Monday, June 12, 2006

The Only Constant in Life IS Change

Well, Flock Hall isn't what it used to be.... P-Squidly has moved on to live with "other" people. Ben is up at Christian youth camp for the rest of the summer and has another place already lined up for the Fall. Linus will not be staying after the end of summer, and Tessa and I will be looking for a new place in August as well.

So over the summer it will be Linus, Tessa, and I with some visits from Ben, when he is in town for the weekend, or Squid, when she happens to pop on by. Also, I may be getting a job in northern Nevada which would have me gone for a good 20 days out of a month (blocks of 10 days at a time).

No. It is for certain that Flock Hall has seen better days. Ajax's shreeks and yacks sound out hollow down the hallway these days, and the gold-fish just don't seem to be as excited when I feed them in the morning, or late afternoon when I get up. Even the kitchen table has shrunk... we just don't need the extra room anymore.

Brittany's room being vacant though has provided us with a music room and an easier route to our roof/"porch". And the summer allows for more Bar-B-Ques, and sing alongs out on the roof. But much has changed either way. With the remainder of the house all having degrees and bigger plans for the future there'e just no need to slum it down by the tracks anymore.

But Flock Hall will always have a special place in my heart. I will always remember the time spent down here on North 2nd Street. And I'm sure that the others will too. But until then, us here at Flock Hall have a summer ahead of us and a lot of fun still to be had.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Flock Hall Lives

Despite the recent silence here, Flock Hall is alive and well. We are all taking finals and most of us are graduating. It is a time of uncertainty, as none of us really know where we are headed. The next phase of life is unclear, but it does look like all but one of the housemates will be staying on until the end of August. We will have summer adventures! And I will make sure they are refcorded here for posterity...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

New Technology

The level of gadgetry at Flock hall has become quite high of late. My goo-dispensing shaver is not the only new toy in the house :

Silicone bakeware - loaf and cake pans, muffin tins, Zoidburgs (oven mits), spatulas, and hot pads, all made of flexible rubbery stuff, nonstick, and able to handle 650 degree temperatures. This stuff really seems like magic - it's the elven cookware of the new millenium.

Laptops - the house is suddenly lousy with them. With Squid and I getting laptops as gifts, everyone in the house now has one but Ben. Poor, technologically disadvantaged Ben*. In fact, even guests like Gina and Christin have laptops - we may make it mandatory for all visitors in the near future. Mine is the only Mac, and I feel the jealous eyes upon me...
*Ben has a new desktop system, so it's not all bad.

Cable TV - the installer is coming on Friday! I have mixed emotions about letting the one-eyed monster into our home, but I feel very cut off from the world without it. We each have our favorite shows - I want to watch Black Books and other British comedies, Mark wants to see The Daily Show, for Britt it's The L Word, Tessa wants Food Network, and Ben is tired of trying to unscramble those cable smut channels by hand. As sad as this may sound, I think it might bring us together more as well. It may serve as the flickering campfire our tribe huddles around in the cold winter months.

Cell phones - we all have them, and mine just got much sexier (see Motorola Razor V3 above). I am not nearly hip enough for this phone. It's so slick - when I pull it out, everyone just assumes I stole it.

My last phone was in the habit of shutting itself off randomly, so I went to see about a replacement. I am somewhat picky about phones; I have several old injuries that make using a phone difficult for me. Due to an accident many years ago, I only hear well in my left ear. Unfortunately, my left elbow and shoulder have suffered a few injuries that make it hard for me to hold a phone to my left ear for long periods of time, so a headset is mandatory for any call lasting more than about five minutes. I have had limited success with headsets - I am hard on them, as I usually manage to catch the wire on something and rip them off my head. I had my last phone for eleven months, and in that time I went through 4 headsets. I am hoping that a wireless headset is the answer. Hence the need for a bluetooth phone like the Razor, and this Motorola bluetooth headset...

When I'm wearing it, it should look something like this...

As I type this on my iBook G4, I am chatting with a friend using my bluetooth headset and munching a piece of bread that Mark baked in silicone loaf pans. Soon, I'll be doing all of that while watching the SciFi channel. If only my death ray were operational, my life would be complete...

Friday, January 13, 2006

Clean Shave

This is my new razor - the Norelco 7735X Cool Skin Rechargeable Cordless Razor, to be exact. After asking unsuccessfully for a razor that can be taken into the shower for three Christmases now, I finally just broke down and bought one for myself. It set me back about $100, but it was worth it. It has these cartridges full of goo

that oozes out on the head while you shave. It sounds like a silly gimmick, but I can honestly say that this is the closest shave I have ever managed to give myself with an electric shaver, and it's better in most respects than what usually results from using a regular razor. In fact, I'd say that my skin has only felt this smooth on two other occassions in my adult life - once when I got a shave from a Phillipino barber (a highly recommended treat for your face), and once when I singed off all my facial hair lighting a propane grill (a not so highly recommended treat for your friends, who will laugh themselves sick at your eyebrowless expense).

