Saturday, August 30, 2008

If polar bears played football...

This morning at 9 am, I dragged my butt out of bed, pillow in tow, and migrated to the couch in the living room. Then for the next two hours, I drifted in and out of consciousness while listening to the sweet sounds of Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, and Chris Fowler. That's right, it was time for College GameDay, because this weekend was the start of the college football season.

Many of you who know me already know this, but I am a college football fiend. I could do without pro football, I'm not one for basketball, and baseball's alright. But I go nuts over the college football.

Of course this Saturday morning ritual was a lot easier in New York, where I didn't have to drag my butt out of bed until 10 am to see GameDay. AND, I had DVR back then, so if I overslept, no big whoop. But now it's 9 am or bust. And I had to do it because for me, Saturdays in the fall are sacred. First, I gotta watch GameDay. And then I gotta decide what games I want to watch. If I go out that evening, I often try to position myself so that I can see the TVs in the bar. Then when I get home, I watch SportCenter, often while drunk. If I don't need to go anywhere, I can easily watch college football for hours, shifting from game to game. Usually CJ and I do this while spooning on the sofa. Speaking of CJ, he's doing much better. Thanks for your well wishes. He's a good boy.

I'd still be watching football right now, whilst knitting, except that I made the grave error of cycling through the channel guide while my mom was present. She spotted a romantic movie on the Hallmark Channel and had a fit. And since tomorrow is her birthday, and since she is leaving on Wednesday for two years in Europe where she will have no Hallmark Channel, and - oh yeah - since it is through her generosity that I even have cable right now, I gave up the battle and came in here to blog. I'm not sure what the movie is but it has Lisa Hartman Black and Rue McClanahan in it, and this has made her exceedingly happy.

Which is just as well, as there's something more pressing that I want to address. Did you know that Sarah Palin hates polar bears?? She does. Or rather, she loves oil more than she loves polar bears. Hrm. Apparently, back in January, she wrote this piece for the NYTimes about how she doesn't think the bears should be listed in the Endangered Species Act. They get listed anyway, and she sues. Why pitch such a hissy about cuddly bears being listed as endangered?? What did they ever do to her?

Because it would severely interfere with plans to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Which she is all for doing. WTF? On top of that, the Anchorage Daily News found out that the state's own biologists disagreed with her, even though she claimed that the state's researchers backed her up. Um, no Governor Palin. And it wasn't like I was going to vote for your ticket anyway, but you mess with the P.B.s and you are dead to me.

Well, speaking of politics, after swooning over Obama's speech on Thursday evening, I flipped over to Comedy Central and saw this genius bit on The Daily Show. I heart Jon Stewart. But you probably figured that out by now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Still raining

Um, yeah, so now my cat's sick. Ah geeze, it's never-ending these days. Never. Ending. Like one big fat bummer after another. Bah. So keep me in mind (looking for job and new meaning for life), keep my uncle's family in mind (dealing with great tragedy), and keep my kitty cat in mind. Really good, sweet kitty cat. Who is 15 and dealing with the ailments that come with that age. Hopefully he'll be okay.

Right. So, I was going to show things I own rather than things I want to buy. Yes, I remember. I've been saving my favorite etsy artist for a rainy day. Yep, I'd say it's raining. I own four of Dan-ah Kim's prints. That's a lot for me. I've also bought one for a friend. That one was the first of her prints that I saw, in a shop in Queens. I asked who the artist was and then bought the print through etsy. I think it was probably the first thing I ever bought through etsy. And then yeah, four more.

I own this one. Haven't gotten around to framing it yet, though. I feel like that's me there. I wonder where that plane's going. I wish that I was on it. I've always romanticized planes and travel.

This one too. I love the feeling it evokes about New York more than most any image I took away from my time there. I loved how you could get on that train and come out anywhere.

Dan-ah has some new artwork on her website. Every time she comes out with some new pieces, I always find one or two that I'm completely smitten with. I mean, I just swoon.

Beautiful. She had a show at thinkspace gallery this summer where she displayed some of her newer pieces. Looks like some of those are still for sale. Wow, I can remember when her originals were going for a lot less than that. How exciting for her! Of course, there's always her etsy shop, with more affordable options.

These last two aren't available yet as prints, it seems. But this one.. well, when it does become available, let's just say I hope I have a job by then.

Friday, August 22, 2008

When it rains, and so on

As if getting laid off wasn't enough of a gas, we got hit with some very bad news on the family front today. Geeze louise. Mourning, funeral, and spending time with family and such is just on the horizon now. But nobody wants to hear about that. Blogs are for fun, lighthearted things like materialism and decorating and such. And baking.

