Monday, December 29, 2008

white christmas

i'm dreaming of a white christmas

just like the ones i used to know

where the treetops glisten

and children listen

to hear sleigh bells in the snow

i'm dreaming of a white christmas

with every christmas card i write

may your days be merry and bright

and may all your christmases be white

click on any image to view larger

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

merry christmas eve

near the end of "how the grinch stole christmas," the grinch experiences a moment of crisis and revelation.
he stole the presents, decorations, trees, even food from the whos, yet he can still hear them singing for joy on christmas morning.

"maybe," he says, "maybe christmas is something much more..."

may your christmas be "something much more"

Monday, December 22, 2008

this post is very useful.

today in the lani-roberts-homemaker-delux-crafty-ideas-of-every-kind blog, i'll be sharing some proven ideas to anyone who, like us, is stuck at home because of the snow.* i've tested each one out in my own happy home, and now... i'm sharing them with you! :D

  • clean the house. halfway through, realize the futility of cleaning a house to which no company will be coming for approximately 2 months (when the snow will melt). give up.
  • burn old files and magazines in the fireplace in lieu of stupid worthless storebought wood that wouldn't catch fire in a volcano.
  • experimental cooking. very experimental.
  • play lame-o computer games. the "retro" kind that are "so cool" because they're "just like when we were kids!" (aka: boooooring) ... for 3 hours.
  • dig out the shed. or the car. forget about the herb garden.
  • mail christmas letters. (good luck with that.)
  • be grumpy. if you're lucky, your spouse will be grumpy too. then you can have a grump war.
  • get a brother with a 4 wheel truck.
  • bake christmas cookies at midnight while watching santa claus 3, enchanted, and any other cute, clean movie available through netflix on demand. try not to splatter frosting on the computer.

*these ideas are probably worthless if you have children. or pets.

snowed in

are we dorks?
oh yes.
are we bored?
oh no.

click to view larger and read my dork sign!

in other news, my car has been stolen or obliterated by the leet spawning snow gnomes.
i hope it will be returned by easter.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

where the treetops glisten...

i couldn't be happier about the record low temperatures and piling, drifting snow.
i'm a snow-aholic.

i do have my limits, though. joel, sick of waking up all night to the thermostat turning on, decided to turn it off on monday night (low: 21f). when we woke up the warmest spot in our 1912, non-insulated, hard-floored house was the refrigerator.

i wonder what the fire safety administration advises regarding turning all 4 stove burners on high to warm the house faster?

from my office window....

circa 11am
i ♥ snow

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

thank you for your prayers

just want to post a quick thank you to all of you who have been praying for my mom.
she had surgery yesterday at 3pm and is recovering well. the surgery was a little more complicated than we had hoped, but successful. she should be out of the hospital within a couple days.
her response when told about her slightly prolonged hospital stay: "bummer!"

when we talked this morning she sounded chipper, though slightly loopy and hoarse from the breathing tube used during anesthesia.

i'll post a better update later, but for now, thank you for praying!

Friday, December 12, 2008

may your listening be merry and bright!

my christmas song recommendation of the day:
white christmas, sung by louis armstrong

bing crosby's overplayed version pales next to louis armstrong's gravelly sweetness and classic jazz interpretation. this is the mother of white christmases...

listen online here

Thursday, December 11, 2008

christmas music

i get a little nostalgic at christmas time ... each year i look forward to the familiar old choruses:

jingle bell rock ... the same version. 3 times an hour. on every station.
christmas in the northwest ... a local, um, favorite.
santa baby ... sung by the immortal marylin monroe - i promise, no overdose puns.
last christmas ... i gave you my heart, and the very next day, you gave it away ...
and of course, that one about the kid buying shoes for his dead mom ...

ok, so maybe i look forward to these choruses about as much as you do.

christmasophile that i am, i am forced to find alternative sources of seasonal auditory enjoyment. from my extensive research (trust me, it's extensive - ask my husband and coworkers) i've developed a few favorites.

