2020: the year of cancelled plans

I’m trying to get caught up with some work projects, but I’m also still committed to some community volunteer projects. For one of them, a program to encourage the adoption of clean energy in local homes and businesses, I’ve gotten involved with doing some of the social media. And in coming up with a post on the theme of home heating/cooling, I went on a bit of a flight of fancy, and I made a thing. It makes me laugh.

Here’s my caption: “Spending a lot of time at home this year? If your summer cooling wasn’t what you hoped, and/or your winter heating could use an upgrade, we can help with clean heating and cooling solutions that will save you money. Learn more at https://www.solarizemendonupton.com

I had a couple of cancelled trips this year. Not quite the beach scene depicted in the image1 above, but trips I was looking forward to nevertheless. Sigh.

On the bright side, I have had a lot of quality time at home, where I can enjoy drinking tea from my new favorite mug. (Featured in the above photo.)

The “Things Could Be Worse” mug from Calamityware. There is no better motif for 2020.

1Beach/drink image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay. Picture of my laptop by me.

Counting some more.

It’s two days after voting wrapped in the U.S. election, and the vote counting is continuing. This is a good thing, as every vote counts. The group organizing the Protect the Results event near me was meeting again this afternoon, so I headed back. But first I decided to add the Count to my sign.

With all the talk of counting, I’ve found myself getting some counting things stuck in my head. Like this song by Feist:

A Sesame Street version of Feist’s 1,2,3,4. All about counting.

And this song by Throwing Muses:

Counting Backwards, by Throwing Muses.

I was considering doing a full-blown ThThTh list (Themed Things Thursdays, that is), given that it’s Thursday, and my mind is making a list of things on a theme. But those things take a lot more time to put together than I have available for putting them together. So instead, I’ll list a few more things on the theme of counting that came to mind:

  1. Counting Crows: a band
  2. Everything Counts: a song by Depeche Mode.
  3. Counting one’s blessings: an expression about taking stock of the good things one has in one’s life
  4. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” A line from a poem by Elizabeth Barret Browning. (Sonnets from the Portuguese 43.)
  5. Counting your chickens before they hatch: an idiom meaning to plan on events coming to pass before being sure that they’ll happen. Very unwise to count chickens based on the number of eggs you have. Especially if you bought your eggs from the grocery store.
  6. Counting sheep: said to help put one to sleep when one is having trouble falling asleep. (This is supposed to be counting images of sheep in your head, versus having a bunch of sheep in your bedroom. Because probably sheep in your bedroom would keep you awake. And likely would also smell.)
  7. I also feel compelled to mention that the Count from Sesame Street has been getting some good meme love these last couple of days.

And now I should get to bed. Because if there’s one thing I can count on, it’s that morning will come, and I’ll need to get moving again.

Counting sheep: Said to help you fall asleep. Probably an occupational hazard for shepherds.

Having any counting things to add? Feel free to list them in the comments. :)

wfh: Peep chaos edition

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I’ve been wanting to make a Peep diorama for years. I remember making a diorama (of the Peepless variety) for a 6th grade school project, and I really enjoyed the process. (Wish I photos of that–it was of a scene from a Nancy Drew book.) Anyhow, I may possibly not have made another diorama since then.

A few weeks ago, I decided this was the year. And I had the idea I wanted to go with. I may have told a few people that my biggest fear* was that someone would beat me to the punch with the idea. (*Not actually my biggest fear.) And I’ve been working on it here and there for about the 3 full weeks. (I ordered the Peeps on Amazon, since I wasn’t sure we’d be able to go out to get them.)

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It was really quite therapeutic to work on the little details. I made these bunny slippers one morning while everyone else was still sleeping.

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I made the portraits on the wall by photographing the “family” in front of a landscape painting.

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An early stage of the diorama. This box appeared to be an excellent size for a Peep desk.

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The coffee cup was one of the final details. I just made it this afternoon. You can sort of make out the cookies (made from felt) and the colored pencils (made from toothpicks.)

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The curtains are made from some old torn pajama pants. Rather fitting, I guess.

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I was also quite pleased with the armchair, which I made from cardboard, foam, and fabric from some long-departed corduroy pants.

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I couldn’t  quite capture the whole scene from one angle.

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Yes, I did walk around the house taking photos of peeps in different locations for the zoom meeting.

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I was rather inordinately pleased with my grocery bag, amazon box and laundry basket.

One of the things that also pleases me about this project is that is was almost entirely made from materials we had around the house. The only new items were the Peeps. There are a few items that were small toys, but most of the things I made from materials from our recycling and scrap fabric.

Ceci n’est pas une peep.

