Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Been Thrifting, no. 1 | Raleigh Flea Market for Black Friday (ish)

I'm not sure that this past weekend's whim of a trip to the Raleigh Flea Market would be worth posting about, if not for this amazing Schoolboy Kittens Smoking in the Bathroom portrait we snagged. When I saw it, I yelped. And Wolfman laughed and handed me a 20 dollar bill. (To all outward appearances, it would seem that we are a very anachronistic couple [that is a nice word for it], as he always has cash on him, and I never seem to; I am the debit card carrier, however, and all my cash ends up being broken for ones and used as bus fare. Such are my ultra romantic spending habits.) I've been sporadically collecting art and prints for about a year now, but have not hung anything on our walls yet. A) Because our walls are made of some indestructible material which will not take a nail and B) Because of a frame shortage; frames are much too practical an item for me to think about spending money on and C) Technically, our landlord did ask that we not put too many nails in the walls--ah, the woes of renting. Currently, these bad boy kittens only have a home leaning against the record player in the living room, but this hanging impasse will be remedied once I'm on furlough next week. It's on my To Do While on Furlough List along with watching "You've Got Mail" and "While You Were Sleeping" and learning myself how to weave rugs.

Wolfman's flea market habits consist heavily of scouring the military surplus and examining many an antique weapon. (He is a collector of blades and a bow enthusiast, specifically.) He found these boot covers in a plastic tub full of handsome military coats (think Captain Jack Harkness), and they sort of perfectly solve his Five-Finger-Shoe dilemma of only being able to find short men's toe socks, not tall socks to keep his shins warm in the winter.

Also found: a 12 cup coffee pot (sort of fortuitous considering Wolfman had been wishing throughout his entire four day holiday weekend that he had a gigantic coffee pot so he could sip coffee all day long--we previously had only a four cup coffee pot and a french press), and for five bucks, a leopard print knock-off snuggie which Wolfman models above. He predicts that I will fall asleep as soon as I put the snuggie on every night. He is correct.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Photo Journal, no. 8 | Carpet Sharks

I don't care so much for kittens. I told this to the teenage girl who works in the shop where Wolfman teaches guitar, she of lilty, whispy, indie songs on open mic night. This was back when Wolfman had just brought Xena home, and she still fit in the palm of his hand, and he didn't want to leave her alone in the house so would bring her with him to work. Lilty, whispy teenage girl had asked me, "So, how are you liking the kitten?," or something like. And I answered in my typically honest, socially inept way, "Well, I don't," or something like. Poor teenage girl looked at me as if I were some sort of monster, and I was quick to add the disclaimer, "I mean, I like cats okay, so I kind of can't wait for her to be an adult cat already," but it was too late for me. I could not redeem myself after admitting to not liking kittens. And, as it turns out, joke is on me because Xena and her sister Birgitte (who we brought home at my insistence [I had a moment of weakness akin to seeing a too expensive silk scarf while "window shopping" and buying it, followed by instant regret]) are never growing up, it seems. They will never be adult cats. They will never get big. Heather, whose wild outdoor cats are mother and siblings to our kittens, insists that all the other kittens are normal-sized now. But not our little runts.

The point, however, is that though I sometimes want to punt these little carpet sharks (as I've not so affectionately termed them), my husband sure does love them. And I sure do love him. (And look at those eyelashes! What a gorgeous hunk of man!) And, there's always our handsome boy, Lunchbox. I do love that dog. Best and handsomest dog ever.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Photo Journal, no. 7 | To the Renaissance and Back

1. Wolfman, in chainmail.
2. Clif Bar, Knitting, Horn flagon, Faire address: Ready for a long drive.
3. Spider, hiding on a sheep skin rug.
5. Late lunch: Cider, turkey leg, and sausage on a stick.
6. Boss Wench, my new future band name.
9. When we see the camel, I say, “Oh, look how pretty it is,” at the same time Wolfman says, “What an ugly beast.”
11. Leather Mystiques, of Oregon, where Wolfman purchased his piebald gauntlets.
12. Scottish babies.
14. “Creaking above thy very head hang the silent corpses of Henry’s dead.”
17. A boy draws what Wolfman recognizes as the Nine Realms in the dirt.
18. “Poke a dead man with a stick!”