here's to quality christmas music!
  • "holiday best" ~the blenders: hands down, the best a cappella jazz christmas cd out there, by a relatively unknown group.
  • "majesty and wonder" ~phil keaggy: one of the best guitar players in the world + one of the best orchestras in the world (london festival) + contemplative, beautiful arrangements = an auditory nativity scene.
  • "christmas classics: redneck style" ~various artists: kicks off with "the redneck 12 days of christmas" ... oh yeah. if you like this one you might also enjoy it's a cow christmas (featuring the ever popular halle-moo-jah chorus).
  • "the nativity story: original motion picture score" ~mychael danna: the soundtrack to the nativity story movie is a powerful mix of original work and christmas hymns.
  • "christmas songs" ~jars of clay: there's a lot of less-than-quality ccm out there, especially when it's labeled "christmas." jars of clay manages to engages artistically with both new and old music, without losing the nostalgia or resorting to gimmicks.
  • "messiah": pick any version! you have handel's young messiah - an update on the the classic that came out in the 80's (but it's not too 80's!), the new young messiah - early 90's - i don't really recommend it, a new 2006 version of young messiah that i am trying desperately to get my hands on, and my favorite: handel's messiah: a soulful celebration. it's an african american take on the classic - again, hope you don't mind a little 80's synth-o-rama. if you prefer to stick to the original, my fav is handel: messiah (1751 version), performed by the acadamy of ancient music and conducted by edward higginbottom. i am not making this up. it also sports period tuning for any music snots who care.

so what's your favorite christmas album?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

identity crisis

my brother is 6'5.
my father is 6'1.
my husband 6'0.
my mother is 5'9.

i live in tall-ish family, and i have always been teased about being short. for many years i protested, "i'm not short, i'm average!" after all, 5'3-4ish is the national average. or maybe just under. (sshhh)

last week, i had my height measured for the first time since my mid-teens - officially, by a nurse in a nurse suit and everything!

that's five-feet-six-inches.

i am no longer average. i am above average. i look down on more than half of all women.
i'm not short! or vertically challenged! or any of the other cute words for it!

not really sure what to do with this radical amendment of my identity - except to exult in the fact that, short or not, i can still wear kids' shoes.

Friday, December 5, 2008

the maroon invitation

both sides of the grace christmas eve invitation, published this week. click to view larger.

and for those of you who read about my terrible horrible day ... i finally turned black into maroon! (and then decided i didn't want maroon after all. figures.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

what really happened

*mothership to pot roast: do you read me, pot roast. over.

*roger, mothership. this is pot roast. target set. female, blonde, 21yrs old. height: 5'6. weight: unknown. location: litte white house with green shutters and 3 big ugly rocks in the yard, earth. over.

*roger, pot roast. blast her out of the kitchen.

female target arrives at workplace. no prior contact with pot roast has been established.
11:12am: female target remembers that she was supposed to start the crockpot at 8:45am that morning.
11:16am: female target leaves workplace.
11:17am: female target arrives at the little white house with green shutters and 3 big ugly rocks in the yard.
11:19am: female target retrieves limp pot roast from refrigerator.
11:19am: female target removes plastic outer shell from pot roast with serrated steak knife.
11:20am: female target attempts to slide pot roast from foam tray into crockpot using serrated steak knife.
11:20am: pot roast, cackling gleefully, launches itself from foam tray, catapulting cow blood across female target's countertop, toaster, microwave, french press, coffee grinder, cupboards, walls, and floor.
11:21am: female target is glued in place for approximately 3:16 minutes, staring at the cow blood dripping down her kitchen walls as pot roast cheerfully oozes slime in crockpot.
11:24am: female target engages in frenzied cleaning.
11:33am: female target, finished with frenzied cleaning, finishes dinner, makes herself lunch, and is leaving when...
11:34am: garbage can expells products of cleaning frenzy onto kitchen floor (including blood soaked disinfectant wipes and foam tray still half full of cow blood).
11:35am: female target swears to kill all cows.

