29 September 2013

Sunday's Stream of Conciousness

My apartment isn't airtight.
It was built before they did that kind of thing, and it's a little ramshackle, so when the wind blows outside like it's doing now--it whistles. I'm not sure if it whistles through the window frames or the walls or both or neither, but it doesn't really matter.

Is it weird that it's comforting?

The temperature is chilly with autumn air, the leaves are beginning to turn colors outside, I should be doing laundry or making a grocery list or attempting to clean the mass of wood chips and sawdust off my carpet or organizing my kitchen cabinets. Instead I'm on my fourth cup of tea, eating toast and puttering about on the internet.

I like to think about a lot of things. Like if I should start using British spelling instead of American; I like it better, even with the extra letters, but it seems . . . unpatriotic, perhaps? I don't know. The brits have a lot of things going that I like, tea and full breakfasts and good television shows and marriage equality and funny cars, but they also have a monarchy just for tradition's sake and a national religion and bad dental care and bloody awful weather. And maybe the state of their country is completely irrelevant to which spelling is preferable in mine.

I need to make soup today. Soup and vinegar pickles, because I've acquired a mass of garden-fresh cucumbers that aren't going to preserve themselves.

I have about seventy million tabs open in firefox right now, and I don't even remember why I opened half of them.

11 September 2013

The most boring day-in-the-life post ever!

 7:30. Wake up. 


The view from the bed could be a lot worse. At least it's colorful.
  
 

Bed. And bed made, whoo! Successful day so far, I think. Yes indeed.






Rain outside kitchen window. It's sixty-five degrees outside (and therefore inside, because of all the open windows), which is colder than this apartment has ever been in the three months I've lived here. It's pretty though, and smells nice, which makes up for having to wear socks. It's been raining a lot lately, which is pretty cool and lets me pretend I live in a place that has four seasons instead of two.
7:45. Finish the dishes that didn't get done yesterday.
Savor clean(er) kitchen. Make coffee.




Life pro tip: when your coffee tastes weird because it's been sitting in the back of your fridge for two months soaking up only-god-knows-what, put a bag of chai in it. It is now fancy and gourmet, and also non weird-tasting. Tada!
 8:30. Make breakfast.
Biscuits.

Bacon.










The reason to cook your bacon at a lower temperature for a long time, instead of a higher temperature for a short time, is because it will express more of the fat that way. There are several reasons you want your finished bacons to have less fat:
     1. They will be extra crispy and delicious!
     2. Heart disease sucks.
     3. Less grease in your bacon means more
         grease in your bacon-grease cup, which you can cook with and will
              a. make everything taste just a teensy bit like bacon, which is awesome (especially pancakes), and
              b. save you money.
Eggs.

And you should always cook your eggs post-bacon so that they'll be warm when you eat and also have little bacon crunchies in them. Yay!
Delicious. It's blurry because a breakfast this great refuses to be photographed. The paparazzi had to work hard for this shot.

9:00. Eat breakfast while reading the news.

Today is the twelfth anniversary of 9/11, so the news is really sad. Other highlights include the president's speech about Syria (my opinion: Dude, nobody wants to go to war--again--right now. We've already got more wars than we know what to do with. I get that we're trying to protect oil interests in the Middle East and whatnot, but we've basically lost all our chances for that and we should just get the hell out of there before we accidentally start WW3. Okay? Okay.), more blather about the Utah Attorney General probe investigation, and something about sexting. Seriously, why is sexting always on the news? We get it, people send each other pictures of their junk. The NSA probably knows what 60% of the populations' genitals look like. Don't like it? Don't put your junk on the grid. Problem solved.


No seriously. Flatten the cans. You'll thank me later.

9:30. Put leftovers in the fridge. Squish the recyclable things so that they take up less room in the recycling bag and I don't have to take them out all the time.





10:00. (Re)Organize canned goods. Yes, even though I just did this last night.

I know what you're thinking. Damn, that's a lot of canned beans, girl. But you can never have too many cans of beans. Hey, Apocolypse--come at me, bro. I'm ready for ya.

10:30. Bathe. 

After bathing, notice how dirty the bathroom is. Damn it. Clean the bathroom. It doesn't look any less creepy, but at least it's sanitary now. Or it smells like chemicals, anyway, which is practically the same thing. Bleh.

11:00. Make tea. 

