marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

So after admiring (and digging around in CSS style sheets to find) a font I liked on another website, I came to learn it's called TabletGothic Compressed and is available via Typekit Fonts. Thinking I might get it for free if I signed up for a TypeKit account, I went ahead and did so, only to be confronted by this image toward the end of the list of 49 free fonts non-paying users can have (but of course, TabletGothic Compressed was not among them).

The letters A and G in Strumpf Std Open Adobe typkit, aka bunny rabbit and goatse. If this were a Rorschach test, I'd totally fail it - so, should I make this my default user icon for when people *really* annoy me?

Eye bleach, someone. I will never erase this scene from my memory otherwise.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Long overdue picture dump because I'm tired of a) you folks not knowing what I look like, b) nor knowing that I can take pictures and c) just to catch up. There are probably some other dumps (non-photographic, more in the screenshot area) that I need to upload, but I haven't even looked through those folders recently.

Let the right-click to embiggening begin...

Me, with raised brow, 2010 or 2011

This was taken fresh out of the shower at my mom's place 3 or 4 years ago. I've always liked the dramatic raised eyebrow thing I did there. [personal profile] revolutemind has copies of this and a few others taken that night. You have to ignore the date - the camera's date mechanism sort of died toward the end (though I only threw the camera out maybe a month ago because it had to charge 24/7, would die within a minute of use and 1MGP doesn't really cut it anymore).

Me, relaxing, spring 2013

This was taken on a day off from CVS less than two years ago at my roommate's former apartment and sent by request to someone I was seeing at the time who wanted to know what I was up to at that exact moment. It was not his favorite pic of me but it was one of mine because it's very relaxed and real.

Stuie and the dog, November 2014

This is the last time Stuie and my ex's dog were photographed together. The shot was taken by me. The dog died just two weeks later. You could never tell by looking at this or other pictures I took that night that she was sick. But she was very sick (with a golf ball size bladder tumor - I got to see the x-ray, eventually).

Stuie belly up not too far from a table, Christmas 2013

This, if I recall correctly, was a shot of Stuie taken during or right after Christmas of 2013. That is one huge table sitting behind him, isn't it? Guess how much it weighs?

River by my former place, spring 2014
River by my former place, spring 2014

This is just me showing off all my mad photos-taking skillz. These are pictures of the river nearby my former place that I snapped in early spring of last year.

Shoe bag spice holder, Jan. 2015

Yes, this is a shoe bag, which was my solution last month to me and the roomie sharing a thousand spices but having no proper rack to put them up in. Seeing it in action for the first time (never tried that before!) about tickled me to death.

Going crazy with the stickers on my laptop, Jan. 2015
More stickers on my laptop, Jan. 2015

I make pretty-pretty. You like?

Stuie relaxing on a couch, Jan. 2015

Last, but not least; a picture of Stuie taken about a month ago while he sat on the back of one of our couches.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

This tree represents many firsts: first tree I've put up since my mother died, first tree I strung the lights on myself (it took hours and I still need, judging by pics, another string along the bottom), first tree my fiance's put up in over six years and the first full-size tree I've ever put up for my cat. This is also the first Christmas my fiance and I will celebrate as a couple, despite having dated for a few major stretches in 1987 and 1989.

The Charlie Brownish tree

Like my ring (access-locked), this tree has a backstory: it became ours the other day through a friend of my fiance's after she heard we weren't "doing" Christmas because neither of us have our own Christmas trees or decorations and aren't in a position to buy such things anytime soon. She's a huge Christmas fanatic; upon hearing that she immediately went, "WHAT?", rushed up to her attic and brought down a huge box. You can guess what was in it. Except you can't! Not just a huge, thick, fluffy, beautiful 7-foot Christmas tree but also the lights for it (well, almost all of them - the dark spots you see are from a few short circuits, but we were given more than enough to light this tree twice over; only 3-4 sets were DOA).

The best part, though, is how she knew exactly when she bought it: Christmas of 1987, the same year my fiance and I began seeing each other. He was blown away by that and I am, too. She must've used the tree only once because it still looks, feels - even acts brand new. I don't know about him, but it's actually the nicest tree I've ever had.

In honor of not having my heart broken over being unable to celebrate our first Christmas together (weirdly enough, a few hours before he surprised me with this tree, all I could think about, nay, obsess over, was how sad it was for us to not be able to celebrate Christmas this of all years) I went out with him and a friend tonight and bought all the decorations, spending money I don't really have because, you know, love. Our first year together is now, and it only comes once. I can always make the money back later (cue the rap song "I'm a Hustler").

