Wednesday, December 31, 2008

3 ... 2 ... 1

*hA*Pp*y N*Ew ye*A*r!*

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

food + work + feline

You all really did tickle (and inform) me on the lizard post. I'm thinking of a plan of action.

I am so happy because tomorrow is the last day of 2008, which means my last day to post for the blogging 365 project. Yay! It's been a lot of fun, but it's also had its downside, like not having space to write the kind of ponderous essays I like to post sometimes. Also, not being able to respond personally to comments like I was doing earlier in the year. I haven't had the time to post every day and write and respond the way I want to. To top it off, now that I make my living on the Internet, I try to cut back on extracurricular activities so I'm not online all day every day. And, man, I can talk about a whole lotta me, but some days I've felt like enough already.

I am looking forward to not posting every day, but that doesn't mean I won't be posting often. I will, and hopefully I'll raise the bar. At least a little.

And now, speaking of me (har har), here's my turkey chili with a cat walking past.

At first I declared it the worst chili I've ever made, and it was, but I've doctored it to the the point of very tasty. (It needed sugar and more seasoning.) I like my chili with a couple cubes of cheddar cheese (down under) and a dollop of sour cream. Maybe some scallions, which I have, but was too hungry to chop. Oyster crackers are good, too. So's a Reed's Extra Ginger Brew chaser.

If you prefer, with cat butt.

This was today's meal while I was doing my final grades for the quarter (the chili and ginger beer, not the cat butt). It used to be a pretty straightforward process, but Mira makes it -- and everything else -- interesting. She loves red pencils more than any teacher I know.

Monday, December 29, 2008

there's nothing like...

seeing a lizard to make you pick up after yourself to eliminate secret hiding places.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


You guys crack me up.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

freak-out in texas

Oh. My. God.

I know it's the South. I know it's got its share of "wildlife" due to its sub-tropical climate. I know there are flying roaches. I know the mosquitoes suck blood all year 'round. But nobody said anything about the lizards. LIZARDS!


I never even knew I was afraid of the things until I moved here. Today marked the second time I was inside the house minding my own business when I spotted one. The first time I was at S's place in the Heights. (So notice we're talking two different houses.) I'd been there maybe a few weeks. I glanced up at the wall, and there it was, still as night, near the ceiling. I called Schmin, screaming, and he said I had no choice but to trap it and throw it outside. I couldn't do it, and by the time I got back into the room from cowering in the kitchen, it was gone. The last time I saw it, it was hanging out behind Mira's litter box. I did not want that cat to catch it, because it would've been carnage. Luckily, S's boyfriend was over, and she had him get it. He's from the country, she said. He can handle these things. He did. Just picked the thing up barehanded and took it outside. I told S she should marry that guy, ASAP.

These lizards are small, like 3 inches plus that scary little sharp pointy tail, specifically designed to poke out your corneas. I can confirm this because when I went to raise the blinds on one of the windows in the living room this morning, there was this:

I hollered like a beeatch, ripped down the blinds with the flailing of my arms, called Bubs, couldn't get him, then called Schmin, who told me I'm going to have to find a way to make peace with the lizards instead of waking him up crying and screaming at 8am Pacific time. I made him stay on the phone while I tried to sweep the thing out the window. It was an experience worse than childbirth. The lizard kept hopping all around the panes, sticking to them, jumping on the broom and back on the panes. I thought I'd finally gotten it out, then I saw that it had fallen inside a box that was sitting under the window. I closed it, ran outside, and dumped its contents on the lawn, where they remain, even though it's raining cats and dogs.

Speaking of cats, Mira hid under the bed when I started screaming, so she was no help. This time I was hoping she'd come out and eat the thing, as long as I wouldn't have to watch.

Once I calmed down, I tried to follow Schmin's advice and make friends with nature.

Just as I'd worked up the courage to get my stuff off the lawn, I noticed this:

Yep. Another one. Peeking out from the slats.

