Wednesday, January 28, 2009

We got a new washing machine several months ago because our old one leaked badly. It ruined the floor in the kitchen so that we had to strip it all off and bear with a concrete floor for about a year. Now we have a new floor and a new machine which is quieter, has lots of neat settings, and doesn't leak. Our dryer is still outdated, though, and squeaks dreadfully, but I hardly ever use it. During the summer the only thing that gets dried in it are sheets, and in the winter it's just sheets and towels. Otherwise it's on the line outside or on the drying rack inside. We have a little closet under the stairs which is our central heating central, and it's lovely and warm in there all day long, even if it's freezing everywhere else, so I can slot the rack inside there if I want. Or I can line it right up to the radiator in the kitchen for some radiation. The only downside to decreasing dryer usage is the sharp uptake in ironing consumption. Figure 1.28a illustrates my careful use of eco-laundry skills. Figure 1.28b shows my proportionate ironing pile growth.

Fig 1.28a

Fig 1.28b
Two of Partner's friends came over for the weekend to visit and play guitar. They told me I could make requests, but every request I made they either didn't know or didn't like. I gave up after about five requests were shot down. When I make requests of Partner, he usually comes up with something good, even if it's not entirely right. He actually listens to music, listens for chords and key changes and riffs, not just lyrics. Which is better than me because when I have the radio on at work I don't even listen to the me it's just background noise. I do concentrate a bit more when it's classical (in the general sense--that is to say, orchestral) music.

Partner's main birthday present, by the way, was a ticket to see Bob Dylan in April. His secondary presents were a dvd and a Calvin and Hobbes anthology. Unfortunately, he did not receive socks.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I can now proudly say I am completely back on track with my studies and have caught up and am exactly on schedule. I thought I might be behind for another week, but I finished my last unit last night and began my three new ones today. And my next assignment is due in two weeks and I am nearly done with it. Playing catch-up is hard. I don't think I better take any time off from school again.

Maybe part of the reason I've been able to catch up is that my hours have been reduced at work. I now come home about an hour earlier than I did this time last month. It's not just me: we now shut an hour earlier. So that's about four hours a week that I'm at home instead of work; I now have the chance to study for an hour after work in addition to my days off.

Partner's birthday is coming up soon; he knows what his main present is, and he's asked for socks as his secondary present. I am not getting him socks unless they will fit in his sock drawer. I estimate it will be several years before I get him new socks. This man has a ton of socks. I keep a crowbar in the laundry basket so I can wedge his cleans sock back in the drawer. And closing the drawer is out of the question.

This painting is one I did after we returned home from our inlaws' house at Christmas. Compare with a photograph from an earlier blog entry. It's not a proper scanned image, since I really can't be bothered to go upstairs and fiddle with the scanner, so I just took a quick snapshot of it on my laptop. It was just a little experiment with the acrylic paints. The new set I got came with a few pieces of cardboard. I figured they were for painting on, but I didn't really like the feel of it much. However, the overall result wasn't too bad, really. I was able to get a little texture action going on, and while I am much more used to watercolor, I like the effects of the colors themselves. I find it difficult to get any white space in a watercolor, unless I just don't paint the spot I want, leaving the paper itself showing through. And it's easy to miss and paint over the white spot accidently, and then it's ruined. With acrylics, I just load up some white paint on the brush and slap it back on the paper.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

We went to my inlaws for New Year's but it was kind of a mistake seeing as we're both still a bit unwell and their house makes us allergic with its animals and such. In fact, I coughed so much I tore something in my ribcage and it's absolutely agony to cough now, and I can't sit up if I'm laid down. What's even worse is that Partner has done the exact same thing: when we cough we have to double over, clutching our sides. Luckily I do feel better than I was, with only a little bit of residual snottiness, and with this injury I'm desperately trying to cough less.

However, I was glad to see my inlaws and they gave me an acrylic painting set as a Christmas present. It's great. I don't have much experience with acrylics but I want to practice. We gave them a wind sock in the shape of a hot air balloon that we bought in America. A few years ago we got them a fish in a fishbowl wind sock and it was So Cute, but it got caught in high winds and lost several pieces. Hopefully this new one will fare better.

This is our dog opening up a bottle to get a drink. Sadly, once she got the lid off, there was not much drink left inside.