Sunday, October 31, 2010

A girl's best friend is her mother.

That's right! Mom and I went to the Oregon Symphony in Portland for Psycho today (terrific, by the way--perfectly creepy, ghoulish, and funny as all get-out). Other than that, the title has nothing to do with this post--
I just thought it would be Halloween appropriate. Other titles I considered: "Wake the dead!" and "Next chapter: scabs!" Actually, that's going to have a post of it's own because you know I have some pictures of scabs and other various wounds. And you're not mistaken--both those titles are from The Addams Family movie. "Fester, I love you. Fester, the vault."

Mushrooms are sort of bizaare, don't you think? Look at their gills!

Three-toed horse teeth from Idaho.
Given to me by Mr. Sam Tillman, a supremely cool guy.

You can see a bit of crystalization inside this one. Eeek!

Catherine carved this Harry Potter pumpkin. We're all agog over the new HP!

The perfect end to a perfect Halloween spent with Mother.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig.

I'm home in Tacoma this weekend. That means I looked to my old bedroom for all my Halloween needs. And surprise, surprise, I found what I was looking for. (Mom's computer is pretty sketch, so who knows how this will all turn out.)

All the dust is real.

I'm down with HP. So is this bear tape measure.

Fossilized camel bone.

This is part of my bee collection. I think Catherine found a bunch of these in an attic
somewhere. My favorite are the bumble bees. They're curled up like they're all tuckered
out. Not so much the bee on its back in this picture--but the one to the right of
that bee (which looks really really dead). Oh, bee so sleepy.

Tomorrow Mom and I are heading to Portland to hear the Oregon Symphony play Psycho. I am very stoked.

P.S. Almost Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Where's Papa going with that ax?"

Heading into the basement last night, I saw something in the stairwell. Or rather, I saw something was missing. Guess someone's going on a murderous rampage.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

membranes and corpuscles

Tonight I opened a couple of pomegranates. "But wait," you might say. "How are pomegranates related to Halloween?" OK, have you ever looked inside a pomegranate? They're lousy with Halloweeness.

They look innocent enough.

Side note:
I'm going to go ahead and admit that I didn't have any great ideas about opening these puppies up (I mean, I knew to get a knife and make a cut, but I also knew this operation probably required a special technique), so I googled it--which worked out pretty well for all the parties involved (me and the fruit, basically).

Down to the Halloween of the matter. I sort of image that if I cut my arm in half it would, more or less, look like a pomegranate inside. All membranes and corpuscles and weepy, translucent tissue. HALLOWEEN. Or maybe not necessarily Halloween, maybe just gross.  

The other thing I can't help but think of is my 6th grade health teacher telling the class that warts are caused by seeds, and that if someone has a wart (I guess that's open or something?) and touches you with that wart, the seeds will get on you. I was terrified about wart seeds for the longest time. It still disturbs me quite a bit, and I don't even know if it's true. (If you know it's true, don't tell me.) I think the worst part is the idea of seeds inside your body, just waiting to pop out. Enough. I'm getting too weirded out.

It's almost like a tick cluster. Is that something that
exists? God, I hope not.

Let's just have some pictures. And let's never mention this again.

Remember when you lost those first couple of teeth, and there was
that little pit inside with maybe part of a nerve hanging there?
I know I do.

Oh look, I found the ass of a Medusa jellyfish
in the middle of my pomegranate.

And they're pretty darn good.

This one time, Catherine was telling me about something she'd read on the bubonic plague. You know the deal with the plague (wait for it, this totally relates)--swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever, vomiting and urination of blood, and (if you have the pneumonic version) coughing. When the disease has really progressed (like around the 3-5 day mark) the buboes (your swollen glands {in armpits, throat, and groin}) become necrotic. And here's the part Catherine told me: they pop and they make a little popping sound. Uhh yeah. Think about that the next time you bite into a pomegranate seed. 

P.S. When did this week suddenly turn into Halloween countdown? Just lucky, I guess.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

mantelpiece creepshow

More Halloween arrangements. This time on the mantel! Hmm...I don't know if I can technically classify this as Halloween because I've excluded the pumpkins. And you and I both know, pumpkins make Halloween. I suppose this, like so many things in my apartment, could fall under the general category: curiosities, creepy.

The fox looks much more serious from this angle. St. Sebastian also looks serious.

