Lindsay Harris-Friel

I write plays, make puppets, clean up messes, take in strays, eat and drink and curse too much, and laugh too loudly.

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Ted and I were sorting a bedroom. I found a fancy box of fancy drawer liners.

ME: Oh, Jesus, why?

TED: What is it?

ME: Drawer liners.

TED: What are drawer liners?

ME: they're big pieces of paper that you put in your drawers to keep your clothes clean. 

TED: Define... "drawers." 

Of course, I pulled out the waistband of my pants and shoved the whole box in. 

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I pictured this entire thing and it made me very happy.
Hahahahaha!

You know, if you wrote up these anecdotes, you could have a career like David Sedaris.
 

Mo Magee is the world’s sweetest cat. She is blacker than Dale Cooper’s favorite coffee, and very hard to photograph. 

Fortunately, she likes being in full sunlight.

She isn’t much of a lap cat. She follows me around and hangs out nearby, generally. She only likes to sit on my lap if I’m working at a desk. When I lie down for the night, that’s when the real demonstration of affection begins. 

She dances around in circles on my stomach and chest for a good fifteen or 20 minutes, banging her head into my hands. There will be no knitting, reading, or, God forbid, sleeping, until her needs are satisfied. I’ve cultivated a petting routine that starts off assertive enough to keep her attention, with lots of head scratching, then gradually becomes more and more gentle, until she curls up and falls asleep on my belly. 

The tragic flaw in all of this is that five minutes after she’s finally dozed off, I have a full bladder. 

I OWNZ U, HOOMAN. 

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So black.
Black is beautiful.
So pretty!
Ain't she the cutest?
Black cats are the best. (don't tell my other cats)
Oh my Gawd, black cats. From what I understand, black fur is a dominant trait. Black cats must be the genetic mix of all the best traits.

As I type this, Thrym, King of Jotunheim, our giant tabby striped tiger boss, just stalked into the room, so, yeah, DON'T MENTION BLACK CAT LOVE.
Turd Ferguson.
I hope he doesn't live up to his other name. I've got him shut up in the back bedroom while the plumber is working.
Things that sound dirty but aren't:
"I've got him shut up in the back bedroom while the plumber is working."

AWWW YEAAAH.
"And the dog is on a short leash."
 

warmer temperatures are intoxicating. 

Episode 7 is almost finished dialogue assembly. 

I made this for lunch and FUCK YEAH:

https://www.thugkitchen.com/roasted_chickpea_broccoli_burrito


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I am a fan of that writing style.
Not overdone, just delightfully casual and confident.
This book & website etc. were pretty controversial for a bit, because people felt that the authors, as white vegans, should not be appropriating African-American Vernacular English and using the word "thug."
I find this argument as ridiculous as saying "all African Americans are thugs who curse all the time."

I *first* found this web site when Terry Brennan, the artistic director of Tribe of Fools, posted something from it on his facebook page. Terry is super South Philly, though he's originally from Nebraska. At the time, I think, I was at Temple, and damn near everyone I knew talked like this (i.e., "chop up the garlic real small but save that shit till later," etc).

I still love it, bought the book, have not tried all of the recipes, yet.
I just made it, and it was very good, indeed. Mango salsa and thai peanut sauce are nice as condiments, although the peanut sauce is not exactly calorie-friendly! Thanks for the link.
Scott Stevens 4/14edited
Did you really? YAY!
Yeah, I don't think their focus is on calories at all. Their focus is on eating flavorful and plant-based food. They also have a lot of messages in their book and web site that seem to be things like, "Go to the gym, stay in the parking lot, lift cars, sign autographs, you're welcome." It seems to be about unapologetically eating well and eating hearty.
For what it's worth: If you like this recipe, and you want to save a step without sacrificing flavor, Penzey's Tandoori Spice Blend has almost all of the same spices used in this recipe, with the exception of chili powder.
https://www.penzeys.com/catalog/product.aspx?catalog=24&product=114
Merci bien!
OH. One other thing. Smoke flavoring. The recipe doesn't call for it, but add it.
 

