Saturday, February 28, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
It's been so chilly lately that Tom's latest "ice sculpture" froze through solid then developed this interesting ice dandylion-starburst-mimzy thing.
Meanwhile, California bloggers like Design Geek and Loving Living Small are writing about outdoor spaces as if spring is here. MEANIES!
My pledge to you: There will be no posts about gardening, al fresco dining, sunbathing, raised bed composting or beekeeping on Bromeliad Living until mid-March at the earliest.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
I hung it proudly for a few weeks and finally replaced it with a mirror after too many friends asked why I hadn't finished it. Also, to be quite frank, it was really bad.
The other day I went looking for it intending to recover the frame with my all-purpose free white vinyl and draw something like this with a marker:
But once up on the wall, it didn't look so bad. If I'm wrong about this, don't tell me.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
The modern Japanese tradition of Urawaza (secret trick) started after World War II when Japanese households had to make due without the basics. It's now the subject of a book by the same name that offers clever and frugal household tips like picking up broken glass with a piece of bread or taping two Bandaids to the bottom of slick-soled shoes on a rainy day.
- wrap one layer of a black plastic bag around a credit card magnetic strip that refuses to scan.
- keep your cell phone in the fridge to make the charge last longer.
- extend the range of your car key remote by placing the metal key fob against your chin. (Your head acts as an antenna.)
- run a hair dryer over an almost empty ink cartridge to loosen dried ink.
- put a wet cell phone in rice to draw out the water.
- use a curved cookie sheet behind your wireless router to extend its range.
- clean CDs or DVDs with mouthwash.
- reduce the brightness of the flash on your digital camera by taping a small piece of paper over the flash. (My personal favorite.)
- stick a bad hard drive in the freezer to allow recovery of data. (I've done this and it works. But be warned - you only get one chance at it.)
Yes, that's an anti-static bag - the kind that computer parts and electronics come in.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Natalya Kashper's 7,200-square-foot $7 million loft featured in The New York Times.
How cool would it be to host the Superbowl here? Not a Superbowl party. The actual Superbowl.
The Way I see It #26 - Failure's hard, but success is far more dangerous. If you're successful at the wrong thing, the mix of praise and money and opportunity can lock you in forever. - Po Bronson, Author of stories, screenplays and nonfiction, including What Should I Do with My Life?
I don't know what to make of that, Po. Between your viewpoint and the fact that the cup is empty, I feel like gnawing off my own wrists.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Thursday. Fashion Week begins. Hundreds of designers descend on Manhattan. I’m nowhere near Bryant Park, but in a nod to élan, I wear a chic little coat to work, one of those shapely down styles that taper at the waist, along with narrow toed boots and leather gloves. I notice that. It’s. Really. Cold.
Friday. The temperature drops below freezing. Pointy toed footwear doesn’t accommodate socks very well. At lunch, I switch to a pair of clunky but spacious rubber boots, a temporary measure, I’m sure.
Saturday. I dump the cute coat and dig out a marshmallow circa 1994. Monochrome is back, which is consoling since the coat and everything else I’m wearing is brown. It’s also enormous, a down comforter with sleeves. Not a lean silhouette, but I wear it anyway. My arm is too thick to get through the strap of my Prada bag. I ditch the bag.
Sunday. The weekend shows emphasize layering. On my way to the coffee shop, I try draping the hood of my coat loosely over my head like some Russian princess. But it captures wind like a sail. I cinch the hood shut until fur trim encloses my face like tentacles on a star-nosed mole ─ a good look only if you’re Shackleton returning to Elephant Island with a rescue party. I sense I’m losing some kind of battle here.
Monday. At least four designers have featured elbow-length gloves. I am reduced to mittens, which encase all fingers in one fat flipper with a stiffly opposable thumb. They are red. I harbor not even a faint hope that they will read as ironic.
Tuesday. I’ve got crab claws for hands and tree stumps for feet. My arms hang away from my sides, and I tilt my head back just to see where I’m walking. I burrow through four waistbands to scratch an itch.
Wednesday. My clothes weigh more than Kate Moss.
Thursday. I don’t have style anymore. I don’t even have gender. I may not be human. I am Sasquatch. Peer deep into my fuzzy hood and you will find, not the pert nose and rosy lips of a fashionista but darting eyes and pointed teeth and the fetid breath of a carnivore.
