Friday, December 19, 2008


Well, hello there...

Some small things of note:

If you have been following the Doctor Who saga of “who is the next who”, you may be interested in some things I have read, which I won’t link, because I am lazy…

James Nesbitt is not currently “the one” but apparently, David Tennant thinks he should be and tells reporters to go congratulate Nesbitt on his new role. Mean boy!

Robert Carlyle is amazing…but I don’t know if I want him as my new doctor. On the other hand…Robert Carlyle. He is, however, signed to be on a new Stargate show, so I'm thinking no.

Rumors abound about the first female doctor. It is my understanding that it has already been established that Time Lords do not change sex when they regenerate. But I could be wrong and anything is possible. Billie Piper has been mentioned as the first female doctor but that’s just silly, and now, everyone is stumping for their favorite girl. Jennifer Saunders? Nah. Joanna Lumley? Nah, although, she did play the female doctor in a one-off, charity video a number of years ago. Sophie Okonedo? Hey, wait a minute…that’s interesting. She's already a part of the team as she's done some voice acting for...Scream of the Shalka, I think. But it gets better. Russell T. Davies has mentioned his interest (although he no longer really has a say) in Catherine Zeta Jones (meh) or…Lesley Sharpe. HOLDIT! If I’m gonna have a female doctor, you have just found her. Lesley Sharpe, if you have watched the most recent season, appeared in the “Midnight” episode as “Sky Silvestry” who was inhabited by the alien/presence that mimicked everything? Remember? Remember how she was creepy as hell? Well, yeah, that’s what she’s good at. And I love her. So if you gotta go for a lady, please do go for her. If you ever see her series "Afterlife" playing on BBCAmerica...dude, it's awesome. So, you know, if we gotta go female, let's do it right. (Also, she has a history with these guys, so that's good).

I think the current buzz is David Morrissey (again, someone with connections to the show and the writers and producers) and you know, that don't hurt, that don't hurt at all.

Oh, ok here, here’s one link with some (fake) info.

Ok, enough of that…well, one more thing. In my humble opinion, despite my deep love for the last two doctors (nine more than ten), I think we need a less sexy doctor for a while. Remember, he started out as an older man. There’s no reason he can’t be that again. It brings a different dynamic to the show and one I think is sorely needed at the moment.

OK, what else?

Pecan pie truffles. Done. Haven’t tried one since they got coated in chocolate but they seemed ok. They aren’t true truffles and I had to adapt the recipe a bit to make them work but…we’ll see what people think.

Chocolate mint brownies. Done. To be gifted this evening.

Gingerbread Cupcakes….
Yeah…I ran out of sugar. I don’t know why I was so underprepared but there you go. No sugar. No cupcakes. But I will be making them in January because dammit, I really want them!

Shopping? Done.
West Coast Christmas? Done. I got a Roomba! Groovy. And lots and lots of books and cds. Excellent. And the complete Nero Wolfe series with Timothy Hutton. THANK YOU!

East Coast Christmas? Leaving on Sunday. Wish me luck.

Have a happy whatever and a merry new year. See ya on the other side…I hope.

Blending in.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Well, sort of done.

Bourbon balls (sounds uncomfortable)?
Guinness Truffles?
Whisky caramels?
Guinness Cupcakes?
Gingerbread cupcakes?


Pecan Pie Truffles?

Look, I’m only human…well…mostly human.

Many packages have been mailed (keep an eye out). No presents have been wrapped though. And right now, right this very minute. I am tired. All of the sudden and quite decidedly. But hey, it’s getting there. Although I am doubting that those gingerbread cupcakes will show up before I leave.

And for the record, let me tell you about making caramel. I like to do it. It’s one of my favorite things to make, but be warned, caramel is extreme cooking. It’s candy napalm waiting to happen. Boiling sugar? Oh hell yeah that’s dangerous. But, what you may not think about (but believe me, I do) is that when you add cream to boiling sugar, you get a hot volcano of death. So far I have survived but I can’t say that the eruption doesn’t scare the bejeezus out of me. Luckily, this Whisky caramel recipe doesn’t call for cream. Instead it calls for whisky. Which also boils up violently when added to hot sugar. Except, it sort of…growls at you first. There is a distinct grumbling sound and then the insane bubbling starts. I was expecting the insane bubbling…I was not expecting the prelude of deep angry sounds. I am glad they warned me to step away. I was in the process of stepping away anyway but man did I JUMP when the caramel started making that noise.

Finally, randomly…I was thinking the other day about the Peanuts, the Tao of Pooh and identifying oneself with a cartoon character…don’t ask why. But when I was in college, all those years ago, The Tao of Pooh was a very popular freshman sort of things to read. My friends and I realized that we all fit into the mold of a Winnie the Pooh character and really lead our lives in the manner of those characters. Then I realized that I also fit into the mold of one particular Peanuts character, who also just happens to be my favorite Peanuts character as well. So, I’m asking you…which Pooh character and which Peanuts character do you think I am…and which are you?

Hmmm...also, just noticed that this is my 499th post. That's kind of interesting...

Thursday, December 11, 2008


A few random things:

I watched Alvin and the Chipmunks. It wasn’t as bad as I imagined. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t good, but I’ve seen much, much worse (*ahem* I’m looking at you Grinch who ruined my belief in all that is good in the world). Yeah, there is that disturbing “raisin” joke but, I can see why an 8 year old might like it. That’s my review, “Reasonably watchable if you are eight.”

I read “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. I am a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember if I had read this before, because, in my ever so humble opinion, it’s not his best work. I found it depressing and discomforting, if well written. I fail to see how you get a…90 minute? 120 minute, more likely, “romance” out of a story that, to me, was about aging, birth and how the very young and very old are treated. And how callous we can be in the middle. Whatever. I probably wouldn’t go see it anyway. My cat, however, might. Have I mentioned that she is obsessed with Brad Pitt? Seriously, she has her own dvd of Fight Club. If he’s on the televison, she will stop and watch and the only other thing she seems to watch is cartoons. Personally, I am very interested in “Nothing Like the Holidays” because it stars John Leguizamo, who is either a rich genius who just does whatever the hell he wants or is a seriously underused and undervalued actor. AND Alfred Molina. Who is one of the future ex Mr. “This is so silly”s. Dude, he made Doc Ock hot. What can I say?

I thought I had all my Christmas shopping done. I was, of course, wrong. It’s down to those little things. Gift certificates, gift baskets. Things that I put off until the last minute (last paycheck). Close…so close.

I also thought I had my Christmas mix done. I was so very close this morning. It seemed a little depressing and I was trying to see if I could weave a few cheerful songs in and…um…I accidentally deleted the playlist. Oops. Well, it’s given me a chance to rethink and cheer it up. So…anyone want a Christmas mix cd? I’d be willing to trade for something similar…when I get it done…it’s so close….

It’s down to parties and candy making now. Three…possibly four, liquor enriched sweets. Guinness truffles, single malt caramels, bourbon balls and…if time permits, rum enriched pecan pie truffles. No time for any others this year. Oh but I did get suckered into making some cupcakes. I am thinking gingerbread w/lemon butter cream (faux buttercream, that is).

I’m sure there’s more to be said, but I’m not the one to say it.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


The deadline is near. Enter the Paperlotus Holiday Giveaway. It’s easy and it would make me happy. Don’t you want me to be happy?

If you are shopping (I am done save a few gift certificates, a bottle of booze and one dvd set that I may or may not purchse) don’t forget to check out for coupons and shipping codes and if they fail you, although it seems rare that they do, google the store in which you are shopping and “coupon”. I saved at least $20 dollars this morning on some books that were presents…for me. But still.

Monday, December 01, 2008


Oh I had plans. I had big plans. Four days off, no guests for Thanksgiving dinner? Plans, baby. Clean house. Trip to the storage unit. Christmas decorations. Yep. Big plans.

What? Oh, you want to know what got done? Um…well…my desk is a lot cleaner. And my kitchen floor. But that's about it. Oh there was cooking. There was turkey and stuffing and and roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potato casserole. There was sticky toffee pudding and pumpkin pie. There were even emergency muffins made late last night when I realized there was no real breakfast food in the house and that I am done, DONE, with turkey. But there are no christmas decorations up. There are a few sitting on the table in the dining room (also known as my office, also known as the other side of the living room). There are plenty more in the storage unit. But no tree. Not yet. Maybe next weekend.

Oh, next weekend…there is a craft show. Tallmouse hosts the Handmade Brigade, which the Tired Girls attended in the summer and enjoyed very much. So, you know, if you find yourself in Cerritos, stop by. I'll have a soy peppermint mocha, no whip please. And if you are feeling generous, make it a grande. Thanks.

