Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Review on Amazon

2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Help us, you are our only hope. You are the resistance, May 7, 2012
This review is from: 12-Gauge High Performance Alerter Plus Aerial Signal Kit Alerter Kit 12 Ga Hp Mirror/Whistle (Misc.)
YEAR: 2127

The rise came after the french civil war of 2116. If you are reading this, you are the resistance. They came from the sky. Thousands of them. Slaying humanity for our resources, using us as food. We were over run in days. Supplies were scarce. Entire countries collapsed in hours. Those who survived fight with the resistance. 12-Gauge High Performance Alerter Plus Aerial Signal Kit Alerter Kit 12 Ga Hp Mirror/Whistle guides us in the night. It's safer in the dark for the creatures eyesight faults in the shadow. But there is still time. In the year 2057, humanity will come in contact with an alien race know as the Yijirtyl. Please, do not trust them. They're soldiers will drop down from the sky and consume our planet. Please, if you are reading this, there is still hope, there is still time. Humanity can live for ever. Beware of these Yirjirtyls, for they will destroy our world and our lives. Our technology Only permits us one message every three years, if you do not hear from the resistance by 2014 your time, all is lost. This is Captain R.J. Tuscaloosa of 101 Company.

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Not nearly so good as the 3 Wolf Moon Shirt (and grammar is questionable), but it still ranks. I love people.

Actual conversation # 113 - Ice Cream and Hate Do Not Mix

Girl at Baskin Robbins to coworker, while holding my ice cream: "Hey! Shut your Mouth!"
Me(to Bob): Hey, that girl just got hate all over my ice cream!
Bob: *handing his ice cream off to me so he can pay* AT least mine's okay.
Me: *holding his ice cream up to my mouth and whispering* Obama doesn't have an American birth certificate.
Bob: Hey!!
Me: Marriage is between a man and a woman...
Bob: Oh, now you're getting ignorance on it, too??
*ice cream on my cone then falls off, hits one boob, bounces and arcs high enough to bounce off the other boob, then lands on my wrist and stays there, somehow stuck to my rubber bracelets*
Bob: @_@
Me: @_@
Me:....this is the best trip to get ice cream EVER.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Check Out this Music I Found #6 - Walk the Moon

Just listen. I like, too sick to be prosaic beyond that.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Actual Conversation #112 - double meanings take effect

Dog runs up to happily drop a dog toy in my lap, while wagging furiously.
Me: "Awww, nothing says love like cold plastic thrust between your legs!"
Husband: *quarter rotation in office chair to look at me and raise eyebrow.*
Me: ........
Zen: *tail wags harder, now chewing on toy*
Me: Accidentally awesome 3 different ways, that was....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Check out This Music I Found #5 - Gotye

I lied. I have one for you.

But only because it's going through my head non-stop thanks to a friend who sent me the youtube video.

The guy is Australian, all of his videos are similarly artistic and strange (Bronte actually made me cry at work) and he's got a soft, non-threatening voice that pre-teen girls love. Pair that with a willingness to use what sounds like a marimba and a xylophone in the music, and it's a seriously unique sound.

It's also very popular right now, which irks my pseudo-hipster sensibilities, but it's not technically pop music. I guess I can still artistically sneer at the mainstream while still listening to this.

Behold - the video that describes my first real relationship in stark detail.... like it does everybody else's one really negative relationship. Otherwise this song wouldn't be so damn popular.
I probably wouldn't love this song so much if I'd just heard it first. I think the faces he makes sell the song just as much as the lyrics.

I must admit I do like the initial pan up. Something about seeing a man's hips...... yeah.

Creating Things for Fun and (Non)Profit

Sometimes you just have to go for things.

