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02:39pm 03/06/2009

I'm not dead yet. I'm blogging my craftiness for {craftgasm}, but not even very often on that. I need to get better at posting at least twice a week in order to help build the business.  And, you know, so that people don't wonder about my state of aliveness.

The apartment is coming together. By no means is it "Together" with a capital T, but it's slowly working its way. Liz-former-roommate-Liz stayed on the couch for a hot second this weekend so we were half-inspired, half-pressured to make it presentable for her benefit. The bedroom is still a disaster, though, partly because the clothes we need to put away are blocking our path to the closet, where we'd like to put them. It just gets so overwhelming. And I still want to wash everything that was unprotected at the old place before putting it away here, but I didn't sort the stuff by color when packing it, so it's harder to wash when I need to dig into three different bags to come up with a load of whites or whatever. Dan suggested hauling it all to a laundromat, washing it at once and without fearing for our own carpets when we open the bags, and then being able to put everything away at our leisure, without confusing if it's safe or unsafe to open over carpet. It's not a bad idea. Our washer's so small, too, that it might be worth the output of quarters. Once we're caught up, I feel like it'll be much easier to maintain. I actually really enjoy doing laundry. It smells all fresh, and I like arranging stuff on the drying racks. (I'm aware of my dorkiness, yes.) So I think it'll be okay once we get going.  Possibly "during" pictures to come, to go along with the "before" pictures.

You know you have bare cupboards when, while making a mental list of needed things, you start, "Sugar. Flour. Ice cube trays."  Dan went out for milk the other day and came back with buttermilk. Whoops. Guess I'll make biscuits or pancakes this weekend.  Our a la carte farm share with Star Hollow Farm is a good deal thus far, though.  We've gotten some veggies and fruit, but mostly right now we're using it for good-for-you staples.  I ordered some eggs from their free-range hens, some nearby farm's cheese and butter, and we have homemade jam from another neighbor of theirs.  Once I get making my own bread, I'll have all the makings of some delish breakfasts.  (Anyone in DC have a breadmaker they don't want? [See also: my list where I need flour.])  This week, though, starts their strawberry season, and I took advantage with two pints of strawberries, which we'll pick up on Saturday morning. 

After the craziness that was the Handmade Mart, this weekend is blissfully clear of any major events and deadlines.  I'm planning to bring some apples and strawberries to Dupont Circle, lie around on the grass with my awesome boyfriend, read magazines and a book, and maybe go to Artomatic.  Other than that, the weekend is open to possibilities, and I love it.

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10:44am 27/04/2009
  As I walked confidently and blindly through the pitch black of my house last night, my hand touching on the banister exactly where I knew it would be, each warped stair warped in the exact way I expected, I realized that this is the longest I've lived in one house in my entire life. I wondered if I'd ever be so confident in the placement of all the little details -- every creaky floorboard, every staircase, and every light switch -- of another home.

Then I looked again at pictures of our new apartment, and knew home would be wherever we were together. The light switches can be learned again.
Taking the plunge   
03:29pm 09/04/2009
  Dan and I just signed a lease on a new apartment in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. We picked up the keys and bought toilet paper and soap, so you know it's official.

Choosing paint colors to commence this weekend. Move-in is likely to be the weekend of April 25th, after Reunion Weekend at Salem from April 17-19.

Everything's happening at once, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. But I'm going to be a very busy bee for several weeks.

New apartment!
Originally uploaded by mel21clc

01:37pm 09/03/2009
  I read LJ updates on a regular basis, but whilst chatting with Dan the other night, I realized I hadn't actually updated in some time. So, here I am.

I think my biggest news for now is that Dan and I are moving in together (!!!) and put an application in on Saturday for an apartment near Logan Circle.

One minus -- it's got a small living/kitchen area that is an interesting shape to fit things in. However, there are several pluses that outweigh that, including:
+ two bedrooms, both with windows (can you say "craft room"?)
+ dishwasher
+ washer/dryer (not that I use a dryer much, but)
+ it's an English basement but with tons of light and full sized windows (it's only a few steps below ground level)
+ nicely remodeled with new paint and appliances
+ shared backyard space with the upstairs tenants, plus our own cement terrace area under their deck

Even the alley is nice; we went back to see if I could access the backyard with my bike (since there's not a whole lot of room to store it in the house), and the alley is brick paved. Also a shocker for a gal used to CoHi: people actually pull their garbage bins in when it's not garbage day. It was so clean that I was even inspired to pick up the only bottle we saw and find a recycling bin for it. We came across three girls riding their bikes under their grandmother's watchful eye, and they were shy but friendly (unlike the ruffians in my current 'hood).