If I can’t write about it, it must have been fun. That is the rule of my life and writing habits. Let me just say this, we did not want to leave. I envisioned an RV with a couple goats tethered to it, and a life for us as traveling craftsmen of some sort. Leather? Metal work? Corset fitting? Weaving? Something, something creative and with our hands, and traveling from Renaissance Faire to Renaissance Faire across the country. Wolfman says, “We’d be poor,” to which I respond, “But we’d be happy. (And we're already poor.)”

Now, to learn some craft.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rumination, no. 1 | Full of Thanks

Here is the thing: I am a bona fide whiner. I just watched a season 5 episode of 30 Rock in which Liz is talking at Pete, and he throws his arms up over his face and says something like, “I feel another complaint coming on!” That is, essentially, what “conversations” between Wolfman and me sound like many an evening after work. Work is most often what I complain about, but also, and more specifically, I complain about people. Because? I am not a people person, I guess. I’m working on that. Really.

But, the exception to that not liking people thing? Immediately—I’m talking as soon as I laid eyes on this poor sucker—the man I call Wolfman, whose mother actually named him less anthropomorphically, Jared, my now husband, is a people I like. If not a people person, I am at least a Wolfman person. So, he is, inevitably, the first thing that pops in my mind when I contemplate the word “thankful.” (I hear it’s the time of year for doing that.) He is, inevitably, the first thing that pops in my mind when I contemplate a lot of subjects—Wolfman and food, my numbers one and two favorite things to think about.

So, when I think about my husband, I am so full of thanks I, literally, am on the brink of tears. (I’m a crier.) I am thankful for that man, with his beard-face-scratchy-kisses and his gorgeous arms, and that handsome devil face. I am so thankful that he appeared in my life, that I wore blue tights with a mini skirt that one day and caught his eye, that we held on in those first tumultuous months of marriage. I am so happy that he is the one that I get to come home to, and on days when he works later than me, that he comes home to me (even though I might spend a good half hour complaining at him [but never, it should be noted, not ever, about him]). If this blog is about one thing, it is about the impetus to move forward, to find a better way to be me, to hold myself accountable, and he is the reason I want to be smarter, stronger, more adept, more skilled and accomplished. I am a grade A slacker, always have been, but I don’t feel quite so much like sandbagging now that he’s around. I want to be great, because he is great. (No, really guys, he is.)

But also, I’m so thankful for him because I am also so thankful for humor. Very often the day-to-day pattern of my life would feel very much like drudgery if not for the fact that at least (at least) four times a day, I belly laugh. At least four times a day, I throw my head back and laugh—LAUGH—I make that sound in my throat that is less a laugh than a bark, and I revel in my own laughter, really. I love my laugh because it is the same too-loud, too-long, too-big laugh that all the women in my family share. And often, my husband is the one making me laugh. That grocery list pictured above? I asked Husband Dearest to write down Gas-X (dairy and I do not get along, though I love it so), and he writes Lady Anti-Fart Pills, “You know,” he says, “for Ladies to suppress farts, because Ladies don’t fart.” Still, days later, I keep thinking about that grocery list and giggling to myself.

Those are the big things, then. I am thankful this year, and every year, for Wolfman and for Laughing That Laugh That is More a Bark than a Laugh.
Some other things I’m thankful for:

1. My very good step-dog, Lunchbox Chaos Vaughn. Best and handsomest dog around.
2. The women in my family mentioned above. I love those gals. They, also, are big on the laugh-o-meter; constant giggling when I have the pleasure of being in the same room with them.
3. Tea, hot or cold, preferably with honey, and if I’m in Wolfman’s cafĂ©, the red tea latte (which he always, even when he is not working, steps behind the counter to make me himself, another reason to be thankful for him; also, he has a cute butt).
4. This gorgeous autumn. The most gorgeous autumn in recent memory.
5. Songs about witches.
6. Epic fantasy novels and television shows, which make me crave adventure and crusty bread and open fire.
7. A roof over my head, food in my belly, clothes on my back, and a lack of concern for tomorrow. I’m cared for, I’m loved, I’m safe and settled.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Photo Journal, no. 6 | Page Upon Page Upon Page

