Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bluebonnet lupinus texensis

Drove down to Austin, Texas and returned. Luckily our spring break did not overlap with UT's or with SXSW. Just us Kansas nerds running around. Lived to tell the tale but not without a slow radiator leak and a bad day where I swore blue fire in front of my MIL. In my defense she had just jammed my credit card into the wrong slot in a garage parking meter and couldn't get it out. (I finally remembered that I had tweezers and retrieved it.) I am glad to have seen the bluebonnets (all over! wonderful!) and felt the warm temps of March at latitude 30.267. I'm sorry that we didn't have a transporter. It would have made everything better.

Slow day? Need something provocative? Here's a page of recommended fanfic pieces from Metafilter. Includes a link to a piece about the hypothetical Eartha Kitt/ Paul Newman/ James Dean threesome.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


Just read this post from The Millions by Sarah Stephens on a grief comforted by a series of mystery novels. That's my kind of therapy. I was reminded by Ms. Irby that I need to keep up with the book chatty websites.

I've started my first Vorkosigan novel by Lois McMaster Bujold. As the series is long I consulted a guide to the reading order. I'm sticking to novels to start. If I get worked up I may go look for the stories later.

Our town's St. Pat's Day parade is tomorrow at 1pm. The parade committee posted signs yesterday on my street that we can't park on the street for the duration. I'm only a little grumpy about that. Mostly I am not a fan of the fact that one of the main historical sponsors for this parade has been a strip club. I like a good Irish beer but don't like the American holiday insistence on alcohol consumption. I think the Friday occurrence of SPD and the fact that our college men's basketball team is playing at 5:30p mean that there will be some big bad drunkenness downtown this year. Perhaps I'll make boxty potatoes with a recipe in French instead of carousing.

Friday, March 10, 2017


Hot tub in a tree picture is from a local journalist covering the effects of the 3/06/17 tornadoes in the Kansas City environs. The worst was all to the west of us. It was fun to see a big storm blow in and I'm glad we got rain. Storm season started with a bang.

Sneezeweed. The Feds tell us that the name is from the use of this dried plant (leaves and flower heads) as snuff. Such a pleasing Seussian name.

Have you heard about the Order of the Teaspoon? Making me cry here.

Turning 50 means that I do things like google jeans-for-mature-women. I have been dealing with wrinkles for a while now. But as I close out another not-so-fit winter, I find that in addition to wrinkles there is also droop. Sob with me now. Surprisingly that search string brought up a good page with info on figuring out one's shape and what rise will be most flattering. More deets hidden below.

If you have any fond memories of BtVS on tv you should read this interview with James Marsters. I'm so happy he feels positive about that chapter of his career. Oh and here's the AV Club's whole week of anniversary goodness.

Measure the distance from your armpit (A) to your natural waist (W).
Then measure from your waist (W) to your bottom of your buttocks (B).
If the distance from armpit to waist is less than the distance from your waist to buttocks, then you have a short waist. Sometimes this is called a high waist.

If the measurement is longer then you have a long waist or sometimes it is referred to as a low waist.

Here's the equation:

A= armpit
A/W>W/B= Low waist or long waist
WB>AW= High Waist or short waist
WB=AW= Balanced or normal waist
Now that you know this, you are in a better position to select a pair of jeans which will suit you.

For women with a short waist, stay away from high rise jeans. Opt for jeans which are a normal or lower rise as this will lengthen the look of the torso.

For those who have a low waist selecting a pair of jeans with a higher rise will give the illusion that your legs are longer.

For those whose measurements were equal, you can wear either high or low rise jeans depending on your preference and the overall look you want to achieve.

Lee curvy fit straight leg jean
Talbot straight leg (they have curvy fit too)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Low pursuits

New to me
Talking stack is a meeting management approach I had not heard of before today. It's set up to allow all participants to speak and to avoid meeting dominance by a pushy few. I like the description except for the hand gestures. That seems like a step too far, too silly. And damn, if your group is too big or too loud for people to be heard then you have problems that hand gestures probably cannot solve.

Beet schemes
I have successfully used my crockpot to cook beets. Scrub the beets, wrap each one individually in a piece of foil with a glurp of olive oil and place in crockpot. Cook on medium low (? still trying to figure this out) for 4 to 8 hours until a knife pierces the beet easily. I was impatient and got a few firm or even crunchy beets. But beets can be eaten raw so undercooking was not a tragedy and they all tasted good in the brine I put them in. After a brief, lackluster search I haven't found the fridge pickle recipe I used originally. I'll transcribe it later from the paper in my recipe box. I added more sugar for the beets and threw in some cracked black peppercorns. I pickled some carrot slices with the leftover brine and had a good sour veggie week.

-----Lots of online TV has taken place lately.

Crazy Ex
I've watched more eps from the first season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I particularly liked the episode where Pamela's marriage gets rekindled. But I am not sure I have it in me to get through the next six or seven eps to the end of the season. So much lying and self sabotage by characters I've become fond of, it's so frustrating.

Nod has tried for quite a while to get me to join him in his love of the Raymond Reddington character on Blacklist. I resisted until the start of season 3 and now I find I'm there with him. I want it known that I disapprove of the high body count and disposable people in all these episodes. For example Liz's behavior on the boat in season 2 was highly problematic. But I've let go of the expectation that these are real people; clearly actual government agents would not behave this way. So I view it as a weird violent soap opera and that works for me. The presence of ye olde Jas. Spader helps. I have a mental block for the name of this series and always want to call it Black Hat or Black Fish or Black Anything But List.

Solvers Problem
After all the shooting and gore I am delighted to lighten up and watch some 30 Rock. I am so lucky that I haven't finished that series yet.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


No pancakes yesterday but I had some donuts and that filled the bill. I'm happy that it's March. My 'hairy baby' pot has sprouted and I'm enjoying watching the grass grow. I have a hollyhock sprouting and will cover it up for the two hard freezes to come this week. I'd love to see some blooms this year.

Got a reply from my San Antonio chica B that she still has a house after the tornadoes. She was driving through some of the worst of it though, so she has a story to tell. Extreme weather, here we are. I'm happy she didn't have property damage and is off to her cruise this month.

We are preparing to drive down to Austin/SA for spring break, leaving the 21st and coming back that Sunday the 26th. I won't see B there because of her cruise and I'm ambivalent. It's always fun to set out on a road trip. But neither of our cars is in extremely good condition. We're mostly going down to see Nod's college friends. They're friendly to me too and I enjoy them. But I feel like I'll be doing MIL and kid things rather than hanging with the my-age cohort. Also maybe I should just stay home and enjoy the quiet and save the pet sitting money. #hermitstyle

Bun just finished her Model UN sessions in Topeka. She got 'best delegate' in her council and had a good time overall. I'm proud. Kat missed out this year and I still feel badly about it. Since she started dishwashing she's already saved the money to go to Chicago next year. Last weekend she got to work the cold line and was happy about that change. I think she'll get to move on from dishwashing and work up front this summer. Good wishes to the cute little cafe that employs her.

The stomach flu knocked me down for a while. The recovery was slow, it felt as though I'd had surgery or something major. I resented it richly and complaining about it helped. Kat has a sore throat and cough and has been out of school two days. She's going to drag herself in for the short day and start the catching up process.

I just finished The Complete Dykes to Watch Out For vol. 1 and it was a lovely way to revisit the '90s. Is there a vol. 2? My search was inconclusive. Interesting to read about the political resistance in that era and see what matches the now and what's different. The book is one of the comic collection we got from Nod's good friend who died a few years ago. I think I should get a Hothead Paisan book to keep it company on our shelf. Oh, Chicken!