I found this in the parking lot of Patterson Hall at EWU. I also found a deer leg in
that parking lot. I did not pick up the deer leg. I know. Normally, I keep this
in a drawer because I don't want people to know I have it.
But now I'm posting it here, so you all know the secret
of the bird leg. All right, back in the drawer.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Night of the Lepus

I made a little Halloween display tonight.
I also realized that everything I own is basically a Halloween display.

Try to ignore the reflection in the mirror.

Monika gave me this sumo bunny.

Beware the lepus.

Monday, October 25, 2010

She's bad all the time!

She wasn't being bad for a second.

Doesn't have anything to do with a bad cat, but it is my Halloween card that has the word "miscegenation" in it!

She had to be part of study time!

This is a broken cat that she broke. You can see her ready to break more things in the background. So bad!!!

I have like 5 of these pictures.

Don't let her fool you, she's about to be bad.

Welcome back.

Tonight is a night for listening to Cake (Prolonging the Magic), drinking a beer or two, and writing Halloween cards. Yes, I'm back in the saddle again, or on the wagon (I may not be using that quite right), or any other vaguely pioneer-ish idiom that might fit this situation. It was a Green Lakes Organic Ale--the first alcoholic drink of any kind since that weekend at Abbie's. That weekend.

Thank you, I know.

It's also a good night for eating chocolate pretzels and knitting...and maybe watching The West Wing. Let's upgrade that to definitely watching The West Wing.

I should also tell you that I received a call from the Nielsen television rating people tonight, and I'm going to participate in one of their surveys. I hope my current tv viewing habits (Masterpiece Theatre; The Daily Show; Project Runway; 30 Rock; and anything science, nature, or history) are powerful enough to counteract everyone who might be watching Teen Mom (or whatever that show's called {I see it on every magazine in the grocery store.}).

P.S. They're giving me $30. In your face, Catherine.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Minding the minutiae of the recently deceased.

The estate sale season is coming to an end. I suppose this means my Sundays will have to become more productive. Although, I did make enchiladas today. I did the dishes too--and I wasn't even avoiding anything! I don't mean to be self-congratulatory, but being proactive about dirty dishes (when there isn't some sort of deadline to be avoided) isn't really my strong suit. Anyway, I did make it to a couple estate sales. Without further ado...

An overview of my finds.

Item 1. Giant vintage picnic basket.
Item 2. Paul Bunyan postcard.
Item 3. 1930s ledger, blank.
Item 4. Metal tape measure.
Item 5. Handkerchief with ghost ship.
Item 6. Lot of vintage and antique postcards.
Item 666. A chandelier in pieces. (Actually, that would be Lot 666, and I was reminded, of course, because I just wrote lot. It doesn't take much. I'm pretty simple.)
Item 7. Two small square tablecloths, one embroidered and one printed with crazy Norsk flower names.

Item 8. Hem-Rite tool. It helps you hem stuff. Fabric. (I am determined to learn how to sew this winter. Very. Determined.)
Item 9: Gargantuan topographical map. (This thing is the size of my bed. For reals. I mean, it's a twin bed {because I'm obviously not an adult?}, but still. HUGE.)

Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Bemidji is in Minnesota. Paul Bunyan lives there.

There's a ton of wilderness in the East Half of the Umatilla National Forest. I know because this map's national geodetic datum of 1929
told me. 
I think it's showing Oregon (the Umatilla covers WA and OR, right?), but I'd probably have to remember how to figure township
range to be certain, and who wants to do that? Not me.

I won't be sending this to an uncle, dear or otherwise.

Right now, this is a ghost ship. I will make it a real ship!

One of the things I love about estate sales (other than going into a stranger's house, which I do love {but only under non-terrifying and voluntary circumstances}) is finding things that people have used often and loved and sometimes left unfinished. I'm all about the Umatilla map with the red circle drawn around the Keeney Mine and the big red X over S13-T8S-R33E (Township 8 South, Range 33 East, Section 13 {It is Oregon, the Willamette area, specifically.}). I will write those postcards. I will embroider that ship onto that handkerchief (and then I might turn it into a pillow, but that's my business).

I like the idea of picking up where a complete stranger left off. I like to think that these people (who are, most probably, recently deceased) would be pleased to have someone completing all these little tasks.
It's a little covenant between us.

Yes, let's.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

conducting a book census

I made some progress in the apartment tonight, but of course in the middle of moving things around and trying to get pictures back on the walls, I decided it was a good idea to reorganize my books. Why? I don't know. It's just one of those things I do so I don't have to do other things. A few examples: when I wash the dishes, or knit, or clean out the fridge, or color-code my closet, or make soup, I'm doing these things because I'm supposed to be writing. Congrats. You broke the code. Now, whenever I mention any of these activities, you'll know that I've been shirking other duties (well, one main duty). Classic Christine avoidance behavior.

