Monday, December 19, 2005

sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head...

Id god a cold ind by node. So I am feeling rather out of it.

Also, I AM GOING ON VACATION! Back in a week or so! YAY!


I will stop capitalizing now and go blow my nose.

And also…
Jodi tagged me for this, but I am feeling a little rocky so forgive me if it doesn’t make any sense…

Seven Things To Do Before I Die
1. Finish reading Ulysses (again, I read it once and now I am reading it a second time, but it’s going much slower!).
2. Get out of debt (yeah, I just cut and paste this one from Jodi. I feel ya, sista).
3. Spend Christmas in London.
4. Learn to ink a comic book.
5. Actually FINISH writing a book.
6. Travel around India.
7. Make myself the skull ring I always wanted but could never find.

Seven Things I Cannot Do
1. Climb Mount Everest
2. At this very moment, I cannot breathe
3. Finish one thing before I start another
4. Watch someone (or myself) get a shot
5. Hurt an animal
6. Not be nervous
7. Sleep well

Seven Things That I Admire in Others
1. Compassion
2. Intellegence
3. Humor
4. Grace
5. Patience
6. Mad Skillz
7. Ease within their surroundings

Seven Things I Say Most Often
1. Fuck.
2. Dude.
3. um…
4. oops.
5. Duuuude.
6. Aw, crap.
7. What up?

Seven Books (or Series) I Love
1. Persuasion
2. Richard III (does a play count?)
3. The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
4. Mary Poppins (series)
5. The Death of Vishnu
6. The Age of Innocence
7. Paddington Bear series

Seven Movies I Have Watched Over and Over Again
1. Empire Records
2. Mallrats
3. Pretty in Pink
4. Four Weddings and a Funeral
5. What a Way to Go!
6. Shaun of the Dead
7. How to Marry a Millionaire

Seven People I Want to Join in Too
Ummm…I don’t really know seven people. Anyone who wants to play along is welcome!

Friday, December 16, 2005


My brother: "i laugh at your puny 5 hours. i'm looking at 17 hours in a minivan."

Dear brother, I would gladly drive 17 hours in a minivan if it meant that I didn't have to sit next to a creepy stranger, (or worse yet, my squirmy husband) in an extremely confined space and breathe recycled air. Not that it matters now because despite the veggies, the vitamin, the most reasonable amounts of sleep I can manage I HAVE A COLD! I have been diligently trying not to get one but apparently that is the surest way. RATS!

At least in the minivan you get a little more legroom. And if you really want to stop and stretch, you can. And you can put down the window when it gets too hot or turn on the heat when it gets to cold. However, when the kid in seat next to you gets sick, you pretty much have to be catcher, since you are related to him. Heh.

You should totally take your Dr Who dvds with you, they will make the time go fast.

*sniffle sniffle* *ah-CHOO!* I hope this is gone by Tuesday morning or I am sneezing on everyone on the plane. If I have a cold EVERYONE MUST SUFFER!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

OK, Big Brother... can see that I changed the color on the time stamp and comments link to dark brown, but why did that one link within the text go dark brown too? Little help, oh wise one? And why are some brown and some still pink? Stupid HTML!

Well-Read but Pretty Chilly

I am very excited that I will be going home to New Jersey for Christmas, not so excited about the 5 plus hours of air travel, not to mention the 2 plus hours on the front end to get to the airport and check in (at the crack, of freakin’ dawn, I might add) and then the additional wait time on the other end to pick up baggage and what not. Also, not really excited about the cold weather. But you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and then you get to go home and see your family. YAY! And on the good side, I will have several hours of (hopefully) minimally interrupted reading time on the plane. One of my favorite things to do is plan what reading material I will take on trips and although, I haven’t started packing my bags yet, I do know that I will be taking several books. I know I am taking Watchmen because I have never read it and…hey shutup! I said I was a nerd, I never said that I was a good nerd! I am also very much looking forward to reading The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford. Ever since taking a class on death and dying in college, I have been interested in…death…and…dying. Well, more specifically, the funeral industry. A lot of people are really freaked out by it all but once you’ve met a handful of coffin makers and morticians, it’s a pretty interesting field. And Despite the fact that I think an awful lot of what is done is superstitious and a sham, I did meet some really nice people in the funeral business. Besides, when you read books about death on airplanes, people tend to leave you alone.

I was thinking about taking Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke with me but I am slightly concerned with the size and weight of it. Maybe if I have room in my suitcase, I will slip it in just in case I don’t finish The Scar by China Miéville. I really liked Perdido Street Stations even if at precisely the half-way point of this 500 page (or so) book, it turned into something completely different.

I also picked a book from UglyTown Press to take with me, but I can’t remember which one. Maybe it was Rat City but I am not sure…hmmm.

Speaking of rats…RATS! I didn’t pick a book of poetry! Hmmm…I’ll have to think on that one. Maybe a little John Donne or…Christoper Marlowe. It’s good and when people see me reading it they get the mistaken impression that I am smart. Heh.

Oh and there is also that biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine I wanted to read…and the first trade collection of The Amazing Joy Buzzards and I really need to finish Epileptic.

Can you see where this is going? I guess I’ll just have to leave all my clothes behind and only take books. It’s going to be mighty cold in New Jersey but I will be well-read!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The King and I

Saw "King Kong" today and here is my succinct review...

That is all.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

ME ME ME (and zines) and more ME!

I’m not very cool. I’m not really indie or emo. I want to be punk but I’m not even close and although I may have some serious goth leanings….yeah. But today I accidentally went to Microcosm Publishing and spent some money on a little street cred. OK well, I bought a bunch of zines. I encourage you to take a look, it seems like they do really have something for everyone.

Zines are actually kind of fascinating to me. They are a lot like blogs in the sense that they can be totally self-centered. Really, who wants to read about my day-to-day life? Only the people who know me and don’t get to talk to me very often I would think. And yet I find that I read a number of blogs regularly of people that I have never, and I do not ever expect to meet. And they are interesting. Zines can be the same way. I am not a vegan, nor have I ever been one but I find myself reading all kinds of zines on vegan lifestyles and vegan cooking. And that’s only the beginning of it all. There are zines about…people. Just their lives, lo-tech blogs if you will, that fasI don’t really NEED to hear about the guy who goes to work, comes home and gets stoned and then gets up the next day and does it all again (check out Snakepit if you do NEED to know about him) and yet, I do read his stuff. And I really enjoy it.

Anyway, back to me…
On Saturday I went to Dizz-knee-land (you get an extra point if you know why I call it that) and had a very nice time, even if it was so crowded that they warned us of how crowded it was before we even parked the car. Still, I kind of enjoyed it all. People were generally happy and I like to people watch so it was all good. AND IT SNOWED! Well, that’s not true. They shot soap bubbles out all over me so it kind of looked like snow. But the idea of snow without cold is very, very appealing. Especially now that I hear it’s about 9 degrees in New Jersey and I am due to arrive there on the 20th. Yikes! I have California blood now; I can’t stand those cold temperatures!

On Sunday I went to the Bazaar Bizarre with a few friends. Sadly, we were sans Jodi-odi-odi because she has the plague. I hope she’s feeling better. The Bazaar Bizarre is an annual craft fair of independent artists, crafters and designers that is great fun. I always find some interesting things and discover new artists there. And you can drink. Who doesn’t like a craft fair with alcohol? It makes everything seem that much craftier! (OK, I didn’t have any drinks, but I did think about it!).

Rounded off the evening with Greek dim-sum…well, ok, we ordered our meal from the appetizers menu at a lovely Greek restaurant that is hidden down an alley (tres Harry Potter!). Very charming with very good food.

I would call this past weekend a success!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

FIle Under: Bad Idea

Why did I eat Cambell's "Blended Vegetable" Soup at Hand for lunch when i don't even like Campbell's soups? And when they said "blended" why don't they tell you it actually has some mushy chunks in it? Because there is very little that bothers me more than drinking something and having a chunk hit my lips unexpectedly. Ugh.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

In which I embarrass myself yet again

In the spirit of goodwill and embarrassing one’s self deeply in the name of having something to post, I now present to you a book report from the sixth grade. We had several choices of how to write it and one of them was as a poem. As of 6 or so years ago I was still the only student who had ever chosen the poem option (and I use the term “poem” very, very loosely). You may mock my rhyme scheme if you want, as it barely exists anyway but I must note that I received an “Excellent A+ A truly super job!” on this particular paper.

I now present The Secret Garden: A book report in poetry by my 12 year old self (with spelling errors intact).

