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an etsy let's see
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006 | link

So what's a girl to do when it's cold inside, so cold that even the butter won't spread? Why, hunker down in bed and Etsy her brains out, of course.

A photo print of lawnmower racing gnomes, $10.

A set of toothsome bobby-pins, $8. Please note that they've been mounted in "opposite directions for symmetricalness." You really have to appreciate a turn of mind that concerns itself with the symmetrical challenge of denture clips. I know I sure do!

A family of rock owls, $63. Look at the one in front, all slumped over and fat and so very heavy, oh bird.

A hand-drawn woodgrain pendant (that's all pencil drawing magic!), $10.

I heart this heart scarf. The $54 pricetag is a bit steep, but all that hand-painting is definitely worth every penny. Just think how great that thing would look on Valentine's Day!

For him: the stomach snake tee, $17.

For her: the felt stomach ID holder, $13.

And for that special someone: the pacman ghost tooth hoodie, $125. I'm not so sure what's going on here, I mean the whole store is just giddy with freakiness, but I know what I love! From the catalog copy for this lip thing:

"It will fuck everything into explosive neon gyration. IT WILL KILL REPTILLIANS. It will save the universe gliding into beautious rainbows and unicorns and DMX & Tu Pac all getting manicures and facials."
How can you put a pricetag on something that will fuck everything into explosive neon gyration? Well it turns out you can: $75. But, psyche! That dream is sold, sold, sold. Psucker!

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

lost posts and the disappointment of numbers
Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2006 | link

It looks like I let the previous November/October combo page get soooo long (I've since redistributed all the November posts onto this new page) that Diaryland got fed up with me and started to refuse to post all my posts (welcome back, post of October 01, we missed you during your brief absence). Diaryland also protested my phatness by serving up sad, sad pageview numbers, which plummeted to about three a day. Though I guess it's certainly possible that it wasn't Diaryland, that I actually, suddenly became some sort of an e-pariah? Like in seventh grade, when Tammy Cohen took a vote and all the tan girls agreed that they didn't want to be my friend anymore?

Not only that, but the X of my "[X] blogs link here" on Technorati has also been going down on me, and not in an oral sex way. Possibly it's because their record-keeping-cut-off-point is limited to the last six months, so I guess some numbers might be falling off at the back. But again, it could also be a mass collective turning of backs.

I sure do miss the days when my neuroses led me to avoid checking my site stats at all costs, versus these days, when my neuroses have gotten me into the humiliating habit of checking my stats multiple times a day. Because while it's depressing to see those numbers dwindle, it's not nearly as depressing as the fact that link-to-me numbers are capable of turning me blue. I am very small!

(Incidentally, in the time it took to write this post, the ranking of my book on Amazon (sure, I check that, too) has slipped from #11,568 to #19,238. I'm not sure what that number means, exactly. Like how many books need to be sold to alter the number? One? Seven? I know nothing. Other than I'm LOSING LOVE! Numbers are the worst.)

Edited to add: Moving the posts totally fixed everything (thanks, as always, to Andrew for the friendly helps)! So my stats are back to normal, as is my dirty habit of constantly checking said stats. (The Amazon ranking is up to #7,532!) Go outside, Loser Thomas. OUTSIDE!

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

just like baby smiles and double rainbows
Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2006 | link

Yesterday, while walking around the lake, Piggy and I spotted a single bubble bobbing and floating down the street. Just one, plucky bubble, with not a blower in sight. That can't be anything but a good sign, right?

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

heady thoughts
Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 | link

I'm slightly concerned that my head is growing too small for my body. Or, and this is also possible, that my body is growing perhaps just a shade too wide for my head? In which case, the answer may be a slice or two less pie, one or two more squat thrusts. OR, and this sounds like a much better plan, I'm thinking I could fashion an outsized (8/7th scale, maybe) mask of my own face, and start wearing that around.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

madonna and friends
Sunday, Nov. 26, 2006 | link

Friday was Brian Mello's fortieth birthday, and to celebrate this huge day, we all surprised him with a mass gathering at the insane Madonna Inn. His beautiful and highly motivated wife, Sandra, started organizing all his friends and family three whole months ago, and we've all been sitting on our secret reservations for months and months now. Marco and I stayed at the red, red Nautical Way room:

After we creeped around, trying to avoid Brian and Sanra spotting us (which led to a ridiculous, sneaky jog through some weird construction site behind the hotel, which Marco described as like an "episode of the Monkees"), we all gathered at the bar and yelled "yay!" when he and Sandra finally walked in. And then we wagon-trained into town for a decadant cram-fest of pizza, pizza, and more pizza (including a gorgeous "dessert pizza," a drizzled, apple thing). And then we came back to Peter and Laura's Tack Room, which was somehow even redder and pornier than our own Nautical Way, and we drank and drank.

