Parking Lot Power Hour

what to wear

 

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This week’s fashion link up was themed Power Outfit. Which seemed to (rightfully) baffle most of us. If I think my “business suit” power-hour attire, it’d be a lot more like a messy painting smock and short shorts. In fact, that’s almost what I picked for today’s outfit, except I actually did have to dress up for a mini-pre-interview (one that I’m really not holding my breath on. Pretty sure it was an utter fail). My mom snapped these shots as I was leaving the car.

Marci 5-30-13 Top

 

You can see what all the other ladies wore by visiting our gorgeous host, Nicole, and checking out the link up! Oh and if you want to join in, two weeks from now we’re going to be showing off our ice cream date outfits. Guess that might mean I have to drag my sister along to our favorite fro-yo place…

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Busy hands keep the devil at bay

Flower Jar

LuckyPeach I4Sum’12

The devil in this case being boredom. I’ve always been one of those people, even as a little kid, who takes a full backpack with me where ever I go. Book, check. Notebook, check. Sketchbook, check. Headphones, check. Pencil case full of art supplies, check. One time my mom and I went to the grocery store and she convinced me that I didn’t need to bring a book, and then we ended up waiting almost an hour in the parking lot to hear back from my sister who needed a ride. Lesson learned–books come with me everywhere. Similar behaviors whenever David and I watch something on tv. Unless it’s something I’ve actively been jonesing to watch, odds are I’ll be sitting sideways on the couch with an art project in my lap. The best projects are one that don’t require too much brain energy, but a lot of busy work.

I’ve been cutting out a bunch of random people photos in magazines and turning them into these little tiny mini-masterpieces. If you enjoy, there are more on my tumblr.

 

More than space between Washington to California

Growing up we used to take monthly, almost weekly trips to California from our end of northern Washington. We’d drive through Oregon usually without stopping, and it was a place I never gave any though of till I met David. Who’s from Oregon. Almost three years ago he took me to his home state for a vacation. It was the first time I had ever spent any meaningful time in Oregon, and I had a blast. We usually visit a couple, maybe three, times a year and I always love it. That’s where we were over Memorial Day weekend and I didn’t go too photo crazy but you’ll be seeing them this week for sure! For now, though, I dug these three-year-old photos out.

Old Road Trip2

Dude I miss this car.

Old Road Trip 1

Back when he had way less hair and I had way more

The Twenty Dollar Pizza Tip

So I spent a year living in this tiny basement apartment that was adorable and nearly picture perfect except that it wasn’t properly sealed*. Which meant it slowly evolved into the perfect habitat for Hobo spiders. Don’t click that link unless you’re very fucking brave. I have way to many spider stories and I’m sharing them here. I’m sorry.

The Twenty Dollar Pizza Tip

My mom still rolls her eyes every time this story comes up, but it’s mostly because the first time I shared the story on Facebook she was indignant that the vast majority of my peers shared my attitude. So, you know, sorry in advance for making you read this again, Mom. You can skip it if you want, my feelings won’t be hurt.

For this story, we’re back in the House of Spiders. Yeah, that quaint little hellfest. This one might require a visual, since I don’t feel like typing a thousand-word description of my layout when a photo will illustrate the point nicely.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The very bottom of the photo frame is where the foot of my bed is. I had to be sitting on it to get this shot.

So I’m sitting on my bed, my notes spread every which way since homework always managed to feature prominently in unintentional spider-baiting. The next step involves transferring everything I have that’s useful, a mere ten percent, to the desk less than two feet in front of me so I can type them up into something actually useful. I’m a college student, mind you, and this is a very difficult step. Less so for the scholastic strain, and more for the psychological strain of knowing I’m about to actively commit myself to staying in that chair for a couple of hours until it’s done. Clearly this requires pizza. The idea spends less than a second in my brain before I’m dialing my favorite haunt and I know it’s less out of hunger than procrastination but I let myself have this win.

Pizza is ordered. I hang up the phone and prepare to follow through with the less pleasant end of the deal. I’m only halfway through sorting my notes when I see movement under my desk. I panic, freezing like a Cornish pixie in front of Hermione. Danger lurks below. The floor space under my desk is a messy booby trap of cords and dust bunnies and lost buttons so it’s hard to tell at first.

