Spring is coming

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by Mush in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

In which there is support.

After months of wearing the same bra to work every day, I finally bought another. Progress, people, progress! I also bought some fantastic bootleg yoga pants, a top to match, and half a dozen boxes of incense, but it’s really the bra that matters.

. .. … .. .
I bought LDBF a V-day gift but it hasn’t arrived. I expected it in time to wrap it and sign the card and ship it off so he could have it tomorrow, but no such luck. Damn you, winter weather!

. .. … .. .
Immediately after I told my band leader that was going to move away in a few months, he started phasing me out of the band.

He’s not offering me any new gigs, and he’s told me I’ll only be on stage for half the Kings’ set at the guitar festival this year.

I almost feel like I shouldn’t have bothered being responsible, and just quit without notice. At least that way I wouldn’t be sitting around for a quarter of a year just to do a half-hour gig.

Oh, well. Bands. What can you do.

. .. … .. .
Being in love is awesome.

Being in love with your best friend is seriously fucking awesome.

Being two thousand miles apart has its issues, of course, but with Facebook chat and cell phone texts it’s much better than any previous iteration of the epistolary romance.

And Skype makes it even more bearable. I can hear him when he rustles around in his kitchen making nachos. We sometimes sit in silence doing our own thing — me reading or knitting, he checking email or playing a game — with occasional snippets of conversation, and I can glance up and see him whenever I want.

I know he’s a boy because he watches MMA, but he also watches BBC period murder mysteries with me and enjoys them. Last night we watched a couple episodes of Murder, She Wrote together, at his suggestion. (How awesome is that?) He sits there in his living room, I sit in my bedroom, we agree on a show, and hit play. I can hear him laugh if something amuses him. It’s very much like actually being together.

I see him for a few minutes in the mornings before work, and we hang out most every evening until bedtime. We chat, we ignore each other, we can see each other nap sometimes. It’s an entire relationship! Only without the cuddling!

. .. … .. .
The weather broke and it’s sunny, breezy, and 51F today. I’m not wearing three layers of clothes!

I’m pretty sure winter will return at least once more before it’s officially spring here in the valley, but today? Is lovely.

. .. … .. .
I did my taxes last night. I made only seventeen grand last year, but I’m only getting a couple hundred bucks back!

I want a tax break for riding a bike. I want a tax break for not owning a car at all.

I don’t mind paying taxes, really, I just want MOAR REFUND PLS.

Winter

January 27th, 2014 | Posted by Mush in Weather - (0 Comments)

In which all I want to do lately is laze around doing not much of anything.

I spend the vast majority of my free time in my room, sitting on the floor. I read, I nap, I knit, I watch Netflix, and I chat with LDBF via Skype.

In the past week or so I’ve knit two hats, finished a scarf, read three or four novels, watched several movies and shows, hauled a bunch of Goodwill and/or eCycle-bound things to the basement, thrown a bunch of stuff away, and sucked down many bottles of wine.

I also cook pretty frequently. I go out to eat about once a week, which I think is a pretty acceptable rate.

Every morning I make coffee and a breakfast of varying cuteness haul them to work to enjoy at my desk:

And soup is still my bitch:

I’m not gigging much, which sucks at the end of each pay period when I realize how much difference that little bit of extra income can make, but it is nice to be able to stay inside when it’s freezing cold out and not have to be schlepping gear across parking lots.

I’m glad the days are slowly getting longer, but I’m still really very much looking forward to spring.

In which there’s a very long-form piece about love. (Originally posted here, but since I wrote it I decided I’d like a local copy and moved it. So here it is.)

A year ago, if you’d asked me if I’d ever been in love before, I would have said yes, of course. I mean, I’m a divorced grown-ass woman, aren’t I?

I’ve been in love a dozen times or more, haven’t I? I’ve had that wonderful flush at the beginning, and the horrible heartache and tears at the end, and the various shades of really good to merely okay to this-fucking-sucks in between. I’m an old hand at this shit. Been there, done that.

So much so that I weighed the pros, as I understood them, of being with someone versus the cons, and came to the only logical conclusion:

Fuck relationships.

(more…)

Sari yarn

December 31st, 2013 | Posted by Mush in Knitting - (2 Comments)

In which there’s silk!

