Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Embracing Pet-o-phelia and Other Recent Adventures

Before we get into the somewhat off-putting though delightfully punny subject matter the title of this post hints at, I'd like to talk for a moment about what a colossal pain the ass I am. Please, join me in marveling at my own childishness:

I've spent the last two hours on the couch, slowly deciding not to start on my homework before the quarter officially starts (tomorrow) because that's just too crazy. I've exhausted all of my go-to procrastination websites, and it's come to the point where what I'd really like to do is snuggle up under a blanket with my husband and watch re-runs of Criminal Minds and really, is that so much to ask? Problem is, the husband is hard at work in the studio on some short deadline project. He keeps running out here between guitar riffs and bass lines with his head phones on, shouting, "Did you say something?" It's so cute. He has no idea how loud he's talking. I think he keeps checking on me because he's worried I might feel neglected. And he should. Because I would prefer that he bracket this project for just a minute and be just as lazy and unproductive as I am for once.

So when he runs out here and asks me if I'm OK, I've started telling him that I would be better if he would please come sit down by me and watch some TV like a normal person.

"Is this going to be like that night with the donuts?" he asks. "Only this time, I'm the donut?"

Alright. It's now time for the sexually suggestive post I know you've all been waiting for....

Pet-o-phelia...a term introduced to me, if not coined, by my dear old roommate, Holly. It is at once hilarious and accurately descriptive of my unnaturally strong attachment to other people's pets. Problem is, when Rob moved into our Silver Lake hovel he unwittingly signed a blood oath that niether he nor his animal-loving spouse of the future would ever bring a cat or dog under its roof. Now, after all these years without an animal of my own, I'm like freaking Elmyra Duff, loving and squeezing and hugging all of these poor animals that don't belong to me. Like Charlie, the strange cat who hangs around our house a few times a week, drinks our milk, and shows me he loves me by swatting at my hand whenever I scratch too close to his tail (or what my friend Brighton calls his "no-no" spot). Also there's Lily's Australian Cattle Dog, Kora, who can do no wrong in my eyes; Holly's energetic and vastly destructive puggle, Sadie; Jake and Rosie, who belong to Maria; the Gaslin's neurotic and adorable mutt, Sketch; Sadie the Shady Lady of Farnsworth fame, not to mention all the dogs in Silver Lake that frequent my store and the dog park across the street, etc. and so on, you get the picture, don't you?

Is this creeping you out? I have to admit, I'm starting to get creeped out by my own self. Somebody get this girl a pet!

OK! So I admit it! I'm a pet-o-phile! But is that so wrong? I just have so much love to share. So many ears to scratch. So much people food to sneak under the table.

So, I guess I need to register somewhere now, or something?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hooray for a new blog banner!

Two parts doodling, one part scanning, a generous heaping tablespoon of photoshop, a dash of cursing...and voila! My very own bloggy banner. Lucky for one of us, Rob is a much better photo-shopper than I am, otherwise...well...the whole thing would have looked pret-ty jank-y, if you know what I mean.

Now, that I've successfully wasted two-thirds of my waking daytime, I think I'll get out of bed. 

Wow. I'm actually looking forward to school starting again. Left to my own devices, I'm like a geriatric over here. I'm eating pudding cups and everything. Gross.

This blog is under construction.

Because I'm between quarters and I have too much time on my hands.
Thank you for your patience.
And if you check this in Google Reader, then nevermind.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Show & Tell: My First Commission!

My neurosis lends itself very well to this freaky, consistently neat hand-writing. So lately, I've been getting brave trying my hand (ha!) at this hand-lettering business. Mostly, I just do the signage for Yolk which is oh-so-fun and un-intimidating, but I've been meaning to branch out. Problem is, I keep getting in my own way vis a vis my insecurity and shyness. That's why it's so cool that my friend/singer-songwriter extraordinaire, Lily Wilson, asked me to do the hand lettering for her album cover. Check, check it.

You like? I'd like to do more of this kind of stuff, but I'm still in the process of building a portfolio of sorts. Or something. (Fun fact: I have no idea what I'm doing!)

In the meantimes, you should buy some of Lily's fabulous music here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Consider the little purple flowers.