Note my shoes! The gorgeous, perfect, perfectly tall, and comfortable Park shoes from Jeffrey Campbell, a birthday present from Marco that has made me so happy:

They're almost identical to the Marc Jacob's mary janes, except only cuter (the shape of the toe, plus the color selection, is much better on the Park) and $200 cheaper.

I wound up turning in at a shocking, pathetic 10 o'clock, but the photo session spiraled deep into the night.

The next morning, I woke up bright-eyed and bushy after ten hours of solid coma sleep, and Marco and I joined all the other hungovereds for breakfast in the Madonna Inn café (they have pink sugar in their sugar mills!). And then I climbed some rocks.

(All photos by Marco, you bet.)

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

sacks and balls (another recap)
Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006 | link

Get this: there's another Desperate Housewives recap now available for clicking! Male-parts-related highlights include:

"Overly menstrual-focused men are creepy: I once had a hippie tell me, with a serene smile, that he thought a woman's moon time was like a beautiful flower that blooms every month, and thus should be celebrated, not bemoaned. And then I punched him right in his hacky sack."

"Carlos calls Tom "T Rex," and they slap hands and inquire into the status of each other's balls, specifically how they're hanging. Apparently, Tom's are hanging "low and lazy." Now, is he using balls as a metaphor for his entire state of mind here, which is "lazy"? Or is he literally calling his balls "lazy," as in a "lazy eye," as in sort of drifting? Balls are so freaky. Other body parts that freak me out: the roof of the mouth, and the belly button. Perhaps I should mention that it's actually 3:30 AM right now, and I'm typing at you in a sleep-deprived roar, desperately trying to get his recap done before I leave town. But...the belly button? It's like this huge puncture scar right in the middle of our smooth bellies! This terrible interruption! But I guess balls are worse. They're like sea anemones, expanding and contracting and sort of...roaming. Or so I've heard. From your mother!"

Wordcount: 7,934
Hours: one million trillion (I actually pulled an all-nighter this week, typing from dark to dawn, plus a few hours Wednesday, and some hours Thursday morning, and maybe Friday morning, I don't know, the whole thing was one endless blackout)
Beverages consumed: one tall, tall iced tea, plus turkey, stuffing, stuffing, and pie, pie, pie

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

when is your birthday, again?
Friday, Nov. 24, 2006 | link

The "Imperialistic Spiral Dragon" from Z Gallerie, perfect for everyone from magicians to bod-mods. (16" x 5")

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

all stuffed up
Thursday, Nov. 23, 2006 | link

Dinner went okay! The apple chestnut stuffing was toothsome, the turkey was somehow moist (even though after just two hours in the oven, the meat fell off the bone at the base of the drumstick -- like a girl kicking off the stirrups of her stirrup pants, circa 1988 -- which filled me with much unease), the mashed potatoes were tops, even the gravy sort of worked. Surprise! The roasted brussel sprouts, on the other hand, were mildly overdone, and the pumpkin pie was a little...loose, but my mom's baby carrots with lemon ginger sauce and her green beans with pecans more than made up for my wobbles.

We had a little wine, and beer, and lingonberry-apple fizzy drink, and my dad and stepmother brought a gigantor bouqyay of sunflowers and Marbles and Piggy both wore their flirty Fall scarves for almost two whole hours before they lost their minds. It was all so nice! Maybe it's time to tackle my own hundred-mile meal? (That was sick, huh, how smooth I segued into a link to my favorite Paul's odd little article up at Wired News? Almost as smooth as how he managed to work a nod to Oulipo into an article about food, which in turn he managed to work onto a site about technology.)

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

chestnuts and leather animals
Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006 | link

Tomorrow I'm cooking my very first thanksgiving dinner, and all four of my parents are coming over. I'm pretty excit-o-nervous about the whole thing, as I'm not exactly the best cook that ever was? So not only am I worried about everything tasting like food, but the timing of all the different elements is sort of boggling my inexperienced brain. I sat down and typed up a schedule today ("3pm: turkey out, stuffing in, potatoes on"), but I don't have much faith that it's actually going to help matters much. No matter how much advanced scheming I do, whenever I cook there always seems to be that one straggling dish that comes limping down the final stretch a full hour after all the others, greeted by an anemic patter of "good for you" applause from the three people still left in the stadium.

