The Evolution of Wasted Time and Dreams.

You like it don't you?
You're drawn to it, moth to a flame, but you don't know why. Having trouble pinpointing the artistry and beauty? How it's both feminine and violent at the same time. What is it? How is it? Why is this even being posted about? Why do we allow Susie to blog again?

Oh, I'll tell you what it is. But take a walk with me first.
A walk down Idea Evolution Lane. An explanation as to how things can go so horribly wrong around here.

Chuck's soul mate was in town from California and when Paul's around, Chuck tends to be even harder to manage than usual. They're so cute together. Until they combine poor behavior with utter mischief and I end up with an 8 foot scratching post or a Ship's Wheel on my banister. Because, see, I might say "No", but if Paul says "Yes", well I'm overruled. Our marriage isn't so much 50-50, as it's split into even thirds. Whatever. I'm over it.

Naturally, Paul was thrilled and highly supportive of Chuck's idea to add Navigation Lights to the Ship's Wheel area. Sigh. My life. To create said lights, they Crayola markered water activated life jacket lights. (Yes. We have those in our house. No, I will not tell you why.)

They set the lights up. And I was summoned.
"Suz!!!!!! Come take a picture!"
Sigh. My life. Again.

To take the picture (at night, no flash, and with the room's lights off to maximize navigation visibility), I needed to use a 5 second shutter speed. Yeah. I can barely hold it steady for 1/60th of a second. 5 seconds? Sorry boys, not gonna happen. Except I forgot those two are not actually into No. They found my tripod and kindly set it for me. I live here.
Soak it in.

Basic photo principle: slow shutter speed means moving objects blur. Basic Allison principle: Chuck is a child.

Both principles were tested immediately by sprinting back and forth in the living room holding a cell phone.

Actually, that's kind of cool.

So, I yelled for Jamie and Shiann (Paul's beloved) to come to the living room for an impromptu rave. And then I had the most amazing, brilliant idea: iPhone Light Pictures. Also called Cell Phone Lite-Brite. Or Mobile Fireworks. Take your pick because I am a genius, I think. The plan was simple: Could Jamie, Paul, Shiann, and Chuck make colored drawings using the lights from their cell phones, a 10 second shutter speed, and synchronized perfection?

The answer is "yes".
Smiley face.
Bring it. We clearly have a talent for this.

(I accidentally bumped my flash and took a picture of the set up.)
But it had to be included so you could see the level we went to. The set up is so impressive. And equally pathetic.

The Smiley Face sealed it. We would spend the next 2 1/2 hours making pictures. We are simple people. With simple dreams and simple ideas. We are also sadly uncool.
Enjoy our art. We are very serious about it.
Celebrate the genius.
Appreciate the immense teamwork in creating pictures as a group.
We is amazing.
Olympic rings. I had to be ring 5 on this one. It was uncomfortable actually participating -- I'm more of an instigator, an egg-them-on, than a participant. I'm a director. Not an actor, people.

Kitten shout out. Obviously.
PK shout out. He's a big fan of nuun: the portable electrolyte hydration tablets. They're bomb. Just like PK.
Stick man. A more classic capture.
Jackson Pollock. Because we celebrate all the arts now.

Airplane. All three boys are pilots. Makes you feel good about air travel, huh? It'll be fine: Shiann's a flight attendant -- she keeps them, and tray tables, in check.
Sailboat. In honor of the Ship's Wheel, naturally.

Candle. We just liked the idea of creating this "piece" and presenting it with the candelabra. Classy.
Tree . Please gaze again on its beauty. Check out the color switch. Paul was upgraded to varsity level iPhone Light Pictures for a mid-photo color change. Expert level. Shiann is a lucky woman.
Daisy. I couldn't let Paul be the only varsity player. I lettered with the two tone flower. When you watch and direct for that long, you develop a rich understanding of the craft.

So yeah. You can be impressed. You can be sad for us. We're fine with it all. 2 1/2 hours. No joke. No hyperbole. This is how we roll-around here. Standard fare and fairly sad.

