Tuesday, July 29, 2008


1. The Big Picture

I've had this in my reader for a few weeks now and I LOVE it. Those pictures are so great, and so large, that to throw them into my tumblr seems to be an injustice. My favorites lately have been from the Tour de France and the crazy crowded pools in China.

2. Peanut Cole Slaw

I had people over for dinner the other night, and of course neglected to take pictures of any of it. I made salad and pizza with caramelized onions and walnuts, and a friend brought quinoa tabouli and raspberry bars, and these were all yummy. But I was nicely surprised by this peanut cole slaw, because I usually hate cole slaw and therefore thought I hated cabbage as well. Not true! So, taking a chance on that beautiful cabbage that was only a dollar at the farmer's market was a good thing.

3. My parent's pool

This list feels empty with only two things. With highs in the mid-90s later in the week, I am so thankful for this. Suburban pool party, anyone?

Monday, July 21, 2008

on anything and everything.

On Projects

Once upon a time, I got a tapestry type thing from Urban Outfitters. It was perfect for covering up $20 thrift store love seats in my dorm room. Then it was perfect for covering up a dusty bookshelf in my classroom. Then it sat unwanted for a while. Then, it was decidedly perfect to fashion new curtains for my bedroom, since I had been using a beach sarong.

"curtain" beforecurtains after
(But now, what to do with the sarong? God knows I don't go to the beach.)

And since I had some fabric leftover, the tapestry also became perfect for a skirt, Maria von Trapp style.

skirt and curtains

On Biking

I have actual obligations this week (sigh!), and I'm being a good girl and biking to my class, which is just a few blocks away from my old workplace. And the ride there is really not bad at all, which makes me feel silly for having avoided it for so long. (Still working on the sweat factor.)

Also, I'm realizing that while my bike is fine, it's a bit small, so I'm dreaming of bigger and better options. Namely, a bike that is good for all of the following: commuting, dragging in and out of my apartment, not getting stolen, and a triathlon perhaps next summer. (So basically I want an impossible commuter-road bike with convertible handlebars and both clip-in and non-fancy pedals.)

On Motivation

I was talking with an old coworker last week and when I mentioned that I had run a marathon, she said I must have a lot of self-discipline, and that she would always talk herself out of running. I wouldn't say I have that much discipline, it's more that I talk myself into situations where I would feel like a jackass if I don't do something. As in, "You better run 11 miles today like you said you would or you will hate yourself!" I don't know if that's discipline or just well-channeled guilt. Either way, I signed up for a half marathon - it's in a week and a half.

On Travel

Crap, it's almost fricking August and I have no travel plans whatsoever. I need to get out of this state somehow without paying millions of dollars. Not even because I don't have the money (what, I never mentioned my millions?), but because I'm still not accustomed to paying $500 or more for continental flights. I'm also sick of wandering around cities by myself, reading in every possible park, coffee shop, and museum imaginable, and yet travel partners are hard to come by. But maybe I can channel my guilt-motivation into just buying a plane or train ticket to anywhere.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

how to make crackers - with video!

Deep breaths. Sometimes I do this thing where I think, "I want to put videos of myself on the internet!" and then I do and then I just want to hide under my bed with my cat. And then I slowly come to terms with it, start showing it to people, while running away at the same time. (How do you run away from something on the internet? You post something, then you pretend to FORGET that you posted anything and that people may make comments, or may also completely ignore you. And then hours or days later you slowly come back to the response or lack thereof.)

Where's the video already, right?

How To Make Crackers

(Not embedded because I can't handle that right now. Apologies.)

It's pretty much all in there, except for a few notes.

1. The recipe says 4 servings but that is only true if you eat like a bird. It is, at best, one or two servings for normal people.
2. They only keep a few days. But it doesn't matter because I guarantee you won't be able to keep them around that long.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

finally, it's done.

This skirt took a year and a half to make. I have this a-line pattern, and with my first attempt I ended up with a skirt so small I had to wear it way up on my waist and it looked stupid. So I gave it to a much smaller friend. With my second attempt I had a skirt so large it was falling off. (And that doesn't work as well with giveaways...hey friend, this skirt is WAY too big for me! You want it?) I tried to take it in, but it was still too big. So I did the completely normal thing to do in this situation - I got extremely frustrated and gave up, sticking it in a closet to be buried for a long long time.

