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my new year’s resolution

Posted: January 2nd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: announcements, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

I don’t really believe in New Year’s Resolutions – I figure that if I made it through the holidays without killing anyone I’ve shown enough discipline and intestinal fortitude that I don’t need your steenking resolutions. But I feel like I miss out on that feeling of achievement people claim to have when they accomplish things, human enhancement and I hate missing out, viagra order so I’ve developed a strategy. Following in the footsteps of a college friend who once resolved to start smoking and gain weight (he succeeded), about it I am going to try to be lamer! And you for, the blog reader (if you do indeed exist) that means that you can look forward to a lamer, less interesting blog in this new decade! Congratulations!

Yes indeed, you can count on me to review movies everyone’s already seen, music nobody likes and books with small words and lots of pictures. My spelling will get worse and I’ll use lots of adverbs.  I’ll talk about what I had for lunch, post pictures of my pets in funny clothes and talk about how much I enjoy working in Foster City. In short, I plan to make reading my blog an experience akin to hanging out with your second cousin who you used to hang out with one summer in sixth grade, but haven’t seen since and who is now an insurance salesman.

Happy New Year!


is that a trumpet in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Posted: October 29th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

Pocket_Trumpet_Red_Set_PT-RWell now this is odd. I have a sudden urge to play trumpet again. Well, injection not that sudden – I’ve sort of been toying with the idea for a couple of months. But today I made the mistake of looking on craigslist for trumpets. Now, and I don’t have have the, medicine you know, money, to buy any musical instruments now, but – there are some hella cheap pocket trumpets out there! Plus, it’s a pocket trumpet! And possibly red! I mean, who wouldn’t want one of those? Look! It’s wee! It would make me look GIGANTIC!

This isn’t merely my compulsion to play every instrument I can get my hands on that’s making me think this way, although I’ll admit that was what started it. I played trumpet in grade school, and then baritone, french horn and tuba in junior high (I was too small for the tuba and had to sit on a telephone book to be able to reach the mouthpiece comfortably). I never did learn to read music, at least not at any kind of useful speed. I used to write the fingering above each note – my own version of trumpet tablature. I guess I didn’t realize that other people could, you know, read the notes, and I used to wonder how the saxophone players had room for their fingerings.

So here’s my theory – maybe I can learn to read music if I pick up where I left off on the trumpet. It could work, right? (Baritone or french horn would work just as well, but they’re really expensive.) Then I could be A Musician! Who reads music! Or, to be more realistic, who makes noise. But different noise.


It was a night OF DESTRUCTION!!!

Posted: October 25th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

It wasn’t actually, one health those are just some lyrics from the song Blackout by Blackout, recipe one of the bands I coached at Bay Area Girls Rock Camp this summer. (These are in chronological order because I don’t play favorites. BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL MY FAVORITES.)
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Blackout – Blackout from Bay Area Girls Rock Camp on Vimeo.

And then there were The Silver Tigers, who were punk as f… all get out. I don’t know why they don’t have a video, but you owe it to yourself to check out their Teenage Jesus and the Jerks-style musicmaking.

Silver Tigers – Summer, summer, summer from Bay Area Girls Rock Camp on Vimeo.

So those were the first week. Then the second week I worked with one only one band, who I’m pretty sure were all the youngest campers in the second session. I had a great time watching them work together and develop their song. Truly a rock camp supergroup.

Recipe of Rock – Bugging Me from Bay Area Girls Rock Camp on Vimeo.


Why yes, I AM made of sugar.

Posted: October 19th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

It’s raining! And I’ve apparently turned into a Californian, this because that, migraine to me, justifies not leaving the house until it stops. And to think I lived in Seattle at one time. Can you imagine? Anyway, I’m not going to get my wish of staying in, because The Knitter and I are going to go out to eat and then to hear Gregory Maguire talk about stuff. I assume he will be green. We’re going to have to drive there, which means sharing the road with Californians, which is way scarier than driving in the rain. To quote Merlin Mann, expert at all things, “San Francisco is the first place I’ve lived where the *prediction* of rain makes people drive erratically.”