But I'm still going to try to get everything across that finish line at more or less the same time, just like the plucky runners in Mr. Rogers' eye-wringing commencement speech:

Have you heard my favorite story that came from the Seattle Special Olympics? Well, for the 100-yard dash there were nine contestants, all of them so-called physically or mentally disabled. All nine of them assembled at the starting line and at the sound of the gun, they took off. But not long afterward one little boy stumbled and fell and hurt his knee and began to cry. The other eight children heard him crying; they slowed down, turned around and ran back to him. Every one of them ran back to him. One little girl with Down Syndrome bent down and kissed the boy and said, "This'll make it better." And the little boy got up and he the rest of the runners linked their arms together and joyfully walked to the finish line. They all finished the race at the same time. And when they did, everyone in that stadium stood up and clapped and whistled and cheered for a long, long, time. People who were there are still telling the story with great delight. And you know why. Because deep down, we know that what matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What really matters is helping others win too. Even if it means slowing down and changing our course now and then.

So tonight is all about prep work: I've peeled up some chestnuts and chunked and dried up some bread for the chestnut and apple stuffing. For his part, Marco has shampooed the rugs, scrubbed the toilet and the counters and the blinds (!), and I think I may have even spotted him on his hands and kness in the bathroom, hand-mopping the floor with a sponge?

And then starting at 7am tomorrow, Marco's going surfing and I'm tackling the pumpkin pie, then turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and brussel sprouts! And wine of course. Chugs and chugs of wine.

Until then, I leave you with this, a menagerie of the cutest 24-dollar leather animal keychains ever assembled:

Penguin, elephant, and fishie, all available at the Republic of Banana.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

loving made with love by hannah
Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2006 | link

I just discovered Made With Love by Hannah, and my head is spinning with all the cute she's managed to sew into this world. If you know me at all, then you'll understand why I'm particularly drawn to her hand-made tree skirts with reposition-able animal pins (bunnies and birdies and skunkies and squirrels and snailies), both the summery version and the cozy wintertime ones, which are so up my ally, I almost feel violated. Just look what she did!

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

the unexpected sweetness hidden inside terrible events
Monday, Nov. 20, 2006 | link

Today I was reading through the archives of Posie Gets Cozy (the blog arm of Alicia Paulson's beautiful Posie store), and I came across this entry where she wrote about the anniversary of her horrible, horrible accident. And...wow. Alicia is a great writer, and she uses the full force of her abilities to precisely capture the sensations and struggles and weird funny-nesses that come out of overcoming a truly awful event. This, particularly, smacked me with truthfulness:

Occasionally, I feel a weird nostalgia for my time in bed. The long quiet afternoons. The backyard cats quietly stalking each other under the bridal-veil bush. The absolute removal of all of my responsibilities. My intense focus on whatever I was embroidering. The imaginary world I created in the handwritten scrapbooks I made from my old travel diaries. The reassuring vapidity of daytime TV. The birds that came to the feeder a few feet from where I sat. Letters. No computer. The joy of short and long visits. I heard a story on This American Life several years ago about the strange longing for prison that sometimes affects ex-cons. (It's Act V of Episode 119.) It was really good. I feel that sometimes. It was an incarceration that felt a bit like childhood. You don't usually get to experience that sort of dependence, and boredom, as an adult. There was something incredibly decadent, and illicit, about it somehow.

My ruptured appendix episode wasn't even remotely as harrowing as what Alicia lived through, but it still knocked me outside of life as I knew it for over a month (the five sweating, doubled-over days of mistaking a burst appendix for a terrible flu; followed by a thrilling surgery; followed by an infected week in the hospital; followed by two weeks just lying in bed, hydroplaning on vicodin and watching the clouds float past my window). And it really was "an incarceration that felt a bit like childhood." I love that! The free time of childhood is usually described as such a golden thing, but there's also that stuck feeling, that buttery, sugary burden of too many luxurious hours to fill. But Alicia also spots the appealing elements hidden inside that incarceration. Recuperation certainly was not at all fun, but I have a definite lingering fondness for those strange, unplugged days when all my regular life goals and expectations were swept clean and replaced by little, highly honed hurdles like "walk two blocks without woozing" or "pass gas without shitting everywhere."

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

Sunday, Nov. 19, 2006 | link

Remember how we got that ticket for driving in the bus lane on Market Street? Well the fine notice arrived in the mail yesterday, and it turns out that little misstep is going to cost us THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY DOLLARS! Isn't that nuts? And depressing? Really, if someone were to ask me to rate on a scale of dollars how thrilling it was to cruise in that forbidden lane for two city blocks, I would have priced the experience at somewhere well below THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY DOLLARS!

