Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Amber & Tomorrow Will Be Pretty Much Like Today, Only Maybe A Little Snowier

When, on Monday morning you check the weather as you are leaving the house to make sure you are wearing enough socks and you see this... are not then surprised when you step outside and see this.

It is pretty and grounding and good for your soul and Robert-Frosty, and you enjoy it.  (You come, too!) And then by the end of the day it is over.

But then, the next day when you wake up and bundle up (two pairs of socks, Expedition Weight long johns, a thermal shirt under cashmere and fingerless gloves) and step outside into this... are a little surprised.  It's less of a "wintery mix" and more of a full-on snow storm.

And then you check the weather again, and find this.

I love that the NWS releases are in all caps.  It conveys a sense of URGENCY and also vaguely suggests an old teletype machine.  Highlights:


Huh.  Even an unreliable weather app is right, although perhaps understated, twice a week.

I wish the weather app had little icons showing you which level of Capilene to wear.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Amber & The Pursuit of Happy Face

I know I love dancing.  But, now I know that everyone around me knows exactly how much I love it because this is what my face looks like when I boogie.

How does J. Timberlake make bringing sexy back look so, well, sexy?

All I can say is thank you to those who dance with me.  You are brave, brave souls.

And also, if that face is the price I pay for happiness, so be it.  I'll be good.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Amber & Advance Apologies

No hot water. People who see me today, I apologize for my hair. It
couldn't be helped. I'll wear a hat. Indoors.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Amber & As Good As You Remembered

I used to love Northern Exposure.

I used to watch it every week and delight in the exploits of the big city doctor who finds himself in a quirky (but charming) small Alaskan town.  When I visited Talkeetna, I took pleasure in knowing that knowing it was the real life location inspiration for the show.  And, I even got the cookbook!

Now, I've watched the show recently and it does not stand the test of time.  The doctor is a trite caricature of a New York Jew ("oy!"  "bagels!"  "moose!"), the "natives" are an embarrassing mystical wise yet simple people and... it's just not that funny.

But, that cookbook still stands the test of time in the form of a baked burrito recipe.  I don't have the cookbook anymore (I think Ed was the character to whom it was attributed?), and I've made the recipe so many times I don't actually refer to it anymore.  And, I think the original called for some kind of chicken or beef, but I used ground turkey.  And I added spinach.  And I forgot the cilantro.  So, really, maybe I'm not making the exact recipe.

But boy are they delicious all the same.  So much more enjoyable than the show.  And longer lasting.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Amber & Dinner

What to do with my farm share abundance of potatoes and carrots?  Beef stew.

It would have been better if I had a dutch oven, I think.  But, why are those Le Cruesete ones so darned expensive?  And are they better than the other ones?  Like, $200 better?

And then?  Delightful red chai with honey and milk served in a pretty cup.  (Thank you, well-wishing friends.)

(P.S.  I may or may not ever finish painting that wall, and I totally washed my hair today.)

Amber & Best Double-Whammy Guest Stars Ever

First, Jessica Walter makes a cameo in my episode of Columbo.

Then, Robbie the Robot.

Amber & FAQ

Q. Do the boys still snuggle?

A.  Yes.

P.S. Ginger's haunches are a little damp there from laying in the tub after my shower to absorb warmth.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Amber & Just One More Thing...

Oh my goodness, I love Columbo.

I have been watching episodes from Netflix which aired on the Mystery Hour from the early 1970s and they are fantastic.  Unlike most modern mystery programs, the first 20 minutes show the murder so we, the audience, know the identity of the murderer and therefore more than Columbo.  We then get the pleasure of watching him slowly, slowly, and persistently circle in on the answers, picking up clues and putting them in the pockets of his rumpled trench coat.  He is the anti-Poirot: thinking aloud, imprecise, and clean-shaven.  And yet somehow, in the midst of his sloppiness and annoying questioning and self-depreciating asides, he brings calm and justice.

