katharine hearts her boyfriend

most people know my boyfriend as an actor. drunken tourists in Orlando have known him as one “zany” and “eccentric” character or another. few know him as a songwriter and even fewer know that he studied as a musician.

over the course of our many years together, he’s penned five songs for me. he’s recorded a couple and gave a performance of one that would make Tom Jones blush. under his Ghost Balloon moniker, he’s uploaded two of his songs. take a listen and see if you aren’t humming them in the shower tomorrow.

ghost balloon on MySpace

katharine hearts nostalgia

i just found an old blog of mine hidden somewhere in the internet wayback machine (don’t go Googling it, it will only make you feel old).

in these archives, i found the following amusing (to me, at least) bit of nonsense:

There’s a lampshade hanging on my hat rack as if to suggest that one returned from a party, the kind where people wind up wearing bits of home decor, and simply hung her new hat with no concern to its origin. Perhaps she huffed out of the party without so much as a “Good day, sir” to the host and failed to realize the object remained on her head. Perhaps it was a silly hat party, and being without a red ballcap, she flung a black lampshade atop her head with the hope she’d win the Silliest Hat contest.

Perhaps I should put aside all silly notions and pack the damn thing.

and a quote:

We’re intellectual opposites. I’m intellectual and you’re opposite.- Mae West

maybe next week i’ll invite you over to flip through my old yearbooks and brag about being the editor of my high school’s dinky newspaper (where the advisor’s biggest piece of advice was “people like to see their name in the paper.”).

katharine hearts the internet

i spend an awful lot of time looking at neat projects on the internet. and playing boggle on facebook. but mostly looking at projects. so much inspiration and so many things i want to try, my head darn near explodes. join me and see if your head doesn’t explode, too.

cool tiny houses constructed from business cards. a friend of mine had some of his business cards turned into a certain theme park castle and i’m tempted to build my own dream houses from a box of business cards i got a few lifetimes ago.

ffffound image bookmarking is a crapshoot sometimes, but it’s all a matter of style and taste. i’ve f-f-f-found a bit of inspiration after browsing through it one afternoon.

so many clean and simple designs at a little hut. she’s the one i’m most likely to rip off, though inadvertently and definitely not as nicely. i already tried her calendar with very little success.

oh! i also hear that my “official professional website” should be repaired and loading more regularly than in the past.  this should give me some motivation to update it. i’m in the boring process of converting my article PDFs from the old design to the new design, with proper typesetting and whatnot (and still slipping up here and there). hooray for the internet!

katharine is challenged

in november, i took on the challenge to learn ASL by the end of the year. as 2008 rapidly approaches, i’m proud to say that i’ve learn how to finger spell and still working on conversational signs and grammar. at this point, i can tell you what my name is and how i’m doing. i have not learned any curses yet (i’m sure when i do, i’ll use them all the time…mostly in frustrating classroom situations).

i’ve mentioned before that i do have a hearing impairment. it’s frustrating because it is an invisible disability and i can participate in enough conversations that people can easily forget about it. i got this book, Missed Connections, a few weeks ago and it’s really helped to ease some of the irritation i’ve had with myself. my disability is like a strict parent, putting limits on who i can and cannot talk to and where i can and cannot go. and it colours the way others may see me. i can be seen as dumb, aloof, rude, racist, dull, slow, and/or bitchy all because i don’t contribute to a conversation or respond quickly.

i haven’t yet found a clear, concise way to explain my condition to normal people. what i experience in daily interactions is a bit like a game show…sometimes it’s Wheel of Fortune and all the vowels are there, i just have to fill in the consonants. sometimes it’s the Match Game without the euphemisms. i can fake my way through most days if i’m surrounded by clear English-speaking people. if you’ve got a heavy accent and want to engage me in a conversation, brace yourself for a blank stare and half answers. know that i respect your culture and nationality, we just can’t have conversations on the bus or in the supermarket.