So much for being the Get Up and Go type, the girl who can live just as easily in a tent as under a roof, with a strong foundation beneath her feet. How did I accumulate so much--so much damn stuff, shelves overflowing with books and leaving me no place to hide knitting projects from those horrible kittens. And then there is the closet issue, the clothing, which I've been weeding week by week, but still I ran out of hangers this weekend. The addition of two paradise fish, in particular, sitting in respective bowls in the kitchen, taking up already limited counter space, proves that I am so like my grandmother, and the longer Wolfman and I live in this same house, comfortable-like, the more this home will mirror hers. And I love her home; I love all the hidden treasures in nooks and crannies, love her to-capacity book shelves. But, should we need to get up and go, should that be required of me, can I leave all these things behind? Am I still capable of being a proper nomad?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Olive Street Cinema, no. 2 | Of Witch Hunts, Wacky Weed, & Alien Invasion

Season of the Witch (2011): I love Nic Cage. A friend of Wolfman's, during a game of Apples to Apples, once confessed that she finds Nic Cage to be the absolute worst; Nic Cage is to her as Kevin Costner is to me, i.e. an actor whose movies I will not touch with a ten foot pole. But I think Nicolas Cage is capable of amazing things. He absolutely broke my heart in Matchstick Men, and Raising Arizona is among my all-time favorite movies; there is not an actor on this planet who could do H.I. McDonnough like Nic Cage did H.I. McDonnough. Fact. Now, to Season of the Witch. As far as Plague & Witch Hunts go, this was not as good as Black Death which we watched a few months ago (and as much affection as I do have for Nic Cage, Sean Bean slays me in everything I see him in). Black Death was grittier, darker, scarier, and it left an imprint on my brain for days afterwards, its implications were so horrible. But, Season of the Witch is a truly entertaining movie. The makeup effects are squishy and cringe-worthy, the story kept me fairly riveted even while starting a knitting project, and aside from Nic Cage, the audience is granted the ever wry presence of Ron Perlman as his sidekick. Plus, I just happen to really love movies about this time period--so macabre by default. Also, one last note, every time I type "season of the witch", the Vanilla Fudge cover of that song starts roaring through my head, and that is a wonderful thing.

Smiley Face (2007): And again, I'm going to spend the first part of this review/summary discussing the lead actor and how wonderful I find him/her. I really love Anna Faris. I find her excruciatingly funny. I will watch categorically unfunny movies, movies in which the plot and writing are just terrible and cater to the lowest common denominator (House Bunny, Just Friends), because I love Anna Faris--she makes the unfunny funny. And, if you're going to make a movie based entirely around one actor's facial expressions, Anna Faris could not be a more perfect choice. She's wonderful and relateable and joyful and efforvescent and sends me into paroxysms of laughter. Directed by Gregg Araki, who's known for doing trippy, bloody little films like The Doom Generation (which I started watching once, and then had to turn off because it was making my stomach turn, but still intend on finishing one of these days); he likes to visually play with his audience and his character, producing strange, cartoonish little hallucinations, taking us on a journey with poor Jane, she of the accidental consumption of a plate full of pot cupcakes. This is funny, and fun to watch, and chock full of great cameos. Here is a list: John Krasinski, Brian Posehn, Adam Brody (with dreads), Jim Rash, Jayma Mays, Jane Lynch, Rick Hoffman, Carrot Top, and John Cho and Danny Trejo as workers at a sausage factory. The movie lost me in its very last scenes, but was still thoroughly enjoyable.

Attack the Block (2011): FROM THE PRODUCERS OF SHAUN OF THE DEAD. It's printed on the poster and in movie summaries on every website known to man, so I figured I'd put that up front. Fun Fact: I'm not a huge Shaun of the Dead fan. I'm more a Hot Fuzz kind of gal. But, I digress. I really thought in the first fifteen minutes that I was not going to enjoy this movie at all. The kids we're supposed to be routing for, the ones who are going to save their block and, probably, mankind from an invasion of ferocious, neon-toothed, black as pitch, gorilla wolf aliens, are sort of assholes. In the opening scene, they rob one of their neighbors and then push her down in the street. But, then something happens as the movie progresses. These kids, yes, are still assholes, but I kind of forgive them that because they're so stout and bold and fearless--they are boys among boys, in a world that expects them to grow up and get tough really fast. This movie is often sold to people as being Goonies-esque, and it sort of is--it tugs at the heart strings in the same way while being ten times more brutal (spoiler: not all of these boys survive). The trajectory of this movie is such that, like movies like Independence Day, by the end of it, had you been drinking quite a bit, you might want to stand up on your sofa and cheer, or at least fist pump, or, as was our case, turn to the other people in the room while you all collectively say something to the extent of, "Wow, that was really good."
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