Little Mary quite contrary
Woke up one morning all alone
No servants or parents were in the India home
Then a young man he opened up the door
“Barny, “ he said “there’s a kid on the floor”

“Mistress Mary Quite Contrary”
Little Basil did chant
For poor young Mary was
Now living with a distant aunt

Little Mary dressed in black
Was soon met at the railway track
By one of her guardians maids
I daresay she was taken aback

But on the moor thin Mary
Soon began to thrive
And became as busy
As a bee in a hive

Soon Mary became friends with the
Gardners robin
She talked to him as he sat
Swayin and a bobbin’

One day while she was talking to
The robin
She found in a hole a key
The robin sat upon a wall
A swayin’ and a bobbin
And above the wall Mary saw
Some trees

And that is how Miss Mary
Chanced upon the garden
And she said to her uncle
“I beg your pardom but might
I have a bit of earth if nobody
Really wants it?
Her uncle he replied
“Take a yard or a bit if
nobody wants it”

Mary worked in the garden
Nobody had been in
For 1 decade it was empty
Little Mary she worked plenty

A young maids helped her get
A set of tools and seeds
And together they worked hard
They killed all the weeds

The garden was her uncles wifes
A pretty maid was she
She had died quite suddenly
From the falling branch of an old tree

One might mistress Mary heard a cry
She couldn’t find where it came from
No matter how she would try

One windy eve Miss Mary
Could not sleep
She heard the cry and
Took a little peep

What she found was her cousin
Who had been very sick
He could not walk only
Talk but he was worth a dozen

Marys cousin Colin
A big boy was he
But threw himself into
Furies always bawling

Colin got stronger
And in the very end
Mary taught him how to walk
And became a very good friend

As I said, not much on rhyme scheme there and I must have already heard that punctuaion was totally optional in a poem. I particularly like how I adopted some “old timey” language because that how you write a poem.

Mind you, I do not have to humiliate myself this way. I do it because I care.
Thank you and good night.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

2, 4, 6, 8, 2

Jodi-odi-odi wrote me a cinquain and I am so touched by it that I decided to reprint it here without permission:

Ren rocks
She inspires me
And teaches me new things
Like how to write this here cinquain
She's cool.

See, I AM COOL! Jodi-odi-odi said so! YOU CAN’T TELL ME DIFFERENT! Well, you can, but I won’t listen.

And, as I pointed out to Jodi, you should care about cinquains because they were developed by a poet named Adelaide Crapsey. This is now my new favorite name, replacing both “Cardinal Joseph Bevilacqua” and “John Snunu” (but possibly not “Lucrecia Bevilacqua Banderas”).

Anyway, I also wanted to mention that the idea laughing dogs is kind of creepy but I love this study. I now want to be an expert in “hamster culture.” That dude has an awesome job.

Monday, December 05, 2005


So, I was cleaning out some stuff this weekend and I came across a bunch of notes and letters from high school that somehow made it all the way across country with me. Among them was this birthday list that I can only assume is from 1986. when I turned 17:

Karen’s Birthday List
  1. nice gold chain
  2. little red corvette
  3. driver’s lisence!! (sic)
  4. leather jacket
  5. HoJo concert tickets
  6. New Adam Ant album
  7. Overbrook sweatshirt
  8. football jersey #55 (occupied)
  9. tapes
  10. clothes
  11. money
  12. Dave Brown

Um…yeah. I can tell you that I don’t think I got ANY of these things for my birthday that year except the driver’s license (and I still can’t spell license correctly without looking it up so not all that much has changed). I did see HoJo in concert (and if you are under the age of say…30 and over the age of say….45 that would be HOWARD JONES to you) but I don’t think I got the tickets as a present. I did get the new Adam Ant album but I don’t think it was a birthday present, and I suspect I got it much, much later. I’m pretty sure it was the Viva Le Rock album. I think I remember who wore the #55 jersey but I don’t want to state any names here for fear of embarrassing myself (or anyone else for that matter). I did get a1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme which is not at all a little red corvette but was an awesome car anyway. It survived a lot of urban surfing and bumping of smaller cars (specifically Jules’s bright orange Pinto) into intersections (calm down, no one ever got hurt). I also no longer want a leather jacket or a nice gold chain (give me a break, I grew up in New Jersey) but if there was a new Adam Ant album, I would still want it. I would still totally go to a HoJo concert and I probably wouldn’t complain if I got Dave Brown for my birthday even now.

I know my birthday is now past but you know...if you were looking for christmas presents or something...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Watch out Audrey!

This one just makes me squeal like a little girl. (And if you didn't already know, Audrey is my cat.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


OK, I am kind of proud of myself for getting this far in adapting my template. YAY! There are still some changes to be made but...eeeeeee! I didn't think I would ever get this far! (And yes, I like the fact that it looks like Neopolitan Ice Cream, shutup!).

Housekeeping with the Linkage

Oh! hey, i got my official hobo name yesterday! You may now refer to me as "li'l Max Meatboots" if you wish.

And now a few things I’ve been storing away and need to clear out…

This guy makes good art. I don’t know him but I quite like his style.

Last year, GoingJesus had a cavalcade of bad nativity scenes (I showed her the Madame Tussad’s one featuring Posh and Becks. This year it’s "Angels We Have Heard are High” and it’s really quite terrifying.

And speaking of religion… The Martin Luther . I haven’t tried it yet but I didn’t spend all that time in church school learning about the reformation to not be nailed to the door.

In science in nature news…well, butterflies now officially kick ass. Go figure.

Also, tis the season for headaches and flu, please be careful when you self-medicate . I recommend sticking with the … The Martin Luther . (Hey, this one is important, please do make with the clicking on the linkage!)

I don’t think I have ever actually read a Lovecraft story. I am interested and I have heard that the newest anthology is brilliant. I read somewhere that when you start reading it you think “Oh, jeez this is cheezy,” but by the time you get to the end you are hiding under the bed. So I am very interested but these cartoons make it even better.

Aside: One of the scariest stories I have ever read was, for reasons I can no longer remember and I sure as heck ain’t going to read it again, The Hell-bound Heart by Clive Barker. I read it one night when I was all alone in the apartment I shared with Jules. It scared the bejeezus out of me so I hid it under her bed. When she came home and found me cowering under my covers I told her about this scary story I had read and told her she should read it. She said she would and asked for the book. I told her where I had hidden it (look, I KNOW it doesn’t make sense that I hid a book under the bed!). She got it out and read it and the next night I found her shaking in the corner and the book hidden under MY bed. Tch. We are sissies.

And finally. big hugs for all of you who even bother to read this. Somehow it’s a little sad to think of the scientists who came up with this…all alone in the lab…

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Things I Saw on Mulberry Street

I keep seeing things while driving that make me do double takes (and nearly crash the car) in the past few weeks I have seen:

An egret (great?) on the side of the 101. It startled the heck out of me. For a minute I thought that it was a photo or and ad or something. It was hanging out by the Van Nuys, right by the exit sign. I think he may have been hitching a ride. And I say he because my dad always calls all egrets "Ronald" (R. egret).

A puppy in a pet store on Wilshire. That doesn't sound all that exciting but I don't think that the puppy was supposed to be running around the store because he appeared to be freaking out with joy and was DANCING in front of the window.

Speaking of windows, an MRI center on Wilshire has set up a skeleton as if it was opening the curtains to peer out. I was sitting in traffic and it happened to catch my eye. I cracked up.

Two cats sitting in a window watching traffic. Well, one cat sitting in a window and then the head of another cat as he popped up and then down as he fell off the couch.

Oh, and while sitting in the car with Sherri, before going to lunch, we saw a squirrel taunt a cat from on top a fence by...urinating on him. The squirrel missed but looked like he was gearing up for another shot. The cat didn't even notice. Imagine going to all the effort of peeing on your natural enemy from on high and then your enemy doesn't even deign to respond.

Of course, I saw all these things on my way home from work. On my way to work I see...nothing. Sometimes I don't even remember how I got there.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


it's a squirrel
Ok, so Thanksgiving was nice. I did a fair amount of cooking but I didn’t make the turkey. Well, not until Sunday when I made a turkey. But I didn’t make the Thanksgiving turkey. What did I make (because I know you care)?

Pecan Pie (with fresh whipped cream)
Soft dinner rolls
Sweet potato casserole
Cucumber and sweet onion salad
Hot spinach and artichoke dip
Deviled eggs

And then on Sunday I made a turkey so we could have turkey sammiches. I also made stuffing and gravy and sweet potato muffins since I had some sweet potato left over and I needed to make breakfasts for week anyway. Sadly the sudden colony of ants decided that they really liked my muffins and ate half of them. But I am so smart S-M-R-T and I put half in the freezer so NYAH! I still have breakfasts for the week. Take that ants!

I guess it’s getting to be that time of the year. CHRISTMAS MUSIC TIME! I am working on yet another annoying mix for the kiddies. So far, all I know is that Fairytale of New York will be on there because I love it and Jodi doesn’t think she knows it (but I am pretty sure she does). At the moment, I am listening to Sufjan Steven’s Christmas stuff and although I like it, I am getting a little banjo overload here. Let me recommend that you take a listen instead to DJ Riko’s Christmas mixes, if you are, you know, feeling the holiday spirit at the moment (scroll way down).

