Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Testing Me

Apparently somebody likes throwing everything at me that can be pitched at once just to see how much I can take. I've gotten the incredibly, amazingly marvelous and the rock bottom unbearable all in the month of February.

I came home after work and found a large, clean puddle inching its way towards the tangle of cords and plugs in the corner of the kitchen, where I have most of my electronics gathered. It's coming in under the cabinets from the boiler room behind the wall and miraculously isn't harming anything, just bathing the linoleum, which I mopped Saturday (so no, Mum, it isn't a sign).

The plumber gauranteed Mary it's just groundwater when she called him, so she dismissed it without even checking. ("You'd better borrow a shopvac. Oh, but go next door first and make sure it's not just Dean's sink overflowing. If you're brave enough to go in there.") So I've been sucking up the water with my wet/dry Hoover handvac and ruminating on the fact that I may very well have to deal with this crap for another year and a half.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Cloying Crooners

MEMO to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, the au courant Camelot couple of country music:

The only thing gayer than calling your first collaborative concert series “Soul2Soul Tour” is calling the second installment “Soul2Soul II Tour.”

Get a clue. And a new publicist.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

You'd Think It Was a Photoblog

Park City

Enthusiastic Sauce

Submissive Sauce

We're having a moment here, aren't we? He loves me.

My Skates
(Well, Mom's skates.)

Black Ice

Machine Shop Catwalk, Afternoon (Sneak Preview II)

Cummins Diesel Generator (Hearing Protection Required)

Tracks Through Evanston

An Inconspicuous Departure Makes Me Glad

Let's take a moment to celebrate. She's gone.

At 3:00 a.m. Friday morning, the neighbor from hell retreated in pretty much the same fashion as she arrived: loudly. Lucky for her, I was already/still awake, so I found the racket on the stairs and the hourlong session of vacuuming that followed absolutely hilarious. (My friend said, "So does she really expect to get her deposit back?")

Friday afternoon I found the dumpster overflowing with trash, rags, blankets and broken furniture. I felt like setting the whole mess on fire and doing a Sioux-inspired victory dance around the blaze, but I'm pretty sure the City wouldn't appreciate having to replace the can, and I don't have a feather headdress.

Still. Party.

Friday, February 24, 2006

New York City II

In honor of my status as an honorary New Yorker for the week (on account of my acid tongue, and believe me, I'd love to be a real New Yorker someday), more pics of A, Angie, Morgan, and RaeDell in the Big Apple in June, 2005. And also because I'm having so much fun pretending there's no snow outside. And also because there are 1,500 pictures and they're just never all going to get on the gallery. If you want to see the rest, you just have to come sit down with the me and the Vaio.

Angie, M, RaeDell at Tavern on the Green

One of many, many reasons to go back.

Metropolitan Museum of Art (Mind the moat, girls. Mind the moat.)

RENT (For Kym)

I will never get tired of skyscrapers.


You all know how I love Jack.

Crumbling barracks on Ellis Island (where we found the manifest Grandma's mother and two siblings signed in 1904).

Angie shoots Lady Liberty

There was something charming about how he gestured down to us. I wanted to take him home.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

July Looks Like More Fun Than February

Operating Turntable

Bruce Gives Rides

Travis' Realtree Gaiters (on MY legs)

and Snowdrift Behind the Mains (which is WHY I wore the gaiters)

Sweet and Sour

I waded through the beer bottle-strewn snow to the front of the house to get my mail just now and found some familiar white trash smoking on the porch.

To my amazement, she smiled at me.

Oh, no. Too late for that. I scowled in reply and before I knew it, it just slipped out: "Shouldn't you be in there packing?"

I snatched the contents of my box and left her standing, mouth agape, cigarette forgotten. I know I was asking too much before, rudely expecting her to be considerate of her fellow tenants. But at this point, smiling at me is just not allowed. I don't care if it was a sneer or an expression of utmost chagrin.

She better make as much noise moving out as she did moving in.

July 2004

Jo and Don's deck.

Jo's garden and willow.

View from rear deck (get a load of that rhubarb!).

The kitchen bar, scene of many late-night, drunken confessions.

Gratuitous footage of the roundhouse in the rain, because I forgot I'd taken these and found them while looking for the pics above, taken in July of 2004.

(Just a note: that last post was #666. Hope I didn't jinx myself, there.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Castle in the Air

There are three things I have long wanted to do but at this point sort of figured I maybe never would: one, kayak the entire perimeter of the Salton Sea, two, get a breast reduction, and three, buy Jo and Don's house (when they're finished with it, of course).