*pot roast to mothership: mission accomplished.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

the cure to my kitchen woes

i found it. it's perfect. it's the solution.

the answer to all my kitchen woes is here.
finally, some gourmet recipes i can handle.

an example of the culinary masterpieces that this acclaimed website offers:

oranges with oranges dressing
serves 4

you will need:
~4 lettuces
~3 lemons
~5 oysters
~4 oranges
~110g noodles

~pre-heat the oven to 230 C
~barbeque the noodles
~grind the noodles
~sauté the oranges
~microwave the oranges
~discard the noodles
~barbeque the oysters
~flambe the oysters
~whisk the oysters
~defrost the lemons
~melt the lemons
~whisk the lettuces
~bake for 30 minutes and serve hot

that's what i'm talkin about.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

lani and the terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad over-used literary concept

i overslept and my eyes hurt and all they were playing on npr was political news and i didn’t have breakfast and when i left for work nw natural was digging holes in front of my house. the man said that i should have received a notice. i didn’t receive any notice.

i think i’ll move to vancouver.

when i got to work, i stepped in wet dog poop and burned my tongue on my hot chocolate. the nativity scene only had two wise men, and my plurk karma dropped 14 points! nobody likes me. i bet they’d like me in vancouver.

i have two big design projects to finish this week and i’m not feeling inspired. i can’t turn black into maroon in photoshop. who needs maroon anyway? maroon is a stupid color. i bet they don’t even have maroon in vancouver. i bet they made maroon illegal and if you make anything maroon they throw you into color jail. that’s what i think.

some noob sent me a 10mb email. it almost killed my noob server. noobs.

my office was freezing. i couldn’t park in my driveway when i went home for lunch because the nw natural people put a pile of gravel in front of it.

after work i went to the gas station and i kind of forgot how to open my gas cap. i popped the hood 4 times and then i remembered that i have to push the lever, not pull, and the gas station man looked at me like this.

at safeway i couldn’t find the sour cream and the checkout lady didn’t even put my groceries in my cart and then my car wouldn’t start and i thought i’d have to walk home and then it started. and then i got home and nw natural had turned the furnace off and it was SO COLD and they said that they wouldn’t turn it on for two hours. they said i had to have the area around the furnace clear. clearing the area around the furnace took two hours and i didn't have time to get the christmas decorations out.

i had to change the light in the laundry room. i couldn’t figure out how to get the fixture off, and when i texted joel to ask him i forgot to turn on T9 and when i tried to turn it on i accidentally sent it and it said “mdtdpmgmd.” i bet cell phones have T9 automatic in vancouver. and i bet husbands are never stuck in chemistry lab when the lights stop working and i bet the lights never stop working in vancouver.

i forgot to buy tortillas and the tacos were stale.
the furnace man said our thermostat doesn’t work.
i didn’t get to read my book.
and the dow jones dropped 680 points.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

the recipe

i have been asked for the recipe that plunged me into domestic stardom, and so i present it to you in all its fruity glory. bear in mind that i didn't follow it. :)

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 T vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced
2 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 T sugar
2 t cornstarch
1/2 cup dried cranberries

-pound chicken breasts to 1/2in thick. season with salt and pepper. heat a large pan with the oil and saute the chicken for about 4min per side til golden brown. transfer to a plate and keep warm.

-add shallots to pan and saute for 2min. decrease heat and add pears and saute until soft.

-combine broth, vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch in a small bowl and pour over the pears. add the cranberries, increase heat and simmer for 6-8min until sauce thickens.

-return chicken to pan and simmer for 10min.

that's the recipe. but i didn't do that.
i wanted more sauce, so i decided to double the sauce part. except i forgot halfway through that i was doubling, so i doubled some things and not others, and i didn't skin the pears because i hate peeling things, and i didn't use a shallot because i don't know the difference between shallots and scallions and we don't have either (i used a plain, humble onion), and i cooked the chicken in the oven because i thought joel told me to.

i have to go make spaghetti now.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

cooking: pwned

i dislike cooking. you know this if you've read this post or this post. i haven't posted about cooking in a while - not because i haven't been hating it, but because i haven't drawn blood, started fires, exploded things, or done anything else blogworthy.

until now. i made a chicken and pear dish last night, and received this email from joel today:

"Someone looked at the dinner last night and asked if it was made or bought at a restaurant. I told them Lani made it and they said 'wow.'
Thought you would like to know"

i'm thinking about starting one of those housewifey blogs with recipes and stuff. w00t.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

the flower

1960's flower child
2008 flower child
better now...