I bought some flip-style handheld cameras. I am very in love with all of the slenderman video series out on the internetz (but specifically YouTube) and kept thinking "I should do one of my own". But I was a bit freaked out because I have no experience editing or shooting video. I also didn't have an idea of what to do on my own that was a different take on the whole mythos.
It popped in to my head last night, and I've been seriously excited about the idea ever since.
This is on top of my whole yarnbomb/uncommissioned art thing, sewing myself new clothes, creating a video game, keeping up with the blog, AND taping myself playing guitar. ALL of this shit is going to go down, I will make it so. Hell, I'm already making it so.
I love having multiple projects going at once, and they can all mesh together in my head, which is even better. Multi-tasking hobbies and projects are the BEST.

Trust me, I'll be posting video clips here when they are ready to go. I guess I should get another blog. I should also probably never allude to that blog again over here. Heh.

I'm excited, so is Bob. Gonna work on writing up an outline for this and the general idea for things to keep a flow going and know where to keep my focus. Will it get many views? Probably not. But it'll probably be damned fun to attempt and it's always useful to know how to do video editing.

In other news, my yarnbomb projects are going along swimmingly. I feel like I'm really accomplishing things even though they're all small. The more I clear out the creative backlog, the better I'm finding my memory getting. Some of my absolute oldest projects are almost finished, and I find now that I've cleared up the mental space, a lot more creative ideas have popped in.

I should post a band or something but right now I can't think of a band that stands out. Maybe later today when I'm less distracted by making breakfast and trying to create a web series.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Check Out this Music I Found #4 - Monoral

It took me forever to decide who to put in here next. So I'm just going with the first thing that popped in to my head. Or the second, really, because the first thing I think is just there because of aliteration (Lykke Li, for those who are curious).

I love these guys. It's just 2 guys from Japan doing their thing and making really cool music. If you're a fan of anime at all and you were in to the series Ergo Proxy, you heard their song "Kiri" being played for the opening credits.

I can't keep all of the fun facts about them straight, but one is half Moroccan and half Japanese, the other is half Japanese and half British. One of them speaks 4 languages, the other speaks 2. They both play musical instruments, and they sing in un-accented English. There's other stuff, but Wikipedia would give you far more information than I can.

I would love to see these guys live but apparently they haven't toured since 2009, and I discovered them in 2010. Sadness. :(

Two videos for you today because I'm awesome, and because I really like their stuff.

They have a far wider sound to their songs than can be encompassed here. Youtube has a LOT of their songs for putting in your ear holes. I would recommend a jaunt over there for a bigger fix if you're liking what you hear.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


This sort of goes along with overcoming fears and learning to sew all at the same time, because I am a multitasking FIEND that way. :D
I have always been made VERY nervous by wearing dresses. Something about having my legs exposed and being easily accessible to the wind and sun made me want to curl up in a little ball and hide.
Actually, I’ll be honest, I was afraid I was “advertising” if I wore skirts or dresses and that I would get in trouble with some guy who got the wrong message. Honestly. All this time. And I let it keep me from being cool in the summers or looking nice at work. It was a huge fear, obviously. So huge I wasn’t comfortable with wearing dresses for 15 years.
No more. 12 days ago I decided I was going to wear skirts and dresses and ONLY skirts and dresses, for at least a week. This didn’t include when exercising because…. well, it just seemed silly. So I started when I knew I’d have weeked workdays, allowing me to throw my casual skirts in to the mix. Then I wore my work skirts. Then I wore sundresses when I got hom and wanted to be comfortable.
And then on day 8 it was blazing hot outside and I couldn’t fathom wearing some of the wool or polyester business pats I’ve got rocking in my closet. So I grabbed another skirt. Then a dress. Then another dress. Then when I was running short of things, I discovered I fit in to a dress I’d been saving for when I lost weight, which was amazing.
Then last night I sewed my own skirt, which I’ll be wearing to work today.
The only comment I’ve gotten was from a friend at work who told me I looked really nice one day.
In hindsight it seems ridiculous, but as someone who has gotten a lot of the wrong kind of attention from members of the opposite sex it was something really scary. I’m glad that’s gone now and I can bounce around in something airy and cottony and feel the breeze on my white little Irish legs.

MIschief Managed!