Oh, but that’s not what I came here to talk about. (I also didn’t come here to talk about my bad, bad hair today – yes, it’s curly, which may seem like a good idea, but it’s at this length were it takes on, unbidden, a helmet formation, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Short curly hair can be hard to deal with. It’s probably the source of the expression “to have someone by the short and curlies”. I’m pretty sure that’s where it came from.) I just popped in to announce that I’m attempting to add my old posts into the new blog, so don’t freak out when they show up in your rss reader. Because I know you, that’s exactly the sort of thing you freak out about.


well as long as nothing else is going on…

Posted: October 12th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

I played a show with a group who I think might be my new band, website like this For Fear The Hearts Of Men Are Failing! (I was on upright bass for this one.) No commitment… I’m just saying that if you hear an old-timey-punk-band  and the bass player is a middle aged dyke, viagra IT MIGHT BE THIS BAND!!! (Or it could be another awesome band who WE SHOULD RUMBLE WITH! …I mean we  should make their acquaintance for totally friendly reasons. For Fear The Hearts Of Men Are Failing are a very friendly group of individuals. In spite of my belligerent blog-demeanor.)

Seriously folks, this was a really good show. Think of it as a first date with someone you’ve been introduced to by a friend – theoretically you have a lot in common, but you don’t know what they’re really going to be like. So the show turned out like the opposite of when you are on a date and your date treats the waiter like shit. Which is… pretty great. I heretofore, in the sight of g-d and ARCHIVE.ORG give “For Fear The Hearts Of Men Are Failing” as many thumbs up as I have available at any  given moment. (Up to 13.)


As long as we’re blowing up the moon…

Posted: October 9th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

…I guess I can post.

Oh, visit this what? I have a new blog (which I plan to get the old blog rolled into soonish, visit this but database stuff is boring and looking at cute cat pictures is not, viagra 40mg so you know how it goes).

This weekend I went to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, in spite of not having a backstage pass of any sort. Yes, that’s right, I moved among the riff-raff. I intended to go on Friday to see Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, but he was the Late Mrs. Smartyboots’ (LMS) most favorite, and I’ve had a few too many LMS bombs lately, so I declined to go. Then I was going to go on Saturday, but I decided to clean my room, which was an AWESOME choice. Seriously. (Also, I am old and boring. But I have less crap in my room now.) And then, on Sunday, we had guests, so being the anti-social asshole that I am, I had to hie myself hither to Golden Gate Park, with 750,000 of my closest friends, to see Neko Case, or, as I like to call her, Kelly Hogan‘s front-person. (My imaginary girlfriend, Kelly Hogan, sings backup for Neko.)

When I got to the park, I was in approximately the Worst Mood Ever (mitigated by the fact that I had wisely stopped for a taco on the way there – had I not, I’m sure I would have eaten someone, and  not in a good way). People who were already there had warned me about how very very cold it was, and since I tend to be very very cold under most circumstances I brought lots of warm clothes to layer on top of my t-shirt and, let me tell you – IT WAS NOT COLD. It wasn’t even cold when I was walking to BART at the end of the day. And if I’m saying it wasn’t cold – dude. It’s wasn’t cold. So I was totally sweaty by the time I got there but, a t-shirt wasn’t warm enough… my life is hard, people.

Fortunately, the Neko Case show was exceptionally awesome. Kelly looked adorable (she had a new haircut and very cute shoes) and Neko looked like Neko (adorable, but in a more “I haven’t combed my hair in three days” way, which I not only respect, but fear, because her hair looked like what mine might if I hadn’t combed it in three days, but I have much curlier hair than she does, which is to say, I strongly suspect that Neko Case is way more punk than me). It was the best Neko Case show I’ve seen since the Furnace Room Lullabye tour when I saw her at the Starry Plough. So that was pretty fly. Then I “saw” Old Crow Medicine Show, who were good, but who looked like ants because they were about a mile away. They have a keyboard now. What’s up with that?  I’m actually asking – I could see that there was a keyboard, but not what it was doing. What was up with it?

