Thursday, July 31, 2008

Amber & Animal Greatness

Yesterday was a big day in animal news, with two stories featuring different looks at animal greatness.

In the first, the horribly named Princess Chunk, whose great mass somehow made her a media darling, started off looking for a home and wound up with spots on the Today Show and Regis and Whatshername.
Although my kitties aren't exactly svelte, I'll take Chunk and rename her "Gigi." A little sock toss or fleece wand might take off a few inches from her chin.

In the second story, everybody's favorite online-only magazine (sorry Salon) asked the question, "Why can't the gibbon get any respect?" The author seems to equate their lesser ape classification with size rather than actual taxonomic criteria. My understanding (and observation) was that gibbons, although significantly more advanced than monkeys, were not quite as advanced as apes. That's not to say that I don't think they deserve respect or should be exempted from Spanish animal testing. I definitely agree that gibbons are great. Additionally, I would ask, "What about respect for the siamangs?"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Amber & Boggling the Imagination

There's a whole world out there that I never knew existed. In it, my childhood friend, Blythe, is the raw wool out of which groups of fans knit their own signature style. Somehow, I missed the whole phenomenon, starting where they started making her again, to where Blythe got her own book, to where websites exist to teach you how to boggle the eyes, make cutie outfits, weave new hair and paint new faces.

I'm fascinated! Some people go sort of gothic with it and make adorable, creepy, custom Blythes.

Some people go just plain goth.

And some people make beautiful dolls, the likes of which I would have saved pennies for when I was a little girl.
I can't wait to make my own. Yes, Virginia, I am going to play with dolls.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Amber & Glassy New Attitude

I got new glasses. I like sassy frames, but the definition of sassy changes on a relatively regular basis. What was once sassy might now be downright droll.

I chose the Moscot Kimmel to represent sassy in the late oughts.
I plan to wear glasses more both to amortize their value and to relieve my dry, firey contact eyeballs. So, photos of my eyeballs in their new outfits TK. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Amber & Bats, Dark Style

So, I saw The Dark Knight over the weekend in Bean Town. I was disappointed after all the hype. Sure, I thought it was a solid superhero movie, with fine performances and a bounty of cool gadgets and stunts. And before I heard about his alleged spat, Christian Bale could have darkened my knight any day.
But, I agree with the brit and my former colleague Lizzie's brother. As A.O. says,
"Instead the disappointment comes from the way the picture spells out lofty, serious themes and then ... spells them out again. What kind of hero do we need? Where is the line between justice and vengeance? How much autonomy should we sacrifice in the name of security? Is the taking of innocent life ever justified? These are all fascinating, even urgent questions, but stating them, as nearly every character in “The Dark Knight” does, sooner of later, is not the same as exploring them."
And Heath Ledger's Joker is really good. But it's still very one-note. He's evil, there's no nuance, there's no layering.
What ever happened to the days when movies were layered like petit fours?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Amber & Gus

Before I had Gus the Laptop, I had reserved the name for my fantasy new baby kitten friend for Woody and Tiggy. My friends seemed to think this was a bad idea, getting yet another kitten and adding more stress to Tiggy's Scaredy Life, so I used the name for my laptop instead. And then Woody broke, and I realized that one more cat would just be one more set of medical expenses.

But then Sara forwarded this cutie cat picture to me. This little buddy has Woody's cross-eyes and Tiggy's tortoise-fur-- but only on it's head! He's got the Woody fur body!

Somebody made the perfect blend of Tiggy and Woody in the lab! I bet this little buddy loves belly rubs, but doesn't lick holes in his fur! Yes, please. Add to cart.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Amber & Birthday Wishes

Happy Birthday, Nick! I am very glad to have met you in Madisonwisconsin and am thankful for all the friendship.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Amber & Emotikitty

On July 9, 2007, my mind gave birth to Emotikitty.


See it?

At first I just had ^-oo-^ but Kevin made the multi-whiskered improvement.

ˆ=oo=ˆ is the new born baby brother of Emotikitty my mind borned today: Scottish Fold Emotikitty.

Happy Belated Birthday, Emotikitty!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Amber & High Resolution

I, ALH of Amber &, hereby am resolved.

I will not buy any new clothing for a full year from today.

To be technical, I will still buy things like socks and tights as they need to be replaced, and I will acquire new garments-- by sewing them myself!

Ambitious? Yes. But, even if I don't ever get off my duff and finish last year's holiday gifts, in order to make myself a pillowcase top out of Amy Butler fabric...