On the flipside of the "financial expectation v. reality" conundrum: have you seen the new James Bond movie? It features a whole bunch of violent people who kill, betray, and defibrilate each other and spill much blood, sweat, and blood-tears over a paltry sum of $120 million. When you consider that YouTube sold for $1.6 billion, it's hard to imagine anyone would be willing to endure having his (spoiler!) naked balls smashed again and again for as little as $120 million. $120 million? Come now, that's only slightly more than the fine for driving in the bus lane on Market Street.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

again, again, again?
Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006 | link

Another Saturday, another Desperate Housewives recap. Eight episodes in eight weeks! ABC is just relentless. Isn't there some kind of voodoo virgin candle I can light that brings on reruns?

Highlights from this week's recap include:

"Cut to Gabby, her hair in a prim bun. She's wearing a bib-apron over a matronly white shirt buttoned all the way up to heaven. On the "Methods of Birth Control and their Effectiveness" scale, I'd say this outfit falls somewhere between a diaphragm (with its 20% rate of pregnancy) and a condom (14%)."

"The little P squad rushes out to greet Lynette. "I can't believe you got in a fight with a hobo," the biggest P trills in an clumsy attempt to get the plot moving. The adults all exchange puzzled glances. Lynette, by way of explaining the lame attempt at an excuse: "Yeah, well let's see how well you do on a morphine drip." The last time I was on morphine, I sat all the way through Ice Bound (the made-for-television movie about the North Pole, which turned out to have nothing to do with penguins and everything to do with breast cancer), so I'm going to have to vote with Lynette on this one: morphine melts your mind."

Also inside: references to both Tim Gunn and the Neverland Ranch, plus a shameless link back to this very site!

Total words: 6698
Total hours: 9.5 (better!)
Total beverages consumed: two cups of coffee and one triple latte (and who didn't get to sleep until 2am? Evany Thomas)

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

more for the wishlist
Friday, Nov. 17, 2006 | link

I am very much wanting this tote from Jans Dotter:

I like the pattern, but I love the unusually long (for a tote) and thick leather strap -- best of all, the strap is totally single! (I'm not sure how it happened, but somehow this wishlist item just slid into "alternative singles ad" territory.)

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

won't somebody else please be my neighbor?
Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006 | link

I present to you this note, found taped to our front door:

Due to the fact that I tripped over the table you placed in my doorway/walkway, and nearly broke my neck, this correspondence serves as a request NOT to put anything else that will obstruct my doorway/walkway in the future. You have a washroom/storage room where you can put your property; my doorway/walkway IS NOT a waste holding area for your throw-aways and trash.
(Okay, so far, so good. That's a valid complaint. We totally did leave a coffee table and some weird nesting boxes to languish far too long in the shared foyer of our duplex. We apologize for the inconvience, and actually feel horrible about any tripping our stuff may have instigated. And yet...how nice it would have been if you had simply knocked on our door and asked us to move our things, versus calling our shared rental management company to complain, and then throwing our stuff away without warning, and then leaving us this note, which continues...)
I repeat: DO NOT PUT ANYTHING... NADA... ZILCH... NEIN... ZIP... NIL... NAUGHT... ZERO... NIET... NOTHING, NEVER -- EVER in my doorway/walkway in the future. NO DISCUSSION! If you do not read or understand English, please have someone translate this communiqué. Anything that is there obstructing my doorway/walkway will be disposed.

Moreover, be assured I will not otherwise bother you, your dog, or whoever else lives with you in any manner, especially since you have been distant and not very friendly toward me anyway.


Dear Awesome Neighbor,

Unfortunately since neither Marco nor I understand English, we were unable to read the part about how we should hire a translator, and thus we couldn't quite comprehend your communiqué. Please resend!

Stay fun,
"Whoever Else" From Upstairs

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

the pig and the squirrel
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006 | link

I took the Pork Chop for a sad old-lady walk-jog around the lake today, and apart from trying to kill me by repeatedly lurching under my feet (and then glaring at me when I stepped on her toes), she was a very good dog. Until we got to the final stretch, a particularly tree-y section, and Piggy lost her mind. She reared up on her hindquarters and pogo-ed up and down, screaming her other-worldly scream as she boinged and boinged. There was a squirrel, you see. And "squirrel" is the magical key that unlocks this particular dog's mind and sweeps her off to a planet of complete unhingedness. I tried calling her name, all her names. I tried to make eye contact, tried to pull her back to sanity with a tug on her leash. But it was just, "Piggy's not here right now. If you'd like to leave a message...."

And...that's it, the end of the story. The squirrel ran up, up and away, and slowly Piggy's brain reattached itself to her body, and she fell back into step beside me. And now she's lying in the crook of my knee, fast asleep, her little toes twitching and her jaws clacking. Get 'em, Piggy!

