Thursday, December 31, 2009

Amber & An Announcement for CRD

Mission: Accomplished. You saved $8.11 off the regular price of man
moisture. No samples, though. I thought samples were the whole point?

Amber & Surprise Visitors

Sometimes when you oversleep and finally Woody gets so impatient for wet food that he starts biting your arm (very, very gently), a great deal has happened overnight.

Like: snow.  Not without a last hurrah, eh, 2009?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Amber & Farley

Last night, my standing Tuesday fun, Awesome Club, was cancelled for lack of any Murders She Wrote.  Instead, CRD and I held an impromptu meeting of Farley Granger Club.

I have a feeling there will be a comprehensive post about Farley's really interesting biography, Include Me Out, once Shorty finishes reading it, so I won't spoil any of the fun anecdotes about working with Hitch or how Rope is all about "it."

We watched Rope last night, drank wine, and ate soba noodles.  Farley is fantastic in the film.  His breathing out acts most other actors.  Like in this scene with John Dall.

I plan to get this excited every time I answer the phone in 2010.

I also plan to wear my hair like John Dall's, whose face shape reminds me of Jonathon Young who plays Tesla (Kevin's archnemisis) on the really mediocre Sanctuary.

Actually, my real plan is to look more like my idol and fellow white-passer Carol Channing.

I think that will involve alot of dye and a comb-over.  And smiling with my bottom teeth.

Amber & Neck(lace)ing

I like jewelry.  There's nothing wrong with that.  I like rings and necklaces, mostly.  In both, I have a dual loyalty to two designers who have similar sort of products.

First, there is Small Things Designs. I have a few of her pieces from the "originals" series-- a lotus flower on a black background large ring and a swallow on a red background as a necklace.  A bonusly joyous thing is that when Amy Bee got married, she gave her bridal party necklaces from this designer, with whom she became acquainted when I gave her the two flying bird necklace one Christmas.  So, wearing my necklace and/or ring (but never both at the same time) makes me think of Amy Bee, whom I love.

The other jewelry studio I really like is Blend Creations.  Very similar concept: you pick a shape and then a thing to go in that shape, but the things you can pick are pretty papers or natural textures or mah jong tiles. My Halloween Haiku won a Facecontest and so I just got this beautiful piece in the mail.

It's a purple washi floral pattern.  I think it's lovely. Happy New Year, Neck!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Amber & Personal Computing

Katie, Nick and Rob are having personal laptop and/or smart phone
time. Earlier, Jeremy made this awesome tower while the spotted
palamino looked on. I have been playing Scramble. Days off.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Amber & Winter Nature

It sure is pretty here in the Delaware Water Gap. I'm going to take a
walk to explore the brook before the rest of the group arrives.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Amber & Lady Kins

Mom, as requested by James, accompanied by sister.

Amber & Family

Notice I am wearing my new Fraggle scarf that my parents gifted unto
me? It's purple!

Amber & Post-Holiday Father

More kin. I wonder if when I get older, my moustache will turn white,

Amber & Boxing Day Sister

Look! It's my kin.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Amber & Appreciating Old Guys

This article made me appreciate Woody for what he is: an old guy.

(Amazing photo by who else?  James)

He may not be able to jump into the armoir anymore or drink from my hands on the edge of the sink.  He may be a bit crankier when he gets woken from a nap.  And, he may not bother to get up and chase the fleece wand with his baby brothers.  But he still really enjoys his naps in the sun, and he likes to wrestle with socks while I am getting dressed, and he purrs super loud during belly rubs. And no one is there faster when I shake the can of treats.  He can still do the things he loves, and that's what matters.  So, rather than being sad that my little guy isn't so young anymore, I am happy that he is happy.

Amber & T.B.L. Sandwiches

Sometimes, for no apparent reason, I just need to profess how much I love Terri Beth Luckybutter.

I just want to squish her like a pile of bacon between the mayonnaised white breads of my arms, sandwich style.  Or, smoosh her like lard between my chocolate cookies with an oreo hug.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Amber & Mrs. Peel, We're Needed

With the holidays leaving my Hulu queue as dry as a dessert, I've been watching the 1967 season of The Avengers over on Netflix Watch Instantly.