This is as close as I've come to moving back to Los Angeles. Like I told Schmin, I'm way too citified for this. I wish I was more like my maternal grandmother, who raised me. Once, when I was about 11, I was in the bathroom at our apartment when I saw a mouse. I had a conniption, yelling, Big Mama! Big Mama! Help me! She ran in, saying, Girl, what's the matter? I said It's a mouse! It's right over there! She looked at it, scoffed, and said, Aw, chile, that ain't nothing. Then she proceeded to corner the mouse behind the bathroom door and whack it to death with her slipper. I was like, Are you serious?! She'd been raised on a farm; she was fearless with critters.

Dear God I just don't have that in me, and it looks like I'm really going to need it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

holly jolly

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas day.

Mine was great. Very productive. I finally made that pot of turkey chili, I colored my hair (as you could see from yesterday's greeting), and I joined my friend Anthony's family for dinner. His family is from Cleveland, and very much like my Toledo family. We all have big, informal holiday gatherings. There's no official sitting around a table; it's grab a plate, sit at the kitchen table, perch around the TV, gather in the dining room with the kids.... People casually arrive during a loose span of time and leave when it's time to go visit other folks. Just like I would've done at home if I needed to, I took my laundry along. (Couldn't pass up an opportunity to multi-task, and thankfully now I can pass up a laundromat.)

By the time I arrived, most people had eaten. One of the women Anthony is dating was there, and while I was eating and shooting the breeze with his family they left to visit her mom. Anthony's mom is a huge Cavalier's fan, and I settled in to watch them them play the Wizards with her and a few others. What that means is I did my laundry and started a knitting project and tried not to talk over the game too much.

Anthony and his girlfriend, whom I liked very much, got back while I was drying my last load. By then his parents had gone to bed, so the three of us talked for a while. Because the discussion centered on things like being an introvert versus an extrovert and how it plays out in relationships, Anthony said we were having a women's conversation, and he asked us if we didn't want to talk about something more aggressive. He's so funny. After he went to bed, his girlfriend and I played Urban Myth with her kids until we got too sleepy, then she helped me load my laundry into my car and I drove home. I got here at about 3am.

That was my holiday, mixed in with phone calls to relatives and much holiday smooching on Mira, who treated the day as if it was any other.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry chistmas!

I hope you, too, are keeping away the gray and having a very glamorous holiday!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

coming together

Here's my setup so far.

Notice a sewing machine has already crept into the picture. My favorite thing is the teal Steelcase file cabinet. Those people know they can make some sturdy, timeless office furniture. I got it for 50 dollars. Had it been beige or black, Thomas said it would've been at least 90. Not everybody wants a teal cabinet. To me, the color made it worth the price. It's on casters, and, Heather, to answer your question, it was harder for me to carry inside than the table was. It's really heavy. I couldn't wait to set it down and roll it. I thought I was going to end up like Wyclef, singing Someone please call 911. Thankfully, it's about five steps from my driveway to my house. The table was awkward, but lighter. I think I got the legs on pretty securely. If not, when Bubs comes to visit for New Year's, I'll get him to throw some muscle at it. (Oh, and NO! I do not miss that Volvo, lol! True, it had more room, but guess where it is right now: dead as usual, camped in one of the few non-restricted parking spots in my old LA neighborhood. That car never did take me seriously.)

The chair is very cozy, as Mira can vouch. I spruced it courtesy of Ross, but it's in really good shape for something made in 1977, as its tag says. It sits a bit low, but as a freebie, I'm not complaining. It'll do until I get another.

The light isn't good so it's hard to see, but next to the machine is a sweet pincushion Natalie made for me to celebrate my move to Houston. I just love it. And the lovely flowers are a gift from my friend Deatra. While I was out lollygagging around with the table and things in my car last night, I thought it would be nice to have flowers once everything was up. When I pulled up in front of my house I noticed a box on the porch. Flowers! A perfect housewarming gift right on time. Thank you, Mo. They're beautiful.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

a warm tale, complete with shopping

So I spend more on groceries because there's no Trader Joe's and Whole Foods gets my dollars exclusively. So the oil refineries and drainage trenches sometimes kick up a powerful smell. So I saw a man trading a horse on the way to get my eyebrows waxed the other day (and the time before that, a yard full of cows).