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Saturday Night

Had a nice enough Thanksgiving. Ate some turkey, drank some wine, DIDN'T DO THE DISHES (thank you Jon, you totally rock). AND...AND...for the first time in a long time, i got my pecan (pronounced like pee-can) pie. Everyone always wants the pumpkin (Hey Jules, look at all the pretty pumpykins!) and I make it. But this year, the lovely Janey made a pumpkin pie so i made pecan...and it was good. Let's see...what else did we have...all the usual suspects I guess. But the point is that the day was spent with nice people and for that I am thankful but next year, I am serious, it's martinis for dinner. Maybe i can find a way to make a whole alcoholic dinner. Like a turkey colada and a stuffing and tonic...nah. But oh hey, I actually am working on the cupcake dinner so...maybe next year it's CUPCAKES and martinis. We'll have to discuss this.

Oh, hey, I just watched Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and it was not at all bad. I liked it a heck of a lot more than I liked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...yeesh, I did not care for that one at all. But I will say that Bridget Jones provided a few chuckles, actually more than a few. It was worth my time just to see a realistic portrayal of a girl running in an evening dress, girdle and heels. And another realistic portrayal of boys fighting (yeah, you THINK you look tough but you are so very, very wrong). And it was better than the book. I don't often say that but in this case, I think it's pretty true.

OK, Oprah is telling me what her favorite things are (damn she has expensive tastes!) and there appears to be a glass a wine with my name on it. Jodi-odi-odi, stay warm, the pups are doing well and oh, yeah...I GOT A NEW CAMERA!

My long holiday is almost over, I gotta go milk it for all it's worth.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Hate-Givin' Wishes


Ugh, that picture ALMOST got me to finally go vegetarian last year...almost. That is the aftermath of Donovan's Mama's amazing turkey.

This, however, is amazing in a whole different way. A different, scary way. Thank you, my dear brother, for showing this to me, it will haunt my dreams forever.

He (my brother) suggested that i get that same mold for my tofurkey. Sadly, there will be no tofurkey this year, not for Thanksgiving anyway. sigh. I really wanted to but I just don't have the time...well either that or I am just too damn lazy. I think it's that one. The too damn lazy one. I do suspect that if i did make the tofurkey we could actually change the holiday name to HATE-GIVIN'.

And this one is just for the ladies...ok, well anyone can click but the girls will laugh, the boys, maybe not so much with the laughing...especially if they are actually british.

Have a happy whatever you may be celebrating. Me, I will go the traditional route and have Thanksgiving dinner with friends. For that I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

"Happy Christmas yer Arse..."

I like Christmas music. This may come as a shock to…nah, everyone knows that I like Christmas music. The music I tend to like the most though, not so merry and bright. One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Fairy Tale of New York” as sung by mybeloved Shane MacGowan (of the wonderful Pogues) and the lovely Kirsty MacColl (you may remember her as the “Electric Landlady”). Sadly, Kirsty died in a tragic incident a few years ago. The circumstances surrounding her death have raised many questions and her mother has campaigned tirelessly for inquiries into her daughter’s death. This year Shane MacGowan has re-recorded “Fairy Tale of New York” to raise money for “Justice for Kirsty.” When I read this article I thought I should have mixed feelings about such a thing. I actually don’t. I have no beef with Kate Moss and I like that this is being recorded to help a mother struggling to reveal the truth. I hope I can track it down before Christmas because, quite frankly I can not resist any Christmas song that rhymes maggot with faggot. And really how many Christmas songs begin with the phrase “It was Christmas Eve babe, In the drunk tank?”

Kate may get too much press. She may be really skinny. But it appears to me that she mostly just lives her life and it’s the press who makes a big deal about her. I don’t recall seeing photos of her swanning about, mostly she seems to be either posing (she is a model after all) or going about her business while the paparazzi go mad around her. Mind you, I don’t pay much attention to her but she doesn’t appear to me to be like some other “celebrities”, doing horrible things and blaming someone else. Please, correct me if I am wrong, I honestly don’t know and actually don’t care but it seems that she has done stuff like getting caught doing drugs and then she went into rehab, who amongst us hasn’t? Oh. Right. I haven’t but whatever. My point is, who the heck cares?

I love the song, I don’t know that we needed a new version of it but I think it will benefit a good cause. Give the original a listen this Christmas. I promise it will make you laugh and then be really horrified that you did. It’s a keeper, this one.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

"Was ever a climax better compressed?"

She's not quite finished yet but she's getting there...

It is distrurbing how entertaining this is.
One more for the english major in me...2b?Ntb?=?.
And giraffes made of plywood.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Things that made my day a little better...

The Most Excellent :) and Lamentable :( Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Told Entirely in Emoticons


Eleven Twelve might sound kind of familiar if you are about my age. The video might jog your memory if the song doesn't. This one holds other special memories for me. When my oldest nephew (who is now 13) was a baby, my brother claimed that he only knew a few songs to sing him. One of them was the "It's log!" song from Ren & Stimpy and the other was the pinball song from Sesame Street. I like them both.

Monday, November 14, 2005

This and That

One of my favorite places to visit is flipflopflyin. Craig’s art just makes me so happy. I don’t know how he can make such lovely things from just a few pixels but damn he does it good. One feature that he used to have (and sadly discontinued) was “der Ohrwurm” which chronicled the songs that were stuck in his head on any given day. I thought of “der Ohrwurm” this morning when I could not get a song out of my head. I generally use the Duran Duran trick that I think I may actually have learned from Craig (for some reason “Rio” trumps all other songs and blasts them right out of your head but DOES NOT STICK! Like Teflon it is!)…anyway…this song…ok, look, I know you will laugh but I grew up in New Jersey, it’s like a genetic thing but I had “I’ll Be There for You” by Bon Jovi running through my head. It was killing me.
Aside: I once saw Bon Jovi in concert but only because they opened for Ratt . Bon Jovi sucked so much that we left and came back to see Ratt. And laugh as much as you like but Robbin Crosby was one hot man before…you know…the whole aids thing. R.I.P. Robbin. I love you no matter what.
Anway,..where was I? Oh right. Stuck in my head. But then I came to work and I listened to this…so…now…*sigh*. It’s bad. But I am singing a happy anus song because I need the relief.

Had a nice weekend. Bought some stuff at the Camarillo Outlets and yes, they are worth a bit of a drive if you are feeling lucky. I got 2 shirts and a BRIGHT GREEN sweater at the Eddie Bauer outlet, a Bobbi Brown powder compact, and a pair of burgundy Bass clogs. Works for me. Then we drove down PCH, had a deeply fried lunch at Neptune’s Net, which is a great biker and surfer hang out and then drove along and tried to look into rich people’s homes.

I also did a little drive-by dogsitting for Jodi-odi-odi. I only had to feed the dogs for one night but it’s always nice to see them. Although I do swear that someday they will all work together to knock me over, take me down and eat me alive. It will happen.

Oh hey, as long as I am here…
Currently Reading: I finished the Jasper Ffffforde novel I was reading (Something Rotten) and have moved on to The Mammoth Cheese which references one of my favorite history trivia facts.

Comics: I read the most recent Love in a Foreign Language and quite enjoyed it. (Jodi, when I track down the first two I will loan them to you, I think you might like them). I also read Full Moon Fever. I have finally started reading Long Hot Summer and I am still toting around that Swamp Thing book.

Listening to: Not much of anything. I was listening to the opera Otello in the car the other day, and John Coltrane’s Lush Life this morning. I did get and I do enjoy the newest Nada Surf album. They are a little poppy and light but they make me happy. I was also given the Living Things album (one of the perks of working in a building that used to house a record company…we still get some samples (and I am not linking to their site because it’s really flash heavy and annoying, look them up if you are interested)). It’s ok. I really like the single “Bom Bom Bom” but the rest of the album kind of all sounds the same to me.

Watching: Just the usual stuff. We do have Charlie and the Chocolate Factory from Netflix. I am very curious about it as the source material is one of my favorite books. I have a soft spot for the Gene Wilder version of the movie because I do like him a lot but I know that it was not a hit with the Dahl family and a lot of the fans of the book. I just like it on it’s own merits (I am particularly fond of Veruca Salt’s song…”Geeses, Gooses. I want a goose that lays golden eggs for Easter!”).

Finally, I know my birthday is now past. If you were wondering what to get me for Christmas…(if you need to log in, I suggest using bugmenot.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Snacks and Wax on PCH

snacks and wax

Spend the morning at the Camarillo Outlets and then drove down PCH to Neptunes Net for some lunch.

Friday, November 11, 2005


I'm not saying that it was a nice thing to do, but it is nice to see that there are still some badass authors in the world. I'm pretty sure Hemmingway never did anything like this.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Art of Serving Food Attractively...

...printed in 1951 and written by Mary Albert Wenker...

Just two quick tips on appetizers:

Hollow out tiny cook beets to form cups and fill with chopped cooked clams.
Parboil onions and scoop out center to form onion cups. Refill with a colorful relish or tiny hot meatballs.

Say it with me...tiny, hot meatballs. It just rolls off the tongue.

Tomorrow I will turn older. I will take the day off, go shopping, maybe see a movie and I think I will insist upon linguini and meatballs for dinner. It should be a grand day!


Science is so freakin' cool!

Monday, November 07, 2005


I'm not terribly inspired today so I thought I would share another gem from my disturbing cookbook collection...

