About 10 minutes before midnight locals started setting off fireworks. It always amazes me how they manage to do that when fireworks are illegal here no matter what time of year. Still, there always seems to be plenty of them on 4th of July, on 5th November, and on 1st January.

I had my quiet night at home, playing computer games, enjoying wine, oreos, good jazz and the company of my three furkids. They've been battling for Who Gets To Sit Closest To Mom tonight. So far the Frankenkitty has won hands down!

Dorkdog seems to be sleeping through all the noise around us, but both of the cats are disturbed. This is in large part why I'm home tonight...to soothe them through the noise. And, as the fireworks continue now, there is a LOT of noise :)

I'll give it an hour to quiet down and then toddle off to bed. Tomorrow I have off, which is nice, but I've household chores and errands to run, so...

Happy New Year, one and all.
I could tell the other night that we had rain moving back in. This is the time of year that we get what I term "interesting sky." Dramatic sunsets where the fog and the clouds vie for space in the sky above the bay, like this:

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One would think I have the sense the Gods gave a goose and stay INDOORS like NORMAL people, but no. Today, I was out in the rain. I walked slowly uptown, listening to my iPod, clutching my umbrella and listening to my feet squish in my shoes. I caught the bus uphill or a mile and a half and landed at the Mad Scientist's house. I came in and topped up the cat food and water, loved on the kitties, and swept up the riot they had because I had no gushy food for them. Someone had run amok across the cabinets knocking things to the floor, including the French Press, so I had to sweep up glass as well.

I managed to get groceries in and the dork dog walked before it started to seriously pour again. Now we're all inside snuggled up in the living room with the heater on. I'm cold, I still feel a bit damp, but I am very glad for my few hours out in the rain.

Berkeley seems different in the rain. the streets are quiet, less filled with people. I can walk with my thoughts, the sound of rain, the scents of damp earth, eucalyptus, wood smoke. There's something calming, centering about that. I didn't mind the damp coat, the water running off my back from the soaked umbrella. The damp, bare feet, squishing in slide on loafers--completely goofy foot-ware for a wet day.

It was a cleansing walk and now, I'm inside with a new appreciation of heat and dry feet, and snoozing kitties, and snoring dork dogs.
And tired, and happy to be here! Frankie is ignoring me, Sammy and Dottie are fighting over me. The Mad Scientist and the Kitten with a whip just left. After a few emails to folks to let them know I'm home safe, I'm staggering to bed!

Ciao for Niao
aamusedinatx: (coffeeblack)
I coughed all night. I'm not sure if it was the cold or the paint fumes or a combination of both. Consequently I didn't actually get my ass up out of bed and make coffee until NOON. Man, that felt good, let me tell you.

While I waited for coffee to finish I walked the dork doggie and after we returned to the house she rejected each of her toys until I pulled out the laser pen. I let her chase it across the room back and forth several times. THEN she finally played with her stuffed toys while I got my first mug of coffee.She's so funny.

Once coffee is done I have to get out and do some errands so I can finish the kitchen and put it back together again. I'll post some final pictures once I have it actually done, done. :P
I started this Gallery way back on Memorial Day weekend. Next weekend is Labour Day weekend...

I guess, since I got this done THIS weekend...it still qualifies as a "summer" project. The kitchen didn't realize you couldn't wear white after Labour day.

click here for photos of today's work.
Whew...3.5 hours, but we're finished and the kitchen is looking pretty damn good! There's a bit more cleanup I need to do, and the pantry and storage doors were left 'blank' (I have another crafty thing for them, which I'll get to tomorrow). I took before photos. Later, after everything's dry I'll take some in between photos and then tomorrow I'll take the FINAL photos :)

Thank goodness for Dr S and his help!! It made the kitchen go by much faster than it would have all on my lonesome. I managed to barricade the dork dog in my bedroom. The baby-gate worked fine but because she could still see me she just about pitched a fit and fell in it. Once I shut her up in my bedroom with her food, water, and Sammy, the Buddha-kitty, she calmed down and probably napped for a good portion of it. We both took her out for a walk while the first coat and cut-in painting dried. She got to play with us and her kong, stuffed with treats, while we humans sat having a few chips and a soda. She was NOT happy we had to shut her up again while we finished the kitchen. She also didn't particularly like that I picked her up and carried her through the kitchen rather than let her walk. Squirmy doggie!

Now, I'm going to stagger into the shower, clean up, rest a little bit and then wander up to Dr S's house about 6:30. I promised him and me both dinner out tonight. Probably a good idea since I won't be cooking until tomorrow earliest.