In the meanwhile, I have a suggestion for you. See, there is this other blog…the PaperLotus blog, where you may have seen my musings on artsy things. Well, we are having a little holiday giveaway over there. All you need to do is stop by and follow the instructions which pretty much boil down to: choose something you like from the store and post a comment with a link to it. Simple, right? And who knows, you might win something. So please do. Besides, we love the company. And sometimes I say something over there that's not so stupid. And we like to talk about art and craft, so maybe you'll enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I am going to be completely honest with you here. I am burnt. And crispy. Like toast. Burnt, crispy, toast. Or bacon. Overdone. Uncomfortably crunchy. No, let’s go with toast. I like toast. I don’t care so much for the bacon. I am toast.

It’s been a busy three or four weeks around here. Traveling, birthdaying, premiering, Felt Clubbing, and having a cold has taken it out of me. Add on the poor air quality due to the fires and I am left a crispy outer shell with very little inside. But you know what? I am left, and my home is intact (messy, but intact) and all my people are ok, so I guess being burnt out, is a lot better than some of the alternatives around here right now.

Felt Club was good. I think we were pretty successful. We always get nice people visiting us and this time was no exception. And hey, there were also people we sort of know. Friends and internet buddies stopped by and that was lovely. I bought stuff that I don’t need but want anyway and that too was lovely. An adorable “soap dish” that is destined to become a display stand for the perfect cupcake, a very excellent print of a bat, a charming watercolor, a nice little bag…probably some other things that I am not remembering. It was big and it was loud and it was crowded and it was fun but on top of everything else, it was pretty exhausting.

And besides that, I had, AGAIN, this weird blushing problem. See, I am pretty shy. I do blush quite a lot when I have to talk to strangers but usually, it’s like, in a classroom situation, or being singled out from a crowd, which I guess is not really that strange, right? That’s a normal reponse, to blush when put on the spot. But here, it happened twice, no…three times during conversations that I instigated. And when I blush, I get really embarrassed. Which is kind of the opposite of how it’s supposed to work, right? But yet again, while talking to a very pleasant artist that I am fond of, I felt my cheeks flare red and I hightailed it out of there. And again when I spoke to a handbag designer and yet again while talking to a cartoonist. Now, partially I can say that I get bashful because these people are good at what they do and I feel a wee bit tiny next to them, but you know, I feel a wee bit tiny next to pretty much everyone, so…I don’t know. Any one have any ideas on combating that creeping flush?

Anyway, now it’s on to one more craft show, this one a smaller deal, but a very nice one, I am looking forward to that. And there’s a little bit of work to be done for it, but nothing too scary. And there’s thanksgiving. Which I thought was two weeks away. And I was wrong. So…yeah. And apparently I am cooking for all of you, so I guess I need to go shopping. And for the record, we usually have Pilsbury orange rolls from a tube for Thanksgiving breakfast. Years ago I would make beautiful cinnamon rolls or muffins or something lovely and take it to my girlfriend’s house. We would eat sweets and drink coffee and go off to our alma mater’s football game and it was a lovely tradition. Until her husband said “Wow, these are good cinnamon rolls, way better than yours, honey.” Thus ended the Thanksgiving breakfast…well and I moved away so…you know. But it’s orange rolls this year, so come early if you are into that (Brenda).

Thursday, November 13, 2008


At the moment, the thinking is this:

roast turkey stuffed with:
bread stuffing with sage
sweet potato casserole
roasted brussels sprouts with garlic
crescent rolls (can’t help myself)

And for dessert:
chocolate tart with hazelnut crust

But I am sure that I will feel guilty for not making a pumpkin pie and overcompensate with some kind of pumpkin cupcake or cookie or…pie.

Also watch for hors d’oeuvres to be added, as well as various side dishes as I start to worry about not having a “thanksgiving” feeling…for two people. I’d say you’ll probably see the appearance (or at least the consideration) of: deviled eggs, cheese and olive platter, pastry wrapped olives, cheese straws, home made breads, another vegetable, possibly a salad, corn bread to replace rolls from a tube, various wines (although I am the only one that drinks them), ice cream to go with whatever kinds of pies, and as long as I am making ice cream, maybe I should just go ahead and make chocolate chip mint, since that’s his favorite, and since I don’t eat ice cream, maybe I should make some soy cream too…

Yeah, I always start with the best intentions.

Aren't you thankful that Thanksgiving cards are available in the store?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Feeling a bit weary at the moment due to a cold that I received for my birthday. Yay. Thanks. Don’t know where it came from but I literally felt it arrive. I was talking to a friend’s mother and aunt and my nose started to tickle. At first I thought it was an allergic reaction to some perfume but no, it was a wicked little sniffle. I’ve been trying to kill it off with loads of vitamin c and some elderberry stuff and truth be told, I’ve had much worse. Today, however, I feel pretty uggy.

Still I had several nice dinners out over the weekend. Several cakes (no, seriously…several cakes), received many excellent gifts and one cold and it was a really nice way to get older (except for the cold). And I am old. But not bothered by it. I think I’ll save that post for another day though.

Anyway, things are in high gear around here for Felt Club. I have not done nearly enough cutting and folding and packing and ironing and what have you so it’s really not going to settle down before Sunday. And then we have another show on the sixth at Tallmouse in Cerritos, the Handmade Brigade. So, you know, please do stop by if you are in the neighborhood. And if you are not…here’s one of the new Christmas cards…

I dunno, I am kind of fond of her. I think she’s cute but I also think she’s kind of…creepy…what do you say?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


So I just read saw through Boing Boing via Defamer that we are not the only childish, immature people to make the “I Farted” sticker, which I never really doubted anyway. I am pretty sure we were the only people to have the “I’m Hammy” sticker though.

And I forgot to mention some of the costumes I saw on Halloween. Actually, I was kind of concerned at first because I kept seeing people that could have been in costume or could have just been, you know…kind of…off. I saw a woman that I thought was dressed up as a 70’s lady. Bell bottoms, wedge heels, cute scarf at her neck and big sunglasses, but the bad wig threw me off…it wasn’t bad in a good costume way, it was more bad in a “I accidentally shaved my hair off and all I could find to put on my head was this dead cat” kind of way. So I got confused. Then there was the guy who could have been dressed as a golfer, or possibly a hip-hop moguls umbrella carrier or…he could just really like obnoxiously argyle sweaters. Dunno.

But the best bad costume, by far was worn by a teenage girl. As I was driving home I encountered a little pack of them. I’d guess they were 15 or so but I find that I can’t really tell with teenagers, especially in L.A. they could have been 12 for all I know, either way, they looked a little too old to be trick-or-treating, but there they were with pillowcases. There was the sexy Native American, the sexy nurse, the sexy punk and my all-time personal favorite…sexy Marilyn Monroe.

Seriously? You had to shorten the skirt on that iconic white dress? You had to make the neckline even lower? And how old are you anyway? Does your mother know you are dressed like that? Sexy Marilyn? Really? Just…don’t you…I…oh never mind.

And Janet, the recipe for the cheeseless mac and cheez was from here. I didn’t use green beans, I had chard on the side, and I was profoundly slap-dash with my measuring…and I used whole wheat pasta because that’s what I had. But it worked out just fine. And it took, like, no time at all.


I, too got up and voted this morning. No real wait at my polling place which I refer to as “some dude’s garage.” That kind of drives me nuts as I think all polling places should be public buildings but I guess we really do need every available space. I let an elderly couple go ahead of me, I was in no real rush and they actually arrived before me but walked very slowly.

So, when I lived in New Jersey, we didn’t get the little sticker, I’m not sure that they do now either, but here in L.A. we get an “I Voted” sticker and hopefully, I will see a lot of them today. However, if you voted by mail you won’t have one, so please feel free to print yourself one of these…

Heh. Sorry, I work with children, by which I mean, I work with a bunch of boys who wanted me to make this for them a few years ago. There was, at one time, an “I’m Canadian” sticker and one that said “I’m Hammy” for my friend Hammy. But really, this is the one that is most effective. And gross.

And in other news, I made vegan mac and cheese (which had no actual cheese, hence the cheez) and it was…surprisingly…good. More than edible in fact. Jason claims it was delicious but Jason claims all my food is delicious and I know for a fact that it is not. Still, I was impressed by how easily the recipe came together and how flexible it could be, and still be vegan. On the other hand, I also made some cinnamon rolls. And they didn’t work. And I knew as I was making them that they wouldn’t but I went ahead anyway. It was mostly my fault, but the recipe is slightly suspect as well. But like I said, as was making them I was thinking, this flour isn’t gonna work, and this milk is too hot, and that’s too much yeast and not enough rising time…ah well. It happens.