I’d always thought it was utterly ridiculous to know how to knit and yet have no idea at all how to sew. So I whipped out the Hello Kitty sewing machine (ya seriously) and taught myself how to with a really easy skirt pattern.
Simplicity 2606, which I mention by name because I want to offer a caveat: the instructions are horrible on it, and the way they do the casing is just retardz-balls. It will get you with a skirt in the end, but it’ll be barely fitted.
Anyway, I’ve now been bitten by the sewing bug. Up next is an apron and what has become known as the “lobster dress”, as all of the fabric has lobster prints on it. I was actually begged to sew this by my spouse, so I can’t say no!
I love this skirt despite the pattern. When I get more knowledgeable I’ll be able to tweak it so it looks and fits better. But for now, I’m wearing this thing to work!

Gee Thanks, Sandman....

Had a dream last night where I was talking with people, smiling and laughing and having a good time. Then I turned to talk with someone else, and halfway through the conversation they broke in and said "How can you stand being so selfish all the time?"
The question stunned me so much I remember stumbling, then I actually ran away from this person who had asked the question.
Then it woke me up, because I was so upset.
I work really hard to try and be mindful of others and to help out people whenever possible. I actually went on a year-long crusade last year to do one good thing a week to help improve the world to see if it was even possible. (Spoiler: It is. Even if you're on unemployment)
I guess somewhere back in my subconscious recesses, part of me still thinks I'm too self centered. I don't even know how to go about fixing that now, because I thought I'd done a damned good job of working on it.
Maybe it won't bother me in a few hours. Meh, Thursday.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Check Out This Neat Place I Found #2 - Amada Restaurant

I may be a foodie. Maybe.
When the chance comes up for me to have access to a new section of the world wherein new restaurants might lie, I do get extremely excited about it. The chance to try something I've never had before is too exciting to be passed up.
Case in point - on my day off this past weekend I managed to talk my poor, beleaguered spouse in to going in to the glorious metropolis of Philadelphia to hit up a movie theater there that only plays indie/art house films. I absolutely utterly and unequivocally had to see Safety Not Guaranteed, as it takes place in my old stomping grounds of Seattle and the surrounding environs. I needed my Pacific NW fix to cure myself of the wicked and recurring bout of homesickness I've had since April.
The upside to this was that the theater was 2 blocks away from Chestnut Street, which is basically Restaurant Row in the Old City. It was pretty much establishment after establishment of whatever you might possibly like (mostly Italian stuff and pub stuff, but hey, done Philly-style) and a lot of really nice places had gone in there.
I did an internet search beforehand and decided on one of two places to try once we were finally out of the movie and out in to the bright 95 degree sun.
That place was Amada Restaurant.

I have no idea who these people are, they just made a good shot.