Peter Falk is fabulous.  His Columbo is an enigma.  Just how goofy is he really?  Is his tangential babbling all a rouse to disarm the crooks?  Or is he simultaneously bumbling and genius?  Whichever he is, he is likable.  The anecdotes about his wife ("My wife says I am the second best [detective].  She says there are 80 guys tied for first place.") round his person.  The episodes are filled with little human moments like when our hero blushes when kissed by a hooker played by Valerie Harper.  (I guess we know what happens in season 3 of Rhoda after her marriage to Joe dissolves.)  (I never liked that Joe or his temper.)

And the guest stars!  John Cassavetes (who directed Falk in some fantastic roles), Leonard Nimoy, Julie Newmar, Eddie Albert, Roddy McDowall (whose Lord Love a Duck is also on Netflix streaming), Anne Baxter and Edith Head (playing herself and choosing a new tie for the detective).

Dare I say it?  I may enjoy Columbo more than either Castle or Bones.

God bless, Peter Falk.  My favorite angel-seer über Berlin.

Who better to explain the simple joys of being alive?  Compañero.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Amber & Diversity and Ancestry

Kevin and I were talking today about species diversity.  You know: horse, pony, mule, donkey, zebra.  And maybe Przewalski's Horse.

And that made us think of Homonids.  And how there used to be so many more of us: Humans, Neanderthals, Homo Florensis.  And now we are all alone.

And that made me think back to when Neanderthals had pets.  You remember the part in The Inheritors where Fa and Lok are petting their pet pint-size Eodromaeus?

A little known fact about the Eodromaeus is that its full name is the Homo Bigtiggula, which is actually--and you can totally tell by looking at it--one of Tiggy Winkle's ancient ancestors.

See her there?  Walking in the footsteps of her wild, woodland ancestors?  Or, see the similarity here?

Science and history.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Amber & Comforter Chameleon

Woody has many, many super powers, but among them is his ability to match duvet covers with amazing and handsome ease.

See for example how his ears and points and nose took on a pink glow when we lived in Madison and had a pink duvet?

Could it possibly be the same cat who looks downright tan against the back drop of our new duvet and comforter, a wonderful and much used gift from my mom and dad?

Without those gorgeous blue eyes, he would be invisible.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Amber & Breaking (and Sassy) News!

Ever-vigilant Kevin sends this breaking news from CSM about two of my favorite (and most blogged species):


...and Squirrels.

The headline SLAYS me.

And, I found this conclusion fascinating.

"It is more likely that a simple misunderstanding about the squirrels' nature underpins the melee."
It reminded me of two other animals with a similar antagonism:


...and Pickles.

Tiggy just misunderstands that Pickles is a baby and just wants to snuggle, or maybe attack her and chew her head, in the most loving way possible.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Amber & Medical Miracle

Look how much better my fashingles are!

I mean, my head still hurts, and it stings and throbs like it was on fire and somebody was punching me in the nose simultaneously, but it did not cross the line and is clearly getting drier (eww) and smaller.

Thank you, antiviral drugs.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Amber & Winter Sharing

Despite my fashingles, the associated skin pain, and the now four-day headache, I ventured out today to get my penultimate CSA winter share.

And it was so totally worth it.  Carrots, beets, potatoes, onions, frying greens, apples of two varieties, on-cob popcorn (you remove it before you pop it, Jimmy), a butternut squash, eggs, frozen kale, frozen squash puree, frozen blueberries, frozen golden tomatoes and frozen roma tomatoes, and a cup of coffee from Sugar Café.

My fashingles are going to be so well fed.

Also, we are calling them fashingles now, thanks to Erl.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Amber & Big Ridiculous

Look how big the pills are for face shingles!

Amber & Good Ridiculous vs. Bad Ridiculous

What incredibly ridiculous reason could make me go out in the middle of a blizzard to see my doctor, 150 blocks away?

Face shingles.

If it crosses that line, I need to have my doctor paged.  Eye danger!

Ridiculous.  But here's some ridiculous in a good way for balance.

Eyeballs of both kinds of ridiculous, herewith.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Amber & What Dreams Are Made Of

So, I am still sickie and was sort of feverish last night and had this dream where I was with a group of friends and we were traveling on some islands off the coast of India in long boats and a lion (my subconscious is not geographically accurate) came out of the jungle and we were trying to hold still and then the lion came up from behind and stood up on his back legs and started taking small bites out of my neck but I was trying to hold super still so he would leave.