From Chaper VIII of To the Queen’s Taste

Nothing but a few limp, cold string beans that the children didn’t eat yesterday? And some tuna fish left from Friday’s lunch? A slightly gristly bit of tongue? Three beets? A half cupful of tomato soup?

Take the string beans. Anyway, they’re cold. There are very few of them, you were thanking your stars, but it takes so little to fill those dishes. Marinate them in some French dressing with a quarter of an onion chopped finely in it.

The beets you slice and arrange in a little overlapping row. You pour a little French dressing over them, and sprinkling with chives from the pot in the window. Or, if they’ve died, you sprinkle a little dill.

You separate the tuna fish into little hunks and pour the tomato soup over them. Strain the soup first.

Slice the tongue paper-thin and leave it alone. Or, if it is beyond that, chop it up and mix it with a little mustard sauce made of mayonnaise and prepared mustard, mixed. Four capers on the top would help, if you have them.

You now have—

That’s enough if your hors d’oeuvre tray has only four divisions. If it has six, you may have to open a can of sardines and hard-boil an egg.

First off…ew.
Secondly, apparently anyone CAN cook. Really, all it takes is the kids leaving a few nasty ol’ sting beans on their plates, you know- the ones you were going to make them eat for breakfast until you remembered you had company coming tonight?
And what is up with all the French dressing? And we all know that French dressing is pretty much just ketchup, mayonnaise and relish anyway, so there’s no cooking there either.

Also, “I” do NOT separate the tuna fish into little hunks. I also do not strain the tomato soup and even if I did, I would not call it “ITALIAN TUNA FISH”. Really!

As for the tongue…well, I personally would have stopped at “Slice the tongue paper thin and leave it alone.” I probably wouldn’t even slice it. Actually, I am quite sure I wouldn’t have any tongue in my refrigerator. Not even my own.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

That know..the one that does stuff?

Today has largely been...not...right. Not necessarily not good, just...look, first I drove off to work (quite merrily, I might add) and it wasn't until I was about a mile away from home that I thought "Gee, I want my sunglasses...which are in my purse...WHICH IS ON THE LIVING ROOM FLOOR!". I don't do that. Yeah, I forget your birthday, yeah, I forget MY birthday, haven't a clue how old I am, or how old you are. I don't remember 80% of my childhood and I barely know my phone number but I DO NOT FORGET TO TAKE MY PURSE WITH ME WHEN I LEAVE THE HOUSE! Except, um, this morning. So, I went back to get it.

Not a big deal really, but then later in the day I was keywording some images and I had to go ask Jason what that thing was, you know the one that you put things on and it like moves them to you, it's like a big circle, they have them in factories and you put stuff on them and like conveys them, on a belt...Oh. Yeah. (It wasn't quite that bad but it was pretty brain-farty. I also stared at a picture of a well known cartoon character for about five minutes trying to recall his name. So yeah...brain not work right today. Not sure why but I do taste pennies and smell burnt toast. Maybe I should have that checked out by that guy, you know the one who looks at you and does stuff and then tells you that there's something wrong? That guy.

I am hoping to be more coherent tomorrow.
(spell check just suggested that I replace LIVINGROOM with LEBENSRAUM and "farty" with "farhad", I suspect it's not just me today).

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Getting to know your friends.

So, Donovan's Mom sent me one of those "get to know your friends" type of e-mails (which I honestly do like to fill out and read) and I filled it out and sent it back. But then Lovely Cheryl sent one to me too. I looked for my original answers but couldn't find them anywhere so I decided to go ahead and answer them there, just to have the documentation of it. And also because I don't have anything else to say right now because I am a very dull person. Look, I told you that in the beginning. I have very little to say! Anyway, here are my answers...

1. What time did you get up this morning?
Um…I think it was around 7:30. But it might have been 8:00. But tomorrow I will get up at 6:00 so it all evens out in the end. (Besides, I have flexible hours! I can sleep later if I want too! SHUT UP!)

2. Diamond or pearls?
Pearls. And you know, I do have a birthday coming up soon… hint, hint.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Wallace and Grommit: Curse of the Wererabbit

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Currently obsessed with the British show Green Wing.

5. What did you have for breakfast?
Homemade sour cherry scone. Sour cherries have good pain relieving properties. They aren’t really working today though…

6. What is your middle name?
Lucrece…SHUT UP!

7. What is your favorite food?
I always answer this one different but today I am going to say fried oysters. (I also love sushi, pizza and fried chicken).

8. What food do you dislike?
I despise green peppers. Please don’t bring them near me. Can’t even stand the smell.

9. What is your favorite chip flavor?
Plain potato, preferably Herr’s.

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment?
I’ve been listening to this jazz mix that BeaucoupKevin made over and over again. I especially like the Chet Baker song. Sigh, he’s dreamy.

11. Favorite sandwich?
Probably the classic PBJ. I generally eat all hippie healthy foods when I can but the PBJ is a classic and you don’t mess with the classic. Gotta be white bread, gotta be grape jelly, and for me, a little more jelly than peanut butter.

12. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Today I am saying Edinburgh, Scotland. Tomorrow, who knows?

13. What color is your bathroom?
Yukky, dirty yellowish (and those purple stains on the wall are not from me dying my hair, as far as you know).

14. Favorite brand of clothing?
Hunh, I don’t know. I buy a lot of Old Navy stuff.

15. Where would you retire?
Somewhere beachy and southern-ish…or Santa Fe, New Mexico.

16. Favorite time of the day?
Middle of the night when it’s QUIET!

17. What was your most memorable birthday?
I’m gonna have to go with 16th. I know that I was running late with the cleaning and baking of the cake so I was still in the shower when people started showing up. It was supposed to be a movie party but the VCR broke (my mom ran out and rented a new one). I think there were people who showed up that were not invited and I do remember that one girl gave me a boy for my birthday. Jodi-odi-odi conjectured that he was gay but he was actually a drug dealer. Don’t look at me that way, I didn’t know that until much later.

18. Where were you born?
Camden, N.J.

19. Favorite sport to watch?
Eh, I’ll watch football, basketball and surfing but I don’t really care about any of them. I do love boxing but I don’t follow it.

20. Who do you least expect to send this back to you?
Oh, when I sent it I don’t even remember who I sent it to. Rats.

21. Person to send it back first?
Um…since I can’t remember who I sent it to, let’s just assume no one sent it back.

22. What fabric detergent do you use?
What ever is free of perfume and dye…I am a very sensitive girl.

23. Coke or Pepsi?
I’m trying not to drink any of it and stick to tea. But every once in a while I CRAVE a Diet Coke.

24. Are you a morning person or night owl?
Night owl. But maybe not as much as Jodi-odi-odi .

25. What is your shoe size?
Usually an 8.

26. Do you have any pets?
I have a lovely cat named Audrey.

27. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with family and friends?
Um…no, Actually, I got nothin’.

28. What did you want to be when you were little?
A ballerina. But the weak ankles proved to be a problem. So then I decided on vet but the chemistry scared me. Then I thought I could be a teacher but that didn’t work out either. Hmmm…someday I will decide what I want to be.

29. Who sent you this quiz and what item on it didn't know before?
This time it was from Cheryl. She said that her favorite food was my cupcakes! *Blush.* Thanks!

Monday, October 31, 2005


This weekend I went to a library book sale and I picked up some terrifying cookbooks. To the Queen’s Taste by Helen Train Hilles was published in 1937 and the “revised edition” that I picked up was from 1950. Frankly, it kind of amazes me that the book was ever revised and republished. It’s…something else. Look people, you may mock my love of tofu and I may sit at my Thanksgiving table alone, sadly eating my tofurkey, but I promise you I will never do this to you:
Serve Ancora green turtle soup cold, instead of hot. It will jell by itself. It seems to give the little pieces of turtle added flavor this way.
I also will never do this to you:
1. Serve ice cold clam broth (plain) in cups.
2. Semi-freeze and serve with salted whipped cream.

Oh, I could go on and on about the fact that cold, jelled turtle soup somehow taste more…turtlely…or I could just say the words “salted whipped cream” and watch you cry. But no, I am a good friend and I won’t.

These are only two examples of the horrors of To the Queen’s Taste, and the other book that I picked up The Art of Serving Food Attracively. Please stay tuned for more tasty nightmares.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Big Green Love

I kind of know the Hulk. He's a good guy, even if he is green. Or, perhaps maybe BECAUSE he is green! Either way, I, too, love kitties and the story of Savannah Kitty made me feel really bad. But then I felt really good at the response. Maybe, if you've got a spare $2 you can help out. But even if you can't, give a kitty or a doggie a little extra love today. We need them and they need us. It's just the way of the world. And give a little love to the Incredible Hulk too.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Nothing Interesting...

Reading: Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde, Ulysses by James Joyce (still and forever) and poetry wise, at red lights in the car, Some Ether by Nick Flynn. (OOPS! I just opened my bag and discovered that I have never actually finished reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. I have to confess that I was getting annoyed with it though. I probably stopped reading it because I found it to be kind of preachy and snobby. But that’s just me).

Comics: Well, I haven’t actually been reading my comics lately but I have been carrying around Long Hot Summer and Secret of the Swamp Thing in my bag.