Don't these tarts look fine? I made them for me and mom. They were relatively simple to put together (that's just frozen puff pastry dough) and finger lickin' good. I don't even have to type up the recipe for you. Okay, even though this was in Everyday Food and they put all that stuff on the Martha website, this one isn't there. It was the April 2008 issue. Go figure.

I'd transcribe it for you here, but I don't want the Martha Mafia after me, so basically what you're doing is rolling out a sheet of puffed pastry, then cutting out four even squares. Score them one inch from the edges, then poke the middle with a fork. Bake. Saute several different types of mushrooms together, all sliced thin, and shred some pecorino romano. Put cheese on tarts, then mushrooms, then a little more cheese. Put back in oven to let the cheese get all melty. Ta da! If you want more deets that that, send me a note.

And now, from food to clothes. I don't usually blog about clothes. I go through cycles for one. I'm either wanting to spend all my money on home or on clothes. It's one or the other. And since I got back down to Austin, it's been home. On top of that, I got no place to wear nice clothes these days, so what's the point. And let's not forget, no money to spend. But I did want to show you this.

Um, cute, right? It's the new L.L. Bean catalog. I'm a J. Crew girl, like many I know. Not that I can afford it - but I do like to drool over their catalogs every season, and then I wait for the sales. I'm a Target girl too. But my family has been on the L.L. Bean mailing list since I was nearly an infant. When I was in high school, mom would show me stuff in it and I'd be like, "Yeah, that's nice." And then I'd go to Old Navy. L.L. Bean was notoriously the home of mom jeans (probably still are), and really good water repellent boots. But hello, what's this?

I know, tweed jackets/military cut has been out there for a while, but that's cute. There's even a little dog embroidered just on the inside, which is a fun surprise.

I want these - what are they, wellie warmers? - for my wellies. It says they're available on the website but I can't find them. But forget that - I think I have some legwarmers around here somewhere that I might start wearing in this fashion.

I just want to give their design dept some kudos for stepping it up, bit by bit, over the past few years. There was a shirt I saw in the spring catalog that I really liked and mentioned I might like to have it. It was never, ever in stock - always on backorder. Fall catalog comes out and now there are like 5 things I want in it. So they're either really focusing on getting their clothes more on-trend, or I'm turning into my mother. Let's not go there.

Also, I did dig out a photo of my dorm - my junior year dorm room to be exact (Haas 311, woot). And I do have a scanner. But I think I've done enough scanning for today. Maybe someday in the future, if you're good, I'd be willing to share it. It's pretty embarrassing. Something about a bedspread covered with sheep jumping over fences.. I can't recall. Yeah. E, I know you've seen it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Listening to..

Yeah, it's the Target commercial song. I watch that commercial and think wistfully, "I wish decorating my dorm room had been that much fun..."

Really, I could do without the oiled-up, close-in, booty shaking shots. Basically, it looks like an issue of Maxim set to music. So just do what I do which is hit play, then switch to another tab in the browser. And then try not to tap your toe.

Do you have a picture of how you decorated your dorm room? I do. I'll bust it out if you bust out yours. Mine is really embarrassing. C'mon, someone take the bet. If you had good taste in college, then I salute you - I sure didn't.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Just as I suspected

My, what a pair they make.

Doncha think? Just a lovely couple. He, all dapper. And she, all sweetness and light, holding her bouquet of flowers. Neither based in any facet of reality, but who cares about that. I'm glad I got this out of my system before the bottom fell out on my finances. Yeah, cos I got laid off. But anyway.

Since I can't really buy stuff these days, trolling etsy is a little dangerous. Doesn't really stop me though. But I thought I'd feature a few things I own rather than those I want to buy. Because, you know, I can't buy them. I bought this pendant back when I lived in Astoria, at a little shop near my apartment.

This gal paints pictures on the backs of little dominoes, then sets them as pendants, rings, brooches, earrings, etc.

So many pretty designs! Her name is Tara Campbell and the company is Odd Bird. Here's her etsy shop. She's Canadian! Despite trying to beat up on them athletically at the moment, we can still show the northern neighbors some consumer love.

Even the back is pretty.

Cutie kitties. There are so many designs, I swear you'll find one you think you can't live without. And on that note, I'll just be navigating away from her website right now...

Mom gets in tomorrow and cat fur is coating every surface. I gotta go clean.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I love it when...

...I hear strains of the national anthem coming from the other room. It means we're kicking some ass. RAWK.

