Laundry Helpers

When they’re still, my dogs look very much like stuffed animals, their fur so soft, and shining in the soft light of the bedroom. Each of them is curled up on top of a pile of folded laundry, their idea of “helping” as I fold it. I don’t mind the flattening – saves ironing – but I wish they’d lay on outerwear instead of underwear.

This is how laundry folding works in my house: I do it on the bed, sitting in the center of it, with a movie playing on the dvd player across the room. I set the hanging stuff aside, and fold everything piling things in a circle around me. When a pile gets too high, I get up and fill drawers. Every so often, I write a blog entry, or read one, or chat with someone on IM, or just get pulled into the movie.

We both have enough clothing that, if we wanted, we could go two weeks without HAVING to do laundry, but on the rare occasions when busy lives had forced us to do so, we’ve been wearing the clothes we don’t particularly like at the end.

Tonight, folding laundry is grounding me, but it’s also disappointing me. All three pairs of my comfy sweatpants are too big, and falling apart, and I can’t justify keeping them. Ditto the stack of leggings I use as loungewear under sleepshirts, or as exercise wear with big comfy t-shirts.

I work from home, so I don’t particularly NEED a lot of fancy clothes, and actually, comfortable attire is better when I’m writing. In fact, as I write this I’m wearing the pink and grey striped sleepshirt that Fuzzy gave me for my birthday, and my hair is braided in two pigtails. I look about twelve.

But my two laundry helpers don’t care, as long as I scratch them behind the ears every so often.


Once again, it is the night Fuzzy is supposed to be flying back from California, and once again he is delayed.

Last time, his plane ran into weather, twenty minutes from Dallas, and had to be rerouted to San Antonio where they sat on the ground so long waiting for the storm to abate that they had to switch planes and flight crews, and then they sat on the ground again because the jetways were full and it didn’t occur to anyone to wheel over a set of stairs.

Tonight, the plane from Austin which he is supposed to board in order to fly back to Dallas, was delayed there, and never made it to California. The revised takeoff time is 8:45 PM PDT, which is in roughly fifteen minutes, but since his phone battery was essentially dead, I do not know if they actually are leaving or not.

He’s been awake since sometime last night.
He still has to drive home from the airport.

At least he can nap for three hours on the plane.


I don’t often write about the differences I’ve noticed in culture between California and Texas, but last week was our three-year Texaversary, and in exactly one month, we’ll have our third anniversary in this house, so to comment on some things seems appropriate.

California has better drivers. Sort of. They’re more inclined to use turn signals, and you don’t often see them driving across the median because there’s too much traffic in the exit lane, especially when said median is also a 20-foot deep ditch.

California has better produce. Some of the vegetables I’ve seen here look pretty, but there’s no flavor. Also, produce prices are much higher here.

California, overall, has better weather, little humidity, and almost no mosquitoes. Or water bugs.


Texas has fewer people who sue each other at the drop of a hat. Not every broken item is greeted with shouted pleas for a product liability attorney, or the question, “Who can I sue?”

Texans, generally, are more polite. Yes, the pace of life is a little slower (excruciatingly so when it comes to real estate), but the trade off is this Southern graciousness in which strangers wave and smile, and clerks in stores meet your eye and ask “How y’all doin’?” Even in Target. Even in Big Lots.

While the weather here can suck sometimes – ice storms in winter, tornadoes in spring, outer bands of hurricanes in summer and fall – we have amazing lightning storms that are so much art and passion arcing across the sky that you don’t mind the rain.

You’ll notice I don’t compare politics. That’s because we live in a metropolitan area, and like most such places, there is cultural and political diversity. Anyway, I haven’t had any political issues. I haven’t had people shoving their religion or politics in my face. I know how to find people I’m comfortable with, and tune out the people who drive me crazy.

Also, I’ve learned that, at least in Texas, the phrase “Bless your heart,” carries an infinite number of meanings.

Friday’s Feast: 0709.14

When was the last time you visited a hospital?
I had a CT scan about two years ago. Otherwise…I don’t really know anyone who’s required visiting, and we’re rarely seriously ill.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how ambitious are you?
It depends on the day and the subject. Right now, with my book – very. With vacuuming the rug or folding the pile of laundry? Not so much. Overall…about a six.