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Ceci n’est pas une peep.

Or, perhaps, the Treachery of Marshmallows. (After Magritte’s Treachery of Images, in case you don’t recognize it.) ceci-nest-pas-une-peep

A few years ago I had a sudden inspiration to create this image, by posing a Peep on a piece of card stock, and writing with a brown Sharpie.  A few weeks ago (though it also feels like years), in a fit of stress-induced work avoidance, I decided to revive and revamp the design. I cleaned it up a bit to make it into an image I could put on a t-shirt in time for Peep season.

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In case you need more surrealist t-shirts in your life, too, you can find it on TeePublic. (I ordered one for myself, and it came at least a week ago. But I haven’t washed it yet, and almost forgot about it. What with life taking on its own surreal quality.)

Puttin’ on the Pants

i-put-on-pants3-01Pants have been in the news again lately, but I’m sad to report that it’s more a lack of pants that is trending. With large percentages of the population staying home, pants have been down. Or at least the wearing and sales of pants.

I, for one, will not be party to this ongoing pantslessness. For a start, I still walk my dog every morning. So I get up and put on my pants. And, yes, I think I should get a ribbon for that.

Whether or not you yourself are currently wearing pants, we all deserve at least somewhat of a virtual pants party. Or in this case, a pants-themed musical extravaganza from the crooners of yore.

Put on your on your Blue Velvet Pants, and dial back your radios a few decades to enjoy these stylish pants standards by the Rat Pack and other mid-century songsters.

    • Puttin’ on the pants
You won’t see the well to do
Up and down Park Avenue
They’re staying home
Hardly getting out of bed
  • I left my pants in San Francisco
  • Under the Britches of Paris
  • La vie en pantalons
    • Strangers in the Pants
Strangers in the pants,
Exchanging glances
looking for romance,
What were the chances
    • Moonpants

Well, it’s a marvelous night for some moonpants
With the lycra surrounding your thighs
A fantabulous night to make no plans
‘Neath the cover of quarantine skies

  • I’ve got you under my pants
  • I Almost Lost My Pants
  • Ain’t That A Kick In The Pants
  • Smoke gets in your pants

This has been a Pants Radio production, and the product of a slightly unravelling psyche. For more pants music classics, check out: Saving all my pants for you, 80s pants party, and the magic of Santa’s pants.

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This post is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend, who should have been celebrating a birthday today. Among the many ways she enriched my life, she taught me to appreciate the humor in the word pants. She’s been gone over 10 years, but I still miss her. Rest in pants, sweet friend.

Totally Accurate March 2020 calendar

I know I’m not alone in feeling like this has been a long, looooong month.

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“Experts say we may be as little as two days away from finally leaving the March Age. The next epoch is provisionally being called “April,” and is also expected to last 5-10 million years.” (From @OutAndAbouter)

Supposedly March has 31 days, but I’m pretty sure that can’t be right. So I decided to make a more accurate version of the March calendar than the one that’s hanging on my wall.

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You know what they say about March: in like a lion, out like a scene from Silence of the Lambs.

Historically, April has been one day shorter than March. All bets are off as to whether that will be the case this year.

fashioning a fascinator

I’m rather fascinated by the term fascinator. It’s a much more fanciful expression than “funny little fancy hat.” In any case, I fashioned myself a fascinator from a fluffy little friend. Well, really, I just took one of our many spider decorations, and fastened it atop my head. I felt it worked just fine.

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I don’t often post photos of myself on this blog, but when I do, there tends to be some sort of creature on top of my head.

potato eyes (and other features)

I was preparing dinner one evening earlier this month, and this potato caught my eye.

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In fact, the potato’s eye caught my eye. And its eyebrow.

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A few nights later, I was again cutting potatoes, and once more, a potato caught my eye. And looked back at me pleadingly.

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Tell me you don’t see the face.

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“She must be running out of ideas,” you may be thinking. “Surely she can find something to post about beyond potatoes.”

If you think I’m posting about potatoes because I’m tired and out of ideas, you are only partly right. In fact, this was a planned potato post. At least a partially planned potato post. You see, I have a past of presenting particularly peculiar produce. Witness the sad potato of 2015, the jaunty butternut squash of 2012, and the shifty-looking eggplant of 2011. Somehow, I managed to post each of these on November 21st in years past. This year, though, I guess I forgot. In spite of having prepared the potato pictures, the 21st past with nary a vegetable. (Out of curiosity, I checked the dates when I took the potato photos above. Oddly enough, it was on November 8th and November 13th. And while I did not post them on the 21st, I do notice that the sum of 8 and 13 is 21.) (And really, this part is just me rambling on because it’s late.)