Listening to: John Vanderslice . He’s got a lot of mp3s available on his site. The one I particularly like though (Dance Dance Revolution) is NOT there. Also he runs an analog recording studio, that’s gotta be pretty cool if you are into audio stuff.

Watching: Well, I finally saw Wallace and Grommit Curse of the Wererabbit and I loved, loved, loved it. Brilliant. Aardman rocks. I’ve also been kind of obsessing over Green Wing. Excellent show. Hugely crushing on Stephen Mangan . And…hmm…well not actually watching much TV, although I am trying to catch up on episodes of Veronica Mars .

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

January Shivers

Despite my love for poetry, there are the only two poems I can recite from memory. One is, as previously mentioned, How Doth The Little Crocodile and the other is a poem I learned in first grade and it goes a little something like this (cue the upright bass)…

January shivers,
February shines.
March blows off the winter ice.
April makes the morning nice.
May is hopscotch lines.
June is deep blue swimming,
Picnics are July.
August is my birthday.
September whistles by.
October is for roller skates,
November is the fireplace.
December is the best because,
Of sleds and snow and Santa Claus.

Thank you! Thank you very much! Good night.

Oh, wait, I would like to mention that August is NOT my birthday, it is actually in November. And December is not the best precisely because of snow. Also, when reciting the above poem please do not whistle as you say “September whistles by”, it apparently annoys the teacher and gets you a time out or something. Not that I would know. Heh.

Monday, October 24, 2005

I Know What Girls Like.

Arrrgh! I just read this article and I have to say it annoyed the hell out of me. Not because she’s wrong or anything but hey…here’s the big secret, boys…wanna get girls to read your comics? WRITE GOOD COMICS! Yeah, yeah, I can see the points she makes, they are all completely valid but you know what? I look inside the book too; I ask people who their favorite writers and artists are. I don’t know why this annoys me so much…well, actually, I do. I think this argument needs to be retired. I work in the comic book industry and I see the women at comic conventions and you know what? They are buying the books they like, not the ones their “fellas” like, not the ones that have the purtiest cover or the most “normal” looking woman or whatever. They are buying the books that interest them. And there seem to be plenty of books that do just that. And some of them have big-busted heroines on them and some of them have Wolverine and some of them are artsy-fartsy and some of them are shoot-em-ups.

I like to believe that there is a comic out there for every person who has ever said, “Oh, I don’t like comic books.” I believe that you just need to find the right match. And I suspect that the general difference between boys and girls and their comic reading habits is that girls (and women) are less willing to sift through the crap to get to the good stuff when they know where to get the exact novels, or cds or movies that they like because the information is more readily available. I know that I am more likely to take a chance on a book that has a blurb on it from an author I like and I am more willing to see a movie based on one actor than I am to pick up a comic that I know very little about. Fortunately, I do read comic reviews and I do have friends who know about comics and can make educated recommendations.

Sequential Tart has a recommended reading list that I think can help out a lot. It’s a little dated now but it’s a good place to start when looking for something that might appeal. Personally, I will go to the comic book store and look around until I find something that interests me. I have never really been intimidated or bothered by the geeks. But then again, I am my own geek and I can geek out with the best of them (just not on superhero stuff).

This was a much longer rant about how I am tired of the “girls don’t like comics” argument. Girls do like comics but when was the last time anyone handed you one? When was the last time you handed one to any other girl? If you know a woman who likes history, gift her with a copy of Age of Bronze, if she likes fairytales, try Fables. Horror? We got that. Sci-Fi? We got that too.

I think we need to start looking at comics like we do music. If you don’t like one song do you stop listening to music forever? I doubt it. I’m guessing you change the channel, buy a new cd, ask your friends what they are listening to. Did you never read another book when you decided that The Corrections sucked? Nah, there are plenty of other things to read. Move on.

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Burden of the Bard

image "borrowed" from Toothpaste for Dinner

One of the other things I have been thinking about a lot lately is William Shakespeare’s plays. I am a pretty big fan of Shakespeare, although I haven’t always been. I think the first time I ever read any I was pretty annoyed. I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand how “Romeo and Juliet” could possibly be relevant to whatever the hell I was doing as a freshman in high school. And it was hard to read too! Not to mention the iambic pentameter, what the heck was that all about? But with a little guidance (and oh how important that is for the Shakespeare reader), I came to see the value and the pleasure of his plays. And oh, yeah, I also found out that Romeo and Juliet were just about the same age as I was when I was first reading it.

One of the most important things I have learned about appreciating Shakespeare is that it’s not nearly as tough as it seems. Shakespeare, by most accounts (and please, I could get into all the theories about how he never lived, about who actually wrote Shakespeare’s stuff, about how Shakespeare himself was not smart enough to have created all that and how it must have been Bacon or Marlowe or, my personal favorite, Queen Elizabeth (there’s a new contender now but at the moment his name escapes me)) was a pretty simple guy. And the stuff he wrote was pretty…simple. He wrote about the universal themes in life that we all deal with because they are…universal. Tell me you don’t think about life and death (MacBeth), cheating and honesty (ooh, MacBeth again and Much Ado About Nothing) your relationships with your parents (Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Titus Andronicus, King Lear), the evil guy at work (Oooh, how about Richard III or Julius Caesar?) and race relations (Othello) or even a bad travel experience (The Tempest) on an almost daily basis (can you tell I much prefer the tragedies to the comedies?)? It’s all there in black and white to be read (See, what’s black and white and read all over? SHAKESPEARE!). (Who uses too may parenthesis and with no real rhyme or reason? REN!)

And Shakespeare, he was good to the ladies, even if he was writing the parts for men. Actually, he was better to the women in the comedies than he was to the women in the tragedies or histories but I’m sure I’ll get to that later. Bridget Jones may long for the end of her days as a singleton but Katherina (of Taming of the Shrew) was quite content on her own. While this was not necessarily unheard of during Shakespeare’s time, it certainly was, much like today, uncommon for a woman to be content with her own company and council. But he even created Beatrice from Much Ado about nothing and she is one heck of a tough, sassy kind of gal! Shakespeare knew the deal. Men can be fools over women and money and power and the women…well, they gotta get it done on their own…ok, like I said, at least in the comedies. Once you get to the tragedies you get an awful lot of chicks dying for their men and that certainly is a tragedy.

For me, the key to falling in love with Shakespeare was learning how to read him. In the end I figured out that I understand it best when I read it aloud, which is hardly surprising since they are plays, they were meant to be spoken. If you catch me reading and muttering under my breath as I do, chances are you have found me with some Shakespeare and I am just trying to sort out a bit of word order. But for me, it’s totally worth it.

Hail to the Chief!
He's a Chief and He Needs Hailing!

So, the President of the United States came to Los Angeles. Los Angeles, a city renowned for it’s transportation problems. The city with the most trafficked and traffic heavy freeways in the United States. The city where he SHUT DOWN THE MAJOR THRUWAYS AT RUSH HOUR LAST NIGHT! Yeah, jerk…OH, wait… HE DID IT AGAIN THIS MORNING!

Fine, the most important man in the United States, whatever. But I don’t get paid if I don’t get to work. And that’s just me. What about the gazillion other people that I was on the road with? Jeez, if you want me to spend money to boost the flagging economy, let me get to work and make money so I can spend it!

Anyway, so, while stuck in traffic I was thinking about the first female president. And the implications, they scared me. Not because she will be a she. I think that’s just fine. In fact, I am not sure it will make that big a difference as the political landscape will still weigh heavily towards male and although the president gets to do a lot of special important things, it still takes a bunch of other people to get it done…and most of them are boys.

What scared me is that, well…some things are just easier for boys. I mean, yeah, people said that John Kerry looked like Frankenstein. But they also said he was “ruggedly handsome”. But remember when Hillary was first lady? Remember how the newspapers, ALL the newspapers, even the respected ones followed her every haircut? Look, a guy has a bad hair day and he can pretty much rub some gel in it and look boyish and tousled. A woman has a bad hair day and she looks unkempt. A guy, well, he can wear a blue suit and yeah, maybe he makes a bad tie choice but he’s a guy, they don’t do fashion. But will a female president ever be able to go out of the White House in jeans? And mind you, the women that will be stepping up to the plate, while very intelligent, are also not hip young things. They aren’t even suburban soccer moms (you should see the soccer moms around here, HOOTCHIE MAMAS!). So we’re not talking the kind of woman who can wear low-slung flairs from the gap with a cute little v-neck sweater. We’re talking mom jeans and one of those shiny patterened track suits, aren't we?

It’s one thing to wear Dolce and Gabbana at a State Function but for the day-to-day drudgery of government work it’s pretty much the basic suit for women, which we all know is not really all that flattering no matter what fabulous designer makes it for you. Look, when it comes to clothes and hair, dudes just have it easier. We give them a pass on it too. Oh look, he’s all rumpled…he must be busy! But are we going to give that same pass to a woman? Oh hell no! She better look pressed and perfect if she’s going to be our president! She's better not only bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, she better look good doing it! You know what would be cool though? Like a total June Cleaver look for the president. Let’s see the conservatives complain about that one!