As to why we don't have our own Christmas stuff, I donated mine and my mother's to charity a few weeks after she passed. I also gave them all of our Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day and Easter stuff, along with nearly half of our non-holiday household effects. We had beautiful stuff but I figured I'd never celebrate a holiday again with her gone so why bother hanging onto any of it. I did not want to see it anymore.

Him? He apparently lost his holiday tree and decorations in the fallout from his last long-term relationship, in which it all stayed with her instead of him. Once they broke up (and owing not just to that but to several tragedies which I swear might make break anyone of their holiday spirit, at least for a while) he simply never celebrated Christmas again.

Back to the picture, to the left and right of the tree you'll see my fiance's nutcrackers. He's collected them since early childhood when his mom and dad realized he could not get enough of them. They began bestowing him with at least one or two a year until he'd collected over 50. Most of them have since been destroyed in moves and by mishandling but he still has nine of them from Germany, Spain, and the USA and they're all in beautiful condition.

Slightly off-center, you might see one of three stockings (one for the pets, one for him, one for me) hanging behind and to the left of the tree because our fireplace is in the bedroom so there's no hearth nearby to hang those on. And lastly, I made some of the decorations you see using a roll of wide-gauge Christmas ribbon (the little bow ties) and a big handful of fake flower sprigs (I cut each sprig apart with wire cutters and used each flower or flower cluster to fill in). That was kind of fun.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Once upon a time, there was an evil Thai landlord.

He was obnoxious, a loud-mouthed tyrant who went to church every Sunday so Jesus could carefully wash him of his sins so he could terrorize the 'hood for another hair-raising week. Except for mom - she could make him walk around repeating what she said like it was the word of God. By extension he was afraid of me, too (I have a glare that can break windows that I used every other second on him, so I rarely found the need to say much, but one time I did tell him to get out of my face and called him a mofo until he blanched and started walking backwards away from me with his hands up in the air, chastising me all the while for my mouth).

We were among the few people he tried to curry favor with, probably because he knew we hated him. He'd come into the yard at least once a week while we were out on the porch to tell us how beautiful our gardens were, make kissy faces at the cats, talk about his third (mail-order from Russia) wife and to discuss what the pastor said at church that day, hint hint. This would be a great big *yawn* except for how bad his English was. Not tarball, I guess, but pretty fucking bad. My not-so-fond name for how he spoke was Tinglish. Among his Greatest Hits: his answer the day we asked him what he'd done to our pine trees. He'd had one of his day-labor crews come in and just hack them up. His eyes lit up as he shouted with joy: "I make pretty-pretty! You like?"

"Nope," my mom said, staring at him. I almost fell to the ground laughing. He wrinkled his brow at her. "You no like pretty-pretty?"

"No, I no like pretty-pretty," she intoned matter-of-factly. "Pretty-pretty", I echoed, sputtering with laughter. He turned to me: "You like pretty-pretty?"

After I almost died laughing, and not being as witty as my mom, I simply asked him what the fuck he did to our pine trees, but I got nothing back either except for more joyful shouts of "I make pretty-pretty! You like?". So for the last seven years or so, anything I've ever done to improve anything?

Making Pretty-Pretty

Handmade laptop skin

You like?

The 5 Ws + How

So I lucked into an older (2005ish, but the specs match more closely 2006-2009 models) Dell Latitude the other day for just over 100 bucks, but it's got this hideous grey cover, which on sight made me recall a recent headline on Lifehacker about skinning your laptop with Contact paper. Here's the article, in fact (but I haven't read it yet). There's Contact kicking around the house but it looks like the tablecloth my laptop's on, and I don't even know where to buy jazzier-looking stuff (mine's from the local dollar dump).

Not wanting my laptop to look like a tablecloth, I went to JoAnne Crafts and found a fairly large adhesive sticker (that's the shiny stuff you see; it was about two feet long, so I cut it - right on the laptop - to fit correctly) and a pack of flower adhesives. Time spent finding these things? About half an hour, because JoAnne's is like Craft Mecca. Total cost? $2.62 with tax and a military discount (not mine).

The hard part wasn't cutting it to fit correctly but, surprisingly, finding and pressing out the little air bubbles. After re-laying the sticker oh, I dunno, too many times because I don't know how to give up, I gave up and put the flowers wherever the biggest/most obvious air bubbles are, all the while wondering why I don't own a rolling pin, which would have helped a lot.