Since we don't want to move in right away, but they wanted to rent it right away, we put in our application with a request for a 2 year lease but a move-in of April 15. Hopefully they'll recognize that 2 years of guaranteed income is better than renting it 15 days earlier (since it's less likely that they'd find a taker for it in March now that the first of the month has passed). Cross your fingers for us!
Wherein Melissa brags.   
07:47pm 16/01/2009
  I had been feeling a little bit down about how lots of people I know were going to be able to see the swearing in ceremony on Tuesday, and I would be feeling my shortness whilst freezing my tush off, buried in a sea of people somewhere on the Mall, unable to see over anyone's head.  It will be fun, but I will be cold, and I won't be able to see much.

However, then I got a call from the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

I'll be attending a special reception at the White House on Wednesday afternoon. 

I'll let you read that again.

All you with tickets to the swearing in?  You can suck it. ;)
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02:30pm 05/12/2008
  I should start getting paid for the hilarious shit I overhear that makes it to DCist.

At the Columbia Heights Giant:

Two female friends in their early 20s are gossiping about a college classmate of theirs who married her high school sweetheart, then cheated on him.

Friend #1: "Was it like a one-time thing?"
Friend #2: "Yeah, but she told him, and she was like, obviously there's something wrong if I don't feel bad about it."
Friend #1: "Where was he?"
Friend #2: "He's like, in the reserves. He leaves for like, a weekend at a time every other month or something."
Friend #1: "Oh, well, that's understandable, then. It's hard going that long without someone."

In other news, the holidays can pretty much be summed up as "too much to do and not enough time to do it." Too bad I can't just quit my job and make Christmas presents all day. Is being an elf a viable career choice? Do you think working for Santa includes health insurance?
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Does this count as part of my intervention?   
06:32pm 30/11/2008
Your rainbow is strongly shaded green and pink.


What is says about you: You are an intelligent person. You appreciate everyone around you. Those around you admire your fresh outlook and vitality. You are a good listener and your friends are glad to have you around in difficult times.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.

I'm pretty sure that's another group's rainbow.

Mom left this afternoon after a Thanksgiving weekend stay. Thanksgiving dinner with Dan's family on wasn't as traumatic or stressful as I'd feared, thankfully. (Ha! Thankfully.) Jinnie makes stuffing with little bits of ham and pulled turkey, which was freaking delicious. On Friday we thrifted instead of doing any hardcore shopping, which is always an adventure with my mother. All sorts of gifty-goodness ensued from that, so keep a look out in your stockings come December 25th.

A trip to the overcrowded, overhyped newly-opened American History Museum with Mom, Dan, his brother Dave, and I left us hungry and tired, so we enjoyed Chef Geoff's $5-now-$6 burgers for the first time in a long time Saturday evening. (FYI: They have delish sweet potato fries now in addition to their regular-type.) After parting ways with the boys, Mom helped me organize my room a little bit. It's not great, but it's better. (For instance, I finally moved the window-desk over between the bookshelves against the map wall, for those of you who've been privileged with a visit to my boudoir.) We had a quick breakfast meet-up with stentoriansista and kestrel127 at Sticky Fingers this morning before I took her back to BWI in the gray, drizzly weather. Yay momvisits. Yes, one word.

This week's to do list: use my new Xyron refill to make mappy address labels for the Recycled Stationery Sets and take my sewing machine to Meigh's or G Street to figure out what's up with the upper thread when I try to make anything.
In brief.   
05:31pm 24/11/2008
  Mom is going to be here in two days and my house and room are a mess and I feel like I have no time to clean them.

We have to get out to Chantilly to meet with Dan's family for Thanksgiving; the obvious solution is to rent a car, but they're about 200% more expensive this week than they were when Dan and I were renting 'em for other stuff not too long ago.  Price-gouging bastards.  Luckily, Dan says he welcomes the chance to borrow his parents' car and leave in the middle of the long day to pick us up from the Metro station and drop us back off in the evening.  So I think we'll do that. 

My craft fair last weekend was by and large pretty successful.  I sold a bunch of stuff and made my booth fee back and then some, so I was pretty happy.  Plus, having it spurred me to finish up some projects that had been languishing.  Sometimes all I need is a swift kick in the pants.  Anyway, for the zillionth time for some of you (sorry!), check out my new recycled stationery sets in le {craftgasm} Etsy shoppe.  I'm pretty excited about them.

Also, I've been seriously craving a Gocco system the past couple of weeks.  I've wanted one for a while, but maybe it's just with the holidays coming up so quickly that I feel it more keenly.  I don't feel I have the necessary time or energy to devote to hand-making each individual Christmas card this year; this would let me design one, so they'd still be homemade, but without the ginormous time commitment.  Theoretically.  Design one, press out a hundred, done.  Not likely to happen in time, especially at their current black market rates (since Riso is no longer manufacturing them), but if you have no interest in one but see a box at the thrift store, please snatch that shiz up for me.  (I'll pay you!)