Rob forced me on a walk yesterday, I think to try to keep my brain from popping like a zit under the pressure of turning in my last paper for the quarter. (Take that, uncanny appearance of the monstrous feminine in Chicano literature! Ugh. I just bored myself.) The sheer intensity of my very verbal protests may have caused damage to my larynx. But in the end even my impressive execution of the especially childish and nasally type of whining (or as I like to call it, the "big guns") was no match for his desire to get out of the damn house, and he managed to get me into outside pants long enough for a stroll through our pretty little neighborhood.

Our Silver Lake walks are the daydreamiest of times. We love to point out the streets we like and the houses we'd like to live in, the way we feel about glass bricks and zero-scaping, and basically imagine what it would be like to have a little more money. Rob describes the studio he'll build in the yard or garage. I talk about all of my neo-hippie urban farming-type plans. (Chickens! Beehives! A goat! Okay, maybe not a goat. And maybe not bees, either. This plan is still in its infant stages.) I think it's the most fun two poor people can have without a cardboard box.

And, this time of year, we get to see a whole bunch of these:

I like it here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Marital exercises in gluttonous bliss.

It goes something like this.

"Rob, what do you want for dinner?" Please say donuts.
"Pizza." Damn!
"Cheap pizza or good pizza?"
"Good pizza."

I suppose I can get down with that.

Good pizza means Tomato Pie. Let's talk about the reasons I love this place: Closeness, bottomless fountain beverage-ness, smallness but not such smallness as to lead to uncomfortability, and booths! I can't possibly be alone in my love of restaurant booths. A good booth can really make or break a dining experience, no? Is anyone else still lame enough to sit on the same side of the booth as their spouse? Nope? Moving right along....

Since I'd already eaten a turkey sandwich the size of a small cat earlier in the day, I opted for a salad tonight. A salad of such startling deliciousness that I only had two bites of Rob's scrumptious slice of Syracuse. (Rob has started demanding that I let him know if I'm going to want to taste his food before he orders so he can make sure he gets more. He says he's going to punch my dad in the face for teaching me that "one bite" somehow translates to "half the damn pizza.")

Dinner in the neighborhood means that we can get it done with ample time to run home and watch Modern Family. This is a cause for a jubilant celebration unless, of course, Modern Family turns out to be a re-run. Like tonight, for example. But with bellies full of cheesey, doughy, chicken-y goodness, the Whalens will happily settle for back-to-back episodes of SVU, tax preparation, and a futon snuggle session.

Another successful date night, I'd say.

Monday, March 7, 2011

What am I doing?

It happens every 10 weeks or so.

It's happening now.

I'm talking about the part where I'm looking at these books and these highlighters and these stacks of index cards and I'm thinking, what am I doing?

Just what in the name of Lord Alfred Douglas am I trying to accomplish here?

People ask me all the time about my master plan. Enquiring minds wanna know...why did you decide to get a master's degree? Why Literature? Why now?

My answer: Because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Do you want to teach? Not particularly. Do you want to be a writer? Meh. So what are you going to do when you're done?


Truth is, I like learning. I love it. I love it better than new clothes and IKEA and taco bell. I love a good pen and some paper and a professor who knows what she's talking about. I love that homework requires a blanket, a highlighter, a good book, and NO pants. Anything I can do sans trou, you know what I mean?

Problem is, I hate school. I hate worrying about final papers and exams. I hate being assessed. I hate the prospect of getting a *gasp* A minus. It's like the academic equivalent of a Juno Award. You know, nothing to be ashamed of but still not particularly impressive.

So right about now, in the middle of "writing" a paper that in a few days I'll hand to a professor who will then decide whether or not my weeks of toil measure up, I ask myself, why oh why do I do this to me? Is it because I have no master plan? no ambition? no babies? no better things to do?

Probably, a little.

But is it so bad not to have a plan? I mean, I have wishes. Someday I'd like to have a dishwasher and cable. A laundry room. You see, I'm incapable of looking too far into the future without inadvertently inducing a mild panic attack. I'm talking uncontrollable weepiness, irrational instant messages to my spouse, foot stamping, and such. Like Paula Abdul, kind of. It's ugly. So I take it one quarter at a time. It's safer that way and much more flattering, I can assure you.

Ask me what my plans are for the next 10-12 weeks. Now that's a question I can answer.