General Update Post

Perfect Hair

Hello all. I’m very pleased with my hair today, even though I need some layers because I’m starting to look like a cocker spaniel.

Sometimes I talk about things in this blog that I’m really excited about and then they’re never mentioned again, like a secondary character in Sweet Valley High who for one brief, shining book becomes Elizabeth Wakefield’s new best friend. Anyway.

The Sinkhole
Guess what? It’s still there! A few weeks ago there was some landscaper out in the backyard who spent all morning filling it in, but then the property manager spent all afternoon digging it out again. A couple of days after that he was out there again, with some guy who had a bunch of equipment and scopes (which he plugged in outside my door, leaving cables strewn across the stairs to trip the kids AND he also unplugged my Christmas lights YES I HAVE THEM ON ALREADY WHAT OF IT?) checking all the pipes in the hole. Apparently one is a gas line! What fun. Anyway they haven’t done anything since then and the recent rains have caused the sides to cave in more so it’s bigger than ever. They also left piles of dirt all over the lawn. Awesome.

Sinkhole

Lovely.

Sinkhole

Charming. Did I mention it also emit a distinctly fecal odor?

Exchanging those Stupid Frye Boots
I decided not to bother trying to find them elsewhere. The stores that have them here are charging close to $300 for them and I only liked them $200. Anyway I sent them back to UO with my new order and even though I paid extra for 4-business-day shipping it took 11 business days for my package to get there, AND my return hasn’t even been processed yet. UGH. I should have just straight returned them and placed a completely new order for the other stuff I wanted, because this exchange process is going to take FOREVER. I just want my trouser sweats! EDIT: I just got an email from them saying that of the five items I ordered, one has shipped, two are “IN PROCESS,” and two aren’t mentioned at all. I’m apprehensive :/

My New Raingear
Well the pants are great (although unfortunately sold out) but the jacket? ENORMOUS FAIL. I’m actually quite angry about this. I bought it to replace my old Lululemon jacket (it didn’t fit me anymore so I gave it to my friend), which was awesome and got me through the most torrential of downpours, but this new one? IT SUCKS. The fabric is water-resistant but the seams aren’t sealed, so they let in an absurd amount of water. I wore it the other night in rain I would consider only moderately heavy and the seams let in so much I had water literally pouring down my arms and chest. I walked Georgie halfway around the block and when I got home my shirt was soaked! It was almost as if the water-resistant fabric acted as a series of funnels, channeling the rain into the seams for extra drenching. Yesterday morning it was raining and I just wore a cotton anorak from the Gap and stayed much drier. I left a SCATHING, one-star review on the Lululemon site and their internet person replied, say thing that blah blah blah the seams aren’t sealed blah blah blah and I get that, but like, how can they describe the jacket as being “all-weather” and say it “keeps you warm and dry” when it is clearly unsuitable for rain and if you wear it in the rain you’ll get soaked? Ugh so stupid. Anyway the damn thing cost me $200 so I’m going to find SOME WAY to seal the seams on the inside. Seriously though, don’t buy this jacket, it sucks.

Stupid Jacket

TWO THUMBS WAY DOWN.

I should have titled this “Surly Update Post.”

Defeat

Just when I was starting to feel better about the fact that I will never ever ever be able to afford to buy my own home, the rickety little 2 bedroom house next door goes on the market just to rub it in.

pink-house

I saw the For Sale sign yesterday and through some clever sleuthing was able to find the listing online, and the asking price of $1,800,000. Yep. ONE POINT EIGHT MILLION. DOLLARS.

True Tales: I was a Fourth* Grade Bear

*this might have actually happened in third grade, I don’t exactly remember

One year, they closed the woods at the elementary school.

I grew up in the country, and went to a small school of only a hundred students, K-5. After I grew up and moved away it was closed due to being constructed basically entirely from asbestos, but later reopened as a Christian school. I guess faith in the Lord protects your children from assorted cancers or something? WHO KNOWS.

Anyway, behind the school was the sports field, and to the north of the field was The Woods. Most of the woods wasn’t on school property, but we were allowed to play in the fringes of it, provided we didn’t go any further than the white and/or yellow lines painted on the trees. Past the lines was Out Of Bounds, and if you went Out Of Bounds, you’d be in Big Trouble. Of course, that didn’t stop the boys from exploring the untamed wilderness past the lines, and one rainy lunch hour, it didn’t stop me either.

I’m not sure exactly what game the girls were playing that I was so disinterested in that I snuck off by myself. Probably something about pretending to be horses. Whatever the reason (and it could have just been that I was a weird, socially awkward kid), I toggled up my navy blue duffel coat and when no one was looking, slipped into the Out Of Bounds.

