from the pa kitchen

merry christmas, all! had a lovely holiday. a is coming! she flew in last night. haven't talked to her yet about plans. i'm not very good at keeping the cell phone attached at the hip with the family all around. all went as planned. we traveled quite quickly across indiana, ohio, pa, and we successfully kept our hands off each other and away from pet names on the farm. we had christmas with dad's family, christmas with mom's family, church at peace, cooked indian food.

off th the grocery store now- more later!


the last pre-christmas entry

d's here and we're all packed up! we're gonna get frisky, go to sleep, and wake up early tomorrow to start driving! happy holidays to all, welcome back sun from the solstice, and keep in contact as i road trip! the cell's always on!


tired but magical

yesterday was oh so very very long. worked all day, went to the spectacle space to get my bags cut and sewn- well, broke FOUR needles on the industrial with that damn fabric. there's no way. i'm never sewing with it again. ever. sorry bag lady. so i didn't get it all done. all cut out, and 2 sewn, but there's still 2 more to do. raced home, and the laundrimat had already called last wash by the time i got there, but i snuck in. d ended up coming to the laundrimat - her ex picked up jr a day early. so i was gonna have her help me glue bags, but i only had 2 done, and i was just too tired. so we just came home and went to bed.

work today, then the messiah. i wasn't as enthusiastic as i am some years- i feel like it slipped over my head without being a major spiritual experience. which is fine, i had fun, i just usually have more passion. it always makes me so very happy i live in chicago.

but now i am home, and i am so so tired. my list for tomorrow is so so long. a isn't comign home for christmas- she's snowed in in colorado. it's so sad. i guess i'll see j late late on sat night- hopefully i'll catch more of her when i'm driving through on the 2nd. kira, i hope you're still on! are you doing anything the 29th? i think that's the day d and i will be spending in philly. perhaps you'd be interested in houseguests the 28th? and d and i want to do toristy things like see the liberty bell and go to the franklin institute. i should probably email you this instead, but i'm too tired to open another window.

it's just silly at this point. off to bed.



goodbye, sideburns. i know you'll grow back eventually. ch's haircut is SHORT! it's nice though. i trimmed up his as well. now i have to go and wash all the little hairs off me before bed, though. d says she'll like it as long as she can still run her fingers through it. it was crazy this afternoon with mom calling, d calling, z calling and g'ma calling. she wanted to finalize plans for this weekend. eep! i can't believe it's here already! yes, j, we're coming through on the 23rd. we'll be at g'mas in time for dinner, and we have to teach d how to play 500 that night. and we're probably leaving before church the next morning- sorry g'ma, we're missing the birthday party for jesus.

can't wait to see you all! though i wish there were more of you i'll be seeing. come to pa, one and all! esp. if you have rocking new years eve plans.

i appologize for using though four times and through twice in those 150 words or whatever. i'll try and use my thesaurus more in the future and lighten up on the ghs.

still busy

was so exhausted after square dancing last night. during, actually. made so many stupid mistakes. then the cat kept waking me up today. but i did get the bags glued in and went to the grocery store. and tidied up the place a bit. and made dinner. ch is coming over soon. he'll give me my pre-pa haircut.

i do occasionally have interesting things to say, but no time to post when they're in my head. i promise to stop giving the daily record of activities. no one cares, no one comments, no one reads. i get it. i know i would have readers if i was funny, suscinct, and or more faithful. but compared to other blogs, i feel like i'm doing an ok job keeping this one just barely breathing on it's life support.


will catch up on the weekend soon

... i promise! but not tonight. had a fun christmas with jr, did more christmasy things and worked on bags sat, then today was the christmas square dance and tom's holiday party. then i spent 2 hrs talking to a on the phone (that happens when you're talking about sex) and then i spent a considerably large portion of time typing text messages into my computer cause i've filled up my phone's memory. so i'm feeling sad and wistful.