OK, so I’ve gotten a little off topic, yeah, whatever. It just occurred to me that the first female president (well, you know, the first ACKNOWLEDGED female president, you know there have been plenty of first ladies that were running the show from behind the curtains…oh, you know it's true!) is going to have to contend with so much more stupid stuff than any male. Not that that is different from any other woman, but no one has to see my bad hair day on the front page. Or those really bad shoes I wore yesterday, what was I thinking?

But all I really want is a president who is smarter than me. How hard can that really be? Because you know full well I would not have closed the 405 for a single second today, especially when I have my own helicopter. And hey, I’m the president; they aren’t going to start anything without me! Yeah. I’m still mad. Whatever.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Better than a tofu turkey?

Schwee bought be a cuppycake. I only ate half today (I'll eat the rest tomorrow) but man was it a nice surprise. THANK YOU, SCHWEE!

Come on over for dinner!

I found a new recipe for tofu turkey! I found a new recipe for tofu turkey! Who wants to have Thanksgiving dinner at my house?

No one? Really? C’mon!

Yeah, that’s what I figured .

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


A little linkage for the nerd in you:

You know it’s bad when you are laughing at sewing patterns and crafts gone wrong …but you WILL laugh.

An online novel that is keeping me entertained and engaged.

A “sort of” poem that made me laugh out loud. Heh…I think Stan done it.

And for a the really big nerds …yeah, this makes me happy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Now We're Cookin'!

I got ten questions on COOKING (one of my favorite subjects!!!) from Jodi-odi-odi:

1) What is an early memory of cooking or helping your mom in the kitchen?
I don’t have an actual memory of it. I have seen pictures of myself with a mixer and a big grin on my face and I know I did help around the kitchen a lot. But I don’t really remember much of it. I do know that my mother taught me what her mother taught her about not being wasteful so until recently, I always scraped the inside of an eggshell with my finger to get all the eggy goodness out. It is only within the last few years that I decided that I didn’t want to do it anymore and stopped. That’s me, super wasteful.

2) Did you have a "specialty" as a kid?
Again, I don’t really remember much of my childhood. Maybe it was those several concussions or something. I know I made a lot of cakes, I baked beer bread, I made my own bagels and pretzels, and I helped with dinner and all that kind of stuff. But I don’t think I really had a specialty until I was a teenager. Then I became very fond of a chocolate cake that was actually made from mix. In fact, I have the recipe memorized. It was originally called “Peggy Lennon’s Christmas Cake” when I found the recipe in a magazine but over the years it has be called, “Karen’s Chocolate cake” and sometimes “Dan’s cake” after a guy who really liked it. Here it is in all its high fat glory:
Mix one box of the darkest chocolate cake mix (no pudding in the mix) that you can find with 1 package chocolate pudding (I have used instant and non-instant, they both seem to work), 4 eggs, 1/2 cup oil. 1/2 cup water and large container sour cream. Mix that nicely and then add one bag of chocolate chips. Put the whole lot in a greased and floured (use a little cocoa instead of flour if you want) bundt pan. Chuck it in the oven at about 350° for 45 or so minutes. You can’t really do the toothpick test on this one because it will always be too moist but makes sure it’s not jiggly in the middle. Let cool and then sprinkle with a little confectioners sugar. You really don’t want to ice this cake, it’s just overkill. I have made a lower fat version of this and it’s good but not as good. But it can be done! Choose your own poison.

3) I know you love to bake cupcakes. Do you have a favorite that you make?
The cupcake thing is actually a rather new thing for me. I have made them before but it is only since they became trendy that I really started experimenting with them. The thing is, you should be able to use just any old recipe, but I have found that it really doesn’t work as well as you would expect. Because of the small size of the cakes, I am finding that you really need a rich recipe to keep them moist. So far I have found a good peanut butter cupcake recipe and a good yellow one called “Golden Butter Cupcakes”. I haven’t found a chocolate one that I like yet. But I will cheerfully continue the experimentation.

4) Are there any non-baked foods you enjoy making?
I like cooking in general. I like to make pretty much anything but I am not terribly fond of frying food. Too much mess and danger for me. I do it on occasion but I really avoid anything that takes more than a light coating of oil in the bottom of a skillet. I do especially like to experiment with vegetarian dishes though. I like to try and make it taste good…which, as we all know, can be something of a challenge. Oh! I like making soup too! In the past month or so I have made chicken noodle, New England Clam Chowder (lo-fat version) and Tomato soup. All of them were at the very least, edible.

5) What is your favorite market to shop in for your ingredients?
Hmmm…well, I usually end up in three markets, Albertson’s for staples, like flour and sugar, Trader Joe’s for eggs and dairy and pre-prepared stuff and Whole Foods for the slightly more exotic stuff like whole wheat pastry flour and flax seeds and stuff like that. I really like buying my vegetables and fruits at farmer’s markets but I tend to not use what I buy fast enough so I usually only go there when I know I am making something special. I had the same problem when I used to order my fruits and veggies online from Organic Express. They have a great service and excellent food but I found I couldn’t use it fast enough.

6) Will you be cooking for Thanksgiving this year?
Ah, I don’t know yet. I’m sure I will be cooking SOMETHING, but we haven’t made firm plans yet.
Will you cook a turkey?
One way or another I am sure I will make a turkey, even if I don’t cook it for the actual Thanksgiving dinner. The whole big Thanksgiving deal is probably my favorite meal of the year. I don’t really need it more than at Thanksgiving and Christmas but I really, really like it. Someday though, I do intend to try a Tofurkey. I made some homemade tofu turkey slices once and they were…not good. But I really want to try a good one…ok, well…I really want to try one…I don’t know how good it will be.

7) Do you help relatives cook when you go home for holidays?
A bit. Probably not as much as I could. I help a bit with Christmas dinner, usually by stirring the gravy and Christmas breakfast by making toast. Last year I carved the turkey for the first time (my dad usually does it but he didn’t feel like it). Sometimes when I go home I make Deviled Clams for my family or I help my mom make whatever it is she is making but I don’t really do any baking or anything. My nephews like to make cookies with their Grammy so they take care of that. And my mom has what she likes down pretty well. I do take some stuff with me though; usually I give my family homemade candy at Christmas time, Guinness Truffles, Caramel Flur De Sal Truffles and Bourbon Balls. I don’t much care for them but they seem to like them. Maybe this year I will introduce them to scrambled tofu!

8) You may have mentioned this before, but do you have a favorite TV chef and/or cooking show?
It might be easier to say whom I don’t like. But…well that seems mean. I am fond of Ina Garten who has a show called “Barefoot Contessa” and I love Nigella Lawson, she makes great British-y food. I think what I like best about both of them is that they look like kind of elegant, lovely posh women but they both mix stuff with their hands and say “Hey, if you don’t feel like making stock from scratch, buy it from a can!”. They have a more realistic and relaxed attitude than someone like Martha Stewart, who I also like to watch but I don’t very often. I still enjoy watching Emeril Lagasse although I don’t feel like I learn very much from him, I just think he’s kind of cute. I am a long time fan of Julia Child and I am kind of currently obsessed with two PBS cooking shows, One Plate Mexico with Rick Bayless and New Scandanavian Cooking. Which I think I may have mentioned before.

9) Do you cook from recipes or do you improvise?
I read recipes but I rarely follow them to the letter. I love reading cookbooks but I almost never do exactly what a recipe says. I guess sometimes I should but I tend to know what I like as far as spices and textures and adjust accordingly. For example, I know that I like my cakes to have a pronounced vanilla flavor so I usually double the amount of vanilla called for, and I don’t care for the underlying taste of coffee with chocolate, even though they say it enhances the chocolate, so I don’t add it. Also, anyone that calls for an eighth of a teaspoon of pepper is just crazy so I add to taste, which is probably more like a teaspoon for me, maybe more.

10) Do you like mushy peas? Someone in England sent me a recipe, but I'm not even sure where to get the ingredients. Would you be willing to at least consult?
I like mushy peas just fine but I think I have only had them once or twice. I’m betting it’s the marrowfat peas that you are concerned about finding and I have no idea where you would get those, but I suspect one of the British stores can help. And I would be more than happy to help you make them or even make them for you.

Friday, October 14, 2005

This One Goes to Eleven

I asked Jules what I should write about today and she said:

WXPN had people write in & they compiled the top 885 albums of all time - they are up to the 20s today - there has been much debate and people have been picking their top 10 albums.

I thought about it and thought about it but I had a lot of trouble deciding what the top ten are for me. So I went the wimpy way and decided to instead list the ten “go to” albums for me. What I listen to when I don’t know what I want to listen to, what I listen to over and over again. The music that I can rely on in a crisis and never tell me “I love you, just not that way.”