Just herbal this time, because I don't need any more caffeine. Not yet, anyway. There are no pictures here because I misplaced the camera for about two hours. No big.


12:00. Make tomorrow's lunch.

Ground beef + mac and cheese + frozen peas + pepper + tabasco + chili powder + more tabasco = chili mac with peas! Put it into two containers because it's not only tomorrow's lunch, it's also dinner tonight after work.


12:45. Make today's lunch.

No idea what today's lunch is, but it needs to be cooked right now. Starting with sauteing onions, because why not? Add some garlic, because I put garlic in almost everything and it's sure to be necessary.



Chop up carrots, cook those.

Find a whole bunch of forgotten celery in the fridge. Looks like the next few days are going to be celery-y, might was well start now. Chop that up too. Cook with the carrots.
Start to panic because things are actually happening in that pan and still no idea what lunch is. What has onions and carrots and celery? Cajun food? No cayenne (blasphemy, I know). French food? I don't know anything about french food. Just winging it here now. Add white wine. Good idea? Doesn't matter any more. Rosemary, 'cause it can't get any weirder now. Rice? Out of rice, plus don't really need any more starch today. Canned green beans? Sure. Rinse to trick brain into thinking the extra sodium is washed out. Half can? Don't even really like green beans, not going to find another thing to put them in. Full can. Huh. So this is lunch. Okay.

13:15. Eat lunch.

Blessedly, it doesn't taste like green beans. It taste's mostly like celery and onions, which is a success. Pats on the back all round, today's adventure was a success.







For your intermittent listening pleasure: 

Noah - 'Sexy and I Know It'    


The Mountain Goats - 'No Children'



13:50. Dishes again.

Repeat after me: You'll be happier when you come home to a clean kitchen. You don't have time to do dishes tomorrow. Don't make that face. Fuck you too. 

Okay, fine.

Sure, you can listen to Nirvana really loudly. It's the middle of the day, your neighbors aren't going to care. Have fun.

14:30. Get ready for work. 

No.

14:45. Leave.

10 September 2013

No Title

By raise of hands, how many of you started out your day by making cinnamon rolls whilst (you like that? whilst? yeah...) listening to a podcast about collectivist sudo-matriarchal polyamorous societies in hunter-gatherer evolution?

This gal!

The best part about morning now that I've cut all my hair off is that when I wake up I look like this:
Part Wolverine, part lion. Rawr!

Today is not just make-delicious-food day, it's also housecleaning day. Housecleaning day basically involves me wandering around with a grocery sack and a broom, loudly muttering How did this get on the floor? I'm only one person, why is this place always such a mess? I've got to find a better spot for this. Why does my kitchen have white tile--nobody can keep white tile looking clean. with various goddammits and ow!s.

But when today's to-do list includes such things as sharpen chisel and price check leather and find glass paint and date all canned goods, you can see why regular old housecleaning is a nice thing too.

This is what my table looks like right now. I never said my life was glamorous, but if I had this would disprove it.

A few things I'm glad about today:
-I'm glad that I haven't refinished my table yet, so that I can use it as a cutting board.
-I'm glad I'm single and live alone so that nobody else is around to have to put up with me when I
  refuse to bathe until I'm about to leave the apartment.
-Similarly, I'm glad that I can belt out 'Bad Company' in the wrong key as loud as I'd like without repercussion.
          I was born, sixgun in my hand
          Behind a gun I make my final stand
          It's why they call me bad company
          And I can't deny bad company 
          Until the day I die
-

Here's some of the music I've been listening to lately:

Cake - 'Italian Leather Sofa'


We can blame this song on a friend of mine, who listens to this cd endlessly in the car and forced me to accidentally memorize the lyrics. Now we can sing it together and add harmonies and all that jazz, but still... blame this one on him.


Bob Seger - 'Turn the Page'



The Beatles - 'Twist and Shout'

 
I can never listen to this song without being completely in awe of John Lennon's voice. That kind of passion, where you can hear how raw and stripped his vocal cords are but he keeps on singing anyway, is why people invented rock and roll.


Bye!

12 August 2013

where do we go from here?



I promise that listening to the "Once More, With Feeling" soundtrack is not the only thing I've done since graduation.

I promise.

But I do have the whole episode almost memorized word-for-word now. Maybe it's a good thing I never see my neighbors.