Something probably deserving of its own entry is that montanajlo gave birth to Hayden Alexander last weekend.  She's going to be such a fabulous mother.  (Hell, she IS a fabulous mother!  God this is weird.)  This, in terms of me (which is really how everything should be framed) means that I need to get my sewing machine fixed, as his present is not yet finished and the top thread constantly tangles itself.  stentoriansista said she'd look at it for me before I haul it out to G Street, for which I am grateful, but that means I have to find time to haul it to her place -- and up to her 4th floor apartment.  Insert my heavy sigh here.  Why can't the stupid thing just work properly?

My roommate offered up his bed for my mom's visit, which would alleviate some of the pressure to get my room in spic-n-span condition.  Usually, we just share my bed.  What think you?
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02:15am 21/11/2008
  What are you talking about?  These totally aren't my aesthetic at all...

{craftgasm} recycled stationery sets - fanned out
Originally uploaded by mel21clc

I've uploaded my bee-yew-tee-full upcycled/recycled/reclaimed/reused/repurposed/etc., etc. stationery sets to my Etsy shop. I'm pretty well chuffed over them, actually.  They're all sourced from a variety of materials, but all were landfill-bound, so I'm fairly impressed with the prettiness that I was able to get from 'em.

These things are lucky they're not easily digestible; I would have totally eaten them by now if I could.

And now? Bed.

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Craftgasm galore!   
01:48pm 12/11/2008
  I don't think I mentioned it here yet, but I have started blogging crafty-type things over at CraftgasmDC.blogspot.com.  I just updated it with its first real post, so check it out.  I did NOT put up there that I made my first Etsy sale yesterday (!) because I don't want it to just be about what I'm doing or making, because that will quickly get boring for strangers.  So instead, I will just jump around in circles with excitement here.  (The order was actually two items, too!)

I am going to be selling some crafticiousness this Sunday at the Etz Hayim local artists expo.  It's at 2920 Arlington Boulevard in Arlington, and the sale will start at 9:30 and run until 3pm.  I'd love it if I had visitors!

12:17pm 10/11/2008

Are "Jorge" and "Montes" so unfamiliar as names that the AP felt the need to include their pronunciations with the story?  I can't even come up with plausible mispronunciations to validate having the correct ones there. 
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01:01pm 07/11/2008
  An overheard of mine is in DCist again!

On Pennsylvania Avenue, as all the GWU revelers started arriving:

GW student to her friend, with the North Portico behind her: "So, where's the White House?"

Meigh will make fun of my submitting this, but it was damn funny.
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stolen from mokey4  
12:38pm 07/11/2008
  Leave me a comment and I will reply with why I like you. If I don't know you, I'll either make something up or tell you why I like your LiveJournal. You must pay for the privilege by posting a message like this one on your LiveJournal.  
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Last night definitely ranked among the top five days of my life.   
12:02pm 05/11/2008
  When CNN called it, Dan and I put on our coats and went outside, figuring we'd hoot and holler in the streets of DC for a little bit, and then come in and watch Senate results.

I got calls from all over while we were walking around the block, including stentoriansista and kestrel127, who were also coming outside. We decided to meet on 14th Street, and then go to 16th, where we heard there was raucous happenings. Turns out 14th was pretty packed, too, and among the crowd were Billy and Claudia, who were with some of their friends at 14th and Irving. An impromptu drumming session on the newspaper boxes commenced, assisted ably by honking cars and cheering passengers.

Patchen, who was over at Marx Cafe with his girlfriend Richelle, sent a text message. "People are going to the White House!" Well, why the hell not?

After getting most everyone driving by us at the bus stop to honk, our bus driver pulled over to let us on, declaring that we were joining the party bus.
"Does this mean we get free rides to the White House?"

We got to the north lawn area, and there were tons of news crews, mostly international, lined up along with a couple hundred revelers. Every time a journalist tried to make a dispatch home, the bright lights would attract hyped-on-hope folks, and they would be absolutely mobbed with people trying to get in front of the camera. One Russian dude was bobbing his head up and down, trying to be seen in the shot. But none of them seemed too put out by it.

Strangers were hugging, jumping, singing, laughing, and crying together -- it was absolutely amazing. I have no idea how many pictures seemed to be taken, seemingly right in front of me, so we could possibly be on the cover of the Finnish daily today. Who knows. After Obama gave his speech, the road was absolutely flooded with people. Thousands and thousands descended, and it was nigh impossible to move. We wanted to meet with Patchen and Richelle, who were coming down from Mt. Pleasant, so we headed out of the thick crowd north to Lafayette Square proper. As hundreds more people ran and cheered their way down 16th Street, horns were blaring in a concerted "beep-beep-BEEP, beat, beep-beep-BEEP."