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

ebay all the way
Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006 | link

I've been going a little overboard in the ebay department lately. Today alone, I bid my way to victory on all these things:

This is a vintage linen tablecloth from textile genius Vera, but the big plan is to use it as an open-closet-blocking curtain. Or as one side of a to-be-stitched duvet cover. Or as a skirt. Or something.

This is also from Vera, and it might prove to be a little too Mrs. Roper? Or it could be very cute, if paired with the right item, like a very tall glass of vodka.

I bought this mildly hippie pin in kind of a fevered haze, but...ninety-nine cents!

And then I'm super coveting this wee burl-wood side table...

...but sadly Marco lacks the vision necessary to comprehend its beauty -- he just keeps getting hung up on its 1970s-snuff-film qualities. But I've got 4 days, 15 hours, and 11 minutes to chip away at his wrongness!

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

the three evanys
Monday, Nov. 13, 2006 | link

Present Evany sometimes doesn't take the best care of Future Evany. Present Evany will often watch television late into the night, leaving Future Evany to pick up the pieces later. And of course when Present Evany wakes up the next morning to find herself stuck with the fate of Future Evany -- looming deadlines with maddenly crunched time and deprived sleep -- suddenly it's Past Evany who's the big villain. We all hate Past Evany.

Edited to add: what an ideal moment to point to friend Jay's FutureMe service (self-addressed emails sent back...to the future)! And thanks, too, to friend Becky for both the futureme reminder and the safety-in-numbers sanity check.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

o yay!
Sunday, Nov. 12, 2006 | link

I'm so excited! My book got a really nice mention in the spanking-new December issue of O Magazine! It's in the "BibliO" (!) subsection of the "reading room," under the subtitle "Deliciously quirky books about visionaries, truth tellers, and bedmates who sleep in style." And here's exactly what got said:

"Hugely entertaining and deadpan smart, Evany Thomas's The Secret Language of Sleep (McSweeney's) details 39 positions for dormant lovers, from Melting Spoons (that's Classic Spooning for codependents) to Starfish and Conch ('the preferred position for couples who fight well together') and Sixth Posture of the Perfumed Forest (one hand on stomach, opposite elbow across eyes). Amelia Bauer's line drawings, evocative of prim 1950s sex guides, give this tiny volume its tart appeal." Isn't that the best? I am HAPPY!

Meanwhile, and I'm not just saying this because Oprah called my book "hugely entertaining and deadpan smart," but doesn't the mighty O look seriously great on December's cover?

Edited to add: Andrew just filed a complaint about the above entry. "Thanks a lot," it reads, "the book reviews are my favourite part of my Omag (that's what we call it on the O discussion boards), and now when my subscription comes this month, I've already had part of it ruined for me. JEEZ." My apologies to Andrew...and also to the rest of yew.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

still totally desperate
Saturday, Nov. 11, 2006 | link

Yet another Housewives recap:

Shot Through The Heart, And Everyone's To Blame
It's a Bon Jovial good time in Fairview this week, when Jackie from Roseanne -- deranged by a six-year diet and news that husband Harve(Gar)y gives love a bad name (a bad name) -- takes an entire grocery store hostage. Lynette gets shot and lives, Snora gets shot and dies, Susan gets to use a bullhorn, and everyone feels wildly guilty about something.

This week's wordcount: 8331
Hours of typing: 11 (ugh)
Coffee consumed: two cups (possibly 3, or 4)
Beers: two

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

tummies moving in and out
Friday, Nov. 10, 2006 | link

Marco and I were walking down Piedmont Avenue a few weeks ago when we noticed a shelf stacked with three stuffed-animal puppies in the window of one of the odd little stores down there. Each puppy was curled into a ball and tucked into a little blanket, with a hand-written "adopt me" sign beside it. Marco and I leaned in to admire the craziness of the adoption signs when I heard Marco suck in his breath. "Oh my god, are they're breathing?" And oh my god they were.

From the Breathing Perfect Pets website:

Here is a great gift idea. These plush dogs and cats actually breathe. They look very realistic when their tummys are moving in and out like they are really breathing. We have several stuffed breatheable dogs and some cats too. These breathing puppies come with their own blanket to lay on and a cardboard carrying case as well as a certificate of adoption and a care manual. These pets that breath are sure to be a great hit!

Do you see the bowls of water in those photos? (Insane.) And the "bad doggy/kitty, you go sleep outside" punishment deck atmosphere? (Totally insane!)