Friday, October 31, 2008


One of the Halloween cards in the store this year. We also have some Thanksgiving. And Christmas know, if you want to get ahead there...

Enjoy your candy and costumes. I am actually thinking about watching a "horror-ish" movie tonight. And possibly making some chocolate cupcakes with pumpkin buttercream icing. You can knock on the door if you want but I don't have any candy and I probably won't answer. Or if I do, you're getting the left over ketchup packets from El Pollo Loco. Sorry.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


So I wrote a whole post on what I thought about Barak Obama’s campaign logo and in the interest of being even-handed, I need to say something about John McCain’s logo. Here’s the thing…he doesn’t really have much of one, does he? And to me, that’s kind of a problem. See, this is a visual world. Sadly, a lot of people either can’t or don’t read. And that’s their choice or their burden I guess, but when it comes to selling something, you really gotta stand out. You have to be visual. We all know this, don’t we? We’ve seen the studies that kids recognize the McDonald’s Golden Arches logo before they recognize their own names in writing. Sales and marketing matter, especially when we are talking about politics.

Now, I don’t want to say that McCain has NO logo, he does, it’s a star…so I guess what I am saying is “not much of a logo”. On the other hand, it’s a very traditional symbol for presidential elections. And I think some effort has been made to select a specific type of star. In fact, I have looked high and low (ok, not high and low, I have looked around a BIT) for the meaning of that type of star and I still have not found it, but I have seen it referred to as a “naval star” so I am thinking that it was chosen to remind us of Senator McCain’s military career. More recently I have seen it referred to as a “maverick star” which is actually the name of a type of geranium so I think it’s a bit of a misnomer there.

Anyway, we have a…let’s call it a beveled star. It’s a very traditional image, it has military connections and, if you are thinking sneaky, it’s become very popular with a younger generation for use as a tattoo. So maybe that was the philosophy? Nah, doubt it. The star is either white or yellow on a field of either black or blue and there are embellishments on either side in a matching color. That’s not a very good description is it? Well like I said, it’s not much of a logo.

If I were a designer for the campaign I’d be a little annoyed. There’s not really a lot one can do with this. But, on the flip side, it is very traditional, very timeless and very…political looking. There are some attempts to adapt the image but I am not sure how good they are. In one case the blue or black background was replaced with green and the star was replaced with a shamrock. Really? I get that he is a “MC”, I was once a MC too, but we’re not talking Kennedy here, are we? Is the Irish American population really behind him? Hmmm…looks like there is. And that he actively courted them. Annnnyway, that has nothing really to do with the design elements. I just wanted to mention that the adaptations of his very traditional logo were, for me, at best questionable. I feel like they diluted the design unlike Obama design being enhanced by the adaptation, but that is because the Obama design still remains center. If you replace the star in the McCain logo with anything, you have effectively changed the entire logo. So, in this case, I think it’s safe to say that the simplicity of the logo is just as much it’s downfall. And the changing of color, from black and white to blue and yellow, also dilutes the image. It is, in other words, not an effective branding.

A little more searching reveals yet more color changes. “Women for McCain” adds fancy pink text on a white background (tsk, what a stereotype!), while “Sportsmen for McCain” is green and yellow. And while I agree that foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of…whatever, I don’t think this is working.

I tried to be impartial here. And to be fair, I am honestly only talking about design, not the actual campaigns, but I think these designs tell a lot about the candidates. One is fresh, well thought out and adaptable. The other is very traditional, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but when it is changed, even in the slightest, it ceases to be representative or useful.

So here’s my point. Design is important, even when you don’t realize it.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Well, OK iTunes Genius…not bad, not bad at all…except for the Feist tune…gotta delete that one…

Black Grass-Gary Louris
Paperback Bible-Lambchop
John Saw That Number-Neko Case
Everybody Daylight-Brightblack Morning Light
Let's Get Out Of This Country-Camera Obscura
Is It Like Today?-World Party
Another Sunny Day-Belle & Sebastian
Woman King-Iron & Wine
All I Need-Radiohead
Fake Empire-The National
Marry Song-Band Of Horses
Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games-Of Montreal
Naked As We Came-Iron & Wine
She Only Calls Me On Sundays-Gary Louris
Girlfriend-Matthew Sweet
Your Heart Is An Empty Room-Death Cab For Cutie
I Got You-Split Enz
Either Way-Wilco
Two Silver Trees-Calexico
The Swish-The Hold Steady
Can't Say No-The Helio Sequence
Freeway-Aimee Mann
Let's Dance-M Ward
My Moon My Man-Feist

Leaving town is always pleasant…almost always anyway. But returning can be…well, first off, my husband enlisted a friend to pick me up from the airport because it was the first game of the world series and he wasn’t about to miss his beloved Phillies. Fair enough, I don’t know what would keep me from picking him up at the airport but I guess it’s fair game now, isn’t it? Had a nice long talk with said friend on the way though since we were stuck in traffic for quite a bit. That’s how Los Angeles welcomes you home. And then, in the morning, it reminds you again how much it missed you with a two hour drive to work. Fire on the mountain and all that. And a fire on the off ramp as well. Sigh. I did think about turning around and going home but even that would have been another two hour drive I think.

And then, no surprises here, it was about an hour and forty-five minutes to get home. My knee actually feels weak from all the stop and start driving. Yeesh. This morning? Much better, and I drove through the area which had burned. It was kind of spooky. Black and charred and smelling of barbeque. Eerie. This was a case where no homes or businesses were lost and that’s good. The landscape is torched but that’s not so bad, it will grow back and it took care of some of the underbrush. Still, it was close to home and unnerving.

But the trip east (did I mention I was making a surprise trip east? For my mom’s birthday? No? Well…SURPRISE!) was darn pleasant. Everything went off without a hitch. Mom was surprised and her big spectacular birthday cake, a present from my dad at the request of mom, was big and spectacular. She seemed to enjoy her present and the surprise of me sitting in the kitchen when she arrived home from church. Everyone was healthy and reasonably happy and really what more could you ask for? I even spent a morning at a “living heritage” museum hanging out with a spinner, the blacksmith and some ladies in funny dresses.

Sadly, I was apparently not missed much on the east coast. I arrived at work this morning and was greeted by “Did you get that calendar that I left on your desk?” “Um…I just got here”, I replied. “Yeah but did you get it yesterday?” “Uh…no…I wasn’t here yesterday…or the day before…I’ve been gone for almost a week…” “Really?”

Thanks for noticing.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


We all have our pet peeves about the written language. Colleen made hers clear today, she hates the “e.e. cummings” fakery in which I happily indulge. I don’t capitalize. Well, I do, kind of. You’ll see I capitalize here, but that’s because I write everything in Word and it does most of it for me. And that annoys me. My handwriting is a mix of printed and cursive and is, for the most part, lowercase. And when I type an email or leave a comment it’s all lower case. For me it’s a threefold excuse, which I gave to Colleen. 1) I type faster and better without a shift lock. 2) As I said, my handwriting is pretty much all lower case and that is because 3) when I was a kid I got in trouble for mixing my printed and curvise letters. And because I am a pain the ass, I decided to go full throttle and piss of the teacher by not capitalizing as well. It was a choice I made and one I have stuck with all these years.

Now, to be honest, I don’t write everything lowercase. I don’t write formal letters, resumes or term papers that way. I wouldn’t because it’s not the “accepted norm” and no matter how much I call myself a rebel or an artist, I know what is appropriate and what is not and although I didn’t mind losing points in fifth grade, nowadays I am less…of a pain. SoI guess that makes me pretty half-assed. No surprise. But I also don’t do a lot of the “accepted norm” in my writing because I want to have a particular voice and style. I use a lot of ellipses because I think I talk with a lot of ellipses, I pause and think a lot. I sometimes write out my stammer, because I sometimes stammer. This is my voice, written down. If I could get the Minnie Mouse tone, I certainly would write that too.

