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Name: La Nina
  New Jersey

I'm a Jersey girl without the big hair or the accent (well, most of the time anyway), but with all of the bad driving and the penchant for weekly manicures.
Oh, and I'm an interior design student. That's how all of the weird terminology comes into play.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005
HOMESPUN - simple fabric with irregular, tightly twisted, uneven yarns giving a homemade appearance (from the Dezignare Interior Design Collective Glossary)

I am writing this entry from my living room. You have no idea what a relief this is for me.

Of course, I can’t seem to get Blogger to work very well at the moment. (Note: Blogger was sucking so very much that I actually wrote this yesterday in the wee hours of the morning. Whatever.) However, that is but a trifle. To simply be able to go to my desk, turn on a computer and type without having to worry about when my next work assignment might turn up or who’s approaching behind me (save for a certain city parking authority who acts as everyone’s Big Brother in order to ascertain when one will next be moving one’s automobile -- don’t ask) feels like such a luxury after I’ve been without for several months.

I'd love to be able to say that The Cow finally fixed my damn computer, but the fact of the matter is my parents took pity on me and gave me their old iMac. Boy am I grateful. I'm still working out the transition from PC to Mac operations, but I'm also typing this in the morning before I go to work. Not a bad tradeoff, that. This should easily hold me over before I move to the complete-with-computer-lab-and-exercise-room dorm in May. (The dorm is another story for another time I feel...)

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." LUKE, CHAPTER 2: 13, 14 (I'm not a huge Bible reader but this seemed superiorly appropriate even in my melodramaticism)

In other news, I made huge breakthroughs in sewing last night. So get this:
I sewed.
Three seams.
By myself.
Rock on.
I cut the fabric myself too. :) Ah, the things one can achieve in this life.

    posted by La Nina @ 5:07 PM   2 Comments

Friday, March 25, 2005
CRICKET - A small peaked saddle built behind the chimney or over an entry. Its purpose is to divert water to either side. (from the Creative Homeowner Glossary)

This week I have had an open house, a realtor meeting, some amazingly mind-blowing offers, some paperwork, some more paperwork to sign in triplicate, and an attorney review.

Meanwhile on Difficult by Design, an audio toggle of crickets chirping prepared to install itself in a manner inspired by JOSHUA from WarGames.

Cute little buggers, ain't they?
(Note to Wading readers: Not to worry, this is all of the bug stuff you're gonna see here. I'll leave the "Mansquito" content to the experts.)

This week, I went to a sewing class, had a drawing class cancelled, went to three kickboxing classes, and received my receipt for my grad school deposit in the mail.

Meanwhile on Difficult by Design, that same nasty program was itching to install a pop-up with a tumbleweed rolling across my blog skin.

Okay, so check out these lyrics for "Tumbling Tumbleweeds". Anybody have any idea how they "[pledge] their love to the ground"?

After all, that's what happens when you neglect your blog. At least that's what my parents told me. Then again I'm still explaning to them on a somewhat regular basis what a blog actually is so I heed their warnings with a grain of salt. But I digress.

This week, I learned that mortgage rates are going up, that I have very good timing indeed as far as this particular real estate transaction is concerned, and that pancetta makes a yummy (and healthier) substitute for bacon in spaghetti carbonara.

Meanwhile, on Difficult by Design, my blogroll had emitted a collective eyeroll due to my lack of posting.

Erm... that's not quite the type of eyeroll I had in mind. In other news, my boyfriend is excessively pleased with me right now for featuring The Undertaker on my blog.

The Undertaker should best go home, as this blog is not dead. However, I will admit that I have tricked a lot of people into thinking it is. My apologies for the deception.

Have a lovely holiday weekend.

    posted by La Nina @ 3:40 PM   5 Comments

Monday, March 21, 2005
Quiet Switch
QUIET SWITCH - Most common type of toggle, or snap, switch. It is quieter than older switches, but still makes some noise. (from the Creative Homeowner Glossary)

Wow, was my last entry really on March 9? Guess so. Y'all have probably assumed that I've dropped off the face of the earth, and you'd be half right. Anyway, sorry things have been a bit quiet on the blog front as of late and that I haven't been able to visit sites as much as I'd like to.

Be vewwy vewwy.... aw heck, you know the drill.

Now that I've been accepted at grad school, all of my energies have been focused on preparing for the big move to Boston, most notably the sale of my apartment.

I was prepared to do some major work on the place à la "Designed to Sell" including a bathtub refinishing job, a new refrigerator, and a closet organizing system. Not necessary, sayeth my realtor. "Just repaint that emerald green bathroom a respectable color," is my only command ("What on earth is it with her and green?!" the masses cry. I plead the fifth.). On one level, I was a little bummed that the improvements weren't happening so that I might practice my skills. On many, many other levels, I knew dang well that I didn't have the time, energy, or finances to do any of these things. Goodness knows I'll get my practice in soon enough.

Now for the awesomeness.

My apartment has been on the market since last Wednesday (the 16th). I've already had two offers, and we're holding out until tomorrow in order to see what else comes in before determining whose offer is the best. I am absolutely amazed that this is all happening in less than a week.