I finally decided I should maybe make it work. But it needed something, so I added some appliques...a first, which took a lot of practice. The fit still isn't perfect, but I'm more happy with the fact that this sucker is finally DONE.


p.s. I just noticed that my last three posts have all been about skirts. This is a good thing, right? In fact, yesterday I wore this skirt I got about seven years ago. This was one of the first skirts I got that wasn't for a specific purpose, it was just for wearing. I remember the time when I rarely wore the things, and now I can't envision a (happy) future without them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

hey frenchies! tell me how to bike in a skirt!

I was reading this article about those rentable bikes in Paris, and they mentioned how the bikes have an accompanying blog, with a recent post about biking in skirts. I immediately clicked, hoping to learn some very sophisticated advice, but of course, it's in French. So I google translated it, and the results were...funny.

Especially that, as we swallow meters bikeways, our skirts have an unfortunate tendency to go back… The red light has become an opportunity to readjust, air worthy, ignoring our male neighbors, pedestrians, motorists and other vélibeurs… Knowing that these gentlemen are always looking to "see under the skirts of girls" (even when one is fagotée as a bag potatoes!) I arrived at this conclusion: length knees ie mid-thigh after 100 meters…

So, wait. Potatoes are gay?

Anyway, my only advice is as such: wear bike shorts or cut off tights underneath the skirt. (You know you have some old tights that got a hole or a run in them but you just can't bear to throw them away, hoping that someday there will be magic robots to fix them. Face it - there will be no magic robots, but you can put them to other uses!) When you get going, you can tuck the end of the skirt into the tights or shorts and ride along without worries (for the most part).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

on pencil skirts.

On The Street - Sharpened

I put this on the ol' tumblr too, but I wanted to add a few thoughts.

1. I love how this is not only a celebration of pencil skirts, but a celebration of legs and butts. (And somehow Bill Cunningham discusses the glorious view in a decidedly non-creepy way.)
2. Of course the ladies aren't wearing flip-flops with these skirts, because that looks ridiculous! (Some flats work, but heels really work.)
3. On the other hand, the heel requirement makes pencil skirts much more difficult to wear. They're great for work, but for summer barbecues? I don't want to show up looking like a secretary! (Yeah, the secretary look is hot. But it needs the right situation.)
4. And this is why I am forgoing my red pencil skirt (an old find from my mom, modified from dowdy to cute and slim) for a much more forgiving and flowy red skirt today.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

when in doubt, try baking soda.

I was trying to clean my bathtub today, and you know how it is - you wait way too long, and then there's soap scum everywhere. (Also, I don't get any satisfaction from cleaning unless the thing being cleaned is truly dirty.) I was using my bathroom cleaner, spray spray spray, and it took off the scum in a clear, distinct path where the cleaner had trickled down the tub. I'm not a huge fan of spraying massive amounts of chemicals only to scrub furiously while inhaling the junk. I usually give up at that point, content to live a life of scum.

BUT NOT TODAY, MY FRIENDS. I thought, what the hell, let's try baking soda. I sprinkled some on a wet sponge, and it worked LIKE MAGIC. Scum be gone!

So there you go. I promise to never ever blog about the trials and wonders of cleaning again, but I thought I would be doing a disservice not passing this tip along.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

things i learned from television.

My TV is about 13 inches and has horrible reception. These facts, plus the fact that I use the internet as my TV-like entertainment, make television watching a rare occurrence. But I was at my grandma's for a few days, and she has cable. (!) My addiction while there only solidified my conclusion that I can never have cable, because I would flip channels all flipping day.

But let us not pretend that my television binge was useless - oh no! I learned a lot. Here are some things I learned:

1. The Paparazzi are HORRIBLE. (Denise Richards: It's Complicated)
2. Ellen DeGeneres saved at least one person's life by coming out, I think. (E True Hollywood Story)
3. Yes, you CAN make tortillas from scratch and they are probably delicious, but damn, I am never going to appreciate that $2 bag of tortillas more. (Good Eats with Alton Brown)

Wait, I watched at least 5 hours of television and only came up with 3 semi-useful bits of information? Alright, TV is worthless. But FUN.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I have at least two unfinished drafts and what do I do? Leave town, to the land of no internet. Actually, I'm going to visit my very hip grandma who does have internet, but my vacation rule is to avoid it as much as possible. Instead I plan to take many pictures of my adorable niece and make overly ambitious plans to get lots of reading done and then hardly finish any of it. Also, lake swimming. See you in a few days.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

26 a few months ago.

I love that Aimee Mann can write a song that sounds initially uplifting but is actually completely depressing, a song that also has a video that makes me laugh out loud. Stop playing with my emotions, Aimee.

Aimee Mann - 31 Today