Thanks for the cheers AND the jeers :) It made my Saturday!
A Painting we will go,
A Painting we will go,
High ho, a Meri-o
A Painting we will go.

My "GOAL" before 11:30am PT this morning, when Dr Strangelove arrives to help, is to have the entire kitchen cleaned out and cleaned off, the ceiling taped and paint supplies ready so all we have to do is paint.

Now, did I do ANY of that last night? No.

So this morning, I'm up at my weekday time instead of my weekend time. In an hour and a half I have made myself coffee, croaked, hacked, coughed and grumbled my way through dishes, finding the surface of my table for the first time in four months, (so much for my vow to eat at the table instead of in front of the TV once I moved in here), put pantry items back into the pantry out of the way, moved the microwave cart and all its contents into my bedroom. Moved the dog food into my bedroom, put up the baby gate to corral the animals back in the bed/hall/bath area, watched un-surprised while Frankenkitty cleared the gate with one defiant leap and minced over to her cat tree in the livingroom to lick her butt. Swept up oodles of furkid hair-bunnies, found a pair of sunglasses I'd given up hope of finding, drank my half-cold coffee, and sat down here to type after realizing I forgot to clear the top of the fridge.

Tape? We don't need no stinkin' tape.

Actually, once I catch my breath, clearing the top of the fridge, storing away the clean dishes and taping off the room is the next step.

This from a woman who inherited the right to vote today (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] saladbar for the anniversary reminder!) I am steeped in old-time domestic drudgery. Yah me!

Hack, cough, wheeze.
Look dead center above the fog bank and you'll see the beautiful full moon.

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HA! Was there any doubt?

You Belong in San Francisco

You crave an eclectic, urban environment. You're half California, half NYC.

You're open minded, tolerant, and secretly think you're the best.

People may dismiss you as a hippie, but you're also progressive, interesting, and rich!

aamusedinatx: (dorothy)
I bought it three years ago. It was during a rather dizzying and frightening part of my life. Me and the cats had moved into a tiny room in a house in the Adam's Point neighborhood of Oakland, above Lake Merrit. My friends who had provided us several months refuge had moved back east and now I was truly on my own, still unemployed, returning to school, and living in a strange place with total strangers. My rent for this tiny one-bedroom was $400.00 a month. Even on unemployment I could afford that. I moved in May 4th. My unemployment was set to run out in September. What I would do then, I had no idea.

The East Bay has its own micro climates. I'd forgotten that. It'd been almost 10 years since I lived there. The first night in that cramped little room I huddled under layers of sheets clothes, towels and my silk kimono. I was freezing! The cats piled on top of that and we all huddled to keep warm on a twin bed. It was far more chilly at night in Oakland that I was prepared for. I owned only two sets of twin sheets, inherited from a friend, and no blankets or comforters. My big stuff that I'd had, I'd given to my friends along with my big comfy queen sized bed. They needed a new one. I had no way to store mine or carry it with me.

The next day I went to sears and grabbed whatever was in the sale bin. It was a drab olive green quilt with sham, and a light blue velour blanket. I think I spent $20.00 on each of them. I still have them both too!

That scary re-beginning turned out well for me and in the three years that have followed, the blanket has kept me and the cats cozy. It has kept us feeling safe and somewhat anchored as we rebuilt our lives.

This morning I must have gotten warm and tossed off the comforter, exposing the blanket. I woke to the sound of an motorboat on my chest. Frankie had climbed up and was purring ecstatically as she slowly kneaded the velour and rubbed her face on the material. She curled up there on my chest, on the soft blanket and went contently to sleep. I stayed in bed and dozed an extra hour because I didn't want to disturb her or me either.

She's not the only one who loves that blanket.
So this morning while walking the dork dog, I happened upon a man cleaning up around the apartment building on the corner. I stopped him and asked about the woman in the downstairs corner apartment. He seemed surprised to learn that I haven't seen her since last Friday. He lives up stairs and does caretaker work in the building. He agreed with me: her light is always on, her tv is always on, her blinds are always open. I told him I was a total stranger who had gotten used to seeing her all the time as I walk the dog and I was worried for her and wondered what happened. I also mentioned she had a cat and I was worried for the cat after so long as well. He asked me where I lived and I told him. He promised to contact the landlord to see if he knew anything and would let me know what he could. I just hope this mystery has a good conclusion.