We all have pet peeves. I’m sorry if you don’t like the way I write my emails and letters to you, but you know…I’m probably not going to change. On the other hand, I remember once saying that I would never begin a sentence with “and.” And look at me now. I also remember being told that a sentence must never, EVER begin with the word “but”. But look how different things are. NEWSPAPERS DO IT! I suspect that someday, when ink is more expensive or everything is monospaced type, we will all write in all lowercase or all uppercase. Because I really do believe that the written language is not as steadfast as we once thought. So many rules of writing and grammar are pretty much…arbitrary. A lot of the rules of grammar and writing come from a language that has been long dead to most of us (ahem…that would be Latin, a language I actually studied in school…I’m not saying I did well, I am only saying that I studied it…). And despite the fact that many people don’t believe in evolution, we can see the process at work in language. Did you know, for example, that a synonym for the word “nice” is “foolish”? (Yeeeeah, I learned that one on my English GRE). I would venture to guess that the average person does not use that word in that fashion anymore. I was once told by a medieval literature professor that the original pronunciation of the word “asked” is actually much closer to the much reviled “axed” as in, “I axed you a question!” How many times have you shuddered when you heard someone say that? Ain’t is in the dictionary (but spell check is telling me it’s wrong), certain commas are optional, no one uses two spaces after a period when typing anymore (or they shouldn’t, anyway).

None of this is a very good defense for my lack of capitalization in emails, I’ll write that off to a stylistic choice, much like any one who writes in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, WHICH DRIVES ME CRAZY. We all have our foibles, and clearly I have more than my share.

And for the record, my linguistic/literary pet peeve? People who insist they are incensed by improper grammar but misuse words. Technical literacy over actual literacy? I don’t know how to explain that but I am a big fan of the dictionary. I look up any word that I suspect that I may be using incorrectly so I am pretty unforgiving when other people don’t. We all have our thing. That one is mine. Get your own.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I don’t generally talk about politics publicly. I have pretty specific views and I want people to feel free to tell me their views before I open fire on them. No, no, just kidding. I think everyone is entitled to their political views and I am interested in differing opinions, but I tend to keep mine to myself. Like Luanne from King of the Hill once said, “If I tell you who I voted for it won’t come true.” So I don’t. But there is one thing in the current campaign for President that has really caught my attention and I want to talk about it. It’s um…logo design.

You heard me. Logo design. You’d think what with the millions of dollars they spend on all this political stuff, logo design would be pretty important, right? I mean, it’s the very branding of an idea and an ideal as well. It’s gonna show up on every thing you get from a candidate, on every ad, every sign, every tee shirt. It needs to have impact and it needs to make a very specific statement. At least, that’s how I would see it if I had to design one.

It’s kind of surprising me though. I talked to several people about it while I was writing this and they looked at me like I was perhaps a slightly wee tiny bit crazy. Me, I swear I see this design everywhere and I know I see it on a daily basis, but when I mentioned it to other people, they didn’t really get what I was talking about. Does no one else see what I see?

Clearly, someone else has thought about this as well because since the first time I saw the Obama logo, I have been marveling at it. It is a lovely little design that makes quite a significant statement and no matter your political views, I think you probably have noticed it and probably thought about it without realizing that you are even thinking about it. In short, I think it’s good design. I might go so far as to say that I think it’s excellent design.

Let me refresh your memory, or, if you have been living under a rock for the past year or so…here:

I remember seeing this logo on a bumper sticker at least a year ago and commenting to my husband, “Man that is an intriguing, thoughtful design.” And he said “Hunh? What design?” and I ignored him. But that’s neither here nor there. The first thing that struck me was the use of the red, white and LIGHT blue color scheme. It’s the light blue that’s important here, isn’t it? It’s a way of showing hey, we’re American, we’re united but um…we’re a little different too. We’re brighter. Cheerier. Light blue is a HOPEFUL color, isn’t it? Dark blue can be mysterious or serious or even depressing, but light blue is the sky, endless and boundless and natural. Even the red is a slightly brighter red than we typically see used in the language of politics. This red is a little more candy red.

And then there’s the shape. Most obviously there is an O for Obama. But the “O” here is used as an opening, a doorway. We are invited to look through it. In the case of this particular campaign, I think it is intended that we see the O as a type of window to a future. Perhaps the opposing party would point out that there is nothing beyond the O and that this perceived future is blank. If I were a spin doctor, I think I’d say “Not blank. It is yet to be written by the PEOPLE. The future can be what we want it to be.”

And for my part, I like circles. I am willing to bet if you took a survey most people would choose a circle over a square. Even though, in this case, the circle is an initial, I think it may be a very calculated choice. Looking back at previous presidential races, I don’t find a lot of logos that incorporate the intital of the candidate. There are a few notable exceptions, Hubert Hortario Humphrey, which, c’mon, that’s too good too pass up. HHH. And…W. However, it would appear that the W. was adopted for his second campaign. Hmm…something else I am just now noticing is that most presidential candidates tend to use stars in their logo…no stars here (although the Mr. McCain uses one, something I think I will address on another day). But back to circles. Typically, the circle in design invokes certain ideas. The circle is never ending, it is also enclosing, like a hug perhaps. It is universal symbol for unity and wholeness. Aaaaaaand…it’s the first letter in the name Obama. Go figure. But THEY (the designers) DIDN’T HAVE TO USE IT. Personally, I think it’s very clever of them that they did.

Finally there are red stripes, a design element familiar to Americans. But in the case of the Obama logo the stripes appear to be in motion, moving off away into something new, but NOT into the O, alongside the O. Hmmm….very interesting. And you’ll notice that the stripes carry off the logo but do not rise up…there is only the gentlest of curves. No hill to be climbed, just a little bump to get over. And in the center, where the stripes meet the openness of the O there’s a little lens flare. A bit of a shine perhaps. A brightness. A glow.

The design is simple and elegant and even better, well, better for the campaign’s designers, it lends itself to adaptation. Change the red stripes to a rainbow and voila! You get something new and significant. Veterans have added stars, Asian American and Pacific Islanders have added a lotus style pattern, and check out the Republicans for Obama button!

I gotta say, this, to me, is an excellent logo. It says a lot with out really saying anything at all. And I bet if you asked the designer “What was your intention here?” he/she’d say, “What do YOU see in it.” Or maybe I’m just crazy, but I suspect not. Not in this case anyway.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Ahem. I have been…scolded by Brenda. Well, she had her coffee in the Los Angeles mug this morning and used that as an excuse to gently encourage me to “get to posting” so here I am…posting.

I don’t make excuses when I don’t post because…well, it’s my blog and I’ll post if I want to but how can I not post when she drinks from the L.A. mug? Truth be told, all has not been quiet on this western front. Lots of things being made and fixed and cupaked and oh, I don’t know. Just lots of stuff. And I’ve been writing a lot, but then not posting it. Essays sort of. And random ones at that. One, that I will post shortly on the Obama campaign and branding. One on reading gothic literature. One on…well, I don’t know. But there’s a lot of things turning around in my brain that are bound to make an appearance soon. Until then, a few other things…

-My BFF recently helped start up an all new company in her field and it’s been a bit of a bear. It’s been a really good bear, but a really stressful bear too. I wanted to do something to mark the occasion for her but was kind of at a loss. When she told me that she would finally have her own office space, I decided to build a box o’ cool office stuff for her. I found some great post-it’s from KNOCK KNOCK, a funny cigarette pen for those really stressful times, great notebook and planner from Cherry Bomb Squad, a cool business card holder made from sock monkey fabric…but something was missing. I wanted her to have some art for her new walls but I couldn’t really find anything I liked, or that was the right size so I made her a version of the “Keep calm and carry on” poster that’s been going around the design blogs. If you’ve not seen this poster it looks like this:

It’s basically a British propaganda poster from World War Two. Well, propaganda in the sense that it was meant to reassure the public that eventually all would be well. And it’s kind of comforting. It didn’t originally come in pink but my friend likes pink so…but also, I wanted it to match my response to the original poster.

She says she hasn’t put my version up at work but only because she doesn’t want to offend anyone…yet.

-There’s also been a lot of cupcakes lately. Both vegan and non-vegan. And while chocolate cupcakes remain my favorite, man, when you can cram a cookie into a cupcake…that’s a serious dessert. Now to get some candy bars in there..

-I’ve been doing a follow along read at Austenprose of Northanger Abbey. I am a fan of Jane Austen anyway and I have read NA before but I am really enjoying it this time around. I have always found it to be the hardest Austen to get into because it’s a different type of humor than her other novels. See, this one is a parody of Gothic novels and not being a big fan of Gothics, I always felt a little lost. For whatever reason, it’s really clicking with me this time and I am enjoying it immensely. So much that I have just ordered some classic Gothic novels to help fill in the blanks. I also did a bit of research into Gothic novels and discovered some interesting ideas that really put me back in the mood for study and research, which in turn makes me want to read more, which then makes me want to buy a Kindle. I’m holding out for the next version but the more I read about them the more intrigued I get.