At this rate, it will be the end of May before I can blink. Wish me luck.

    posted by La Nina @ 4:42 PM   3 Comments

Wednesday, March 09, 2005
DEFECT - An abnormality in a piece of lumber that lowers its strength and commercial value such as a check or knot. (From the Glossary)

March 9, 2005

Michael "Rhymes With" Swell
CEO, Swell Computer Corp.
Some Address
Who the Hell Knows Where

Soon to be replaced by a 30 year-old brunette woman.

Dear Mr. Swell:

My name is La Nina and The Cow* broke my heart.

It was a two year relationship that started off well enough. We worked well together and I was happy. As far as I was concerned, I had the world in my apartment.

However, it was a matter of time before I started experiencing the shut-downs during which all communication would simply stop. I tried so desperately to make things work. I made no less than twenty attempts to get things fixed as I cajoled, kowtowed, and cried in order to facilitate some sort of change. Nothing happened. Then, after over two months of effort on my part, it was agreed (albeit reluctantly on The Cow's part) that there was a serious problem, and The Cow was sent off to rehab.

Upon The Cow's return I saw absolutely no evidence of a conversion, despite the money spent on treatment. My frustration level was at an all-time high as I observed the useless pile of junk in my living room. How could the doctors determine that The Cow as eligible for release? Did they not do any observations or run any tests? And now that everything was in shambles, what on earth was there left for me to do?

Well, I had little choice but to let go of all of the time and effort and heart I'd invested into this relationship, and kicked "The King of Freeze" to the curb.

So now I turn to you.

I'm looking for a new relationship, a long-term partnership if you will. No more of the pleading late-night phone calls. No more anger and frustration. Just a happy, peaceful co-existence together filled with learning.

Can Swell offer me any assistance in achieving my goal?

I eagerly await your reply. Until then I remain an eternally optimistic

Yours truly,

La Nina

*also known as something rhyming with "freightway"

(Thanks to p-dookie for supplying the idea to this entry)

    posted by La Nina @ 4:18 PM   7 Comments

Monday, March 07, 2005
SCHOOL - A group of artists whose style demonstrates a common origin or influence. (From the ArtLex Visual Art Dictionary)

Today I found out that I have been accepted by my first choice university master's program for interior design. I can currently be seen Riverdancing in my cubicle.

I'm mostly excited that I will be in a learning environment with students from different backgrounds...

Big changes are ahead. First of all, said program is in Boston. Hmmm.... how on earth did that happen? To be fair, my research did indicate that considering my background -- as in "never took an art class in my life until last week" yet currently hold a "bachelor's degree" -- the programs in Boston were much better suited to my needs than the ones I researched here. So fortunate coincidence that.

The change holds more impact, however, when coupled with the fact that I start at the beginning of June. Yes, that's right. June. I will be spending the next 13 weeks scrambling in order to sell my apartment and prepare to move.

I assume that at the end of that 13 weeks you will be able to find me by following the trail of hair clumps which I have torn from my head. But in the meantime.... MACARENA, BABY!

    posted by La Nina @ 5:36 PM   18 Comments

Friday, March 04, 2005
Drawing Room
DRAWING-ROOM - A room appropriated for the reception of company; a room to which company withdraws from the dining room. (from

So I haven't been writing much lately. Well, what with a lot of things going on at work and (still) no working computer at home, it's been a little tough. At least The Cow (links provided in the case you feel the need to torture yourself with the whole sordid story) has finally sent me my computer tower back and once I pick it up from UPS and have Ryan help me reinstall it I may be back in business. Only took three months. Impressive. Not.

One of the things that's been keeping me busy is the drawing class I just started. When I start my master's program I'm going to be required to take a bunch of foundation art courses and I figured I'd get a leg up on things. So I signed up for an adult education course for drawing and sketching, overdid things on the supply shopping, and arrived ready to go on Wednesday night.

The first thing our instructor asks us to do? A self-portrait. Golly, how intimidating is that? However, I came to learn, and cheerfully got to work with my charcoal pencil.

Okay, so I know I'm a beginner and all, but I don't think that the end result looks anything like me....

I've always admired my angular, masculine features...

UPDATE: I didn't draw that picture. I found it in a Google search as part of what was obviously a really bad joke -- i.e. I really don't look anything like that. Sorry I confused some people. As soon as I find a scanner, I'll put up some of my slightly less skilled drawings.

Turns out that we're not meant to do a realistic portrayal, so that lovely little number was a write-off anyway. Compliance with the assignment meant to do this sucker blind -- as in do not look at your sketchpad at all -- and use lines (not shading) to create the details and contours of your face. And apparently the less your portrait resembles a face, the better. Bizarro concept to get your head around, kinda like when Claire had to draw a perfect circle freehand on "Six Feet Under".

Those of us who didn't bring mirrors with us (I swear to God, I didn't see that on the supplies list) got the easy way out and got to draw our hands instead. By the end of the hour, my hand had more liver spots and arthritic joints than your run-of-the-mill octegenarian.

So maybe I'm not quite at Leo's level yet. I think I'm okay with that somehow. Drawing Kate Winslet nude is not on my to do list, stunning as she is.

But hey, I'm still learning, and I'm enjoying the process. And once I have all of this down, drawing furniture arrangements will be cake.

    posted by La Nina @ 1:48 PM   7 Comments