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You guys are moving again? Didn't you like, just move? And then just move again before that?... [Oct. 19th, 2014|04:49 pm]
So while LA has treated me very well the last seven years (whaaaat?), with me working remote and Nate working on independent projects, we realized that there's not really a lot except for our friends keeping us in this city and hemorrhaging* rent money with each passing month. I mean, if we could FIND a house to rent with a yard that was a reasonable price, we'd be golden, but after months of peeking around every so often, I don't think that exists in LA.

And so it's off to somewhere else. Probably Austin, TX, as the plan stands now. We've got family out there, and there's lots of games/tech industry (including the place where I actually work, ha). The climate's warm, the culture's pretty liberal/quirky. We've liked it the times we've visited. All of those put together made Austin edge out other cities.

It's going to be hard to leave our "people," but it's the best move for us at this point.

So now, we get to play the "how are we going to get two adults plus their household full of crap plus their toddler and their cat 1500 miles across the desert and into a new living space which has yet to be determined" game.

We haven't had Spring Cleaning the past few years. We have almost-yearly Moving Cleaning instead. Where I go, "Nate, we don't use all these things can I get rid of them," and he goes, "No," and I go, "Think I can donate this old hairspray to a Women's Shelter?" and he just smiles at me patiently and tells me that he trusts me to figure it out and THEN I lie awake at 6am because it occurs to me that no one in their right mind is going to rent us a house two time zones away sight unseen (no matter HOW much I assure them we're very nice folks), so how on earth to people DO this kind of thing?

The fun part is that we have to use up all the almost-empty booze bottles above the pantry, which means rum-strawberry smoothies at 4pm.

*- Whoa, that's a tricky one to spell. I used to have a hard time thinking of "spelling words" for myself in fourth grade, and then throughout my life, whenever I've come across a word I have trouble with, I think, "why the heck wasn't THAT one of my words?..." Perfect candidates have included "license," "curriculum," and now "hemorrhage." Though the teacher may have been a little concerned about that one.
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Upstanding Citizens [Oct. 16th, 2014|07:54 pm]

Nate's been working on another baby app, and these are some of the little people who will probably be featured in it at some point.

I especially like the way that lady's little paisley cardigan came out for some reason.
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Allow Me a Quick Curmudgeon Moment [Oct. 15th, 2014|11:04 am]
When we moved into this rental house, I remember them asking in the application to "list any instruments you own/play." I am assuming this is because they didn't want to rent to say, drummers? Or people who would be playing loud music? This struck me as a bit restrictive for a single family dwelling, but it is a very cute little neighborhood, and maybe they just like it quiet. It's cool. We're quiet people. We can hang.

But here's the thing. You have the following factors at play:

1.) This is Los Angeles, which means that even though the lawns are teeny-tiny, nobody takes care of their own lawns. It doesn't matter if you have thirty square feet of grass total, you hire a lawn company to do the mowing. I know it's dumb, don't ask me why, it's the culture of the place.

2.) Our neighborhood in particular, as mentioned above, is Cute with a capital C. That means everybody has well-manicured grass, trees (the luxury! Seriously.), and lots of landscaping. It also means that the layout of the streets produce lots of tiny offshoot cul-de-sacs, one of which we inhabit the corner of.

3.) The various troops of Lawn Guys have a lot to do in one day, and you bet they're going to be as quick as they can. (And they are, it's impressive. They're like tornados that blaze in and blaze out, except everything is less messy afterward.) Rakes are for amateurs, give them a TurboMaster Leaf-Blower 5000.

What this means is that on weekdays, morning afternoon and evening, at any point there is good chance of a leaf-blower, weed-whacker, or lawnmower going within a hundred feet of us.

This is the part where you get to go, "Waahhh waaahh, I'm Annie and I work from home in a nice neighborhood, waaahhh," and I'll totally give you that. I'm probably due for a karmic meteor or lightning strike any day now. I'm just saying, they were concerned with what instruments we owned? Psshhh.
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A Word to the Wise [Oct. 13th, 2014|02:33 pm]
I was poking around reading articles that pertained to Columbus Day, and OH MY GOD NEVER EVER EVER Google image "smallpox" holy shit I don't even know what I was thinking.
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Dry [Oct. 13th, 2014|08:35 am]
Every once and a while I see pictures of rainy days on the internet. And I get this funny feeling, like a distant memory. "Oh yeah, rain is this thing that happens in other places."

It rained (actually rained) in LA what, once this year? And it was while we were on vacation, so we weren't here for it.

I love sunny days, don't get me wrong. We're stupid-spoiled here, and we pay out the nose for it (though not for much longer- more on that later). But even though the ocean breezes keep the air moist, and we still have plenty of water to drink and use, there's a dryness that doesn't go away with a glass of water or a shower. It gets deep into your bones, and you don't notice it most of the time, but then you see a picture of a rainy street, and it whimpers.

I wonder if people who grew up in & enjoy desert climates don't get that same uneasiness. I bet they feel claustrophobic and weird in wet forests instead.
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Grouchy Deinotherium [Oct. 8th, 2014|08:40 am]

I dunno, this guy just always looks like he'd be a bad-tempered bruiser.
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Squawk-a-doodle-doo [Oct. 7th, 2014|09:49 pm]
basilisk yellow

Basilisk pays no attention to your teasings about its wimpy little winglets.
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Derpy Platybelodon [Oct. 6th, 2014|10:51 pm]

By far the best of the "pre-elephants."
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Confidence [Oct. 3rd, 2014|10:00 pm]
I love when products make ridiculously exaggerated claims with a straight face.