Nothing can take away from the fact that this Houston place is great. It really is. They say it's the people. I agree.

Forget designing on a dime. I'm designing on eight cents. Furniture-wise, I need almost everything. It'll be a couple more months before I have the grandeur of a sofa, but the budget does allow for less expensive things, like a desk. Today I went in search of. I started in the place where I always start, Craig's List. Let me tell you, I owe that website my life. It's where I found my job, a good friend, all kinds of furniture over the years, the house I live in.... Craig Newmark, I bless your eyes.

Last night I found listings by a place called OMI Plus. OMI stands for Office Makers Incorporated, which is exactly right, because I needed to make me an office. Post haste. Teaching and editing and writing on the floor? Not so much. There are things you can do forever when you're 20, but forever ends, halted by back pain, when you're over 40. So I went out to OMI with the goal of getting off the floor. I had $150 that said Make my day.

OMI is family owned and operated, and carries both new and used office furniture. Based on their website, which I visited after seeing their CL listings, they seemed to have a good selection of used stuff, especially chairs, and I thought it'd be worth the trip even if all I found was a chair. Plus, I'd seen this on the site:

Oh mama. You know I wanted this orange delight.

At first they thought it was at their storage facility, then they realized it was long gone. I didn't cry too hard, because Sharon, the manager lady, had already told me she'd sell me another chair that I liked (not as much, but a lot) for 20 bucks.

The search for a desk was harder. OMI mostly serves corporate/professional clients, so even their prices on used desks were out of my range. That, or out of my taste since I don't necessarily want my living room looking like an insurance company. And, how I thought this was possible I don't know, I wanted to buy something that would fit in my car. Along with the chair. And possibly a file cabinet. My car is a car. Not a truck or an SUV, but rather, a Camry. After a while I came across a table. It had a drawer, making it enough like a desk. It measured 60x24, so I figured I might have a shot at getting it home. It was marked 119, but Sharon said it could be mine for 99. And get this, she would throw in the 20 dollar chair for free. I told her the only caveat was the table had to go in my car somehow, some way.

One of the warehouse guys, a baby-faced Latino who is training to be a firefighter (I know because we spent lots of time together), said he thought he could get it in. He joined with another guy, and the two quickly found that the back seat of a Camry is no place for a table. When it wouldn't fit, the future fireman thought he could put it in this little old truck that was parked next to my car, follow me home and drop it off for me, free of charge. But the owner, Thomas, came out and said the truck was too much of a beater to be trusted in rush-hour traffic. He said it was an unserviced 1971 something or other, and that he'd only bought it to paint the company's name on it and keep it parked out front for advertising. If I'd lived close to OMI, or if it'd been earlier in the day, he would've taken a chance. The guys took the table back inside. Then I got the idea to open my trunk and let the back seat down. I asked Thomas what he thought. He said it could work if they could get the legs off the table.

Now, already you can see why I say the people here are so nice. Compared to what their typical customer spends, I was spending peanuts, but these folks went out of their way to accommodate me. It took three drills and 45 minutes for the firefighter to get the legs off my table. Then another fifteen to get it situated in my car. By then I'd bartered in a file cabinet for another 50 bucks (and a little metal tabletop book stand as a freebie). All of it had to be secured in my car, which Thomas and the firefighter did.

When I thanked them I told them I didn't know where else I'd be given such thoughtful customer service, especially without dropping serious bank. Thomas just said it was no problem; it was a slow day anyway. I offered to tip the firefighter, but he turned me down, saying, I just did it out of kindness.

Monday, December 22, 2008

don't even try it

Here's to all of us who can't knock the hustle, lol. In 2009, may the sweat of our brow bring us big dividends!