I did the Bloggy Gift Exchange again this year and it was, of course, totally fun. I got to santa for a new mom who loves pink, and my own gift-giver was long-time friend VUBOQ, who spoiled me rotten. He sent me a fuzzy TARDIS throw and a handmade bowl/mug set that I love.

And yarn.

The yarn is made from recycled sari material and it’s beautiful to look at because of the vibrant colors. It’s also silk, so it’s not really the sort of fiber you want for scarves or hats or anything intended to keep you warm; it’s more of a cooling, slinky sort of fiber.

It’s also, well, what we knitters call clown puke. It’s fun to handle, fun to look at, fun to knit, but due to the uncontrolled colorway pretty much everything knit out of it looks like a clown puked all over it.

I spent two hours looking at FOs made from sari yarn: Pretty much universally ugly. Apparently this yarn is best for small things like mittens or gauntlets, or maybe a scarf knitted on large needles and worn against neutrals for a splash of color.

Because the yarn’s got such interesting hand I want to knit this stuff up sooooooo bad, but after swatching and looking at Pinterest pictures of completed projects, I don’t know what to make that won’t turn out fugly. I’m thinking fingerless gloves? Of course then I’ll end up with an entire unused skein… should I make a wrap or shawl instead? It’s really more of a spring/summer kind of fiber anyway…

Ugh. Thanks, Vuboq. Now I’m traumatized. ;-)

The weekend

December 23rd, 2013 | Posted by Mush in Life | Love & Marriage | Music - (2 Comments)

In which there is THE BEST OMELETTE OF ALL TIME. And I’m moving.

Saturday night, Coyote Kings and I along with Gary Winston & the Real Deal played at concert venue Main Street Studios here in Walla Walla.

The venue is pretty cool but it’s new enough that people don’t seem to know about it, so while the audience was appreciative it was very small. I think I made maybe thirty bucks for the night, which doesn’t even cover my bar tab. Oh, well.

After the show I went to Marcy’s with my friend Kimi. Much of the regular crew were there and it was like old times. We all sat around the fire table on the patio and hollered at one another. It was glorious.

As last call neared, Kimi informed me that she was no longer eligible for any kind of driving-type behavior, so I offered her lodging with me. We stumbled back to the house around one o’clock in the morning and hung out in my room hollerin’ (and drinkin’ sparkling wine that I’m sure we really didn’t need) until we passed out. (I offered her the front room like a decent hostess, but she chose a pile of blankets on my floor anyway. Gotta love yourself a low-maintenance woman!)

The next morning we walked back to town together in search of brunch. There was a wait at Maple Counter so we snuck into Marcy’s. This probably saved my life:

Eventually we got into the restaurant and this happened:

That lovely thing is a mushroom and Swiss omelette with mushroom bechamel. It was perfect. I loved every bite of it! The owner of the restaurant knows Kimi and came to our table (and recognized me!). She was incredibly gracious and nice.

I love this little town and I love the friends I’ve made here. Being able to bike or walk everywhere is wonderful. Being greeted and hugged by a dozen people when walking into the bar is gratifying and satisfying. Being a bit of a local celebrity is super fun.

I’m really going to miss it here after I move to Minneapolis next year. Yup, I’ve decided I’m gonna quit living in an attic and go shack up with the LDBF. He’s my best friend, my partner, and the only man who has ever waltzed with me in the kitchen. Plus the job market there is amazing. (The weather sucks, but after 15-plus years in Iowa I know I can adapt.)

I don’t have an actual date set yet, but am looking at probably somewhere between late March and May. I’m not really excited about going through all my crap and the multiple trips to Goodwill to donate things I haven’t used in six years, but I am excited about arriving there and enjoying city living again for the first time in years. And being with a fantastic human being. And Indian and falafel joints. And a real job market.

Anyway, the news is that I’m moving to the Midwest. Again. (Heh.) I guess I should probably tell my grandmother about this.

Vacation

December 6th, 2013 | Posted by Mush in Love - (0 Comments)

In which there’s lots and lots of relaxation.

Doing basically nothing for a whole entire week is AWESOME.

Happiness

Sleeping in, cooking, eating, cuddling, movie dates, bottles of wine, cuddling. Yaaaap: you’re jelly.