So much angst I can't stand it!

{Yes, I will make the argument that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the best television show ever produced. It has no comparison. There is no competition.}

"It's getting eery, what's this cheery singing all about?"
I'm a college graduate now. Is it weird that the only thing I'm going to miss about my collegiate experience is being able to use the Adobe Creative Suite for free? I mean, Photoshop and InDesign are really, really cool.

Okay, I'll probably miss the free public transportation too.

~

I don't know where to go from here. I spent so long with graduation, graduation, graduation as my goal that now that I've checked that box I'm not sure what to do with myself.

I didn't plan this far ahead.

There are things I want to do, sure. There are things I feel driven to accomplish. But my life right now is better defined by what I don't want.

I don't want to still be unmarried and childless at 30. Don't give me that 'your twenties are to experience the world' bullshit, 30 is too old to start having babies. Have 'em while you're young enough that you can still fool yourself into thinking you can keep up with them.

I don't want to lose myself in the system of the daily grind. One of the main arguments against capitalism in Marxist theory is that the constant demands of feeding and clothing and providing for oneself and one's family in a system rigged against the individual allows 'the system' to flourish without express consent or legitimate consideration of the oppressed. While I want to work in a field I love and provide a decent living for those babies I should start having before 30, I don't want to let that eclipse what's really important--people. Partner, children, friends, tradition and honor and family.

I don't want to be trapped in the Matrix. There's something horribly, fundamentally wrong with the world, and it's going to hell in a hand-basket. Have you seen the news lately?
  • Apparently the 4th amendment doesn't mean anything anymore, and when a man blows the whistle on unconstitutional warrentless searches of the information of his fellow Americans, he's called a traitor and forced to flee the country.
  • A man can get away with murdering an unarmed teenage boy because, obviously, that young man shouldn't have been out on a public road in the town where he lives walking to and from buying candy. Oh, wait he was wearing a hoodie? That makes killing him okay, because we all know hoodies are endowed with super scary demons that possess the wearers and make them gangbangers and drugrunners and pimps and the devil all rolled up into one. No, that doesn't sound right? Not a race issue my ass.
  • When crazy people be crazy and shoot other people, apparently now that makes it okay to ban the rest of us from owning guns. I have said before and I will say again, forever and ever; crazy be crazy, not crazy be not crazy--if they want to kill a bunch a people they'll find away to do it whether or not they have easy access to high-power firearms. But the plus side to being not crazy should be that no one gets to tell you what you can and can't own.
  • And yesterday, there was a giant sinkhole in Florida. The world is literally falling apart.
Is it weird that I don't want to be on the front lines of that?

So what do I want?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record--

I just want to find a nice girl and marry her and have a bunch of babies and go off and live in the forest in a little house with maybe some chickens and goats. We'll come out once or twice a month to make sure the world hasn't actually ended. And you're welcome to come with us.

I realize this is a very strange life goal that will probably need to be edited and revised many times in the future, but it's all I've got right now.

So, with the awful beginning going-to-college-becoming-an-adult part of my life behind me, where do I go from here?


Where do we go from here?
Where do we go from here?
The battle's done, and we kind of won,
So we sound our victory cheer.
Where do we go from here?

31 July 2013

S'up?

So, today was my last day of class. As of 11:59 PM Friday, I will no longer be a college student.


 
That is all, and I promise I'll be back with a real post soon.

Love,
Irene

07 July 2013

24 June 2013

Guys, I went camping!

And it was glorious! There were only three of us, out in the wilderness by ourselves from Friday night to Sunday afternoon.

Things were getting so bad that when my grandmother heard that I'd taken a day off from work to do something she said, "Good job."

I hadn't asked for a day off from work since, like, September or something.

Now I am sunburned and a little bruised and I apparently inhaled the entire campfire because I'm strangely coughing up ashes (it's a little concerning, I know, but I'll recover), and I'm feeling a little weird because a friend accidentally saw me peeing (it was bonding! right? right? please god let it be bonding . . . ) because we were in the desert with no decent privacy, but I'm also very very happy!

Good camping.

I don't have pictures because I'm not cool enough to think about bringing a camera places. But if I get pictures of the weekend from the lovely lady who did bring a camera, maybe I'll post them.

