Showing posts from February, 2019

Wayne, the Badass Typewriter Table

My craving for wood furniture colluded with my need to optimize minimal space in my Tiny Cottage, and I found this table on craigslist.  It looked steampunky-gorgeous, and the seller thought it would clean up nice.

He told me I'd hit one out of the ball park.He'd dug around on the internet for some history on this piece, maybe underbid himself a bit.

IDEAL was a popular typewriter company. Sherman and Manson were both bicycle manufacturers. BICYCLES. If you've known me for a long time, you know I'm crazy about bicycles as an art form, just as much as I love chairs.  What are bicycles but chairs on wheels, right?

 In high school I rode 25+ miles a day regularly, and did all my own maintenance on my Schwinn.  When I lived in California, I bought my Motobecane at a church sale; an old French guy actually stopped me on the street to look it over.  At the moment I'm a terrible bike-mom to a Bianchi.  I had to let someone else change a tire because I couldn't get it…

Unreasonable Heart - Desperately Seeking Purpose

This is one of my cruelest demons:  the nagging feeling that somewhere, somehow, I've done something wrong and it's coming back to haunt me.

That I've hurt someone with my obliviousness, and  I should be punishing myself for knowing better.  For doing it yet again.  Because I probably have - I've met me - but maybe I haven't.  I'm practicing Mindful STFU, but it's slow going.  I'm used to regret.

When things are too calm, I start waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I wait for the secret pleasure of resolution in that moment when I find out what went wrong, and I can say Aha! There it is - that place where I failed to hold up my corner of the universe.

There is no math to support my belief, but if I wait long enough, I'll be able to draw an inaccurate conclusion, congratulate myself for missing the mark.

We are pattern extractors, and the worst pattern is the one where we spend every minute it takes, all the way to a lifetime, creating reas…

*POETRY WARNING* For Michael, Proper - Alles Gute zum Ihren Geburtstag!

For Michael, Proper

My friend, My son,
Confidante, Sometimes-secret soul:
On your day Everybody passes hearts Like a telephone game
Hoping to get one in pocket With its message Still recognisable.
It looks like fun, sometimes, But nobody seems to read The secret words of hearts.
I put my heart in your pocket Knowing it's safe there While I wait for my can to ring.

I missed my own Anniversary

Well, this is awkard.  I was mentally prepped to be excited about living here at Tiny Cottage for two years, and then it happened.  Rolled right by.  Last week.  

Here's the win, though:  it didn't register.  That's how comfortable I am in life right now.

Remember that first time you forgot it was payday because you weren't desperately hanging on until it arrived? No, seriously, I've done that.  Not quite there at the moment, but I remember.  That's how I feel right now.

Very Adulty. 

In a way, I did celebrate.  I cooked a lot of things, including a stellar rhubarb-pear pie with smoked almonds, and my signature dish: Shepherd's Bhai.  This is the traditional shepherd's pie with an Indopak twist to it - the meat is seasoned with Shan's spice pack, and the potatoes are mashed with butter, garlic/ginger paste, turmeric and yogurt.  I layer mint, cilantro, and this time tomatoes between the queema and the potato topping like a biryani.  Bhai means brother i…

How Much Is My Caring Worth?

These are myriad "things" that are easy for us to recognize, point to, love or hate, and, in many cases, manipulate or even create." - Daniel C. Dennett, From Bacteria to Bach and Back: the Evolution of MindsWe build archetypes without even thinking about it:  you visualise your dreams, your goals, your friends, your self.  You make decisions based largely on the mental models  you've created with data you collected to build those archetypes. 

If you're emotionally invested in the advice you've lent someone, you may take their failure worse than they do. If your knowledge is currency and you need to keep ledgers on where you spend it, then do that before spending, not after.

Give without strings attached, and that includes advice.

If you love someone, let them fail.  If you can't afford to clean them up after the fall, tell them.  Let them know you love them but you can't afford it right now.  Answer their questions honestly.

That's all you owe any…


I miss you Saturdays... 

while busy people shuttle
back and forth 
on busy streets

and the laundry van honks loud
and the radio summons
us to other things

nobody stops to offer a good word

here or there

late at night
with just the moon and the may-beetles
I breath a sigh and grin

Saturday is almost over
and Sunday will begin again...

-for Richard Robert Erdmann on his graduation from CMU

Celebrate Your Existence. Tell us about it, or not.

Life is to be celebrated. 

There is nothing else. 

Do that. 

You are here, and that's all that matters. Seriously.

And That's Why I can't Go to the Library

It all started with a bottle cap.

In those days I worked at the Holiday Inn on Sprinkle Road. I used to meet coworkers at Bell's Brewery about once a month; we called it a Front Desk Meeting even though I worked in housekeeping at the time.  Tim could no longer work or play guitar, so he spent a lot of time watching TV.  He'd usually have thoughtful questions for me by the time I got home.  This is how I could tell what he'd been watching.

"If you could take any person out of history - and it can't be someone easy, like Hitler - who would it be?" He looked at me placidly, waiting for an answer.

"Just a second," I said, looking at my hands still full of things brought in from the car. "I have to think. Any other clues?"  His face remained static so I went to the kitchen and put things down. I heard him respond from around the corner.

"For me, it would be the guy who invented bottle caps." So it was the History Channel. As I came …