I wonder where that came from.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Amber & Fleeting Glimpse

I was watching this because Castle only lasts about 44 minutes and, as I have professed, I love Jimmy Fallon's singing skits.

And then lo!

I swear to you, in the looped footage at the beginning, Kevin rides by on his bike.

Come on! That is Kevin!  I am like 99.8% positive.


Now, he's gotten a new helmet.  And he's wearing khakis in the video.  And I think either that blue pullover or maybe even his puff coat?

But that is so totally him!

Amber & Ho Hum History

December was an incredibly boring search engine traffic month.

No one searching for anything really weird was referred here, and all of the searches for cool stuff are tried and true referrals.

Ho hum.

At least Jimmy remains popular.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Amber & Peppy Penguins

I'm not the only one greeting the new year with optimism.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Amber & There's No Mystery Left

2010 was rather mysterious.  There were a number of mysteries that really absorbed (hogged) alot of my cognitive powers.  For example, it was about seven months from start to finish wondering why my side hurt so much before a new mystery (What on earth did my doctor just say is wrong with me?  Epiglottal appendicidits?) demanded to be answered.

We also solved some year-spanning mysteries, like what exactly we stared at for all those years at the River House?  And we celebrated yearly mysteries on June 8 with Kitty Eyebrow Day.

But our friend 2011 has (finally) brought us a new year's answer for one mystery that plagued me all winter long.  Namely: what on earth is this guy?

This was a deep, dark mystery, compounded by the fact that the image name was "Oink.jpg."  Clearly, that guy is not a pig.  Unlike when we learned all about the dik-dik, I had no general family of animals from which to start my research, never having taken a zoo class in "fuzzy tree creatures."  I had almost given up--although the image was still sitting there on my desktop, taunting me at start up every day.

But, lo!  When I went to do my Monday round-up of all things adorable, there was my mystery buddy along with some of his equally mysterious cousins!

I think that's the same guy, right?  Anyhow, it seems I am behind the cute animal times (makes sense since they are part of pop culture these days).  Cuteoverload solved my mystery in 2009.  Those guys are Japanese Dwarf Flying Squirrels.  That means they can do this!

Surprise!  Cute and flying.

Amber & No Alarms and No Surprises

I am still feeling very positively about 2011, despite some threats to burst my optimistic bubble.  The largest threatening pin popper was a disastrous rug thing that happened to a friend involving a dog with digestive problems.  Something like that can really set a tone, you know, even if it doesn't happen to you directly?  But, it can also result in the aquisition of new appliances, which is a shiny silver lining if ever there was one.

But, I'm still a bit shaken that my friends at Apple also have attempted to break my new year stride by failing to wake me up at the desired time for three days running.  (You will recall my regular alarm clock is ILL.)  Now, the first day, I thought I had managed to sleep through my only (accidentally) purchased ring tone.  It is sort of soothing, and I have been known to sleep through even greater challenges.  And the second day, I thought my phone was broken.  But last night, I discovered this article in the New York Times which pointed the finger of blame on some kind of very belated Y2K issue.  And Nick sent this confirmation that the phone should have worked today.

Well, it didn't.

But unlike the folks who wrote in to the Times to complain about missing flights, jobs, morning talk shows, etc., I had set a back up in the form of...

(Photo by Jimmy)


Not surprisingly, that one worked like a charm.  Very reliable, that guy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Amber & New Year, New Waffles

2011 is already off to a fabulous start.  Yesterday, there was plenty of petting kitties, then La Palapa brunch with friends, and then cider at DBA.  And, there was the acquisition of what may prove to be the most life-changing piece of technology introduced to my household since the Swiffer Sweeper:

a waffle iron.

Making waffles is a process, and it will take several batches before I get them toasty enough and spread all the way to the edges.  But, that's reinforcement of key life lessons.  Everything is a process.  We are constantly changing.... and breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

And, just like life, investment in your foundations can reap buoyant, soul-lifting rewards: you can make lots of waffles in advance and freeze them and then enjoy them for quick toaster breakfasts during the work week.

2011, I already love you.