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

the feel-great movie of the year
Thursday, Nov. 09, 2006 | link

You know what movie looks like a ton of fun? Babel.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

unexpectedly unexpected
Wednesday, Nov. 08, 2006 | link

The Safeway next door just underwent a grand remodel, and to celebrate the new look, they rented a huge hot-air balloon thing and placed it on the roof for the weekend. The base of the balloon featured a sign that declared the New Safeway's New Slogan: "Experience the Unexpected." (Caroleen, dropping me off after our immense dog hike on Saturday, 8+ miles!, saw that tagline and said, "Wait, my groceries are how much?")

You can just smell the focus group on that one, a bunch of people sitting around a beige conference table, checks in their pockets, cheeks flushed with the titillation of hidden cameras, saying things like, "What about animatronic fiddlers in the cereal aisle?" and "Groin-level massaging fingers in the meat section, please!" and "I want that feeling of someone finally loving me back, only inside my grocery basket." And then the focus testers boiled it all down to "Experience the Unexpected." But if any sane person actually thought about it for two seconds, that sane person would realize that the last thing a grocery shopper wants out of a grocery store is Exxxtreme Unexpectedness. No, what I really want is just "Everything Exactly Where I Thought It Would Be, and Also Some 2% Milk." Or something that at least describes the actual New Safeway experience with a degree of accuracy, like, "More Aged Panini Sandwiches, Less Actual Groceries" or "Thirty Feet of Ice Cream, Plus Magazines to Look at While You Wait to Buy Up and Start Gorging." But "Experience the Unexpected," that is neither desirable or accurate.

But then on Sunday Marco rolled over to get some dried apricots and a can of tomatoes, and he was gone for a very, very long time. "How was the celebration that is the new Safeway?" I asked him when he finally got back. "Nothing was where I expected it to be!" he said, all frustrated. He totally experienced the unexpected! So maybe they got it right after all. By which I mean the tagline, which is at least accurate. The store itself, however, they did not get right at all.

Edited to add: Jill just emailed to remind me of the banner that the Safeway at Church and Market flew after their big remodel, which read "Re-Grand Opening!" Jill? I think you're re-awesome.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

pain in the astrology
Tuesday, Nov. 07 2006 | link

Why is it that when my horoscope (which I've become unexpectedly obsessed with lately) is finally accurate, it's about me getting sick? Susan Miller told me to "stay strong near the full moon of November 5, when a cold could drain you a bit," and right on cue, I've been feeling ominously sneezy and hot-flashed ever since Sunday.

Per the advice of the sooth-stars, I have indeed been trying to stay strong, fizzing down Airbornes ploppers and cutting back on my windsprints. And I was actually beginning to feel pretty much better. But then tonight I drove out to San Francisco to vote, only to discover that I'd totally forgotten that I'd remembered to register in Oakland. So the San Francisco voter volunteers at the church on 23rd at Mission (always, always a weird bunch, and chatty beyond all sense, almost as though they'd been bribed to slow down the voting process to a prohibitively excruciating pace) had me drop my ballots into a sealed envelope that they claimed was for voters who'd arrived at the wrong voting spot. They said my vote would be counted after it had been verified that I was indeed registered, but since I'm not at all convinced that there's a late-night posse in place for that kind of background checking, I'm pretty sure my vote landed directly in the trash. After I dropped my secretly sealed placebo ballet into the abyss (now no one will ever know whether I yayed or nayed San Francisco's bold, unexpected call to impeach the president and Cheney!), I went and ate tamale after tamale with Liz, Heidi, and Ivan. And then we may have gone for a drink at Pop's. Way to stay strong! And now I'm home and back to feeling listless and cross-eyed. Turns out knowing the future doesn't really change anything.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

(k)nots landing
Monday, Nov. 06, 2006 | link

Today I found the best blog, a blog dedicated to nothing but woodgrain products (which as you know, make me swoon). The internet is full of wonder. And now, also, WOODGRAIN! The blog has the satisfyingly apt name "It's (K)not Wood" -- note that the buried parenthletter also acts as a visual metaphor for a knot itself? I love, love, love that, when words are an active demonstration what they describe. Which, again, is why I find Camel Case to be such a depressingly missed opportunity.

Okay but here are just some of my favorite (K)notty finds:

A stitched wrap skirt from Kiku, did you see that pocket? It's a stinking, downy, fluffy cuteoberfest of a baby owl.

The pretty subtle and pretty screenprint zipper purse from Egg Press.

And the wood heart tee from option-g, for anyone with a thing 4 flammable love organs. (Here!)

