Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Have Fun

1) Tanya Davis' poem & video "How to Be Alone." (I found a link that also has the next, since I know that you can't view the video, Mags).

In the past week or so, I've taken a bunch of pictures with the intention of posting them on this here blog, but didn't. So now you get them all at once!

2) Coming home to find that a Friend has reattached our porch door! There used to be nothing there.
3) Free, delicious water from the spring on rt 79.
4) This beautifully presented mango "chicken" from the Vegetarian Palate in Brooklyn.

5) The sock rug that my mom is making for me from 30 years of saved socks, the white ones dyed orange.
6) I'm sorry that this isn't the best quality photo, but I took it while driving on the highway, so, yeah. I like that someone wrote "HAVE FUN" on this truck's mud flaps.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Grew Up and Grew Chins

1) This interesting combination of indie music, t-shirts, and charities. Not exactly within my price-range, but fun to look at.

2) Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

3) Gaga.

4) (My dad's signature shot involves getting on the ground to take family portraits from below. After we grew up and grew chins that angle became less attractive, but when we were little it was pretty darn cute).

"You didn't scrub behind the toilet?"

1) Pie for breakfast.

2) Cleaning other people's bathrooms. I like cleaning because you work for a little while and see results fairly soon, and you can really get into the zone. The cleaning zone, I guess. And cleaning other people's bathrooms is better than cleaning your own, definitely. I once toyed with the idea that maybe I should clean other people's homes professionally, but decided against it. Here's why: when I surprise someone by cleaning their bathroom or kitchen, they are always surprised and happy. They never say "You didn't scrub behind the toilet?" Whatever you do is more than they expect, so they're never disappointed. Or if they are, they don't tell you.

3) Can't stop listening to this song now. Lyrics can be found here.

4) What? Oh no. (Thanks, Max).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dog is Already Dead

1) I like how I managed to remember to bring my sourdough starter with me when coming to visit my parents, but not my computer.

2) Watching the mountain lions at the Bergen County Zoo with Kevin. They really wanted to eat this baby that was watching them, it was great.
2.5) Being at the Zoo reminded me of this youtube video.

3) The delicious salad that I made for Thanksgiving yesterday: baby spinach, apple, cranberries, toasted walnuts, bleu cheese, and maple balsamic vinaigrette.

4) Staab Family fun. Last night I picked up a deck of cards called "Great Looks at Great Books" (or something like that) and decided to count how many I'd read. My sister, dad, mom, and uncle followed suit. Anna then remembered the Facebook note that's been going around with BBC's list of 100 most loved books, and we decided to go through them to determine how many of them each of us had read individually, and as a group. Our powers combined, we've read 62% of those books (our weaknesses were science fiction and cheesy novels). From there, Anna suggested that we play charades, acting out some of the books. All of us seemed open to the idea of guessing, but only my dad really got into acting them out.

Here we have him acting out Anna Karenina (This is just before he falls over and writhes on the floor imitating her suicide):And here he is acting out "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings:"

5) Paranoid Parrot.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

1.More pictures from National Geographic's Photography Contest 2010 here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Oh my God, we're grown ups."

1) The four sixth grade girls that came into the Diner today. It was obviously a big deal to be eating out without an adult. They asked a lot of questions, and at one point one of them looked over her menu at her friends and said "Oh my God, we're grown ups." I wanted to tell her that I have that same thought on a daily basis.

2) Finding a song and being pretty sure the first time I hear it that I am going to listen to it over and over until I hate it. The song Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons has everything I need in a song right now: multiple stringed instruments including a banjo, an occasional pronounced beat, singing at the end without instruments, and the word "fuck." I can almost guarantee that in a month (maybe less), I will be incredibly sick of it from over-listening.
3) Drinking fancy beer, eating free homestyle mac & cheese, sour milk chocolate cake and Mike & Ike, and watching Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince in front of a really hot fire with Natalie after a long day.