i spent a lot of years avoiding my disability and letting it push me into a social anxiety disorder. while i’m far from conquering the invisible beast, i am striving to work with it and getting more interested and involved in HOH (hard of hearing) advocacy. if you’re on the same party cruise with me or are close to someone with a hearing impairment, i recommend reading Missed Connections. it was published in 1999, so the information about hearing aid technology might be slightly outdated, but the experiences shared in the book still ring true (that’s not just your tinnitus acting up).

katharine hearts snow

a blizzard passed through our city today, leaving a sea of fluffy white snow to bounce around in. the backyard is undisturbed and pristine as we rarely use it. while attempting to shovel the porch and the walk, i made a big pile o’ snow in the corner of the porch to build a snowman. i need to take snowman building 101. i wound up with a mountain, so i decided to bring out some toys and take photos. please enjoy these “art shots” as i begin my on-again, off-again love affair with snow.

our neighbour’s washroom window.

domokun!

boris!

peppermint-flavoured snowtini!

katharine hearts making things pt. 2

because my family is afraid of the internet, i think it’s fairly safe for me to post images of things i’ve made for them. and if they have stumbled upon this, then they’ve got plenty of time to practice their surprised faces before Xmas, even though i won’t be around to see them.

i decided to go a more personalized (cheap) route for Christmas this year. i decorated some empty mint tins i’ve had sitting around for a while and made up some glass magnets for my three family members.

my niece is into dolphins now, so i made her some magnets using artwork of a tiled mosaic dolphin and decoupaged the top with a dolphin image i borrowed from the internet (thank you, internet).

my sister has a koala collection that could someday land her on Offbeat America, and now i’ve added to that collection once again. the tin is decoupaged with some sparkly textured paper i found at my neighbourhood craft shop and i added a little 2″x 2″ metal frame to the top. the tin is lined on the outside with black electrical tape (so classy!).

my mother is in love with Brad Paisley and has quite a few purple and/or paisley-patterned items in her possession. naturally, i combined them.

my mother, my sister and i were all born in years of the sheep under the Chinese zodiac, so i made these stuffed sheep and framed them. i haven’t made mine yet because i’m not sure whether to go argyle or black (black argyle maybe?).

katharine hearts peppermint pt.2

’tis the season to be minty. why peppermint tastiness is reserved for the winter is beyond me. there are so many other flavours that are more weather-appropriate. cinnamon and pine and all those warm fuzzy sensory activators. mint should be a solid summer staple. peppermint items should be delivered to my doorstep year-round by admirers.

i’ve shared my love for the C.O. Bigelow line of peppermint items, which are still delightful and provide an invigorating jolt to my nose hairs and skin. i’m also in love with Philosophy’s Empowermint, though i’ve yet to obtain any of those products. i’m currently working my way through the C.O. Bigelows and Philosophy’s Candy Cane body wash. at our sink, we have a dispenser of Common Sense Farm Fresh Mint (which smells like mouth wash but doesn’t have the sting of mouth wash). if i could have peppermint emanate out of my pores on an hourly basis, i would need to be physically restrained from smelling myself in public.

on the ice cream front, i am severely disappointed in my options. you absolutely cannot just add cheap peppermint candies to vanilla ice cream and call it peppermint ice cream. eating that is similar to rubbing peppermint lotion on your feet, then proceeding to bite your toenails. at least then you’re being productive.

similarly, i’m underwhelmed by the Hershey’s candy cane kisses. the white chocolate and peppermint combo doesn’t work for me. but i like my peppermint flavour to be pure and not obscured by other flavours. the Andes Peppermint Crunch is quite delightful as it retains the melty texture of a chocolate candy piece but is full of rich minty goodness. 

last night, i attempted to make this Icebox Peppermint Yule Log Cake. it turned out as a yule slab, then yule mush. my talents do not extend to the kitchen.

if someone wanted to give me specially made peppermint candies with an argyle pattern on them and packaged in a martini glass, i would gladly make that person my new best friend.