Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A is for ...

Arts and Crafts, and not the fun time we had at summer camp. Actually, I've never been to summer camp, and I sometimes feel like I missed out on a crucial part of early childhood development. Anyway, Arts and Crafts in terms of style, in terms of decorating, in terms of William Morris and the like. I spent a few years emerged in the Arts and Crafts movement: its contributors, its history, its residual effect.

Acute angles. No, really, me--a self-proclaimed hater of math and geometry--I like acute angles. I think, though, I just like the word "acute" more than anything else. I remember learning about acute angles way back in elementary/middle school. My teacher explained acute angles as being "a cute angle--you know, it's littler...", and here he'd pinch his thumb and forefinger together, as if he was crushing my head... It wasn't until a while later (about 6 years, actually) that I realized acute didn't necessarily mean "a cute" anything, but instead was meant to define a degree of severity. Take, for instance, when I was diagnosed with acute Hashimoto hypothyroidism. I just thought it meant I had "a cute" disorder. No, for real.

Atwood, as in Margaret. She's my favorite author.

Attic space. Our rowhouse is rare--at least for the immediate neighborhood. Whereas the other places have the flat, sloping roofs, we've got about a 3 foot wide crawl space the runs along the perimeter of our roof. This may not sound like much, but the space made it a wee bit easier to rewire our bathroom and our spare bedroom. It'll also make it easier to rewire our study and master bedroom, when the time comes. Unfortunately, that time will have to wait. The attic space gets stuffy, steamy hot in the dead of winter--if Mike crawls up there any time between now and November, he'll likely lose about 15 pounds in sweat before expiring forever. Funny fact: when we rewired the bathroom, Mike thought it would be wise to wire and light up the attic space. Now, this makes sense--it's a pain in the ass to carry a flashlight and trail an extension cord as you scuttle on your belly in what amounts to a space the size of a midget's MRI tunnel. But, I didn't quite share in Mike's joy as he stood at the subpanel, just underneath the attic space access hole and flicked the light switch off and on: "Lights!!! In the attic!!!" BUT when we had a contractor out to estimate the cost of installing central air, that guy had the same look of glee on his face when I showed him that we had lights in the attic. Now, I can only imagine what the neighbors think when they see a soft glow coming from under our eaves...

Apples, of course. I've long been a fan of the apple but from afar. I cannot neatly eat an apple without employing the use of a knife, and if you're going to slice your apple, you might as well spread some peanut butter on it, too. But, as I move further away from being a girly-girl and worrying about a little bit of apple-drool on my lunch hour, I've taken the apple back into my food fold. I've also found ways to incorporate the apple outside of a just being a healthy snack. I've made apple cranberry relish, I've roasted apple slices to use as a side dish, I've diced apples and tossed them into a spinach salad... Raw apples give salads just enough crunch while roasted apple slices make for a grown-up version of applesauce. The relish... well that's good on top of pork chops AND in oatmeal.

Andalusia. It's a fun word to say. It's a beautiful region of Spain that I'd love to visit one day. Like most girls, growing up I wanted a horse. But, I was pretty specific about what kind of horse. A pinto or a palamino wouldn't do. No, I wanted an Andalusian pony. I never got one, but I did finally get over that (about a year ago...). Finally, there's this, essentially in my backyard.

Atlantic Ocean. I've never lived more than two hours away from the Atlantic Ocean. I've spent months of summer vacation down the shore. I've flown over the vast grey sea, I've marveled at the expansiveness of the water and I've delighted in the small sucking sounds the sand makes around my feet as the waves roll in and out. I remember, vaguely, riding down to the shore with a friend of my mother's and playing all day in the surf and sand. I remember the first weekend trip Mike and I took to the shore (double A: Avalon!!!). I remember the early morning drive we took to watch the sunrise over the Atlantic on the morning he proposed. I remember spending 23 hours in Hatteras as Hurricane Bonnie came up the coast and made a beeline for the Cape, and I watched the ocean and was in awe of the water's power. Home, for me, will always be within a few miles of the Atlantic.

Attention--to detail. I mean, not that I don't mind a little attention on me, but when it comes down to it, Mike and I operate like this: he does most of the heavy duty stuff and I do the detail work. Now, occasionally we'll switch it up or double it up, but I tend to have the patience for the details and Mike... well, he tends to not.

Air conditioning, or central air... We've talked about having a high velocity system installed in our 1920s rowhouse for a few years. But, we're actually very close to having this happen. When we were first married and shopping for apartments, I was abolsutely firm on a place having central air. After all, how is one expected to live if one's thighs are sticking together because of the humidity? PREposterous! But, the charm of our house outweighed the prospect of hot summers and the necessity for air conditioning dissolved. It wasn't that we were trying out for the next Great American Hippie Idol or anything like that... It's just, well, look:

How can you say no to a house like that, even without AC?

And lastly, Australia. It's was the origin for Oceanic Air flight 815. Need I say more?

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