Thursday, April 16, 2009

April Happy List

1. Cooking with friends: Dupree and I made chicken carbonara on Friday. It was fun to cook with him even though I hit him for eating the chicken while he was shredding it.

2. Tim’s birthday party: Tim reserved part of Barca for us and it was a ton of fun having our own section and lots of room to mingle. It was great to see old friends and party like it was 1997 along with meeting some of Tim’s coworkers and students.

3. Circus Contraption: My birthday present to Tim. It was one of those shows that made me love Seattle. Just the fact that little shows like this with amazing acts can exist makes me happy. We went to Via Tribunali for dinner after the show and it was an excellent date night. I think I could be a professional date planner. Seriously. I come up with the most fun things. Too bad I’m terrible at finding boyfriends.

4. Running: I’m taking up running. Well for now I’m still walking more than I’m running, but it’s good and I like it.

5. Justin: A new friend this year that is totally fun and also enjoys cartoons.

6. Tim Walker’s photography: It is a fairytale or circus act or make believe. His portfolio is incredibly inspiring. Look closely for those of Tim Burton and Helena Bonham-Carter. They are a treat. A crazy weird treat.

7. 80s movie and crafts night: This is the fourth month and so far it has been a success. We are watching License to Drive and I think I might work on some embroidery. You gotta love the two Coreys and we haven’t watched a really bad movie yet.

8. Reading: I haven’t done it a lot lately and it makes me feel like something is missing. I need to get back into the books I’ve started.

9. Kris Kristofferson: Rolling Stone had an amazing article by Ethan Hawke about Kris Kristofferson. My favorite bit from the article is on the website and it is definitely something you should read. Because of this anecdote and the rest of the article, I have a huge crush on Kristofferson right now. He’s supremely talented and I need to rent some of his old movies from Netflix. It might even help me out of my Paul Newman phase.

10. Cupcakes: Although I’m disappointed in the Ham’s new cupcake shop, I have it on good authority that there are amazing cupcakes being sold at the Farmer’s Market. I’m going Saturday to investigate.

11. Aziz Ansari: I first saw him at Bumbershoot two or three years ago, but now he seems be getting noticed. He was in Human Giant, then Scrubs, and now has a big role on Parks and Recreation. Worst Mix-Tape is an old favorite.

12. Blueberry season: I know it isn’t blueberry season yet, but I’ve been dreaming of making these blueberry almond cupcakes for months and I refuse to make them with frozen blueberries.
13. Laura: She’s always fun to hang out with, is quick to laugh and make me laugh, and provides good and supportive advice when I get whiney. She is a gem.

14. Carrie’s upcoming visit: Only two weekends until I see one of my number one ladies.

15. Etsy prints: Emily posted a link on Facebook with some letterpress prints that I need to own. For now, I’m enjoying looking at them online and dreaming of where I will hang them.

16. My brother’s dancing video: see below. I can’t stop watching it and I can’t stop laughing when I’m watching it.

17. Watching Dupree’s business come together: Going along for the ride while his dreams of a coaching practice become a reality is a joy to watch.

18. The most beautiful clock in the world: I’m bidding it on right now on Ebay. I’ll know if it is mine in a few days. I’m guessing the price will skyrocket, but for now I’m thinking happy thoughts. Perhaps I will hang it next to the print set above in my imaginary retro house.

19. The song from Circus Contraption: I’ve sung it at least once a day since we saw the show. It goes like this: “Love, love, love, we got it in slop buckets! It sloshes around in there. If some spills we don’t care. ‘Cause we got plenty of love to go around.” Then repeat for forever.

20. WE shows: I’ve probably seen them play 50 times. Maybe not that many, but it seems like that many. I’ve never counted. Anyway, I never get sick of it. Never ever. They are the most fun and it’s not just because they are my friends.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Peep Show

Happy Easter! I know it is now three days passed, but if you go to any major grocery or pharmacy chain right now, you can still get deep discounts on a variety of delectable Easter treats.

Easter is the undisputed candy holiday champion. Don't even attempt to argue with me. I will not be swayed. Halloween is all about candy, but it doesn't have a variety of its own special treats. On Halloween, all your costume gets you is tiny versions of candy bars you can get at full size all the time. This is not special. This is a trick being played on you! On Easter you get a basket of a variety of amazingly specialized treats delivered right to your door and you don't even have to walk around your neighborhood dressed like Slutty Spongebob for these rewards. What about candy corn you ask? Halloween has candy corn. Well guess what? No one except Judy likes candy corn. Easter has malted milk eggs, giant chocolate bunnies, fudge eggs with your name on them (personalized candy!), those amazing tiny hard shell Hershey eggs, and the Godfather of all candy, the mighty Cadbury Cream Eggs.

