Thursday, August 31, 2006

Stamp set

My brother in his old age (of 23!) has become incredibly adept at buying presents for people. He always finds something amazing for myself, my mom, and my dad at holidays. He gave me this some time ago, but I never managed to post about it. It's basically a stamp set in a gorgeous wooden box with a lithograph, possibly from the World's Fair. The best part is that there's two sections of stamps that have words on them: one section stamps the word and the other stamps an image of the word. Here you can see the lithograph and a bunch of stamps including one with a bee image.

Fairy Doors

I know this is cheesy, but I love it. Basically some artist in Ann Arbor, MI has secretly installed "fairy doors" or mini versions of the real doors on businesses in downtown Ann Arbor. Now little kids leave tiny presents for the fairies at the doors. I like anything that's tiny, and I like public art, and I like fairies. Basically I think Fairy Doors are pretty AWESOME! I found this via but the story is at

Monday, August 28, 2006


*In 1929, my 17 year old great grandfather impregnated my 18 year old great grandmother. They got married, and February 8 1930 my grandma was born. Shortly after, my g-gma and g-gpa split up(divorced?). Then they got back together and had another kid. Then split up again. Then together, a third kid. Split up. Together and a fourth kid and split up permanently. My great grandma raised Tommy. Ruth was adopted by an aunt. My grandma's great aunt raised her and her other brother Duke.

*When my grandma was really young she got run over by a truck. She was okay with the exception of a broken arm and a torn coat. The truck driver bought her a new coat and that was that. Apparently a new coat for a broken arm is a good deal when it's the Depression.

*My grandma wanted to join the WAACs, but she wasn't 21 yet and my great grandmother wouldn't sign the permission papers.

*When my grandma was young, her best friend was a girl named Becky. She was in Becky's wedding and everything. I guess Becky had some sort of health problem, and the doctors told her she shouldn't have kids. She ignored them, got pregnant and then died shortly after the baby was born. My grandma was crushed.

*My grandma's first job was at an ice cream parlor called Snow White's. It was owned by a Greek family. They had violated copyright law and painted a huge mural portraying the movie on the walls.

*My grandparents got married right before my grandpa shipped out for Korea.

*My grandparents had three kids: officially Michele, Diane and Daniel Jr. They went by Mickey, Di and Dee. When my grandma was 50, she had a hysterectomy. After that she converted to Catholicism.

*After the war my grandpa owned a store (the family refers to it as a pony keg--I guess it was a little grocery store). Apparently everyone worked their ass off and there wasn't much money. My grandma loved potatoes and for Xmas one year my gpa had a huge potato gift wrapped. My gma got really excited when she saw it and was so disappointed when she opened it that she cried. (This makes my gpa sound like a jerk, but he isnt. They really really loved each other.)

*When she was younger she supposedly had dreams that later came true. She said she hated it.

*My grandma went back to work after my gpa sold the pony keg. She worked as a bookkeeper at a big company and ended up as head bookkeeper by the time she retired. HS diploma only.

*My grandma and great gma both sewed very well. They made my mom and aunt's prom dresses and other special event outfits. When I was little she made me princess dresses.

*My grandma collected Santas and Snow White figurines.

*She and my grandpa danced several times a week, both round and square dancing, until my gma was rear-ended by a miatta four years ago.

*For family events she always made this really good macaroni and cheese in addition to whatever else was holiday appropriate. At easter she made jello eggs, including some sugar free ones for the adults.

*She collected bicentennial quarters. My grandpa puts away a quarter a day for everyone of his grandkids. When we sorted them, he would buy off the bicentenniels from us for a dollar and then give them to my grandma.

*She liked crosswords, talking on the phone, trashy magazines like Star, ice cream, the Reds, the Price is Right, and the occasional really cold beer on really hot days. She didn't like her green beans half done.

*When I was a kid she for some reason picked at a scab, mosquito bite, or splinter on my forearm until it scarred.

*We have the same pink birthmark in the same place on our palms. No one else in the family seems to have it.

*My grandma had one granddaughter (me) and 6 grandsons.

*When my grandma was 69, she refused to say how old she was because my cousin told her what it meant.

*She retired early to help take care of my cousin Jack. In recent years, Jack would leave work whenever my grandma fell to help pick her up.

*When she was in the hospital, my grandpa would refer to her as "my little girl" and she would become amused and exasperated because "here I am, an old lady."

*She told my mom that the whole family had all been acting so queer that she asked the doctor herself and he told her that she had cancer through her spine, shoulders, and pelvis. At any rate my mom shouldn't worry anymore because my grandma knew.

*I talked to my grandma for the last time on August 18 2006 at 4:18 pm. She slipped into unconsciousness August 19.

*My grandma died on August 22 2006. Over three hundred people came to her funeral. The mass was conducted by a priest referred to as the cowboy priest because he breaks horses in his spare time. My grandma thought he was cute.

*I love you grandma. We're sure going to miss you.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Snow White

My grandma has always loved Snow White because her first job was at an ice cream parlor called Snow White's. It is beautiful . . .