meanwhile i should send out my first announcement. leah called me today and said she's working new years and there are four other people staying at their place, including laura. so that's out for deb and i. there have been other offers, none particularly charming. so anyone have good new years plans they wanna invite me to? preferably in philly? we may end up going to my step cousin (would that be who my mom's step-nephew is?)'s penthouse in old town. leah did invite us to philly for a dinner party on the 29th, so i think we're going to that. it's not so much that i want deb and laura to meet as i refuse to avoid laura if it means i don't get to see the phillly dykes.

luckily with all the planning z's been doing, nothing-so far- has been a major conflict. d and i will be just hopping from place to place making sure to get everything in, but we won't have to choose one bit of family over another.


schönes weihnachten!

work was long again today. hotglued 48 snowflakes (covered in grape glitter, btw) to plastic picks, among other things. was so surprised when i remembered the christkindlmarket- when am i going to fit that in this year? and ch said, what are you doing after work today? so i went with ch and hugo after work and it was marvelous. a warm night, and hugo hadn't been there before and found it magical. i kept waxing nostalgic and was a walking dictionary of random german factoids. we drank our glüwein out of our commemorative mugs and ate our potato pancakes and took photos of silly ornaments.

after that we were on another SLOW SLOW train, but i went to women and children's first bookstore to do some serious holiday shopping. did end up buying 2 things for me (hey, i NEED a new planner) but was able to find the gift i need for tomorrow and ordered the other one i want for philadelphia. made a lot of phone calls- the only person i could get through to was my dad. my goodness, where is everyone? then i went to devon market for some stocking stuffers and when i came home... MY BOX FROM HEARTHSONG ARRIVED! jr and d are coming over tomorrow night for christmas. jr still believes in santa, so i'm so glad that there will be gift options and stuff for stockings. i'd have been so sad if it had been late.

so if you'll excuse me, i have some wrapping to do!


bags rings work etc

tuesday i got the bags done and off to the bag lady, thanks to d's help. i called the fashion designer and demanded patternmaking money. we'll see the check she sends me. i will be happy if it's $100 at this point, but i'm sure she won't pay me that much. ugh, whatever. d picked me up after the bag lady came by and we went to jr's christmas program, which was very very lo-fi, and boring, but still cute. it was all hard, doing these public things with d when i'm feeling so hot for her these days. so we went home and made dinner and played with jr. my fave line of the evening was in the kitchen when i made some joke about our plans for the evening, and d weighed her 2 options in her hands. "hmmm- chutes and ladders or my hot girlfriend in my bedroom-chutes and ladders or my hot girlfriend in the bedroom. i'm thinking- this is a tough decision...." and actually she ended up getting both. our three month anniversary is friday, and on the bed she'd left a card for me and the cutest little box ever... and inside was a ring. goddess, i hate that clenched up feeling inside about handling the giver's feelings first and making sure they know i appriciate what they're trying to do and dealing with my own panic later. we talked about it though. i actually said, "this ring signifies no sort of commitment, you just got it for me because i wear rings a lot and you could have gotten me a necklace and it's just a pice of jewelry, you would have gotten me a braclet but i don't wear them, right?" she said she knew i'd freak out and it wasn't like it was a diamond or something. so then we got into the whole no diamonds for me EVER, and she didn't even know about diamond mines or fair trade diamonds... my goddess. but i do like the ring- it's silver with six inset triangle gems the colors of the pride flag. (she said she couldn't decide between that one and one with 2 women's symbols... it was hard for even me to give advice, because politically it's more important for me to be a feminist than queer- but visually, i'll always vote color. as my grandma says, i like rainbows.)

today was another long day at teh flowershop. it's been so crazy there- happy holidays. i have so much daily paperwork to do that just hasn't been getting done because we've been spending so much time doing partys and balloons and pointsettias and stuff. goddess. but mom and z's gifts both arrived via ups yesterday, so i had those to bring home. then i headed to the spectacle space, where christopher and i made curtains and i worked on my my dad's gift. that thick&quick stuff- they're not kidding! it was done in, like, 2 hrs. i still have to do the accessories, but that would give me about an inch and a half of my sock knitting. it's like a completely different craft or something.

