Wednesday, July 30, 2008

blog #133 >> One Got Fat

After all the bike safety talk here in Portland, I thought it would be a good idea to post this instructional short film on bicycle safety from 1963. It may be the most bizarre-creepy-disturbing thing I've ever seen. And the moral of the story is: Don't wear monkey masks while riding a bike... they may cause vision impairment.

Monday, July 28, 2008

blog #132 >> Local Music I Dig

At NW Media were I work we see a lot of local artists. Everything from hip-hop to ambient noise, from Indy rock to country gospel, we've seen it all... Well, that is we think we've seen it all, until someone comes out and surprises us. There's always one more genera of music we hadn't thought of yet... like Filking.
Well, I was thinking today, I've heard a lot of local bands... most of which I don't particularly like, but I've heard some very fine ones as well. And it's about time I give some of those better bands some credit. So here are some of my favorite bands from Portland. And please remember, I play the accordion, so any band with an accordion in it is a winner in my mind. (I left out Richard Kadrmas and His Band, Czech Polka Party, my favorite Oktoberfest band, because I was afraid no one else would appreciate them quite as much as I do.)

My number one favorite P-Town band:

#1 The Decemberists

Like most of my favorite things, The Decemberists for me were an acquired taste. The first few times I heard them I didn't like them at all. But then after awhile the songs got stuck in my head, and then I started turning up the radio whenever they came on. They definitely grew on me... a lot. The Decemberists kinda have an Indy Rock/Sea Chantey sound to it... And now I love them. I can even play The Mariner's Revenge Song on Big Red.

(After this the order is always changing.)

#2 Vagabond Opera

If you mix some Old World Eastern European music and some 1920's cabaret together, add a dash of New Orleans, some gypsy caravan, striped socks, and throw in a fir-dancing hula-hooping girl than you've got the Vagabond Opera. An exciting blend of music for anyone who enjoys accordions and handlebar mustaches.

#3 Captain Bogg and Salty

EAT A LIME! Avast, Mateys! If ye have thee a hoard of wee little scallywags than this be the crew for you. Set sail with Captain Bogg and Salty on The Pollywogg, for adventures and sea-faring tales, tunes and treasures.
(Photo by Chris Owen)

#4 Mark Twain Indians

(Yes, I designed the poster.) One of the band members works with us, and the music is pretty good too. They feature fresh Indy-rock indigenous to the north west. (For more read poster.)

#5 Fruition
Truly a band no one's heard of yet. But I still really like them. They have an acoustic string band, and they sound like Amy Winehouse singing Bluegrass with very catchy tunes.


Friday, July 25, 2008

blog #131 >> Magic Eyes

Remember Magic Eyes? Popular in the 90's? You know... those strange geometric posters that some claimed to have seen fantastic 3D images in. I've never been able to see them until last week, and now I'm obsessed. I even made my own floating image... see above. And if you cross your eyes (a little), and stare at it long enough, everything will pop out of the page. The image below is from Arale's Picasa page.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

blog #130>> Miracle Grow

One part water, two parts sunshine, three parts prayer, and Miracle Grow once a week*... And I got this mammoth hanging basket and some lovely potted plants. It's amazing to see how much they've grown in the past couple of months. See this earlier post. I'm very proud of them.
*Please note: I did NOT fertilize the nasturtiums as they thrive in infertile soil.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

blog #129 >> Photo Booth meets PhotoFunia

Ah yeah, my latest way to pass the time.
Photo Booth with PhotoFunia? Mix them up and you've got hours of entertainment. Have you ever wanted to be on a billboard? t.v.? newspaper? museum? president? astronaut? PhotoFunia has got it all. Just upload your photo for all kinds of enjoyment. A special thanks to Angry Chicken where I found out about it.
See some of my work below, it's like I'm everywhere! I've got some of my nephews up here too.

Friday, July 18, 2008

blog #128 >> Book of the Week:
The Boxcar Children

Well I'm afraid the book of the week has become the book of the month! I need to keep up on these. Anyhow, this week's book is The Boxcar Children. I loved this book when I was little and had completely forgotten about it until I was listening to Boxcar by the Rosebuds, and then it brought it all back. It's amazing how something that took me weeks to read as a kid, now took me about two hours to finish. I'd forgotten how much I liked this story. But I realize now that four kids living by themselves out in an abandoned boxcar in the woods is not only completely implausable but also extremely dangerous. But when you're ten, you don't think about that. You just think how cool it would be to pick wild blueberries for dinner, cook a stew of baby vegetables in an old kettle over a camp fire and build a swimming hole for a bathtub. I also loved reading about their trips to the dump to find "treasures" to take home... hmmm... maybe that's why I like junk stores so much. I also remember my favorite place to read this book was in the tree house. In fact one winter I forgot it up there, so now it's all stained and faded. But I think it just adds to its character. It's also an Oregon City School Library reject. If you've never read The Boxcar Childred, you should.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

blog #127 >> Garden Update

Here are some new shots of the garden.
And it already needs to be weeded again.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

blog #126 >> The Successful Failure.

