Friday, April 27, 2007


Oh, if I only had something interesting to say…well, beyond my cat’s bathroom habits that is.

Well, I could tell you that there is new stuff in the store. That’s interesting. And it’s not your same ol’ kind of stuff either. Some of it is CRANKY. Some of it is…um…CAFFEINATED. Click over and see for yourself!

Hmmm…well, when at a loss for words I tend to go this route:

What I’m reading: The Virgin’s Lover by Phillipa Gregory. I’ll be honest here, I’m not one to be ashamed of what I am reading but this one made me feel…well…slightly uncomfortable. And it really shouldn’t. Well, maybe it shouldn’t. It’s just the bosom-y cover and the word “virgin” in the title that makes me twitchy. It seem too much like a tawdry romance. But it’s not…except for those parts where it is…damn. All in all it’s a fairly entertaining bit of historical romance. I might, however prefer a little less romance and a little more history. I don’t really care if Robert Dudley had it off with Queen Elizabeth but I really, really don’t care if “He had always imagined that she would be responsive but under his skilled hands she stretched like a cat, reveling in pleasure.” I really, really don’t. The rest is reasonably ok though.

I stopped reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma for no apparent reason, possibly only because it didn’t fit in my purse. Or maybe it was too heavy, as in, it weighed too much? I can’t remember. And what’s worse, I can’t remember where I put it. It will show up eventually…I hope.

Hunh, speaking of things I put down and then totally forgot, other than that girl in fifth grade who never really forgave me for that (get it? Because I insulted her and then…oh nevermind. I won’t bother.), I keep doing that with comics too. I started a Hellboy, put it down, I started another comic, which I now totally forget, put it down. Started Wormword: Gentleman Corpse, laughed out loud, declared it the best comic ever…put it down. I should really catch up on all those. And the ever growing stack of Fables and Hellblazers next to the bed. Someday…

What else, what else? Oh I picked up this magazine called Good. It’s byline kind of thing says “Good is for people who give a damn. It’s an entertaining magazine about things that matter.” It seems…ok. Good may be a little strong. I don’t know, I’ve only skimmed it so far. It’s pretty, and it’s not glossy, it’s matte, which makes it far more chic and serious but…well, I like the part about a person and his stuff. It’s like when I take a picture of what’s in my bag or on my wall, only the person they photograph clearly weeds out all the tampons and smashed granola bars and really crappy cd’s. Me, not so much. Actually, there’s no tampons in my bag today but there are TWO smashed granola bars (one Kashi and one Fiber One). I think the cds are something like Lamb and Portishead, so that’s not like when I have my Culture Club and Britney Spears cds, right?

What I’ve been listening to: Well, even though the cds in my bag appear to be Portishead and Lamb, I’ve actually been listening to the radio. We get one good station in L.A. well, good for me, that is “indie rock” and then we have one of those name stations, JACK, the kind that “plays what we want to”. I switch between the two. There are a few indie bands/songs that I just don’t like, so I flip and then the other station plays like four good songs in a row, so I don’t switch back, and then they play…I don’t know…Led Zeppelin or something and I go back to the indie station. I also am not a fan of the talking. The indie station has some excellent deejays but when they start to ramble, I am gone. But this morning, in the flurry of changing I caught Adam and the Ants, Foreigner, Twisted Sister and Cornershop. So between the two I am kept reasonably happy. (Brenda told me that I have eclectic listening habits, I think she’s probably right).

What I’m watching: Well I finally finshed watching Rome. Damn that was a good show. I am sorry to see it go but I will be happy to see the lovely actors of it unleashed on the world. I’ll pretty much watch anything that Ray Stevenson, Kevin McKidd, Polly Walker and James Purefoy make. As well as many of the less well known actors (less well known to me, anyway!). OH! and Ciàran Hinds, how could I forget him? And why the hell does James Purefoy ever wear clothes? Goodness!

Now it’s time to catch up on Heroes, The Riches and The Tudors. Is it just me or do you remember something about Catherine of Aragon having digestive troubles? Anyone?


Well, I begged A.C. to ask me some questions, mostly because I really like answering questions but no one ever asks me things except stuff like “Is it possum or O-possum” and “Can you actually read Old English?” (Technically opossum but I call them possums and yes, a little bit. And yes, these are two actual questions I fielded today. Oh and I do get the "Um...did you mean to do that?" and "Oh, was that on purpose?" kind of questions but I really don't like those so much.)

So here are five more and I hope they at least KINDA make sense. And just so you know the Old English of “ask” was actually pronounced more like “axed”, well according to my dubious education anyway…

  1. What is your favorite vegan cupcake recipe? And why do you like vegan cupcakes so much?

  2. Well, so far my favorite recipe is actually an old girl scout recipe. I didn’t recognize it until the second time I made it. It’s called “Wacky Cake” and I remember it from my old Brownie handbook. I also really liked the chocolate-coffee-coconut cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes take Over the World. They had a really different, but pleasant texture from a regular cake.