4) Long Thanksgiving breaks! I know that my opportunity for week long breaks from work will decrease as my age and number of commitments increase, so I plan to appreciate this one a whole lot.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Leftover Homestyle Mac & Cheese

1) Alright, I am no longer a big fan of AAA. Did you know that, even though my dad paid to have three cars covered under his membership, my car is not covered because he isn't here? Also, apparently AAA uses its money to support all kinds of environmentally questionable things. I found both of these things out today, and also that the Better World Club is probably the way to go for roadside assistance.

2) After realizing today that AAA was not going to help me, I called a towing company. The man arrived and promptly started my car. My mechanic friend said that the towtruck man probably just got lucky, but I am very happy that he did. At the very least, I have hope that my car will get me home for Thanksgiving, when I can have it checked out by the family mechanic.

3) Sites that make my never ending quest for new music easier.

4) My boss, who brought me another box of Mike & Ike, and sent me home with two giant containers of leftover homestyle mac & cheese.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thank You For Leaving Me This While World to Go Mad In

1) Guess what I saw on the side of Rt 17? If you guessed cheap gas, you would be wrong. If you guessed a truck for Jerry's Lawn Care with a picture of a Grateful Dead bear, you would be right, but that's not what I was thinking of. What I saw that I was really excited about was a bald eagle! A real one! In the wild! Real close to the road, just chilling in a tree! I've never seen one in the wild that close up, it was amazing. Those guys are real big.

2) Testing my spatial relations.

3) Sour Milk Chocolate Cake. Our milk has gone bad, and the vegans are out of town, so I took the opportunity to make sour milk chocolate cake. It's delicious, and means that you don't have to throw out perfectly terrible milk. I learned this trick from my mom. Unfortunamente, I didn't realize until I had already started combining ingredients that we didn't have any eggs. Luckily, my mom taught me another baking trick. Please don't be grossed out, but when you don't have eggs, you can easily replace them with two pickles and a freezy pop. Just kidding. Mayonnaise! A third a cup of mayo is mostly made of eggs anyway, and can be used to replace one egg. I'm not going to tell Natalie about that substitution until she has already eaten a piece of cake and loved it.

4) When you get into your car, turn the key, and it starts. That didn't happen today, but I'm grateful for all of the times that it has happened up until this point. I also like AAA, which I will call tomorrow to come rescue my car.

Asking for More - Sarah Manguso

I am not asking to suffer less.
I hope to be nearly crucified.
To live because I don't want to.

That hope, that sweet agent —
My best work is its work.
The horse I ride into Hell is my best horse
And bears its name.
So, friends, drink your cocktails and wear your hats.
Thank you for leaving me this whole world to go mad in.

I am not asking for mercy. I am asking for more.
I don't mind when no mercy comes
Or when it comes in the form of my mad self
Running at me. I am not asking for mercy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Even If I've Been Dead

1) My dad, who recently said to me "If you ever fall in love with any kind of exercise, even if I've been dead for twenty years, I want you to tell me."

2) the Name Anagram Generator. My anagram is "I am the saner able," but you can also use it for other things. Some good anagrams that I've discovered:
Karen Staab (my mom): Brake, Satan!
Earlham College: Hello! Lame Grace.
Newfield, New York: Wrinkled of Weeny
and, my all time favorite (I don't know what prompted me to type this into the anagram generator, but I'm so glad that I did).....
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Pithy Female Braves Fury

3) The friend request I got on Facebook with the message: "Hi U Look Great In Read."Oh goodness. I'm sorry that our public school system has failed you so horribly, random facebook stranger, but also, that's pretty hilarious.