Though I did go to Ross to buy more floor pillows on Friday morning, I can report that I did not allow myself to be thrown off the hustle by these places, which I found lurking next to one of the Ross Stores, 10 minutes from my house. (They complement the Hobby Lobby around the corner, 2 minutes away.)

I'm getting that crafty feeling again, but I'm going to forget these places exist, open the closet with all my goods in it, and go shopping in there!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

rupaul's got nothing on me

Mission accomplished. I finished with the manuscript I was hired to edit, and I've collected my pay.

I'm dubbing 2009 The Year of the Hustle, because I'll be putting in WORK. I've heard about this thing called savings, and I aim to get me some.

Alright now. Journey's on the iPod singing "Be Good to Yourself." I think I'll do just that, with a glass of wine and dinner, before heading off to bed.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

pretty bird

You know, I only found one pillow that I liked last night. There are two more Ross stores, each less than ten minutes away. Maybe I should take an editing break and go see if one of them has the mate to this pillow. Then, I'm kinda hungry, so...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

procrastination station

Why is it that whenever there is serious work to be done everything else seems so fascinating?

I'm working on my editing project, dreaming of the payment that will hit my PayPal account as soon as I'm done, but every chance I get I'm wandering off to do other stuff. At 9:30pm I went to Ross. My back was hurting from lying on the floor to work, so I figured I'd grab a floor pillow or two. I found a pillow, and a dress, which took me until 10:45 (gotta dig those holiday hours), at which time I moseyed over to Kroger's to buy snacks, because what is editing a manuscript without snacks, I ask you? I also bought holiday cards and an O Magazine. This month Oprah questions how she let herself get fat again. Have we not asked ourselves this same question? Hopefully Oprah's answers will be our answers too. That way we can consider the matter closed without having to think too much.

Aside from the shopping, I've eagerly exchanged e-mails with my boss (I'm never eager for work communiques, so that should tell you something), done the dishes, harassed Mira, and just as I was about to enthusiastically clean her litter box, been granted something adorable to look at in Natalie's latest project. Now here I am writing a longer post than I intended.

I'd better get back to work.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

just orange

I always admire when people post color studies. What presence it must take to notice bits and snippets and flourishes of a certain color as one goes about one's day.

Color studies strike me as best done with the deep, rich vibe of either film or digital SLR, but I set that aside to do my own humble offering of orange, inspired by this, which caught my eye today:

I would love to own this car. How could the day not be filled with sunshine when you're driving around in a bucket of orange? It looks mercifully placed in a sea of bland. Doesn't it?

Later, while standing in my kitchen, I found some of my own orange.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

jive turkey

I don't know what happened.

It's cool here in Houston -- 30s - 40s -- and I woke up thinking on thing: turkey chili. I always make it at the first sign of cold. I'm behind this year. Today was the day I could no longer resist.

But I had no turkey, no kidney beans, no tomato paste, nothing. And so I worked. Then went to the post office to drop off students' tests. Then I headed to Whole Foods where the day began to spiral.

After an hour in Whole Foods I realized I had no can opener to open the freshly purchased kidney beans, and no pot to cook them or anything else in. (I've been buying as little cookware as possible seeing I have a whole storage room full of it in Los Angeles.) These realizations led to Ross, where a person can either have a normal shopping experience or a very ghetto one. Today was ghetto day with checkout lines a country mile and most of the things I wound up buying being picked off the floor. Okay, not the floor, but close enough.

The long wait at checkout left me with plenty of time to think. I started fantasizing about a trash can and a rug for my kitchen. Bed, Bath and Beyond, Marshalls, and Target all a stone's throw from Ross and an ocean's distance away from home.

By the time I finished navigating the choppy holiday retail waters, I had lost the day indeed.

Monday, December 15, 2008

a knock in the nick

It's grading time. And I have the good fortune to have a manuscript to edit, which will lead to a nice chunk of change once I'm done. All this means solitary work, which is my kind of work, except when it's not.

