Blue Lime

Luzas. Goings on. Stuff. Life.

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You can never go home again

August 7th, 2013 · 1 Comment · family S, Lori

It’s been a year (& little) since my grandfather passed and since our vacation this direction last summer…and thus since we’d been “home”. Of course, Paris has never felt homey to me and hasn’t been my home since the day I left for college…other than a couple of very-temporary summers.

This trip is for my grandmother, Mama Bee. We arrived surprised to find my mom in attendance. Last time we were here, she either forgot we were coming or didn’t care to see us. I never heard from her, so I assumed she not only forgot, but also never had the “oh shit!” moment after the fact.

Anyway, dinner prep/post caused me more concern for my mom’s physical health. Neither Emil nor Mama Bee noticed what I did, so maybe I read too much into her trembling while carrying a plate of rolls. She was polite & seemed to be distracted-at-worst…I’m sure by the permanent elephant-in-the-room.

After she left, Mama Bee showed me some keepsakes, including the shadow box that was her Xmas gift to herself. It contains all of my grandfather’s military insignia & medals.

We talked until midnight…trying to solve all the problems…& then when I went to shower, I found the beaded bluebonnet ornament she hung in the guest bath. It’s from around the time we got married, so it’s been in there a long time, but I always forget about it & seeing it mis-matched against the wallpaper she picked when they built this house alway makes me smile…

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$300 cash!

August 2nd, 2013 · 3 Comments · Lori, projects

Today, we sold our dining table. It was the wrong size and shape for our new home so we got rid of it. Plus, we never-ever-not-once seated 8 people for dinner.

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I have $300 cash in my pocket! …and a plan.

The Questions

Where will you sit to eat? – On the couch with TV trays like we almost always do.

What will you do for table space? & What will you put in that spot in your kitchen? – a kitchen dresser!

What is a kitchen dresser? – You aren’t on Pinterest, are you?

Kitchen Dresser

The plan is to convert an old dresser into a kitchen island. We already bought a dresser from Craigslist. It will give us the badly-needed additional storage. Plus, we could use a little more counter space. Finally, it will have a top larger than the footprint of the dresser. So, we can tuck some barstools under the overhang and have seating for two. It will also give us a place to put food when we have people over.

Our Kitchen Dresser Island

You can see my favorite ones our our Kitchen board.

Our’s won’t be green (and would never be that icky shade of green!), but will probably be a glossy black like the pantry and our appliances. Our casters will need to be large, 4″ kitchen casters with rubber wheels because small wheels will only get lost in the grout between our tiles. (And, our dresser has a “skirt” so only about an inch of the wheels will show.) There is a granite store near here that I’m hoping will have some remnants we can afford/like. Oh, and the dresser is pretty light. I’m not sure it can support an overhang that is as heavy as granite. So, we might have to get creative about the countertop. Finally, I want plain barstools that we can “hang” under the countertop in the same way that bars store wine glasses on racks.

I’ll need to finish the back of our dresser. I’m thinking a piece of plain panelling. It will also need some minor repairs. I also another fun idea or two. I’ll know more when I get into the project.

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If my vagina was a gun…

July 9th, 2013 · No Comments · Lori

“If my vagina was a gun, you would stand for its rights,
You would ride on buses and fight all the fights.
If my vagina was a gun, you would treat it with care,
You wouldn’t spill all its secrets because, well, why go there.
If my vagina was a gun, you’d say what it holds is private
From cold dead hands we could pry, you surely would riot.
If my vagina was a gun, its rights would all be protected,
no matter the body count or the children affected.
If my vagina was a gun, I could bypass security,
concealed carry laws would ensure I’d have impunity.
If my vagina was a gun, I wouldn’t have to beg you,
I could hunt this great land and do all the things men do.
But my vagina is not a gun, it is a mightier thing,
With a voice that rings true making lawmakers’ ears ring.
Vaginas are not delicate, they are muscular and magic,
So stop messing with mine, with legislation that’s tragic.
My vagina’s here to demand from the source,
Listen to the voices of thousands or feel their full force.

–Katie Heim, Austin, TX

Hear the whole thing at jessicawluther.com

Yes, I am pro-choice. Yes, I am angry as-can-be at the straight/white/”christian”/republican/MEN who are trying to make these decisions for women of all races/colors/religions. Men have no dog in this fight; they can’t possibly know what it’s like. Breast vs. Prostate cancer, yes, we can find common ground. Unwanted pregnancies, we can not. In the same way that a male ObGyn can not be as effective as a biological mother who is an ObGyn, male opinions simply are less valid. Yes, it’s sexist. Yes, men can render an opinion. It’s about as worthy as any opinion I’d have on Cricket. I’m far less qualified than someone who has grown up around the sport. Men don’t have a hoo ha and haven’t bled from it every month of their mostly-adult lives.

Pregnancy is a severe physical risk to the body. Unwanted pregnancies are a severe emotional, financial, and physical burden. Note, this is not an “inconvenience”; it’s a burden. Others, men especially, have no right to ask any woman to endure this burden.

For every man who supported a mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasound, I think he should be subject to the same…in whatever orifice he chooses! Open wide, misogynists!

Anyone who wants to tell a woman she “should” carry a child to term, even if her life is at risk, needs to be subjected to a moment of something that is truly terminally-ill. My grandmother would have died if she had tried to carry a second fetus to term and then delivery. If my mom had gotten pregnant a second time, she would have suffered severe complications and the baby would have likely died, too. Forcing either of them to endure a life-risking process for the sake of a blob of cells is inhumane. We don’t even treat animals this way; we put them out of their misery when no other option is reasonable.

Those who oppose the current state of safe/legal abortions do not also support increased benefits in foster care, pre/post natal care, education, or any of the other programs that will benefit the additional unwanted babies. Yes, not all babies are wanted. No, that is not for someone other than the pregnant woman to decide.

On  the very day that Rick Perry demanded the second special session of our legislature, he allowed Texas’ 500th inmate to die by the hand of man.

Pro-life, my ass.

Texas hath no fury like a woman ripped of her own bodily rights. Vote, bitches.

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Happy Anniversary, #Kenise25

June 16th, 2013 · 2 Comments · friends, Lori

We went to Tyler this weekend to be with Ken & Denis Hawk to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Emil has known Denise since they were kids. He was one of ~5 people at their Catholic ceremony 25 years ago.

We had a blast! Team Hawk threw a lovely party at a cool Mediterranean-looking terrazzo complete with a lovely vow renewal including statements from each of their 5 children, a 3-course meal, a video produced by the youngest 5 members of Team Hawk (ages ~8 through ~19), and a night filled with dancing.

I took the camera, so as soon as I have my pictures processed (and permission from Team Hawk), I’ll post a few.

Ken & Denise, thank you for a lovely party! Congratulations on a quarter century of wedded bliss! Thank you for your contribution of 5(+1) additional humane and kind humans to our society. Thank you for sharing your kindness with the world.

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Project Day, at Doma Luza

June 9th, 2013 · 1 Comment · ChildFree, Lori, projects

For those of you keeping “score”, Texas School came and went with bounding successes, new friends, and loads of new information for As You Wish. Both Leanne (& Steve) and Ben (& Jenn) are now married. My six seven weeks of heavy work is now complete. I can resume some of a normal life, again. (And damn! It was all at least as fun as a barrel of monkeys. I’m truly honored to have been part of each of the wonderful events. Oh the grand stories….)

We are now planning our housewarming. If you did not get an eVite and want to come, email me and I’ll add you to it. I think I got all ~seven of you, though. ;)

Today, we did a bunch of projects around #ANewHome, which now has a name: Doma Luza. Doma is Czech for home. #DomaLuza will be our Twitter tag from now on.

The big project for today was to clean the dryer’s exhaust pipe of lint. Dryer lint is highly flammable and is a major cause of house fires. So, we set out to clean as much as we could. After taking off the flexible hose that goes from the dryer into the wall, we decided to just get a new one. At the store, we also found a drill-attachable brush to clean the lint duct up to 8 feet. Our duct is much longer because it vents through the ceiling at the 2nd story, but we know we got the majority of the lint this way. Plus, we can buy another extension or two next time and get even more. So, Emil ran the brush via drill, and I ran the vacuum. His name is Animal; Dyson named him that. Even Animal needed several breaks to unload the fluff coming out of the the vent. I guess our trash dumpster will smell good this week. It was a dusty job, but otherwise easy. I felt a lot better for having done it. (BTW, if you want to take this on, hit Home Depot instead of Lowe’s; the same tool is $20 instead of $40.)