Maybe some of you can help me out with this. 

I like the book A Wrinkle In Time, and I appreciate how the movie is a little inescapeable right now. I think this is a good thing. I will take Ted to see it when we can swing it and showings are less crowded. 

Spoilers for A Wrinkle In Time (the book, not the movie) follow. 

There is an obstacle in my heart about this story. The first time I read it (I might have been seven or so), I had to stop when they described Calvin O'Keefe's mother. It made me so upset that I cried uncontrollably, and I couldn't finish the book for years. Calvin's mother is described early on. She's described as a miserable woman with a messy house. The point of having her this way is that Calvin wouldn't be missed if he takes off on an adventure with the Murry family. Right? She's too busy and unhappy to show up banging on the door, saying, "My son wasn't home in time for dinner, where is he?" One more kid in that house wouldn't be missed, right? I felt so sorry for her, so angry that she was left alone, forgotten, that it distracted me from everything else. 

I don't have a copy of A Wrinkle In Time around to refer to, only my shoddy memory of the book. The first time I read it, I knew that there was a very sad mom in the book, it upset me, and I moved on to something else. The second time I read it, I grudgingly finished the book, liking many aspects of the story, but not fully understanding or cherishing it. I think I moved back to the Narnia series, and then there were too many paperbacks lying around that weren't going to read themselves, so Stephen King was up next, and then John Lennon had a date with destiny, so I was obsessing about music for a while. 

What bothered me was, "why should I try to wrap my head around all of these heavy duty scientific concepts when you can't seem to balance the fact that you're chasing after a poor imprisoned daddy, but nobody seems to care about a poor imprisoned mommy, staring sadly into a sink full of dirty dishes?" 

I wish I could remember the wording of the passage describing Calvin O'Keefe's mother. All I remember was that it was extremely clear to me that this was a woman with a strong and serious mental illness characterized by depression. I'm shedding tears right now, just thinking about it. I mentioned it to other people who love that book, and they've said, "well, yeah, she's kind of a throwaway character." 

a) there is no such thing as a throwaway character. everything in your story is part of its foundation, otherwise get rid of it. if it's still there when it's published, it's important.

b) HAVE YOU NOT READ THIS DESCRIPTION???

I haven't read any of the other books in the series, because I have no proof that Calvin's Mother is saved, or that her imprisonment is justified. It's just that she's a "bad person," and Calvin should totally leave her to go play Shining Time Station with the Murrys. Did anything ever happen with her? 

The last time I read this, I was babysitting. There was a thunderstorm, and a power failure. I picked through the bookshelves with a flashlight, and then sat in my young charge's bedroom, reading A Wrinkle In Time by candlelight, accompanied by rain on the windows and the susurration of the child's breathing as he slept. It was the perfect way to read it. However, I had to take a deep breath, swallow my pride, read the passage about Calvin's mom, and store it for later, knowing that I would deal with those feelings and maybe write something about her in the future. 

I guess I'm going to have to deal with this. I'm really worried about Calvin's mother. On the other hand, maybe she and Calvin's stuffed tiger escaped and went sledding. 

EDITED TO ADD:

Editing editing editing editing editing editing editing Jarnsaxa Rising. 

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Calvin's mother's story is thoroughly contextualized in the third book of the series, as I recall. No spoilers, but...you may want to read the story at least that far...
GOOD. I feel much better now.
I do not disagree with this post at
All, and need to re-read the series.
Rabbit 3/18
Now I’m really curious. I think I’d better re-read AWIT as quickly as possible, and get started on the rest.
The point of Calvin's mother and his general home life in the first book I think isn't to give Calvin a ready excuse for being away and not noticed. It's meant to point out that one can feel an outcast even in ones own home. Calvin's home life is one of poverty and pain, and he marvels at the warm support Meg receives from her family--even the very "normal" twins whom Meg envys in moments of self-loathing. Another reason for Mrs. O'Keefe is to comment on and also criticize an aspect of rural New England life: how grinding poverty can be so much a part of the fabric of life (the O'Keefes are a village family going back generations) that no one even notices or expects anything about that to change.