    My fascination with vegan cupcakes is completely random. I started reading about veganism years ago and somehow I became obsessed with the idea of vegan baking. I have tried a lot of different vegan baked goods and when they are good, they are very good, but when they are bad…well, you get it.

    Since I have always loved baking but never liked to follow recipes, vegan baking is a real challenge. I know how cake batter is supposed to look and smell, but vegan cake batter is a whole different animal…oh…I guess that’s a bad analogy. Heh. Anyway, it keeps me on my toes in the kitchen. It’s like a science experiment for me. And so far it’s been going well. Some are better than others, yes, but nothing has been uneatable…yet.

    Um…that was a longer answer than I expected.

  3. What would be your dream vacation?

  4. Oh see, here is another long answer…this is a tough one for me. Part of me always wants to go anywhere that there is sun, sand, palm trees and boat drinks. I have had excellent vacations in Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Key West. But another part of me screams “GO BACK TO THE UK! GO BACK TO IRELAND! GO BACK TO WALES! GO BACK TO SCOTLAND!” and then a third part wonders why I wouldn’t go somewhere completely new, like Spain.

    I think the key to a dream vacation for me is no planning involved. I want to be there with no worries, no packing, no airlines…I just want to be somewhere else. Since that will never happen then today I am wishing for Key West, a fruity drink and a sunset at the southern most point in the U.S. with the southernmost bagpiper in the U.S. and the tightrope walking cats for company.

  5. Where do you get the ideas for your design work?

  6. Hmmm. This is kind of a weird answer. I get them from words. And usually the juxtaposition of two strange words. Like bunny and steak. I just get a word in my head and turn it around and around until I can visualize it in a different way. I’ve always been a big reader and when I read something, I see the pictures in my head, as I am sure most people do. But the pictures tend to connect themselves to the words and then the things I draw are usually an attempt to illustrate how I see a word in my head. Crazy? Perhaps. But I work the same way when I write a poem; I have one or two words in my head that turn round and round until I can string them into a sentence or a rhyme.

    I spend a lot of time in my own brain. Which would explain why it doesn’t get used for much else.

  7. You are taking a space-ship trip to a planet that's a long way away. You will be gone a long time. What people/things/places will you miss the most? What essential items would you have to take with you?

  8. Well, let me start by saying that there is no way I am taking a spaceship anywhere. I have a fear of lack of oxygen, there’s no oxygen in outers pace, hence there is no me in outer space, but for the sake of imagination, I will carry on…
    I will miss my family and friends. I don’t see most of them often enough but I am in contact with them pretty regularly. When people ask me how I can live all the way across the country from most of my family and many of my friends I say “Airplanes and telephones” and I am a firm believer that any distance can be bridged if you just try…even if I don’t really like airplanes or telephones…hmmm…this is harder than I thought. I will miss my cat. She is very precious to me.
    As far as places…well…I am not all that attached to places but I suppose I would miss Disneyworld. I only get to go once in a while (like this year! YAY!) but it’s a place that sparks my imagination and lets me relax.
    Things? I guess I would miss television, computers and books. But they are all things I could take with me. I wouldn’t miss my bed, or my dishes or anything like that. I like my things but I don’t feel particularly attached to any of them.
    Essential items…well...OXYGEN of course. And water and food. But other than the necessities of survival, I would have to take a lot of books. A lot of books. And I would like to have a computer because that’s how I draw but failing that I could use some paper and pens. Chocolate. Good dark chocolate. And maybe a supply of whisky, Ablerour please. And tea. Lots and lots of tea. I don’t think I can live without my tea.

  9. I like cookies. What is your favorite kind of cookie, and why?

  10. I like cookies too! I have two favorites. For store-bought cookies, I am an Oreo girl. Classic. No double-stuff, no mint or peanut butter. Plain ol’ Oreos. For many years my dad ate 3 Oreos and a cup of coffee for breakfast. That sounds like heaven to me. (But I eat healthier than that!)

    For homemade cookies I love chocolate chip cookies…but without the chocolate chips. Weird, I know. I do like chocolate chip cookies but I have a strange issue with them. I like the cookie soft and warm but I don’t really like melty chocolate. So sometimes I just make brown sugar cookies. But, since everyone else seems to like regular chocolate chips cookies, usually just let them sit and day so the chips are firm. Whatever. They are still good, I just have…issues.

Any other questions? Anyone? Wanna hear me recite the first fourteen lines of The Canterbury Tales in middle English? No?

If you want to be interviewed by me, please leave me a comment or send an email saying: "Interview me." (or the like).

* I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
* You will update your weblog with the answers to the questions.
* You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
* Then others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions and so on.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I guess I never did say what I did in Wilmington, NC. I know someone, somewhere is on tenterhooks waiting to hear…is it you? No? Oh…ok.

Doesn’t matter, I’m gonna go ahead and say it anyway. I had a really nice time. It’s a good thing to get out of town every once in a while and for me, getting out of L.A. is crucial. I gotta go somewhere else at least once a year or my head will explode. I’m serious. It’s happened. It’s not pretty.