Looks like it's time to clean off the chair which has been
sitting in the middle of the living room for two weeks.

So, books.

Reorganization of my book situation requires dusting (because, as I've mentioned in previous blogs, the construction created a lot of dust. I mean a LOT. Likes chunks of it. {And really, I haven't worked on ridding myself of much of it because there was always more construction around the corner.}). So, I dusted. I won't disgust you with the details. I believe you can take the phrase dust chunks and do most of the imaginative work on your own.  

The plan was to make the living room a total book zone. All the books on the shelf in my bedroom would get shuffled to the living room shelf--all the dvds from the living room shelf were moved into the bedroom. Makes sense, right? Let's skip over all that.

The end result was this:

Perfect replacement for the chair in the middle of the living room floor.

Actually, that doesn't adequately depict the hillock of printed material I uprooted from my bedroom. The following pictures do.

You're looking at about 250 books here.

And one feline interloper, Matilda.
Shelving books, for me, is dangerous business. One of my decorating staples is to make a pile of books and put something on top (a little animal, a broken alarm clock, a tiny picture frame, an acorn, a rock). What would look nice next to this peace lily? Oh, I know! A stately tower of books, subject: seafarers. Stacks and stacks everywhere. To this, I finally said: No. Well, mostly No. Realistically, you're going to want a couple stacks of books here and there...for visual interest. Duh.
I've read 3 of these books.
Also, I love cephalopods. 

A little history: In what I'm guessing must have been 2002, Catherine and I made an Excel spreadsheet of all my books. I had a little red x next to every one that I'd read, two x's if I'd read it twice and so on. I think there were 600-700 books total. The bulk of them still reside at my mom's house. It's not like she'd be using those 2 rooms for anything anyway.

Yup, in addition to re-shelving and color-coding those floor books, I counted them. And not just the floor books--every book in the apartment. (Except for library books, of which there are three, and books that don't belong to me: four).

Total number of books: 787
Not including the:
Total number of journals: 46
Total number of kid's books: 31
Total number of cookbooks: 8
Dictionary: 1

Now, here's the total number of books (currently in the apartment with me) that I've actually read: 229. So, a little less than 30%. Sigh. Such a long way to go. But not on the organizing front! That has been successfully completed...except for thirty random books, which honestly, might end up in decorative stacks.

Well, that was fun--for me, I mean. It was, I'm sure, quite tedious for you.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Excuse me. Pardon me.

Just like Jeremy from Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh  (OK, you're right. Technically, it would be from The Secret of NIMH. But wait. If you've read the book {as I'm sure you all have}, you know there's nothing about a sparkly that Jeremy's gotta have. That's all Don Bluth. While we're talking differences, why did they change the main character's name from Mrs. Frisby to Mrs. Brisby? Why is there a swordfight? What's the deal with the stone {which has a power when it's there [that doesn't make sense]}? And why is this parenthetical still going on?), Matilda's gotta have her sparkly.

Matilda has always wanted a sparkly of her very own.

Of course, the one picture I can never get is Matilda running with the sparkle ball in her mouth--which she does, I assure you. And it's too cute for words. That's why I need a picture. All right. Here's the kill sequence:

Eenie, meenie, miney, moe. Which sparkle ball will be the next to go?

Oh no! It's the green!

Watch out, purple, you're next.

It's worth mentioning (or maybe not) that I had a total crush (Had? OK, have.) on Justin. Who's Justin? The leader of the rats. How could you not?

P.S. Justin vs. Jenner on 16mm film. Take what you can when you can.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

You, me, and a sea of glass.

I'm pretty sure I found this least I found it in a box in my apartment.

A couple days ago, I came across an article in the New York Times about sea glass. You should most definitely check it out. I had no idea sea glass was such a big deal. I mean, we always keep an eye out at the beach--I posit that Mom is the best sea glass finder in the family--but  our searches usually yield clear or brown or green glass. Turns out, there's more to sea glass than I thought.

Sea Glass Trivia
1. Orange sea glass is the rarest. People will pay hundreds of dollars for orange sea glass.
2. Red is a close second.
3. Some people have attempted to seed beaches with glass shards--the idea being that they'll collect the sea glass years later.
4.  There's an organization devoted to the collection of sea glass, the North American Sea Glass Association. And they have a festival in Hyannis, MA, where they name a "shard of the year." Seriously awesome.
5. The president of this organization, Ms. Mary Beth Beuke, is from Sequim, WA. That's right. Sequim, son!