Numbers one and two I'm still working on. I just never seem to be able to find the time and energy to do the first and the second scares the bejesus out of me even though I think it would be the best decision I ever made. But three? Three is now a definite possibility.

I called Jo today after snooping around the County Assessor's office for some information about the little house a block down that's been vacant since I moved into this wretched Peyton Place. It belonged to a doctor and her husband and was foreclosed on when they divorced and left town, and it has extensive water damage throughout due to the freezing and breaking of every single above-ground pipe. I found the open mortgage to be valued at way more than the house is worth, so I called Jo to whine, and she had something serious to say.

"Can you wait a year and a half? Then you could buy our house. After Don's heart attack I've been thinking that we'd better move closer to one of the kids, probably up by Deed in Rapid City. We'll take the fifth-wheels and the boat and be snowbirds in the winter. You'd really be ready in a year and a half."

I almost cried. I can't tell you how much I love their two-bedroom house two blocks away from here, and Jo knows this. They bought it cheap and run down and poured their hearts into it. The small galley kitchen has an East window, so the morning sunlight pours in, and the window looks out onto the covered redwood deck where Jo hangs waterfalls of petunias in the summertime. The bedroom on the first floor faces West, so the afternoon sunlight floods in. The whole upper level is hardwood floors and beautiful touches, since Don did the work himself. In the big bathroom he walled the tub in with ice-cube glass blocks he salvaged from the State Hospital, and he installed the counter higher than normal. (He was so tickled when Morgan noticed this during one of several tours. "I just got tired of leaning," said six-foot-something Don.) There's an enclosed porch on the front that is a pretty tight squeeze but I'm sure I could find something useful to do with it. I wouldn't know what to do with all the closets and cupboards, since I've never had any storage at all in my apartments.

The basement is the coziest place I've ever seen, with pine panelling and a wood-burning stove. They just finished it in the last few years and Jo scoured the world for the perfect antique sideboard in the corner, where she keeps all the liquor. They installed egress windows in the long basement bedroom and a basement bathroom to change the legal description of the house to two-bedroom, two bath. Don built a fitted-slate corner patio in the front yard, and there's a tiny basketball court behind the two-car garage, which sits back from the street on a new asphalt drive.

They own the lot next door and Jo quoted me the price Don wants for the house and both lots. I told her it was way too low. She said she knows, but to sit tight and see what happens in a year and a half. I can hardly wait. But I am also realistic, and I know that things might change. So for right now, I'm just going to daydream a little. Because that's never hurt anyone, has it?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

More Malefaction on Morse Lee

I am enraged and exasperated. I'm sick, and sick of people. I hosted another midnight rendezvous with the police last night, but this time I wasn't the one who called them, and I was far less impressed with this bunch than the last. I was so fiercely annoyed at having to throw something on (clothing torments every fever-raw cell) and answer the door that it wouldn't have mattered who was standing there; the cops were lucky they were cops, because this time I picked up the industrial hammer-sized sharpened pickaxe Jim gave me after our unsuccessful bid for some convention or other (the handle is engraved "City of Evanston- Your Pick in 2006"). I couldn't wait to brain somebody with it.

I had gone to bed early, about 9:00 p.m., hoping the Nyquil rushing in my ears would be enough to drown out the cacophony upstairs, the laughing and stomping and music. It worked for a while and I must have missed the action yet again, because at 12:10 a.m. there was a knock at the door, which I had a hard time opening since I'd closed it over the extension cord I use to plug my truck in.

The pompous old balding jerk (yes I know who he is, and no, I'm not going to tell you) who came in first- weilding his badge as if I might question that he was a cop- asked, "Is this Number Two?"

"No. This is Number Five." It's clearly marked.

A grey-faced hulk who could have been a body double for Lurch lurched in behind him and growled, "Are you Emmy?" I silently wished for Sam and Ammon, polite, concerned, and hot.

"No. I'm Adriane."

Baldy adopted an accusatory tone. "Were you just on the phone talking to someone?"

"No," surprisingly. "You woke me up when you came down the stairs. I didn't know who you were so I picked up my cellphone in case I needed to call 911." He asked me the same question three more times in the exact same words. I noticed a young female cop I've never seen before peering in the doorway with a sheepish expression.