Sunday

November 17th, 2013 | Posted by Mush in Blurbs - (0 Comments)

In which I am the epitome of non-productivity.

Had a pick-up gig last night; apparently someone in Junkyard Jane was sick so we did their Ice Harbor Brewery show for them at the last minute. Great crowd, nice vibe. Free dinner!

Here’s Rob, me, Luther, and Kit:

Coyote Kings w/Mush

Today I’m a bit hung over. I don’t intend to accomplish much. I’d wanted to bake something — egg muffins or a fritatta — to make breakfasts easier this week, but I don’t know if I’ll get to it. I’m feelin’ pretty severely lazy. I’ve cooked breakfast and I’ve boiled water for tea, but that’s it.

Tea

I’m listening to the Gita and surfing amazon.com for samovars.

The LDBF is currently at the Mall of America with his mom, who is visiting for the weekend. I never expect to hear from him again. Malls. Heh.

In the near future I’m going to make myself another cup of tea and watch an old Depp movie on my tablet while sprawled lazily in my unmade bed.

Basically the only thing I care about lately is VACATION IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!!!1! Cannot wait to smooch on that LDBF again. Also looking forward to traveling and getting out of town and seeing new stuff and all that, but mostly the smooching.

In which you gain insight into The Relationship with LDBF. Or not. I have no idea.

So this happened via SMS:

LDBF: Had a crazy dream with u in it
me: Did we have adventures?!
LDBF: Yes, kinda… at one point, you were eating raw butter, at another u were an electronic device the size of a pen
me: Both of those things are AWESOME! Ur subconscious knows me well
LDBF: Wanna keep you in my pocket and feed u dairy
me: Yay! Also maybe what you want is a pet rather than a woman
LDBF: dogs don’t give great blowjobs

In which I bitch about the ‘improvements’ we’re seeing on sites net-wide, because they’re not making things work better, they’re just fads of style.

The Internet is now being built by people so young they have never lived in a world without it. They’ve been online all their lives and probably started coding as tweens. They barely remember the elegance of plain old HTML; the ‘net has always been client-side apps stuffed into browsers to them.

Now they’ve got jobs designing the resources many of us use on a daily if not hourly basis. Every so often they decide to redesign and modernize whatever property they work on (because WE HAVE TO FIX IT even if IT AIN’T BROKEN). Then you get shit like the new improved Flickr, a site I have loved and used for years, which basically no longer works and, to add insult to injury, is just plain ugly. Same with the last Twitter update, and the redesigns of basically every large web property ever. Some old guy retires, the new guy says LET’S BRING THIS SHIT INTO THE FUTURE, and then it’s a bloated abortion of a service that has so much crap buried in each page you can’t even load the site on half your devices.

The following things have become pretty much standard on all sites and yet they all suck and they all piss me off:

  • Continuous scroll – Fuck this. Pagination is better. Eternal scroll just fucking hammers resources, isn’t cool, breaks paging Back, accomplishes nothing in any case ever except for long reads of Tumblr accounts WHICH NEVER HAPPENS EVER, and the fact that everyone is doing it does not reduce the fact that it fucking sucks.
  • Pages that won’t stop loading when you click Stop – LISTEN, I DONT WANT TO WAIT FOR ALL THAT SHIT TO LOAD. I ONLY WANT TO SEE WHAT’S BENEATH THE FOLD FOR LIKE FIVE FUCKING SECONDS. I AM NOT GOING TO LOOK AT ANY OF THE SHIT YOU’RE STUFFING INTO MY BROWSER RIGHT NOW, ASSHOLES.
  • Putting the content I want under the fold – Fuck you. Fuck your ad revenue. Fuck your layout. I followed a link here to see your CONTENT, and all you’re doing for the first 32 seconds of my visit is hiding that from me and showing me a bunch of crap.
  • Non-local authentication only – Fuck you, I do NOT want to link my Google, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts to your stupid recipe site. That information is none of your goddamned business.
  • Endless push notifications as default – Listen, I don’t give a fuck that 20 friends are chatting on Facebook. Your stupid apps BLEW THE FUCK UP, ON EVERY DEVICE I HAVE when that chat started. Jesus.
  • Video – Listen, embedding video on a landing page is fucking AWFUL. You’re wasting my time and I DON’T WANT TO SEE IT, NO MATTER WHAT IT IS. I CAME HERE FOR SOMETHING ELSE, AND YOU’RE FORCING A FUCKING VIDEO AT ME? It’s because of assholes like you that I have to leave my speakers turned off at work.
  • Meaningless pages requiring redundant clicks – I’m looking at you, Pinterest, Yummly: I clicked on something and I want to SEE IT. So fucking take me there! I DO NOT want to click through your stupid interim page that does nothing at all but require me to CLICK AGAIN to go where you already know I want to go. FUCK your ad revenue; you’re wasting my time and resources and pissing me off and that’s why I quit using your sites.
  • Sites so unusable in a browser you can basically only interact with their content through mobile apps – The Flickr and Facebook mobile apps beat the actual websites hands-down. Unfortunately the apps aren’t available on all my devices, which pisses me off. (I want Flickr for Kindle Fire, goddamn it.)
  • Sites that simply don’t work at all if you have AdBlock enabled – LOOOOL YOUR CODE SUCKS, SON.
  • The need for AdBlock in the first place – Dude, I get you need to monetize. I honestly don’t mind ads on web properties; it’s when you slam them down my throat and hide your real content so coyly that I give up on it altogether that I think you’re a fucking jerk.