Then I walked to BART from Golden Gate Park. I had had a (normal) awful experience on the bus on the way up to the park, so I decided it wasn’t worth dealing with Muni and the crowds, and I walked back to BART. (I keep mis-typing “walked home”, which would have been great, but time-consuming, what with having to go all the way around the bay and all.) It’s not a terribly long walk to 16th and Mission BART from the park, just 4 – 5 miles, and I used to walk up there every week back in the day, when I had more money than time… hey, waitaminit, that’s just like now…

Anywho. All was well, but then I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Apparently I was not hit by a truck, I’m just old. I think I might need a hip replacement. (Will that make me more hip? click here) I was very sore. I complained a lot.

BUT GEUSS WHAT!!!! It turns out I was getting a cold, so I was X-tra achey! So all you haters who thought I was too old can just BITE ME, because I wasn’t old, I was just getting a cold! HA! Okay, I’m a little old, but not that old. Also, Kelly Hogan has more gray hair than me, and she is totally dreamy. And, for that matter, so does The Knitter, who is almost as dreamy as Kelly Hogan, which is impressive because Kelly Hogan is essentially imaginary (as far as I’m concerned) whereas I have to deal with The Knitter on a day-to-day basis, and a real person being close to the same dreamy threshold as an imaginary person… well, The Knitter is an over-achiever, is all I’m saying.

(Tidbit for local folks who are looking for something to do at 6pm 7pm this Sunday – I’m playing bass with a new band called For Fear The Hearts of Men Are Failing, and we have a show at Book Zoo on Telegraph in Oakland on Sunday. I will have practiced with them 3 times at that point, so don’t get too terribly excited, but I am looking forward to it.)


some more Harriet

Posted: August 14th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: | Comments Off

Cross posted at yarnagogo

stuff Arial, abortion sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 15px; “>Harriet&me_kiss It was love at first sight when I met Harriet. I got her the weekend after my honeymoon – not the one with The Knitter, the first one, with Aura (aka The Late Mrs. Smartyboots). We’d been talking about getting a dog, and I wanted a weiner dog. I woke up that Saturday and said “Let’s go see if Milo Foundation has a weiner dog for us today!” And they did! Well, a dachshund-cocker spaniel mix. (She had the best qualities of both breeds – the dachshund trait of having one person who is THEIRS, and also the cocker spaniel trait of loving everyone. They sound like they don’t go together, but they did.)  All the volunteers were so happy that she found a home because they all loved her (in fact Milo volunteers continued to recognize her for years after she came to live with me) and it’s hard to find a home for an older dog. At the time I had estimates of her age as anything from 9 to 12 years old, but I decided she was 9 because she acted like a puppy.

Harriet_party About six months later, Aura died of skin cancer at age 24. There’s no way I can convey how devastated I was. Harriet had taken great care of Aura when she was sick, matching her energy level and being such a sympathetic companion, and she did the same for me. Walking with her was the only bright spot in my days back then. Watching her get so much joy rolling in the same damn patch of grass in the park across the street every day would always make me smile. She used to go to my grief support group with me, and inevitably cheered everyone up, at least a little.

Harrietm&m1_bed We went through so many things together in the last eight years and a month. So many moves, so many couches slept on, a new puppy (who I thought she would hate, but since I liked Miss Idaho I guess that meant Harriet could tolerate her), girlfriends, cats, hairstyles, another new dog (Clara added years to her life, I’m certain of it), her own backyard. Once she gallantly protected me from a big mean pit bull in west Oakland. She was my unfailing companion at social events where I would have otherwise been too shy to talk to anyone. When I met The Knitter, Harriet took to her immediately – she even rated Harriet’s trademarked Ecstatic Greeting, which made you feel like a combination movie star and ice cream truck and whatever the other most awesome thing you can think of is. For her part, Rachael immediately started letting Harriet spend the night at her house with me, and discovered the joys of having a dog.