Hurricane Susie strikes again. As it does every night.

There are some things I know I'm good at.
Whining. Cat Mom. I have an eye for a good recipe and my couch laying skillz are unparalleled. Oh and humility.

Basically, I am amazing.

There are also some things I am not good at.
Talking at a reasonable volume. Keeping my eyes closed during prayers. And watching that Dan Jansen VISA commercial without crying.

Oh, let's add "clean cooking" to the list and call it a good start.

Seriously. I don't really understand how to cook without completely destroying my workspace. I'm at a loss. It's absolutely beyond me. I treat my kitchen like it's hurt me. Offended me. Like I have something to prove to it. You would think I don't like my kitchen if you saw me cook in it.

I've been called Hurricane Susie on more than a few cooking occasions. I thought, naively -- oh, it was a simpler time -- that it was the apartment kitchens to blame. Small. Formica. Cramped. I had no work space. I had no room to breathe. Naturally, I would fill up the 4 feet of counters. I had no choice.

No. No. Apparently, I have the Property of Fluidity: I have the ability to take the shape of the container around me. In this case, the container is a kitchen (any kitchen). The fluid is my mess. Physics = SMRT = Susie. (Does anyone actually believe I wrote this paragraph or it is pretty widely understood/acknowledged that this is Chuck's verbiage??)

I made dinner -- tacos because Jamie was coming over and 2 boys are cheaply fed with some sort of meat/bun combination (tortilla = taco bun). I made a double layer, Martha frosted chocolate cake for fun and we settled in to the already ruined Olympics because Yahoo! couldn't keep it's mouth shut this afternoon.

We sat on the couch.
I turned around.
I sighed.

Nothing else quite says "Susie was here."

"And it was good."

Here's your unedited, uncleaned, nothing added, nothing moved, nothing altered photo tour of my kitchen post dinner.

That is my personal cookbook (it's a photo album that I slide note cards into because I'm cheap). Chuck LOVES that I leave it on the stove.

Especially after this happened once. Play Disney and be an Imagineer. I'm sure you can figure out what happened.

Let it be known that this kitchen was 100% clean before I cooked tonight. This is the aftermath of ONE DINNER. One meal. When I got home, the counter tops were sparkling white, the floor still shined from Sunday's mopping. I would rather enjoy my warm meal, couch lay, go Internetting, and THEN clean -- once I have deemed my night over. My life. My terms.

Incredible that someone so small can be so destructive.

I didn't realize two weeks could do so much damage.

Dear Olympics,

No offense. Kind of done.

I guess, I'm sorry, Olympics, I'm projecting. I'm blaming you for things outside your control when Dear Abby clearly taught me otherwise. I know better. Sorry Olympics. I didn't mean it.


I'm just really done.
Pretty much with NBC. There are so many things to hate about NBC right now and the Olympics is just a jumping off point. Let's be honest, the wounds of the Conan-Leno abomination are still too fresh. That darn Peacock struts around ruining red-headed lives and then going on with the Olympics like nothing happened. I'm not giving them an inch. (Because if I ran my classroom like NBC, I wouldn't have one.)

Time delay, right I get it. But seriously? I can't do it anymore. I'm so stinking sleep deprived from staying up hours past tuck-in time. I look like a freaking Cullen two weeks after a "hike" in the Olympics. Pale skin. Bags. Edgy, jumpy. If this is what having a newborn is like, then we need to have a massive family meeting tonight and consider pushing the date back to 2073. We may have hastily rushed into the 2053 goal. Sleep looks really good on me. Really good.

And it wouldn't be so bad. I mean, we have TiVo (SIDE NOTE: Lord, has Chuck clogged the inbox. Good night. Like I need to see curling from 7 different angles on 28 NBC affiliates.) I could watch it in the morning. Except not. The freaking time delay has me terrified to go online. I'm in cold sweats when I hit the little blue "e" and I'm nauseous when I see yahoo headlines. I should not feel agitated over the Internet. I love the Internet. L-O-V-E it. Thanks for ruining one of my most constant relationships, NBC.