I love having so much information available at all times. I love the ubiquity of bandwidth these days. I love my phone and my worstations and my tablet. What irritates me is time-wasting bad design and the endless reinventions of wheels that already worked.

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9″

October 10th, 2013 | Posted by Mush in Gadgets - (0 Comments)

In which I review my newest device, even though it’s already obsolete.

A couple of weeks ago I spontaneously bought a fourth Kindle — a tablet upgrade. My previous Kindle Fire worked fine and I didn’t need a new one. I knew they were probably going to announce a new model soon anyway. (Which they did. The very next day.) Pretty much the worst time to upgrade, really.

Luckily I found Amazon Warehouse Deals, which is the interface through which Amazon sells damaged, refurbished, and/or remaindered stuff, so I got the 8.9″ HD for less than a new 7″ HD.

amazon-kindle-fire-hd-8.9

The device is pretty awesome. The screen is great and the on-board speakers really are as remarkable as the reviews say. The device is thin and elegant. The opsys is stable. There’s a shitload of great content, especially if you have Amazon Prime.

But I hate the location of the hardware buttons. The power switch is right next to the volume rocker switch and it infuriates me to find myself pushing things multiple times just to get the device to turn on or off. The ports and buttons are horribly laid out: in order to charge the device while watching video (which you absolutely have to because the thing is a battery drain) you have to turn the device upside down. Of course the screen reorients, but then the buttons are on the opposite side… basically every time I pick the thing up I have to search for the on/off switch.

Ultimately my inability to memorize button layout is my own fault, but it drives me nuts.

The device I bought was returned or refurbished — the description wasn’t terribly clear — but it arrived in factory packaging and looked brand new save a few tiny cosmetic scratches I didn’t even notice until I’d had the thing for several hours. I love those little scratches because they knocked over a hundred bucks off the prices of the device!

I still use my older Kindle device, the Kindle Keyboard, for real reading, though. While the Fire HD is an excellent media consumption device — great for everything from email to social media and HD movies — it’s not half as comfortable for reading. The Kindle Keyboard isn’t backlit, is half the size of the Fire HD 8.9″, and is wholly superior for sucking down long-form works of text. With its nearly infinite battery power and the leather case complete with built-in reading light it’s an ideal reading device. (I would upgrade to the Paperwhite except I dropped a lot of money on that leather case and am not ready to make it obsolete quite yet. Also the thing is still receiving software updates and works just fine.) The Kindle Fire models are adequate for reading, but the size, weight, battery drain, and lit screen are all non-trivial issues by comparison.

Anyway, I gave the Fire 7″ to my brother. He immediately rooted it. I probably would have kept it and done the same myself — sometimes you really want access to the Google market — but I tend toward generosity when wine drunk and excited about new electronic devices.

I’ve ordered a Bluetooth keyboard to use with the thing. I don’t really need it, but it will make using the device for emails and blogging while traveling much more comfortable.

Update: It’s the last day of the year and I LOVE this tablet. Use the shit out of it. Still hate the button locations, but otherwise it’s a great device.