Harriet&rnap Harriet was no spring chicken when we met, so of course she slowed down over the years, but up until the last year or so I was able to point at her tell people at the dog park “She’s 12 years old!” (and 13, 14, etc) and see a look of amazement on their faces. And hope – everyone wants their dog to live a long and active life like Harriet’s. In the last year she started Getting Old. She was incontinent, or at least wasn’t remembering where the right place to pee was, so she couldn’t sleep on the bed with us anymore. I knitted her a special blanket for her dog bed in the living room. Cleaning up after her was a pain, but it was the least I could do after everything she’d done for me. She was deaf, and would sometimes wander away and get lost at the dog park, so I’d find myself running after, waving my arms and calling her name till she saw me and trotted back.

Harriet_tidepool When I got laid off one of the upsides was that I would get to spend more time with Harriet, because I knew she wasn’t going to live forever (even though it was starting to seem like she might). In the last month or so I started to wonder about her quality of life – her trademark joie de vivre was ebbing. She slept a lot and sometimes had to be coaxed to eat her nasty prescription dog food. Then last week we couldn’t get her to eat at all. We took her to the vet hoping they would find something that could be treated easily with antibiotics or something, but no. She’d lost 5 pounds, too. The vet said we could hospitalize her and hydrate her, but there’s no way I was going to put an 18 year old dog who hates the vet through that, so we took her home. Harriet_running I finally got her to eat by offering her awesome stuff (and she somehow managed to find some chicken bones on the sidewalk, which is unusual in our neighborhood – I think the universe sent them for her). She bounced back a little but not much. She was already suffering enough, and I didn’t want to wait until she was in acute pain – The Knitter and I have both already seen that with humans, and we weren’t about to put Harriet through that. On her last day she got cat food for breakfast, and we shared some smoked salmon and laid on the bed and read for a while. Then we went to the dog park and she got some of my bagel with cream cheese. Everyone complimented her. I had to carry her back to the car, but I think she enjoyed it. Then she got her own special raw tri-tip, and we went to the vet and said goodbye. That may be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I was so lucky to have Harriet. When I got her I wanted a dog because the people I saw at the dog park on the way to work seemed to be having a lot more fun than I was – I had no idea how much I would love having a dog. Harriet was a dog who made everyone smile and got along with everyone (unless you were a cat or wanted to keep her from eating something she found on the sidewalk). I know your dog is nice, but Harriet was the best little dog in the whole world. I got to live with her a lot longer than I expected and I’m supremely grateful for that. I’ll always miss her.

Nobleharriet


Best. Summer. Ever.

Posted: July 4th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: | Comments Off

Okay, pilule technically, I am still unemployed, which is sub-optimal, but I’m taking full advantage of all the extra sleeping time, so I’m going to go ahead and say this is the best summer ever.

the little fellaFirst off, I have a new nephew! And we share a birthday! So we’re like this (making finger-crossing gesture, which makes it hard to type) already! And he’s a cute little guy!
My SIL is Korean and especially in the first pics we got, I thought he looked very Korean and hardly honky at all. So I asked my brother about it. He said that all the Koreans think he looks Korean with his eyes closed, but very western with his eyes open. It just goes to show. Something. My brother says they still can’t tell what color his eyes are. I like that he’s leaving an element of mystery. I mean, since we already know he’s going to be an awesome banjo player and all, once I teach him.

The other big awesome of the summer – Bay Area Rock Girl’s Rock Camp!!! Yay Rock Camp!

I was aware of the original Rock Camp in Portland – it’s existence even softened my zero-tolerance stance on that city, briefly. I loved the idea of Girl’s Rock Camp the moment I heard of it, so when I came across a craigslist posting looking for volunteers I thought to myself “What the hey? I’m unemployed, and I play a ton of instruments! I should volunteer!” And then I did. And it was a great idea! Rock Camp is awesome!

