Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Christmas

1. Riding on trains.

2. Aquariums. Especially with otters. Even if there was just one otter.

3. Suggested donation admittance.

4. Fair trade coffee shops with comfy furniture, salad, and cake, magically appearing right when you're about to give up and go into a Starbucks.

5. For the First Time, Women Share "First Kiss" at Navy Homecoming.

6. Wassail. Unfortunately, the internet doesn't know how to make wassail. Maybe if I get a minute I'll type up the recipe from my family cookbook.



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

street art

I had other stuff to say today, but then I saw this, and decided that the rest can wait 'til tomorrow. Street art takes priority.
Most Beloved Street Art Photos of 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

A little cheer for the weekend

Some of it holiday related, some not.

1) Anonymous donors pay off K-Mart layaway accounts

2) I need new snow boots for winter. There are some at Target that I tried on, but couldn't bring myself to spend the money on. Today, I finally decided to go get them, since I've been thinking about them so much. AND WHAT TO MY WONDERING EYES SHOULD APPEAR, but a 40% off all winter boots sale! Thanks, Santa.

3) Try a little tenderness (links to a video)


5) Tree Line by Zander Olsen

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Follow that Bird" was a good movie, though.

This is what happens when you share a Netflix account with your sister.

2. "The Nietzsche Family Circus pairs a randomized Family Circus cartoon with a randomized Friedrich Nietzsche quote."

3. On a similar note, 3eanuts removes the last panel of Peanuts comic strips, leaving you with that existentially empty feeling. 

4. Gingerbread cookies. I've modified this recipe slightly to suit my cookie baking/consumption needs, and it suits me nicely:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup light molasses
  • PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F.
  • COMBINE flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in small bowl.
  • BEAT butter, sugar, egg and molasses in large bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour mixture until well blended.  Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  • BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

names for pets I'll never have

I like to think of strange pets that I might someday have and then name them. Here are the ones that I've come up with over the years:

Armadillo Lizard named Catharsis
Pot Belly Pig named Classy 
Hedgehog named Pedagogy
Chinchilla named Tickle
Slow Loris named Misandry
Flying Squirrel named Fancy
Iguana named Meander
Falcon named Zeitgeist

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"I'm proud of my gun, and I pooed in space."

1. Music Critic Top 10 takes all of the lists of 2011's bet albums and combines them. Be prepared to spend a long time on this one.

More paintings by Jeremy Geddes here.
3. My love of all things Harry Potter has recently been reignited by listening to the books on tape. But when the books ended, I still wanted more. So I have ventured into the seedy world of fanfiction. A lot of it is smut. Grammatically incorrect and often physically impossible smut. But the Shoebox Project is actually fairly well written, and so far has not featured smut. It's a bunch of Harry Potter geeks working together to imagine the story of the Marauders James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew. There are even some illustrations. I've been enjoying it in spite of myself.

4. I don't like this video posted by Rick Perry, but I do like the internet's response to it. Thanks, internet.

Bad Lip Reading of Rick Perry's "Strong"

5. This article: Led by the Child Who Simply Knew

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

desecration of books for art

1. More wonderful 3D art! Book sculpture!

2. USA to use aid to promote gay rights abroad.


4. Thanks to Jeffrey Holiday for this, it made my day (this links to a video, apologies to those without fast enough internet, but it is worth bookmarking until you get somewhere you can watch it). You can read about Girl Walk/All Day here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I didn't mind the party until Katy Perry's "Firework" started blasting.

1. The frat boys from across the street who brought us a card and fancy chocolate treats after they set off a smoke alarm and filled up the street with fire trucks this weekend. It may have been to sweeten us up so that we didn't make a noise complaint about their party last night, but it was a nice gesture none the less.

2. the 45 Most Powerful Images of 2011. What a year.

3. I don't post enough sculptural art on this blog. Let it be known that I most thoroughly enjoy sculptural and other three dimensional art. It's just harder to share about sometimes, because any representation of it on this blog would be inherently two dimensional.
"truth" by Yuka Sasahara

4. Facebook ads continue to amuse. Become a social worker! Help chubby children, and babies forced to sleep in dresser drawers.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pushups, bike riding, bread.

1. Last night at 1am I witnessed a spontaneous push up contest between a bunch of bros on the Commons (a strip of stores, restaurants and bars, without cars) while one of the local street minstrels played a fast paced tune on the guitar and watched.


3. Back when the Clear Creek Co-Op was on Earlham campus, volunteers used to come in and bake bread on Sunday mornings, and if you got there early enough you could buy a loaf for a few bucks. My favorite bakers were Miriam and Dan, they often made this fantastic bread with candied ginger in it. I asked Miriam for the recipe, and now, three years later, I have finally gotten around to making it. Here is the recipe. I doubled the amount of ginger, and soaked the bulgar in equal amount water for half an hour beforehand. If you like gingery things, try it (although it is dairy filled, I am sorry to say).