-I watched the VP nominee debate with a twitter feed over it. It was…well, it was about what you’d expect, a lot of people not saying much, but those who had something worthhile to say, did. What I found really interesting though was the idea. If I could watch a debate with some interesting policial pundits, commenting in real time, and not having to speak over the debaters…or even…you know, it would be really interesting to hear just a few, well spoken (or typed) average people commenting on it. I’d like to know what other people, people who aren’t my friends, or people with different political views see when the nominees speak without it all end up in one big shouting match. It’s an interesting application for social networking technology and I’d like to see what could be done with it.

-Finally, there has been much preparation for craft fairs. But not enough. So back to that. But here is one new thanksgiving design that I kind of get a kick out of. If you like it, it should appear in the shop shortly.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I have so much to say but…oh…ARRRR….matey. It’s talk like a pirate day you know so here…have some pirate girls. Better yet, stop by the etsy store to check them out.

Also, slightly sad lunch. Cottage cheese, sweet potato, carrots and radishes. Saved from being totally sad because I actually like all the items involved and chose them. Not a very well matched lunch though, gotta work on that part.

Preparations have begun for FELT CLUB ’08. I’ll be there as a Tired Girl, but you don’t have to be tired to attend. It’s a fun way to get some holiday shopping done. Consider it, won’t you?

I am also considering switching over to the new blogger template thingy...yesh I am a terrible holdout but only because it took me forever to make this page the way I wanted because I know NOTHING about this CSS/HTML thing and it was really all about tinkering until I got what I wanted. Now, if I want to change it and have those nice little gadgety, widgety things made easy, I have to start all over again. Oh, who am I kidding. I don't have time for that right now! There are cards to be made, things to be...thunged...I don't know. It's a little goofy in here right now. Sorry. Carry on.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


From the Candy Blog, one of the more horrifying sentences I have read today:

"The squares are surprisingly light, not dense and gelatinous, more soft and fleshy like Mochi can be."

I do not want to imply that her writing is horrifying, it’s not, and I love her blog. It’s also not inaccurate, in fact, that’s is exactly what caught my attention, how very accurate the word “fleshy” is to describe the texture of mochi, for me anyway. I keep rereading that sentence and shuddering. You, of course, may enjoy mochi and that is certainly your prerogative…personally, I don’t enjoy it. But that is by turns the most horrifying and correct sentence I have read for quite a while. (For the record, she is describing Turkish Delight, another item which I have not developed a taste for, and if Edmund hadn’t it would be a very different story now, wouldn’t it?)

What I’ve been reading: Well, some time ago, Captain Blogger suggested that I read Midnight’s Children, and I did start it, and then I put it in a tote bag and forgot all about it. Yeah. I do that a lot. Still not sure where I put that Michael Pollan book either. But, I did find Midnight’s Children and it is now back in line. Currently I am reading My Name is Will: A Novel of Sex, Drugs and Shakespeare by Jess Winfield, who was a former co-worker of my husband. I’m not very far into it though because…

What I’ve been watching: …I’ve been watching some TV. Some of it has been catch-up stuff, some of it has been curiosity and some of it…well…I have no excuses. So there are the old favorites, Mad Men, Weeds, Burn Notice (not caught up, do not spoil). The things I watch with the husband but kind of don’t always enjoy like Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and Entourage. The cooking shows I love like, Jamie at Home and Mexico: One Plate at a Time. The new shows I am watching out of curiosity like Gavin and Stacy and True Blood. And the things I can’t really explain, the mind rotting candy of Primeval which I think is supposed to fill the void left in my heart by Doctor Who but doesn’t because it’s really not good but I can’t stop watching poor Douglas Henshall looking surprised every time a dodo appears. And then there are the occasional forays into dvd collections like Jeeves and Wooster and The Thin Man movies. Not all at once mind you, and really not much at a time at all. It is kind of amazing how much time you save with a dvr.

What I’ve been cooking: There have been some cupcakes and there will be some more. I’ve got a package of chocolate cream Newman O’s that need to be used up so I am thinking vanilla cupcake, vanilla frosting, crushed up cookies. And lest you think all we eat here is cupcakes and brownies, there has been much fruit and veggie cooking around here. Plenty of red chard in olive oil and garlic, braised bok choi, baked peaches, grilled peaches, peaches with yogurt (oh how I love peaches), figs with yogurt, roasted brussel sprouts, roasted asparagus with chili sauce, salads, steamed corn and who knows what else. I do love summer veggies and I’ll be sad when it’s back to cabbage and beets and apples. Although I like those too. And there are various forms of meat to go with the veg, but you know I don’t care so much about those.

What I’ve been drawing: Christmas cards, Christmas cards, Christmas cards. Ugh. But I am pleased as punch with the things I’ve got in the works, so I am hoping they do well. I do have plans for a few more Hanukkah cards and some new notecards too. If you are into that stuff, keep an eye out. I try to remember to post here when A.C. puts new stuff in the store but I am forgetful. Just go here and look around, see if anything catches your fancy. Some of the newest stuff includes cupcake pendants and happy hungry monsters, robots and some rather unpleasant food.

Who I am crushing on:
(The one on the left.)

Thursday, September 04, 2008


There’s one final pinup for you coming after all this type-ity stuff. I’d be hard pressed to say which pinup was my favorite to draw but this one is my favorite joke (if you don’t know why it’s funny, don’t worry, it won’t matter anyway) but this is also the pinup that went through the most revisions. She started out just as kind of rock chick and eventually became a kind of rockin’ Uhura. Mostly I just wanted to have something that said “Rock out with your Spock out.” And now I do. So here she is before and as you can see, no hands, one sock, no shoes. She’s a bit of an urchin here. But I still like her with the pink hair and all and I suspect she’ll make a return appearance…somewhere…sometime.

As for now, it’s all Christmas cards all the time as I gear up for a holiday craft fair. Oh, there are some Hanukkah cards too. And Chanukkah…and Hannukah. Whatever. All of them. I like to cover all my Jewish spelling bases. Oh, and hopefully, before that, there will be a few Halloween cards in the store. So, you know keep an eye out for that.

Meanwhile…you will never guess who I met last weekend…give up? I MET THE AMBITOUS HAMSTER. How cool is that? Well, very cool for me since I also work for her and this is the first time we have met face to face. We have emailed, IMed, texted, called and tweeted one another but this marks our first actual meeting. And it was grand. Hopefully she wasn’t too scared and will come back again sometime.

Sadly, there were no cupcakes for the hamster meeting, although she remarked that it would have been nice, and it would have but I was at work. Even sadder? There were many cupcakes the very next day. So many that we weren’t even able to eat them all and there were cupcakes enough for the whole weekend. And you know what…yum. I hate to say I make great food because really, that’s all just a matter of taste, right? I mean, what I like and what my husband likes are markedly different, so I can’t really assume that…anyway…I made two kinds of cupcakes and I gotta say, I done good on both. I started with “Crimson Velveteen” vegan cupcakes. Now, I am not a fan of the red velvet variety of cupcake. It tends towards oilyness and it’s not really chocolatety and holy cow it uses a whole bottle of red food dye. Yeeesh. Even this “Crimson Velveteen” recipe calls for 2 TBS of red dye but I could only bring myself to use one and then promise that I would find a more natural solution next time (I’m thinking dried beets will do the trick). But this recipe, even with the shocking amount of dye…fabulous. It bakes up so light and fluffy and not at all oily and because it calls for some chocolate extract, it actually tastes of chocolate. It’s different from a chocolate cupcake in a good way, not in an oh god what did I just eat way.

But then I started to worry that some of the people I would be with wouldn’t cotton to a red velvet cupcake, but I knew that at least one of them likes coconut, so coconut it was. And they were damn fine too. And they got better the second day when the flavor had developed even more. So sorry Hamster, I’ll make sure you get some next time.

And the final pin-up in the geeky girls set:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


What I’ve written about lately that I haven’t posted:
My favorite comics
Why Frederic Wetham could be more important to you than you know
My first (and last) scrapbooking experience
Tempeh Chickenless Wingz
How quiet my life is when my husband goes away (the phone rang 3 times in one week…that is all. Three times.)
What I’ve been reading, watching and doing lately.

But…um…yeah. Not really done with any of those yet. There were some lemon cupcakes a few weeks ago because I found some lemons in the office kitchen. Don’t know where they came from though. I’ve read some books. I…um…watched some new tv shows…

LOOK, a pinup!

And the pinup cards are now available HERE.