Here's a quote from Ms. Beuke from the NYT article: The real thing, she says, “has been conditioned only by the ocean and its elements. It has been on a journey and has a history to it.”

Nice. Let's go next weekend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sweet dreams are made of pizza and gum.

In the process of waking up this morning, I realized that I seemed to be chewing. Hold up. Chewing? Yup, I was dream-eating! At least, I think I was. And just what was I dream-eating? Well, it might have been pizza because that's the first thing that came to me. I must have been dreaming up some pizza. But it also could have been a dream about chewing gum because that was the second thing I thought about. Pizza? Oh wait, I was probably just chewing some gum. Who can unlock the mysteries of the human mind? And what will I dream-eat tonight, I wonder...

In the truck, in dreams, whenever.

P.S. The italicized parts are my actual thoughts from this morning. Bonus!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


So, researchers at Yale have found evidence (feeding traces) that indicates Tyrannosaurus Rex fed on the remains of other Tyrannosaurs. Cannibal dinosaurs! Awesome, right? I'll answer for you: YES. If you want to read a little about it, I suggest the Guardian UK website.

If you want to read the entire paper (published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal PLoS ONE), which gets especially interesting around the 8th paragraph of the "Discussion" section, I suggest you do so.

From the FACT (Foundation Advancing Creation Truth) Museum in Glendive, MT.
It's finally open. Go there and be baffled. Or don't go there.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Holla for Halloween.

I ran across this blog about Vintage Halloween CollectiblesOf course, this makes me want to get some Halloween party action going. I'll have to settle for sending everyone vintage Halloween cards. Expect yours soon.

Three little pumpkins, riding on a gourd.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2. Last weekend.

Last weekend was Abbie weekend. Well, Abbie Saturday night and part of Sunday morning. She made chicken and potatoes and gave me wine. So very much wine. She also gifted me with a taste of whipped cream flavored vodka. Yes, such a thing exists. I think it was mixed with chocolate flavored vodka. It was very sweet. There was also rum. Not as much rum, but enough to get the job done.

Moving on.

I made $8,000 a year (with a college degree). This is not so far from reality. Believe me.

We raided the game closet and found Life. Abbie was, no surprise here, a winner at the game of Life. She amassed a pretty substantial fortune, and I tried my damnedest to take some of that money away from her, but she just kept making more. 

I landed on a space about bailing out a ne'er-do-well uncle like twice. And there was something about giving my husband's family money too. Yeah, my life was shady.

The wheel is, of course, the best part of the game.

And while we played Life, we listened to records! All part of the Abbie experience, and yet another reason why Abbie is the coolest. And after Abbie beat me seven ways to Sunday, we watched Return to Oz"Isn't that a stolen lunch pail in your hand?! Isn't that a chicken in there with you?!" Get on it, people. Seriously. I'm going to be talking about this movie a lot in the next couple of weeks. And you'll need to know who the Gnome King is.

To set the record straight, I love Abbie. Ugh, groan. But wait, I could have said:
Abbie spins me right round, baby, right round. Like a record, baby, right round, round, round.
And I didn't. So, shut up.

I should mention (because I don't want you to think there are no consequences for drinking) that I was in tough shape the next day (much to the dismay of Catherine and Mother dear). When I got to Catherine's house, I threw up twice and then took a two hour nap with Genevieve.

Catherine did her Economics homework. Quite respectable.

Later, we went to Target and then to the mall so Catherine could return some shoes. I found myself wandering around Forever 21, hung over, while Catherine looked at jewelry. Yes, we went to Forever 21 (just give in to it already). They have cheap accessories, which I'm certain are constructed by Laotian children or something. Sorry. But let's be honest: I'll probably go back on a day when I'm not paying for the previous night's peccadilloes. (That alliteration is completely unintentional, and while I do apologize for it, I will not alter it in any way.)

So, lesson learned? Hmmm. I mean, I felt pretty certain about it on Sunday morning, afternoon, and evening (like when I saw Catherine get out the bottle of wine she and Mother dear would share over dinner {ugh}), but with a week between that Christine and this Christine...I don't know. Who will prevail?

My struggle is like the epic battle between Genevieve and Penelope
(aka baby kitten baby, Peanut, kits). I watched this play out several times last
weekend. If the comparison stands, that doesn't necessarily bode well for me.

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