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My special day

31 Jan


[Card courtesy of the nerdess]

I had a birthday last week. I have 28 years now. If I were to graph trends related to getting older, one of the factors on an upward sweep at this point is the baking skills of my friends. I have fond memories of the box cakes in college, but lime-coconut cupcakes from scratch? Expert blueberry pie, still warm? A noble attempt at profiteroles despite being short a few ingredients? I’m feeling good about this.

Another upward trend: the resourcefulness of my friends. I got some good loot. Highlights follow.

A book of postcards…


with such gems as…


Documented underboob, which I immediately turned into a magnet to keep the other chick company on the fridge. I now have an underboob collection. I imagine it will grow.


A check from my sister with this memo: For rat film production.



I know. It’s amazing. He sneers at me while I make coffee in the morning. And because of a mirror on the opposite wall, he does it again when I walk in the front door.


W and The Kee made the long cold journey to my city and state and I finally got in on the ground floor of some of their inside jokes. Most the activities I planned for us fell through. I made them promise to go snowshoeing no matter how cold it was but at -7F it was, in fact, too cold. The Miss America Pageant viewing I had lined up for Saturday night was a bust because my landlords canceled the cable. Luckily there was plenty of entertainment to be had from the Kee’s new snuggie to fill the void.


Another positive: because they were maybe getting a little stir-crazy, they were more receptive to bad ideas, like giving Whitney a faux hawk. At one point it looked as bad as this.


He stressed out a tiny bit but at some point, though it never really got much better, he seemed to change his mind about it. Here is he completely at home with his pony hawk.


My tree-house apartment seems almost too big without them, but I find comfort in the empty snuggie box and the puddle of human hair on my porch.



Cryptic postcard

19 Oct

I guess it rains inside my mail box. Help me fill in the blanks.

Glorious lakes!

18 Jul

I picked this one up because I liked the picture and the unfortunate name of the lake. And the casual reference to death.

(June 22, 1954)
Dear kids,
This shows the lake we’re staying at. (Birch) Also the lake Emil died in. (Leech) We went to Walker Sat. and went across some of it. It’s about ten miles from here. It’s sure big. Thought you’d like to have it. The boys are going to Leech Lake to fish tomorrow. Wish you were here. Know you’d enjoy it. Tell Hank + Mary “hello.”
Love, Pauline + William

If I had to choose a favorite geological feature, it would probably be the lake. And though I am partial to all the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario is my favorite. Here are some shots I took while sailing home from Toronto with my dad a few weeks ago.

Toronto at night.

Coffee in the morning.

Boat parts during the sail home.

I did go swimming, but he didn’t want to put the sails down so I had to swim 1.5 knots/hr to keep up. Faster than I thought it would be.

Post swim, nap, and sunburn.

Ah yes, the floaters

17 Jul

…of the Great Salt Lake. “There’s nothing like it.”

Ogden, Utah
August 24, 1910
Stopping at this Park to wait for train Everything is OK Just a short ways from from Salt Lake City will be at Cheyenne Thurs

Is this just Mormon culture, or is this woman’s dress-and-stockings a typical 1910 bathing costume? Maybe those men threw her in fully clothed. It’s pretty amazing that just fifty years later, everyone was bopping around in a bikini. Grandma must have been so scandalized. Imagine the parallel advances in personal grooming technology.

More Weeki Wachee mermaids

16 Jul

Here’s one from the daily “Mermaids and Pirates” show.

Modern stadium seating.

“Hi” Alta + Ted. Here we are having wonderful time. It’s nice and warm wearing summer clothes. People watering their lawns. Hard to believe it is Jan. See you next month. Love, Theresa, Phil, Lynda, + Theresa Mae. (Jan. 4, 1961)

Quick internet research: This place is still around. I guess the state of Florida recently took it over to save it from closure. The New York Times did their best to make today’s mermaids seem sad and trashy. I can’t believe they only make minimum wage. Holding your breath for four minutes is skilled labor. A costumed rendition of The Little Mermaid seems to be their thing now. Sixty years ago I think the air tube technology was probably enough of an attraction. Some 16mm films on YouTube suggests that drinking cokes underwater used to be a big part of the show.  From 1952:

A magical place

14 Jul

I’ve really let this place go since Sweater Thursday ended. I’m just going to jump right in with a postcard I found at Granny’s, my favorite spot for old postcards which just closed forever. Where did those shoe boxes full of postcards go? It’s keeping me up at night.

On my last visit, I found a handful from the Weeki Wachee Spring of the Mermaids underwater theater. Pictures like this one inspired someone to write a novel about the attraction. It inspired me to sew my own bathing suit. I’ll keep you posted.