But I was so pleased with how easy it was to make my new-old laptop look oooh, shiny that I'm wondering now if there's any demand for that sort of thing. I know Dell does custom covers nowadays (painted or spray-painted on, I suppose, for many dollars, I suppose, unless you pre-order or buy The Most Expensive Thing, I suppose) but I was thinking the hell with that, what if people just want some cheap, pretty covers but don't want to do it themselves? I could make a few extra bucks doing this, seeing how cheap the supplies are and all.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Welcome, one and all, to the Gardening Edition of Everything Else. In today's tiptoe through my tulips we're going to cover my unending desire to grow things. My garden's sure to please many, from stern environmentalists (I grow my own food and seasonings!) to avid xenoscapers (I grow true Florida Natives!) to the conspicuously environmentally wasteful (it's a container garden, and some of it will croak in the next frost!).

History of My Current Garden

As longtime readers might recall, I no longer own my last garden. It was 10 years old, well-established, completely perennial, and featured Florida native trees, flowers and bushes, along with spices and flowers of almost endless assortment. Someone who saw my ad on Craigslist paid me about $200 to dig the entire assortment, trees and all, up to sell at a local nursery so the next tenant (my landlord) wouldn't get the fruits of my labor.

What the garden would've been worth if I had sold it off piece by piece is unknown; I'd venture to guess maybe thousands. That's never what got me about selling it wholesale, though. What got me was I knew I couldn't take it along (no room at our next place), yet I couldn't bear to part from it.

To this day I ache for our tiny plot of Confederate Jasmine, saw palmetto, palm trees, lantana, roses, azaleas, Mexican heather, amaryllis, Stella D'oro lilies, spices, mums, daisies, zinnias, salvia, stonecrop, cacti, Leland cypress, all kinds of ivys and vines, along with most of the plants seen and described below - yes, it was truly a jungle out there. Replacing some of it - often with plants identical to what we once owned - has helped dull the ache - but not enough.

zomg, longest tl;dr evah...maybe )

Due to no longer having a sense of permanence, since life can change so suddenly - and often when you least expect it - we've become somewhat-reluctant container gardeners. It has good and bad points. Good: the garden travels with us; no more sitting on my back porch, tears in my eyes, watching strangers rip a piece of my heart right out of the ground. Even better is I can move each plant to where it gets the best sun or shade.

Bad: Florida's hot sun; a Florida container garden needs to be soaked at least once a day. Mine's under awnings so almost never gets rain unless the angle's just right. We fight wilt the other way people fight bugs, mildew and cankers. No amount of mulch helps (and yes, we use Spanish Moss for mulch - I pick it off the ground - it's free and looks better than cedar or pine chips).

Even worse is plants grow, thus they grow out of containers. Rootbound riots regularly occur until affected plants are duly re-potted. We go through a lot of pots, and a few plants - the peace lily (not pictured), the blue dazes (not pictured), the yellow croton (not pictured), and the palm (not pictured) are already in pots large enough to raise small children in, but still needed even bigger pots like yesterday.

Of growing plants - and people who endure them... ) zomg, more plants... )

Here, have a petunia.

white petunia, back from the dead

This petunia has an interesting story: it was originally in a hanging basket (pictured) but died out about two weeks ago, at which point my mom cut it almost to the roots and put the basket on the ground, half in shade. Which somehow saved its life - it hasn't looked that good all year, seriously. :)

If you're noticing lushness and a lot of weeds, that's sort of on purpose. We favor the English cottage-garden look, which isn't as hard to pull off in Florida as it sounds. Just pick the right plants (the more vine-y, fluffy, frilly and softly-colored, the better), don't pull all the weeds (which often turn into gorgeous things almost no one can identify) and use Miracle Gro™ every two weeks if the weather's not too hot (it can burn roots in too-hot conditions).

That's it for now but you can see a few more of these pics on my Photobucket.

And no, there's no sage in my garden's current iteration, but now that I think of it...

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (lol aol lol internets lol lulz)

So...I haven't done one of these in a while. Perhaps food poisoning altered my brained chemistry to make me allergic to posting - I know it made me tired, and that I'm still not feeling right - so I'm going to substitute a picture post for anything of value, because I don't feel like writing but it's my day off, and I'm bored. Maybe one day I'll post my regular blah-blah again. Same old drill: click to expand all shots/there are title tags when you hover/if you work for Microsoft, so what.

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