Easter also, most importantly for the sake of this blog entry, has Peeps. Peeps started just as an Easter treat, but now have branched out to snowman and trees at Christmas, ghosts at Halloween, and hearts for Valentine's Day. I'm one of the few people I know that enjoys eating Peeps. For reasons I don't understand, many people seem frightened by marshmallows manipulated into holiday shapes. Peeps have become more of a pop culture phenomena than actual food. Luckily for us, the Washington Post sponsored a Peeps diorama contest with some amazing results. Click through their slideshow to see Peep-based homages to Octomom, the Nighthawks painting, the US Airways crash on the Hudson, and other historical events and happenings. My personal favorite is Octomom, but Nighthawks took the grand prize. Many entries are highly detailed and very entertaining. Now Peeps are both food and art!

(Thank you Laura for bringing this contest to my attention.)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Your Tax Dollars at Work

My brother is a US Marine currently undergoing security training in Virginia. This is what they do in their off time.

(P.S. My brother is the adorable one in the front.)

Friday, March 13, 2009

February Intention Review

In order to stay accountable to my 2009 intentions, I must write about them every month. I thought I’d do a short review of the items that applied to February.

Complete two crafty projects a month.
This one was easy of course. I finished two mini-albums. (One on my trip to the San Diego Zoo in October 2008 and the other a Valentine’s day gift for Tim featuring pictures of us in college.) I did buy some materials for new projects though and this is one thing I’d like to stop doing. I need to be more economical and use supplies I already have to finish projects I’ve already started.

Read two books a month.
Last month I wrote that this goal should always be a gimme. Of course, this month, I didn’t accomplish the goal. I finished Oscar Wao, but started and did not finish two other books.

Go to at least one concert a month of a band that does not count one of my friends as a member.
I went to see Super Diamond for Z’s birthday. This again should be easy to accomplish every month. The first two months though, I saw bands that I’ve seen previously. In March, I want to take this one step further and see a band that is new to me.

Double the amount of money I give to charities over 2008’s total.
No action was taken on this goal in February. I need to work more on this goal this month. I think it will be a challenge to accomplish this goal this year. Last year, I had this same goal and it was easy, because I just doubled the amount of money taken out of my paycheck and given directly to United Way. I decided not to double that amount again this year, because although Bellingham’s needs are many, I’d like to focus on other areas. My two main areas of focus will be Donor’s Choose projects in Detroit area classrooms and supporting the Whatcom Hospice Foundation.

When selecting Donor’s Choose projects in the past, I would focus on high poverty areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. The need is still great there, but I’ve been interested in and saddened by the degradation and decaying of Detroit for some time. It’s a shame that what was once one of America’s greatest cities is now reduced to ruin. In the last few months both Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone have featured articles on the city as it failing relates to their sports teams and music scenes. Although sending some money to classrooms in Detroit won’t save the city, it is something little that I can do from across the country.

Supporting the Whatcom Hospice is much more personal, as they provided outstanding care and support to my friend in his last days. The work they do eases some of the burden placed on the dying’s family and I’m thankful that they were there to help my friends.

Re-commit to exercise plan by working out at least seven hours a week.
This intention continues to be only half-way fulfilled. I did better than January, but still feel that I can work out more and harder. I’d like to try doing a longer workout in the morning, but that means getting up right away instead of hitting the snooze button.

Finally, just because I don’t want to post a boring blog without a picture, the above is a shot of me and my new favorite hat on the shores of Langley, WA at Mystery Weekend 2009. (Photo by Z.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy List

February was a crappy month. It was split into two distinct parts. Before and after. First the worry about the rapidly declining health of a loved one and then too soon later the grief and anguish over the loss of that loved one. It was sudden. It was surprising. I am sad. Now, I focus on the superficial. Amidst tragedy, life kept moving. I laughed. I had fun. Things made me happy. Here is a list of those things.

1. Mystery Weekend: I think we’ve attended the Mystery Weekend in Langely for six years now. It’s the best kind of girls’ weekend. We collect clues, interview suspects, and map out motives. Oh yes, we also do a lot of catching up, shopping, and eating. It’s good to be surrounded by those that have known you the longest.

2. Woodland Wonderland Wood Maze: Of course I don’t need any more fabric, but my collection of blues and oranges is almost large enough to make a quilt.

3. Mr. T pattern: The full color pictures make me laugh every time I flip through the book.

4. Mr. Blue by Catherine Feeny: It’s just a sweet little song.

5. Super Diamond concert: Amazingly fun show with amazingly fun people to celebrate amazing roommate’s birthday. Bonus amazingness goes out to my new black dress.