This thing is part of what's keeping me sane.

It's my first knitting project ever. A scarf. Coming along nicely, no? I'm alternating between this and a crochet project that I'm not at liberty to discuss here. Yeah, so we'll just leave it at that.

I also watched The Outsiders last night. You ever seen that movie? So good. And so many handsome boys who have become even more handsome men... Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, and that kook Tom Cruise. I also busted out my old videotape of Speed. Are we noticing a trend here? Hey, if it works, it works.

I'm also waiting for Netflix to deliver disc 2 of season 1 of Mad Men. Sometimes Netflix gets my movie and turns it around in like a day and sometimes it takes forever. And, you know, I've got time to kill these days. When you don't have cable, your TV watching options are limited. --Oh.. just looked at their site - they're having issues this week. Well I guess that makes two of us.

Today I stopped into this huge estate sale to test out that buying and selling things theory (picture above wasn't taken there, but it works). I didn't find anything, but I did come out majorly depressed. As if I'm not already. But no really, this was truly the saddest. Scrapbooks from the 40s full of pictures of high school friends, ribbons and newspaper clippings all labeled with handwritten notes. Football game programs preserved and placed in plastic sleeves. Carefully compiled photo albums dating back to the 20s. Piles of discarded old family photos and portraits. Stacks of hand-written recipes and other favorites clipped out of newspapers and shoved into boxes. Just a whole mess of things that I couldn't believe were marked with price tags and up for the taking.

Maybe I'm too nostalgic, but I would give anything to have items like that from my grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. (A-E, that stash you have is such a treasure.) It just broke my heart. The whole mess of it did. I thought of buying up one of the scrapbooks, or one of the stacks - but they were just ridiculously expensive. Like $100. And for what? You're really going to put a price on memories at that point, when you've already decided they're not of any value to the family anymore (and aren't those the people they should be most valuable to)? Just doesn't make any sense. Oh well. Whole thing reminded me of when Alicia found those letters at the estate sale, and shared them with us. I think they sorta got to her too.

So, anyway, how obvious is it that Bob Costas wears a toupee?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Waiting for it

I think everyone's already seen these prints - now booklets - from OrangeBeautiful. I put a little star by them recently, and then, upon revisiting them today, realized they seem now very appropriate for my current situation.

I know, I'm working on it.

I will, soon. How much time is one really allowed? It's fine for now, but once the sympathy trains roll out of the station - and they will roll - then what?

Yeah, I'm still waiting for that surge. Like, okay, I'm ready to take on the world. I do love that surge. Meanwhile, I don't know. Those are my three favorite words these days. "What are you going to do?" I don't know. I do appreciate the comments from you guys though. Really sweet of you.

So, plans for the rest of my life, I'm still pretty iffy on. But as for right now, I'm still maintaining a modicum of activity. For example, I am..

-reading Ladies and Gentleman, The Bronx is Burning. Holy cow, so good. It's the history/non-fiction lover in me coming out, I guess. And New York lover.

-organizing all my recipes into a binder. I'd started this project a month or so ago in earnest, and then, as goes many things, the work tapered off. I need to create some really cute outside cover for the binder, so it doesn't look like office supply.

-trying to talk myself into working on my resume. That's going to be fun.

-planning new temporary career of buying things and then selling them on eBay..? I can really see that going well. (please note sarcasm) I can at least enjoy going to a few estate sales in the meantime.

-still avoiding well-meaning coworkers. I just can't deal with that. Am hoping plan to sneak into the office late tonight to fetch my stuff works out.

-snuggling with the kitty. He is near constant companion, and very sympathetic.

-attempting to discern the meaning of life. This girl looks like she's got a handle on it. All one needs to do is don bikini and smile.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Unemployment brownies

So, okay. What do you do when you've moved half-way across the country for your dream job, and then six months into it (I'm rounding up here), you get laid off? Well..

-Cry, a lot.
-Watch old movies.
-Alternately crochet and knit while watching said movies.
-Sleep some.
-Make brownies.
-Eat them.

May I present, unemployment brownies (the recipe comes from my sister-in-law). I love these because they're tasty and I'm willing to bet you've got everything you need to make them in your pantry right now. Which is awesome when you're all red-eyed and tear-streaky and don't want to leave the apartment. Whee!