Right when I needed some cheer today I heard a knock at my door. Who could that be? I wondered. Nobody even knows I live here.

Alas, it was the express delivery man with a big ol' sweet box of fabric, courtesy of Ellen and Natalie! Ellen's neighbor gets gorgeous samples through her job, and had been having trouble getting rid of them.... I'll let Ellen tell the story. Point is, Ellen thought of me and had Natalie set aside some things she knew I would like. I love every single stitch of every single fabric. We're talking lovely, lovely stuff.


It's been a bit of a distraction. I keep petting it, and wishing I had a table- or desk-like surface to set up a sewing machine. (Gotta remedy that this weekend.) I'm going to make pillows out of some of it, and a totebag or two out of more.

Thank you, girls! So glad y'all haven't forgotten about lil' ol' me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I've been meaning to post about the passing of the great folk and civil rights singer Odetta since it happened earlier this month. Remember I posted about her a while back? I wish I had taken the time to get to know her sooner. I would've made an effort to see her in concert.

Here's a link to a wonderful New York Times article (registration may be required). It includes a nicely done video interview. I love the part where she explains why work songs are songs of freedom, rather than solely the vocalization of slavery.

Her own work done, may Odetta rest in peace.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Thanks for sharing my kitchen and my cooking these last couple of days. You guys make the ordinary an adventure. :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

first meal

A little too much Shiraz. You know. A little too much is when you end up with heavy eyelids, lying in bed fully clothed. That's less than just enough, which is when you end up with heavy eyelids, lying in bed naked with someone you just met.

Heh heh.

I promised myself that when I settled into my new place, I would cut the shenanigans and start cooking again. The Fafrican psychic said my grandmother is sending me a message from the Great Beyond, saying that to keep myself healthy I need to cook. I knew the voice telling me to put down the Mission Burrito and hit the stove was coming from somewhere.

I know how much pressure to put on myself, and cooking isn't going to happen three times a day, but I can do 4-5 nights a week.

I'm no gourmet -- I mean look, I cook in a cow skillet --

but I can turn out a decent meal. Plus, I have hours upon hours of training from watching Food TV, which is where I found out how to make a wine reduction, which translated to me as heating only as much wine as you can spare for only as long as you can remain vertical while imbibing the rest of the bottle. With wine who doesn't love to cook?

With the addition of a little garlic, olive oil, lemon, and light seasonings, I turned out some of the best salmon I've ever made. Didn't hurt that it was one of those 75-dollar-a-pound cuts from Whole Foods. (Oh, Trader Joe's, how I yearn for your low-priced goodness.)

It's fall. I love orange. What better than a baked yam? Pat some butter. Drizzle some maple syrup. Salt 'n pepper. Throw her inside a fine-workin' oven.

Dinner was very tasty (the mysterious white lump on the salad is feta cheese. Delicious. Not photogenic).

Now I'm going to stumble back to bed. I'll dig up some PJs when the wine takes its leave.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

z kitchen

I feel like I dogged the psychic, and I'm compelled to say this: He works. For some people. He travels the country, teaches classes on African religions, and has a good-sized clientele. I'm sure there are people he's helped a great deal. And, of course, there are those he's helped himself to a great deal. ;)

On to the Guild find(s)! Y'all I love me some Guild. While in the checkout line yesterday I chatted with a woman who's been shopping there for decades. She called it her therapy. When I asked what the best thing she ever found at the Guild was, she described a few things, but said there were so many she couldn't name them all.

What makes it so fun is that you find stuff you never knew you couldn't live without, until you see it. In a time when vintage is popular, at the Guild you can still come across things that are sought after, some at good prices.

Yesterday I went early enough to take my time and mosey (a few times I've made the mistake of dropping in 30 - 40 minutes prior to closing, and that's so not enough time). They have a small final markdown room that's a good place to start. It contains mostly knickknacks, and usually has a few interesting items for a couple of dollars.