d texted me and offered me a ride home, so i saw her today, too. she still hasn't taken her rental car back, and there are other things that are still falling apart in her life that make me worried. i've been trying to live by ch's motto of judging people by their actions not their words, and so far d has said things both about who she is and who she hopes to be or wishes she was.... so it's just going to take patience to see how it all shakes out. and meanwhile, i need to just rest on what a good time we're having.


wonder girlfriend

comment and let me know if you prefer the three shorter posts or one long one. so after d and jr and i saw happy feet and had our photoshoot, we came home and made gypsy soup. i was stressing about all i had to do- the weekend goes so fast, and jr's school christmas program is tuesday, so i won't get as much done then as i want to. and d not only made the soup while i ran errands and took out the trash, she also did the dishes. i knew i was gonna procrastinate the rest of the night, but she told me to put on a movie for jr, and she'd help me with the bags. so that's what we did. i got them all measured and she cut them all out, and three of them are sewed together, and it was just magical. usually the more time i spend with my girlfriend the more stressed i get about my real life, and this was a case in which i was actually LESS stressed after spending the evening with her. we probably could have glued them in too, but i was just too hot for her, and we ended up getting frisky after jr was asleep instead.

after work today, they came by to pick up her pants i'd altered, and brought by another indian thali for me, and some accent flowers dyed red and green, and bagles, and they gave me a ride to square dancing. it was pretty darn sweet. so don't say i only write when i've got a gripe about her, cause i'm currently feeling pretty horny for the girlfriend.

happy feet

we also went to see happy feet, which, shut up, i really enjoyed. i totally related to what i found as a gay parallel- while not as overt as say, xmen 2, was definately there. mumble is shunned by penguin society because of his differentness- his disinterest and untalent in the essential love act in the emperor penguin world. while his peers are by turns baffled, mocking, and accepting, the elders of the community think that different is bad and he needs to be exiled. that it is this sin that is bringing the hard times to the land. hello, fred phelps? i guess the underdog and the different one can always be seen through rainbow-colored lenses, but i thought the whole religious aspect (plus of course his differentness tied to a mating ritual) was what made it more so than your average tale of a kid who doesn't belong. or i could just be reading into it.

the other thing i really enjoyed was introduction of live action people at the end, though reviewers hated it. i thought it totally made sense logically, and i thought the forshaddowing lead us right there. it showed that these are real creatures and had a good environmental message- cause it's so easy to imagine antartica and cutsie penguins as characters soley in a cgi world, not realizing that it's a real live place here in our very world. i llked the shift, so there.

there were some things i hated, of course. your basic cartoon standbys: mysogyny and the hegemony of american (AND HUMAN!) beauty standards. why do the women characters only sing and go fishing? why are there no women on the adventure? this does not reflect penguin culture- women go off to get fish while the men sit on the eggs, for goddesssake! there were 2 main women characters and about 10 main male characters. was it necessary for all those roles to be played by men? i don't think so. and i was FURIOUS about something ch first pointed out in the ad- the women penguin's yellow coloring is a triangle lower than the coloring on the male's necks- and the animators used it to emphasize the appearance of breasts. there were all these curvy women penguins! it was pretty disgusting- why can't even PENGUINS be short and squat? that's REALLY how the goddess created them. there wasn't anything else physically antromorphised. it was really bad- even d mentioned it afterwards.

and my final question- why didn't this movie come out in time for me to write a paper on it in culture, race and media class? cause i think i've said more in this blog entry than everything i could dredge up about a bug's life, which was the cartoon i actually wrote the paper on.

pictures and picture talk

so let's see. we ended up getting to the party later than imagined because when i opened my stockings 2 long ribbons fell out- they didn't come pre-laced! so i had to lace them all up before i could go out. it was very-time consuming. it was fine- we didn't really mingle much, there were hairless muscular tattooed strippers wandering around, the catered munchies were good, there was porn on the coffee table, etc. here are my new shoes:
someday i'll have a better picture. talking about new shoes, i inspired a. here are her new shoes:

anyway, i just realized i never posted the photos of d, jr and i in front of the decorated christmas tree. so here they are:

there are other pictures from my last roll, the snow in the garden, jr and the kitty, and closeups of bits of d, mostly. if you really wanna see them, they're on the flickr page. we took a whole roll at the playground yesterday, but they turned out quite disapointing. i bought film with an 800 asa in hopes that i could take more inside photos, but then i took it to the park in the sunlight with reflective snow, and the colors totally suck- it's all greyed out. i just don't go through enough film to use a whole roll one place though- i wish i could change film speeds each picture. i guess in the winter i should keep 800 in the camera, but have a roll of 400 or 200 around for those snowfilled sunny photoshoots. i did get some cute ones, though, so i'll have to scan them in. soon, i swear.