So the deal is, the girls get there on Monday, and they form bands before lunch the first day. Some kids are there with a friend who they want to have a band with, but not everyone is. The only rules for bands is there needs to be at least three people, and there needs to be one drummer – no more, no less. That’s it. Then they go to instrument lessons. Some girls knew how to play something when they got there, but my impression was that most didn’t, and that many were playing instruments they didn’t have experience with even if they knew how to play something else to begin with. At lunch there was a band every day, including these amazing rappers, Las Krudas Cubensi from Cuba, who a) were amazing and b) seemed to be pretty stoked to be playing at noon for a bunch of little kids (the camp is 8 – 18 year olds, but the first session was weighted more heavily toward the younger kids). Then there was either quiet or loud band practice, and workshop. Workshops were on songwriting, zines and the history of women in rock, self defense, image and identity (all the volunteers got choked up when they heard about the return camper who said that, when people were trying to make her feel bad because of who she was or how she looked, she would think about the image and identity workshop she’d had at Rock Camp), and screen-printing. Oh, and Wednesday was Alternative Instruments day, where the volunteers brought in instruments that weren’t taught at camp – since I am the Ruler of Alternative Instruments, I brought a mandola, a lap steel guitar, an accordion and an upright bass. Oddly, the lap steel was by far the most popular instrument – there were actually two of them, and there was still a line. Country music fans take note.

But, alternative instruments aside, loud band practice is where I came in.
I was a band coach, which means that I have music experience but not so much experience with kids, whereas band managers have experience with kids but not necessarily with music. I worked with two bands, both of which were made up mostly of 8 years olds (and a couple of ten years olds). And those girls were awesome, each in their own way. I’m not being a sap, I’m just reporting the facts. They were SO good at working together – at the end of the week one of the volunteers said she thought her band had more maturity than she could ever hope to have at age 27. And really, I don’t think I saw any problems in those bands that I haven’t seen in bands I’ve been in – practice is too long and everyone’s tired, one person isn’t listening to the others, someone hates the lyrics but won’t say anything… I can assure you in my future bands when everyone is tired and bored I’m going to suggest we all go outside and play Duck-Duck-Goose (although we all got to make up our own version, so mine was “something-something-BANJO”).
In one of my bands there was a girl (who was also the second-smallest kid at camp) who was so shy she could barely talk, and another band had a girl who was… I’ll just say she was very energetic and had a hard time focussing her attention. And, naturally, they were both awesome, because all the girls were freakin’ awesome. They gave me a lot of compassion for 8 year old me. It can be tough being eight. One of the rules at Rock Camp is the “right to pass” on anything you don’t want to do. Another one is that you listen to the people around you ( the recommendation is saying “yes, and” instead of “yes,but”). The “right to pass” was really empowering for my shy little friend (okay, and can I just say that she was the most adorable little thing ever, especially when she was playing at the showcase and SMILING while she was onstage), and the “yes, and” philosophy – it definitely took some reminding from the adults, but it seemed like it worked. Kids have all kinds of motives, just like adults (duh), but mainly they’re looking for the path of least resistance, and “yes, and” is a great one*. I am here to attest that Rock Camp is a really good environment for encouraging their native awesomeness – it looked that way before I volunteered there, but now I’ve witnessed it myself and I’m sure. I think it’s not so much playing music as an artistic pursuit as getting to make A LOT OF NOISE. I think that even the girls who, in the long run, will never be in a loud punk band got something from the opportunity to try it out for size. Which is not to say that there was no real music going on – at the Showcase there were a couple of bands that were, like, two practices away from being a “real band”.
The Showcase happens at the end of the week – it’s a real show at a real venue (in our fortunate case, it was at the Oakland Metro Operahouse. It was approximately one hundred thousand degrees inside. I think that may have been the hottest day of the year so far. Some of the kids were complaining that they had to get there WAY before the show started, which meant that I got to school them on being in a band, which is to say, you have to get there before the audience and you have to stay until after the show’s over. (Actually, I had the best success talking to them like they were musicians – albeit very short musicians – then like they were kids. It’s lame to say you have to pay attention even in the part you’re not singing – much better to say that when she’s not singing, the vocalist can help her bandmates by listening and encouraging or making suggestions. Again, nothing I haven’t encountered in the bands I’ve been in**.) I hadn’t seen all the bands at camp and, dude, they were great. Yes, some of them were great in the “it’s a kid’s show” way, but it was a kid’s show where the kids had total control over what they did. Kids have their own take on things, and it’s fucking interesting to see them get on stage and show you it.
Also, I just have to say – I went into Rock Camp with a healthy respect for teachers and people who work with kids, and after a week of it – OH MY GOD. I got there in the afternoon, and I was really only around them for four hours a day, and my main job was to help make sure they were having fun, and it was fucking exhausting.