It had tapas and drinks and vaguely trendy music faintly playing and a rather austere interior like you expect in an urban environment. Dark wood with dark rush-reed placemats and chocolate brown pleather seats to sit on. All white dishes in unique and fun shapes like you see at every other upscale restaurant these days.
We ordered two beers (yours truly desperately wanted to try the Sangria but was in 2 inch platforms. That plus the heat outside didn't bode well for the whole Not Taking a Header Into the Sidewalk. Alas.) and after viewing the Sunday brunch menu with confusion, decided on the Chef's tasting on the menu. It was just a sample of a little bit of everything they made.
Now, in the past we'd done tapas but it was in a local place that brought out a plate of sliced cheddar cheese, apples and grapes. I was unimpressed and guessed they were doing their best in an area that probably wouldn't pay premium prices for the good stuff but still wanted to have the chance to say "We're going out for tapas and wine! Wheee!" Because this area is rife with yuppies.
When the first plate came out and it was borcego cheese, sliced apples and little slices of baguette, I immediately realized the degree to which our FIRST trip to a tapas place might not have been so far off in offering us fruits. But after acquiring the cheese (which I'm pretty sure I spelled wrong) and the apples and dipping them in the truffled honey.... oh my god. It didn't even compare.
Let me repeat that phrase, btw, because it is now my favorite food in the world .Truffled honey. Like it's honey, and they imparted it heavily with the essence of truffles. It was AMAZING. And it kept getting better from there!
We were presented with a second plate that was a mixture of marinated olives and hot peppers, followed by their famous ensalata verde... light, amazing, and made of chopped greens that you might not expect. I saw escarole, nasturtium leaf sprouts, haricot verts and a few other things you might expect to see in a fancy salad plate. They had dressed it with a very light vinegar and oil so it was tart, but it complimented the food. Topped with some thinly shaved provolone and herbs, and it was amazing. I probably could've taken that whole plate out on my own and asked for seconds.
That was followed by so much stuff it blurs in my head. Biscuits with chorizo sausage and a light cheese sauce, a Spanish tortilla with eggs and potatoes and topped with saffron aioli (very salty, best used sparingly but amazingly flavored nonetheless), a small fried bit of Spanish ham and some sort of cheese almost like a ham-tot -pardon my lack of verbage to describe this stuff- nested on a bed of jalapeno and red bell pepper spread piped directly on to the plate. The flavors together were amazing. Then following that was lamb meatballs and peas in a sauce, thinly sliced steak with different sauces, and grilled garlic shrimp prepared with the heads still on. A Fava bean soup rounded out the entire thing. Each one tasted drastically different than the one before it, and I can honestly say I've never had anything that tasted anything like this. It was my first truly unique food experience in a long time. I was grinning like an idiot for it.
Although each thing brought out was very small, by the time they brought the shrimp out we were quite full. Dessert wasn't even entertained as an option.
If you find yourself in downtown Philly with a yen for something unique and unusual and $40 burning a hole in your pocket, I would recommend doing the Chef's taste menu at Amada. It was expensive, but probably the first time I have truly felt the money was worth it for the food in a long, long time. If you go, as always, share your own experiences here! And enjoy!

Biscuits with chorizo sausage and cheese sauce. Delicious!

Check Out This Music I Found #3 - Ukelele Songs by Eddie Vedder

Yours truly plows through a LOT of music, to the point that sometimes I know once I've found something awesome and new that I love, I cry because I will never be able to devote a solid afternoon's attention listening to it to commit the lyrics to memory. I have 2 apps and 4 different internet stations pouring the awesome in to my ear holes, to the point I could probably do 2-3 of these a day and not run out of fodder for a good month.

To that end, I try to post those things that affect me in some fashion. There's fun background music to have going, and then there's the stuff that gets your pulse going or tears your heart out of your chest, throws it to the floor and stomps it flat. And you love it for having that affect because it's cathartic or exciting. For a second you're young again, or you remember something buried in your brain. Music is amazing for making us realize what's within us no matter where or when we encounter it.

I have been listening to Vedder ever since he came screaming across my teenage radio with "Once" waaaay back in that ancient time of the 90's when grunge was being regarded with confusion and suspicion on the music scene. It is safe to say that Pearl Jam is one of my all time favorite bands. So when I came across this batch of songs done solo by Mr. Vedder on -of all things- the lowly ukelele, I dove in to them so hard I got a red mark on my cheeks. And I'm glad I did. It's amazing, emotional, and the ukelele is the perfect accompaniment to what he sings about. His voice is almost timorous in these songs, like he's letting a secret out. Or perhaps it's so personal it's scary to speak the words. It just works, and an electric guitar or even an acoustic guitar would've stomped the nuance of that flat. One must also give props to him for using what is normally a joke prop for a serious music endeavor and still render unto the world a batch of songs that are still strong. A few of these could quite conceivably still be blasted on a radio on the strength of the vocals alone. That's why I heart this stuff so. damn. much.

My favorite song from the album, Broken Heart. The sound is a little low, apologies, but it is worth it to turn it up.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tagg'd It

And one more quick sidenote.... I finally did it. After all of the reading and thinking about it, I done tagg'd something.