Here they are in no special order:

Buffalo Tom Smitten
Elvis CostelloMy Aim is True
David Bowie Aladdin Sane
The Bangles All Over the Place
Hoodoo Gurus Mars Needs Guitars
Rolling Stones Some Girls
QueenA Night at the Opera
Cake Fashion Nugget
Velvet Goldmine Soundtrack
T Rex Electric Warrior
The Jayhawks Hollywood Town Hall

I’m not saying that these are the most brilliant albums ever made or the best bands that ever existed. I love them all but hey WHERE ARE THE BEATLES? See, love the Beatles but I don’t run for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band when I am sad. I don’t know why, I just don’t. You know I have unnatural fondnesses for Boy George, Cyndi Lauper, The Clash and The Ramones. You know that I like all kinds of music. That Ella Fitzgerald is my joy, Nina Simone is my rock and that I have been in love with the memory of Chet Baker since the beginning of time. You know that I like dance music, and pop music and punk music and classical music. I even willingly listen to country and opera. But time and time again it comes down to these eleven.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Gift Ideas for Teenage Girlfriend Website

This picture has been driving me crazy on Yahoo. I just...look, it's all breasts here. And sure, they are nice but really...I don't need to see this.


I came across this on a randomly generated blog and I have no idea why I find the "gift ideas for teenage girlfriend website" line so funny but I do.


This one...well...c'mon! You're not using them! Make some dreams come true. Maybe this is a good gift idea for teenage girlfriend?


Finally, proof that we all really do need a nap.


Can I just say, this morning was not great? Well, I'm saying it. This morning was not great. Deep breath, try again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Ramble on...

A combination of an email from an old friend and an article about poetry has got me thinking today about…poetry. I am a fan. I have been for a very long time but it seems to me that most people find this a dated affectation. In a way, I suppose, a fondness for anything is an affectation. We tend to define ourselves by what we like, do we not? But that’s not really the point here.

Poetry isn’t something we think about but it surrounds us. We THINK we hear it in advertising jingles and rap music and yet we don’t notice it in tv shows like “Deadwood.” We regularly pick up novels but almost never pick up poetry. Every once in a while we come across something in the newspaper that MIGHT be poetry, if you squint really hard. But in the end, rhyming is not enough, meter is not enough, emotion is not enough. Somewhere along the way the importance of discipline in poetry was lost.

Hey, you could string some words together, match some rhyme scheme and throw in a reference to…oh I don’t know, how the darkness envelopes you like the womb and you could call it a poem. You could! I’ve seen it done. But does that really get the job done?

Or, you could be Eminem and rhyme no with no and her with competitor..with…”cheddar’s incredda’”? Yikes, I’m going to risk being branded a snob and just flat out say that this is not poetry. It might make for a catchy song but…yeah. Seriously, here’s a bit from one of his songs…

Niggaz that take no for an answer, get told no
Yeah I been told no but it was more like, "No, no, no!!!"
Life a bitch that'll fuck you if you let her
Better come better than better to be a competitor
this vet is ahead of, the shit is all redder, you deader and deader
A medic instead-a the cheddar's incredda'

I can’t say it’s bad, I don’t have the background in rap rhyme schemes to assert that. But I am pretty comfortable saying…not poetry. Then again, I certainly wouldn’t say that about all rap or even song lyrics. Very often they stand alone just fine.

Hey, I might even argue that poetry is a pretty basic urge. Generally children learn to read by rhyme. Consider that one of the most common first words that a child learns to read is cat. Suddenly the vocabulary is increased significantly by rhyming. As long as the kid gets “cat” and knows the alphabet, she suddenly has rat, bat, sat, fat, hat, mat, pat, and vat with very little effort, start adding letter combinations and the list goes on…chat, frat (ok, they won’t really learn this one until later but still…I didn’t want to have to go with shat either…heh).

Anyway, I guess in thinking about poetry today I’m thinking that it’s something that has become a…well, kind of an educational cliché. Generally I think people only think about it in school and then only because they have to. Sadly, I also think that you miss out when you don’t explore it a little. There’s a lot to like in poetry, unfortunately, there’s a lot to hate too (and I am not going to link anything to “hate” because I think you have to decide that one for yourself).

Hmm…I don’t think I’m done on this subject but I think have been boring enough for one day. I still have things to say on the subject and I want to talk about why “Howl” is a great poem, even if you don’t like it. But please, read a poem this week. Just one. Just a short one. It’s good for you and it’s better than eating brussel sprouts (yes, I know, I know, you LIKE brussel sprouts…freak).

Yeah, I am boring like that…what can I say?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Stuff...and Junk

This weekend was nice. I did a bit of cooking, went to a party and spent Sunday on the couch. Nary a bathroom was cleaned and it was good.

I did make Golden Butter Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting, Deep Dish Chocolate Brownies, Non-vegan Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins and Low-Fat New England Clam Chowder(ish).

The muffin recipe was totally vegan but I wasn’t in the mood to grind flax seeds so…sorry PETA but they’ve got eggs in them. They are good though and I will try them next time as a totally vegan recipe. If it helps any they were probably free-range eggs.

The clam chowder(ish) was a bid to get rid of two cans of chopped clams that I’ve had in my cabinet for…forever. I think Steffie gave them to me before she moved out of town six months ago. The chowder(ish) wasn’t really very chowdery but it was ok. I would use fresh clams next time but that only makes sense since I did finally get rid of those chopped clams.

At the party I tried a new whisky called Cragganmore. It was pretty good. But I think I do have a new favorite whisky (click to see).“Aromas of complex ripe fruit (golden raisins, marmalade, cherries, apples), toffee, treacle, and hint of mint. Full, rich texture and body—almost chewy. Flavors of lush fruit drenched with honey and caramel.” Um…wow. How can I resist that?

And finally…stupid things I am proud of for no real reason…
I am proud that:

  • I am the kind of girl who owns a flask and drinks whisky.
  • I dictated poetry to my mother before I could write (It’s not good though, nothing to be proud of).
  • I have a fairly extensive and useless amount of knowledge about modern british televison comedy.
  • I can make bread.
  • I know how to hem my own pants (but not very well).
  • I know which fork to use.
  • I can name all of the New Kids on the Block (but only their first names).
  • I know all the words to “One Night in Bangkok.”
  • I eat raw oysters (Hey, a lot of people won’t eat them!).
  • I can make a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy (ok, bad joke, but I can!).

Oh wait, finally, finally…I do not know nor do I understand why Jules’ computer now believes that it is 1904. She told me I should write about that. So I did.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Officially Outed

I have been officially outed. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, "Ren has a blog-like thing." It's no longer a secret. It is, however, really, really embarrassing.

Anyway, I added some more linky-poos for when you are bored.

And this made me laugh and I am really not sure why...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

TV Rots the Brain!

Here’s another one for Jules. She said I hadn’t written in a while and I asked what I should write about. She said maybe the new fall programming…

But I haven’t been watching all the new shows so I will instead tell you what I do watch…

Monday nights we’ve been kind of watching and kind of taping. I had high hopes for “How I Met Your Mother” and I decided it’s…OK…just OK. There are a few good jokes here and there but it’s just another sit-com really. I do like the lead actor though. I think he manages the awkward funny thing quite well and hey, DOOGIE. But yeah, I don’t really care about this one and if I am bored I will watch it and if I am busy I will not worry. After that we watch “Two and a Half Men” which I am a little surprised that I find so funny. I have always ADORED Jon Cryer, so that’s worth the price of admission right there. Although I really, really, really despise the theme song and force my husband to mute it before that one voice hits the high note. Then we watch “Medium” which I really do like. It’s not so much the medium aspect of it though. I really like the way they show the family interacting on that show. It’s really honest and believable. Even if you can’t get behind her physic abilities I think that the husband’s responses to her and her work and how they both deal with their children are pretty honest and funny.

Tuesday, I would normally watch “House” but lately we have been watching “My Name is Earl” and then the second half of “House”. I will confess that I don’t think “House” is that innovative a show but I do think that Hugh Laurie is a great actor, a brilliant comedian and just a lot of fun to watch. Omar Epps doesn’t hurt my eyes either. So there. “My Name is Earl” is…OK. I like it. I wanted not to like it but I like it. Maybe not so much that I can’t miss it but it’s good entertainment and I am pleased to see Jason Lee doing such a fine job. I will say that I don’t care much for the redneck/white trash humor but this show has kept pretty pleasant about it all and I really can’t say anything about it. I do watch “Boston Legal” and I do like it but again it’s a matter of enjoying the actors more than anything else. And it’s another of those, “Hey, I’ll watch this if I don’t have something else to do” kind of shows.

Wednesday is going to prove to be difficult in our house. He likes “Lost” I do not. I like “Criminal Minds” he is “eh” on that but we both really like “Veronica Mars” and THEYARE ALL ON AT THE SAME TIME AND NO WE DO NOT HAVE TIVO OR A DECENT VCR!! Crap.

Thursday we have been watching “CSI” for years and then we added “Without a Trace” to the mix. I find that I don’t care about either of them anymore and I only watch them because they have pretty men on the cast. Yay! for pretty men but Meh! for the shows. I did watch “Everybody Hates Chris” even though I don’t much care for Chris Rock and I thought it was a good show with one problem…Chris Rock. I don’t really think that the show needs his narration but I understand WHY they have it. Love the parents though. And the writing was quite good. I also took a look at “Love, Inc.” because a friend of the husband created it. It was fine. Good natured, cute enough. Busy Phillips was very funny and I would say it made me laugh out loud a few times but, in the end, it’s just another show that I will watch if I am around and watching TV but not really think about otherwise.