Which brings me to my other most favorite thing about Rock Camp, which was the volunteers. When I went to the first volunteer training I walked in and had two thoughts – “Oh boy! Punk rock girls! I haven’t been around them in ages!” and “OMG they’re so much younger than me!” I mean, really, SO much younger than me. And they were so fucking awesome and inspiring. (Do I understand why so many of them are dressed like it’s 1985? I do not. But since they’re doing, and they’re the cool kids, you can expect to see it in your local mall in 2-3 years.) I used to be in a cool punk band, over ten years ago, and I kind of walked away from the whole scene – for a lot of reasons, but most of them had to do with just being disillusioned. There was a lot of high-flying rhetoric, but there were also a lot of personalities that got in the way. And there was just getting older and not wanting to go out every night and stuff like that. And, truth be told, there was a lot of “yes, but” from all corners, including mine. At some point (for me it was a very conscious decision), I decided that my highest priority was to have A Job and Make A Living, which is a fine goal, but – maybe a little harsh. I mean, when I decided that, I became a telemarketer for two years. That’s harsh. Then I hung around with hipster cynics, and started to buy what they were selling and think that the whole punk rock thing was bogus (especially since the very bogus version of it is so widely available). So it was downright revelatory to get to work with these women who are coming from a very punk ethic (I haven’t asked so I don’t know how many of them would identify as punk, or if the kids are even doing that anymore) and to see it work. Our first training was essentially on the spirit of rock camp, reminding us that the campers are awesome and empowered and can make their own decisions, and the second training was practical stuff like the schedule, different people’s roles, legal reporting requirements and also a reminder about non-gender-conforming campers, which was also great. And, day to day, I saw a lot of people looking out for each other, looking for things that needed to be done and taking up slack, and supporting each other. Just like with the campers and their bands, it’s easier to do these things over a week than over a year, but I just as lucky to have seen my old punk rock ideals in action as I hope they do have been in a band for a week.

So this blog post is ostensibly about the Best Summer Ever, right? Now, I must have convinced you that my new nephew is awesome, but that was over a month ago. And Rock Camp is awesome, but that was last week, right? DUDE! IT TOTALLY GETS BETTER!!! Because I get to go to Korea to help my SIL come back with my awesome new nephew! AND! I thought that was going to happen during session 2 of Rock Camp but IT DOESN’T and that means I GET TO VOLUNTEER FOR SESSION 2 ALSO!!! I love it when a plan comes together. YES! I get to volunteer at Rock Camp (and, oh hey, the second session has a turntable class, which I would like to pop into, since, as far as I can tell, turntablism is magic.) AND I get to go to Korea and get fed until I pop, AND also meet my new nephew before anyone else (especially those who would want him to learn a mundane instrument, such as mandolin****).

* yes, I know it’s from improv – how lucky were these kids to learn about it without having to wait til they were in high school or college to learn about improv!
** although, to be fair, the singers in the bands I’ve been in who didn’t play an instrument were all really good at listening to the non-singing stuff***
*** that’s also not a secret dig at the instrument playing singers I’ve known. And now, I will quit while I’m ahead.

****Kidding! Mandolin is swell!


WORST DAY EVER

Posted: May 29th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: | Comments Off

And it’s not even noon yet.