I got this letter Z. Why? Oh, why not. It ran me a buck, and to me it sends the message that this is it. Each moment is the end of the line. Okay, plus it's just yellow and cute.

Another time I got this fish. I think it was about 3 dollars. I keep my special tea, given to me as a going away gift by my friend Lori, in it.

I'm enjoying working with my kitchen for what it is: small, old, maybe a pinch rustic even. Vintage, rustic-y pieces work well. You couldn't put this beauty in just any kitchen:

"WOOD ROOSTER SIGN" it was tagged. It's solid and surprisingly heavy. It came complete with vestiges of bird poop! (I spared you.) I debated over buying it, because it'd gone from 27 to 21 dollars and was due to go down to 15 in about a week. That's the thing about price reduction. It brings out the miser in you. The voice of reason reminded me that it was one of a kind, that if I went back and it was gone I would've been mad at myself, and that these old signs often go for a lot more money.

Now why didn't I think to call the psychic to ask what my odds were?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

it went a little something like this

Sorry, Mo! Didn't mean to keep you waiting! (Now the story may not live up, lol.)

Well. Okay. Man, what a difference a couple of days make. Now I'd much rather show you guys my latest Guild find for my kitchen, but I guess I'll go on and finish up about the psychic.

The good but boring part is that he told me I am surrounded by light, and therefore will soon be having myself a gay old time spreading my new found wealth around. He said that in my internal world things are fine, and that I just have to remember not to be fooled by external circumstances. I could get behind all this. Especially the part about the moolah. He said my Yoruba energy is Shango, which is a male energy, and that Shango is the reason I work hard like a man. (Um. Not so much.) However, I am moving into Oshun, a flirty, fun, female energy, so I'm closing in on party time. I'll take that too. For his abilities as a psychic, I'd give him a 4 out of 10. He didn't tell me anything about my life that I hadn't already thought of, or that I could prove or disprove (how do I really know if I'm Shango or not?), but I'll accept a feel-good reading any day.

But I wasn't there to test his psychic ability so much as to rate him on the sexy meter.

See, I have a friend down here (who shall remain nameless but it ain't hard to guess) who is dating this woman. A woman who sees this psychic on a regular basis. In the past, she's seen him even more regularly, because even though she was married at the time, this psychic read her so well that she opened like a flower, if you know what I mean. They started up a thang, which they eventually stopped, but she still goes to see him at least once a month. My friend was telling me about this, scratching his head over what this psychic has going on that's so powerful good, when we got the idea for me to go see him as a spy. My friend would cover the 75 dollar charge, and I would issue a full report. My mission was to see if I could understand why the woman my friend is dating would feel the need to jump the psychic's bones, and remain a loyal client.

I couldn't figure it out. On the sexy meter, I give him a 2. He'd get a 2.5 if he wasn't so full of himself. Judging from his demeanor, the (F)African priest vibe + his "intuitionist" powers = panties thrown on the stage. I think he sees a lot of lonely married women. I know he takes full advantage of the fact. (Oh, and apparently his game is so tight that he doesn't have to work that hard at it any more. Not only does he live with his mom, but he did my reading wearing sweats and a T-shirt. Ceremonial robes might've boosted him to a 3!)

It was fun going to see him under the guise of having been sent by some unnamed friend of a friend, and I was kind of hoping he'd blow my cover so I could believe going in that he did indeed have powers.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

i opened my big mouth, but only to yawn

This happens whenever I declare a continuation of a post: the obligation makes me sleepy. I am going to climb up into bed now, and finish the psychic post tomorrow. Really. Tomorrow.

Monday, December 08, 2008

it's a psychic thing. you wouldn't understand.

Msaims, I thought I'd heard roosters bring luck. I'm glad you confirmed it, but alarmed about the male energy, lol! This is chick time for me and Mira!

