In which there’s been lots of consumerism.

So. Much. Buying. Stuff.

We’ve purchased the following things: a dish drainer, Pyrex casserole dishes, an immersion blender, a bicycle, many groceries, a big scented candle, a bike lock, a nightlight, a tiny bungee cord and a bike basket, a box of 25 different kinds of incense, a short coax cable, a small shelving unit for the bathroom and a can of spray paint, herb seeds, a rotary egg beater, and a cell phone.

We’ve been to three different grocery stores, an Indian shop, a junk store, Target, two Walmarts, Menard’s, a bike shop, and a Super America.

The kitchen cabinets have gone from more than half empty to stuffed. The linen and front closets are much less empty than they were. I’m using cardboard boxes in the bedroom for a dresser. I’m about 65% unpacked, with nine boxes remaining to deal with.

I’ve done tons of cooking and currently my fridge is full of leftovers!

I’ve had an interview, talked to a recruiter, and registered at three temp agencies. I think I applied for a dozen jobs last week.

Once the bike shop is done with the Raleigh, I’ll be more mobile and will be able to get the store and back in less than an hour. All I need now is a job! And for it to stop raining.

Life is good!

In which I don’t quite believe what I’ve done.

We bought the plane ticket six weeks ago, because without a set date I knew I’d never get anything done. But I met my goal admirably, even down to guessing correctly how many boxes it would take. (Twenty. Slightly under four hundred pounds.) The goal was to ship five boxes every Friday, which happened twice, but the final half got shipped a couple of days apart during my last few days in Walla Walla.


My flight left at two on Wednesday, so I got up, ate, finished packing, dusted and vacuumed. Off to the airport at a quarter to one.

Had a two-and-a-half hour layover in Seattle, but I needed it because my discount ticket didn’t include baggage transfer. So I had to get off the plane, exit to baggage claim, retrieve my suitcase and take it to the Sun Country counter, check it AGAIN (and pay another goddamned $25 bag fee), and then re-enter through TSA.

It was stupid and cost fifty bucks. But this helped:

And so did the one after it.

Then I flew to MSP and the cutest boy in the world was there to pick me up and drive me home in, well, this:

Thursday we spent lying around and cuddling, then we went out for Mexican food and a trip to Target for kitchen implements. They didn’t have rotary egg beaters, but I did finally get a dish drainer! (I bugged him about not having one constantly when I was here in December.)

Friday, he had to go to work, so I spent the day cleaning and organizing and unpacking and in general settling in. I have my own kitchen for the first time in eight or nine years, so I put the pots and pans exactly where I wanted to. It was awesome! The poor man can’t find a thing, but that’s his problem.

This — plus four more boxes, not yet arrived — is all I have left to unpack:

We’re going to need some shelves. And a dresser. And possibly more shelves.

In which it’s the time of year known as ‘omfg i HATE the dread!!!’.

About once a year or so, usually around this time, give or take a few weeks, my panic and anxiety gets really rough and I get so incredibly miserable I finally consider going into the family clinic and begging for enough pills to get my crazy ass back on an even keel.

I never do it, though, because all the bullshit goes back into remission right after I consider saying uncle, and then I pretty much forget about it until the next year. I mean, I’ll have an occasional isolated day of The Dread here and there, but nothing I feel compelled to medicate. And, to be completely honest, one of the ‘features’ of my little condition is that it makes me utterly paranoid of pills even though my mind knows perfectly well that meds are cleaner, safer, and better-regulated than all the street drugs I did back in the day.

Yes, my anxiety has made me afraid of pills. Fucking fuck.

Anyway, so this is historically the worst month of the year for panic and anxiety and I’ve been having attacks of varying degrees of fucking awful pretty much daily for a month or so. On top of that, I just naturally happened to choose this month to move two thousand miles, so there’s an added level of disassociation and stress.

This is not the normal kind of move, where you put your shit into your car and escort it yourself by driving it to your new home. This is a move where I’m putting my things into the care of UPS and hoping they’ll deliver my life semi-intact to my new apartment.

My new apartment which just happens to be a security building, so the stuff can’t even be delivered. LDBF will have to go pick it all up somewhere.

So it’s panic season, plus moving with its attendant stress of quitting of jobs and bands. There’s also the pre-menopausal acne, which is insult to injury, and on top of all that I woke up this morning with what I think is a stye in my right eye. And I got fat this winter, eating all the white things I know better than to eat. (Sometimes, you just want to order a fucking pizza. (Where “sometimes” equals “like once a week or so.”))

Seriously. I’m, like, the least pretty girl on the planet. Which causes LDBF to tell me I’m the prettiest girl on the planet about every twenty minutes or so. He’s amazing about The Dread, too, listening carefully and saying wonderful safe supportive things and threatening to hug me for a whole month.

There’s been a lot of other support, too, for all my bitching, which I think is in part keeping me from having a total meltdown. Someone I don’t even really know has offered to drop moving boxes off at the house this weekend; the sun is shining; my newsroom co-workers are going out for a beer with me the Friday after next; my brother has a truck for getting boxes to UPS. I’ll get through it, but mostly I’d rather curl up in bed than pack boxes or haul crap to the growing Goodwill pile in the basement.

Honestly, I just want to be moved, past tense. Moving sucks. And on that note, I’m going to figure out how to pack my file box, once I remove the things too important to ship such as my passport and father’s POA paperwork. Ciao.

In which there are Mason, Kerr, and Ball jars.

I like jars. You can get a bunch of them for like twelve bucks, and use them for pretty much everything from juice glass to food storage to coffee brewing. They’re probably less awesome in kitchens with stone floors, but in general if you don’t drop them they’re lovely.

And now for some pictures of things in jars.

Portable breakfast in a jar:

Coffee brewing in a jar:

A sewing kit in a jar:

(Although, if you make one, do use a wide-mouthed jar, as this one requires you to pour all of the contents out in order to get a single item.)

More breakfast in a jar:

A jar transformed into a sippy cup:

And old jelly jar made into a soy wax candle, with an even smaller jar with sand paper glued to the lid holding matches:

My grandmother’s basement is full of old jars. It’s handy as heck.

. .. … .. .

I’ve decided not to buy plastic containers if I can help it, especially not single-use items. So much comes from the store in a reusable plastic container with a lid — Kalamata olives, cottage cheese, etc — that you really don’t need to buy storage containers.

It’s so weird to me that we throw those things out daily and then go buy GladWare, a product with lids that don’t even fit.

I have no idea why Mason jars are suddenly all the rage, but I feel it must have something to do with people’s reactions to the expensive, resource-depleting absurdity that is bottled water.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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