I got a new bike! First one in about a quarter century. It’s a mountain bike. I’d resisted getting a new bike because I love my old bike, a skinny-tires hybrid, but in the last two summers I fell twice on the rail trail as a result of those skinnies. It was a safety issue. It’s a Salsa Timberjack. New bike!
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
I have this reproduction netsuke that is (I think) supposed to be a komainu aka foo dog aka guard lion, which looks kind of dragony, and I keep it on top of my jewelry box, a fierce inexpensive intimidator (whom I love) guarding some less fierce inexpensive jewelry (which I also love). But who guards the netsuke? May it not “disappear.”
Monday, February 26, 2018
I’ve had it for so long, I can’t remember where or when I got it. Did someone give it to me? Did I see someone else’s and immediately need one? (Doesn’t everyone need one?) In the mudroom, where Alison sometimes smokes in the winter months, sits my only ashtray: a picture of crown-of-thorns Jesus that says “Jesus hates it when you smoke.”
After several years on the wait list (while saving money), Stan and Steve at last delivered my Bogdan trout reel. It goes with the bamboo rod I’d also saved up for, built by a friend of mine and the Bogdans. Stan was lovely, a charmer, and as much as owning a Bogdan is impressive, I bought it because I knew him.
I didn’t carpe diem when I saw the carp bookends on sale, and I was still thinking about them long after the sale was over and never coming back, so eventually I purchased them from the museum store for what seemed like a ridiculous sum, and now they hug volumes on the mantel by my bed: Millay, Carroll, Shaw, Eschmeyer, Milne.
Sunday, February 25, 2018
After the women’s march last January, a surprise awaited at home: a rented upright bass because I’d always said I’d like to be a bass player in my next life, so I bought a stand and online lessons and worked on it a bit, but have no time, and it stands there unplayed, costing less than a monthly delivery of flowers.
It’s not like me, but when I saw the Najibullah Afghan civil war rug, with its helicopters, guns, tank, bombs, grenades, and—wait for it—camels, it haunted me, and I had to buy it, and Steven, the rug seller, may have regretted letting it go, even now saying that it was the best one he’d ever gotten his hands on.
Tim and I lugged the elliptical up the stairs in 2005, assembled it, stayed married. For me to think it a cost-effective purchase, I needed to get to $5 per workout, which meant 183.6 uses, which I hit in 16 months (it being supplemental to the gym, etc.). I had to replace a wheel once (overpriced!), but today’s workout was #1,706.
Mali once sent me two magnetic bookmarks with whimsical illustration of New Zealand birds. One has a fantail on one side and a huia on the other. The other has a kiwi on one side and a tui on the other. I use them all the time, my place in text often indicated by point of the longer beak (huia, kiwi).
“I’ll give you $50 to take it off the table,” I said to a coworker running the raffle that included the early-1950s set of R. W. Eschmeyer’s True-to-Life Stories Tommy Trout, Mac Mallard, Billy Bass, Freddy Fox Squirrel, Bobby Bluegill, Woody Woodcock, and Bob White. To complete it, I had to find Charley Cottontail, Willie Whitetail, and Al Alligator. I did.
When one is a drinker, particularly a drinker without a dishwasher, one might gasp when she discovers a small stemware drying rack at her neighbor’s, then immediately purchase one herself so that precious glasses can drip-dry a bit, away from the other dishes, until they can be attended to one by one with a proper dish towel (or possibly, unwisely, ignored).
When I bought the green-opal-and-rhinestone bracelet in the arts-crafts-vintage store, Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust Road was spinning, and because I know HC’s son and his attempts to produce a musical called Stardust Road, I asked if I could buy the record, but the proprietor said no, it was his personal copy. Every time I put the bracelet on, I think of Hoagy.
Friday, February 16, 2018
Several years ago, in the quest to gift great camelabilia, Alison presented me with a Keith Newstead automata camel. It had not occurred to me that such a thing existed, and then suddenly, there it was, in all its windup galloping glory, and it’s mine. It’s possible that this camel gift cannot be beat. If there’s a competition, Alison has won.