The sun is out in force today, which is nice to see. It doesn't seem quite as cold today either. That made for a nice morning walk on my day off. The boss swings by this morning to take away all my flattened moving boxes and to bring his spare microwave for me to borrow. He is such a nice guy. The cats are dashing through the house playing. The dork dog is leap frogging across the carpet in the living room unsure where to lay next--there are just SO MANY CHOICES! She brings me her stuffed cell phone and before I can grab it, she growls and dashes off to go toss it in the air. It makes my heart glad to see them happy and settling in. This move was so stressful on all of us. (Dottie just brought me her rag bone instead.) This morning Sammy woke me about 5am. I kept hearing this sharp clattering and banging. I got up to check and he is in the bathtub playing SQUASH with the small plastic handle to my foot brush. he's batting it round and round and round the tub. I took it away from him (it was 5am after all; I'm disgruntled at 5am.) I no sooner climbed back in bed when I hear more racket. I get up to find he has the small, rectangular pumice stone he'd knocked off the foot brush last week and he's playing hockey, making slap-shots with the stone across the tiles and into the walls and the side of the tub. When did my lard butt kitty turn into Wayne Gretzsky?

So I'm almost ready to take pictures. I have to finish cleaning and de-cluttering the kitchen--remember I've been practically LIVING in there for 3 weeks. I then have to finish my bedroom. I pulled everything out of my closet this week in order to get to those last few boxes we'd stored out of way of the floors. I have clothes piled everywhere. I also have 3 bags of hangers. I need to merge those two and hang every thing in some semblance of order, while simultaneously sorting laundry for this week's trek to the laundromat. FUN!

Anyway, I should be able to post pictures sometime this weekend!
Well, when I woke up the "sunny" part was not in evidence. It had apparently rained last night. Dottie and I walked through a gray, misty, wet wonderworld this morning. It didn't rain on us but the air was so humid, for all that it was cool, that my skin was glistening damp by the time our 20 minute walk was done.

Then it was time for me to get out for a few more errands. I went down and paid storage but I decided (at the last minute) not to stop by the market for chilies. Re-reading the recipe for Mole last night, I really need a food processor or blender for this and I have neither one. So, instead, I'm making chicken paprikash and I'll go down to the Berkeley Bowl for bulk spices needed. I have some paprika but I need to stock up anyway.

I stopped back by Ross to see if that 8qt stock pot was still there. It was, but someone had pried open the box and swiped the lid. I was irritated by that. They had a few Analon 12qt pots at $34.00 or more each. Then behind a bunch of junk I found a treasure. A T-fal 12qt pot WITH the lid still attached....$13.99 OMFG. It soooo came home with me! I love finds like that. They make me very happy. It's the simple things, you know?! I scored a richly colorful duvet and sham set for my bed. I think this one will attract less pet hair. I love the rich red one I got from Ikea this summer but it is like a static MAGNET for pet hair and I might as well have a fur throw--seriously. So I'll put it away for an 'extra', or give it up to Goodwill or something. I can keep my white and red toile coverlet for summer and this one will do just fine with my winter down comforter. For under 10 bucks I scored a raised metal stand with two ceramic dog dishes for the Dorkie dog. She needed a treat and I needed something easy to clean and easy to clean under. She's a messy thing when she eats; probably because she only has 3 teeth in her head! I filled the bowls and set them down into their stand a few minutes ago. She happily slurped water out of it and poked her nose at the crunchies, but she's already had breakfast and so she wasn't hungry. At least she's bright enough to realize she just got a new place setting for meals. She's so funny to watch.

And now, I'm mostly 'in' for the rest of the day. Some web app upgrades and testing today with our engineer at the office and me here, so I'm sort of 'on call' this afternoon. That's fine. It still allows me to putter and such here. My goal this weekend is to start winnowing things down and toss or donate stuff I really don't need/don't use. I think the curb may get a few things this weekend.
aamusedinatx: (welllies)
The silence woke me at 5am. The total absence of wind or rain. It was too quiet and my eyes popped open. Everyone but me was sound asleep. I do this a lot actually, wake up because things are too quiet. Noise wakes me up too, but my sleep fogged brain can identify most sounds in a matter of seconds and I simply roll over and drift right back to sleep. It's silence I can't handle.

After a while I got up to take the dork dog out for her morning walk. Everything was still wet. There was standing water in yards, hollows in the sidewalk, low spots in the street. But it was still and quiet. Looking up I could see the waning moon. Dottie was happy for her walk and we walked an extra block to make up for being cooped up inside last night.

A half hour later I was leaving the house for work today. I needed to dash across the street and pick up a new bus pass. As I did the heavens opened up. It poured as I ran into the store. It poured while I slogged to the bus stop. It poured while I waited...and waited...and when I got on the bus, I was already soaked to the knees. It was raining so hard it was bouncing off the pavement and on to me. It blew around and up underneath my umbrella. Three miles later, as I exited the bus at MacArthur and waited on my connecting bus...