Calvin's poverty is again highlighted in the second book, when we also learn more about the humanity of Mr. Jenkins, the school principal (who in the first book is only outlined in a stereotypical fashion both different and the same as Calvin's mother). And in book three, we learn Mrs. O'Keefe's back story, how she came to be who she was. It's heartbreaking and completely worth reading.

For whatever it's worth, Calvin's mother is completely edited from the movie, and Calvin's difficult home life is reduced to an upper-middle-class father berating him for his poor grades. It's a shocking mis-read of the novel in my opinion, especially by a director who chose to place the movie in Los Angeles and seemed so determined to address issues of race.
Oh, don't spoil it for me! You've really whetted my appetite for the next two books.
Oh dear. Sorry. I have so many thoughts about the movie, it sometimes leaks out around the edges. Do let me know when you've seen the movie; would love a discussion about it.
 

Never underestimate the power of a hot bath. 

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I would never do that. Takes a lot of joules to heat all that water.
I have a theory, but I’m not sure how to test it.

My theory is that 20-30 minutes of brisk exercise, followed by a hot bath and a glass of wine (or ONE alcoholic beverage to which you are not allergic) provides the same amount of relaxation as smoking a joint.

By “joint,” I mean, marijuana with no special additives, GMOs, etc. I mean the basic green stuff the baby boomers smoked when they wanted to listen to Nina Simone or Jerry Garcia, and not worry about Nixon.

I don’t think this would have the same pain relief results, particularly for severe pain sufferers, and it wouldn’t have the biochemical effects that medical marijuana studies have shown. I don’t know how you’d test it, other than throwing juggling sandbags at the relaxed participants and yelling, “Think fast!” to see what happens.

But if I could get grant money to test this, you’re damn right I’d try.
Ummm... I offer to be part of the test group.
(Imagines throwing juggling beanbags at extremely relaxed Matt)
I will have to ensure that my bladder is very empty, I’ll laugh so hard.
Yeah. I could see that.
My super-ego is so mad at my id right now. It’s damn near 1 am and I stayed up too late knitting and listening to Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince. But I have a sweater back & shoulder to show for it.
I want that.
Rabbit 2/22
I hate publicly talking about the joy of a hot baths, because I know all the Moms I know can't get one without their kids coming in and yelling, "YAY! SPLASH ZONE!" But doooooood, 20 minutes in a tub of hot water, even if you have your knees up to your nose (in my case: I think I've been in one tub that fits me, ever), is worth it.
"I think I've been in one tub that fits me, ever"

I know that pain well. VERY well.
Are you kidding!? GET YOU THEM BATHS! I will never begrudge anyone luxurious soakies. And if I had my way, I’d rip out all built in tubs and replace with deep clawfoots (or nice big, comfy step ins for those with acessibility issues.)
Rabbit 2/22
 

I finally finished knitting a hat for winter. 

The pattern is Half Caf Hat by Lion Brand, and the yarn is Landscapes in Volcano, also by Lion Brand. I decided to shelve my usual yarn snobbery (it’s 100% acrylic) so I could have a hat, FFS. 

The pattern results in a giant bonnet, and my noggin is not a small one. The first try resulted in a hat that would fit a T. Rex. For this one, I used size 7 needles instead of 10, and I wish I’d had 68 or 66 stitches around instead of 72. 

But it’s finished, and I love it. 

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You've got a secret now, honey, and though you'd never sink as low as him, you could blab it all over the school if you wanted. The label in that sweater says

one hundred

percent

acrylic.
Karen 1/30
Seriously, congrats on Actually Finishing A Knitting Project. I know all about that particular thing. Looks adorable. <3
Karen 1/30edited
Yeah - Ima have to agree. Looks great!
Hat is cute. Face is cuter.
 