...and boy do I need more practice.

Fun with Making Things Do Other Things

Having finally given this away as a gift, I can post about the creative process behind it! The friend this was meant for stops by the blog on occasion and I didn't want to ruin the surprise, so it's been kept on the downlow. I feel delightfully sneak. ^_^

I enjoy Making Stuff. I enjoy it to such a degree that sometimes I will be walking along through some place as mundane as, say, Target and suddenly I see something.....


Because when I see something that is obviously a wallet or a change purse, I don't think gosh, that would make a nifty wallet or a change purse, perhaps I should use it for that function. Oh no. No. Yours truly decides it needs to be Something Else Entirely.

So I snagged it, (snagged 2, actually) and dragged it home to see what I could make from it.

First things first, investigated the insides of it. Standard zippered pouch with an inside zippered pocket. Several tiered pockets on the other side for what normal people might use as slots for credit cards, library cards -if they still go to that- or ID, that sort of thing.
This is basically a fun night out on the town thing to carry in your tiny little bag, or just by itself..

My initial thought on seeing these things was that they would make a really neat miniature sketch kit, something you could carry around with you if you had minimal space for such things like a purse or carry-on bag.
I decided there were a few utterly necessary things to go in there for such a thing, and gathered them together.
You needed the paper for drawing, obviously, a kneaded eraser of some sort(just in case you want to do reductive sketching, not necessarily because mistakes are anticipated!) perfect for being flat AND malleable, good old fashioned graphite for drawing, and then something else to liven it up a bit so it wasn't just a boring one trick pony. I couldn't locate a cheap small package of colored pencils, so I went with the old standby of conte crayons and charcoals. Anybody who's done a handful of art classes has probably come across these things and used them for the sketchenings.

So the next step was simple. Construction.

First we added the kneaded eraser in. Because of the potential for it to moosh everywhere, it got the place of honor in the zippered pocket.

Next were some ACEO-sized sketch paper, slipped in to those handy card-slots on the side. If I'd had the time or imagination, I would've put a few different kinds in there, one for each slot. As it is, this was a good all-purpose sketch paper. If you can't locate that, and the pouch is big enough for it, one of the miniature unlined moleskines might do well. I did contemplate that for a while before going with the ACEOs. Moleskine paper isn't the greatest and that was the tipping point for me.

And then finishing this bad boy up, two very small graphite sticks in a small ziploc baggie (2B hardness, if anybody cares, since that's a good middle of the road sketching quality) and those colored sketch sticks in white, red and charcoal. It all fit very neatly in the middle. I was grinning like an idiot when I was done.

So the finished product came out to be only perhaps half an inch thick when completed, meaning that it would do really well as an unobtrusive art kit. My goal was to have something portable and thin, and this was it!

A few additional things I thought about after the fact:

~Adding all of those different types of ACEO paper to the slots. Mental note to label the slots so you know which paper you're pulling out.
~A very tiny watercolors kit, of which there are several on Amazon.com and Dick Blick. You would sacrifice some of that slimness, but if you're mostly just worried about square footage being taken up overall, then no problem. I imagine you could play tetris with everything and fit it in without too much added bulk. The Windsor and Newton set looked the most promising for this.
~if you add the watercolors, you have to have watercolor paper. Adding the watercolor paper ACEOs makes more sense now. Conversly, you could try to find a mini moleskine watercolor paper notebook. OR... you can whip up your own by cutting up good cold press stuff in to small pieces to slide on in here.
~slightly more bulky, but they do have colored pencil sets that will go in there. I couldn't do it because it offended my sense of aesthetics to have it sticking out, but it will certainly work for others who are less particular.
~willow charcoal could be snapped in to smaller sticks and stored in a small ziploc bag like the graphite.

There's other stuff. But I think I need to put this project to bed before it goes too crazy. I enjoyed making it, and the friend enjoyed receiving it. I have a matching one of my own that's nifty that I can keep playing with if I want. In the end, that's the important stuff.