Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Back in LA

Since I last wrote, I've been through Berkeley, Oakland, Chicago, Tokyo, New York City, and finally home to Los Angeles. It was a long, strange trip - but so good. So so good. There were hikes, temples, gardens, ferries...tons of martial arts training with fantastic teachers, and some life altering experiences. I'm glad to be home, but trying to carry those feelings with me so that they don't get lost in the mundane.

Also, I am feeling leaner and stronger after two weeks of working out like a fiend and eating like a monk. If only I hadn't also been drinking like a Norwegian...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Megabus

I'm on the second story of a double decker Megabus, scooting along towards Oakland in the company of a lot of cheerful Rastafarians. The bus is pretty swank, way nicer than Greyhound for a lot less money. One of my resolutions for this year was to visit Grandma Teddy more, and so I'll be on this bus at least once most months.

Two births last week, and I'm feeling tired, out of shape. And gross from too many late night takeout meals. Time to spend some time on myself and my health. So...for a few days, starting now, I'm cleaning this up. Lots of water, light meals of healthy stuff, long wals. Hold me to it, please.

Naptime, then sunrise on the bus. We have skylights. It's pretty awesome.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Duplicat

I have this favorite apron that I bought in Japan a few years ago. It just so happens to have a really nice shape, good pockets, and it has a kitty. Very important.
I wear my aprons a lot when I'm around the house, because when I'm on call (which is pretty much all the time) I have to have my phone on my person. Stuffing a fat smartphone in jeans is not so comfortable, and if I'm wearing pocketless skirts or dresses, forget it. Aprons are like instant pockets.
See how the cat fears my grimy hands? Poor kitty was getting pretty grungy, so I made another in the clone lab.
I copied the pattern from apron #1 and tried to use all the same construction, including nice details like a bias-taped hem. Unfortunately I forgot that about corduroy's nap, so some of the pieces have a different sheen than the others. Oh well - it may be a fancy apron, but it's still an apron.
The cat's on the other side now. All the stuff to make this - rusty red corduroy, matching rusty red cotton for the ties, bias tape, felt, embroidery thread - was all stuff I had lying around.
And then I went and busted up some concrete. The end.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Laid in Los Feliz

How could they not be happy, living in a neighborhood called "The Happy"? I got a giant box of egg cartons on the internets, and am selling a couple dozen to friends each week. My egg money buys me a lunch or two and it feels good.

Someone found a stray chicken in the neighborhood and brought it to me, thinking it might be one of mine...so now I have 13 chickens. The other girls are beating her up, so she's hanging out with me while I work. Very sociable little chicken she is; she keeps sneaking up behind me then running away when I turn around.
I don't watch sports, but some part of me does wish I could be vegging out in front of a big screen with a giant plate of nachos and chicken wings (don't worry chickens, not anyone you know) and some good movies. Instead I'm dealing with this:
and trying not to think about this:
Los Angeles noise ordinance prohibits "construction noises" on Sundays, so I guess the rotary hammer will have to wait until tomorrow! I'm looking forward to having a little less concrete in my life.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sick sick sick

This week nothing has gotten done, because I have had a cold, or something like that, which knocked me on my ass for a few days of coughing sneezing puking misery. It probably wouldn't have lasted so long, but you know what's a great thing to do when you're sick? Go camping! Go camping somewhere even colder than your own uninsulated drafty house. That'll do it.

Anyway, home now and finally feeling a bit better. No, I haven't had a flu shot. I've never had a flu shot - I don't really believe in getting vaccinated against things that wouldn't permanently maim or kill me (so I might feel differently about the flu shot when I am old or otherwise compromised). As far as I can tell, I get the flu about as often as people I know who get the shots religiously. A reminder to take a few days off isn't such a bad thing, except for the house going to hell in a handbasket while I'm lying around with the cats. At least someone took care of the chickens for me, and we have so many eggs that I'm wishing I could sell a couple dozen.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Beer

After a long discussion about how we shouldn't start any new projects until we've closed up all the house's open wounds, and how finishing things is good, and blah blah blah, I hear a funny noise while I'm cleaning up in the garage and whoops! My lovely husband has started ripping out old plaster and lath. Oh well - that rotten plaster was pissing me off too. You should probably know that taking off a door (that has no porch or overhang) and replacing it with only a badly installed security screen, will cause your plaster and doorframe to rot. Consider yourselves warned.
Previous owners of our home were not too bright about this sort of thing. We're taking this serendipitous opportunity to fix some really bad wiring too.

If you're not into home improvement, hey look a bunny!
He's got some ears on him, that one.

The main event last week was to execute the next step of turning this:
into some form of drinkable hooch. I was all afraid that it had gotten screwed up when the gasket blew and the airlock fell off, but when I opened it up it smelled good. I have to keep reminding myself of something my SCA brewing mentor used to say (and probably still does - hi Henry!) - peasants brewed every day...and they somehow managed it without food grade plastic buckets and degrees in biochemistry.
The next important step in any brewing process is to pour yourself some of whatever you brewed last time. It's a good reminder that this crazy stuff actually works, and gives you something to do while you stand around siphoning proto-booze.
Usually I like to use a tourniquet to tie the siphon to the bucket handle, so that it doesn't dip too low into the muck at the bottom (as a medical professional, I have that sort of thing lying around. Afterwards I checked its blood type) but this time I forgot to get the siphon, so I had to just stand around drinking beer while holding the racking tube. Worse ways to spend an hour, I'm sure.
The last step in brewing is to wash up all your gear to avoid incurring the wrath of others in the household. In the past I would have thought that no one could get angry at a person who makes alcohol appear, but I was wrong...plus, that muck at the bottom of your primary fermenter gets really hard to scrub off after a while. Next week, bottling!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Next Year

I told all the chickens last week that if they didn't start laying again, I was gonna eat them, and that I was already shopping for their replacements online. It worked! Four eggs already in the last couple of days...which is good, because I don't think I'll have the mental cycles to raise a new group of hens this year.

New Year's Resolutions that I intend to keep:
Stay up to date with all my schoolwork. I'm not paying good money to waste time. Go for a walk at least twice a week. Drink at least as much water as I drink coffee. Visit my grandma more. Make more homebrew beer and mead.

Resolutions that would be nice, but seem pretty damn unlikely:
Learn to read katakana and hiragana (phonetic japanese). Do yoga (more than one sun salutation a month. Eat the vegetables in the fridge, rather than letting them get old and giving them to the chickens. Write posts here more regularly.