Unemployment (aka Alison's) Brownies

1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup oil

Mix these together, then add
2 beaten eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix some more, then add
3/4 cup of flour
1/8 tsp salt

Mix til it all comes together. If you'd like, add
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips on top
(I did the latter)

Bake in 9 in square pan at 325 for 30 min. Then do like me and eat them straight out of the pan. Or with ice cream on top. Yeah. Oh and don't go messing with the order of things. I tried to do that once and they turned out gnarly. So just follow the order and stuff.

I'm thinking tomorrow I might make Martha Stewart's homemade mac-n-cheese. This will require a trip to the grocery store though, so we'll see if I make it out of my pyjamas.

Oh, and seems like everyone can see photos fine 'cept for my mom and E. So you guys need to change the resolution on your screen or something. Or maybe try different web browser?

Oh, and yeah, I really did get laid off today. Thanks, economy, for killing my dreams - you're super!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

More monorail, plus question


Mom and I just sat and cracked up over this for several minutes. I think we watched it 10 times. If only the DC Metro flowed with monorail cats. Make sure you have volume up.

Also, we had pulled up my blog on her computer and I noticed all the pictures and videos were chopped off on the side if they were horizontally oriented. I blog at home on a mac and on a pc while at work, and it always looks fine on both my computers. But my mom's pc and my friend E's both do this chopping off thing. I link to photos in flickr and size them so they fit - any ideas why it's doing this kooky thing on only certain computers? Any tips?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Getting a little Bob Barker on ya.

I'm web/blog surfing.


But $60? It's so small! This has something to do with the fact that this lady is in the UK and I am not, yes? Because they now use dollars to wipe their bums? Yes, I'm sure that's what it is. $30 would make much more sense, which when you do the math...

For groceries? You are the coolest if you walk out of Whole Foods with this bag full of gourmet cheese.

Hmmm, YES. I would rock this on my car.. if I had one of those cars with like fifty stickers on it.

Fo reals. I am a BIG fan of the lolcats.

Thanks Stacey for turning me onto (and Elements of Style for reminding me of how cool it is) the fabulous website Obey the Pure Breed, which is where those last three came from. Thankfully there are non-pure breed options there (mostly in the vein of lolcat stuff) for those of us who prefer mutts/mixed breeds from the local animal shelter because we would rather save one of their lives than buy an animal from a person who breeds them for profit-- but, er, I should really get off that soap box now. It's an opinion, you know. Just do me a favor and spay and neuter your pets. Meanwhile, someone I know really needs that "I poop rainbows" onesie for their baby.

And now, here is the original lolcat (and shelter cat). My dude.

I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon and will return Monday. Not that four days without a posting from me is reason to cause alarm or anything but, you know, have a good weekend and stuff!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Meet Willard!

Isn't he handsome?

Democracy in action my friends. Well, not really. Despite my rallying and voting, the polar bear never won an open vote at the Berkley Blog. But somehow (comments, lots of comments) my pleading and begging was heard. And now he has arrived. Even better, I love his little bio:
"Meet Willard the Polar Bear! This rosy fellow is the Chairman of the Board for a successful popsicle corporation. His ingenuity in the frozen novelty field is unsurpassed and he's currently working on a flavor that is so secret, he has to carry the recipe in a briefcase handcuffed to his arm."

Plus, I can't help but think how dandy and color-coordinated he will look alongside the tray. Yes, that tray. Which, okay yes, I might have bought. But I had a percent-off coupon, and free shipping. And clearly a deep love and adoration for it. Plus I waited like six weeks or so before I finally caved. My, how it will look good alongside Willard!

Thank you Ryan and Lucy!! Here's a little Q&A with them, if you want to know more about these two. And of course the Berkley Illustration store is here. I'm treating myself to an 8x10 of Mr. Polar Bear. Yeah.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hair salon + time machine

I need a haircut. I'm really envious of Courtney, heading off to New York for a haircut. I miss LV (my own version of Corvette), but not that much. I'm heading up there in mid-September, but I don't think the hair can wait. So I asked the girl at work with the cutest hair who she goes to. Now I just need to make an appointment. And decide what I want done.

What are the odds I can go in looking like I do now, and come out looking like this?

You know... with a little bit of this.

And some of this sprinkled in.

And then I'd walk outside, looking just like this.

Well, maybe sans coat. It's a bit toasty out these days. But the rest of it, yes. What would it take to transform me into Francoise Hardy? Hrm.. I dunno. But I do know bangs are out. I tried that once in high school, and it turned out really ugly. Ruined my senior pictures. I'm not sure I can suffer through that again, despite my adoration for Mlle Hardy.

I'll just sit here and listen to her sing and wait for inspiration to strike. Thanks YouTube.