This has only the tiniest, most tangential, link to the theme of this blog, but where else am I going to rave about this new toy? It is linked to our experiement in communal living only because the replacement packets of goo hang in the shower that everyone uses. I realize that some of the inmates of Flock Hall might be tempted to open said packets and use the contents as conditioner, moisturizer, lubricant, toothpaste, spermicide, piercing cleaner, labia polish, or a light snack, but please try to refrain - the goo is kind of pricey, and doesn't taste good at all.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Papal Fortress

We didn't get much snow in North Carolina when I was a kid, so instead of snowballs, we threw other stuff at each other. Painful, messy stuff like unripe persimmons and sap-covered green pine cones that would stick in your hair. These missiles called for serious protection, so we became serious fort builders. We had a big wood pile in our backyard that always served as one wall, and then my friends and I improvised the other three. The best was the time we found huge pallets and made a bunker with a roof. It was almost safe. I still have a small scar on my scalp from when it collapsed under the combined weight of John Lusk and Scotty Miller... man, were they fat.

These days, the weapons have changed. It's mostly lightsabers in the hallway, or the occassional towel snapping battle in the kitchen, but the need for a sound fortress into which one can retreat remains. I don't know, maybe it's the male version of that nesting urge that women get. At any rate, I gave in to my need for a fort this past weekend, and constructed my very own ghetto fabulous Fortress of Solitude (and it's really quite cool, despite the fact that I stole the name from Superman, who is totally lame).

The bed is 64" high, which leaves ample room underneath for my "lair"...

As Captain Corley put it, "My fortress brings all the kids to the yard..."

(Note: Fuck-proof brackets by Strong Soviet Mother Inc.)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

My Bread

Tessa got me a Cooking With Honey cookbook, and as some of you know, but probably not that many, I really enjoy honey. Also, when I was living with Benny K and Kit we invested in a gi-normous bag of organic cracked wheat. So I put two and two together (and made four... ha ha ha) and made some bread (we already had the yeast too).

It seems to have been a hit so far, it was only my first batch, so we'll see how the second batch goes and work from there. Ben (el capitan) has already suggested that I get a booth down at the Farmer's Market, could be fun.

Well, come on over for a slice of bread some day, later.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Kitchen's Alive!!!!!

For the past three to four weeks now I have been the one to clean up the week's worth of dishes in the kitchen. I'm not complaining or anything, but rather making some interesting observations.

The Kitchen, being cleaned the weekend (or friday) before gets progressively worse until all of the glassware and silverware have all been completely used up and are found within every possible room and corner in the house. The kitchen table is full of the past week's mail and assorted lunches.... and the living room is where you go to collect the dirty dishes that have not migrated to the kitchen sink yet.

I start by sorting the dishes into piles of similar type on the kitchen table, we don't have a dish washer, but we do have two sinks and a drying rack. The silverware and utensils go into one of the sinks to soak. and I proceed to wash some and then dry some... and then wash some and then dry some... and then wash some and then dry some, and then wash and dry, and then wash and then dry... (repeat as necessary).

It is not as though no one in the house never does dishes, it's just that they a) do them poorly, or b) don't dry them, they just fill up the drying rack and call it done. No one bothers to collect dishes and take them to the sink or even clean off the table from time to time. But as the monks at Mt. Michael taught me, "drying is half the dishes." So in order to claim that I did the dishes I would need to wash and dry the dishes, multiple times even.... what a novel concept one might say... well, I do what I can.

During this weekly rite i grab the stereo out of the living room and put it atop the frig/microwave combo so that only the male population of the house can reach it. This ensures that I get to listen to whatever I want to listen to as I wash AND dry the dishes (i emphasize this so that it might be engrained into the subconsciousness of my flatmates). I also clean the stove-top, the counters, and the table, as well as sweep and mop the floors. It has become a very meditative and envigoring assignment.

For a while I thought that the house was just too lazy to get the dishes done, but now i realize that people are never home, and that when they are home they are sleeping, rushing to leave, or other. I am glad to live in such an affordable place which such wonderful people, but sometimes I wish that the house was cleaner more often.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Welcome Ajax!

The Flock has a new member!

Ajax is an African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). His age is unknown, but he is probably about 3-4 years old. He came from a rather strange environment, where he received a very good diet, but he had to work for every bite. His previous owner didn't believe in freefeeding, so the birds (their were 7 Greys living in this house) had water in their cages, but they had to do tricks for all of their food. Although the birds were all very tame, none of them talk - which is very odd for Greys. Most of the tricks were cued by hand gestures, and so very little conversation was going on between the birds and the human. I think the constant working for food made them focus very hard on physical behaviors, and not much on mimicking sounds.