We treat the nighttime like this elusive live event when it's the past. The Past. Am I on crazy pills? Am I in a rabbit hole? No. I'm just under the thumb of NBC's pocket watch. Thanks for playing the finals at midnight and reporting on them, as though we all stayed up to see them, live on Today. It's great for my REM cycle.

Blah. And BeeTeeDub, if I see one more Olympics montage set to The Fray, I'm hanging it up. I'd like to watch the Olympics, not review clips or a sob story from Oklahoma. On 5 separate occasions I have mistaken the Olympics for Grey's Anatomy. That. Shouldn't. Happen.

I'm such a whiner.
I need to get set for "live" figure skating -- I should've taken a post-school nap.

Just super psyched for London 2012.
Whiny McFuss Pants

I have greatly overexerted myself.

I am exhausted. Spent. Beat. And it's actually from doing stuff today -- not the usual exhaustion-atrophy combo I'm more accustomed to on Sundays. I typically take it pretty slow on days ending in -y so this was big. Banner day.

We just did a lot today. A bit of an eclectic grouping, but since when has sense, logic, or reason ever crept into our planning routine? We will not be confined by organized groupings. We are trailblazers, I think.

The weather started it. Seattle has been uh-mazing lately.

That's the sky today. No photoshopping. That's just how it looked. I don't have crayons that blue. I would like a crayon that blue. I would treat it so nice. I wouldn't even bite the paper back.

Anyhoo, Sunshine means sunlight means suncat.
Suncat means warm cat.
I took Logic 210 in college. Don't be jealous. I understand if you had a hard time following my shockingly educated logic. I'm just that sophisticated and learn-ed.

Warm cat was also a stink cat and stink cats need baths. So, Sunday started with a bath and Jack shunning us for 2 hours. Happy family.

Try not to be too shocked by my Sunday morning beauty. Stunning, aren't I? No words, right? I know. Take it all in people. A treat for so many senses.

Jack doing his best Mufasa impression. And let the shunning begin. "Oh human. Just you wait until bedtime."

A dozen errands later, I actually made us a full lunch on a Sunday (I is June Cleaver, apperantly), and we hit the outside. Chuck took the traditional man jobs and cared for his baby.

Oh front lawn. My rival. My husband doth love thee so. Persmaps more than he loveth his wife. How he tenderly attends to your every need. I will not go down without a fight-eth.

I went to work "gardening". My gardening style is like driving on the freeway blind folded. Good luck, everybody. Good luck.

I really just go for it. No rhyme. No reason. I take a more organic approach. Organic in the sense that I don't fertilize my mind with information and I believe the plants that want to live or don't want pruning will stay out of my way. Everyone else is fair game.

The peonies were first in my line of fire. I hacked away all the dead sticks. I felt they needed to go.

I found the little buds at the bottom. Hooray! Last year, I called them red cabbage, because I didn't know what they were or what they were destined to be. Now I do. But I will still call them red cabbage until they look like peonies again.

Then, this bush really got in my way.
Huge. I didn't like that. Not one bit. How pretentious to take up that much room and not even be cute.

I made it cute by making it smaller. Chuck's a little concerned about this one. But he loves me and it didn't involve his precious lawn, so we're good. But seriously, he should thank me. I found a treasure in that bush.

A brick. It's mine. I called it.

So much growth to celebrate (mostly because it means spring which means no more ice scrapers). I'm actually pretty psyched to watch the little yard bloom.
I miss my little bearded lilies.

I call them bearded ladies. My little circus side-show.

Lilac. Holy smell good. I will fill the house with their goodness until Jack eats them. It should last 3 minutes, if I'm lucky. Grow little smelly buds.

Then we went into full spring cleaning mode.
I bleached the kitchen.
Toothbrush to the baseboards.
Cleaned the oven.
I know, right? Went. For. It.

Chuck washed, waxed, vacuumed, and Armor All'd the cars. Apparently, our cars are red and white. We had no idea.

After a walk (I was outside. in nature. take it in), we tested paint colors because I'm doing this a-sap. Pretty done with flat paint.