Like Apollo 13, this Jello mold was a successful failure. Yeah, it looks okay, it came out of the mold, it tastes great. But that's not how it's suppose to look. I guess I went wrong by pretending I was on a cooking show when I was making it. Ah, cooking shows... They're nice really. But not very practical in the real world. In cooking shows the chefs make everything look so easy. They just dump everything into a bowl without a second thought. Then they throw it up into the air and catch it. I'm not sure why this is so important to cooking, but they all do it. (I think it's just for show.) I've also learned it's not such a good idea to try this at home... while making Jello... unless you want it to end up on the floor. But that's okay on cooking shows too. They can just edit that part out. It never happened. What the chef burn his hand because the hot pad slipped? Never! Burn an entrée? Impossible! Cut their finger with a knife? Only Julia Child. And time is so wonderful in Cooking Show Land. "Yes," the amazing chef on t.v. says, "I'll just bake this right here, in this wood oven, in the stone cottage on this Parisian hillside, at 450 degrees for 35 minutes, decrease the temperature to 300 degrees bake for 4 hours, increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees, bake for 2 additional hours and... (The scene fades out... fades in...) Oh look! Here's one all finished from backstage... mmmm... it's delicious." If only life were so simple. Yes, I just totally screwed up the one I was making, but it's okay. I have a perfect one finished backstage.

Well, my small apartment doesn't have a backstage. And when I just dump things into a bowl without a second thought, I usually regret it. And most importantly, I live in real time, not cooking show time. And that was my fatal mistake. My Jello mold was suppose to have a lemon layer with Marciano cherries for fruit dots, and then a bananna layer and finally a cherry Jello layer on top. (Well, I guess it's on the bottom once you flip the whole thing over.) Anyhow I made the lemon and bananna part perfectly. Let it cool for a half hour... Only, it should have been longer. Last time I let it cool overnight, I should have done what I did last time. It felt set up enough, so I poured the cherry Jello on top and put it back in the frig. And a half hour later... all the banannas had floated to the top and the lemon layer was mixed with the cherry. I felt bad.

But it will be okay, it's just a Jello mold. And most importantly, it still tastes great!


blog #125 >> The new skirt I sewed.

I realize that's a pretty lame headline, and it's completely devoid of any wit. But it's still kinda early, (at least it was when I started this) and I'm not quite awake yet. I'm having one of those "Day of the Zombies who are Awake yet still Sleeping" kinda days.

This morning when the alarm when off, I was so tired that I just turned it off without thinking and went straight back to sleep. And then I had the strangest dream... I dreamt I was awake and getting ready for work like I always do. I got up and went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror, and thought, "hmmm... my hair doesn't look that bad today... and I don't really have time for a shower... I'll just tie it back in a scarf." Then I got dressed and went to check my email. And that's when things started to get a little stranger, because things are never how they actually are in dreams. I was already connected to the internet, strange! And then Gmail didn't really look like it normally does, it was all colorful and stuff. I had three emails. Hmmmm... Okay, I read the first one. It was from Trina and had reminders of things to remember when they're gone to Japan. You know it was things like, water the garden, mail the Door Mouse orders, and pet the cats, basic stuff that like. Then all in sudden... I realized things weren't adding up... Why wasn't my hair a mess? Why was connecting to the internet so easy? Why were there three chat windows open? Then I realized... It's a dream! I woke up. I had been dreaming 10 minutes. And I hadn't actually done any of those things. I guess my brain just wanted to trick my body into getting more sleep. So, I got up and did all those things over again. It was a very strange morning.

Anyhow, I made this really swell skirt last week!
It's created from my favorite pattern that my sister had. I took her pattern and made a bunch of alterations, added pockets, took it in a little, and just tweeked it here and there. Then I copied it over onto some plain brown paper. It's the perfect skirt pattern. I can finish it in an evening now. It takes me a little longer than it would most people because of the pockets, and I always hem my things by hand. But it really turned out nice, and it's perfect for summer.

The perfect skirt.

Here's the pockets.

I hemmed it with grosgrain ribbon, and you can see the under-printing which is a light sea green.

I even embroidered a little brown bird hiding in the foliage.


Monday, July 14, 2008

blog #124 >> A very happy mail day!

Wow! Three blog posts in one day... How could I?
Well, I had a very happy mail day!

Today, when I got home from work, I had TWO packages waiting for me. And they were filled with party favors from Vanessa's tea party. The box was from Turquoise Cro and was filled postcards (I think the celebrate one is my favorite), tea (I've always wanted to try some St. Dalfour Green Tea) and a very cool mug. The envelope was from La Belle Avenue and was filled with postcards (I love them all... but the little boy with the escaped birds and empty birdcage is my favorite) two little elephant erasers, and a cute fabric pin (I pinned it on my inspiration board for now.)
Thanks everyone! What great packages!?!

blog #123 >> She's just so cute!

I know... I never post two posts in a row... but she's just so cute! I had to post another picture of my new niece Little Miss. Ada.

blog #122 >> Do you Hulu?