And then it’s not hard to tell. Not hard at all. There’s another hobo spider (and a link of course in case you needed a horrific refresher on these guys) and he’s walking nonchalantly towards my sound system’s bass. I clutch my toes and whimper to myself. I am a coward and I panic, mostly because I know Paul won’t come over to kill a spider twice no matter how nice he is. I know this because he told me after he killed the last one. I need to be brave. It’s time to face my fears. I am an independent woman who has lived on her own for years and I need to be capable of tackling a spider. Damnit, I am capable of handling this spider and I’m almost at the point where I believe that bald faced lie when salvation arrives.

My doorbell rings.

It’s the pizza boy and he’s a white knight bearing not only cheesy saucy goodness but my escape route out of this whole mess.

“Order a pi–”

“Hi, so I know this is really lame and wimpy but there’s a spider in my bedroom and I WILL GIVE YOU A TWENTY DOLLAR TIP TO KILL IT”

I speak in a panicked rush and I’m guessing from his creased forehead that in his stoner confusion he can’t decide if I’m joking or if he’s just walked into the grossest set up for a porno. I sigh. He’s a skeptic, indifferent to the need for timeliness in dealing with my crisis.

“No seriously it’s gross and enormous and please?”

He nods, muttering yeah sure, hands off the pizza box and slowly walks into my living room**.

This next part is the grosses part of any spider story I could possibly ever tell, so feel free to skip it if you’re already queasy with my eight legged topic. This part still grosses me out four years later in the retelling, but I’m also the lady that refuses to use her own shoes to kill spiders. I don’t like dealing with the aftermath, okay?

So I point him toward the bedroom, even though it’s hard to miss since its the only fucking direction he can walk in, and I watch him turn the corner to look at my desk. With the pizza safe and secure on the table, I walk behind him and leap onto my bed, pointing at the invader, its body eerily similar in size to the abandoned Skittle laying next to it. I watch in absolute horror as he grabs a receipt the size of a posit note. Let me repeat that–a post-it note sized paper–and proceeds to lean down, pinch the spider with his thumb and forefinger with ONLY A POST-IT NOTE SIZED PAPER PROTECTING HIM, and grinds the marauding bastard into that tiny, thin receipt. I have no dignity at this point.

“Oh my god. You just killed it with your fingers?? Holy shit. Oh my god.”

He looks at me and shrugged and asks where my trash is and in the retelling of this story I am even more convinced that he must have been high as a kite. I guide him the ten feet to my kitchen and open the cupboard for him. I’m shellshocked. I can’t believe he just did that. I’m so horrified. On one hand, it’s the most masculine, bravest, amazing thing I’ve ever seen but on the other hand ARE TWO FINGERS THAT SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO TOUCH ANYONE OR ANYTHING EVER AGAIN.

It was horrific. And yet even four years later I’m awed by the brazen audacity of it all. When I told David this story (ten minutes after it happened, over the phone, from my bed, scarfing down slices of greasy garlic filled comfort) he reassured me I was sane. He also reassured me that he would never in a million years perform a similar act for me, which I appreciate. I mean, I like his hands. It would make me sad to never touch them again. It would make me sad to have to chop them off and purge them with fire.

Oh and when I told my mom this story, her first reaction was “Did you seriously give him a twenty dollar tip to kill a spider?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”

Of course I did, mom, and I still stand by that to this day. He deserved every penny, and a gold fucking medal.

*Also the shower flooded no matter how many times they tried to reseal it. Oh and the walls were full of bees. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the greatest apartment.
**/kitchen. /dining room. /art room. Okay, so the apartment was lame. Fine.

I don’t like horror movies but if I did

I would totally recommend Cabin In The Woods and also also John Dies At The End*.

Seriously though I’m not one for horror movies. Avoiding violence in media is something I used to pride myself on, that I was still incredibly sensitive to guts and gore is a badge of honor. I’m the girl who walked out of Thirteen Twenty Eight Weeks Later (hahah woops!) in the first five minutes, and won a battle of wills with her junior year block teacher who insisted on showing gruesomely violent war documentaries. David and I have a lot of conversations about violence in media that tend to make him (self-admittedly) uncomfortable because they challenge the idea strongly maintained by most gamers that violence in games isn’t the problem–that it’s something else that’s at the root of the issue. I won’t argue against it, per say  but I definitely don’t think that going along with the culture of violence is going to help anything.

