Saturday, May 31, 2008

Come Follow Me

There are a few things which you should not be able to beg, borrow, steal, or purchase. Mostly they are the sorts of things you can't touch. Love, revenge, peace. You know. And for the most part, you can still purchase them or some facsimile. One of the things that seems as though it shouldn't be available for purchase is nostalgia. It is, though, at the bargain price of two not so shiny quarters.

For anyone who doesn't know - if you have lived here in Sitka, you certainly do - there is some sort of dimensional rift in our local thrift store. In among the eleven year old t-shirts smelling faintly of litterbox and the spaghetti stained polyvinyl kitchen implements, I have found pristine 50 year old vintage dresses and brand-new Calvin Klein jeans in my size. Once, I was making a set of hoops for a costume and went in search of a length of heavy cotton. I found three yards of sailmakers' canvas, the ideal fabric for my purpose, within moments of being there. I have purchased an elderly typerwriter, several sets of hot rollers, porcelain teapots, my favorite cowboy boots, and on one memorable occasion, a sweater belonging to me that my ex gave away without my consent. Today, though, takes the cake. I went in looking for a book to while away the Saturday afternoon, and found a piece of my childhood.

My mother bought me several books about fairies and the like when I was a child. To this day she tells me of "my" obsession with them. (It's kind of like "Miss Thing's" obsession with pink.) We had the Brian Froud book, Faeries. Our version was the pop-up book. It was notable mostly because it was filled with brilliantly frightening illustrations of kelpies and pooka, and Green Jenny, who was a hag that lived in the water and had an enormous maw that consumed unwary children. We also owned Wil Huygen's Gnomes, which featured an interior view of a typical dwelling, complete with donut rack. But Come Follow me was not filled with field guide precision or tongue in cheek natural history. It was a gentle anthology of decent children's poetry and stories, with big-headed Japanese watercolor illustrations. I adored it, especially the story about the little girl who loses her red ribbon and has it returned months later by her fairy friend, who finds it tied to a wandering mouse's tail. It still holds a fair amount of pathos for me. When I read it just moments ago, I was overcome with the anxiety of my 4 year old self when Mary cries over her lost hair ribbon, and incredibly relieved when it makes its reappearance. Now to go reread the poem about how to tell an elf from a troll. I think if you can catch them young enough, it has to do with trying to eat their own feet.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Okay, so this version of Mixtape (does anyone else think this looks like the name of an ancient Aztec city?) is a little different. No theme; instead it's Song Association Mixtape! I'm gonna think of a song, and then one of you guys will post the very first song that comes to mind spurred on by my suggestion, and then somebody else will comment on song #2, and so on and so forth. It'll be fun! C'mon, stop whining. You know this has got to be better than typing random phrases into Wikipedia. Some ground rules: no repeats, since this is hypothetically going to have to listenable, and the songs have to be popular/well-known/recognizable enough that the next person in line can relate to them in some way, shape or form. Otherwise, we stall out, right? Also, I'm naming names: Lacy and Daisy, you guys have to come up with SOMETHING, just cuz I love you and I'm making you do it.

Ready for my first song?


Okay, here we go:

Hold On by Wilson Phillips

Three things about this song:
1) Daisy and I listened to this song A LOT in the summer of 1990.
2) I used to really,really, really want to look like Wendy Wilson
3) Chynna Phillips looks like Tasha Yar, which I never noticed until watching this video. And that is your unnecessary ST:TNG reference for today.
I thought she died on Vagra II! My mistake, she went on to a mildly successful singing career!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Last night's dinner

The light in my kitchen was really good yesterday, which means that my pictures looked halfway decent for a change. I shot my dinner because of it, and just glancing at them to get them uploaded is making me kinda hungry. The main course (hah!) was gemelli - crazy twisty pasta - tossed with a little bit of the olive oil/butter/garlic mixture that went on the garlic bread, a little Meyer lemon-scented olive oil, a generous handful of grated Parmesan cheese, and a lot of black pepper. It's in my new bowl that I bought online from Anthropologie. My mother adores Fiestaware, and so that is what we have a cupboard full of. All their bowls, though, are shallow and flat-bottomed, which is useless for everything except salad, so I bought a couple of lovely, bright yellow porcelain bowl with fuschia-colored roses and gilded edges. I lurve them.
I also made some browned garlic spinach by sauteeing three cloves of garlic in 2 T olive oil and 1 T butter. I brushed my little loaf of French bread (over on the left, there) with a bunch of it and then drained the rest of the oil and butter in to the pasta, leaving a little sheen on the pan and all the garlic in the bottom. I threw three good handfuls of baby spinach on top and stirred until the spinach was wilty. Then I sprinkled it with sea salt. It smelled so good that instead of putting it in a bowl and eating it as the same time as the pasta , like a normal grownup, I just ate it right out of the pan. It was heavenly.
And this is a picture that Bea took of me at breakfast this morning. She's still getting the hang if this picture-taking stuff. Plus, she's short.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Think This May Be a Regular Feature

Watching: BSG. Still. Yeah, it's pretty good. Like, can't peel my eyes away. Also, Girls Rock! Shane and Arne have put together a really good movie, and I have to commend them for being so sensitive and honest with the subject matter.

Listening: Janet Klein and Her Parlor Boys. Naughty 20's ukulele jazz. AKA: my next career move.

Eating: This morning, cheesy garlic biscuits and hardboiled eggs with iced coffee and orange juice.

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. cold butter, in chunks
3/4 c. grated sharp cheese
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. parsley
3/4 - 1 c. buttermilk or skim milk

In a food processor, add all dry ingredients except parsley. Pulse to combine. Sprinkle with butter. Process until pea-size bits form. Add cheese. Pulse briefly to combine. With processor running, slowly add milk until dough comes together. Bake at 400 F for 20-25 minutes. Eat warm.

