Lori Deana Luza | Emil Luza | Marble, Purrrrrl, & Turtleor Luza

Texas Blue Lime Productions

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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




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.


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


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:




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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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Unpacking Ad Nauseam

February 21st, 2013 · No Comments · Lori, projects

I needed my computer. I refused to sort to find all the boxes labeled “office” and dig through them all until I found my mouse. Instead, I unpacked as much as I could each day until I found the box of “desktop” stuff. It was one of the last to go on the truck and one of the first to go in the garage….so it was one of the last to come inside.

So, while this isn’t really worth a blog update, it’s what we’ve been up to over the last few days.

At the same time, we haven’t curtailed our social life. After all, we still need a break from this kind of work? So, we’ve been busy.

  • Empty house preview with friends and then dinner. We had to show someone those pink walls IRL. The iPhone pics did not do them justice.
  • Austin No Kidding! game night
  • Superbowl – at home with the remote so pausing kept us from missing any of the game or commercials
  • Monday night knitting
  • two basketball watch parties for the #2-ranked Miami Hurricanes! Whoosh whoosh!
  • ANK! movie night
  • ANK! monthly supper
  • ANK! annual chocolate party
  • “Die Hardest” – Emil watched it. We paid for me to sleep through it all.
  • apartment walkthrough – complete with a genuine apology for the “perfect storm” that was our year, there. After all, most of it was stuff they screwed up. And, the big stuff (fleas!) is a shining example of where GreyStar should have done the right thing instead of sticking to their guns over contract language before we even had the question.

I’ll get back to catching up on email soon, I hope.




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February 7th, 2013 · 3 Comments · Austin, Lori, projects

Whew….an understatement.

The “leak”? The dishwasher. yay!

The dishwasher had a big pool of water sitting in the bottom of it. We don’t know how or why it got there, but the warranty guy turned it to a cycle to make it drain. …and all the water drained. It was like magic!

To test it, we ran a cycle while we were near it. Nothing seemed to leak in any way. So, we are going to keep an eye on it, but so far, we might not have a problem. How the water got in there is still a mystery, but I’m not going to try to repeat the problem on purpose!

Today, we (Emil stayed home to help with the leak evaluation) met more new neighbors, learned the pool-side happy hour schedule, and learned that there are a whopping five kids in the whole 120 units. We were doted on with ingratiations such as, “we love it when young people move in” and learned that we live on the “cool kids” end of the ‘hood where everyone down there hates the nosy HOA prez. Since I watched her peer into our neighbor’s back yard a couple of days ago, I’m going to make a sign an lay it on our patio.

“If you can read this, you’re being too nosy, Pat.”

We also learned that one complaint at the annual HOA meeting in January was that there are too many USA flags? really?!?!?! So, Saturday is Miami basketball game against UNC and we have a watch party that day. I’m going to display that 24′ flag Emil got me a few years ago. And, if I ever find a cheap rainbow gay-pride flag, I’ll fly that, too. Gotta keep the old bigots guessing! ;)

Anyway, we did lots today and are both exhausted. I know why and how I’m tired each day, but I do NOT know how Emil can go to work all day and then do some of this stuff at night, too. We’re both “working” the same hours, but he needs a lot more sleep than I do.

Anyway, tomorrow, he’ll be at work and I’ll work on the space with my next-most-important items to-do list. Then, we’ll go to the Austin No Kidding! games night at Pam & Ryan’s place. Saturday morning, we are going to move Turtleor, go watch my Canes beat UNC, and try to get more stuff ready for the movers to come on Tuesday. Tuesday! tuesday? eeek! tuesday.

Feel that? It’s the big sigh of relief that we don’t have to jackhammer the beautiful 6″ tiles in our kitchen floor.


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Weep for Seeps

February 6th, 2013 · No Comments · Austin, Lori, projects

It rained last night. Today, when I got to the town house, I found small puddles of water in the middle of the kitchen floor. Worrying that we had a leak, I checked the ceiling, the windows, the doors, and both the dishwasher and refrigerator. All were bone dry (even upstairs). In fact, the biggest puddle was under a dry plastic trash can I used for the scraps from lining the kitchen cabinets yesterday. weird.

So, I did the logical thing: I messaged Emil and mopped it up. I did a few other things around the place…

One of the things I did was scrape the living room windows with a razor blade. They needed a good cleaning. I was outside when the HOA President/nazi came by on her morning walk and said hello. This wasn’t my first sighting of her. The day before I watched her peer over a fence into our neighbor’s patio. Um, if you can’t see it from the common area, it’s not worth being nosy over!
She tried to act sweet with “I’m just over there if you need anything,” but I think it was her second or third sentence when she said we’d need permission to do anything exterior. I was quick to inform her that I was scraping the paint from when the exterior was painted. She defended her remark with some “years ago” bullshit. Yes, it was years ago when they did it wrong. And no, the place does not yet need new exterior paint, but I’m still going to take care of their lack of maintenance issue from the way-back time. We liked the place in part because of that big window. I’ll be damned if I’m going to look through paint flecks to see outside.
I also told her we’d be making a request soon to have our front door repainted since bare wood was showing.
She was not once forthcoming with any contact information like her exact unit or a phone number or email address. (If I were an HOA President, I’d have some little business cards. For cryin’ out loud, they are free from some online services and a whopping $10 with others.)