Saturday, December 3, 2011

surprises too


The lyrics to this song are a little messed up but I love this cover.

2. Pear, cheese, and green chile quesadillas! A friend brought these to dinner the other night and I thought it was inspired. 

3. I've been listening to the Harry Potter series on audiotape and now everything is about Harry Potter for me. It's on my mind 75% of the time.

4. I'm guessing that I wrote this letter when I was four years old.  I must have dictated it to my sister (the handwriting and spelling is too good), and then carefully signed it myself.

5. I read this article, Notes From a Dragon Mom, when it was printed a little while ago. I can't really say that I liked it, as it is on such a depressing topic, but I haven't stopped thinking about it since then. Read at risk of some tear shedding.

6. The 25 best autocorrects of the year were a lot funnier than I expected them to be. Read at risk of laughing out loud. (Contains language that might not be work/kid safe). 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Chez and I discuss my blog.

Me: I haven't been very good at updating my blog the past couple of weeks.
Chez: Yeah, I know.
Me: Sometimes I just don't know what to put, you know? So then I usually put a poem or something, but I don't think anyone reads those.
Chez: I read em' if I don't think it's gonna make my head hurt.
Chez: Anytime you don't know what to put on your blog, just put a picture of your dad.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

the way a crow shook down on me


2. It hasn't snowed here really yet, and up until yesterday it was unseasonably warm, but here is one of my favorite winter poems:

Dust of Snow

The way a crow 
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

- Robert Frost

"INSIDE OUT is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. These digitally uploaded images will be made into posters and sent back to the project’s co-creators for them to exhibit in their own communities. People can participate as an individual or in a group; posters can be placed anywhere, from a solitary image in an office window to a wall of portraits on an abandoned building or a full stadium. These exhibitions will be documented, archived and viewable virtually."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Fuck grammar, I love you."

This is the e.e. cummings poem that started my love of e.e. cummings. I like it because I think he's basically saying, "Fuck grammar, I love you."

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a far better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
--the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for eachother: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

- e.e. cummings

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Picture Day!

                                                                  Morton Koldby

Happy American Thanksgiving, to those who celebrate it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This is hanging in my dining room, which means that I read it everyday while eating dinner. Aside from avoiding loud people (many people I love are loud people), and distressing myself with imaginings (a favorite pass time), this is generally how I try to be.

Monday, November 21, 2011

variety in the pizza model doesn’t come with judgment

2. My dad. I visited my folks for a bit over the weekend, and when I got in my car on Sunday to come home I found that my dad had filled up the tank, put quarters in the ash tray, and stashed two bottles of Welch's grape juice in the trunk.

3. This NY Times Magazine article on positive sex ed. My favorite bit is when the teacher challenges our habit of talking about sex like a baseball game:

"Vernacchio explained that sex as baseball implies that it’s a game; that one party is the aggressor (almost always the boy), while the other is defending herself; that there is a strict order of play, and you can’t stop until you finish. “If you’re playing baseball,” he elaborated, “you can’t just say, ‘I’m really happy at second base.’ ”

He later suggests a pizza metaphor, which I intend to use for the rest of my life: 

 “So let’s think about pizza,” Vernacchio said to his students after they’d deconstructed baseball. The class for that day was just about over. “Why do you have pizza?”
“You’re hungry,” a cross-country runner said.
“Because you want to,” Vernacchio affirmed. “It starts with desire, an internal sense — not an external ‘I got a game today, I have to do it.’ And wouldn’t it be great if our sexual activity started with a real sense of wanting, whether your desire is for intimacy, pleasure or orgasms. . . . And you can be hungry for pizza and still decide, No thanks, I’m dieting. It’s not the healthiest thing for me now.
“If you’re gonna have pizza with someone else, what do you have to do?” he continued. “You gotta talk about what you want. Even if you’re going to have the same pizza you always have, you say, ‘We getting the usual?’ Just a check in. And square, round, thick, thin, stuffed crust, pepperoni, stromboli, pineapple — none of those are wrong; variety in the pizza model doesn’t come with judgment,” Vernacchio hurried on. “So ideally when the pizza arrives, it smells good, looks good, it’s mouthwatering. Wouldn’t it be great if we had that kind of anticipation before sexual activity, if it stimulated all our senses, not just our genitals but this whole-body experience.” By this time, he was really moving fast; he’d had to cram his pizza metaphor into the last five minutes. “And what’s the goal of eating pizza? To be full, to be satisfied. That might be different for different people; it might be different for you on different occasions. Nobody’s like ‘You failed, you didn’t eat the whole pizza.’
“So again, what if our goal, quote, unquote, wasn’t necessarily to finish the bases?” The students were gathering their papers, preparing to go. “What if it just was, ‘Wow, I feel like I had enough. That was really good.’ ”

4. Beardfolio! Portraits taken by artist Matt Rainwaters at the World Beard and Mustache Championships. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Music Music Music