On the back of a box of hot chocolate mix packets:
"It's the original American tradition!"
You know, America! Land of the free! Purple Mountains' Majesty! Streets paved with gold! Reduced-Calorie Hot Chocolate Packets!

On the back of a bag of prunes:
"America's Superfruit!"
They're letting everybody in the superfood club these days.

At the top of an obscure recipe website:
"The originators of quick and easy cooking!"
...You guys, we'd been doing all wrong this whole time.
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The Education Continues [Oct. 2nd, 2014|12:14 pm]

Another one this morning, Baxter? Why thank you.

You see, I'm trying to teach Benjamin about the chaotic cruelty of the world by denying him Daddy's power tools and limiting his intake of Goldfish crackers.

But you and this bird are driving home the point better than I ever could.
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Having a cat can be educational. [Oct. 1st, 2014|08:35 am]
Baxter treats birds like Pokemon in his "Gotta Catch 'Em All" mentality. I don't know how he does it, but every time he gets one, it manages to be a different species.

I always thought I was observant when it came to the birds outside, but today I was introduced to the Yellow-Breasted Chat, a gorgeous bird which I didn't even know existed, because somebody brought one into Benjamin's room at 7 o'clock this morning.
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Zoo and Fair sketches [Oct. 1st, 2014|08:29 am]
We made trips to both the Zoo and the LA County Fair over the last month or two, and while I brought my sketchbook on both outings, the time spent Drawing Animals ended up being minimal, due to time also being spent Wrangling Toddler and Having Fun and stuff like that.

Here are a few sketches though, mostly various hoofed animals for some reason:






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Also Neapolitan Mastiffs [Sep. 29th, 2014|09:33 am]

What's up with Mastiffs and being totally crazy looking? I swear I didn't even exaggerate the droopiness of this thing's snout all that much.
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Tibetan Mastiff [Sep. 28th, 2014|08:15 pm]

Have you googled this dog? Because holy crap.
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Big D, little d, what begins with D? [Sep. 21st, 2014|04:41 pm]

Donuts and a duck-dog, D... d... D.
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Dream Cliches [Sep. 20th, 2014|10:28 pm]
So, I know that the "teeth falling out" dream is apparently one of the most common, but I'd never had it until a couple days ago. Now I get why people hate it so much. Eeeeugh. I kept checking my teeth the whole next day to make sure they were in there tight.
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Thought of the Day [Sep. 19th, 2014|10:24 am]
Ever notice that things taste salty, but never "smell" salty?

ETA- I guess the ocean smells salty, now that I think about it. I was sort of referring to food though.
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Honor Among Sponges [Sep. 17th, 2014|04:24 pm]
The sponges in our house tend to go through "stage of life." They start out fresh-faced and enthusiastic as dish-washing sponges, and when they start getting a bit ratty or smelly and have had a run or two through the dishwasher, they go into "retirement" under the sink and get pulled out for things like bathroom cleaning, wiping up floor spills, etc. Then, when they're on their last legs (threads?), I'll use them for a particularly sticky battle, which usually involves grease that's become caked onto some appliance or other. After this, they're choked with gunk that's really hard to wash out and/or falling apart, and so they finally go to Sponge Valhalla. The bigger and grosser the "final task," the greater honor they bring to their people. Or something.

I was thinking about this because after finding one too many creepy-crawlies around, we decided to do a giant nuclear cleaning of the kitchen. And if I told you how long it had been since we really cleaned our stove, you probably wouldn't want to be friends with us anymore.

It was long enough that the cleaning products in this household will be telling tales and singing songs for generations of the brave old sponge who gave its life today.
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Octobear [Sep. 7th, 2014|02:21 pm]

Octobear is actually better than regular bears at a lot of things.
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Raptor Peacock [Sep. 6th, 2014|04:20 pm]

Who's a pretty boy, huh? Who? Who's our pretty boy??
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Frolicking Wizard [Sep. 4th, 2014|04:31 pm]
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Thought of the Day [Sep. 2nd, 2014|04:05 pm]
In some places you get Mormons coming to your door regularly. In other places you get Girl Scouts. Apparently in West LA, you get realtors.

For some reason, these realtors also LOVE to leave us little notepads with their names on them. We find these things on our front porch all the time. Normally I wouldn't mind, because it's a piece of marketing that I'll actually use to write notes and grocery lists and stuff, but they're barely fitting in the drawer anymore and this is getting ridiculous.

It's just funny, because I've never seen this anywhere else, but over the last few months here we've probably gotten what, almost ten of these things? I just picked up another one this morning.
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Big F, little f, what begins with F? [Aug. 30th, 2014|04:17 pm]

...Four fluffy feathers on a Fiffer-feffer-feff.
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Thought of the Day [Aug. 24th, 2014|03:20 pm]
There's a very special rage for when you're trying to load the dishwasher, and all your dishes and glasses are just a little too big to fit where you think they should go.
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Dance Bug Dance [Aug. 21st, 2014|04:57 pm]

Sometimes I realize I haven't drawn in a while, and so I have to pick a critter at random and be like, "Get out there on that blog and entertain the people! Stall for time!"

And the unfortunate critter's like, "Wait, what am I supposed to do?"

And I'm like, "I don't know! Dance! Here's a hat and cane, go nuts."
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