But I do have this picture of today:


Also happening recently: Basically living in two places at the same time, painting much of my new apartment (many thanks to those who helped), being halfway through my final semester of school, and finding out that while I do not participate in Facebook there is a picture uploaded for the masses there that consists solely of my boobs. Clothed, blessedly, but very clearly breast-like. I saw it and I was like, "wut?" and she was like, "heh." And then I rolled my eyes. So there's that: my boobs are on the internet.

And with that, I'm out. I've got to hack the rest of the fire babies out of my lungs before I go to work and actually need to speak intelligibly without croaking.

Much love, 
Irene

P.S. Do you want to see my home? This is a video I forgot I made last Wednesday whilst my brother was in town, and it contains the sneak peaks of what will shortly be a lovely abode.

video

I'm sorry if this video induces vertigo. I can't really watch it either.

12 June 2013

Creation, part two: glue and gravy are the same thing, but no one tells you that.

Part One - I spent over a year figuring this out. It's where I've been.

I like to make stuff.

I like to be around things knowing I'm the reason they exist. I like to take something from raw materials to finished product.

When you make something yourself, it becomes more real:
  •  Food is lovely all the time, but that meal means more if you cook it from scratch than if you buy it at the store and later pull it out of the freezer and microwave it.
  • Tomatoes are delicious, but that tomato is even more awesome if you just picked it from a tomato plant in your garden.
  • Music is beautiful, but music that you make at home on your own piano or guitar or set of kitchen pots is even more beautiful.
You know what I'm talking about. Even if what you created is less ascetically pleasing than other options, even if it is sub par; not as tasty, kind of wonky, burnt on the bottom, slightly out of rhythm; it's better. It's yours. It's a creation that is authentic to you and your place in life.

I've been lucky enough to find a group of people who feel largely the same way. Creators, artists, artisans. People who like to work with their hands and with their minds to make things happen. In the past year I've learned a lot on accident; shading is for the low points of something, highlighting for the high points, I have the color wheel memorized now, and I can tell you far more about purfling and f-holes and rib structures than I ever thought I'd want to know.

It's nice to have friends who'll listen to you talk about leather grain and binding techniques without rolling their eyes, and who will huddle with you in whispered plans about how if we could only find a way to realistically afford copper tubing we could make the most badass moonshine still, and we should merge our cult of happiness and cult of niceness and be kind of like the fight club.

I've learned a lot on purpose too, and through my discussions and experiences and studies I've learned one overarching thing: quality.

When things are cheaply mass produced, they're put together as efficiently as possible. Metal and plastic are melted, colored, molded, painted, permanently affixed to each other with chemical bonders that even once they soon break and become useless last forever.

Quality things don't last forever. Quality is made from real ingredients, metal, wood, stone, glass, vegetation, that are constructed well enough that they'll keep together in working order for a really long goddamn time. And when they die, you can fix them. Because their parts are made from things that don't run out. And when you don't want to fix them any more, they'll return to the raw materials from which they were made.

I've learned that artisan violin makers use hide glue on their wood. It's made from animal pieces, and it smells really weird. It's water soluble. If they mess up they can wash off the glue and try again. When the violin is done being a violin, it can return peacefully to the earth without leaving a footprint. Artisan book binders use flour paste. If they make a mistake they can wash the glue off the pages, reglue them, re-press them. If a binding breaks, it can be redone. When the book is done being a book, it biodegrades. Because everything in it comes from a plant or an animal.

Quality doesn't leave a footprint. Quality is sustainable, renewable, lasts a long time and is all-natural.

But quality costs. It costs a lot of love. And when you try to exchange love for money, quality gets confusing.

To be continued . . .

Irene

10 June 2013

Oh Hey There

I'm moving.

Not very far. Just a few blocks, actually. It's a lovely old rundown place with stained carpet and uneven floors. It has a wonky curvy hallway to get from the door to the living space. If I stand on my fire escape I can touch the old Lutheran church next door. It has a miniature oven. It has glass french doors into what I'm going to make a library. And if anyone wants to come visit me in a few weeks once I've cleaned and painted and unpacked (or wants to help me clean and paint and unpack), I'll make you food. I'm really good at pancakes and anything with potatoes or beans or chicken, but I do take special requests.

Email me if you want my address for visiting or mailing or stalking or general addressbook know-how, k?

K.

Love you all, even the ones I haven't talked to in awhile (I'm sorry I haven't returned emails).

Irene