His previous owner also didn't offer the birds much in the way of toys, because they were out of their cages all the time. In his new cage, he has a lot of toys, and he is slowly learning how to play with them. He woke me up today by ringing a bell toy - which was very cute, except that it happened at about 6:15 this morning.

I'll post more about his progress along the way.

Monday, October 24, 2005

An Odd Weekend

It was certainly indeed an odd weekend. Our ring leader His Sinfullness went out on the road to Columbus and left us to our own devious deeds. Friday wasn't bad most of the house went to a costume party down in Colorado at our friend Rachel's house. I woke to an empty house Saturday morning and after came home to an empty house. Now in a house that normally at least has one other person in it this was just creepy. Tessa and Gina took off to Boulder to go see Dar Williams live that I sent them to, and Ben and Mark were at the first annual Home Grown Drag Show in town. Both shows were 21+ so I, alas, could not attend. I stayed home Saturday night and finally got used to the creek of the doors and floors, reminding myself that really the ninja's would not attack while Linus was away. I enjoyed having the entire living room to myself being able to play music, watch what ever movie I wanted and just relaxing.

Maybe you guys could plan another weekend away and I could have the house to myself for the entire weekend, just imagine what fun I could have ;) Tomorrow Linus will come home and the world as we now will go back to normal, and I am kinda excited about that.

Monday, October 17, 2005

To whomever cleaned the bath tub and kitchen today - thanks!

Like a miracle, the bath tub became cleaner overnight. There was this spot, on the left side near the middle, that wouldn't come clean - but today it was gone. My first reaction was that Tess probably did it, but that explanation fails to satisfy my innate sense of wonder. Perhaps it is because I have read too much Irish folklore, but I want to believe that there is a sparkling and magical Otherworld, which intersects our own. The little people are all around us, and we need only to put aside all the trappings of adulthood, and return to our childlike selves to be able to see them.

I imagine going to the bathroom some early morning and as I draw near the door I hear small voices, singing the sort of jolly songs that make work go faster. I peek inside and find a tiny gnome sleeping by the sink with his hat over his eyes, and his little bucket and mop propped against the cotton swabs. I'd pull back the shower curtain slowly and quietly, to see his little friends scrubbing the tub, rapelling with detal floss down the walls of the shower stall, and polishing the chrome spigot with some magical cleanser that only the wee ones know the secret of making.

After reveling in this rare sight for a bit, I'd gently pick up the one on the vanity, and shake him awake. Once he had a moment to rub the sand from his eyes, I'd lean in so close that I'd be able to see the tiny flower in the buttonhole of his wee little lapel, and I'd say...


*DISCLAIMER* (to keep the hippy-pagans of the Flock happy...)
No Wee People were harmed in the making of this post.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

some observations

As Fall proceeds to wax and wane, as temperature and snow come and go... us at Flock Hall find new patterns and routines. Linus no longer can fly kites as often he used to be able. The windows stay closed for longer periods of time, and the dishes get done less and less. Work, school, and play have their appropriate spaces and soon enough the holidays will be upon us with their expectations and weighty situations.

But, until then... I will spend my time amongst the autumn leaves and crisp breeze of the surrounding season. I will soak in the light and glow of the autumn sun and pray for life to linger for but a little longer, before sleep.

Friday, September 30, 2005

yay for fall

i have been dreading the arrival of fall for the past month or so... if you have ever experienced seasons in wyoming you know that this dread is not premature... but now that the bite is in the air and the leaves are changing the dread has abated, though i am sure that not all of my roommates share this sentiment. i think for me it is the smells that made the transition more peaceful. the smells inside the house will be changing too, with fall comes the need to close the windows due to the chill. no fresh air means stronger boy smells, not always a good thing, and there is only really me to counter that smell (sorry britt, but you don't normally smell like a girl). i am a little trepidatious about this change... hopefully i will find it as painless as the transition to fall has been...

Monday, September 26, 2005

In the Arms of Comfort

Slowly, the living room has become a place of ever increasing fung shooy-ness. The Comfy Throne has migrated from Tessa and I's room and mingles with the other furniture. And the entire room seems to envelop one's senses as one might wrap up in a blanket after a day out in the harsh wind.

It is as if a gypsy caravan, carrying plush pillows, decadent hangings, plump cushions and warm blankets has arrived in our living room and lain all comfiness about the room. I find myself revelling in wonderful delight of such a place that I spend hours just soaking in the room.

It has also become a place of study, soft music playing, quiet conversation and daily meditation. The afternoon light allows a space for a soul to breathe, as evening provides a more somber environment for a good book or a film among friends.

The living room is an enchanted place, a place to unwind, relax, and step back from life for a while. I'll see you all there soon...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Blog Housekeeping

Just a brief update - I added a verification step to our comments because I deleted four pieces of "comment spam" from Tessa's lovely post this morning. When you comment in the future, you'll see this sort of thingy...