So are the cupcake cards.

And some new robot cards by Ambitious Hamster.

So…there you go.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


It's the return of the sad lunch.

It wasn’t really a sad lunch, more like a weird lunch because it was all stuff I more or less wanted to eat, but not all together. But I was feeling particularly lazy and I didn’t want to walk to the store. I guess I should have. But because I didn’t it was peach soy yoghurt with a fresh peach mixed in and some hummus and pretzel thins. It doesn’t seem very balanced does it? But it’s got a fair amount of protein and fiber I think. It was a lot of creamy stuff though, but without any cream. Kind of like a baby food lunch.

Here’s the problem. The husband left town. Usually that means a week of vegetarian goodness over here. In fact, this time it was going to mean a week of premade, delivered fresh vegan goodness. I was gonna order my meals from a fresh food delivery service, just to see what it was like. But the menu for this week was…eh (OH! next week it looks really good! Tofu Chilaquiles and Korean Chapchae! Quinoa salad! With cranberries! Darn.) And I got sidetracked and that’s how I found myself in a crowded Whole Foods last night, running into comic-con friends and searching for an appealing soup for dinner (veggie) but I neglected to look for lunch. Ah well. Maybe I will make my own Tofu Chilaquiles for dinner.

Sorry, anyway…pin-up, because I really have nothing of interest to say.

This is the second in the set and she is called Seduction of Innocent. Now, there is kind of a joke here, which, if you are not a huge nerd, may just sweep on by you. That’s ok. It was aimed at the nerds.

In 1954, this guy Frederic Wertham, a psychiatrist wrote a book titled Seduction of the Innocent, which postulated that comics were a cause of juvenile delinquency. To be fair, that’s a simplification of the whole thing, but all you need to know for this picture is that comics caused kids to do naughty things. There’s actually a lot of interesting stuff connected with both the book and with Wertham, who aside from some strange ideas on comics, was a pretty interesting guy. But the pin-up, not really meant to be any real social commentary, just a nekkid girl with comics.

What did cause a little buzz around this picture (and I mean little buzz, like three people’s worth) was the bruise on her leg. See, when I was drawing her, I was trying to go a little bit against the pin-up type. See the glasses? The sneakers? The comics? And most pin-up girls have flawless skin, right? Well, this one has a bruise…on her calf. Which some people saw as her knee. And then took to some unintended extremes. So…whatever. She’s a nerdy girl who loves the Batdude and Hellguy, what more do you need?

Friday, August 15, 2008


I’ve been meaning to show you one of my pin-ups for a while now. They were quite a treat and a revelation for me. I have always avoided drawing people because…well…they just never end up looking like people. Not to my satisfaction anyway. I sometimes will draw distorted cartoony children because hey, if their heads are too big, well who is gonna complain about that? But pin-ups are a whole other thing. And oddly, I kind of dreaded drawing them, even as I knew it was something I had wanted to do for some time now. So, here is “Dead Sexy” the first of the four pin-ups. I actually sold more prints of her than any of the others and one girl even bought one and came back the next day for another. She told me she had ended up giving hers away and wanted another. She also told me that she had shown it to a friend who was a pin-up artist who had commented that it was “demure” and not too gory or disturbing, which made me happy since that was exactly what I was going for.

In the end, I was very pleased with all the pin-ups and I discovered that I really, really enjoyed doing them. I am planning on another set of four girls and I think I am even going to try a few pin-up guys. Any requests?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I prefer:

Waffles to pancakes.
Cake to pie.
Comedy to drama.
Mystery to romance.
French fried to mashed.
Iced tea to iced coffee.
65 to 85.
Reggae to rap.
70’s rock to 90’s rock.
Indie to super hero.
Batman to Superman.
Mac to PC.
Compact to SUV.
Dimes to nickels.
Black to blue.
Chocolate to vanilla (except when used as icing).
Paperback to hardback.
(Mass market to trade).
Email to phone calls.
Bo to Luke.
Cats to lizards.
Soy milk to cow’s milk.
Blueberries to blackberries.
Left to right.
Ballpoint to felt tip, no matter how much I think I don’t.
Warm to cold.
Firm to soft.
Outcasts to underdogs.
CD to mp3.
Satchel to handbag.
Barefoot to shod.
Rain to snow.
Orange-flavored to oranges.
Victorian to Mid Century.
Digital to analog.
Aisle to window.
Cast iron to Teflon.
Plastic to glass.
Raised to cake.
Dark to milk.
The 9th to the 10th.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Movies watched recently:
30 Days of Night-Eh. I liked the first half hour. The rest was…eh.
Most of Sydney White-Surprisingly cute. Something that I could show my mom and not be embarrassed by.
Brick-V. v. good. My brother told me it was and he was right. Not that I doubted him. Minimal. Very minimal. Very clever. Very good.
The Dark Knight-Good. I liked it. It was quite nerve-wracking but good. Still, and this comes from someone who only likes movies where stuff gets blown up or ears get cut off…it was slightly over the top for me. Possibly only because when you have Batman, you have kids, and I don’t think this is appropriate for any one under…let’s say…12. So, you know, be careful.
Please Don’t Eat the Daisies-I don’t know if I had ever seem all of this before but I do love me some Doris Day and David Niven.
The Namesake-Oh Kal Penn. You are so cute. But…no. I like the book quite a lot but the movie? No. Not so much. Well, to be fair...good actors, bad retelling.

Books Purchased for self:
When Twilight Burns By Colleen Gleason
Colleen has a blog here. You should read it, she is very entertaining.

Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer

I don’t know if Eoin Colfer has a blog. I imagine he does. I should go look….no, I don’t see one. He does have a website though. And he’s very entertaining as well. And I like the way he’s been writing lately. Well, I like the way he writes but I recently read “Half Moon Investigations” and it struck me as one of the first non Gossip Girl type books that was really using technology the way kids use technologly. Texting and video and the like. China Mieville did this too in that book he wrote…um…Un-lon-don. I like that idea. That the actual uses of video on cell phones and you tube are starting to filter into books.

All Wrapped Up! Groovy Gift Wrap of the 1960s by Kevin Akers

Kevin Akers has a website here. I don’t know Kevin Akers but I intend to email him and tell him how very much I do indeed enjoy this book. It’s lovely.

Getting it Right with Type: The Do’s and Don’ts of Typography by Victoria Squire

I haven’t read this yet. I skimmed it and I was slightly disappointed (not by you, Victoria Squire) because I think it may be more basic than I was hoping for. Typography is hard. Hard, I tell you!

Art of Modern Rock Mini #2: Poster Girls by Dennis King

I am hoping that this book will be inspiration for some more pin-up girl illos from me. We’ll see. I did discover an artist that I like but didn’t know his name. Unfortuantely, I don’t have the book with me and I still don’t know his name.

Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace
Cute. Slight. Simple. It’s a nice book. Buy it for a kid.

I Completely Must Do Drawing Now and Painting and Coloring by Lauren Child
Do you know Charlie and Lola? I love Charlie and Lola. This is a Charlie and Lola book. It’s not here yet, but I am looking forward to seeing it.

Drop Dead Cute by Ivan Vartanian (postcard book)
It was cheaper than the book, so I thought I’d start small.

Summer Knight by Jim Butcher
Jim Butcher was at Comic-Con, promoting his new comic with the Dabel Brothers. I didn’t see him. Or the comic for that matter. I would have liked to see him. Not so sure about the comic.

Books Purchased for others:
Comic Book Tattoo by Tori Amos and a lot of artists (two copies)
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
Chester Cricket's Pigeon Ride by George Selden
Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse by George Selden
Dinosaur's Binkit by Sandra Boynton
Winnie-The-Pooh by A. A. Milne
A Treasury of Curious George by Margret Rey
Baby Signs by Joy Allen
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt

I don’t think the people from whom some of these books are meant to surprise read this blog, but um…if you do…SURPRISE!

What I had for lunch:
2 slices portobello mushroom pizza

Regrets I have:
Eating portobello mushroom pizza

…and drinking soda.

Cookies within reach that I will not eat because I ate portobello mushroom pizza:
White chocolate chip and pecan
Oatmeal chocolate chip
Gluten and egg free chocolate chip button cookies

What I am making for dinner:
Gnocci with chicken, mushrooms and swiss chard with garlic, crushed red peppers and olive oil, NO CHEESE! In the name of all that is holy! NO CHEESE!

(EDIT: There will be no gnocci with chicken, mushrooms and swiss chard for dinner. There will be only soup.)

OH OH! Christmas presents purchased:
ONE! Yay!