2 thalis, 3 meals

so when i was at work on THURSDAY, d called and asked me if she could take me out to dinner? what girl says no? esp when i decided i'd rather hang with her then than on friday. SO, she picked me up after work, and then we got take out from my fave indian vegetarian fast food place. we brought it back to my place to eat, pet the cat, and i packed up a bag to take it to her place. i took a book to read to jr, and cards to play, thinking i'd just enertain him while d took the babysitter home. well, when we got there, jr was asleep, the tv was blasting, the babysitter was talking on her cell phone, and the place was just torn apart. i guess jr's hamster esacaped and they were looking for it. it was so overwhelming. i thought they would never be ready to go. but finally d turned off that fucking tv and they left. i plugged in my ipod, put on the cleaning mix, and started picking up. i was getting frustrated, cause i can understand that d's ex left the place a mess and she hasn't had the gumption to clean it,but i'm afraid of the lack of maintainence- piles of jr's schoolpapers everywhere, new trash not being thrown away, all the clothes i folded 2 weeks ago still sitting on piles in the middle of the loveseat. so i was out to prove it doesn't take that much energy to go to bed in a clean house, and d was all embarrassed when she came back, so it was kind of a bad situation. but we talked about it, so we'll see what happens.

work at the spectacle space was fun the next day- industrial machine, wOOt! the meeting went well, i got along better with the boss, so that's good. and i got to leave early since i got in so early. and it was a good thing i did, because as soon as i got home, the doorbell rang- UPS! with three boxes! i was a litle upset they didn't reroute the one like they were supposed to, but i was really just glad to have it. and i think that's it for things coming to my house ups. everything else is going to the flowershop where someone can sign for it. hor-ray for online shopping. i'm such a fan. then i proceeded to waste the rest of the evening. it's just too cold in my house to do much of anything. burrr. i wanted to get the bags cut out, but instead i just talked on the phone with d for 2 hrs.

today i got right up so i could go to the one of a kind show with ch at the merchandice mart. it's HUGE! and we wandered and wandered for HOURS and wouldn't you know, the bag lady was the LAST vendor we saw. her bags look totally nice all displayed on the velvet. i hope she makes some money, cause i do like working for her, and they are so fun. after that we went to tj maxx to find some vases to arrange in for our party tonight. then we went to payless and bought shoes. mine are totally sexy to go with my new tights, can't find their picture on the website though. and you know, buy one get the second half off... so then we went to the flowershop, arranged in the vases, and took the TRAIN FROM HELL to try and get home. now, an hour and a half later i am finally typing on the computer, but i just want to curl up in my cold little bed, not get dressed up all slinky to go to this party. thank goddess i have a warm cat.


christmas and knitting, horrah!

all i did today was workworkwork. but we did get a new industrial at the spectacle space! it was so exciting! it sews so fast and strong and ah, i'm just in love, in love! i've been knitting jr a pair of mittens on the train today, thick and quick yarn (please don't look down on me for knitting with lion brands. they're the nicest cheap yarn there is, and i can't afford to buy good yarn for even myself) so i completed the first mitten in like, 2 hrs. i was working on the thumb by the time i came home. however, it's all kinds of annoying because the hand is 16 sts around, the thumb 6. as if that isn't annoying enough, i was too impatient to go to loopy to buy more size 13 dpns, so i'm knitting them on 2 dpns and a circular needle. it's crazyness, but it gets the job done.

and it's SO nice to blog about a project that i'm working on! it's so hard, to be so excited about all these crafts and not being able to tell anyone about them. for once i'm GLAD jr can't read.