So I really just went to visit my friend Donovan. His mom and dad were there but you know, sometimes the ‘rents are just…well, you know. Donovan and I did some really cool stuff too. We went to an Azelea Festival Street Fair. I got a toe ring but Donovan got himself a Buddha statue. It’s really pretty and I heard him whispering “Buddha, Buddha, Buddha” to it, so I guess it felt right at home. We also read a few books about trains and had a pretty lengthy discussion about which ones were our favorites. I prefer the purple trains and the commuter trains but Donovan made some strong points in favor of Thomas and steam trains in general.

We also had a lengthy discussion about what our names are. I tried to trick him and tell him that MY name was Donovan, but he never fell for it. He’s pretty wily that way.

All in all we had a really good time together. Naturally, Donovan is a busy guy so he couldn’t spend ALL his time with me. Sometimes he had important things to do at school, or the Kids in Play place, or take naps so he could do those important things. So I had to spend some time with his mom and dad too. That was ok. We did some interesting things too. We had fondue, that was really good. And martinis that I don’t think Donovan would really have liked. We went to a hookah bar that wasn’t really his speed either. He’s a pretty straight edge and I don’t know if he would have appreciated the sour apple flavor we smoked (I only tried it, it tasted too much like candy for me…and Donovan is more a veggies kind of guy, not so much on the candy). He might have liked the Goth bellydancers though. They were pretty cool. I guess I had never considered how well Gothy music would go with belly dancing. Turns out it’s a whole big thing, all over the place. Go figure.

Let’s see…anything else. Well, we watched The Departed, but Donvan said he wasn’t into Leo and went to bed. I thought it was pretty good though.

Oh and I visited a store I had been wanting to see for a long time. Even before Doovan moved to NC.

So it was a good trip. I will go back. I hope. If Donvan will let me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


No, thanks, I've got plenty!

I have never really thought of myself as a vain person. And that is a very telling sentence isn’t it? Just thinking of myself is pretty vain. And thinking that I am not vain is a kind of vanity in itself. So…apparently, pretty vain. OK fine. Here’s the thing. Read the beauty magazines and they tell you not to have a magnifying mirror lest you become obsessed with every little flaw. Of course, without a magnifying mirror these days…well, let’s just say without a magnifying mirror I am flawless…and mostly faceless because the eyes don’t focus so well in the morning and I am not going to attempt to line or pluck or contour anything without a little focus. But this morning, I lingered on the close-up a little too long and noticed a dry patch of skin on my cheek, just at the edge of my mouth. Nothing big, nothing awful. If you even noticed it, you would probably only think that I hadn’t wiped all the breakfast crumbs away. It is seriously nothing at all. Dry skin.

But then, in the car, on the way to work, I started thinking about it. In my mind’s eye it got bigger and bigger. My whole face was scaly and dry. Nothing would ever moisturize this away. I actually had to resist the urge to peer in the mirror at every stoplight. In the magnifying mirror, leaning in close, it had filled the frame. Maybe it was bigger than I thought. Maybe there was exfoliation needed. Maybe I was shedding my skin like a snake. Maybe I was more grotesque than I realized.

I snapped out of it. What’s a little dry skin? But the idea of the obsession stuck with me and I thought about all the times I picked or poked or prodded something tiny into something much bigger. How many times a little irritation had not become a pearl but rather something quite nasty. All because I looked too close.

If only I could direct my obsession. I’ve heard of people with OCD that clean all the time. Clearly that’s not me. But man can I obsess over something so tiny that it had to be magnified in the first place. Talk about vanity. Yeesh.

Can’t throw away the mirror. And you can bet that I am now so moisturized that I would side out of your grip. But that little patch of dry skin…I know it’s still there…waiting to get me.


My cat is getting older and we noticed recently that she was having a little trouble getting in and out of her letterbox since she had to kind of jump into it. Desiring anything to make her life a little easier and, quite frankly, to avoid her avoiding the letterbox at all, we ran to the pet store last week to see what we could find. We discovered this:
A Booda Dome. It seemed ideal. It has a little ramp like hallway leading into an enclosed box. It promised 90% odor containment and it came in a variety of lovely colors. Sold. If kitty ain’t happy, ain’t no body happy, so kitty gets a posh new box.

I was, however a little concerned that she wouldn’t handle a big change so well so I decided that we would put the new box in the same place as the old box and keep the old box to one side for a few days, just to not shake up her world too much. Seemed like a good thing, right? Well, she took to the new box right away and James dubbed it THUNDERDOME. She seemed to really like the ramp set up and there was really no issue, but still, I thought, let’s keep the old box (now referred to as “the country house”) for just few days.

The other night I came home and, despite regular cleaning of THUNDERDOME in the days since purchase, there was a powerful cat funk in the apartment. It was then I discovered how truly privileged my cat believes she is. She had decided that since she had TWO litter boxes, she could designate them for…um…different uses. The THUNDERDOME was being used for #1 and the country house (although WE thought she was not using it at all) was a poopatorium.

I love her but she’s not THAT spoiled (she just smells like she is). The country house was thrown away. THUNDERDOME remains.

Damn she takes advantage whenever she can!

Friday, April 20, 2007


While I was away this little internet meme thingy popped up and I really wanted to do it, but I couldn’t because I didn’t take my computer. Now I am back and I begged Janet to interview me and she very kindly indulged my pathetic neediness.

  1. What do you do for a living and do you enjoy it?

  2. I letter comic-books and sometimes I design stuff for a comic book company. And I do enjoy it, very, very much. I love working in Adobe Illustrator, which is what use, and I love messing about with fonts, which is mostly what I do. AND it’s comic books. I’ve been doing it for almost ten years and I still like it. How could that be bad?

    And yes, that is my actual title, it is on my business card and every thing, it says “letterer/designer”. I know it doesn’t sound like a real job, but it is. I am a teeny-tiny fish in a big ol’ pond of lettering and I do all my lettering on a computer, some do theirs by hand, which is very cool, but not what my job calls for (although sometimes I wish it did because that would be fun too!)

  3. Where did you grow up?

  4. Ah, I am a Jersey girl through and through. I was born and grew up in southern New Jersey, which is not at al what you think it is. South Jersey, at least when I was growing up there, is largely rural, lots of farms (tomato, strawberry, corn) and lots of trees. I actually lived right on the edge of the Pine Barrens, which is where you would find the Jersey Devil, if you were looking for him.

    When I was living there I kind of wanted to leave. But looking back, I realize that it was less about where I lived and more about never having lived anywhere else. When I go back to New Jersey now, it’s lovely. It’s getting more and more industrial in my old stomping grounds but it still feels like home to be

  5. Tell us one of your best memories!

  6. I gotta say I was struggling with this question a little. Despite my lack of drug usage in my youth, I still have very little memory. And there are some great memories that I just don’t want to share. They’re mine! But after some struggle I remembered the first night in my first apartment. See, I moved from home a little later than average. I would have loved to move out earlier but my salary required that I have a roommate and the only person I could imagine living with was my BFF, Jules. We originally intended to go in on an apartment with another friend but after some discussions of how we would all go shopping together and then label our food and divide the fridge and how we would pick out a sofa and pay thirds on it and then if someone moved out they would get their third, less usage fees, back…it just didn’t seem like such a good idea. Jules and I eventually found an apartment that we could afford together and it was owned by people we knew, which made it even better, but the current tenants were going through an eviction and we would have to wait until they got ousted. It was a long wait. I think it took a year. But the best memory I have of that beautiful Victorian apartment was our first day and night in residence. We moved in with the help of some family and friends but when they left we were kind of overwhelmed with all that had to be done. Then we heard the ice cream truck. Jules went flying down the stairs screaming “GET THE MONEY, I’LL STOP THE TRUCK!” We got our cones and retired to the coolest place in the apartment, the bathroom floor. We ate our ice cream and then proceeded to build a fort in our brand new living room and camp out because there were too many boxes in our bedrooms. It was the perfect way to move into a place. I loved that apartment.

  7. What scent or smell do you like best?

  8. Ooh, tough one. Hmmm. Well, I think at one point I would have said something like “bakeries” but after working one day in a bakery…*shudder*. It was pretty awful. Still, I love the smell of bread baking. And oddly, even though I spend several summers working a popcorn cart in an amusement park, I never ever get tired of the smell of popcorn. Onions frying is nice, as is just the smell of olive oil warming on the stove.

    It’s not all food though. I love the sudden smell of jasmine that I stumble across from time to time here in L.A. It always takes me by surprise as when I think of this city, the smells that generally pop to mind are chlorine and exhaust.

    And maybe this is strange but I love the smell of my cat’s fur. You’d think it would be all fishy and nasty but for some reason, she kind of smells like dried flowers. Her fur does, her breath, that’s pure cat food and no one likes that…well, except maybe another cat!

    I guess that’s more than one answer. Deal with it! (hee!)

  9. When I say music, what pops to mind?

  10. Today, the first thing that popped to mind was “Opera” but I don’t really know why. I haven’t been listening to it all that much but a friend recently invited me to a dress rehearsal of an opera and I am really looking forward to that.

So, since Janet indulged me and gave me five questions, I will happily return the favor.

If you want to be interviewed by me, please leave me a comment or send an email saying: "Interview me." (or the like).

* I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
* You will update your weblog with the answers to the questions.
* You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
• Then others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions and so on.

Additionally, I like to answer questions so if you’ve got anything to throw into the pot, go ahead.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Ok, Ok, I did it because everyone else is doing it and um…I am tired. And lazy. But I am back from my lovely vacation and I am sure I will have something to say about that at a later date. Something about goth bellydancers, my first hoookah bar, teaching two year olds how to behave like rockstars, losing my luggage...stuff like that. Oh wait...I just did. Oh well.

For now it's just...

  1. Name a movie you have seen more than 10 times.

  2. Empire Records. Over and over and over. When we couldn't find another movie and I was tired of standing in Blockbuster in my pajamas and slippers it was always Empire Records and Mallrats.

  3. Name a movie you've seen multiple times in the theater.

  4. ET but not totally by choice. It just happened to be the only movie playing that summer.

  5. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie.

  6. Alan Rickman. For a little while he only made movies with actresses that I dislike, but I saw them anyway.

  7. Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie.

  8. Jim Carrey. He's just not my speed. Like a lot of comedians, I suspect that he could be really good if a seasoned director reined him in. But instead, all anyone wants to see him do is his shtick, which never did much for me in the first place. I didn't see 23 or whatever it was called but I was curious about it, just to see him stretch a little.

  9. Name a movie than you can and do quote from.

  10. Blues Brothers…”Orange whip? Orange whip? Three orange whips.”

  11. Name a movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.

  12. Hrrm. That would be Grease, which is not a movie I love but rather a movie that has been forced upon me repeatedly. Now Grease 2, I love, but only because it is so…amazingly…bad. The songs are a lot harder to remember though.

  13. Name a movie that you have been known to sing along with.

  14. Grease 2.

  15. Name a movie you would recommend everyone see.

  16. What kind of movie do you like? Quiet movies? I liked The Winter Guest. Horror movies? I love 28 Days Later. Romance…I…um…hmmm…I don't know. Oh! Persuasion. That's a really good movie. Or Bell, Book and Candle, I love that one.

  17. Name a movie that you own.

  18. I own a decent number of movies so let's just say Move Over Darling.

  19. Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.

  20. Hmmm…I don't really know what to answer for this one because I still have that Jim Carrey thing on my mind. There are a lot of comdedians that I think have turned out to be fine actors, in a way I never expected. But that's not an entirely different medium, is it? As far as singers go…the only thing that comes to mind is Jodi's choice of David Bowie…oh, how about Harry Connick, Jr? He's actually quite good. Let's just go with that.

  21. Have you ever seen a movie at a drive-in? If so, what?

  22. Yes, quite a few but the first that springs to mind is A Nightmare on Elm Street. Did you know that it was based on an article that Wes Craven found about teenagers dying in their sleep?

  23. Ever made out in a movie?

  24. Um…yes. I was rather shocked by all the people who hadn't.

  25. Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven't gotten around to it yet.

  26. Sherri loaned me a copy of Old Boy three years ago.

  27. Ever walked out on a movie?

  28. No, but I wish I had. Almost walked out of Blue Velvet but didn't. Ah, regrets.

  29. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.

  30. Dead Poet's Society. Yeah…it doesn't now, but it did then.

  31. What was the last movie you saw in the theater.

  32. Um…jeez, I don't know. It was…I have no idea.

  33. What is your favorite/preferred genre of movie.

  34. Comedy or a movie where they blow stuff up.

  35. What is the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?

  36. No idea, it was probably a Disney movie. I do have some memory of seeing Robin Hood in the theater with a bunch of other kids. There were probably some other kids movies before that but I don't really remember.

  37. What movie do you wish you'd never seen?

  38. Blue Velvet. I have never really gotten into the David Lynch thing. I really want to like his movies but I never get past the fact that I really didn't like Blue Velvet. I liked “Twin Peaks” though.

  39. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?

  40. Probably The Princess and the Warrior. I knew I was going to like it because I like Franka Potente and I like Tom Twyker, but I knew that there was a graphic tracheotomy schene and that scared me a little. Turned out to not be that graphic. Loved the movie.

  41. What is the scariest movie you have seen?

  42. A Nightmare on Elm Street was pretty scary, and if you haven't seen it in a while you won't remember that it is, but it is.

  43. What is the funniest movie you have seen?

  44. Probably Shaun of the Dead.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Shhhh....I'm going away...on vacation. I'm gonna go visit my friend Donovan (oh yeah, and his mama and daddy too). Don't make a mess while I am gone!

OH WAIT!!! Go here. See those "Wordy Birdies" cards? Well I made those and you can buy those and if you don't like those, you can buy all kinds of other lovely cards made by little Miss Ambitious Hamster herself (and some by her mom!). AND there will be new stuff added all the time, so if you don't see something that sparks your interest today, go back and look tomorrow, maybe you will find something new!

But what I really want you to do is to tell your friends about our cards. C'mon, everyone buys cards sometimes, right? So next time you, or someone you know needs a get the picture...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Jodi was stumped the other day, so I sent her ten questions to kick her in gear. I am lazy but fair, so I answered them myself:
Ten random questions:
  1. What is your favorite ride at Disneyland?

  2. I love Peter Pan. I like the idea of soaring over London and love the clouds. And I know it’s sacrilege to say but I kind of don’t like Pirates of the Caribbean. I like the idea of the ride but those dark water rides have always freaked me out and I will tell you why (since I know you are so interested)…when I was a kid, we would go to the local amusement park about once a summer (and as a teenager, I worked there) and they had one of those kiddie boat rides. The one where the boats just go around in a circle in a little pool. Well each of the boats had a little flag on it and each flag had something from the sea, like a dolphin or a whale or…King Neptune…with his trident. And I thought that meant that whatever was pictured on the flag lived under the boat. I was terrified that the guy with the devil pitchfork was going to burst from the water under the little boat and drag me under the water. Needless to say I had a very vivid imagination. Thus, to this day, I have an unnatural fear of water rides. That and having worked in an amusement park I know how often that water gets cleaned…not all that often. Ew.

  3. What is your favorite candy bar?

  4. Um…all of them. No, wait…Snickers. No, Twix. No…I don’t know. I try to avoid candy bars. I buy the very expensive dark chocolate kind and spend weeks eating them, tiny square by tiny square.

  5. What is your favorite breakfast, lunch and/or dinner? You know, the easy go-to one that you can always rely on making you happy and full.

  6. Breakfast is something I eat because I have to. I like it small and easy and a little sweet, so it’s probably a muffin or a scone but it’s also probably filled with whole wheat and flax and stuff. Lunch…hmmm, I like all kinds of things for lunch but if someone else is making it, I love a salad sandwich. And my favorite dinner is probably scrambled tofu and toast. I used to love linguine but it’s so rare that I eat pasta anymore that it actually hurts my stomach when I do. Oh, but if someone else is making me dinner…I do love tacos…maybe with salmon. Or shrimp.

  7. Who is your favorite cartoon character (or Muppet)?

  8. My favorite cartoon character is probably the Pink Panther. My favorite Muppet is either Rolf the dog or Rizzo Rat.

  9. Do you have a favorite food that you are slightly embarrassed to admit?

  10. Hmmm…well, I am not unfond of a lot of embarrassing food but lately I have been partial to crescent rolls, which are not something I would typically eat or want. It’s not like they are a comfort food from my childhood or anything either, so I don’t know where that came from.

  11. If you could have any kind of car in the whole world, what kind would you like?

  12. Today I say a Volkswagen Beetle convertible in “vapor”. Tomorrow I might say a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air in baby blue.

  13. You know that phrase you had in the high school yearbook? Like they may have put it under your name or in your profile or something? The quote that was supposed to define and sum up your high school years? If you could write that NOW for THEN, what would you write?

  14. “oops”

  15. What is on your calendar this year?

  16. My wall calendar is Happy Bunny. I just got a Doctor Who calendar but it appears to be all monsters and I don’t think I want to look at that everyday. Last year I had a Robbie Williams calendar but I didn’t get one this year.

  17. What summer movie are you most looking forward to?

  18. I don’t know a lot of the summer movies but I know I will see The Simpsons Movie and I would like to see Ratatouille. OH! And Hot Fuzz!

  19. If you could give the 16 year old you a one sentence piece of advice, what would it be?

  20. “Don’t worry.”

Friday, April 06, 2007


Technically, this is not my story to tell. It’s gotten to the point where it is almost and urban legend amongst people that I know from school. But I did know the guy who did it and the girl it happened to and every year, around this time, I remember and laugh.

The story was that this football player in my high school had once broken his sister’s nose. It was Easter and they had each gotten a basket full of candy. The sister was particularly fond of chocolate bunny ears and was threatening to eat the ears off her brother’s chocolate rabbit. He told her that if she did he would break her nose. I suppose it helps to know that he was this kind of hulking dude and she was a dainty cheerleader type. Well, he left the room and came back to find the bunny’s ears missing. So, he did indeed, haul back and break his sister’s nose. Turns out, it was his mother who ate the rabbit’s ears.

OK fine, not a great story but a great example of…something. Personally, it is one of my examples of “Easter baskets are dangerous.” The only other example I have of that is the time I kept stealing the malted eggs from my boyfriend’s Easter basket. He got really mad and yelled at me to stop it. I waited until he left the room and then stole one more for good measure and just to be a brat. I was sucking on it (the egg, don’t get creepy) when he walked back into the room and in a desperate attempt to not get caught, I sucked the malted egg, the one the exact shape and size of my windpipe, into my throat.

He just watched as I gave myself the Heimlich maneuver and then said, with great disdain and disgust, “I TOLD you not to steal my eggs.”

Damn the Easter Bunny and all his chocolaty evil.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

bunny. bunny. bunny. bunny.


WooHoo! It’s Maundy Thursday! (I just like to say “Maundy Thursday” because when I was a kid I thought it was “Monday Thursday” and would get all confused.)

Cupcakes of any kind are unlikely this weekend. Somehow I am making Easter dinner for friends. I say “somehow” because that was not my original intention but my husband announced to the world that I would be making lamb and that friends should come over. How did that happen? Whatever. Now I am making lamb and just one friend has turned into two, still not a huge production but now I have to change out of my pajamas. Rats.

So it’s lamb stuffed with a…um…I don’t really know what you’d call it…sort of a gremolata of parsley, lemon zest, garlic, breadcrumbs and a little anchovy paste. Steamed fingerling potatoes with olive oil and sea salt, asparagus (I like mine plain but I was considering some hollandaise for others…ah, screw that, they can use butter!), home made challah bread and for dessert…sticky toffee pudding (which I have never made, so keep your fingers crossed!). Sounds like a decent meal to me.

I love making bread but I haven’t been doing it lately. I keep seeing this recipe on line for the no knead bread and thinking “Well that’s the fun part! The kneading! Why would you take that out?” so I am kind of looking forward to that. And usually I made this lemon thing for dessert, it’s like a soufflé type thing that makes it’s own sauce. Well last year I realized that I actually just don’t like it. I don’t like lemon desserts and I don’t want to make it anymore. Hence the sticky toffee, which almost violates my rule of “dessert is not dessert unless chocolate is involved” but it’s got a kind of caramel sauce, so all is well.

Right, so not terribly exciting for anyone else, eh? You’re not all “YAY! Ren will be kneading bread! Won’t that be lovely?” or “HURRAH! Sticky Toffee Pudding!” are you? No. Sorry. Though I sincerely doubt that anyone shows up here on Monday mornings wondering if I have made vegan muffins.

So, in lieu of actually posting anything of interest, I offer you more confessions…because I am lazy like that.

  • I once had a tragic “tooth chipping incident” that involved a bottle of tequila.

  • I chew the tips of my pens so other people won’t steal them.

  • I lather and rinse but I never repeat.

  • Clive Owen’s slightly uneven earlobes bother me.

  • I love Shakespeare but I have a terrible crush on Christopher Marlowe.

  • I wore a retainer thingy through most of high school and part of college. I haven’t worn it since but about once every three months, as I am driving down the road on my way to work I think “Oh shit! I forgot my retainer!”

  • I wear glasses when I am working but not any other time. So when I draw myself or am drawn by the people in my office, it’s often with glasses, which confuses people who have never seen me wearing my glasses.

  • My page a day calendar is currently on March 1.

  • I won’t buy pants that don’t have pockets.

  • I use Jodi’s blog roll instead of a reader…she’s got most of the stuff I want anyway.


Ok, here’s a more or less recipe for the banana/strawberry/almond/flaxseed muffins I mentioned. Like I said, I think they are rather good, but we’re talking in a crunchy granola girl kind of way so you know…you can kind of adapt as you see fit. Me, I am big into granola girl hippie chow.

The basis of the recipe comes from Vegan With A Vengenance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I have recommended this book before and I will recommend it again. I AM NOT A VEGAN and I use this book all the time. Will it make me a vegan? Maybe eventually, but it has made me try some new stuff and so far, every recipe I have tried has been pretty damn good. I never liked brussel sprouts until this book. That’s gotta say something (it was the descroption of their “popcorn-y flavor” that lured me in). So credit where credit is due and props to the vegans for the good eats. The original recipe is for Cherry-Almond Muffins but it makes a great base.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (this is much finer than regular whole wheat flour and results in a much softer muffin. If you can only find regular whole wheat flour use 1 cup of whole wheat and 1 cup of white, unless you are a super hippie and can handle the crazy fiber overload)

1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar (The actual recipe calls for 1/3 c. but I have successfully cut it down to 1/4 c. it’s all about you baby, if you need a little extra sweet, then go for it)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup canola oil (I actually use a little less than this depending on how many bananas I have, two bananas=a little less oil, I’d say about a tablespoon less.)

3/4 cups soy milk ( I use low fat or fat free, you could easily replace with rice milk, almond milk or, if you just aren’t quite there yet, go ahead and use the cow milk, but don’t tell the vegan that I said you could)

1 6oz. container of soy yogurt, plain or vanilla. (I have never NOT used soy yogurt in this recipe, I’m guessing you can, if you hate animals or something! Nah, do what you can, regular yogurt should work just fine, but if you can, try the soy, it’s not great on it’s own but it’s just fine in cooking)

bananas (1 or 2, what ever you have on hand, the darker the better and mash ‘em up good)

strawberries (I just used what I had on hand, and they had been in the fridge, sliced up, for a few days, so they were a little dry, which was good for me, I don’t like gooey fruit in my muffins, but again, you gotta go with your gut here, and I’d say not more than about 1/3 cup, chopped small)

about 1/2 cup of chopped almonds

1 tablespoon of flax seeds, ground

vanilla extract (most recipes will call for a teaspoon, I like vanilla so it’s more like a table spoon)

Preheat oven to 400°, Lightly grease a 12 muffin tin or use muffin liners OR (and this is kind of cool, I learned it from Cupcake Bakeshop) there are these fruit and nut cups that you can get at party stores or Smart and Final, they are a little small er than the average muffin but they are strong enough to stand on their own so you can just put them on a cookie sheet and not even bother with the muffin tin.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a little well in the center and add the oil, soy milk, yogurt, banana, flax seed and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined. Fold in the strawberries and the almonds.

Fill your muffin cups 3/4 of the way and bake for about 20 minutes.

Look, it’s all very sketchy, I just kind of make it up as I go along, but this is a pretty good starting point. Add some chocolate chips, use all white flour, add some peanut butter, whatever makes you happy. But I will say, if you stick with the whole wheat pastry flour, the flax seeds and the almonds, you’re getting some decent nutrition. Use the white flour and the chocolate chips and your getting a pretty tasty dessert. It’s all good.