There were kind-of trails through this part of the woods, but the huckleberry bushes and ferns grew close on either side. I kept my hood up against the rain and also to protect my identity in case I met anyone else out there. I was walking along with my thoughts when I suddenly came face to face with a group of boys from my class. I looked at them, they looked at me, and we all turned on our tails and ran off in opposite directions. I rushed out of the woods and joined in the horse game with the other girls, and watched furtively as the boys burst out of the trees and ran straight to a teacher, waving their arms and yelling. Oh. Crap.

That afternoon we were all called down to the gymnasium for a special assembly. I couldn’t believe it- they boys had ratted me out and I was about to get in trouble in front of the entire school! I had never been in trouble before, never had a detention or even had my name written on the board. This was going to be humiliating!

We all sat cross-legged on the floor and our principal, a short woman who resembled a chicken, stood up in front of us all and announced that ALL of the woods would be off limits for playing in until further notice, because some boys had seen something in the trees. Something scary. Something dangerous.

The boys had seen… a bear.

A bear! Everyone started whispering to their friends and discussing the horror of a bear in OUR woods, while I tried to hold in my laughter. Out of all these people I was the only one who knew the truth- there was no bear. There was only a skinny blonde eight**-year-old girl with a hand-me-down navy blue duffel coat. Of course, there was no way I was going to admit that I was the bear. I would have gotten in trouble for being Out Of Bounds, and besides, being mistaken for a bear wasn’t exactly flattering. I kept my secret to myself, and everyone in the school suffered through several weeks of woods-free lunch hours until the threat of the bear was perceived to have passed.

**I know 4th graders are usually nine but I skipped a grade.

Pomegranate Heart

It’s nowhere near finished, obviously, but I’m basically like, IN LOVE with this painting. I think that makes me conceited, haha.

Self-Portrait Progress
Le Coeur de Grenade
Self-Portrait Progress
Le Coeur de Grenade (detail)

The bird will be green and blue, the fish will be red and purple, and the pomegranate will obviously be red, but I’m having difficulty deciding what colour to do the hair. Dark, like the original picture? Lighter, like it is now? Or grey, like it’s on its way to becoming? I just don’t know! I think I’ll leave it for the very last, and maybe by then I will have figured it out.

Claire

Last night as I was drifting off to sleep Claire decided it was the perfect time to get up close and personal with my face. She stuck her nose to my nose and stared at me with her huge eyes and it was like being alien abducted. Then she bit me so I pushed her off the bed.

Claire

I’m actually a little concerned about her- she used to be a very fat cat, but she’s lost tons of weight and I would say she’s bordering on downright skinny now. There have been some changes to her life recently so I’m not sure which caused her to lose weight.
a. I got a puppy and she’s not very excited about it.
b. She has a new tower home that she spends all day climbing up and down.
c. I switched her from really cheap food to better quality food.
d. All or some of the above.

Claire
Claire

I keep her food up in her tower so I know she’s eating it and not one of the dogs, so that’s good, and her behavior and personality haven’t changed AT ALL in spite of her advancing years- she’s 12 now and still acts exactly the same as when she was a young cat. She’s just so thin now! idk, maybe she’s normal and I’m just used to cats being fat.

House of Trees

Big Tree

This is my favorite tree in the whole city. It’s across the street from my house and I think it’s just perfect. There are a couple on my side of the street as well but they’re crowded with hawthorn and laurel trees so you can’t see them as well. This morning when I was walking the dogs I discovered this:

Little Trees

BABBY TREES! I think I’m going to swipe one and put it in a pot so I can have it for my own. If I don’t kill it, that is.

***

Last week I started reading House of Leaves and LET ME TELL YOU it is not going well. It’s not just that the story is dense and complicated and hard to get into, it’s that I had to buy the ACTUAL BOOK and it weighs a hundred thousand pounds! I’ve been taking it to read at Sym’s piano lessons and carrying it to her dad’s and then up the hill home is a nightmare. I can understand why it’s not available for kindle- all the weird formatting and footnotes and different typefaces and coloured text, but I really wish it was! Also, every time I try to read it I fall asleep. Maybe my brain it trying to tell me something?

Also a quick note: If you subscribe to my blog through the old wordpress address (http://unicornparade.wordpress.com/) then posts are probably showing up on your reader or w/e HOURS later than if you subscribe to http://unicornpara.de . So if you want to experience the wonder and the mystery of my life when it’s still fresh then please update your subscriptions 🙂

unicornpara.de