I don't really need anything else. And, having just seen WALL-E, I'll feel better about not adding to the mountains of trash that are endangering our planet. Now, I'm going to go buy myself a WALL-E lunchbox and plush toy....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Amber & Sondre Lerche

I love Sondre Lerche. I saw his video for "Two Way Monologue" back in the days when I had MTV2 and have been a fan ever since.

Yesterday, as I was listening and knitting on the D into the Bronx, I realized that his lyrics make no sense. His English vocabulary is most impressive, but only seems to result in nonsense. And yet, the songs are beautiful and atmospheric. Maybe in Norway, they make sense?

It reminds me of Duran Duran for whom, after all, American was also a second language.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Amber & Snapshots of Artifacts

Finally! Jimmy updated his photo blog, Snapshot Artifact. July is full of folks you'll recognize from these pages, including a bunch of Boo Boo Woody and a sprinkle of Winkle. Plus, there are some really beautiful New York shots and some of James's other friends. Jimmy is very talented and his site is worth checking regularly. Even if he is pokey with the updating.

Yesterday's photo was this one of Kevin driving me and my stuff and the cats and James and his pet crab back to New York.

Thank you, Jimmy and Kevin, for being such fantastic friends.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Amber & Shadey New Attitude

I got new sunglasses. Jimmy got these handsome Nebbs from Sol Moscot a couple of weeks ago.

Yesterday, I found myself out and about without sunglasses and squinting in the bright hotness and remembered how striking Jimmy looked . I decided to get a pair myself. I got them in red for added sassiness.
While at the Moscot, I also spied a pair of frames I liked for my prescription glasses. My current pair are a few Rxes old and the anti-glare coating is wearing off so the world looks all spotty and hazy through them. I didn't have my current Rx on me, so I plan to wonder back down to the L.E.S. and get them sometime this week. Riding on the train dries out my contacts, so it may be time for me to bring sassy back.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Amber & Short Hairs

I got a haircut yesterday. I went in unsure of what to do with my hairs, but Jacqueline was definitely under the influence of the heat and was adamant that we go shorter. Jacqueline is, in fact, always right about hair. The end result is sort of like Mia Farrow from the second half of Rosemary's Baby, but less Satanic.

The sides are a little Twiggy-like, but maybe with less sleekness.

But there's also some of my bangs left, a little like this anonymous Japanese lady.

I could just take and post a photo, but using your imagination is good for your little grey cells!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Amber & Amigurumi

I learned about a new handicraft sweeping the planet today. The Japanese (who else?) call it amigurumi and it's the art of crocheting or knitting cutie buddies. Wikipedia says,

"Amigurumi are typically cute animals (such as bears, rabbits, cats, dogs, etc.), but can include inanimate objects endowed with anthropomorphic features.... The pervading aesthetic of amigurumi is cuteness. To this end, typical amigurumi animals have an over-sized spherical head on a cylindrical body with undersized extremities."

What's not to love about an art with a pervading aesthetic of cuteness?

I so know what I am doing this weekend.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Amber & Podded Peas

CRD has tipped me off to the fact that Steve Guttenberg, aka "The Goot," and I are like twins.

At least, as he told The Observer, we have nearly identical morning routines.

“I pop out of bed at 6:30. And I say my prayers, and every day have a little hot water and lemon, that’s my start,” he said. “And I go take a run in Central Park.”

Totally the same! I drag my butt out of bed at 6:30, do my morning yoga and have a glass of cold water with lemon. Then, I go take a ride on the D train.

Our big difference seems to be his anger issues. And the fact that he dates more women.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Amber & Beets

I woke up several times in the night, thinking I had overslept. Each time, I would check the clock for the time, but never noticed that I had not turned on the alarm. Thank goodness Woody could wait no longer at 8:00 am to be fed and used his patented Paw Poke to rouse me.

What was it that made my sleep so restless? Knowing that I needed to rise an hour early in order to make borscht, of course. I had some gorgeous beets whose greens I ate last night from the farm share. I used a recipe from my CSA newsletter but modified it for the crock pot.

Tonight, Kevin is coming over to partake of it and a two-part Nero Wolfe episode tonight.