Thanks to UnFuck Your Habitat, I cleaned the entryway to our house today. 

I may have been putting this off for a couple of years. It’s always too hot, or too cold, or too nice out to be indoors. Today the high was 63 and it rained like hell.

perfect.

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Did William Gibson invent "UnFuck"?
If he did, I’m grateful.
 

When you think you’re too tired and cranky to do anything, go see a small-budget live show, preferably one with a talented friend in it. You will catch yourself talking to yourself out loud in the bathroom, saying, “I like my life.” 

I actually caught myself saying, “I like my life, but I’m so tired.” 

Note to everyone else: Kyra Baker’s one-woman show, Witness, has its final performance on Thursday night, at The Asian Arts Initiative.

https://my.firstpersonarts.org/single/psDetail.aspx?psn=51900

You might remember Kyra as Officer Foster in Traveling Light and as Anne in Fox Haven. I knew that she came from a very religious family, that there was a schism, and her brother refused to attend her wedding. I never felt comfortable asking her about it, I just figured the time would come when she’d talk about it.  This show will make you never hate Jehovah’s Witnesses. 

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11/14 '17 2 Comments
This week is probably too crazy, but hmm. She was so good.
Thomas Boutell 11/15 '17
She’s super good.
 

You know it’s chilly when there are 3 cats on the bed, and none of  them are fighting.

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11/7 '17 9 Comments
Everybody was warm cat fighting
Thomas Boutell 11/7 '17
Those cats were fast as lightning.
That looks like the snuggliest place EVAR.
Heap big snuggly. Come on over if you’re cold. Hold still long enough and you’ll be covered in fur.
I just showed Matt that photo, and as he touched each catty-boomboolatty on the screen he said, "Cat. Cat. Cat." And it almost had a melody, but not... so we just started singing it stupidly. Feel free to click (or not click) the spontaneously-composed, cat/bed-inspired song, currently titled, "Sometimes We Want a Cat."

https://www.dropbox.com/s/br2ygfm9ll7gdwz/2017-11-11_03-19-51.wav?dl=0
I LOVE THIS. Careful, or I will send more pictures of cats, posed at odd perspectives from the camera to inspire harmonic and rhythmic variance.
Challenge accepted! :)
I think maybe this IS the best song ever. Also you sound like someone else, in a fun way.
Thomas Boutell 11/14 '17
Also:

Sometimes you want a cat
Who will never learn your name
They're indifferent that you came

You wanna go where kitties know
The humans are all to blame...
Thomas Boutell 11/14 '17
 

Took a 1-hr bike ride today. I feel like myself again.

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10/28 '17 10 Comments
Looks beautiful. Saturdays are amazing.
Chris Herdt 10/29 '17
Yes indeed. Especially in October when it’s quiet at the shore.
Fabulous! Your expression in the you + Vincenzo selfie says it all. 💗

(I had forgotten you were away this weekend. Ignore the NEDNOP comment from earlier.)
I can’t remember when I felt this peaceful.
Wow! Where did you stay?
Thomas Boutell 10/29 '17
The Starlux, in Wildwood. It’s a “boutique hotel” that looks like it was entirely designed by Jenn Rice Abrevaya.
http://hotels.moreyspiers.com/starlux/gallery

AND: their bikes are free for guests to borrow. Far from fancy, just street scooter bikes with coaster brakes, and you can’t borrow a lock, so it’s just a ride and return thing. Good medicine for amateurs (like me).
That sounds heavenly. Something to think about. Although we're more likely to make a day trip and visit the pinball museum.
Thomas Boutell 10/29 '17
There’s a Zoltar fortune telling machine at Ed’s Funcade on the boardwalk. We went through the pinball museum and their rules are bizarre, if memory serves. No photos, many of the games you can’t touch. It’s weird.
These are gorgeous! So happy to see you so relaxed.
I definitely won the relaxation lottery.