TANGENT! Anyway.

They’re not brand new releases, I know, but they’re my favorite gross movies. They’re in totally different genres but still both totally worth watching. People who’ve seen them both might be wondering what I think they have in common, and that’s pretty simple. They’re reflections of our society’s high violence threshold. They approach the issue differently. In John Dies you might miss it entirely, but it’s there. I promise.

We watched John Dies last night and it was hilarious. David came home half way through the day sick from work (d’aww poor guy) and I put on this movie, assuming correctly that it would cheer him up. He laughed through the whole thing. I laughed as well, although I watched the movie through half closed eyes most of the time. It was such a strange experience to watch a movie that couldn’t attain that level of humor without an equally high level of gore.

Cabin in the Woods is impossible to talk about with spoilers, but needless to say I’ve been a Joss Whedon fangirl since discovering Buffy in middle school. This movie was way beyond my threshold of gory grossness, but after my sister forced me to sit through the movie (and there was actual forcing–I almost left the theater several times), we talked about the movie for two hours. It was an amazing conversation, and I’ve since sat through it a second and soon-to-be third time. It’s a powerful conversation starter and requires that high level of gore to spark the right topics.

Anyone out there watch both these movies and see what I’m getting at? I’d love to know your thoughts, especially if you can recommend other movies in a similar vein! Keep in mind that I really only watch like one or two gross movies a year, though.

*Both movies are on Netflix. I should be sponsored by those guys for all the times I plug their stock

Pulitzer Book Review: The Executioner’s Song

I’m super embarrassed to realize I never actually posted a review of this book, especially since I loved it so much. This is part of my goal to read a Pulitzer Prize book a month, which you can read about here.

Norman Mailer won the Pulitzer Prize for his masterpiece The Executioner’s Song in 1980, but it would be over twenty years later until I discovered him. And even then, I read The Naked & The Dead. In fact, every time I tried to draft this review in my head, I just started writing a review for TN&TD, which I think means we need to have a small break for story time.

I was in high school and this guy, this super cool guy, this guy who had always been like a big brother to me, who used to tuck me in at night when I failed to stay up late with the big kids, this guy was going off to war. It was the first time the politics of a world bigger than I was managed to rip through my protective bubble and stare me in the eye, and I was heartbroken. And I was confused. And, finally, I was curious because I was raised in a bubble that doesn’t include war. So somehow, long story short, I bought Norman Mailer’s The Naked & The Dead to learn about war. Spoiler alert (not really) for those who haven’t read it: War is teh lame. In a traumatizing, awful, violent, horrific, psychologically-damaging way. Poor timing aside*, TN&TD blew me away with how brilliant it was. I loved it. I was in love with Mailer’s writing and so eager to read everything else he had ever written and found myself up against a brick wall. This is the part that baffles me, because I’ve always been a sucker for a book with too many pages. If I had seen Executioner’s Song back then, I would have snatched it up in a heartbeat. Barnes & Noble and my high school library really let me down. But that’s okay, because I found it a few months ago and could not stop that swelling wave of wriggly-lined anticipation in my chest.

The best part, guys? It was totally worth it. Yes, it’s long and yes, it’s sad and depressing. But. BUT. BUT! Mailer? He’s a guy who you can trust. You can trust that every single one of those sentences was crafted with painstakingly intentional care. He lets the voice of the story evolve. It evolves, guys, and that nerdy little fact pleases me more than most of the rest of the book. It’s beautiful. It’s heartbreaking. It’s honest. It’s unflinching in its honesty and wow. If I was actually going to write a solid review of this book–side note: you guys know these so-called reviews are really just opportunities for me to wax poetic about my memories of reading, right, because if not, well, awkward… But if I was actually going to write a solid review of this book, I would totally plagiarize the introduction Dave Eggers wrote in the edition I own. He nailed it. It’s the fasted 1000+ page tombe you will ever read UNLESS you’re reading Game of Thrones. Seriously, tell me I’m not the only one who read the entire series in less than a month? I’m not even bragging. It’s not something I’m proud of. Around book three I felt like the characters were holding my eyelids open and forcing me to read unwilling. It was exhausting and draining and a little invasive.