Friday, November 7, 2008

translation of previous post


JO3L, teh 1337 h4xx0r of juztic3
JOEL, the highly computer literate person of justice

m4h hu5bnd iz teh 1337 h4xx02 5ki11z!!1!11!! ^-^
my husband is a highly computer literate man of utmost accomplishment, even finesse! (smiling person of eastern origin agrees.)

hiz ID g0t haxx0r3d. >:[ suxx0rz. h3 l057 M3G4 $$$$$$$$$ F4IL TT_TT
unfortunately, he fell prey to that scourge of contemporary society that strikes even the most well protected: identity theft! (this causes our keyboard to frown and furrow its forehead.) we are extremely displeased about this failure of our society to prevent such heinous crime!
(crying person of eastern origin agrees.)

h3 hax3d teh n00b5 EMAIL H4H4H4H4H4H4H4!!!111!!1!!!!1!!1111!
in an ultimate act of self protection (and retribution) he obtained access to the delinquent's email through an adroit series of computer-ish actions! maniacal laughter ensues!

h3 h4z teh 4ddr3ss & 3v3rtihng f0r teh c0p5!!11! n0m n0m!!!1
he plans to provide our law enforcement personnel with the perpetrator's email address, telephone number, physical address, and a list of lawless transactions.

we intend to respond to the offender with utmost grace and tact.

the end

Thursday, November 6, 2008

JO3L, teh 1337 h4xx0r of juztic3


m4h hu5bnd iz teh 1337 h4xx02 5ki11z!!1!11!! ^-^

hiz ID g0t haxx0r3d. >:[ suxx0rz. h3 l057 M3G4 $$$$$$$$$ F4IL TT_TT

h3 hax3d teh n00b5 EMAIL H4H4H4H4H4H4H4!!!111!!1!!!!1!!1111!
h3 h4z teh 4ddr3ss & 3v3rtihng f0r teh c0p5!!11! n0m n0m!!!1


teh end

Monday, November 3, 2008

dead people

joel is studying to become a nurse - he wants to save lives.

to do this, he has to spend an inordinate amount of time with dead people.
he's taking anatomy&physiology at portland state university, and this week he's learning all of the muscles in the chest, arms, and abdomen.

joel's new dead friends are maude and harold - christened thus by the teacher's assistants of the psu science dept.
maude and harold will spend the year enjoying increasing freedom from their major body systems (as each system is studied by the students of the a&p classes). at the end of the year, the a&p students will have to put them back together again and create life, preferably employing the use of lightning.

death apparently had the desirable effect of plunging maude and harold into sudden popularity. the trendiest of young, hip college students wait hours in line for the privilege of spending a mere 15 minutes in the presence of these venerable, um ... souls?

maude and harold may be dead, but they've obviously learned the secret of "winning friends and influencing people."
i have come the the conclusion that anyone who wishes to increase his or her popularity can learn a few lessons from this enlightened couple:

~ fashion is overrated. who need clothes?!? (of course, they don't have skin either...)

~ exercise is also overrated. flabby body parts can easily be removed. especially when you don't have skin.

~ develop your "strong silent" persona. don't talk. ever. if you find this difficult remove your lips.

~ a little touch goes a long way. let people get close to you. but not without gloves.

~ skip the perfume aisle - go straight for the formaldehyde. it's irresistible.

~ be sure those trendy college students know that you hold their gpa in the palm of your skinned, unfeeling hand.

let me know how these tips work for you. i would try them out myself, but i have a life.