Yes we did. Yes we did.
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01:32pm 04/11/2008
  I am feeling incredibly hopeful about something bigger than just my own life for the first time in a long time. I like it.  
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01:36pm 14/10/2008
  Talk about an entitled bunch of whiners.

"I tried to tell Kaitlyn, 'We’ll get the Hollister jeans at a thrift store,' Mrs. Postle recalled. 'She got angry and said: "That’s gross! Other people wore them!"’

"Wendy Postle said her teenagers have become angrier and more argumentative about money. “They seem so selfish,” she said. She wondered whether the fault was hers, whether that early lavishness was a parental failing."

Um, yes.

"KAITLYN POSTLE is having a bumpy adjustment. She has a weekend baby-sitting job and can’t wait to turn 16, so she can find work at a mall.

"'I used to ask for things and my parents would say, "We can’t do that,"' she said in a phone interview. 'So I would throw a tantrum and get an attitude. They used to give in a lot. But that doesn’t work now.'"

The whole article makes me throw up in my mouth a little, except this part:

"Last month Hildegaard Link’s two daughters, 15 and 11, rushed home, frightened by headlines about the stock market. The older one 'totally freaked out,' recalled Ms. Link, a civil engineer in Brooklyn. 'She asked: "What does this mean for me? For my family?"'

"Ms. Link reassured her but asked whether everyone could do with a little less. 'Let’s brainstorm.'

"The girls made choices: lessons for either drum or violin, every two weeks; fewer restaurant dinners; one new school outfit. 'They were not resentful,' Ms. Link reported. 'They were relieved to be part of the process.'"

Granted, music lessons and dinners out are generally the stuff of a middle class lifestyle, so it doesn't seem like they are exactly suffering. But amen for someone in this damn article realizing they don't have to give their kids every extravagance just because their kids demand it, fueled only by all the other parents are acting like morons and giving in to all of THEIR kids' desires. All it begets is more demands after kids figure out that it works. (And kudos to the kids in the Link family for actually figuring out they need to help.)

Oy. In other news, our weekend at the beach was low-key, relaxing, and fabulous. Many thanks to stentoriansista for inviting Dan and I to come along with her and kestrel127. No pictures were taken (by me, anyway); you'll have to imagine the lull of the waves and the blue of the sky.
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11:29am 10/10/2008
  Dear CoHi Neighbor,

I know it's upsetting when you learn that you have rodents in your house. My own experience trapping a mouse under a plastic tub and depositing him outside can attest to that. And while I would never use a snap-trap to kill a mouse in my home, I respect your decision to take take of your mouse problem in such a way.

However, we seem to differ slightly in our approach to disposing of such a trap after a mouse has been killed in it. While normal people, myself included, would be likely to pick up the trap-and-dead-mouse combo with a plastic bag on our hands, then invert the bag to trap the mouse inside before disposing of it, you clearly do not value hygiene or your own health. I determine this from the fact that you tossed the trap-and-dead-mouse combo into your trash bin without wrapping it up, which I can only deduce means that you didn't protect your hand with anything when moving it from under your sink or wherever to the trash bin. You also have very little regard for your neighbors (that's me), since it's well understood in our neighborhood that half of your trash will end up on the ground rather than the back of the trash truck on Tuesdays and Fridays, yet you chose to not secure such an item in a plastic bag.

So, in conclusion, thanks very much for the dead mouse trap that is now on the side of the alley and is likely to remain there until the city sweeps the alley in April or so. It was nice to almost step on that while avoiding your broken glass bottles this morning; I look forward to many more weeks of morning fun-time!

hugs and kisses,
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Pics from Mexico and a quote.   
05:17pm 09/10/2008
  Me: I put up pics from Mexico, btw, on FB.
Matthew: ooh
Matthew: i see you opted not to put the ones up of me ravishing your mom
Matthew: pourquoi?

A real update will have to wait until later, as I have to head out early (don't worry, I skipped lunch in anticipation) and meet stentoriansista and Emily o' Flexcar-fame for happy hour. My life is rough, I know.
ugh to debates.   
09:07pm 26/09/2008
  Way to insert Kennedy into the beginning of your speech but actually have no idea what you're talking about, McCain. He was not in the hospital when you said that. I guess as such a "dear friend" you wouldn't be privy to that.  
05:06pm 23/09/2008
  Obama was apparently at O'Keefe's in Clearwater today, and will be speaking at Blue Jay Stadium in Dunedin tomorrow, according to me mum. No word back yet from our text-message conversation on whether or not she's going, but.