Our living room is a huge uniroom with the dining room. It's white. On white. With some more white. I need it to change in a faster timeline than the light fixtures.

I zoomed in on the three color choices because I wanted to. My blog. I can.
1. Bella Mist. Also being referred to as Bela Corolli, Bella Band, and BellaEdward.
2. Inch Worm. Also being referred to as Glow Worm.
3. SeaWall. Also being referred to as Wonder Wall.
(We have a serious problem with calling things by their actual names. Serious problem.)

Your thoughts? The current idea (actually Shelley's idea because we have NO design instincts) is to do BellaEdward on the giant wall behind the couch and Wonder Wall on the two perpendicular, smaller walls. Unless you can come up with something better, I'll let you know how this one plays out.

So. Yeah. I wasn't kidding when I said we went for it today. We also went on a date (gasp) to a real restaurant (gasp) and even got 31 Flavors on the way home. I know, right? You feel like you don't even know us.

You'll be fine. I'll be back to doing nothing tomorrow. Pinky swear.

Perhaps we need to speed up the change process.

I've waited 9 months for this.
Oh No, hecks no. Seriously? Sigh. Why do the words "9 months" + 26 year old = ohmygoodnessyoumustbe? Settle down. It's not 2053. Let's not rush this people.

I've waited 9 months to finally change the light fixture in the dining room. Hooray. Start the parade. It's done. It's fantastic.

I know. It's hard to understand why I didn't want this beauty hanging in the front room. I am so picky. Unrealistic goals. Needy. I really have to work on that. I'll put it on my Oprah life-do list.

It was time to come down. I needed the diner-style, Denny's shortstack light out of my life. A-sap. And by a-sap I mean 9 months after we bought the replacement. We got 'em last Spring. We hung numbers 1 & 2 in October. Apparently, we are RTC (resistant to change) even with things we hate.

The excuse for why this took so long is because the light is positioned at the top of a 17 foot ceiling, too far from the wall for the classic extension ladder and even Stretch Armstrong couldn't work it out on the 9-foot step. We needed to rent a giant ladder. GIANT.

I told you. GIANT. Don't ever discount my ability to spread hyperbole or my ability to actually tell the truth. This is one of those truth times.

That is a 14 foot ladder for those counting -- of course, Chuck was. He wasn't convinced it stood a full 14 feet when extended, so, OF COURSE, we had to stop and measure it.

Just as he suspected. 13 1/2 feet. Then I got a quick math lesson about how the hypotenuse of the ladder triangle was 14 feet, thus the trickery of their measurements. Thank God I got that bit of information. And the nap that came half way through it. I was also "talked to" about how a plane is determined by 3 points (which is why one ladder leg usually feels loose), and yeah, that was when I just left the room.

Jack was of course a natural helper during the hanging process.

See - supervising help. A bit of a Goldbug moment for you Richard Scarry aficionados.
And "toying with fate" help. Black cat. Slightly broken mirror. Under a ladder. We is lucky. Yes we is. OK -- I'll be honest. We may have staged that. Only the mirror part. We had to. This picture was dying to happen.

Second to removing Elton John's light fixture was finally cleaning the ceiling fan with Gigantor. The Ceiling Fan is such a love-hate relationship. We hate it because it's a ceiling fan and ew. We love it because it's a ceiling fan and it works. Touche ugly fan.



Susie was here! I = mature.

We're assuming 17 years of grossness. It was intense.

Found out that the light fixture on it was not in fact frosted glass but Hoarders-style dirty. Left is clean. Right is our art-nouveau faux frosted. This is apparently how we've chosen to live for a year.

Light is up. It's simple. It's non-obtrusive. It isn't an assault on your senses like the last one.
Fan is clean and a shockingly bright gold which looks amazing next to the nickel lights.
Happy little Saturday.

A little treat: You haven't been Ship's Wheel'd in a while.

Chuck took a spin while I was photographing the fan filth.
Chew on that beauty. I live with it. And the wheel too.

Next Saturday. The living room/dining room/uniroom combo.
Help wanted.
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