While we were at the two stores, we looked at curtain panels. yuk! “Oh, we found those pretty curtains at the hardware store,” said no one ever.

While at Lowe’s, we found an über cool light for the former dining-now-part-of-the-living room. So, we were able to say buh-bye to the glossy brassy shiny “chandelier” and get a fixture more suited to our needs. It’s florescent/bright, so the light is very cool while the rest of the room is in warm tones. Also, it won’t dim. But, it provides one hell of a light that will be wonderful for gaming when we want to set up a table in that area.

I finally re-assembled the yoga-ball-desk-chair in our office. I was able to “hide” the usual desk chair until I need it.

I also found the “good” shower curtain hooks recently, so we replaced the cheap/cute one with a nice one we got from a friend at our own garage sale. :) Turns out, we have three extra shower curtains. Two of them are really nice. The “cheap” one is cute.

We still spent Friday night (gaming at a brewery!) and the whole day Saturday (went to a Mini Maker Faire!!!!) with our #childfree friends. And, we went to the ANK! Monthly Supper tonight, too.

Our life in #Austin truly is amazing. We have so many more opportunities for entertainment that is “us”, fitting & long-term friends, and professional opportunities, too. We are lucky to have had the opportunity to move here. We were smart to prepare our careers/lives for whichever way the wind blows us.

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Props to Wellesley College; Drops to Principal George Aulenbacher

April 18th, 2013 · 3 Comments · Lori

Short version of the story

Student refuses to participate in inflammatory “lecture” at her high school that condescends to women.

Principal implies she’s a slut and threatens to call the college she’s been accepted to to tell them of her “character”.

Student seeks injunction.

College applauds student.

Props to Katelyn Campbell and Wellesley College
Drops to Principal George Aulenbacher of Kanawha County Schools

Links

http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201304150062?page=1

https://twitter.com/Wellesley/status/324624597012074496

Copy of the email I sent the principal

Principal George Aulenbacher
Phone: (304) 348-7729
Email: gaulenbacher@kcs.kana.k12.wv.us

What a disgrace you are to the profession. I’m the daughter of two teachers, one who became a school counselor and another who became a school principal.

Your actions are am embarrassment to the profession.

You owe Katelyn Campbell, her parents, Wellesley College, your student body, your staff, and your community a huge apology. Be a leader and admit your wrong doing or step down with what little grace and dignity you have left.

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Salad Dressing with a KICK

April 16th, 2013 · 3 Comments · Lori, projects

This spring, my Greenling box has been full of many salad veggies. It’s been lovely.

Because of all the junk that is in store-bought salad dressings (like sugar and chemicals), I’ve been making my own for about a year. I love the vinegary dressings, so I get something that is healthier, cheaper, and–to me–tastes better. But, I was in a rut of the same “favorite” one and needed a new taste adventure.

In my opinion, dressings need these things: oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper… and then a seasoning direction of your choice. I almost never prefer the sweeter end of things, so I keep mine savory or spicy. My favorite additions include brown mustard, cumin, and curry.

I grabbed a dozen or so spices and settled on two: turmeric and cayenne (for an extra kick).

If you try this, be prepared; it is quite spicy. If you are sensitive to spices at all, you might leave out both the cayenne and the black pepper until you are sure you can try a dash of them.

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Salad Dressing with A Kick

1 serving

5 minutes

  • 1 Tbs oil
  • 4 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

shake & serve

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You can also see it on Pepperplate (my favorite recipe storage site/app) and on Twitter’s 6-second video site, Vine (which totally should have been called Twine, don’t you think?). Learn more from this great blog post about making your own salad dressing.

 

 

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Austin Women Are Complex

April 9th, 2013 · 2 Comments · Austin, Lori

I’m downtown this afternoon. I am going to work a college fair this evening to help represent the University of Miami. I came down early to have a snack before the 3-hour shift.

While on the train ride down, Emil texted how I was doing. This was my response:
Productive/happy, the complimented, then yelled at, then sad, then Pecan Porter happy, then frustrated, now on the way back to happy. Women=complex

Then, it occurred to me that this is funny & I should explain in more than (140-)160 characters.