The sun was out.

What. The. Fuck.

So here I am at work, damp, disgruntled, the heater blasting, coffee half cold.

Please tell me today gets better?

Oh and there's an appraiser at my house in 10 minutes. Sigh.


Jan. 17th, 2006 06:40 pm
1. It's raining. Again.

2. An hour after a previous entry, Kay called to say a different appraiser would be here at 9am tomorrow morning to look at the house upstairs (her part) and downstairs (my part).

3. I resisted the urge to plant myself face first into a death-by-chocolate cheesecake when I got home.

4. I am going to have cognac tonight.

5. I ate comfort food, but still okay with my chosen diet. I had a BLAH sandwich (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado and Havarti) on grilled low-carb bread, a salad and Fresca.

I still want that *#($&*#($& cheesecake.
aamusedinatx: (coffeeblack)
It's now Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and the festivities continue on through the New Year. I woke this morning to weak sunshine, a noticeable improvement over yesterday's rain. It was actually raining rather hard when I went to bed last night. During that last break in the weather, as I walked the Dork dog, I was also breathing in the wonderful scents. My neighborhood is filled with blooming things. It's an old neighborhood and so it is filled with houses which maintain a number of gardens and landscaped yards.

Jasmine and mexican sage are in profuse bloom right now and are the most prevalent scents. Camellias are blooming and some late lavender and rosemary too. You can smell the Eucalyptus trees as well as the lemon and orange trees now heavy with fruit.

Underneath the waft of all of those scents is something much more constant; damp earth. That may sound funny to you. Dirt? She likes the smell of dirt? Yes, actually I do. There is something anchoring and rich about the smell of good soil. That magnifies when it is wet with rain.

I won't lie, I'm really not much of a gardner. I can grow herbs, a few plants, but mostly what I do is dig my bare hands into the dirt, breathe deep and let it play across my skin. I need to do that soon. I haven't done so in far too long.
aamusedinatx: (winter)
Lovely. And, if you could see the rivers running down my street right now, you'd sip your coffee, nod your head and mutter "damn, for once those weather people got it right!

And I *still* have to get out in this soup today. I have two errands I can no longer put off: Berkeley Bowl and Target. Out of the two, I think Target is easier even though it is farther away. Berkeley Bowl is six blocks from here, and it means a long walk in the rain lugging groceries home. (Whine, whine, whine).

Still, once they're done, I can hide in my little cottage by the bay, cook, wrap gifts to ship tomorrow, and hide from the weather. I just hope that I don't freeze to death before then!
the 5 am rampage of Frankzilla kitty. I do not know what bug was up her ass but she blitzkrieged through the cottage like someone had set her on fire. Things came clattering down of the kitchen cabinets, off the ottoman, off the hall tree, the recycle bin was over turned...all sort of startling thunks, bangs, clangs and general cacophony that startled me out of a sound sleep in an ugly manner. If I'd had a fire extinguisher handy...she would have been a very startled kitty cat.

Not a good way to start my day.

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And yah! I'm done (well except for the cleaning up part) and no missing digits in the process. I don't think I even shed any blood in sacrifice to the DIY god(dess)s.

I'll place the photos behind a cut only because there is 5 of them, and if you are low-bandwidth, I don't want you to struggle too much.

Read more... )
EDITED TO ADD: And while I've been doing battle with the particleboard....the day is sinking to its conclusion.

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Can't say as I can complain much about weather today.

The bed wins. Jesus that was difficult and NOT fun. Still the outer frame is bolted, and one of the two middle supports. I don't think it's going anywhere soon.

Santa, I want a power screw driver for Christmas. Thank you.

I also bought 3 pairs of socks today. Of course, I'm not wearing any of them. But, I will tonight when I walk to GNO.
and...in the case of my bed...rebuild furniture.(ahem, we broke the frame last night....again...and we weren't even being THAT wild!)

I have a dark, mission style, wooden Hall tree/bench to go up today. I also have the bed frame on my platform bed that is going to be BOLTED together with screws and a drill, not just the pegs in round bits it came with.

And then lunch with the Enigma. Some business documents to hash over during lunch, and home once again to some decorating for the holidays. Then, I promise, for those who love to be abused with that sort of thing, some pictures tonight of the nearly complete remodel.

Oh yes, and tonight is truly "GIRLS" night out. Me and Kit on our own with a large helping of dead fish! Since the Mad Scientist is vegan (and also out of town), she and I are going out for sushi this evening!

All in all, not a bad way to spend a Thursday, if I do say so myself!



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