A thing that I do not recommend is ever driving your car, especially in Los Angeles, because if you do drive your car in Los Angeles, you will go through approximately one million potholes, and your passenger side tire will develop sidewall bubbles without your knowledge, and one day you will be innocently gassing up with your last $10 until payday, and you will check your tire pressure and see those bubbles, and your brain will send out the DANGER WILL ROBINSON signal, because sidewall bubbles mean that your tire could EXPLODE AT ANY MOMENT, and you will tearfully call your dad and ask him to buy you tires for Christmas instead of the lovely shoes you wanted.
If your dad is anything like my dad, he will send you money for tires AND shoes and you will cry a lot and then you will go buy tires and shoes. (Also there was a little left over and I got a bottle of whiskey for us and some groceries for J down the hall.)
Quick! I only have three and a half years left before I turn 40. I need to get some youthful indiscretions out of the way, and I need your help to think of them. (Feel free to suggest things that I may have already done or that I am super unlikely to ever do. I am…not very serious about this.)
- Do donuts on the neighbor’s lawn (or wherever).
- Pierce my nose.
This blog has been Through the Looking Glass since late 2003 (I think–it was Scratching at the 8-ball before that). Last week I impulsively changed it and I am DELIGHTED with the new name. (I will keep sporadically changing the tagline and you will keep not noticing, so I shan’t mention that.)
I am considering pepping up the template a little bit to go with it, but I kind of love the simplicity of this one and also I hate change that requires work. So. Any thoughts?
Here is my dilemma:
We have a neighbor, J, who has a toddler. Her boyfriend, the baby’s father, lived with them at one time, but I haven’t seen him lately and am not sure if he’s still around (I never saw him often, so he probably is). J’s mother lives in the building as well, but as far as I know she’s in another apartment. At her request, we leave our recyclables for her to collect the return on. (They probably think we are terrible alcoholics, but HAHAHA that’s another story.)
J has asked to borrow a dollar now and again, and a few weeks ago asked to borrow $20 for diapers and milk. I have always helped her out and she’s always repaid me.
Last night we got home to a note on our door, asking for another $20. We don’t have it (I have always loaned her money out of my grocery money and this week’s is spent). I wrote a note back, apologizing and asking if there is anything else we can do to help.
I’m not looking for advice on whether I should be helping J when I’m able to or whether I should feel bad when I can’t; I’m pretty confident in the answers to both of those. What I would like is any ideas you may have for nice things I can do for them. Baking cookies, for example–but maybe that wouldn’t be so nice, if they are low on food-food? I don’t know how to approach this. I do have some outgrown clothing of Grace’s, which I’m going to sort out for the baby, and some old toys I may offer them.
Any other ideas?
I accidentally clicked on a terrible “article” this morning. Between the text and the stock photographs I just had to improve it.
1. He is more interested in something up on the ceiling than in your advances. WHAT IS ON THE CEILING?
2. She’s yelling at you with a megaphone. PUT THE MEGAPHONE DOWN, LADY.
3. He is better at video games than you. Or even worse, he THINKS he is better at video games than you. LET HER HAVE THE CONTROLLER ONCE IN A WHILE, YOU CAD.
4. She pretends not to know you in public. DANGER!
5. She steals your sandwich. HE IS HUNGRY TOO, LADY.
6. You are both just too goth to live.
7. She leans on you when you’re trying to make a shot. WHAT THE HELL LADY HE IS TRYING TO MAKE A SHOT.
8. You are literally screaming in each other’s faces. Also maybe you are both Italian? I mean, look at that gesturing. Actually, you two should probably just go to bed together.
I knitted this shawl because I wanted a basic wrap that is beautiful and functional. I chose a luscious alpaca silk yarn, Lorna’s Laces Honor, in a deep and subtle shade of purple-grey, and I named it after one of my favorite heroines of Colonial British children’s fiction, Susan Sowerby from The Secret Garden.
Here is the text from the pattern:
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was the first novel I read, approximately five minutes after I figured out that whole reading business. It has remained a favorite for nearly three decades, and was much loved by many others for a good 75 years before I found it. One of my favorite characters is Susan Sowerby, Dickon and Martha’s mother, who kindly looks out for Mary and boldly (but gently) interferes when Archibald Craven needs it.
I chose a lovely yarn that drapes around the shoulders to keep you warm on a rainy night, in a color that reminds me of the way the moors looked when Mary Lenox first saw them—grey, but not quite lifeless after all.
It is on Ravelry if you are so inclined.
After Lauren’s amazing work on my Sew Noir logo (see it here), I asked if she could make me a new Noir Knits logo, too. And she did! Actually she made like two dozen of them, because I gave her a terrible description of what I wanted and she was kind enough to go through several versions to fine tune it.
WORTH IT. (Uh, for me. She is probably going into hiding.)
How fucking gorgeous is that?! Of course, now I have to decide whether to redo my pattern template AGAIN. It doesn’t currently have a logo on it, so I might not. [/lazy]
Also I have to redo my website. I have forgotten all the coding I once knew, so that should be fun.
…I’ve made a huge mistake.
I found out about AIDS thirty years ago. I was six years old.
Someone had written SILENCE = DEATH on the sidewalks of Soho, most likely using a handcut stencil and spraypaint.
It looked something like this:
At six, I did not recognize the equal sign, so I thought someone had written “silence death,” which I also did not understand.
My parents explained it to me.
It is astonishing to me that AIDS is still an epidemic, but it is equally astonishing to me that we’ve made such incredible strides forward.
Today I am thinking of everyone living with AIDS, affected by AIDS, and gone because of AIDS.
I wish I could pretend that two books in one month is a lousy accomplishment, but these days it’s pretty good for me. And for both books to be recent roman noir, written by ladies?
Kim Cooper is the driving force behind the 1947 Project, which turned into Esotouric, the crime bus tours that someday I will have both the time and money to go on. Mary McCoy is a friend of a friend, with whom I bonded over Code Name Verity–I mentioned that I’d recently read a historical novel in which the characters knew how to knit and it wasn’t a thing because everyone knew how to knit, and she asked if perhaps it was Verity, and we became blood sisters on the spot (not really). Mary is a librarian and was a writer for Kim’s project On Bunker Hill.
Basically, these ladies are who I want to be when I grow up. And they’ve both written outstanding novels. The Kept Girl features a 1920s Raymond Chandler following a trail of money and missing persons and uncovering a strange cult. Dead To Me (out in March), set in the late 40s, is about a teenage girl investigating the attempted murder of her older sister, whom she hasn’t seen or heard from in four years. Both capture the voice and setting of period noir perfectly, give a great peek into Los Angeles past, and utterly captivated me.