Per Request

It was ridiculously craptastic, weather-wise, this Easter. Well, every Easter, really, but it seemed worse than usual this year. Probably just my attitude. I made my kids hunt eggs in it anyway, because that's the kind of mom I am, dammit.

I'm not a huge fan of putting my kids on display on teh Interwebs, but I will make an exception because the request was phrased so sweetly, and because if I post one more starry-eyed love letter to Msr. Wheaton, I fear La Fab will find a way to push her way through my computer screen and demand that I make a list of my favorite dinosaurs or talk about how much I want to make a slip of apricot colored silk charmeuse with antique lace trim.

I am going to post this and then I'm going to go print out my pattern for the Haines skirt.
I have a powder blue cotton sateen that I thought was going to be greener (more robin's egg) so I could make my fantasy skirt of sky blue with red gingham trim. I guess this one will just be plain.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I Hate It WhenThe Universe Is Paying Attention.

In a weird moment of convergence, today's Questionable Content is about Wil Wheaton. Well, okay, it's really Yelling Bird, but it's on the QC site.

I was going to add a clip of Ensign Crusher, but, perhaps predictably, all the ones I could find are of the "Wesley Shoulda Died When He Got Stabbed In Season One" variety. And then all the Stand By Me ones are schmaltzy "I Still Miss River Phoenix So Much I Set A Bunch of His Clips
To Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah" ones. So, sorry.

Oh, and Ms. D. - I knew there was a reason we were good friends.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

In Which Our Heroine Further Outs Her Geeky Tendencies

Okay, so remember not too long ago when I was going on and on about the stuff that I know some stuff about, and I had that little rage episode about halflings? Yeah, well, I mentioned that I had a thing for Riker, which led to a little not-too-vicious ribbing, which led to me inexplicably Googling ST:TNG and ending up on Wil Wheaton's personal blog.

Wesley Crusher was a universally defiled character; everyone I knew hated him. Except, um, me. I loved that he was a relentless know it all, I loved that he considered the adults around him sort of idiots, I loved that he was allowed to be petulant and whiny. I was 12 years old, and while I crushed on Riker's what-the-hell-ever-attracted-me-to-him-at-least-he-wasn't-a-robot and longed to be empathetic, curly-haired Troi, I identified with Wesley. He was a kid a little too smart for his own good, a little lonely (I can only remember two or maybe three instances on the show that he was shown with peers), impatient as all hell to grow up and get it over with already. I understood that. I never, however, stopped for a single moment to consider Wil Wheaton, the actor who portrayed him. Turns out that me and Wil would totally be besties if 1) I lived in Southern California 2) I had a valid reason to be in his life, and 3) he didn't spend time hating on Huey Lewis fans.

I like him and his writing so much, in fact, that I have spent a lot of time - valuable time that I could have spent catching up on the archives of the 639,574 webcomics I am currently obsessed with - catching up on the archives of his blog. I think even if I didn't know that Ensign Wesley Crusher, for whom I had such an affinity, was writing, I would have spent time absorbing it, because he's funny and erudite and also a huge geek. He makes jokes about +3 gauntlets of gripping and failing a save vs. flirting, talks about his reverence for the captain's chair on set, and plays Rock Band with his stepsons. I want to have him fix tequila chicken tacos and throw on Pablo Honey and we can sit in the backyard with beer and talk about how weird it is that everybody hates a paladin, but every single one we've ever encountered was level 27 or something. I think it'd be neat.

I don't know if I will recover from the opprobrium I am inviting by saying this, but: mmmm, Wesley...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Shameless Self-Promotion

If you are still in the dark about the whole band thing, like if you live under a rock, or you found this blog by Googling "Huey Lewis tight pants," you can head over to the Sugar Shakers MySpace page and give a listen to our new stuff. We have a few originals up there, and I am not afraid to toot my own horn - I rarely am, come to that - and say that I wrote two of them. See if you can guess which ones! No fair, Ms. V, 'cause you already know which ones they are.

And guess what? I am actually starting an actual, for real-y type sewing project. No, for real, I mean it! No, it's not my Halloween costume... Yes, it's for the band... Anyhow, the story is, we saw this amazing act in Vegas, and while indulging myself in the usual rounds of cyber-stalking, I figured out that this performer (OKAY. It's Deke Dickerson) will be playing in Haines for the Southeast Alaska State Fair in July. I got all fluttery and told H., who immediately shifted into her PR persona, and scored us a gig there as well. Now, Deke plays on Saturday, and we play on Sunday, but we will probably get to meet him and maybe, if I'm real nice, he'll let me hold his Kay. That's an upright bass, lest you start hoisting your eyebrows to hairline height. So, naturally, I will require an outfit or three. Since this is Southeast Alaska, July does not mean what it does to other people in the Northern Hemisphere. There is almost certainly going to be no need for sunblock or sunglasses or icy beers. No, indeed. In fact, chances are very good that we will be shivering and damp, and that I won't be able to slap for nickels because I won't be able to feel the strings. That means that my usual bar-gig outfit of bazoomalicious (I just made that word up. pretty great, huh?) halter top and tight capri pants or tight denim pencil skirt will be ill-advised, to say the least. Plus, we want a tied together, unified kind of look, so since the boys already have Western shirts that are blinged, I am making a skirt. And what kind, you ask?
This kind. Except with silver fringe and possibly a giant, rhinestoned Dia De Los Muertos sugar skull near the hem. Yeah. I have the pattern already, and I ordered some black cotton twill (I wanted sateen, but it was sold out), so once I get the fabric, I'll do a muslin, and we're in business. Next step is finding a decent line drawing of a sugar skull and scaling it up so it's big enough to make out of rhinestones and be seen from the back of the fairground.