These are the episodes I remember most vividly (in color, one might say, or colour) from my youth.  Obviously, I wasn't quite alive for the original run, but I think they aired late nights on PBS, after my other favorite and fellow British Isler, Doctor Who.

As an adult, the highlight is the charm of Mrs. Peel and John Steed.  Their banter and chemistry is superb, as are Mrs. Peele's outfits.  She karate chops and flips her hair and makes puns, all while looking lovely with fake eyelashes.

Steed remains dapper and with-chapeau while mayhem swirls around him.  I still find him irresistible.  I'd take Steed over Johnny Depp any day.
Another highlight is the surprise special guest stars that I doubt I noticed on first watching.  A super special treat was a bespectacled Jon Pertwee (the third Doctor on Doctor Who) in full brigadier gear.

And, later in the season, there was a bearded young Donald Sutherland rocking pin-up girl bangs and a weird Eastern (cold war) accent.

But, even with my new adult skills and a BFA in program watching, I still find the villains just as creepy as I did as a wee lass.  Only now, I just make the window smaller on my laptop rather than hiding behind the couch.
But then, as now, I knew things would end well with mystery solved, Steed and Peele quipping and flirting and being suggestive in a distinctively British way with that peppy, and happy music in the background.

And that lavender outfit!  I still want to be Emma Peel when I grow up.

Amber & Conifer Baths

I don't know if my spruce bath (not pine, as previously described) helped my cold, but it sure helped my winter spirits.

And, it provided lots of SEEKING for Ginger, seen here standing ankle deep in water, swatting at one of my bath stones.

P.S. This was AFTER I bathed.  And the Scrubbing Bubbles did a fair job.  They weren't nearly as cute as in the commercial, though.

Amber & Peer Psych Pressure

Yesterday, Hulu put this in my queue, perhaps because I so enjoyed the other one. I did indeed so enjoy it so much that I sent it to Nick.  Today, CRD sent me a link to the YouTube version.  I will succumb to the pressure and post it to my blog.

It's a wonder they didn't do this sooner. I enjoy those guys.

P.S.  My favorite part is when Dulé does the fill as the song fades out at the end.  Reminds me of another singer who does excellent work with fill.

Amber & Supplies

I just made a supply run to Saint Jesus Pharmacy.

I bought tissues (I ran out yesterday), T.P. (I ran out today after it had to play double duty after the tissues ran out), trash bags (I need somewhere to put all the used tissues), lady stuff, generic decongestants (ran out this morning), a heavy moisturizer for my super-sore under-nose, and Sambucol.  Even though I am a bit worried my friend Sambucol hasn't really been working this time around, I want to believe I would be that much worse without it.  It's made from black elderberries--how could it not be good for me?

I also got  some Scrubbing Bubbles tub cleaner.  (I'm sorry Al Gore.)  I really want to take a spruce bath but my tub hasn't been cleaned in quite a while.  I normally use baking soda and vinegar, but I'm just too pooped to provide the catalyst of muscle power.  I've seen those commercials where the bubbles do all the work.  I promise to re-use my cardboard coffee sleeves for all of 2010 to make up for this grievous environmental sin.

And, I stopped at Floridita Bakery for a cafe con leche alto, sin azucar y la rocali.

I discovered this authentic cuban baked treat when Floridita first opened, but was very sad to learn, from the baker, that "rocali" really just means "rugelach" in espanish.  Still, I think I taste some cuban flavor.  And it's also huge.

Mission: Achieved.  My nose is super grateful for the tissues.  And my belly is happy for the rocali.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Amber & Tiggy's Spirit Animal

Everybody knows that Tiggy's Spirit Animal is a hedge pig, and not just because of her namesake.

Her coloring is totally hedgie, and she has that sensitive pink underbelly.  She has dainty little feet and a tiny cold nose.  And, people think she's a little prickly when they first meet her, but she's really just shy and needs to protect her belly.  Just like a hedgie.

And, she does sort of stand in her bowl just like a hedgie.  But that may be more about keeping the brothers away from her grub.

All this reminds me: remember Spud, the hedgie who had no spines?  Kevin discovered that Daily Mail reported back in July that Spud was recovering well thanks to the care of the folks at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital.  And they included this photo to prove it.

The little guy looks more like his cousin Tiggy re-spined.  I sure love Tiggy and her all her spirit and Spirit Animals.