Thursday, February 15, 2018
[…] with a foreword by Robert Latou Dickinson, M.D., Harper & Brothers, Publisher, and Paul B. Hoeber, Inc., Medical Books. The authors hold the 1951 copyright. And indeed, that is what the book is: not fly patterns, but patterns of sexual behavior. And I wonder how many copies of these were printed, and how many of those, like this one, got away.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
The book’s dust jacket says Flies by J. Edson Leonard, which was published in 1950 by Barnes and Company. The hardcover spine is gold embossed: Flies Leonard Barnes. But open to the title page. Why, what’s this? Patterns of Sexual Behavior by Clellan S. Ford, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, Yale University, and Frank A. Beach, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Yale University, […]
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
There’s a rock in my kitchen from the Hoh River, from a spot near our campsite where my eye swelled shut from poison oak and Tim told me it was time to stop camping and go to the emergency room instead, and I use this rock’s weight to submerge frozen items in water for defrosting or to hold the cookbook open.
Monday, February 12, 2018
We used our wedding-gift electric wok for a quarter century, and when it died, we tried a stovetop wok, but the gas burner wasn’t strong enough to heat it properly, and when we bought our Breville electric wok, which heats evenly all the way up the sides, we rejoiced. We use it weekly. For stir-fries. And sometimes for Mali’s fried rice.
Sunday, February 11, 2018
In Portland, I’d planned to go contra dancing, to put on my dancing shoes (tap shoes with the taps removed because suddenly no one was selling rigid-soled contra-dance shoes). But I have to visit nursing homes soon, and the flu epidemic scared me, so I didn’t touch a hundred people or put my face near theirs or put on those shoes.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Years ago, with a 40% discount at Tim’s company, I got a deal on 8x32 Leica binoculars. Later, briefly, they carried Swarovskis at the same discount, and after much financial hesitation, I bought a pair for Tim. They’re better than my Leicas, and I want a pair, but I can’t get a deal and now they cost $2,200. So we share.
Friday, February 9, 2018
Last year Lynda gave me a Michelle Obama prayer candle for my birthday. As the end of the world as we know it had recently begun, She’s among the most fitting presents I’ve ever received. She lives near my dining room table, so, when lit, She observes dinner action. We’re enjoying good food and wine for as long as we can.
Thursday, February 8, 2018
I tried the tube-free toilet paper, which seemed like a good idea, but it’s thicker than what I’m used to, and as a creature of habit I still pull off as much as I did of the thinner stuff, and there’s less on a roll so it disappears way too quickly, and last week I bought the tube kind. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Mali’s chainsaw-themed comment on Helen’s serial post on objects made me think that maybe we should all get matching chainsaw charms to wear as a token of our devotion to one another or at least in recognition of this project, and I wondered if they existed, and of course they do. Look here. And here. Looks like I’m six words short.
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
In these days of utter depression, despair, and one horror after another (Did you hear? The president called the nonapplauding Democrats at the State of the Union speech “treasonous”), I try to cheer myself the tiniest bit with a glance at my standing-desk Bernie Sanders action figure, who can’t make it all better, but damned if the real one hasn’t tried.
Monday, February 5, 2018
The small carved ruddy duck is signed Herb Daisey Jr. Chincoteague Va. Ruddy Drake. We aren’t collectors but admire the art form and wanted a physical memento of our days in Chincoteague and Assateague. Our drake sits on a bedroom dresser, a species I rarely manage to see, the last time in 2013 in Arizona. I need to get out more.
Sunday, February 4, 2018
Last month, in my effort to get rid of things, I tossed a can of tomato juice with an six-years-ago expiration date. I only buy tomato juice when I make peanut stew, and it’s only available in too-much-for-the-recipe quantities, so the leftover either rots in the fridge (open bottle) or needs to be thrown out six years later (cans). Guilt ensues.
Saturday, February 3, 2018
Oh Vitamix, thou art superior to all other blenders before thee, a parade of $200 wannabes who couldn’t hack (at least not for long) the daily grind of frozen fruit to be blended into soy milk, peanut butter, and bran, and now, heavenly Vitamix, I believe in thee, and sometimes even turn to thee to puree soup, make hummus, ice cream.
Friday, February 2, 2018
The Blue Q bird pencil case Martha gave me holds a red pencil, an HB2, a pencil-shaped sharpener, a MashiMaro eraser, Post-Its, earbuds, a broken-armed mermaid, a screen cloth, a pen, and Liquid Paper now Ziploc’d because it once ran free and leaked between zipper teeth and it took awhile to wear that white goopy shit down to a clean close.
Thursday, February 1, 2018
No. No no no no no no no. Nope. No way. Nohow. N’unhunh. No. Don’t wanna. Won’t do it. Can’t. It’s wrong. No. Shouldn’t do it. Don’t have time. Don’t like it. Wouldn’t do it even if I did like it. No. Forget it. No. What, you’re still here? It’s not right, I tell you. This should not be happening. No.