Speaking of chick time ... not really. Just couldn't think of a good transition, ha ha. But seriously folks, I went to a psychic today. He calls himself an intuitionist, the new hot word for psychic. Getting my own personal psychic is something I've been meaning to do, but I'd never gotten around to it because I'm A) skeptical, and B) judgmental. A is self-explanatory, but what I mean by B is that if you tell me you've got the power to see into my life, I fully expect you to have your own act together. It's hard for me to take you completely seriously if you're over 50 and living with your mother, like the guy I saw today. (Though he had his reasons, and see what I mean? I'm passing judgment. If my mother were alive I'd probably be begging to move in with her right now. Okay. No I wouldn't.)

Anyhow, this psychic is what Mister Stevens calls a Fafrican. That's an African-American who has taken on an African name and adopted elements of African culture, a fake African. I was a Fafrican for about two years in the early 90s, when black people were going around wearing Africa medallions and saying "It's a Black thing. You wouldn't understand." I didn't change my name or anything, never having felt it my right to do so seeing as my momma gave it to me, but I did sport me a medallion and a black Bart T-shirt. I felt ever so smartly attired during my Black History classes. (Come to think of it, I bought the black Bart tee here in Houston. For some reason I actually still have it.) Spike Lee's Malcolm X came out and we all wanted to represent the Motherland.

A few years later I started studying different kinds of spirituality, and though my Fafrican phase was fading, I wanted to feel more connected to African culture, so I looked into the Yoruba religion. I found it is not a religion for the lazy, with its 400-plus orishas, deities that govern the head, surplus of ritual, and mandatory learning of West African history -- and of another language, for cryin' out loud. (The woman who first locked my hair went through initiation to become a Yoruba priestess while I knew her. She'd had a gorgeous head of locks but had to cut them off and shave her head as an initiate. I greatly admired this, and mostly wished she could've stuck the beautiful, thick hair she cut on my head.) I got a lot farther with Buddhism, because there's pretty much the Buddha, so that worked better for me (see lazy comment above).

I brought all this up because my psychic unearthed these old memories. He's a Yoruba priest, though I didn't know that going in.

Tomorrow I'll tell you guys how I wound up on his doorstep, and some things he told me. How I got there is the better story.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

bed time

If you have to choose between buying a bed or a couch, buy the bed, but be prepared to suffer the consequence of staying in bed all day.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Contact paper, a kitchen rug, a plug adapter, more hangers...

Looks like Target and Ross will be seeing a lot of me this week.

Friday, December 05, 2008

wine, a rooster and song

Yesterday I got my key and moved a few things in. Today I live here!

My bed arrived and, thanks to my best buddy Ross, I did it up nice. It's so high off the floor that Natalie suggested I buy a bed step. Seriously. I'll show y'all one day. I've always wanted a really high bed and dangit I've got one now. The Comcast guy came and hooked up my Internets, so Helloooo, everybody! My friend Anthony (can I just say "Anthony" now? You guys know he's pretty much my only friend in Houston, right?) hired a guy to help me move all my stuff from his garage to my house. All that's left is my chest, and he'll bring that over the weekend.

Anthony owns an ambulance company. Here's my stuff going down the road in one of his vans that's soon to carry the sickly to better health.

When I tell you it's been a mighty long road to get here, I mean it. The only word I can use to describe being here tonight is happy. Happy. Happy. Happy, happy, happy.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

movin' on up

Beans don't burn in the kitchen; fish don't fry on the grill. Took a whole lotta tryin' just to get up that hill. Now we're up in the big leagues gettin' our turn at bat. Long as we live it's you and me baby, and ain't nothin' wrong with that!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

getting to the good part

Yee! Tomorrow I do my walk-through, and I'll come away jingling some keys. And as the perfect housewarming gift, Natalie is going to try to visit this month! Yee again!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

tgif (a girl can dream)

Borders. Laptop. Wi-Fi. Rolling along.

Wah! I wanna go home!

I'm counting the days until Friday, I swear.