Summation: Win. So much win. So much depressing, agonizing, though-provoking win. Also violence is teh lame. Also also I’m totally going to go re-read TN&TD now.

*He came back from that tour, and from another one, and married my sister last year. I literally walked him down the aisle. Happy endings were had by all. Except, you know, the characters in those books. Below are photos of us at his (and my sister’s) wedding reception. The one on the left is our bear impression. It’s a family tradition.

Reception

The Gargoyle Memoirs #4

the gargoyle memoirs1

Staying for further studies has proved most erroneous. The female, in the midst of the morning’s unexpected frenzy, has enlisted my unwilling aid in writing for her. What has her so busy she can’t write it herself, I would posit. For the past week I’ve had to listen to her as she lay on the couch, moaning about her inability to regulate her body temper. Grow skin of stone, female, and see how long your fever lasts. This morning full of activity would have been a welcome change of pace, had I not been forced into menial labor. What is it that make her feel she has too many things to do? I should not have asked.

A house guest. It’s the giggly one, isn’t it?

It is. For a month?

Steady on, soldier. I will survive this month of two crafting female in the household. I need merely to avoid their glue gun reach.

>>Oh my god side note–how cute would he be with a drag queen-esque headpiece? I know, right?

I fear I will not see the other side of the month unscathed.

I don’t actually want to own a gun

bastardcrow

This morning’s version of David & I’s usual text routine. I’ve been sick and have a hard time sleeping in, so he’s been pushing the whole don’t-wake-up-early thing.

Me: Good morning! I turned of all my alarms but then a crow sat outside my window and squawked for a solid ten minutes, I shit you not. For Christmas I want a pellet gun.

David: Maybe I’ll just get you a super soaker. Happy Friday!

I Have A Fear of White Fabric

what to wearMarci 5-16-13 1

 

So I’ve been this horrible combination of super busy and over extended and sick all week, and I legitimately forgot it was Thursday. Right. Back to the prompt–spring dresses–I have a fear of white fabric. I’m mostly sure I’ve written about how I don’t believe in ever getting married and will never wear a white wedding dress. No? Maybe touched on, at least? Anyway, my fear of white fabric is way less esoteric than that. The truth is I’m super clumsy and spill drinks often. Seriously, get David started on a why I need lids to my drinks and he’ll talk for the rest of the day. But when I found this dress at Value Village I literally could not resist. You can’t tell but it’s actualy pretty old, made of linen, with a full silk liner. And appliqué white linen flowers. Love.

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Oh these photos are in black and white because I thought that would best accent the whiteness of my dress. Yes? No? Too much? Okay so they turned out super blue since my camera’s white balance wasn’t manually readjusted for outdoors. This was the only way I could save them. David spends way too much time trying to get dorky faces out of me during our photoshoots, and I’ve learned the best way to deal with it is make the grossest, weirdest faces I can make. Welcome to the madness of our lives…?Marci 5-16-13 4

And down the rabbit hole we go!

I promise this space isn’t going to turn into a food blog, or a healthy-eating blog. After all, how can it, when I forget to eat most days but still have ice cream on like a daily basis? That being said, a few tips and tricks I figure out may sneak into the blog on occasion. Up first? A recipe book that led me to amazing gluten free, egg free, blueberry muffins.

GFEF Muffin

In the world of food allergies, it’s basically impossible to find a cookbook that fits perfectly, particularly if you’re trying to avoid more than one food. I looked at one gluten free, vegan recipe book but the whole thing was written so pretentiously it was off putting. My mom and I spent a couple hours at a bookstore, pouring through and comparing all the different gluten free and vegan cookbooks we could find. In the end I stuck with gluten free-based books, since taking egg out is really simple once you know how to. For the record, I don’t actually know how to. I just know it exists is all.

GFEF Cookbook

So finding this book was basically like finding the jackpot. It’s gluten free, yes, and it also tells you the best way to mix your own all-purpose flour. The reason it instantly founds a play on the top of my take-home pile was that at the end of the first recipe I looked at, the muffins, it had a segment for how to take the diary out, and how to take the egg out. So it’s a super adaptable cookbook–my favorite kind!

GFEF Cooling Rack

I didn’t actually cook them in this, I just don’t own a cooling rack. Shameful, I know, but for the record, I’m one of the most anti-baking and anti-cooking ladies you’ll meet.