Hulu... my newest free-time sucker-upper.
Although I may not watch much actual television, I've fallen into the net of streaming online television. I've found that I can watch nearly all my favorite shows online with less than five minutes of commercial interruptions. And when it comes to online television and movies, I've found Hulu to be king.

Hulu offers more than 100 full length movies including Men In Black, Casino Royale, Raising Arizona and who could forget...
At the Earth's Core.

Hulu's also got a bunch of full length T.V. shows, some containing whole seasons. You can watch The A-Team, Emergency!, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Bewitched, NOVA, The Office and many more. Last week we watched three episodes of The Office at the office. And I've been hearing bumps in the night ever since Bud's recommendation of Ghost Hunter's. Well, I do live in a apartment, but still... I think there's someone downstairs! This week I've been watching the series of Firefly by Joss Whedon. And it's been pretty good, despite the theme music being extremely corny.

For other streaming television websites try:
ABC Full Episode Player for LOST and Pushing Daisies.
CBS Streaming Video for The Twilight Zone and Perry Mason.
BBC Doctor Who-The Official Website
for the latest episode of Doctor Who.

And NBC has one as well, but until they allow Macs, I'm out of luck. I'm not one of those Mac is all powerful and superior people... but I do love my little white laptop.
Oh, and now you all know what nerdy shows I like to watch. :)


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

blog #121 >> Peninsula Park

This Sunday my parents and I took the Model A up to Peninsula Park.
Peninsula Park is my favorite Portland Park (not Laurelhurst Park although it's also nice.)
Peninsula Park was build in the 1900's and it includes the city's first public rose garden, first community center, a bandstand, and Portland's second oldest playground. My grandma tells stories of how when The Portland Zoo first got its penguins their cage wasn't ready yet so they lived for a few month's at the Peninsula Park swimming pool. The two-acre rose garden is simply amazing with 8,900 rose plants and 65 variations. It's the only sunken rose garden in Portland. If you'd like to visit Peninsula Park and I highly recommend it if you live in Portland. The entrance to the rose garden is on Albina Ave, between Ainsworth & Rosa Parks Way.

Monday, July 7, 2008

blog #120 >> Catching Up

Whenever things are busy and I've got lots of cool things to blog about... I don't have time to blog. And when things are slow and I'm bored out of my mind and I've got plenty of time to blog... I can't think of anything to write about. And that's the curse of blogging.

So, I'm going to start catching up on some of my cool things to blog about.

First of all, I've got a new little niece!
My brother Frank and his wife Amy, had their first baby last Tuesday, July 1st on my dad's birthday. Her name is Ada Catherine and she was 6 lbs 15.5 oz and 20 inches long. She's got lots of dark hair, which my brother describes as a "baby comb over." She's very adorable, and we're all very excited and making a huge fuss over her.
(You can see more here at my sister's blog.)

p.s. Carrie, I'm sorry I stole you're picture, but it's the only one I could find with all three of them in it. :)

Actually, I'm afraid I've been a real slacker lately about taking pictures. I always remember my camera, but forget to use it! I just get so caught up in the moment I forget to step out for a second to document it. So actually all the following photos are compliments of my family. Thanks!

Also, it was "Little Yankee Doodle Dandy's" birthday on the 4th of July. Charlie got to celebrate his second birthday with trains and fireworks. He had a great time and got lots of toy trains and cake.

(Yeah! Cake and Candles!!!)

The Little Engine that Could Cake, it turned out great Amy!

Fireworks were very exciting this year despite the fact that we didn't have any major explosions or brush fires. We sprayed everything down with water of course before the fireworks started. And since my brother was busy at the hospital this year, we were down a few fireworks. We had a great show though, and a great family BBQ with fun games as well. I love the Fourth of July! (See more at my sister's blog here.)

The most dangerous fireworks of all.... Snakes!

They're so bright!

So that pretty much sums up July 1st-4th.
I hope everyone else enjoyed a "safe" Indedendance Day... but if you didn't have a safe holiday... I hope you enjoyed it anyhow! I'd love to hear your firework mishap/blowing stuff up stories! I'll save mine for another day.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

blog #119 >> Hair Mice on Etsy

"Hair Mice, like head lice, but nice!"

Finally! We've got a couple of Mair Hice... I mean Hair Mice posted on Etsy! I know I said, "Coming soon!" but with me coming soon my take quite awhile.
Today, I've posted Miss. Posie and
Mr. Edgar.

Posie is a darling little creature who's favorite place to be is nestled in you hair. But she wouldn't mind being clipped on a bag or sweater. She also likes hiding in drawers and sleeping in big piles of silk scarfs.

Edgar is a kind little guy who loves to hide in messy hair. He also enjoys sneaking into the kitchen for a midnight snack of sharp cheddar cheese.

You need to be careful not to use hair spray while wearing your hair mouse... they don't like that very much. And you also need to be aware that once you own one, you may need to own another. They are social little critters and like to be with other hair mice friends.

Posie is made with yellow floral polka-dot fabric, purple rosebud fabric, and grey yarn and felt.
Edgar is made with teal geometric fabric, brick-red felt, and brownish yarn. They're both about 2.5" long.

They're looking for a good homes, so buy one today.