One of my favorite things is when I hear a new song and immediately know that I'm going to listen to it so many times that I'll get sick of it. It's the best! Finding new music is one of my most time-consuming and enjoyable pastimes.
Here are some of my music finding secrets:
1) Listen!
TV commercials, movie previews, television shows, the radio, music your friends play on road trips. All great sources of music. I try to remember a few lines of the lyrics, then google it when I get the chance to find out who sings it. I also pay attention when people post songs on facebook.
Along with this secret come two of my music rules: don't be ashamed, and don't be a jerk. There's nothing wrong with finding out about a band through a car commercial. Music is meant to be enjoyed, you're enjoying it, and that's that. Likewise, if you knew a band and loved them and then you hear them on a TV show, repress the urge to say "I knew this band before they got played on Grey's Anatomy." It doesn't make anyone like you better, and it doesn't make you actually enjoy that song anymore either.
2) is a music website that creates a profile of the music you listen to, and can then give you recommendations based on the music you already know and like. You can also see what your friends are listening to, or make new friends from all around the world who have similar musical taste. Lastfm also has a radio player, similar to Pandora, and lists shows for bands you like playing in your area.
3) KEXP song of the day.
I'm subscribed to their podcast, so I get a new song everyday. It's free, and legal! A big plus about this is that the songs are from new records, so sometimes you get them before the album has been released. To convert a podcast file into a music file on itunes, select the song, then go to File > Get Info > Options > Media Kind. Select: music file. Also uncheck "remember playback position" and "skip when shuffling."
4) We Are Hunted
An online music chart / radio site. You can make your own chart with music you like. This site is based on what people are listening to, so it's not necessarily new music (many of the songs in the "folk" genre were released a year or more ago),  but it's still good for finding music that is new to you.

Other ways to listen to music online: Pandora, Grooveshark, Spotify

And with that, here are some songs/bands that I've been excited about recently:
- Concerning Past & Future Conquests and Dig Down Deep by Vandaveer
- Pilgriming Vine and Heart of My Own by Basia Bulat
- Love Love Love by Of Monsters and Men
- Same Mistake - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
- Knees and Clothes, Friends, Photos by Peter and Kerry
Okay I just got overwhelmed at the amount of music that I want to share. You can listen to my playlist of "new" music (as in new to me, not necessarily new in the sense of recently released) on spotify here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jade plants require little upkeep

1. My plant, Teacake Rochester, which I got for free on a street corner, is growing! One day he will be a jade shrub!
My pride and joy. See those little leaves? Those are new!
2. This weekend I made this cake. It was okay, I'll be changing some things if I make it again. One thing is that I will not use a cake pan with a removable bottom. Oh the dripping of melted caramel into the bottom of my friends' oven, oh the smoke, oh the relentless fire alarm. The best was that my friends were still totally game to immediately try it again.

3. The Adele Moment that Articulates Everything in Your Soul

4. Remember last week when I posted about this awesome mural on the side of an auto shop? On Sunday I saw another mural evidently by the same artist on the side of the parking garage on Clinton. Today I found out who's doing them! Well, kind of:

His mural on Clinton:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Music, Art, Food (Things I Like in a Nutshell)

1. Ella Fitzgerald. Been listenin' to her all day. 'Cole Porter's Song Book,' is a particularly enjoyable album.
(Although I don't want to endorse the romanticizing of the "so taunt me, and hurt me, deceive me, desert me - I'm yours till I die" mentality of the above song, it's still super beautiful. And listen to Ella's range! Gosh.)

2. Artwork by GĂ©rard Stricher. I wish I could articulate why these paintings transcend a bunch of colors on a canvas, but I can't. Just look at them.
"La Fuite en Egypte"
3. Looking forward to the lunch I have packed for myself all morning. Today I have potato leek soup, good bread, and roasted beets and carrots. I made the soup on Tuesday. The recipe called for bacon, white wine, and heavy cream. That's a lot of money right there. So I chose one of the three: bacon. I haven't cooked meat in almost two years (between living with vegetarians, trying to cook cheaply, and trying to eat locally/organically, it just doesn't make a lot of sense), so I decided that if I was going to buy bacon, I was going to use it. So I did. Not all of it, but three more strips than the recipe called for. Delicious.
(Note: I've easily made the above recipe vegan/vegetarian before, substituting soy milk for cream, earth balance for butter, skipping the bacon altogether, and it was still tasty). 

It's come to my attention that not everyone knows how to roast veggies. Roasted veggies are, in my opinion, the most delicious veggies, and are easy to make. The only vegetable I've found to not roast well are greenbeans. Don't go there.
Here is a basic guide to roasting veggies. You can google for specific vegetable types. Once you get some experience roasting, you'll know what speed different vegetables roast at - when roasting a variety of vegetables I try to put them in different pans according to how long they'll take (beets and potatoes together, carrots and broccoli, etc). I like my veggies with a little bit of black on them. My mom says blackened food contains carcinogens, I say bring it - I probably take in more carcinogens walking down a busy street than eating these tasty tasty beets.