I hope you like them, if not, send them to me, I’ll eat them!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


As requested, I will post that muffin recipe…as soon as I figure out how I bastardized the original recipe. I don’t really cook as much as I fling stuff into a bowl and see what happens. And ingredients are often….ummm…..hey, what’s in the fridge. So let me look at that and see what I can come up with as far as advice on what to fling into your bowl to approximate what I flung into mine. That is, if you don’t mind instructions like “Pour some salt into you palm, like enough to fill that little hollow when you cup your hand, now take a pinch of that, throw it over your shoulder, pour the rest out of your hand over the sink and then brush the grains of salt that stick to your palm into the batter…let’s just call it a “Pinch”.

In the meanwhile here are some lists…incomplete…

Things I like, in no particular order:
Dark chocolate, bats, cats, giraffes, dogs, books (all kinds), comic books (less kinds but right at this moment Wormwood, Gentleman Corpse and Buffy the Vampire Slayer “The Long Way Home” a.ka. “Season Eight”), baking, cooking in general, tea, sticky notes, Hellboy, Django Reinhardt, the color red, black cotton sweaters, peace signs, driving, butter lettuce, “British Humor”, Doctor Who, daisies, birds, oysters, art, the ocean, cupcakes, some bugs (but not all bugs), shopping, bags (hand and tote), watches, tattoos, picture frames, Batman, Puerto Rico, Miss Marple, Terry Pratchett, Shakespeare, chocolate sprinkles, toast, tofu, broccoli, chaise lounges, poetry, period movies, Jane Austen novels,, pants with pockets, cotton socks, warm sheets, blank notebooks, postcards, watercolor paints.

Things I firmly believe (in no particular order): dessert is not dessert unless there is chocolate involved, or at the very least, caramel, being nice is important, manners are what separates us from the beasts, one good turn deserves another, Shakespeare’s plays were written by Shakespeare, babies know more than they are saying, all pants should have pockets, what comes around goes around…or something like that, if you can’t take a joke then fuck you, very few things are better the second day with the possible exception of lasagna, chocolate flavor is not the same as chocolate, some things really are easier said than done, there is a comic book, a beer and a type of whisky for everyone, you just have to try them all until you find the right one.

Things I avoid when at all possible: bell peppers, sharks, cleaning the litter box, frogs, making a left into traffic, colds, high heels, wool sweaters, answering the phone, doctors, dairy, cleaning the toilet, broken nails, cold feet, watery beer, sticky keyboards and steering wheels, magnolia trees, slurping my soup, not having tissues, smeary glasses, chicken thighs, having my picture taken.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Sometimes I start baking and I just can’t stop. It’s a sickness really. I had planned on making some vegan cupcakes because I had this container of vegan frosting in the fridge that I really didn’t want to go to waste, so there was that. Then I wanted to make an anniversary present for my parents. Last time I sent my mom cookies she mentioned that she really liked the almond sugar cookies. So there were cookies too. Then I needed to make something for breakfasts and I had some old bananas sitting on the counter. What does one do with old bananas? One makes banana muffins with chocolate chips and almonds (vegan style). But one forgot to use the whole wheat pastry flour and flax seeds that would make such a thing a slightly more nutritious breakfast so one had to make another set of muffins and, one started to feel guilty about including chocolate chips in a breakfast muffin, so one put the last of the strawberries in there instead.

There was much baking this weekend.

But you know, it’s kind of cool. I was not thrilled with the idea of healthy(er) banana strawberry whole wheat muffins with flax seeds and almonds. They just sounded really…healthy. And although I like my breakfasts to be…ok, look, if I had it my way, it would be Oreos for breakfast, but I don’t and it’s not. But, it was with not a little wariness that I bit into that healthy(ish) muffin this morning. And it was…good. Perfect for breakfast. I like when that happens. When I think I am not going to like something and then hey, I do! Yay!

So I added some links if you are interested…except…I did it a few days ago and now I can’t remember which ones are new…I’d start at the bottom of the lists, that’s where I usually put them. Oh and there’s that iLike thing on the sidebar now. See, Brenda was looking for a way to link to snippets of a song and I had seen a few people who were using that thing, and I suggested that she try it. Then I decided that if I suggested it, I had better try it myself. So now you can mock my musical tastes in real time. Yeah, you can just go ahead and email about the weird stuff I listen to. And I will ignore you.

Oh, oh, I watched the first episode of The Tudors…I kind of liked it. I will watch more but…ok, first, I didn’t know that Sean Pertwee was in this show…and then I discovered why I didn’t know. SPOILER…ok, well not if you know history, which apparently I don’t…He dies. Quickly. So much for that. But this show really does say something about my tastes in men. Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays a young Henry VIII, that’s fine, I like him well enough, he’s been in some movies I liked. Cool. Then there’s a bunch of young guys who get nekkid. Ok, fine. I have no problems with that. BUT OH MY GOSH! Jeremy Northam and Sam Neill are in it as Thomas More and Cardinal Wolsey respectively…so…I’m guessing they aren’t getting nekkid in this series, eh? Oh well.