First I wake up with a Grateful Dead song in my head (Casey Jones, approved a particularly inane choice). Then it changes – into a reggae song! Good god I hate reggae. And in keeping with the stupid song theme, check it’s Smoke Two Joints by the Pop O Pies*. So I share my pain with Twitter, and some hippie is now bugging me about not liking the Dead.

AND THEN I realized that even before Casey Jones came along I had woken up from a dream where I was hanging out with Elvis Costello, who I hate. (I know, I know – almost everyone who’s musical taste I respect loves Elvis Costello, but – I’ve tried. Every Day I Write The Book still makes me want to smash the stereo every time I hear it. He produced The Pogues’ first album, though, so I’ll give him some credit for that.) The only good part of the dream was that my glasses were cooler than his.

Also, I’m on day 7 of this fucking cold and I’m still stuffed up. Someone should be punched.

On the other hand – Yay! Maker Faire this weekend!

* Why do I know all this if I hate the music so much? I was a college radio dj in the late 80′s, that’s why.


notes of a domestic scientist

Posted: May 21st, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: | Comments Off

My new desk is so awesome it’s inspired me to blog! That’s pretty fuckin’ awesome because, medications looking at my statistical blogging frequency over the last year, if there’s one thing I hate, it’s blogging. – But enough hating – I have a new desk that is both shallow and wide, and has a keyboard tray, and on top of that it’s orange, and on top of on top of that, it was FREE, so, in the spirit of being cheap -

I made noodles last week! Cooking dinner is one of my new houseboy duties, since I no longer win the bread. I haven’t actually made the bread yet (I made noises in that direction and The Knitter did it within a week, because she is competitive like that), but I made the noodles! And I have to tell you that, even without a pasta maker machine thingy, it was really easy and TOTALLY WORTH THE EFFORT. Seriously. I used the recipe out of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything (the edition previous to the one currently on the bestseller list), and an internet tutorial on how to cut pasta if by hand, and it turned out great. And (this is the secret of cooking at home to save money) it was at least as good as pasta I would expect to get at a restaurant for $30-$40 a plate (or more, but even when I had a job I wasn’t making that much money).
This is the recipe: 2 cups flour, 2 eggs. Put ‘em in a food processor and let it run. Take the dough out and let it rest for a while. Roll it out real thin, fold it like you were folding a letter to put in an envelope, cut it into strips of appropriate width, unfold them (this is the most tedious part) and let them rest for at least 15 minutes. Then cook it and put some of your tasty homemade pasta sauce on it. Srsly, that’s how easy it is. I reckon if you had a kid between 6 and 10 to unfold the pasta it would go faster (I would have thought that was a totally neat thing to do at that age). Yes, we’re yuppies and have a food processor, but it can’t be that much harder with eggbeaters or what-have-you, right? And at the store the other day I saw “fresh” package fettucini for five bux a package – even with the fancy free range eggs I insist on getting ours was probably $2 or less. Also, I’m avoiding carbs these days, so I feel that if I’m going to have them they should be better than perfunctory – they should be delicious. These definitely met the delicious carbs criteria. Therefore I say unto you – make your own pasta! At least once!!!

Also, the mulching continues apace. I usually go get mulch when I have a reason to be in that part of town (it being a good 15 minute drive away). I got some the other day while I was taking my brother to the airport to go to Korea and be reunited with his wife. On the way home I picked up a load of mulch and now the yard is about 3/4 covered – and the biggest patches of foxtails are covered, too! (Apparently foxtails thrive in areas that dogs pee, which explains our yard – the previous owners had a chow who had run of the yard, and then we moved in…) Once I’m done killing the yard, I think my next project will be pruning. And possibly painting the kitchen. (If this alarms you, as it does The Knitter, feel free to offer me a full-time job. Remember – only YOU can prevent pistachio-colored kitchens!)

In closing, I haven’t yet seen any giant Cheeto’s, and this is causing me much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Does anyone on the Bay Area know where to find them?