Friday, October 31, 2008

what do you get when nerds marry?

two people who take the day off work to celebrate their 50th mensiversary.
(mensi=latin root for month)

we figured it will be a really, really, really long time before we celebrate our 50th anniversary, so we might as well take our 50s where we can get them! mostly it was an excuse to take a nice day off work together.

we did romantic stuff like shoe shopping and chemistry homework!

we managed to find time between studying for a drive up the gorge, resplendent in all its fall glory. we were stuck behind a van from a retirement home, which provided the double joy of allowing us to go 7mph on the columbia river gorge highway without feeling guilty, and driving in the van's wake of whirling leaves, which made me feel like a fairy.

the drive was officially over when, to get the exact angle on this photo, i had to crouch in a snowmelt creek in my non-waterproof clothing. joel bustled me back into the car, preaching on the various horrible diseases one can contract from wet feet. he knows these things now that he's had half a term of anatomy. ;)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

celebrate: "to praise, to make widely known with rejoicing"

when i posted maternity photos of the thomas family, i called them waiting for new life.
heidi suggested this series could appropriately be called celebrating new life...

tim, heidi, and 10 week old kairis.
more here

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the newest addition to our household

see that lovely vase? it was painted by joel's talented mom karen - isn't it beautiful???

(the handsome model was also made by joel's talented mom.)

thank you karen! :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

d(>_<)b ... i did it!

in other news, joel is taking intelligence to a whole new level* after finishing 3 midterms this week! that means that as a social unit, we are reentering the world of the living for approximately a fortnight, until he has to study for his next big tests.

so ... i have a question for you: are you listening to christmas music yet?

*i may be overstating slightly.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

my second job is a fiendish baby-eater in a cable horror show called "scary blondes with bangs down to here" you would think from this extraordinarily flattering series of photos of me interacting with my favorite two month old, courtesy of tim thomas (the photos and the two month old).
she really does smile for me. i promise.
one of us seriously needs a haircut.

Monday, October 13, 2008

lots and lots and LOTS of corn!

friday night was the first whole evening we spent together since joel started class.
we spent it lost, muddy, and cold.

it other words, we had the time of our lives...

originally we were going to spend some quality time cooking together! cooking (get this) a rachael ray recipe!! talk about friday night excitement! at about 4pm, joel decided (wisely) that he would prefer spending time with a wife who wasn't driven to distraction and had easy access to knives.
somehow, he's never in the house when i'm cooking.

so instead, we headed to the sauvie island corn ma"i"ze! (the largest in the portland area)
(joel thinks he looks like someone who would eat little children in this pic. i think he's cute.)

we were at the ma"i"ze right at sunset - so pretty. a little frightening though. seriously, it was like the scene in harry potter 4 where harry walks out of the singing and revelry into the "maze of death" ...
i never knew corn could be that creepy.
we survived, with only about 70% of our bodies covered in mud.
so we went out for coffee (at coffee romance) afterward. i'm sure they appreciated our mucky presence in their reputable establishment.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

our portland story

"tour by bicycle"
"unleash your bliss"
"been missing voices of feminist culture makers?"
"our portland story"

taken in the cafe at powell's books, a cathedral for indie self-proclaimed intellectuals.

our portland story ... the glass walls that separate us.
when did the bohemians become the bourgeois?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


this post is dedicated to heidi thomas
and also to the liberated female employees of the hawthorne buffalo exchange
who creatively display their liberation to their clientele
even though bra-burning went out with the 70's.

i cleaned out my closet on saturday.
i have not gone through my closet since my age began with a one.
my haul included:
-approximately 7 pairs of high-heeled, strappy, toe-baring, and in all ways much too cute shoes for a post-crush injury foot.
-a box of my high school clothes - saved and moved 4 times in desperate hopes that i will fit in them again. the height of late 90's fashion.
-brightly flowered skirts.
-a hawaiian shirt (that i actually wore before i realized that people could see me).
-a besparkled, stylishly frayed denim halter tankini.

heidi and i decided that it would be fun to take these relics of our poor judgment (i won the poor judgment contest) to a semi-trendy area of portland and allow chicly dressed, braless teenagers the opportunity to look at us like we have just exposed them to an agent of chemical warfare*. doesn't that sound like fun???

apparently we were smoking crack.

the 2 of us hauled our 5 bags of clothes and 1 box of shoes 2 blocks from our 15min parking space to the 30min line at hawthorne buffalo exchange. the braless wonders spent approximently .05 seconds of quality time with each clothing item.
we left the hawthorne buffalo exchange with 5 bags of clothes and 1 box of shoes.