Make a sentence using the letters of a body part. (Example: (mouth) My other ukelele tings healthily.)
Five intrepid newts gather, eating really slowly. (Fingers)

Main Course
If you were to start a club, what would the subject matter be, and what would you name it?
Fabulous! It would be a weekly gathering of creative types with a different theme to discuss or explore each time. Meetings would involve copious amounts of chocolate and froufrou cocktails.

What color is the carpet/flooring in your home?
In the dining room, master bedroom, upstairs hallway, guest room, and on the stairs, the carpeting is the color of beach sand. In the library, it is blue. The upstairs bath has beige linoleum. The hearth and hall powder room have white ceramic tile. The master bath has warm beige ceramic tile. The foyer and entry are dusty blue ceramic tile that looks like painted brick, and our two offices and the living room are warm cherry wood laminate, while the laundry room is painted, poured concrete.

Want to play? Go to Friday’s Feast.

Everybody’s Talking About It

With premier season about to start, it is inevitable that we all start looking at our schedules and deciding which shows to check out, and which to avoid. While the CW isn’t the same without Gilmore Girls, a series I loved from the first, I have to admit that I’m intrigued by one of their offerings for the 2007-08 season: Gossip Girl.

Gossip Girl which was created by the same team responsible for The O.C. is, on the surface, a standard teen drama. It involves the lives of several Upper East Side teenagers, and their romance, angst, and explorations into sex, drugs and higher education. What makes it different, and what makes it worthy of my interest, as a blogger and follower of froufrou, is that the series is narrated by the Gossip Girl, and bookended by her blog entries talking about the lives of the people around her.

While we know that Kristen Bell provides the voiceover for Gossip Girl, she does not, apparently, appear in the series, or at least, we don’t know who the Gossip Girl really is.

I’m not sure if I like the thought of gossip as a motivating factor in storytelling. While I don’t really gossip on my blog (unless talk about the folks in my Starbucks counts), I’m no stranger to it, having worked in enough offices to know that where there is a group of people – male or female – gossip will ensue. Still the show looks interesting enough for me to want to take a look at it when it premiers on the 19th.

Nicest Plumber Ever

The rescue rooter guy came on time, and even though he managed to fix the tub stopper – it was just a matter of screwing the handle back to the disc correctly, he cursed at the poor design of the tub. “It seems unfair,” he said, “even though it’s in working order, to leave you with something not designed to drain the tub correctly.”

Our tub is a deep soaking tub, no jets, just lovely hot water and a window to view the stars through…

I so want to clone this plumber.

Also…he liked my use of a butter knife to drain the tub, then apologized for using the same knife.

How cool is that?

All You Knead is Love

Last night as I grilled a flank steak on our little George Foreman grill I had this urge to fling knives into the air and bang metal spice shakers around the way they do when you’re sitting around the fire table and restaurants like Benihana.

I’m not sure if this flight of fancy was brought on by the feel of the grill heat on my face – I always sit at the end when we go to Japanese steakhouses so am closer to the heat source – or the sound of sizzling meat, or the fact that I was half-listening to back-to-back episodes of Top Chef while I was puttering in the kitchen, but there you are, or there I was, imagining myself wielding very sharp knives with the same melodramatic flair used by John Belushi in old SNL sketches when he did his Samurai (Whatever) sketches.

Speaking of early SNL, my mind is also living in the early seventies this week, as the part of my novel that I’m working on involves a baby conceived during the Summer of Love, a cafe, and a VW Bus, and it’s made me really wish that instead of sitting in my uber-suburban Texas tract house, I was, instead, sipping percolated coffee while toasting my hands near a bonfire on the beach, or sitting at Haight-Ashbury staple All You Knead, where I remember getting $4.50 spaghetti as late as 1988, when I was in college, and where the menu is a funky but somehow perfectly logical mix of organic, vegetarian, and classic diner.

This novel would be so much easier to write if I were IN San Francisco, not just remembering it.