I'll let you know how it turned out! Fritz would be proud.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Amber & iPhone, You Phone, We All Scream for iPhone

Jimmy sent this picture yesterday at 7:10 am with the caption "I AM the front of the line!" Jimmy had been on line (or "in line" as Nick says) since 4 am. This was his second attempt at iPhone G3. On Saturday, he had invested over four and a half hours before he had to leave to meet some movers who were taking some of his stuff to storage. Was it worth the wait(s)? The Motor City thinks so. We'll let Jimmy be the judge... until August 24 when my Verizon contract expires.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Amber & Divinity, Progress Halted

Yesterday, Nick and I visited The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine on our Starbucks-intensive walk back from seeing Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

In high school, we visited the Cathedral and took a zany vertical tour that my fear of heights would prevent me from taking now. Then, I learned that construction began in 1892 and, through fits and starts, was still in progress. We toured a craftsmen's workshop and saw scultpers and stone-carvers and felt like maybe the project would be finished in my lifetime.

Not so much, as it turns out. According to Wikipedia, construction ended in 1997, after the completion of work on the statuary of the central portal of the Cathedral's western façade. All energy is now being devoted to repairing smoke damage resulting from a fire in 2001 which wrecked the north trancept.

Still, the Cathedral is quite a site to behold, and it's hard to get a sense of the scale without venturing inside. But, it saddens me that the project has stopped. I'm not sure why, but I feel like a little bit of hope has vanished from the world.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Amber & Green Things

I got a delightful assortment of veggies in my farm share yesterday. I got beautiful summer squashes, cucumbers, broccoli, a lovely head of leaf lettuce, garlic scapes, some more chard, kale, savoy cabbage, some purple topped turnips, and some kolhrabi. I also got some might fine blueberries from the fruit share! I am excited for all the eating this week.

The CSA veggies are the nicest I have ever seen, and I look forward to getting my greens every week. James and Kirk got some greens of a different sort this week.

I find that variety over-sized and tasteless.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Amber & Birthday Ladies

Two very, very special ladies are having birthdays today.

The first is my darling sister Candice. I am super proud that the little cutie pumpkin I met 27 years ago has turned into such a fantastic lady.

Next is Amy Bee, pictured here with her charming husband, David, and delightful daughter Miss Hazel. Amy is the most caring, friendly and sincere people I know. And, she is super fun and a real beauty.

Other than having birthdays in common, both of these ladies are people I love. And, I also stole both of their photos from their Facebook profiles.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Amber & Items of Note

1. I am not dead, just not blogging.

2. Woody had a check up Dr. Pacchiana appointment yesterday and his knee appears to be healing normally. (Or, as normally as Woody can do anything given that he is Woody.)

3. I have eaten all of the veggies from last week's farm share except for the beets and the bok choy. I consider this a success, as I am certain to eat those additional goods this week.

4. I am on antibiotics for an ear and sinus infection. Ironically, they have made me feel worse.

5. I had no cold water this morning and no shower.

6. I will do good blogging tomorrow.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Amber & Hedgehogs

I love hedgehogs. My Miss Tiggy Winkle

is the namesake of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, the most famous washer-woman furze-pig of all times. See the resemblance?

Imagine my surprise when browsing the hedgepig archives on Cute Overload, I discovered that Woody shares my affection for the spiny little buddies? While the Amber is away, the cat and hedgies will play....

And who knew Amy had plaid pajama pants?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Amber & Independence Day

Happy Birthday, American Independence!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Amber & Unknowing

CRD's post today features The Best Film Ever Made. I was so overcome by the genius of it, that I was sunk into the depths of ennui myself, knowing that I could never know the inner workings of Woody's brain or what he smells on the breeze, or what Tiggy was really thinking when in the midst of crazy head.

I will never know the truth of Kitty Mystery. I am lost in the Cloud of Unknowing.

Or maybe I just have a sinus infection.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Amber & Overextention

I love Starbucks. I love it that they made coffee taste good in America, that they are reliable and consistent and ubiquitous. And, I love that they offer a clean bathroom everywhere I go. My drinks are the venti iced unsweetened brewed coffee with room for milk and the grande misto. I have a registered Starbucks card. There I have said it.


I hope that none of the 600 stores they close are in my neighborhood. I already have to walk 7 whole blocks to find one. I don't need quite so many, true. My advice to Starbucks would be to get rid of the frothy blender drinks and return to their core product: coffee. I'm a brand purist.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Amber & Recovery

I am better, although still sort of weak and woobily.

I'm not sure how long it will take me, however, to recover from the fact that no one commented on THE PLANT OF THE WEEK I posted on Thursday.