on a fanciful whim, we decided to haul our treasures across the street to a new store: "recycled fashion" ... concluding that our clothes at least fulfilled the "recycled" part ... if not the "fashion" part.

at this point, the atmosphere decided that we'd had enough fun for the day. we survived the deluge, and attempted to pawn off wet used shoes on yet another impossibly chic automaton.

down to 4 bags of clothes and 1 box of shoes, we considered our progress fleeting and decided not to press our luck. we left "recycled fashion" with only one minor driving mishap (pedestrians, schmedestrians), came home, and played taboo.

*such as mustard gas

Thursday, October 2, 2008

express lane torture

(please excuse the bad photoshop job. making this was therapy.)

what i have learned in the kitchen so far this week:

~rachael ray covertly calls grocery stores, keeps a database inventory of their stock, then creates as many meals as possible from everything else (preferably items with names that sound like frightening diseases such as "vermicelli").

~combining two perfectly good, separate meals (from entirely different continents) to create a 3rd meal with a name that is not even worthy of a wiggles song is apparently chic. (is this the same "chic" that deems bug-eye sunglasses ok for anyone of post-wiggles age?)

~the broiler is only a good substitute for a toaster if supervised closely. (putting on makeup in the bathroom with the door shut does not constitute proper broiler supervision.)

~an english-muffin-broiler fire can be extinguished with repeated blows from a wine-and-grape patterned potholder when baking soda is not readily accessible and your husband isn't answering his phone to tell you where the baking soda is because he's in the bathroom (of all the dumb reasons not to answer your phone when 6 inch flames are shooting out of your oven and your wife is panicking out of her mind and has no clue where the stupid baking soda is...).

~it was an ugly potholder anyway.

~rachael's idea of a joke is to hide her "fresh herb" requirements in an obscure part of the recipe, forcing the cook to venture into her spider infested herb garden after dark to retrieve about 20 liters of weeds for a "pizza-dilla". (where are the wiggles when i really need them?)

~my neighbor's idea of a joke is to rev his motercycle engine really, really loud right outside my herb forest, sending me toppling head first into the spider infested basil plant that rachael has demanded i collect exactly 367.82 individual leaves from to sacrifice as an offering to the spiteful kitchen deities.

~she didn't realize i already sacrificed my english muffin.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

beware... random catch up blog of dooooooom!!!!

or something.

as you may or may not be able to tell from the preceding photo...
i am the proud mama of a canon 17-40mm f/4 L lens! i have been dying to try wide angle portraits for ages and was finally able to at a senior shoot this last weekend - pics from that coming soon...

~joel is 29! this is the last year that my husband and i will be in the same decade for a long time, and i am certainly enjoying it! (mostly by teasing him about turning 30.)

(sharing a birthday eclair at claimjumper w/ tim and heidi. kairis didn't go for it.)

~joel has also started at psu again - this term he's taking anatomy/physiology and chemistry. 0_0
he's still working full time, so ... that means i'm back to cooking. i've only had one kitchen fire since he started class yesterday though, so i'm pretty optimistic.

~i'm done saying that my website is almost done. it really is ... but stuff keeps coming up. so i'll just let y'all know when it's up. until then there will be no more mention of the website on this blog. (hold me to it.)

ta ta for now!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


if you watch my sidebar plurk/twitter updates (or if you attend gcc) you know that this little darling arrived over a month ago!

kairis elysa thomas was born on 8-8-08 and has been delighting the world with the joy of her presence since then. she is so alert and happy, and makes the cutest faces ever!

participating in/photographing her birth was a joy and an honor - she and her parents are very dear to us. it was so much fun taking care of her this last weekend as tim and heidi celebrated their 5th anniversary, yay for them! i don't have any photos from her overnight stay because, well ... we're not used to having a newborn. ;)

these photos are from the hospital - the first family photo (taken minutes after birth), and a few from her first day.
being godparents is so much fun!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

a little sum'n sum'n for you ikea freaks

of which i am not one, no sirree, not me.
i am officially staying off the bandwagon, even as it rolls over me.

however, i thought y'all would appreciate this: your very own swedish furniture name!

i always wanted to be a table!
what's yours???