….and after that, the puddles were back. great. A least this time, I can determine their origins and verify it’s not from the dishwasher or refrigerator.

We have had possession of the space for such a short time (6 days), that the paperwork has not yet been processed for the home warranty. So, Emil texted/emailed/called to get all that info.

I wandered the property for our handy man, Mario. I found his smoking-on-the-job assistant, Jason, but not him.

I went two doors down to Annie. Turns out she’s only lived there six months and doesn’t know much, yet. She gave me two numbers. One (for the HOA Management) was disconnected.

I tried to reach the HOA President. Guess who wasn’t answering her phone? Guess who has her phone set to NOT receive voice mails?

I drove back to our apartment to get the HOA book. I waited for return calls and other info and loaded the car with a few things. I was just about to give up when we got some news. By this time, I was “hangry” and had to stop worrying about others to take care of my own needs. I was in a hurry at the sub shop and as I was getting back into the car, I cracked my forehead on the visor. I was still shaking off the “stars” when the phone rang. Our painter wanted to come over for the walk through and to settle up. sure.

I had given the short version of our story to the painter. So, when Emil called with some bad news (warranty covers only $1000 and won’t replace any flooring they have to destroy to get to the problem), our painter watched me shed tears of frustration. He then gave me a total that was more than the bid/expectation. So, I gave him the cash (cash!) for the bid we’d received and we made arrangements to deal with the other money next week. He was kind enough to look at the floor and our outside overflow pipes and render a professional opinion. Meanwhile, we are still missing two ~expensive screw drivers. While the painters had no reason to use (or accidentally pick up) screw drivers, no one else has been in the space. sigh.

In the midst of all this “how to fix what’s broken” stuff we are also learning our domain from that of the HOA. Turns out, plumbing, even that within the foundation, is ours. yippie. Now, I still need the HOA/similar to tell me how to turn off our water supply.

So, I head outside to find a cutoff. I find four. Sweet. Four units; four valves. I try the one that “must” be ours and have no luck getting it to turn. At that moment a neighbor’s friend pulls up, asks me how I’m doing, and offers to help. Our neighbor joins us. We try both valves and neither seem to work. I thank the gentlemen for their help and time. I wander around and find no discernible pattern to the cutoff valves for our new neighborhood.

Next, I try the numbers in our fancy HOA notebook. They are all landlines of people who have day jobs, disconnected numbers, and services that no longer apply to our area. What I wouldn’t give for an up-to-date mobile-friendly website!

It’s around this point that I can be found wandering aimlessly through our freshly-painted unfurnished home sobbing in frustration.

Emil calls State Farm. They will cover any flooring replacements that the home warranty won’t. yay!

Finally, Tracy, our neighbor who bought the home across the street, arrives. She’s already proved to be in the know with the ‘hood, so I head over. She knows Bill down-the-street, and expects that her neighbor will know how to help. Eventually, we find the valve. It took four neighbors, one friend-of-a-neighbor, and two handymen, but we got the water turned off….or so we thought. After this, I heard from the home warranty company and they said the plumber would be out this evening. Tracy comes over to see the paint job and notices a “remote possibility” that the puddles could be from the dishwasher. I don’t agree based on what I’ve seen, but I’ll keep an eye on the spot in case she’s right.

By this time, I’ve spent all afternoon on the damn water cutoff and need to go get Emil from work. On my way out, our neighbor Annie stops me; she’d been cooking all day and wanted to make sure I had lunch. sweetness.

I pick Emil up with an “I have no opinions on dinner but I want beer” attitude. We were driving to the new neighborhood bar we’ve wanted to try when we got the call that the warranty company wanted to send the plumbers tomorrow morning, instead of tonight. I got loud so she could hear me through Emil’s phone and said that while I didn’t care, it was shitty of them to lie to me and make me wait all afternoon. Anyway, we went for beer–where we sat next to two plumbers with lots of stories, advice, and opinions–then tacos, and then to the townhouse. Even with the water cut off, there is moisture in the kitchen. I mop, again…and we quickly realize that we can not completely bleed the pipes dry. The water is cut off as much as it can be, but that’s not 100%. At least it will be easy to show Affordable Plumbing where the leaks are.

It’s been the longest and hardest day of home re-ownership so far. This kind of shit is exactly the reason we wanted to rent for the next forever. Calgon, take me away!

2013-02-06 10.45.59

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Small Projects

February 5th, 2013 · No Comments · Austin, Lori, projects

Today was quite busy, but noting much that’s photo worthy. I met the painters this morning so they could cut the hole for the cat door.

I also finished cleaning the kitchen cabinets, the floor under the range, and the outside of the range, itself. (Next task here is to clean the burner grates, the oven racks, and the oven itself. fun.)

I also put our “stained glass” film on the mirror behind the bar, for a distinct improvement. I’m sure this isn’t the final look, but it’s a big help!

Last night, while I took a knitting break, Emil installed the plantar/rack for the herbs. He was even considerate to put it in the sunniest spot and where Turtleor will be able to admire it! (Not really, of course, but it’s a cute idea!)







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