6. Cupcakes and Zombies print: Two of my favorite things together. This will soon hang in my kitchen.

7. Kanye’s new girlfriend: half supermodel, half robot. I’m trying to quit online gossip sites, but I just can’t! I like she’s crazy beautiful in a weird way. (Side note: In this photo Kanye is wearing a letterman’s jacket from one of my high school’s divisional rivals.)

8. Books: I’m working on way too many now: World War Z, Happier, Blood Lite, Couch. It would be good if I actually finished a book sometime.

9. Cheese store: Bellingham’s Quel Fromage has way too many delicious cheeses. My favorite right now is called Barely Buzzed which has a coffee and lavender blend rubbed on it. Fancy, right?

10. Screen printing: Now that I have a giant tub of emulsion and four months to use it, I better make some more stuff. The only thing that impedes my progress here is my lack of Photoshop and drawing skills. It’s hard to make a design, but it is fun to print!

11. Roller Derby: The anticipation for this weekend’s match is building. I’m excited to go and cheer on F.L.A.S.H. Plus Laura got an amazing black eye at practice and I’m so jealous of it. She looks like a total bad-ass.

12. Carrie’s A Love Letter to the Lost: because it’s beautiful and perfect and I read it every day.

13. Downtown Bellingham art: There is a bunch of newish stuff on many street corners my favorite is the big tacky sword and the big red macaroni. I’m guessing it really isn’t called “big red macaroni” but that’s what it looks like and I haven’t been next to it to read a plaque.

14. De Blob: a strange, relaxing, adorable game for Wii.

15. Seeing Rob: I took a long weekend and went home to visit my brother while he was between training sessions with the Marines. Now that he is away from home, I value every opportunity to hug that kid.

16. Silly workouts: workout DVDs are some ridiculous fun. Lately I’ve done Shaun T’s Rockin’ Body and Working out to the Hit: Motown. I don’t know if they make me feel good because of the workout or because they are silly. I think it’s probably the silliness.

17. Music: I’ve been desperate for some new stuff lately, so I’ve been into the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Dan Auerbach and Neko Case.

18. Alexander McQueen’s Fall/Winter 09 show: crazy big weird lip treatments, crazy big weird feather outfit, crazy big weird high heels. It’s crazy inspiring.

19. Macarons: Cakespy profiled Honoeré, a new bakery on Capitol Hill. They make amazing macarons, which I first saw profiled on the Black Apple. I’ve been wanting to make them ever since, but need to taste a real one before I attempt it. Now I have the perfect place to go and try one and also the take pictures of the beautiful cookies.
20. Friends new and old: I’m lucky because thanks to old friends, I met some new friends last year. I feel especially lucky to have met Shannon because she is made of pure fun and wonderfulness. Thanks to my vast network of awesome friends, life is more fun and hard times more bearable.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

He’s Here!

The Mr. T pattern has arrived and I’ve read the instructions and started ordering the needed supplies. First, I looked for the fabric for his skin, because I thought this would be the most difficult thing to find. I did all my shopping online, because the thought of going to some sort of doll-making supply store sounded frightening. The pattern called for “non-run interlock polyester knit.” I didn’t have much luck there, but using the search terms “doll skin fabric” I hit the jackpot. I settled on a chocolate cotton knit because the website describe it as “premium dollskin” and the Mr. T shade was discounted 50%. The fabric, a 3.5” needle, and matching thread are on their way to me. Once they arrive I can begin making my very own Mr. T!

While shopping for these supplies online, I discovered that doll making websites are totally creepy. There are weird doll patterns, naked eunuch doll bodies, and something called "alligator forceps." Seeing these things online just proved to me that I was definitely not prepared to venture out to a brick and mortar doll making supply store. *shudder*

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Personalized Muppets!

The only thing I love as much as Mr. T is the Muppets. When I was a kid, My parents took me to see an exhibit of some of the Muppets at OMSI. I watched Muppet Babies and reruns of the Muppet Show religiously. The first movie I saw in the theater was the Great Muppet Caper. I wanted my own Muppet. Imagine my surprise when I realized that this is a possibility today. Shortly before Christmas, I discovered that F.A.O. Schwarz launched a make-your-own Muppet workshop. Popularity was higher than supply and the Muppet Maker was down all through the holiday season. It’s back-up now and offers a few basic shapes along with many eyes, noses, and outfits.

So, if you ever have and extra $90 that you want to spend on me, this is what I want! The best Muppet I designed was orange with the horn-rimmed glasses, a red nose, bald fringe and the plaid jaket. I named him Melvin Whipple. (Sidenote: Did you know that there is a cowboy poet named Melvin Whipple? I didn’t, but he seems like a cool cat.)

Finally, I just noticed today that a Jim Henson exhibit is coming to EMP this summer. This is exciting news. From the pictures, I think Rowlf might be there. This will be more exciting than seeing Yoda. Who’s in?