On Friday I have been watching the show that nobody else likes and LOVING IT! I like “Threshold”. I like the actors. I like the idea of the crisis plan management; I like the fact that there is a linguistics expert on the show. I like that the mystery is not “Are they aliens” but rather “Holy Shit! Aliens! How are we going to deal with this?” This show just totally does it for me the most as far as new shows go. I know that there are very few people who like it but hey, I am one of them (Jules is another). I will continue to watch this as long as it on. I do try to catch “Battlestar Galactica” on Fridays too but I miss it fairly often so I’ve been taping them so I can catch up.

Saturday, there is nothing on that I am interested in.

Sunday I watch “King of the Hill”, “The Simpsons” and “Rome”. I do love “Rome”. I was first intrigued because it stars one of my favorite actors, Ciaran Hinds but it has turned into a very entertaining soap opera with the added benefit of a little bit of history. Beautiful men and women, often nekkid and political intrigue. A little something for everyone.

That’s what I’ve been watching. It seems like a lot of TV when I write it down and that really bothers me. But I will note that since the end of “Buffy” I don’t watch anything religiously. I do tape things and watch them later…but mostly I just ignore the tapes and never catch up.

OH! It did just occur to me that there are two things I ALWAYS watch on Saturday afternoons…”Mexico, One Plate at a Time” which is a sort of cooking/travel show with chef Rick Bayless and “Scandinavian Cooking” which is about…Scandinavian cooking. I also very often watch “Mystery!” I particularly like “Foyle’s War” and “Mrs. Bradley Mysteries”. But those are the kind of thing I usually stumble across and then think “Oh crud! I could have been watching GOOD TV!”

OK, Jules. Is that enough? What shall I write about tomorrow?

If All My Exes Lived in Texas...

...well, it would be a pretty depressing state. Oh...wait...

Jules seemed to express some concern that I wasn’t writing enough. Since she and Jodi-odi-odi are the only people who actually read this blog I am trying to deliver on more entries. I cannot promise quality, only slightly more quantity.

I was thinking about ex-boyfriends today, in a general sense. I don’t have much to say about them but if I did I realized that I would have to give them aliases…

“Slightly Gay First Boyfriend With Too Many Teeth Who Was Such A Bad French Kisser That I Decided French Kissing Was Gross” seems a little too long. Perhaps he could just be called…”Toothy”?
or what about…
“Totally Gay Boyfriend Who Decided To Come Out At A Friends Wedding”? How do I shorten that one?
Then there is…
“Pompous Ex-Boy Friend Who Was Defensive About Not Going To College And So Tried To Make Up For It By Being Snobby”
“Bad Ass. Leather-Wearing Ex-Boyfriend Who Wasn’t A Bad Ass At And And Was Really A Pretty Nice Guy Who Actually Played The Trombone”
Later there would be…
“Nice But Slightly Overbearing Ex-Boyfriend Who Constantly Compared Me To His Far Hotter Ex-Girlfriend And Who's Mother Didn’t Like Me At All”
and then
“Lovely Ex-Boyfriend Who Had And Ex-Girlfriend Who Had His Baby But Was Dealing With That And Was Pretty Ok Until He Started Taking Me For Granted and I Did the Same to Him”
Oh and one of my personal favorites…
“Only Dated Briefly Ex-Boyfriend Who Was Smart Enough That When He Didn’t Understand Something I Said Would Respond With “Now Say It Again And Pretend I’m Stupid”…I always appreciated that.
Jodi-odi-odi wrote today about her love for Halloween. I..uh…can’t do that. I really don’t like Halloween. Not at all. I have never been really fond of it. I like fall a lot. And I am a bit of a pagan and I like to make costumes so you’d think this would be right up my alley (huhuhuh…I said, “up my alley”). I’m even the slightest bit goth so it seems like a match made in heaven, or I guess it’s more appropriate to say hell here but either way, it just don’t fly with me.

I don’t like to be scared. I hate haunted houses and I despise rubber masks. I don’t care that much for candy either…ok, well that’s not true, I do like candy but you know how Halloween candy can be, all Necco wafers and candy corn. Ugh!

When I was a kid I often stayed with friends while my parents were out of town for business. On more than one occasion this occurred on Halloween. One year, Nancy Huettner’s mother decided to take us all to a haunted house at the local mall. Oh it was bad. I freaked just a little bit and told her I couldn’t go in. Thankfully she didn’t force the issue and I sat outside and waited while the rest of the kids went through. I can still remember the guy outside that was kind of carnival barking to get people to come in. He wore a long black robe, a really creepy devil mask and he yelled (over and over again) “Come into my house…(he would pause here)….and you shall see…(another pause)…NOTHING BUT DEATH!”. Dude, I was scared. Really, really scared. I had nightmares for weeks.

I always liked the costume aspect of it though. I don’t think I had any scary costumes though. I know I was at one time or another:

  • A bunny
  • Raggedy Ann
  • A ballerina
  • A Mexican Fiesta Dancer
  • An Italian Fiesta Dancer (um, yeah, I went to dancing school and had a lot of leftover costumes)
  • A Lady Ghost (with pearls and a hat and handbag)
  • Robin Hood
  • Peter Pan (same costume as Robin Hood)
  • A Hershey’s Kiss
  • A Hobo
  • ----then there is a big blank, like maybe I didn’t dress up in high school, I don’t remember.
  • In college I know I dressed as a classmate once
  • A gypsy
  • Earth (the element, but I did go with Wind and Fire to a party)
  • The Rainforest
  • A spiderweb
  • I once went to a party where the theme was “Under the Sea” so I wore the letter “c” on a band over my head…that was pretty lame.
  • OH OH! My favorite ever! I went to a space themed party as Arthur Dent. I wore flannel pajamas, a flannel robe and I carried my towel. I had a fish in my ear and a copy of the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy in my pocket.

Illustration Friday: Float

illustration friday: float

I like this one ok. Someone told me that they didn’t like the nostril and neither do I but…well, two things. I don’t like the word “nostril” at all and also, I do set myself a time limit when I do these Illustration Friday illustrations. I might go back and tinker with this one a bit more because I do agree, the whole face is pretty sketchy but I wanted to concentrate on the dandelion itself.

When I do these I try to keep the time to about an hour (on and off). I don’t just do the picture straight through, I make a few lines, do something else, come back to it. I also make an effort to use as few lines as possible and keep the image generally more suggestive than realistic. Adobe Illustrator is great for that kind of thing.

When I first started working in Illustrator, I worked with and artist who I think was named Boris (but it might have been Ivan). He did amazing illustrations with an absolute minimum of shapes and lines. But they were very clean, very clear and very beautiful. We worked on an astronomy book together (although I never met him and I don’t think I even spoke to him on the phone, it was all digital) and his illustrations were generally of people looking at constellations and they were amazing. In the back of my mind I have always strived to make my illustrations as simple and crisp as his.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Celebrity Life

Living in Los Angeles, it is not uncommon to think you recognize the guy in front of you in line at the grocery store and then suddenly realize that it’s…um…well…usually it’s a character actor that you don’t know the name of and you can’t figure out where you may have seen him. That happens a lot. But,,,my point is, there are a lot of actors out here and from time to time I catch myself staring at Nestor Carbonell in the line at Ralph’s (no, really, I did. Schwee said “Hey, look! It’s that guy from Suddenly Susan!" and I said “Do you mean… BATMANUEL ?!”

I guess I have seen my fair share of “celebrities.” I was particularly thrilled to see Colm Meaney because I have a crush on him but was also slightly distressed to discover that he has a very large head. Not that it doesn’t totally work for him though. He’s a cutie anyway. I see Gary Grubbs all the time. He’s a very good character actor but I can never place him. I always think that he’s someone I actually know and that I should speak to, like maybe I worked in the same office with him or something. I think he’s used to me staring by now because he’s very nice to me. He always gives me his huge, beautiful smile (really, he’s got an amazing smile) and says hello. I swear it’s happened like 10 times now.

It amuses me. I like the occasional star sighting and I always report them to my dad, who finds them hilarious for some reason. But I really have nothing to say to these people (except Gary Grubbs, I always say hello to him because he is so damn nice…and he has a pretty smile). I think even if I saw my favoritest favorite actor in the world in the Albertson’s, I wouldn’t say anything. I am terribly shy but even so, what would I possibly have to say to Alan Rickman (who is my favoritest favorite ever!)? “Um…hey, I think you’re really cool . Wanna make out?” I’m pretty sure that will only get me arrested. But I do always think that if I run into him in my favorite coffee shop, ordering the same tea I drink and reading the same book I am reading, or better yet, the same comic book I am reading. And he’s sitting all alone…then I might walk up to him and tell him that it’s a great book and oh, hey is that lavender mint green tea? It’s good isn’t it? Try it iced, it’s even better. It goes great with the brioche. Maybe then he’ll want to make out with me. Heee!