Friday. Who cares? I ask myself bitterly. Not me. Not anymore. Because, finally, I’m warm.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
I went with Tom two years ago on an nine-segment mile run. This year I stayed home since only one of us needs to be Platinum Elite with Continental in order to get a decent chance at upgrades. And that, my friends, is how po' folks get to sit in first class. For those of you who are still confused, wired.com offers an outsider's look at mile running.
Here are the stats from Tom's trip:
- Route: BWI-IAH-SEA-IAH-RSW-IAH-SEA-EWR-BWI
- Total time: 60 hours
- Total segments: 8
- Total train rides: 4
- Total airports: 5
- Total miles: 21,932 (including elite bonus) (25,000 = free domestic trip)
- Total cost: $109 (after $100 voucher)
- Cents per mile: .004
- Upgrades to first class: 3
- Movies watched: 2
- Books read: 1
- Airline meals eaten: 6
When mile running, day becomes night and night becomes day. Sleep comes at your best opportunity either on the flight or the occasional airport that has a comfortable enough spot that you can actually lay flat. Few experience the pleasure of strolling a completely still airport at 3 a.m. and the relief of focusing completely on the journey at hand because there is no destination to worry about.
At 30,000 feet there are no phone calls, e-mails, demands. Deadlines wait until you land. When the captain announces the flight will be 5 hours and 30 minutes, you look out your window and see a plateau of clouds stretching for a seeming eternity tinted with red-orange at sunrise. What is there to do? Nothing! The bliss! Time to think; there is no better place to contemplate life.
Friday, February 13, 2009
(And, yes, the marker did smell. I was banished from the room while using it.)
Lots of neat projects. Check them all out here. Or post your own. The contest runs to February 23. If you miss that, Design*Sponge is having one in April.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
That's New York Times writer Penelope Green describing bloggers who mourned the loss of Domino magazine and who may represent "a larger, cultural movement, characterized by a girlish and fizzy optimism and an appetite for Jonathan Adler ceramics and Parsons tables from West Elm."
Love Adler and Parsons tables. Fizzy? Perhaps. Was not a big fan of Domino (I know. Heresy.), except for the web site. The print photos always looked gloomy for some reason. Not enough fizz?
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
This next one requires explanation. Why a wig head? I don't wear wigs. Maybe it reminded me of my grandma Ada, who had a collection of red wigs and wig heads. I let it sit for two days before bringing it home.
Now I have a place to display my mom's totally retro cool sunglasses. The chain drapes over your ears to create sunglasses and earrings. (Yes, I do wear them on occasion. No, the scarf is not hers.)
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
15 years ago today, Mr. Bromeliad climbed aboard a flight from Chicago to Indianapolis holding a bouquet of roses with a message tied on each rose. He got moved up to first class (got the free upgrades even back then!) and there started handing a rose to each passenger and showing them a picture of Girlfriend Bromeliad.
At the Indianapolis International Airport, one passenger after another deplaned and handed a rose to startled Girlfriend Bromeliad. (Back then, you could meet passengers at the gate.) Mr. Bromeliad gave her the last rose, which said "Will you marry me?"
Thus began our travels.
Mr. Bromeliad got me this bouquet today.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
It went from six degrees on Thursday to 60 degrees today. Everybody, even the locals, were grinning like tourists. The clouds were moving fast, opening up patches for the sun to shine through like a spotlight. If you look very closely, you'll see the Statue of Liberty behind the tree.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Big houses are like dark places out in the country - I grew up with them and now both make me nervous. I don't get it anymore. Don't people get lost in a big house? What's out there in the dark? Aren't they worried?
Mr. Bromeliad and I started out as small space dwellers with a 350-square foot studio some 15 years ago. We could stand in the bathroom, kitchen, living room and bedroom all at the same time. Two years ago we got our first place with a separate bedroom. We couldn't hear each other anymore. We lost things because there were multiple places to put them down. We followed each other from room to room so there was pretty much always two persons in one room and zero persons in the other.
Our new place is a rambling 470 square feet with a balcony. When the walls stop closing in, we hang out in the bathroom awhile.