Productive/happy. Armed with my iPhone, the WordPress iPhone app, & my bluetooth keyboard, I blogged for As You Wish on my way down.

complimented: As I walked from the train station to my favorite food trailer, I (saw two women here to represent OK State and) got a genuine compliment from a stranger who liked the flower in my hair. It’s orange, of course.

yelled at: a homeless woman with Tourette’s/similar yelled at me to give er a dollar and then called me a “bitch” with a “saggy mother fuckin’ ass” when I didn’t give her money. Technically, this is just wrong. My bootie is in pretty good shape! :)

sad: Miguel Is Cuban is no more. According to the staff at The Chicago House, he closed after SXSW ad is selling the trailer & his spot on Craigslist. I nearly cried at this news;; I was that sad.

Pecan Porter happy: 512 Brewing’s Pecan Porter. Enough said!

frustrated: I went to an old standby for my pre-college fair snack: Champions. Apparently, my powers of invisibility kicked in because I had to get pretty aggressive to be able to order. The bartender clearly prefers male customers. And, right now, she’s trading war stories with another bartender from another place who is in here before her shift. #classy

the way back to happy: the best hummus platter in the world: big bowl of hummus, feta, red onion, Greek olives, cucumber, tomatoes, and warm pita. I’d take a picture, but at this point in this blog post, it’s 1/3 gone! ;)

Since all of this happened in about an hour: Women=complex

Bonus: on the fashion front, not only are young women wearing patterned tights with shorts, they are now slathering glitter on, first. That takes “I didn’t feel like shaving” to a whole new level.

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Miami in Austin

March 18th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Austin, Lori

I’ve been quite proud of my Canes during this basketball season. Our only complaint is that people rank Duke highly in a year they don’t deserve it.

And now, my team is coming to Austin! I’m very excited!!! It all happened on St. Patrick’s day. And, BTW, Ireland’s colors are green, orange, and white…just like Miami’s!

At noon, we went to Cover 2 to watch the ACC Tournament championship. It was a great game: the “best [first] half of college basketball you’ve ever seen” according to one announcer. The hostess congratulated us on the way out the door. :)

We had St. Patrick’s evening plans with two other couples. (Together, we make up “Them!”.) So, while we had our first Irish drinks–whiskey and Diet Coke for me–the emails and calls started rolling in. Miami would be playing in Austin. Where did I want to host the pre-game party? What about all these other details? For about an hour, it was exciting and frustrating: thrilling that my Canes are coming to Austin; frustrating that they expect answers on a Sunday evening on St. Patrick’s Day! Still, it’s all take care of and we’re set to host the alumni and fans in our weird town.

When we got home from hanging out with Them!, Emil found us tickets to Rounds 2/3 of the Regional. (Miami has a bye for Round 1.) Today, he’s asking for Friday off.

My Canes are coming to Austin and I’m helping host the party! holy cow!

We’re going to the Big Dance! Our “elderly” team (23, 24, 25 year olds) has made history for our school: first ACC Season Championship, first ACC Tournament Championship, first trip to the Big Dance and a part to play in March Madness. And, if you believe Dick Vitale, we’ll make it to the Elite Eight!!! holy cow!

Holy. Cow! (batman.)

Oh, and our seats are way out of camera range, but my sign will read:

Keep

Astin

Weird

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SXSW 2013

March 14th, 2013 · No Comments · Austin, Lori, technology

We didn’t do much with/at #SXSW this year. We did make plans to and attended #gdgt.

That was the same day as Circle Brewing’s birthday party. So we had beer (well, our friends and I had beer) and then took the train from there to downtown. On the way there, we stopped at Manuel’s Cuban trainer. If you are ever downtown, it is a must-try.

It was fun to go to a little mini-version of the Consumer Electronics Show and see some of the new tech devices. The wait in line was long, but it was an open bar once inside. When we left, the line was still just as long as when we went in.

The trains are running all day, instead of just during morning & evening commutes; in fact, I’m on one right now headed to the station closest to Emil’s job. We’re going to a Miami event at The Domain.

Anyway, so it’s very “spring break” feeling for us, but with a lot less #SXSW stuff than in previous years.

Who knows, maybe this weekend something will becon us toward that crowd/

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