Amber & Gifts for the Little Guys

We here at Amber & aren't really doing much holiday shopping this year. Thankfully, my friends and I have exchanged the greatest gift of all: not exchanging gifts so that we can avoid that big ugly boot of capitalism stomping all over our mid-winter spirits. But, there are some small gifts that need to be given for those too small to understand that Santa can still love them without forking over presents.  I mean, of course, cats.

Here at Amber &, we recommend Dr. Earl S. Pussum's Fancy Feline Elixir Organic Catnip.  Now, not all cats love catnip, but if they are genetically disposed to love it, they will really, really love Dr. Pussum's.

I promise. Santa came a little early over the weekend to our house, mainly because Pickles was mewing for play and I was stuck in bed with a cold-ridden head that felt like it weighed a ton.  The jolly fellow of the North brought four sacks of Dr. Pussum's one for each monster in my house.

Woody chose to use his as a pillow, because, well, he's an old guy who likes to nap.  Notice the one eye watching me to make sure my photography doesn't disturb his rest?

Tiggy is under the bed with hers.  And Ginger is up on top of the dresser with his.  I guess neither of them wants their moments of pleasure documented.

Pickles, however, took a far more traditional, and yet predictably Pickles, approach to his Dr. Pussum's sack: trying to bite off one of the corners and spill the contents all over my bed.

He's demonstrating his special skill of biting and licking at the same time.  And here, he is showing classic Crazy Head.
When I write my encyclopedia of cat care, that photo will be used to illustrate the Crazy Head entry.

Note the back foot action as I play tug of war.  That's my boy.

Dr. Pussum's, I tell you.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Amber & The Sunday News

So, it snowed.  Those people who say things about weather said it was going to, and it really did.

The prediction was for between 4 and 18 inches-- allowing for a pretty ridiculously wide margin of error, proving that meteorology is not a real science (like dentistry and veterinary medicine and especially veterinary dentistry).  They hit the mark here at the top of Manhattan; the National Weather Service reported 6 inches just to my north in Inwood.  Sure looks about right.

In the quest for wet food for Woody, I ventured out early enough to bring back some virgin snow from the railing for kitties to play with.

I brought it in and put it on a baking sheet on the floor.  The big cats were uninterested, but the little guys sniffed and swatted and licked and had crazy head.  I even threw a snowball at Pickles!  (He fell over trying to bite it off his own head.)

I like the snow.  It's super grounding and pretty.  It makes me smile at strangers.  It also gives me a chance to amortize the value of my Wisconsin boots.

With my booted feet and purple puff coat, all I needed was the red flag to help me cross the street and it would be just like Wisconsin.  Except better.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Amber & Again?

Not above the low 30's, Feels Like under 30 all day, and a Winter Storm Alert.  You know it's really winter when....

All this unseasonable weather made me forget that winter is more than one day long.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Amber & Alternative(ly Sized) Medicines

Why is that homeopathic and Eastern medicines come in such odd doses?  Why make eight little balls of medicine instead of one or two larger tablets?

Maybe it's about easier absorption of herbs?  It sure makes me feel healthier.

Amber & Missing

This guy has crazy curly whiskers.  La Perm.

Don't worry.  Pickles is not missing he's right here next to me, trying to lay on the keyboard.  But what happened to his kitty eyebrows on the right side of his face?  (Stage left, for us.)

See?  The left side has those crazy white frizzy, twisted whiskers.  But the right side is bare.

Did Pickles fly too close to the sun, counter-clockwise?  Or did he snuggle up next to the radiator a little too close?

Only Pickles knows.  I wonder if this means he'll be walking in circles until they grow back.

Amber & Feels Like

Winter has arrived.

At least it's not -0° like it used to be in Madison, Wisconsin.

Note: not just zero, but negative zero.  And a Feels Like -18°.  Those were cold times.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Amber & Going Viral

Remember my meme?  It's gone viral.

I'm telling you: I know what the kids love.  They love putting my baby's cover on their face.  Or something like that.  I know all about the Internets and the social media.  The glasses are an excellent embellishment, though.

Amber & Separated At Birth?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Amber & New Friends

I learned about all kinds of new water birds in this article over at the New York Times, including this guy.

(Photo by Theodore Cross-- there's a whole audio slide show at the Times)

He's a masked booby.  I love him.