Finally Baldy got on the radio. "Number Seven, we're confused." Pause. "No, we're not with Emmy." They filed up the stairs, leaving the door at the top open, which I hate because the light from the church across the street pours in, and the heat from down here pours out. I heard the cops a moment later in the foyer, their voices competing with a woman's sobs and a man swearing. I pulled the covers over my head and passed out.

There was no time to get to Public Health for a Strep test today, what with the 2100-C Turbidimeter crapped out and the sensor at the Twin Ridge tank on the fritz, probably frozen (weather.com: 17 degrees, feels like 0). There were Bac-T's and TOC's and Alkalinity to take, and I felt pretty good all day despite catching the occasional whiff of Vicks VapoRub. Put a dollop of that goop on the floor of your shower (somewhere so the stream of water isn't direct but still contacts it), turn the water as hot as you can bear it, and voila. Instant relief. Just be prepared to have people snidely comment on your new perfume.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Work in Progress

Mom's friend Donnie gave me a lot of her castoff art supplies a few years ago on the condition that I finish the painting of a bighorn sheep she had started and never finished. Unfortunately her original canvas is unmounted and very stiff and yellowed, so I'm starting over on a fresh canvas, just so she can see I'm making good use of the items, which include several valuable volumes of instruction and a vintage easel the likes of which I would have had to scour the world to find. Having no formal training (except one semester of public school art I pretty much got double the benefit of since I did all Lenny's homework, too- oops, did I say that on the Internet?), it's nice to have some direction and encouragement. I'm hoping to finish this fast since Donnie has been sick, and I'd like her to enjoy it while she's able. It'll have even more significance since her daughter Des got her first bighorn sheep last hunting season.

So critique away, people, bearing in mind that it's not done yet. Feedback is always appreciated.

Asleep at the Wheel

There's a pretty good chance I've contracted Strep from Cordale. I refused to even acknowledge the scratchy throat I woke up with until Morgan told me he was sick. I thought it was just from talking too much and going without sleep.

Mary and Kathy stopped by this afternoon (and I had to feign horror at the state of my house) to talk about the problem neighbors and reassure me that she's evicting them. I've never met Kathy before even though she owns the house, having always dealt with Mary because she lives in town. Kathy seemed like a nice person, if a little odd. She said she liked what I've done with the place, and I wondered if she remembers what it looked like before, the holes and grime. She should be paying me rent.

I'm tired of winter. I'm tired of wading through three-foot drifts down to the main reservoirs, my momentum stolen by the layer of ice beneath the new snow. I'm tired of cancelling plans due to weather. Tired of going ahead with plans and increasing my chances of dying on the road. But I'm producing an astonishing amount of art because I'm stuck in the house, and I can't complain about that.

Jeff called this afternoon to tell me that the effluent turbidimeter is "shittin' the bed" and wanted to know if I knew how to turn just that individual alarm off until we can get a look at it in the morning. I had him set the high limit to something outrageous and put my name first on the dialer just in case. I'm facing the pleasant prospect of a three-day week and the new Salt Lake paper. Last Sunday I did the crossword in eleven minutes while Filter 6 was drawing down and Jeff was in Mesquite at a roping. He didn't win but, as usual, he had three hours' worth of stories about being this close.

I'm this close to many things, but it's easy to be patient when you're me.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Saturday in Utah


Dude, where's my car?

I only wear the ugly shoes because it's snowy and they're comfortable to shop in.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I Have a New Crush

I am totally smitten with Eric Morgan Hughes. He's terribly handsome (I'm obsessed with his chin- it's like a squishy little button), he smells good, and he's very, very warm.

Contemplating Mom...

Fall in love with these windows. You're going to see them a lot.

Jeff and Candace (graphite on bone) at their September wedding.
(Check out what I did with the bullet hole, and excuse the distortion. Steer skulls are not flat, and therefore do not photograph well.)

Sediment in sunlight, and yes, that is just dirt- no more, no less.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Me Too

I'm a Porsche 911

"You have a classic style, but you're up-to-date with the latest technology. You're ambitious, competitive, and you love to win. Performance, precision, and prestige - you're one of the elite, and you know it. Plus, you're damn hot."

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Thanks to Mikey, who is also one of the elite.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bait and Switch

I vowed long ago to purchase anything John Lithgow wants to shill me. And really, I like the soup. Now if they could just get him in the new MX-5...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Day at the Salt Lake Art Center

Sophie Matisse, The Staircase Group, 2001

Lee Deffebach, Sea Change, 1964

Sophie Matisse, (Be Back in 5 Minutes), 1997
(Who's missing?)