Monday, September 15, 2008

blog, meet my parents.

parents, meet my blog.

aren't they cute? :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

maybe this will solve the ant problem!

(pt 3 of "nightmare weekend from gehenna")

sunday morning
we skipped church.
john and his assistant arrived at 9:30am to finish the pipes. they crawled under our house, and for the third day in a row, seismic tremors wracked our floor as they sawed away the guts of our quaint home - until about 11:30, when john appeared at our back door, covered in ... something brown.
"they didn't get it all out. there's still lots of sewage under there."

after having placed supreme confidence in the surly middle schoolers who graced our home with dead batteries and dishonesty, i was shocked that keith and curly could let us down so spectacularly.
the plumbers were not happy. they finished the job in less than ideal working conditions, and called 1-800-water-damage.

i assume that john politely explained that he didn't prefer to lay in a bed of guano while he worked, and would they kindly kindly revisit our domicile?
...that's what i think happened.

sunday afternoon
by this point, wouldn't you be tired of having guys up your pipes, down your drains, and under your house?
i hid in the bedroom when the 1-800-water-damage guys arrived. keith knocked on our door. curly lurked in the background.
"so, uh, i guess there's some more stuff under there so we'll get it out."


this time, the smell was horrific. after 3 hours i was nauseated and lightheaded, and about ready to leave when they drove away without a word. we opened all the windows and spent the evening at powell's, where i bought 3 books on mental disorders.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

adventures in wonderland with keith and curly

(pt 2 of "nightmare weekend from gehenna")

saturday evening
hurrah for the arrival of the sewage suckers!
keith was blonde, fresh faced, about 20. his assistant had long, curly black hair and appeared to be a recent graduate of middle school.
the dynamic duo pulled out their uber-shopvacs, and, realizing that the batteries on their flashlight had died, asked for directions to the nearest convenience store.

initially, they suggested that we tell our insurance company the pipes had broken instead of rusted (i.e. lie). we politely declined, partly because we have a teeny weeny ethical problem with lying, and partly because it would require crawling under the house ourselves to remove the rusted pipes (the evidence of our dishonesty).
no and no.

they sucked up 75 gallons of sewage, deposited it into a storm drain (highly illegal), and left. joel and tim produced a functional sink and toilet, and we proclaimed saturday work officially done.

jardin a la chic toilette

our bathroom, circa saturday night

stay tuned for the last and final installment in our trilogy of feculent calamity!

Monday, September 8, 2008

nightmare weekend from gehenna

our bathroom sink has been backing up periodically since we bought our house a year and a half ago. "mr. rooter" finally informed us that the problem would continue until we replace the sink pipes. we've been brushing our teeth in the bathtub for 6 months now, waiting for the right day to put our government rebate, literally, down the drain.

friday was that day.
john from "mr. rooter" excavated under our house for a while, emerging with less than heartening news:
all the pipes in our house needed to be replaced: the bathroom sink was backing up (of course), the kitchen sink was plumbed wrong, and the toilet pipe had a hole in it (egads!).
john's priorities were a little mixed up - he wanted to spend the evening with his family instead of down our drain, so he planned to come back saturday do the whole job then.

saturday was also the day we had planned to replace our bathroom sink and toilet - with just a little help from tim thomas. (translation: he did it and we handed him tools.)
our house was full of guys fixing stuff inside and under, with the requisite kinks, mishaps, and 3 dozen trips to the hardware store.

until john trudged into the house, and informed us that they had hit a snag.
our sink and toilet drainage pipes were rusted and full of holes, and our crawlspace contained untold gallons of the contents of aforementioned sink and toilet pipes.
yes, that means exactly what you think it does.

john and his assistant high-tailed it out, not before calling "1-800-water damage" to clean up the mess.
they would be back to finish the job on sunday.

to be continued...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


my website is almost done.
with it will come my business name (which many of you know), logo, pricing, the option to order prints, a professional photoblog ...
lots of fun stuff.

here are some faces you'll see in my portfolio...