crafty beaver

it was such a nice day today. i had such a good time crafting and basking in the glow of the christmas tree. the only thing that makes me sad is that too many of you read my blog to have me say what i'm making! jr and deb came over this evening, after dark. it's a good thing, too, because i discovered that i had no film in my camera! all those beautiful ice pictures! all the first snowfall pictures! all of those lovely depth-of-field photos of my exhorbanantly blooming christmas cactus! gone! they never existed in the first place! it makes me rather sad.

but still, we had a fun time threading popcorn and cranberries, watching muppets christmas carol, decorating the tree, making dinner, playing crazy eights. took a few cell phone photos, but there's a communications error so i can't send them to flicr. will post as soon as they're up though. but i'm off to go to bed. or knit more gauge swatches. i can't help it- i'm addicted.


yesterday was kind of hellish at the flowershop. crazyiness. nasty customers. ones that took alot of hand-holding. i ended up leaving the flowershop a MESS for ch today. but things kept happening. i did sell a lot of flowers though. so that's good. and i closed a little early to get most of the packages in the mail. still missing ruth jamie kira and j. sorry guys. it's just that you need extra gifts or it's gonna be hard to scrounge up your address or i have to write clever notes, too. but before xmas, i promise. after work the bag lady came to collect- so i have her beefy check to cash now. but she had problems with one- and i have three more to do... so the end will never come, it seems. she'll be much more human after her show this weekend, though. i know.

so i was late to square dancing, which was fun as usual. it was fun to have hugo and stacy there to watch us. i miss stacy already. i wish she didn't live so far away. but i chat on the phone with her all the time. came home, surfed the internet, and glued that last bag for the bag lady. the overstocks.com guy said they were out of brown boots and he'd give me a refund. fuck that i need boots. so i'm keeping the black ones. wah-wah.

now, my house is cold, but my life is perfect. i'm internet shopping for xmas gifts, the tree is lit, the sun is shining, my girlfriend and her son are coming over soon for christmas delights, there's a cat asleep on the quilt, and i'm weaving xmas gifts for ch and jamie. but i think i'm done with my online shopping, so i'm gonna pop in a movie now, while i craft, knitting and weaving. i've spent so much money which makes me nervous it only being the 5th, but i have so much of my shopping done already- there are very few things i have left to buy. and i am SO GLAD i know a child this year! i have always loved shopping from chinaberry and hearthsong. when i was a child, the gifts that came from there were always my fave, and i've felt silly as a grown up doing so much shopping there. but now i have an actual, real, live KID to buy for! it's hard to rein me in.


christmas time!

ok, so i have a couple of pictures to catch up with:
first, i know a said i couldnt' talk anymore about my fabulous thanksgiving, but i wanted to include this one because it includes wine:

and i also never posted d's new sexy haircut:

next, i want to show you how BEAUTIFUL the flower shop looked on thursday with all the pointsettias in it:

and then i have pictures from the spectacle space on friday- both christopher and i in the fat suit he was making. you can tell when the sun went down...

ok, so that catches us up to yesterday afternoon. it was so beautiful when i went to take out the trash i went back in the house to take my camera with me while i went to the store. i took all sorts of melting dripping freezing pictures- hopefully some of them will turn out. yes, i know i need to still scan in my last roll. i will do it SOON, i promise.

i came home and finished up sewing the bags, and d came over with guacamole. she helped me glue them in- DAMN, it's easier with an extra set of hands! we got them done in record time.. athough stil a little late to the party at joe's house. when we got there most everyone was pretty drunk already, but there was good food and wine enough for us to catch up. ch had made lentil soup and joe and stacy went to the middle eastern restaurant and got all kinds of yummy looking pies and hoummous and felafel and stuff. oh, it was good! and joe was SUCH a good host. i guess cause he and danny don't entertain much, he pays attention to his skills. plus, it's always fun to hang out in an artist's house. good wall treatments and the like. and in the living room, i asked joe, is that your or danny's book, and he's like, um, they're all my books. yeah. working at borders will do that to you. i love people who love books. it's like when you know a painting from a class or postcard, and then you see it for real in a strange museum, and it's like, i know you! an old friend, a little bit of home. books always make me feel comfortable. at least, comfortable books do. i imagine, like, The Study with the leatherbound gold gilded volumes all the same size. that's not so comfortable. anyway.

