be that medicating said condition will greatly improve my lung capacity, since it will reduce labored breathing and give me a chance to "catch up"? Could it be that I actually enjoy running, just not breathing hard?
I don't know, but to be honest I'm a little excited about it.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cook's comes up with the goods

So, I've been meaning to make this rustic plum cake recipe from the most recent issue of Cook's Illustrated. A few weeks ago I made the blueberry scone recipe, and the scones tasted awesome, and I was ready to try the cake on the next page, only when I was at the grocer--no plums. But this week, plums in the house, and time to make plum cake, whether I had someplace to take it or not. Then, on the day I was going to make it, I got a call that a gathering of friends was taking place, so I knew fate was on my side.
The recipe isn't super-complicated, except that part of the flour is ground-up slivered almonds. And the plums have to be cooked in a delicious syrup beforehand (in which Frambois Lambic was substituted for brandy. Because then I get to finish the bottle of Lambic). I was a little concerned that my springform is 10 inches instead of the 9 required, and time was a bit short for cooling the cake.
But only half a piece was left after the first hour I was at the gathering.
I tasted it--it was pretty nice, and it went down great on a warm summer evening. I actually had honest-go-goodness requests to make it in future.
So, there you go. Plum cake and jello shots are my specialities now.
And, my Mom suggested I also try it with peaches.
Good on you, Cook's. Way to contribute to my repertoire.

On another note, I had a poem accepted by RHINO. Hooray! Am currently trying to come up with something small and celebratory for myself, as is my custom.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Point one: My niece is adorable. She is funny in particular when she is waking up and trying so hard to open her eyes. I think she is a genius, and she loves Raggedy Ann already at four weeks. She also loves the sound of water, sleeping in her sling, and eating. My sister and I took her shopping twice. The first day she slept in her sling pretty much the whole time, which made having a snack at Brewed Awakenings pretty easy. The second day she was cool with the yarn store, but not terribly keen on not eating while her Mama shopped in the bead store. When she is awake, she stares at your eyes with a little crinkle in her forehead like she's working you out. She smiles when you stroke her cheek. We can't figure out which parent she looks more like. She is a very long and strong baby, and she can already do a superman at the doctor's office. I miss her. She makes me smile, even when she frowns.
Point two: I had a pretty good drive to get out to Wisconsin.
Point three: The SS Badger, on a windy, high-swell day, made me so sick one of the crew took pity on me and made me lie down in one of the rooms. Yes, I couldn't find my Dramamine so could not take it beforehand, which may have made a difference. Yes, I am ashamed and embarrassed, and wondering what the heck happened, because I've only been mildly seasick twice in my whole life, Dramamine or not. Yes, before I lay down I'd been planning to stand on the freezing, windy deck for four hours because I felt 100 times worse down below. Yes, when I got warm blankets put on me I shivered uncontrollably for an hour and a half. Yes, my car had a better time than I did on the ferry. Yes, I feel terrible because I want to support the enterprise and the friendly staff, but I don't know if I could try that again. But don't let me stop you. Just be sensible and take some drugs.
Point four: I got to spend the night with my Granny in Crystal Valley, recovering, listening to the wind, taking a walk around the yard, picking some asparagus, and wriggling into the quiet, creaky barn through a loose board. It was very restorative.
Point five: I was able to be very helpful at dance recital; the stage manager and I have a neat synergy backstage, and she's so organized it makes my job of crisis control and dancer-guiding easy. Mr. Mark's theme this year was 007, and everything seemed unusually tight and entertaining. A cancan skirt went flying, but it's all fun.
Point six: I got to go read on the dock for a bit, like old times, getting sunburnt, but enjoying the peace and birdsounds of the lake.
Point seven: My Dad and I had an intense discussion about poetry scansion.
Point eight: My Mom and I conducted tutorials on the computer-photo-printer.
Point nine: I arrived back home to an almost-empty fridge and the desperate need to do laundry.
Point ten: Looking at a super sunny week. Hooray!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Avacious, where are you?

...carrying an angel
...hearing sweet little sighs
...sinking hands deep in piles of wool
...crossing a lake
...sneaking into a barn
...sending little spies onstage
...coming home soon

Friday, June 01, 2007

Good Haul

Yesterday I went shopping with my buddy Tessa, up to Franklin Park. We hit five of the most girlie stores (in order: Victoria's Secret, Windsor, Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, and Wet Seal), and tried things on in every one. I think we both bought things in every one, too. We returned home six hours after we left, each of us heavily laden with parcels. And you know what? No buyer's remorse. Not for me, anyway. I like everything I bought and am excited to wear everything. I forgot how fun it is to just marathon clothing shop with a girlfriend, and how it helps you make decisions. There is a dress I'm not absolutely positive about simply for occasion's sake, but Tessa really liked it, and if someone ever asks me out to dinner, I'll be good to go.
Items purchased by me include:
bras and undies (duh)
pair of VS Pink shorts
3 dresses
zip short-sleeve hoodie with strawberries
black blazer with scoop collar
jean skirt
t-shirt with birds
cotton black and white blouse
wooly hat that matches a scarf I have (3 dollars!)
pink t-shirt that says I Love the Queen (which I made the girl take off the mannequin!)
Pink jellies!
We also had pretzels!