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

a vagina dialogue
Sunday, Nov. 05, 2006 | link

Scene from a dog park:

Evany: Why is Piggy's vagina so front and center? You can't even see Birdy's.
Caroleen: Well, Birdy has more hair around those parts.
Evany: It makes me kind of sad for her. She has to sit right on that thing. That poor, bare acorn, right on the dusty gravel.
Caroleen: I think that [vagina setup] might actually be a boxer thing.
Evany: Maybe that's what people mean when they say they can "see the boxer" in her?
Caroleen: You should say them, "Oh, you mean her vagina?"
Evany: Ha, ha! "Um, please stop looking at my dog's vagina."
Caroleen: Ha, ha!
Evany: "Her body's whippet, but as you can see her vagina is all boxer."

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

more desperate times
Saturday, Nov. 04, 2006 | link

The latest Desperate Housewives recap is now live. Highlights include:

"Down at the club. Gary, Jackie, Orson, Bree, and Bree's cleavage are having dinner. (When they said Marcia Cross is pregnant with twins, I didn't know they were speaking metaphorically.)"

"Carlos, looking as though he's been ridden hard and put away bleeding, sits on the side of the bed, all glums."

"Note to Teri Hatcher: the scene, I believe, calls for 'inebriation,' not 'dental emergency Novocaine face.'"

For those of you charting my progress at home, perhaps on your bedroom whiteboard, this week was a major step back in "Project Under 8 Hours": this recap rang in at 6,987 words and a disappointing eleven hours. Lame, Thomas. So lame.

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

the song "talk, talk" by the band "talk, talk" on the album "talk, talk"
Friday, Nov. 03, 2006 | link

I've been doing a lot of oversharing these days, just talking and talking. And then...the regrets. It's kind of my way. But now there's this exhausting new meta level I've been taking things to, where I'm oversharing about how much I overshare. Just me, endlessly trying to explain to people the poignant details of how I said so much to which wrong whom. See?

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

hair we go again
Thursday, Nov. 02, 2006 | link

I've been struggling with my hair for a few years now. And pretty much my whole life before that. The main problem with it is that there's just way, way too much of it. Gathered into a ponytail, the circumference is as big as my wrist, which is a lot when it comes to hair. I know thick hair is supposed to be this glorious feature, but in practice, it's just not so great. I've had hairdressers confess, with an embarrassed giggle, that my hair scares them, that they don't know quite what to do with it. If it's cut short, it grows horizontally. If it's long, I wear it up all the time because down it's this floating, huge thing, and it's just everywhere, in my eyes, in my mouth. Once it even rotted off because I was wearing it up so much that it wasn't drying properly between showers. And so mould started to form. My hair actually, seriously started to smell like an old sponge. And then it all fell off.

So like a lost soul looking for some kind of god or forest lizard that has all the answers, I am on this neverending quest to find the miracle haircut that's going to look good without the aide of clips or bands or metal contraptions. And there've been some real failures along the way. There was the Fry Guy haircut (mushroom top with jellyfish danglies). After that I went to Patty at Supercuts in Los Angeles. My friend Sophia goes to Patty, as does her four-year-old daughter, Dinah, and Sophia's mother, Gwen, they all go to Patty. So, having nothing but jellyfish tendrils to loose, I too went to Patty, and she was pretty awesome. First of all, she was the first hairdresser to tell me flat-out no. I pointed at a picture I'd found in the haircut book -- of a lithe girl with mid-length rockstar cut with layered piece-y chunks all over -- and Patty just straight-up said that was never going to happen with my hair, no way. And it was a relief, knowing that there were some kinds of cute that I simply had to give up on. In fact, she told me my hair was really more the consistency of African American hair, and if I ever wanted to really treat myself, I should go in to a specialty salon and get my hair straightened. After finally weaning myself off the endless maintenance cycle of hair dye, though, I was reluctant to get involved in chemical straightening. Chemical straightening is not part of operation "perfect, effortless hair." So I just told Patty to cut off the weirdo tendrils and then I asked her to give me short, choppy bangs, "You know, like a mental patient." She kept holding back and holding back, keeping the bangs nice and sensible and mommy, but I kept pushing her until they were exactly the right kind of short and choppy, little Amelie bangs. Patty stepped back and said, "Oh right, I see. Mental patient bangs." But really, they looked good. Great! Unfortunately the rest of my hair was just sort of a short blob, and pretty much did what it always does at that awkward above-the-shoulder length: it curled under into a Vader helmet. So I went right back to wearing it up all the time. But the mental patient bangs were very cute, and totally sane.