Oh dear. I am listening to a random opera podcast of Robert Merrill and he just started singing “Ohhhhh sweet mystery of life at last I’ve found you….” that’s just made my day.

And next time I say the word “pizza” could you just punch me in the stomach? Same effect but much quicker.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


What a strange few days. Not even counting Comic-Con. I mean, that was strange but…well, let’s do that first.

Comic-Con was, as always, by turns, infuriating, fun, exhausting, exhilarating, exhausting and…exhausting. I am working at about 60 percent power right now with 75 percent of my voice. It will take me a week or so to catch up with myself but that’s to be expected. Sales were good, response was great. All was fine. I didn’t sell to a celebrity, which is always my goal, but I did meet an artist I am rather fond of, which was pleasant and I did talk to millions of people. Well, it felt like millions, I don’t know…dozens? I didn’t take a single picture, and I probably only saw about half the floor. I work two jobs at Comic-Con, so it’s not a vacation for me. And the weeks leading up to Comic-Con are equally as exhausting and frustrating what with trying to get prepared to do both jobs. So, you know, it’s this love hate thing. At the moment it’s more…eh…then either love or hate. I guess I am too tired for emotions.

Perhaps more inconvenient than con was the trip back. Ran over something on the 405 and blew a tire. Luckily, AAA showed up without much problem. I got off on the closest exit and lo and behold, there was a tire store. They hooked me up and I was back on the road in less than 40 minutes. It wasn’t a tragedy, it was a minor inconvenience, but it was indeed inconvenient.

And now, today, back at work, achy, tired and getting crankier by the minute and oops, rattle, rattle…earthquake. A long one. 5.2 on the Richter scale. Maybe not the biggest earthquake ever but big enough to scare my whole office. And when the giant glass pendant lamp above your desk starts swinging around…I think fear is the appropriate response. So, you know, it’s gonna be one of THOSE weeks. It already is.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Goodness but I am getting twitchy about Comic-Con. It will all be (more or less) fine, I know but…aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrgh! I am pretty much ready, except for packing and getting there, but it’s making my head all buzzy and my stomach all fluttery and damn it’s annoying. I should be used to this by now.

Now, I haven’t really been looking at my blog stats lately. I mean, it’s always interesting to see why people show up here and where they are from, but I am not one of those hardcore bloggers that really…cares. But I happened to look at referrals that brought people here recently. Among them was the search phrase “China Mieville is hot” and I’d just like to reiterate that fact. Hi China. You’re a good lookin’ man. And you scare me. But if you are searching for info on China Mieville, I have to be honest with you. He’s hot.

Also, one of the referrals that shows up fairly frequently is “Denny Duchette” because I think I once mentioned him. Now I rather like the actor that played him, Jeffery Dean Morgan. He’s handsome, he’s been in some shows I enjoyed for a time. But sadly, his character always dies. Poor man. Bad news if you are here for him, he’s in a film that I was not at all interested in until I found out he was in it. Yes, I am a bad nerd who is talking trash about Watchmen, but oh hey, Jeffery Dean Morgan is playing the Comedian and now…I am smitten. Like, wallpaper on my cell phone kind of smitten. I am a dork. I know. The only other people who are either not a cat or I am not related to who have graced my cell phone? Professor Snape and Doctor Who. Yep. Dork.

So, ok, if you are going to be at San Diego Comic-Con International, and you want to swing by and say HI to me, or one of the Tired Girl Collective, you can find us in the small press area at table L5. And if you are looking for me at my day job, you can find me…there. You know where that is and I hesitate to cross the streams, as it were. So, travel safely if you are traveling, sit quietly if you are sitting and be happy if you…whatever dude, see you on the flip side!

Monday, July 21, 2008


Well, it’s almost here. That one thing that makes me both shudder in horror and squee with glee. Well, fine, a lot of things do that to me, but this one…you know…Comic-Con is right around the corner. I leave on Wednesday and I am more or less ready. More or less. Some new stuff to show off, some old favorites. It should be good. It should also be exhausting and nerve-wracking. It’s just one of those things.

At the moment I am experiencing the weariness that goes with Comic-Con. Stayed up a little too late last night to get one last thing done, woke up a little too early this morning due to the endless construction on the building across the way. I’ll be better tomorrow I am sure. But it’s not tomorrow that I am worried about.

Right now, aside from regular life worries, I am experie….

Here’s a strange aside. I just answered the phone and Sponge Bob Square Pants was on the other end. Well, voice actor that plays him was on the other end. Weird. He was very nice though.

Anyway, aside from regular life worries, I am a little nervous about presenting new art. You know that it’s hard enough for me to refer to what I do as art, but then showing it to people….ewwwwww. Makes me twitchy. And that’s kind of the point for me doing things like Comic-Con. Or having a blog. It’s a challenge to myself to step outside of my comfort zone. And…well…right now I’m not totally comfortable. But, for me, that’s kind of a part of the whole process. The nerves part.

So, in an attempt to kind of get it started, here is a little sampler of some of my newest art….my first attempt at pin-up girls…nerdy pin-up girls…for nerds. I hope you like them! Um, I am just now realizing that the nerdy part doesn’t always show through with just these little bits. They are all full figures, heads, feet and everything in between. And the titles kind of reveal what makes them nerdy, so clockwise, from top left…

Dead Sexy
Rock Out with your Spock Out
Seduction of the Innocent
Mailer Daemon

That should give you some clues. And maybe, when I get back from con, if they have been well received, I will show you a bit more.

Hmmm….you know…there is a serious shortage of pin-up boys in this world…maybe…nah…not yet.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Four things from my youth that I apparently have no nostalgia for (some of which are kind of old news since I started this a while ago and never finished it):
  • Journey. Did you hear? They have a new lead singer. He sounds just like Steve Perry. Eh.

  • Strawberry Shortcake. Did you know that they redesigned her? I didn't. She now appears to be something modern girls might find appealing. So? (OK, while I have absolutely no problem with the changes made to Strawberry Shortcake, I do not like the changes to Holly Hobbie…but the whole appeal of that character was that she was a “prairie girl.”)

  • Star Wars. Sorry. You can take my geek card away now. I have seen it. I liked it well enough, I don’t feel the need to think about it all that often.

  • Growing Pains. I don’t think I have ever seen a whole episode of this show. And you know what else? Saved by the Bell. And pretty much everything everyone my age watched after school. I don’t know what I was doing…oh, maybe marching band, drama club, indoor color guard or…something, but I didn’t watch much tv in my youth apparently.

Movies I have never seen but am quite should I would enjoy:
  • The Big Lebowski

  • The Bourne Identity (series)

  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (I may have seen most of this but I can’t remember.)

  • The Godfather (I know! I know! I have tried to watch it but I always fall asleep.)

Pretty much anymovie where things get blown up, people get shot or young lovers sing in French. What? I never claimed to be consistent!

Have you seen Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog? Because I know people are talking about it all over the internets and that, for me, is generally the kiss of death for pretty much anything but I gotta say…utterly charming. And some very entertaining songwriting. And God bless Neil Patrick Harris. He’s a big ol’ mug of AWESOME!

Things I have recently discovered that make me a little too happy:

  • Soy pudding. I tried soy pudding years ago. It wasn’t good. I tried to make my own. It was worse. But now that soy milk tastes better (or perhaps I am just used to it), I can finally be a pudding lover again. Thank you.

  • The return of Burn Notice and Weeds. Possibly my two favorite shows ever. I can’t watch all those reality type shows that my parents and friends so love. They drive me crazy. I like things blowing up, drug smuggling and Bruce Campbell. Really, what more could a girl ask for? Oh, right. Jeffrey Donovan.

Movies I would very much like to see but can’t just yet:
  • Hellboy II-The Golden Army. Oh yes, please! How happy am I about this movie? Very. How sad am I that I haven’t seen it yet? Very. I am shooting for Monday.

  • Wall-E-It’s Pixar and I am a fan. Why would I not?

  • The Dark Knight- Nevermind that Batman and Hellboy are my two most favorite comic book characters. This honestly looks really damn good.

  • Mama Mia!- DON’T JUDGE ME! Look, I saw the musical and I thought it was just OK. But I do love me some ABBA, more importantly, I love me some Colin Firth and Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd. So there.

  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor-SHUT UP. The Mummy is probably on my top twenty movies list. Definitely on my top ten movies that I can and will watch over and over again. Good looking men, Rachel Weisz and you know what? It’s just a really fun, classic adventure movie. It reminds me of 1950’s type matinee movies. And I will defend Brendan Fraser with my last breath. He is a fine actor who likes to make fun stuff. And if you aren’t sure about the “fine actor” part, please do see Gods and Monsters, he’s quite good in it. Do not, however, mistake Monkeybone for anything resembling fine. Just don’t.

Things I am successfully not panicking over…yet:
Comic-con. I am zen. For the moment. Due to the Handmade Brigade, I am more or less prepared. So much so, that I am planning on rolling out two new card sets and a set of prints! I am very excited about the prints and really hope that they do well. I’ll post some next week I think but until then, here is an image from the new card set that I “debuted” at Handmade Brigade (“debuted” makes it sound like I had a big fanfare or at at least a sign that said NEW! But I didn’t. I just mean that they had not previously been for sale…because they weren’t finished…but now they are. And they will be available (hopefully) in the shop within the next few weeks).

Now, as I said, the cupcakes are not yet available in the Paperlotus store but many fine items are. Most recently I have added some less quirky, more useful cards, so maybe you’d like to check these out…

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Today started better than yesterday. The hairdryer didn’t trip the circuit breaker (twice) because someone was making toast. I didn’t have to drive around the block several times trying to get gas because I managed to do that yesterday (after circling 3x’s, finally going to another station and stupidly paying 10 cents more). I didn’t almost get in three accidents on the way to work. I also didn’t spill the jam from my English muffin because I had a Kashi bar instead. I didn’t nearly slap three friends for being morons…so far. In general it’s been a better day and it started with R.E.M., moved to a little Rolling Stones, then some New York Dolls and the real kicker, the shocker that made me think, “Hey, even if it gets bad, it started out good”? Hoodoo Gurus. On the radio. The radio! Thank you radio gods, you have made me happier.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


So, you don’t really need to know the details of where I went or what I was doing but I will tell you this. I made:

2 large lasagne with sausage
1 large pan brownies
2 pans of chicken stew topped with biscuits
2 pans of chicken and stuffing with gravy
2 pans of pasta with meatsauce and cheese
1 dozen cupcakes
1 dozen biscuits
1 dozen raisin scones
1 large roll of sugar cookie dough
16 deviled eggs
2 dozen deviled clams
2.5 large containers clam/vegetable soup

...and I am thinking there was more, but I don’t honestly remember. It was all a blur. I cooked a lot, I cleaned a bit, I slept amazingly well. And there was no internets. None. It’s a little like visiting the Flintstones. But you know, it’s do-able.

And now it’s back to this reality and there’s a lot of printing and cutting and folding and drawing and…what else? Ironing…bake and shrinking…framing…cleaning. All that stuff. This week there is the Handmade Brigade (if you are there, stop by and say HI! I’ll be the tired one.) In less than two weeks there is the comic-con. And if you are THERE please bring me a coffee (soy milk, little bit of sugar) because I will be the really tired one.

Friday, June 27, 2008


I am preparing to take a trip, so , despite the fact that I have been very lax about posting here, I just wanted to make it clear that it is about to get even more lax. Because I suck.

And my trip comes at a very awkward time. Right before a craft fair and comic-con. Both of which require me to be prepared. Which I am sort of am. Sort of. I am always sort of prepared. And that’s kind of what is causing me just a little bit more stress at the moment. I gotta pack. I gotta pack for my trip, I gotta pack for a craft fair and I gotta pack for comic con. And I need to make sure I‘ve got everything I need. And I need a lot.

I keep telling myself that I am not going off into the wilderness. There are drugstores and grocery stores and Targets and Walmarts and…everything in all the places I am going. If I forget something, I can just pop out and get it. And my brain does know that, but I can’t help tucking in that sewing kit, just in case. Those extra books, just in case. Two sweaters…for the summer weather on the east coast. Sandals, flip flops, clogs and sneakers. Should I take a pair of dress shoes? You know, in case I have a job interview or a wedding to attend? What about soap? Do I need soap? There is soap at mom’s house. But I like my soap. And I use a different soap on my face than the one I use in the shower…should I consolidate? Mom always said always pack a dress. Do I even own a dress?

It’s not that bad. I get it done and I get it done well, but it’s always a bit of a battle between my brain and my…brain. Knowing what I need and what I might need are two different things. Although, I will say, my overpacking and planning tendencies have come in handy in the past. People mocked me for keeping an ice scraper in my car. The ice scraper I bought 15 years ago in New Jersey that still resides in my trunk in semi-sunny Los Angeles. But I always thought, well, maybe I will need to use that snow brush on ash someday. And frost isn’t UNHEARD of here, it’s just UNLIKELY. But on that cross –country trip two years ago? The one with the blizzard? A lot of people were really happy that one girl from Los Angeles, staying in that little hotel in Arizona, had an ice scraper. One person was prepared for anything. That was me.

This time I am trying to take my cue from my mother. When I was a kid she and my father traveled together a fair amount. It was to business conferences with fancy people but travel is travel, no? My mom would always map out her wardrobe. I remember the lists well. They looked kind of like this:

Morning (museum trip): Floral skirt, blue blouse, blue espadrilles, silver chunky necklace, silver earrings, woven handbag,
Afternoon (Tea): Pale blue suit, silk camisole, tan pumps, tan envelope bag, gold necklace and earrings
Evening (cocktails and theatre): brown sequined gown, evening bag, brown heels, gold wrap
Also: Swimsuit and sunhat for after tea

OK, fine, that’s not what I need to do, Mine looks more like this

Monday: black pants, grey tee, black flip flops
Tuesday: green pants, brown top, brown flip flops

And on and on.

But oh, there are 4 or 5 novels, 3 graphic novels, two sketchbooks, a computer, a pile of work, last minute designs, a yoga DVD, 3 British TV series (Sensitive Skin and Shoestring) and one documentary on medieval cooking and soap/

But I am getting there. I have a list. Lists are good.

So, as I said, going away. Back…well…eventually. See ya later, suckers!

Friday, June 20, 2008


Something has just occurred to me that makes me feel pretty darn stupid. Well…stupider than usual anyway.

I have insomnia. I have always had insomnia but from time to time, and especially around this time of year, it gets worse. I don’t sleep much at all. In some ways I am used to it, it’s been going on most of my life but tired is tired and lately, it’s been the even more evil kind of insomnia. No pills, natural or otherwise seem to help. Meditation, relaxation techniques, chamomile tea, my insomnia laughs at these. And this is, and I am speaking from experience here, a psychological issue. There is no real medical reason that is the problem. And while everyone else is complaining about the heat, I have found the nights to be the perfect sleeping temperature…if I could sleep.

So…here’s the tie in that made me realize that I am stupid. Aside from having insomnia on and off most of my life, I have also had migraines. The thing is, when I was a kid, I didn’t have the language to express what I was feeling and I could only really tell my mom or the doctor that I had a bad headache. It was put down to allergies (which are my primary trigger) and I was given meds for them that I did not like and eventually would not take (they made me dizzy and ill, the pain was better than the painkiller). As an adult, I finally had the language to explain what was going on and lo and behold, not crazy, just migraine-y. But now I know and I can combat them, stop them, or ride them out without fear of…well, whatever one fears with a headache.

So, the insomnia, I was just reading a little about magnesium and particular supplements that may help with a lot of things…one of them being difficulty sleeping. Also that magnesium, which aids in the relaxation of nerves and muscles, is depleted when one is under stress.

Um…turns out. I am stressed. Heh. Look, I know that there is stress in my life, but generally I look at it as stuff that has to be taken care of before I can relax. I don’t really think of it as stress because it’s just the stuff that needs to get done. Aaaaaaand another word for “stuff that needs to get done” is…? Oh…stressors.

Stupid. But now that I can look at the stuff that needs to get done and the effects that said stuff is having on me, I think I can finally get my head around it as “stress” and respond to it appropriately. Yes, yes, I knew there was stress, I just didn’t understand how it was actually affecting me. I knew that when the bedroom was redecorated and all the new furniture was out of the living room and the old furniture was out of the house, I would be happier but you know, it’s furniture! What’s there to get stressed about? Oh, those giant boxes blocking every pathway in my living room? That floor that needs vacuuming but the vacuum is in the closet that is blocked by the boxes? The printer that needs to be printing out cards and such for comic con that is trapped between two other giant boxes? That long trip that is going to be hard work…just before your job demands you to be cheerful, flexible and in the public eye? Right. I get it now, that’s not called life…that’s called stress.

More meditation, more magnesium, more printing and cleaning and hopefully sleep will follow, now that I get it. Dur.

Also…more chocolate. Chocolate has magnesium in it. Seriously.