we ate, played apples to apples, had a great time. stacy and d and i all cuddled together, the conversation was risque, lewd and offensive. i was so glad d played along instead of being disgusted or hurt.
here's joe and his cute cute dog:

and here's me, d and stacy:

so then TODAY, d had said she'd wanted to go to church, and i was like, good for you, and she said she likes to go for advent, and i'm like, oh. maybe i'll come too. we woke up early enough, so we both went. i was really really impressed when we were leaving, shaking the pastor's hand, he didn't say like, "glad you could join us." he said, "hey caitlin, nice to see you, i love your stockings!" i was totally bowled over by him remembering my name. d was like, well, i did talk about you alot when we met for coffee... but still. i think that's pretty impressive, seeing as how i'd only been there once before.

and oh, what a bad choice the strumpfhosen were! so cute, but it kept getting colder today! right now it's 14F, which is -10C. high of 20F. nasty. but after church we were on a tree hunt! d knew a couple of places on north, but there was a lot right by the church, so we went there. sure it was expensive- even more expensive than my last tree three years ago... but it is a beautiful specimien. the guy showed us the frasier firs first, and i'm like, something a little cheaper, a little dumpier, something that will loose all it's needles right away, but smells good. and he's like, i have the tree for you. it's a blue spruce, about 5 feet to the tippy-top, but about 4 feet wide. it is the roly-polyist tree you ever did see. we stuffed it in d's trunk and drug it up my icy front walk and steep steps and put on the tinsel and the lights and now it just looks beautiful:

she's bringing jr over on tuesday to put on the ornaments, we'll pop popcorn and string it with cranberries while watching the muppet christmas carol (as per family tradition). i hope there will still be snow- and daylight!- so i can take some christmas card photos of them playing out front. then i can make hot chocolate and read picture books. ah. it's a lovely little vision. i had the fabulous 70's star, beads and lights from my previous tree, but i felt it needed more, so d and i bought more lights (the big bulbs), some larger ornaments, and the tinsel. i always want to buy EVERYTHING for chirstmas and have to rein myself in to the simplest option- one book, one decoration, one cd. but the more christmases i spent, it piles up in that box on top of my closet. SO, now i can buy the frillier options, to add to my collection!

but right now, it's cold in my cozy little apartment. i'm gonna go make some soup.



started working on the bags last night- finally getting some sewing done, went to bed by 2 with three linings left to sew together. not bad, huh?

but wait- it gets better! i woke up WAY too early this morning not able to fall back asleep. so, it's noon and i've already done the following:

-read half of i was a non-blonde cheerleader
-knit swatches and figured out what knitting needles i need to buy to complete my holiday projects ( i have TWO size 13 dpns. i don't know if it was a set of 4 or 5 to begin with, but all i know is they have mysteriously disapeared. how? why?)
-made a hancock fabrics list
-planned a menu
-made a grocery list
-eaten breakfast
-threw away the thanksgiving leftovers
-gotten my library books in order
-cleaned the cat box.

NOW, i'm about to go to the library, hancock, and the grocery store, AND take out the trash on my way there! i just turned on the computer to upload today's dose of npr. i feel alive, awake and enthusiastic, physically and more importantly emotionally. there is no stopping me today, baby! i have to remember when i get all depressed that there are these wonderful manic days that balance it out.


stress, drama, sewing, etc

i think you all should take your whining and STUFF IT!

because it's snowing here in chicago, and it's BEAUTIFUL! it is cold and crisp and the light is bright and diffused. i got out the christmas music today, and my fur hat, and my advent calander. and i am surrounded by depressed, paniced, or grouchy people. i wish i wasn't so empathetic, because i've been having a WONDERFUL day, and it's been taking everything i have not to let them all ruin it.

welcome to december, everyone. i'm gonna go sew some bags now.