Fueled by my partial success with Patty, for my next cut I tried out a Supercuts up here, but it turns out that Patty is a perhaps a singular case. The guy at the 24th Street Supercuts took about ten minutes to cut my hair -- usually it takes over an hour because, again, there's just too much of it -- but even though he clearly cut a lot of corners, he still managed to leave whole sections of my hair completely untouched, as in an inch longer than the rest of my hair. And not in a tubular 80s way either.

So then finally my friend the lovely Leisa recommended her hairdresser, Jules at Dekko Salon, who specializes in helping ladies grow their hair out in the most dignified way possible. I went in to Dekko five months ago, and Jules laughed and marveled at my hair magnitude, but not in a nervous or overwhelmed way. Then she neatened up the not-so-Supercut leftovers, made a joke about how even that little trim produced a pile of hair on the ground so big that looked like "a dead cat," and then told me to come back in five months. She was very firm: I wouldn't even be allowed to make an appointment until five months had passed. After she spun me around with that little hand mirror so I could admire the back of my head, I said to her, "Wow, this looks good! Maybe I'll just keep it at this length."

Jules: "Oh, let's not get ahead of ourselves."

So yesterday's haircut marked the big five-month point. Over the long waiting stretch my hair had finally made it past my shoulders, but it's wave and bounce and general perverseness kept pulling it back up above the shoulder, adding a new deranged flip into the mix that made me look like I'd been drinking, and sleeping on nest of licking cow tongues. So Jules tidied things up again, trimmed of the corners of the crazy flip, even gave me some feathering in the bang region, then she instructed me to come back in February.

I do like this interim cut a lot, it's even better even than last time. And it looked great right after she poured on a fistful of fancy cream and then painstakingly twisted my hair into fifty individual sections to give it "tamed stallion" whorls and waves. But as I wended my way home, slowly things started to puff and expand. And now here I sit, my hair strapped back into a ponytail once again. But my bangs look good, very "in your [and my] face," very The Elf Who Wanted To Be a Dentist. Four more months!

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

nablopomo in motion
Wednesday, Nov. 01, 2006 | link

Remember that Fortunately (Unfortunately) book from little kid times? I've had that sort of day. I went and got my head hairs cut, and it looked great! Letter Man totally flapped in with an E and changed that cut to CUTE! But then I had to walk around with hair-shirt for the next six hours, and those little poking hairs just scraped away at my sanity. I ordered lunch, and it...never arrived. After half an hour, they noticed me craning around; it turned out that the kitchen had accidentally made my food to go, and it had just been sitting there, getting cold, a fried egg sandwich. So they very nicely REmade everything and told me it was on the house. Free lunch! But also it was very deeply slathered in mayonnaise, both the sandwich and the slaw, which made everything taste as though it had been moisturized in Alberto V-05. This left my stomach feeling a bit off, a bit grease-burdened. So? I decided to go get a cupcake! With hindsight, not the best move, but I am Evany, Evany who thinks all dissatisfactions can be solved with a cupcake, even the gastro-inspired ones. So I took the bus downtown and went to Citizen Cupcake, but the only flavors they had left were weird and not good, for instance "prune." How could they do that to a cupcake? But then! I remembered that there was a Beard Papa Cream Puff shoppe up the street, and I had never even tried one of those things yet! So I strolled up there, got in line, waited and waited, money in hand. Finally, after no forward motion whatsoever, I pieced together that I was in the pick-up line, not the buy line. I know. I stood myself in the right line and bought the vanilla cream puff, and it was so good! But it was so, so cramped with cream, glop, glop, glop, that I just couldn't finish it. And I threw the rest away! What?

The rest of the day was mostly just "Unfortunately": Marco got stuck in traffic so I had to walk miles and miles home from BART carrying my laptop bag, which weighs 7,000 pounds, still with the hair shirt. And now I feel the first shivers of perhaps maybe a cold. Fffft!

Cranky whining about the mundane speedbumps of life? On an online website diary? It looks to me like National Blog Posting Month has officially begun. The bar. Is. OPEN!

Over the years, I've been pretty reluctant to do National Novel Writing Month, or NANOWRIMO, or as I like to call it, "NAMBLA," mostly because the people doing it were so ferociously evangelical about it. Have you heard of this thing called NANOWRIMO? You should totally do this thing, it's called NANOWRIMO? NANOWRIMO, it takes like chocolates and smells like clean kittens! But the thing is, I don't need another artificial reason to write fiction. I've already got grad school. (That's a joke. In like seventeen more ways than one.)

But NaBloPoMo? One post a day, I think I can do it. Especially since I'm already doing it, so it's like a free win, a total twofer.

And there is something nice about being part of a group of people all joined by one small task. Like a bus full of passengers, everyone's heads bobbing and swaying along in unison to very the same bumps in the road. Like that!

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)

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