Project Runway Fugging

Okay, I'm upset about Alison's loss on PR last night. I didn't love this dress, but her earlier stuff was good. Here are a couple reasons the judges were totally wrong:

1--Vincent's dress.

2--The judges and Tim Gunn are diverging often this year. That makes me not trust the judges even more than the fact that I disagree with them.

3--The judges' particular distaste that Alison would make her dress 'unflattering' even though she's a woman really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. First of all, we don't need any higher standard for women designers bullshit. And second, Alison tends to wear a lot of large silhouettes herself. I think it's a problem to suggest that flattering a small waist is pro-woman and (possibly) advocating a not-hourglass-aesthetic for women is not. God forbid we don't all have hourglass figures! (ps I borrowed the image that would show the unhourglass outfits Alison wears from; I can't figure out how to lift images off of Bravo's site. Thanks myaimistrue!)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Birch Bayh Evan Bayh

I've been a little newsie lately. I think that means I'll have a big stretch of fluffy pop culture soon. Might as well get it in while I'm interested. Anyway, again in the NYT , there's an article comparing two generations of Democrats. Among others, this includes current IN senator Evan Bayh and his father former IN senator Birch Bayh. I find Evan Bayh frustrating for all the reasons the article cites. He thinks liberal is a bad word. He votes as a centrist. He used to wear a Geraldo Rivera mustache. It makes me sad because Birch Bayh was so awesome. I've been reading Congressional Testimony debating whether to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in 1970. Birch Bayh was the sponsor and he mf rocked. He was reasonable, patient, even-handed, and unabashedly supportive of the ERA. Here's a little Birch Bayh from those hearings:

"We must recognize the enormous effort that is going to be required to be successful. I don’t mean just passing a slip of paper that happens to be appended, whether it is the 26th, 27th, or 28th amendment to the Constitution, but ultimately implementing this at the marketplace, job marketplace, in the court, and at the law office where contracts are written or where divorce proceedings are consummated, I just cannot see how we are really going to escape the need for maximum effort to pursue litigation in the courts, whether it is a constitutional amendment or statute to the 1964 voting rights statute."

Original NYT article: (


This is a really interesting article about nature vs. nurture when it comes to expert chess players.

I'm always a bit skeptical about this sort of science, but I have to admit that I like the idea that nurture has a much bigger part to play in all of our lives than we realize.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Girl Power

There's an interesting article in the New York Times today about the new character on Sesame Street--at long last a female lead named Abby Cadabby. The discussion deals with PBS's decision to make her a 'girly girl' and how that conflicts or not with their progressive agenda. She's pink, fairy rather than human or monster, and likes dresses and frills. Most of the producers support it, but a few seem unnerved by what they see as a problematic resort to female stereotypes as well as a blatant stab at commercialism. It's pretty interesting.

Family Ties

I've spent a lot of nice time with both sides of my family over the past week or so. I'm lucky to have such great relatives--all of whom are sweet, funny, and never take themselves too seriously. I love you guys.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

More fashion, dear lord

Wow, let's hope target doesn't do erotokritos next, because I already spent all my money. Check these out. Found via

Summer TV

I mentioned earlier that I was dreading summer for the lack of TV, but it's actually been pretty good due to the return of Project Runway and the discovery of Hex.

It's so nice to have Project Runway back. I don't really have any favorites yet, at least not like Diana Eng from season 2. But there's been some super nice clothes AND nice scandals (Keith! what are you doing? Vincent! are you okay? Malan! do you remind me of Mr. Bean on purpose? Michael! why don't you get more attention?) . Welcome back Tim's Take! (photo courtesy of; I still don't understand why Daniel Franco is in there, other than I guess he was in every other season).
Hex is on BBC America and it's awesome. The NYT told me about it, hooking me with Buffy for people who are upset they didn't watch Buffy and who also love England. That's me! It started a little slow, but picked up and then threw a huge twist at me that I didn't see coming from a mile away.

Better blog

Lately I've been sad my blog isn't prettier, both in format and in the pictures I take. I might try to teach myself some very rudimentary html. And I'm going to try to post more often. And have Stephan teach me how to take a decent picture. Here's what I would like my banner to look like:

Paul and Joe, triumphant and broke

I went to both city Targets earlier this week and managed to find a couple of the Paul and Joe items I had wanted (apron shirt and red cords not pictured online) but not all. Then Stephan was in the suburbs scouting for a commercial and found the two things I wanted most. Of course they were the two kimono items. I really like that a lot of the Paul and Joe items tie in the back under the bust (not just the kimonos; the apron shirt too). I don't know about the rest of you ladies but those of us on the flat side find this to be quite flattering. Thinner AND bustier than usual.

The only things I haven't bought that I really want are a bag (also not pictured online yet but in the ads at target) and this coat. I haven't seen the bag yet and I certainly don't need it. But I have seen the coat and it's AWESOME. I felt like I was in Harry Potter when I tried it on. But it's 60 bucks, and I don't need it for any reason since I already have a very amazing fall coat which is the most complimented item of clothing I wear--I swear, perfect strangers approach me on a regular basis in that coat (including the ladies in a boutique a friend of mine refers to as the snobby store). And Stephan says it matches my hair, which is oddly true.

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