Anthony's house is gorgeous, spacious, more than suitable for guests. In my room, I have my own bath. As does his other house guest. As does he. As do his visiting parents. And there are still plenty of bathrooms left to go around! I can eat anything in the fridge. Borrow an SUV should I come across something to haul. Soak up cable TV. Dip my feet in the pool (I say it's too chilly for full immersion). I should really be enjoying living like the other half, but all I can think about is Friday, when I'll be drinking ceremonial wine and resting my bones on a brand new bed in my own humble house. Mira, who has to stay sequestered in my room at Anthony's because his parents would have a conniption something fierce if they knew a cat was around, will have the run of the place. Friday, hurry, HURRY!

In the meantime and between time, I've been stopping by The Guild Shop so much that one of the workers has started taking me to the loading area to show me cool stuff he thinks I might like before he prices it and puts it on the floor. He told me there's always room for negotiation pre-pricing. Yesterday some well-kept Queen Anne chairs came in. I don't like Queen Anne chairs, at all, but they were a pretty blue color so I asked how much they were. The price was too high to negotiate to something reasonable (and I wasn't serious anyway). My guy said they were priced high because they were leather, but upon closer inspection, he found they weren't. He called another guy over for a second opinion. That guy took one look, shook his head, and said, Those are Naugahyde-a-saurus. They're extinct. I thought that was funny. Anyway, some things that caught my eye (cell phone shots, so look not for quality):
  • Red snack plates, too small for the kind of snacking I like to do, but pretty.
  • I really love the shape of the alabaster lamp. Very mid-century. I debated on buying it, especially when it comes up for markdown on the 8th, but it needs a new cord, so meh.
  • Also love the tulip-shaped silk lampshade on the faux bamboo floor lamp. It'll get marked down tomorrow, but I don't love it enough to get up early to snag it.
  • Suddenly I'm crazy for roosters, and want to start a small collection. This clock wasn't the one to kick it off. I do like it though.
And Mira, just because she's cute.

Again, thanks for all the great advice on getting my place together. You guys rock the casbah. I'm going to follow the move in, scrub down, and see what needs prettyfyin' crowd.

Monday, December 01, 2008

when technology kills

I totally did a whole post from my cell phone and my cell phone totally deleted it. In it, I thanked you guys for the advice on fixing up my house. I will say thanks again tomorrow, from my computer, with pictures. xo

Sunday, November 30, 2008

on the road again

I've been procrastinating on packing up and moving down to my friend's house all day long. I don't care if all you've gotta pack is a closet. It always has twice the stuff and takes twice the time you think it will.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

warms my heart

Another thing to like about Houston, and this is a southern thing, is that when you walk up to people they say, There she is! even if they just saw you ten minutes ago.

Friday, November 28, 2008

rate my space

Okay, maybe don't rate it.

Wednesday before I left for Austin I had to stop by my new place to post a note to FedEx on the door. When I arrived, there was a man working on the garage, so I was able to go inside using his key. This was the first time I'd been in without the rental lady, aka my landlady's daughter-in-law, breathing down my neck. I took a good hard look around, and boy, some sprucing up is most definitely in order. Suddenly, though, I find myself feeling very lazy, and the thought of painting, so appealing a couple of weeks ago, makes me want to sit under a shady tree sipping lemonade and reading a book. If I paint, I'll have to paint again before I leave. Ugh. But lordy I've gotta do something. I mean, overall the place is okay, but chockablock with character it ain't. Take a look (make way for a zillion pictures, and click for bigger) --

Living room:

This little side space could be a sewing/crafty area:

Dining area? (It's right next to the kitchen so I'm thinking, Oh, why not?):

Bedroom 1 (two closets, whoo-hoo!):

Bedroom 2:



Dated? Yes. But I can live with that. Boring? Yes! But what to do about it, without having to do too much? I'd say the two things I'd like to camouflage, work around, or "hide" (now that I've moved beyond the carpet) are the cabinetry, especially in the kitchen, and the old fashioned, ginormous ceiling fans. All pointers, suggestions, tips, etc, are welcomed!