Friday, November 12, 2010

the exquisite failure uncouth

1) Nearly perfect sentences. I've recently become interested in how a combination of things (sentence structure, meaning, allusion, emotion, rhythm, etc.) contribute to making nearly perfect sentences. Here are some of my recent favorite sentences:
- "Love accepts counsel from no calamity." - Rumi
- "so of my stupid sincere youth, the exquisite failure uncouth" - ee cummings
- "I started thinking of things that make me happy, and now I can't stop." - Maggie Ashmore

2) Cash Cab. I love it. When things get slow at the Diner, we turn on the tv and watch Cash Cab. You might be familiar with Cash Cab from it's recent cameo on 30 Rock, thus combining two of my favorite televised things.

3) My uncle is in the NY Times! Apparently Tom, my sister's partner, was reading the NY Times and happened to notice that Bill Staab was quoted. Pretty cool.

4) Veteran's Day! The fact that today is a national holiday meant that kids didn't have school, and the fact that kids didn't have school meant that a large number of parents (who might not feel as positively about their kids not being in school as I/the kids feel) brought their kids to the Diner! Customers! Tips! It also meant that my boss' son hung out with us and washed dishes. All I really need to be happy is a snarky teenager and someone else to do the dishes.

5) My mom's face in this picture taken circa 1950 (she's the blond on the right).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

with up so floating many bells down

1) Lady Gaga inspired Youtube videos. Really, I love them. If you know of any good ones, please share in the comments or through facebook or anything. I never get tired of them.

2) Hitting the "Next Blog" button on blogger and seeing the random blogs that come up.

3) This lady's wonderful approach to child-rearing. Also, that kid, for completely rocking that costume.

4) This poem by e.e. cummings. I read it as "anyone" being the name of the main character, and "noone" as the name of the love interest, but with e.e. cummings who knows.
anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Get Out as Early as You Can

1) Creative Quakers.

2) My lovely housemate/coworker/friend since 4th grade Natalie Braun, for many reasons, but most recently for graciously pointing out that in my last entry I used "it's" instead of "its." The offensive misuse of the apostrophe has been corrected. I'm very sorry for having subjected you to that!
2b. On the subject of Natalie Braun, I am a big fan of friends that you've known for most of your life. I am lucky enough to have a bunch of those, some of whom I get to see on a regular basis. Here is a wonderful picture from High School of two lovely ladies that I got to spend time with today who I have known for twelve years (I think that this is what joy looks like):

3) Halloween costumes for dogs. Particulary #11.

4) This poem by Philip Larkin (please note: I love my parents very much, they are wonderful parents, and I hope to someday be as wonderful of a parent for my own kids. But this poem is also very true).

This Be the Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

Philip Larkin

Monday, November 8, 2010

Soak It Up

1. The pull-through when parking. You know what I'm talking about. It means that I don't have to demonstrate my shocking lack of backing up skills.

2. Earlham College staying true to its awkwardness. I had the opportunity to visit Earlham this weekend, and was lucky enough to walk into the coffee shop just as the Quidditch team was naming who was in which Hogwarts house. Soak it up, Earlhamites, never again will you be surrounded by that much weird all at once. Unless you move to Yellow Springs.

2a. Speaking of Earlham and awkwardness, I am a fan of
Sarah Clinton McCausland's Look at This Fucking Earlham.

3. What should be a 9.5 hour drive only taking 8.5 hours. I don't know how that happened, but I like it.

4. The Census. Or, more specifically, our Census Lady. Somehow, our house was randomly selected to be part of a more in depth census study. Of course, it is a household with four twenty-somethings living in intentional spiritual community with a very small shared income. She had to call her supervisor to try to figure out what to do with us. She also apparently has taken a personal interest in us and our well-being, as the last time she came to visit she brought us clothes and kitchen chairs. I credit this to her generous nature, not her thinking that we all wear shitty clothes and sit in shitty chairs. Thanks, Census Lady.

5. The Midwest. I'm really glad this sky is still there, even though I hadn't seen it in five months.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Cat Named Felix, a Cat Named Seymour, and a Watermelon

1. This interesting use of timelapse photography.

2. Internet ads being used for good causes.
I was on lastfm, pointlessly looking over the stats of the music that I listen to because I didn't want to go to bed yet, and I noticed an ad the corner. It was showing slides of the "Top 5 Least Romantic Gifts Ever." It listed scrunchies, a shark calendar, perfume samples, a gym membership, and then said "Click to Expand Window For #1." So I clicked, because they asked me to. A window came up and showed me the video that you can see here. That's some damn good advertising.
(I'm not trying to tell you to get the vaccine. Even with the vaccine, you can still get certain kinds of HPV. Get the vaccine if you want, but mostly be safe, get tested, and make sure who ever you're bumping uglies with has been tested too.)

3. Being realistic about our expectations for politicians. First of all, they're politicians, not magicians. I have my qualms with Obama, sure, but we gotta remember what the guy was given to work with. Whether you were a Bush fan or not, I think it's fair to say that things were already looking gloomy at the end of his term (who/what you attribute that to is not for me to tell you). It's my opinion that Obama has done relatively well, all things considered. Check out "What the Fuck Has Obama Done So Far?" and think about giving the guy a break.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trapped Inside of Kanye's Ego

1. Watching the fuel gauge go up after getting gas.

2. Kanye West's ego. I've been meaning to write about this one for a few weeks. I don't know if you have heard Kanye's new song Runaway, but you should probably listen to it at least once. When you do, be sure to take in the fact that, somehow, even when admitting that he's an asshole, Kanye West is an asshole. An asshole that makes some amazing music. If you think you can handle it, watch the half-hour long mini movie he made promoting his latest album. I couldn't make it through the whole thing, so I can't really speak for the message. I had to stop watching it because I felt like I was trapped inside of Kanye's ego and I was scared I would never get out.
This may sound like something I don't like, but that's not true. I like music and artistic expression, I like good beats, and I like that somehow Kanye manages to use the fact that he sent a girl pictures of his dick to enhance his massive sense of self worth. I also just really like this song.

3. Spending most of the afternoon in the kitchen. Baking and cooking for hours not only serves a therapeutic purpose, it also heats the kitchen!


Monday, November 1, 2010

What is the Spring to me?

1. This song by Sodastream.

2. The cd recently sent to me by Latia Danielle Jointer. When I was at Earlham, I was part of a gospel choir called "Gospel Revelations," and it was wonderful. Thanks to the cd Tia sent me, I can kind of pretend to be in G-Revs again while I drive or clean my room. Although it's hard to do the hand motions to "Back to Eden" while driving, just saying.

3. The poem "the Death of Autumn" by Edna St. Vincet Millay:
When reeds are dead and straw to thatch the marshes,
And feathered pampas-grass rides into the wind
Like Ag├Ęd warriors westward, tragic, thinned
Of half their tribe; an over the flattened rushes,
Stripped of its secret, open, stark and bleak,
Blackens afar the half-forgotten creek,--
Then leans on me the weight of the year, and crushes
My heart. I know that beauty must ail and die,
And will be born again, --but ah, to see
Beauty stiffened, staring up at the sky!
Oh, Autumn! Autumn! --What is the Spring to me?

4. Butternut squash pancakes! We had leftover cooked butternut squash from when Natalie made squash pie, so I tweaked a recipe for vegan pumpkin pancakes, and they were delicious.
Here's the recipe, with my changes:
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups water1/2 cup soy milk
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup mashed, cooked butternut squash
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or white if necessary)Combine soymilk with the tsp vinegar in a separate bowl. Give it 5 minutes to curdle (this is like using buttermilk). Stir together squash, spices, sugar, water and soymilk in mixing bowl. Add in remaining ingredients and stir JUST UNTIL MOIST, NO LONGER. Let sit 5 minutes to rise and lightly stir again. Let rest 5 more minutes and cook them up. Makes about 10 5" pancakes.

5. My sister Laurel's and her boyfriend's homemade halloween costumes: