Monday, July 30, 2012

Wait! Come back! I need stuff!

In my quest to read every ecological book the Madison Public Libarary system can throw at me, I've started up reading, Not Buying It: My year without shopping, by Judith Levine. I'm only in four pages so I'm not sure on the fine details of the project, but I do know that the main idea is to only buy essentials for an entire year. This got me thinking back to Madison's Maxwell Street Days from two weeks ago  - a three day span when the downtown stores sell their extra merchandise for a fraction of the cost.

I'm a yearly attendee. And while I do buy things here and there, I try to make the purchases with the thought of purpose in mind. This year I came away with a very nice hippie skirt from Ragstock - the kind that you wash, ring out, shake and then twist up again. While I know the skirt will be with me for years on end, there were some things for sale that seem to lose sense and meaning even before any cash is forked over. I feel like these are the things Levine had in mind when swearing off spending.
The estrogen jungle that is Urban Outfitters and hordes of sorority girls clamoring for thinning fabric. I used my zoom lens for this. Across the street seemed a safe distance. 
Have I ever met a "deep sea dandy"? Do I know anyone who would want to be one? ...Do I know what a dandy is? Google>Define: Dandy.

Wow! I've always heard about those types of magnifying glasses that start fires but I've never seen one until now! I wonder if it has other uses so I can throw out these reading glasses, this antique Coca Cola bottle and this larger, obsolete magnifying glass...

Difficult to read, but for those of you who still haven't made the switch to the Magnifire, it's a packet of Foul Mouth Gummies. You know. Just in case giving someone the finger isn't a gift in itself.
Because really, who wants their guests to think about butts when they use your water closet? We're more refined around here.
Che smiled to himself as the guards came for him. Yes, he would be dead, but his memory would live on through t-shirts in college frats everywehre. Let the revolution begin man! Brewskis anyone?
I would never buy anything like this. Never have I ever purchased anything so frivolous. Always the concerned spender I...

Damn it, I admit it! I bought a Bender scorpion magnet! It was a moment of weakness several years ago! But he totally sat on my fridge for years helping me keep a receipt up there... one from 2009... And while cleaning the kitchen last week I found the camper bender I also bought at Maxwell Street Days... gathering dust... I kinda forgot he was there...
How do people completely against consumerism do this? I don't think I can be completely against it. As you'll probably see when I post about the Thor action figure my husband and I bought from TJ Maxx last month.
I'm curious, what's the dumbest thing you've ever bought? One of those things that, at the time, you thought, "Dude! That's awesome! I must have this and put it somewhere!", and months or years later you look at it and think, "Why did I get this again? And how do I best get rid of this?" Alas, for me it is not the Thor action figure. That one still hasn't lived out its hilarity.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Onions and a Dead Bunny

Cooking Adventure: Green Onion & Cheddar Popovers
Source: Cooking Weekends
The Bellydance Soundtrack: Houllou Houllou by Emad Sayyah
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 25-35 min.
"You want to see him do dead bunny?" Well, of course I want to find out what this could mean. So I grab my camera while my friend, Anya, lays her pet bunny, Oli, on her back in the crook between her outstretched legs. She coaxes him for a few seconds. "Come on! Come on! Do the dead bunny! Be a dead bunny!" Oli proceeds to go stiff with her feet sticking straight up in the air, to which Anya jokingly laments, "...Nooooo! The bun-bun's dead! Come back BUNNAY!" It's not a pigeon in a diaper, but I will never cease to be entertained by my friend's pets.
I solemnly swear that this bunny is indeed alive and is in no way included in the following recipe.
Meanwhile, I recently made some chocolate chili and have found myself in the possession of an exceedingly large amount of green onions.  Why do markets always sell them in bunches of five? Has anyone here ever used that many in one recipe? Apparently this is a common problem, as several other Google search results yielded other Internet cooks lamenting their overstock of the stuff. As using them in a salad is out for me**, I opted to go the yummier way and make cheddar & green onion popovers.

If you don't own a popover pan you can make these in muffin tins; however, I highly encourage using a popover pan. They'll taste the same, but you just can get as good of a bubble with the muffin tins. You can find the pans at most cooking stores for about $40, but a good chunk of people seem to not know what they're for. Hence, I tend to see them at Goodwill quite often. I also highly advocate borrowing - as I have yet to meet anyone who lives off a daily, or even weekly, popover supply. I imagine that, after a while, you'd start to transform into the shape of one if you ate that many.

This weekend is my last in town before my husband and I head up nort' der ya you betcha for the annual Iron County Fair. I'm thinking I'll enter a pie in the competition this year. Not sure it's going to beat the one I had last year, though: Chocolate Pecan Bourbon pie that sold at auction for $180 (These Yoopers are serious about their pie.).

*A note about this recipe: If you're using a muffin tin the amounts should give you enough batter. For a popover tin you'll want to increase everything by 1/2.
- 2 tbsp canola oil (I used olive oil & it worked fine.)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/8-1/4 tsp salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp green onion, sliced or jalapeno, finely diced
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Pour some oil on to a clean cloth or paper towel and coat the insides and top edges of the muffin tin/popover cups. (Gerlinde just put a tsp. of oil in each cup for hers, but she had some sticking. If you coat the cups with oil then you get a very clean popover with nothing sticking to the sides.)
3. Place tin into oven to heat about 5-10min.
4. While the tin is heating whisk together the eggs, flour, milk, salt and pepper until smooth & even. Whisk in the cheese & onion (jalapeƱo also an option; especially if served with chili).
5. Remove the tin from the oven and pour batter into cups about 1/4 inch from the top.
6. Return to the oven and bake for about 25-35 minutes or until the popovers are a nice, even brown. If you want dryer and stiffer ones you can turn off the oven and leave them in for 5 more minutes (Though I've always been partial to the softer, doughier kind - more fun to pull apart.).
Thank you to Gerlinde for her wonderful popover recipe! Definitely check out her blog, Cooking Weekends. She has a wonderful collection of recipes and very yummy looking photos.
**Main course salads make me angry. Like the Hulk angry. I eat all that food but I always end up still hungry after. But I can't eat any more because I already technically had my meal. If ever you sense that my blog post is angry, ask me if I tried to eat a salad. The answer is most likely, "Blue Faerie SMASH!"

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Define: "Boogie"

I had a friend send this to me two days ago and I've had it stuck in my head all day. It's catchy, hilarious, and proves that I'm very much a white girl. The conversation with my friend went like this:
"What's a boogie?"
"Aren't they saying beauty... but weird?"
"No, it says in the lyrics right here, 'boogie'. Hold on a second. I'm going to look this up."
"This is just sad."
"Hey! I'm educating myself. Here we go...'to get going'... wait a minute, that's a verb that doesn't make sen- ohhh...."
For those of you who are also embodiments of the Stuff White People Like phenomenon, a boogie, as defined by is jail slang that's:

"Referring to a person who the inmate, or person, is unaffiliated or unaware of. To call somebody Scram Boogie is pretty much a dis as it indicates that you are an unknown, a nobody, undeserving of props."

And now you know! And knowing is half the battle! GI Joe!

I need to get out more.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's Okay to Drink This Yellow Liquid

Cooking Adventure: Yellow Watermelon Smoothie
Source: Spark Recipes
The Bellydance Soundtrack: Thriller Run by Unkle Ho
Prep Time: 5-10 min.

My husband and I brought in quite the haul from farmer's market last weekend. A newbie fruit to the purchases was a yellow watermelon. I didn't even know yellow watermelon existed, but now that I do I'm hooked. It's a bit sweeter than red watermelon and freezes really well. So when it came time to test it's smoothie possibilities the pieces didn't freeze together into one big chunk.

The song is one I've been using for my beginner dance students. We use traditional bellydance music so often for them that it's nice to change it up once in a while. This week we'll be moving on to tummy undulations and pelvic rolls - two of the more advanced beginning moves. I really enjoy the group I have this summer. They're always excited to be there and they're always ready to challenge themselves. Those are always the best classes to have. The most challenging are the ones dragged there by their friends and then continue doing the classes just because they paid for them. Hm. Perhaps I should listen to myself and apply this to my last pole dancing class for the year (Pole dancing stories soon to come. Be forewarned. They involve a lot of pain.).

 - 2 cups yellow watermelon chunks (Red works too. Ooh. You could have a mix and do orange watermelon!)
 - 1 cup cracked ice
 - 1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt (low fat vanilla works just as well)
 - 1 tablespoon sugar
 - 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
 - 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
 - Optional: honey to taste, and water to help blending. My blender isn't that amazing, so I added water as I went to help the process along. It really doesn't take away from the flavor at all... especially when you add about a tablespoon and half of honey to the mix. :)

1. Blend. You gotta love blended recipes.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Altered States of Reality

Every morning I check out the blogosphere to check up on the news, and lately there seems to be a common thread linking up several posts: reality. Namely, our battle against and for it, and the things we don't need in it. Let's start with the a common altered reality to tackle -  the modeling industry.

Leeanna, over at Can we have a new witch? Ours melted, brings up the long-contested issue of the images of women we see in everyday fashion - particularly in runway shows. The average runway model is expected to be size 0 to size 4 (a size 6 or above is considered plus size). Like most sane people, I consider this to be fairly insane. Last I checked, I didn't walk into the mall to see a large group of 110 pounders walking around (unless we're talking about preteens). What exactly is the average size of an American woman? According to WebMD "the average American woman is 5’4″, has a waist size of 34-35 inches and weighs between 140-150 lbs, with a dress size of 12-14." Considering that these numbers are quite a bit higher than they were fifty years ago, you would think that the fashion industry would adjust their model choices appropriately in order to fit their target audience.

Alas, modeling and advertising isn't about showing us the reality we already have, but rather a reality that we must spend the rest of our lives attempting to achieve. I'm pretty sure it's easier to get into Mormon Heaven. If the average model represented the average human being, then a good chunk of us would be undergoing leg-lengthening procedures, starving ourselves, and ultimately dying before the age of forty. Then again, if we really want those model bodies, I suppose we could just follow Wikihow's seven steps on how to get one. Is that all it takes? Not according to an article from, which says that in order to get to a size 0, an average woman taking in 1200 calories per day would have to decrease that amount to 400 calories per day - an amount that officially falls into the category of starvation. Good thing Wikihow's instructions have convenient links to anorexia treatments right under step one.

So if we can't starve ourselves down that way, maybe we can just get close by eating healthy.  Unfortunatley, this brings us to another altered reality - the food industry.

The NY Times has an interactive version of this here.
Shopping at farmers markets has made eating real food a much higher priority for me lately (although will admit to having a secret shameful love for Slim Jims.). This involves paying much closer attention to the labels on the products I buy. If you've ever tried to do this, or if you already live this way, I truly applaud you. Finding real food is much more difficult than you might think. It's really shocking how much can be replaced by corn and soybean products - two crops that have become so central to processed food that they've taken over the industry. With over 70% of our processed foods containing corn or soybean ingredients, farms have turned to every kind of chemical and genetic engineering to get the highest crop yields possible. Even small farms are jumping into the business. Jane, at Hard Work Homestead, pointed out that her family passed several Amish farms showing Roundup Ready crops growing in their fields - a genetically engineered product of the food industry giant, Monsanto. The proliferation of corn and soy has had me running for the peripheries of the grocery store and haunting the fresh fruits and vegetables sections. 

The altered reality of beauty: BE SKINNY!, and the altered reality  of the food industry: IF IT DOESN'T KILL YOU IT'S FOOD!, seem to be at odds. We spend so much time and money trying to attain one and combat the other (organic foods are frickin' expensive). So rather than bitch and moan and move on, here are some things we can do to slowly make life better:

1. Save your money and paper. Don't by beauty magazines. Do we really need them? And how many times have you actually read a Cosmo and thought, "I feel so good about myself and my body exactly where they're at right now!" Didn't think so. Besides, we all know they recycle their sex advice anyway. Apparently guys still like nudity after thirty years! Who would've thought!

2. Educate yourself. Learn about the way we get our food by watching the documentary, Food Inc. For those of you with queasy stomachs, there is a bit with chickens getting slaughtered at a small farm, and a bit showing dead cows in a slaughterhouse. Otherwise, this is a very rounded look at the food industry without getting sidetracked by only animal rights issues.
3. Exercise. Like Elle Woods of Legally Blond says, "Exercising produces endorphins. Endorphins make you happy! Happy people don't shoot their husbands." And in addition to not murdering your husband, you'll also be happier that you could totally bench press those skinny models after only one day of weight training. Plus, you'll be less likely to want to be weighed down by processed food (resist the Slim Jims! I know, not hard for most of you. It's so deliciously shameful!).

4. Cook like Little Miss Vegetarian. She has some wonderful looking recipes over at her blog. Most involve fresh, organic ingredients, and would make anyone, vegetarian or not, drool. The Lasagna Al Dainty is on my list of foods to use to impress people at parties.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Make Way for Canoes!

Today was our weekly capital farmer's market trip, and the annual Paddle and Portage competition. Over 300 paddlers had 1hour & 45minutes today to navigate loops on our two lakes and a quick portage across the isthmus from one to the other. Most of the sea-faring folk came carrying canoes in the traditional manner, but others came up with some more unique ways to transport their transportation.

The competition is really more for the fun of seeing you can do it. Plus, anyone can do it! The race organizers team up with local canoe/kayak rental places to provide participants with sea worth crafts to take part. Participants don't have to worry about providing their own life vest either. My husband and I are thinking we might have to bone up on our kayaking skills and rent a two-person kayak for next year. Although portaging might be interesting as there's a good foot of height difference between the two of us (I offered to have him carry it while I ride on top and provide motivation. He seemed to think this was a bad idea. :P ).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Before you read this you have to know that southern Wisconsin has been in one of the worst draughts in years. We haven't had rain for over a month and a half. All the grass is dead, brown and crunchy. Corn crops across the area are almost gone. Heat advisories have been keeping most people indoors. This summer has looked and felt like an apocalypse.
I fell asleep in the middle of cleaning today. Woke up two hours later, looked out the window, leaped up, raced to the door with my camera and started taking shots.
You would think I'd never seen rain before in my life. Then again, you would think no one else had either. Almost all my neighbors were at their windows or outside in the downpour. Several of us had cameras and were snapping away. The kids were screaming and giggling and running through the puddles. One woman just stood there - hands turned toward the sky, her head back and her eyes closed, feeling the rain on her face.
Down the street the drains were plugged up with water and a mini-lake had formed next to our parking lot. Drivers each took their turn at the challenge. Some carefully snuck through at a crawl. Some idled around and eyed-up the situation (trying to decide whether they should ford the river or attempt to caulk the wagon and float it). Others surged on ahead spraying the small crowd that had gathered to watch the growing puddles.
I checked our own drain in our basement garage to see that it was almost completely stopped up with leaves. I stabbed at it with my broom for a while until my neighbor came down and used his snow shovel to help me clear the rest out. He had just come back from a soccer game that, at first, was almost canceled due to the heat. It turns out it got called on account of rain and low visibility. He said it's a no go when you have to bend over at a 90 degree angle just to see the ball.
Why is it that it takes severe and unusual weather to bring people together and outside? I met more of my neighbors today than I ever have. I got to see a whole crowd of people genuinely smiling and thankful at something as simple as a summer storm. Sans the lack of water, I wish we had moments like this more often.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Almighty Pen

Ah, cleaning binges. You never really realize how much stuff one person can accumulate until you see it all out in the middle of the floor in front of you - right before you get the urge to burn it so you can vacuum the carpet. In our apartment's case, the junk happens to be in the form of pens.

Most are getting donated to the local middle school, but a few are dead and gone. Madison's recycling program doesn't cover pens yet; however, in looking around for places I could take them I stumbled onto Terracycle. This company recycles and reuses almost everything other recycling plants won't take. They reward you points/cents for what you recycle with them and then donate that money to whatever school or organization you'd like. It would be almost pointless for one person (as the cost of shipping would outweigh the points earned), but it's a great system for businesses and community organizations. Below is a video listed on their site showing where just one of the items they recyle goes.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Artsy Hangover

This morning has my body feeling like it got a stimulant overload. I'm supposed to be cleaning in preparation for my parents visiting - you know, so for two days I can feign adult-like skills in organization and general housekeeping. Alas the bod has other plans. Here is the combination of factors that led to my current comatose-esque state:
 - 4.5 hours of sleep. My husband was in Chicago roller derby reffing, and I got it in my head that I could stay up and wait for him. Well he didn't get home until 2:30AM, and the chipmunk ended up reading his morning newscast at 7AM (i.e. "BIG NEWS! I'M A CHIPMUNK! I OWN THIS PORCH AND EVERYTHING ON IT! YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME!? HUH, HUH, HUH? PUNK! I'M A CHIPMUNK! I'M SO FERTILE AND HORNY IT'S INCREDIBLE! MATE WITH ME! PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!?)

 -  My mother and father in-law came to visit. My mother-in-law has the energy levels of the aforementioned squirrel.

 - Breakfast at a German restaurant. The waitress confused my order of a vegetarian bagel with vegetarian eggs benedict. It was so good, but I've never wished so much that the myth of the Roman vomitorium would actually come to be.

 - Art Fair on the Square. Madison's annual art festival that attracts artists from all over the country. The plus sides were that two of my favorite artists were there. One is Andrew Carson, a kinetic sculpture artist who makes the most fantastical sculptures out of metal and blown glass. I've had my eye on his pieces for the last five years, and his art has an official place budgeted out for it for whenever I find a house of my own. The other is Juli Adams, whose print, "Winter in Cuba", is hanging in my bathroom. Though it's likely to soon be replaced by my newest acquisition of hers, "Don't forget to brush your teeth." My husband also got a print for a future workshop - this one entitled, "Test Flight Scotty".
 - 95 degrees, and two hours of direct sunlight. Sweltering, beating, deadly sunlight. When a group of us asked the sun to come back last Yule, I don't think we were quite thinking about what we were asking. I think next year's Yule bonfire needs to have some qualifiers put on it.

 - My niece's birthday party at Gymfinity. Picture a large gymnastics gym. Now put extremely colorful blow-up slides, trampolines, a foam pit, and swinging bars in it. Now add about twenty kids between the ages of 2 and 6. Awesome. I give the gym major bonus points for the almost military precision they had in herding the kids from one activity to the next. And at no point did any child jump and land on any other child. There must have been several guardian angels working overtime in there.
 - My moment. I told my husband that we could totally make a faerie house out of the nativity we found at Goodwill. He said it wouldn't work out. He said it would still look like a nativity. I hot-glued  and hammered like crazy. I gathered faerie themed items from my drawers and wrapped and bundled. When it came time for present-opening my niece got almost all dolls - the princess from Brave (who all the little girls think is named, Brave), Tinker Bell, Strawberry Shortcake, etc. When she got to our gift (for all intensive purposes it was from both auntie and uncle), she exclaimed, "It's a faerie house!" There was a bum rush of tiny feet to crowd around and see what was included in the kit. The moms were asking us how we made it and half-jokingly asked if we took orders. Total cost of the house: $3.72. Total cost of the Pegasus and faerie figurines I bought to go with it: $15. Cost of being able to turn to my husband and do the I-was-so-totally-right-and-my-faerie-house-is-SWEET dance: well, you know.
And so, this morning I recuperate. Tonight I'm heading out to dinner with the in-laws once more to celebrate my husband's birthday. And in a few more days the chaos starts all over again with my parents. Maybe I should make a little white surrender flag that I can wave at the appropriate times.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Magickal Finds

I stopped by the thrift store yesterday to finally get rid of all the old computer parts we've had lying around the living room (FYI: don't turn printers on their sides. We now have some leaked ink splotches on the carpet to contend with.), and found this little lady. She was so different from the other dolls - i.e. she didn't look like she was attending a southern belle party where the theme was "Ah the children who have chewed on my head." It turns out that she's a handmade creation from Gretchen Lima - a doll artist in Tucson, AZ, whose dolls have been featured in multiple printed publications. Gretchen has some beautiful creations that range from gypsies and wise women to spirits and cactus ladies. She attends quite a bit of art fairs in the Midwest. And for those interested and in the Tucson area, she also teaches doll making workshops using guided imagery techniques. And judging from the photos of her students, it looks like you can come away with quite the creation yourself.

When I saw the doll I was surprised at how cheap the thrift store was selling it for. It looked like it was worth much more than the $1.70 I paid for her. It turns out that Gretchen's dolls go from $60-$250, depending on the detail involved. So I had myself my own little Antiques Roadshow moment. :) But in this case, it's a keeper item. Not like things like butt-ugly antique tables that you know the guy who brought one in, who inherited it from his great-grandmother, is praying to God that it's worth something and upon hearing it's several hundred thousand dollars does the largest victory dance known to man. And definitely not like this Satanic pig toy. That's another one the guy's definitely not going to be keeping around long.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Blue Faerie: Witch, Baker, Stonemason

Cooking Adventure: 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Source: King Arthur Flour
The Bellydance Soundtrack: Disko Boy by Shantel
Prep Time: 2-4hrs.
Cook Time: 35-40min.
I've recently learned two things:
1. It's more cost-effective and time-saving to buy your bricks ready-made at Home Depot. The time that goes into waiting for a brick to rise simply doesn't make home brick-baking a viable large scale production. Although I will say that kneading the brick was quite therapeutic. And the consistency is dense enough to withstand attack by hamster. In the future, however, I will be buying my bricks at the store or looking for alternative methods of construction. For those interested in the process and in very dense whole wheat bricks, the instructions are listed below. I recommend lots of jam.

2. Looking at my blog's audience and traffic pages is a bad indicator of my target population. My most popular post is the one entitled, "Preteen Hormones Invade My Life", solely because of lonely Russian and Japanese Internet users doing Google image searches for "preteen", "preteen girls", and "preteen doggy-style". Really not sure where that last one came from. Perhaps one of these days I will mess with that portion of the Internet with a cleverly written word association post, but for now all I can do is sit back and say: Ewwwwww....

 - 1 to 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water*
 - 1/4 cup vegetable oil
 - 1/4 cup honey, molasses, or maple syrup
 - 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
 - 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast, or 1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tablespoons of the water in the recipe
 - 1/4 cup nonfat dried milk
 - 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
*Use the greater amount in winter or in a dry climate; the lesser amount in summer or a humid climate.

1) In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine programmed for "dough" or "manual.") Note: This dough should be soft, yet still firm enough to knead. Adjust its consistency with additional water or flour, if necessary.

2) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or large measuring cup, cover it, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

3) Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8" log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 to 2 hours, or till the center has crowned about 1" above the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

4) Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. The finished loaf will register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center.

5) Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. If desired, rub the crust with a stick of butter; this will yield a soft, flavorful crust. Cool completely before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Eating Glass

Okay, not quite eating it, but using it to eat. My glass straws came today! Now I get to drink my breakfast smoothies in style. I got all excited at first because I thought of yet another thing that will save me money over buying plastic straws. Alas, doing the math I realize that four $40 glass straws vs. one hundred $1.99 straws will mean a grace period of around eight years... Oh, who cares? They're cool!

The company that makes them, Glass Dharma, has a lifetime guarantee on them. The straws are durable but glass implies breakage if you don't treat them nicely. Should it ever come to that, though, I can send the straw back to GD and they'll repair or replace it whenever I need to. This, of course, would cost me more money to send the straws back... Stop judging me! They're cool, okay!?

The next project? Hm, cleaning again, apparently. Does anyone else feel like they do this all the time? And you know what? I don't even have kids yet! I can't even keep my kitchen table clear for a full 24hrs! If I ever do decide to have kids I'm going to end up losing them somewhere in the swamp of laundry, toys, yarn and belly dance costuming. One day I'll be digging through my kitchen cabinets and find a thirty year old man living off our old spices. "Honey!" "What!?" "Do you remember when we got a kid!?" "Whoa, that was a while back! ...Check the expiration date!"

*Apologies for the overuse of exclamatory sentences. I'm celebrating Punctuation Day a few months early this year.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Huge implying vegetables

I feel like now would be a time to make a great joke involving the contents of someones pants, a grocery store aisle, or possibly the size of things to be found in Texas. In this case, though, I'm going to let the photos speak for themselves.

In a valiant attempt to save the entire planet alone, I biked up to one of the smaller Madison farmer's markets this morning. And yes, Dad, I got a cheap thrill from not wasting gas, and listening to NPR on the way there on my iPod, and bringing my own bag. And yes, Mom, I'm aware I've been living in Madison too long and that I'm becoming a whacked out hippie. Formalities aside, I did enjoy my cheap thrills. What can I say? I enjoy wandering around and gawking at the size of the turnips. I have no idea what to do with turnips, but I'm sure that for a root that's only $1 and is the size of my head I could figure out something. I passed up the eggs for today. Yeah, it's local. But my budget doesn't let me swing $3.75/dozen quite yet. I'm working my way up (And maybe one day having a house where I can raise my own egg-producers. If that one doesn't convince my parents I've leaped over the edge of sanity, I don't know what will). I did end up coming away with a cucumber and a zucchini for 50 cents each that have convinced me that I can never go back to grocery store versions again. From now on I'll just stare at the produce aisle, sigh, and think that they're just not as filling as that local veg. :) That's right. I did that. I went for the cheap innuendo.

I might continue dipping my foot in the stupid humour from time to time, but I will never again try to compare the size of vegetables using our laptop as visual scale. Now that I'm looking at it, having those particular veggies in that spot looks somehow not right to me... 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Making Holes and Mischief

The friends came to the rescue for moral support during the piercing... and for crowns.
Well, were I a betting woman then I shouldn't be. I was positive that my niece would come away with a half-pierced head, tears and screaming. But she didn't make a sound. Not one noise. Didn't flinch. Didn't even shed a single tear. I couldn't even tell when her ears got pierced. And just like that she was done, out of the chair, and trying on every pink item Claire's had to offer.

I don't know why I didn't put more faith in her. When she was one we got into a pretty bad car crash on our trip to California. My niece had been sleeping in the back when a car cut in front of us and we hit it at 50mph. Out of that whole ordeal my niece cried and screamed once - when the paramedic checked her heart beat. If a pretty substantial car crash didn't rile her, then ear piercing must have been absolutely nothing for her.

Speaking of piercings, one of my buddies took it to a level that few people I know would ever go to. A few weeks ago she went to to the Madison Ink Life Tour, got four hooks pierced through her back, swung back and forth through the air, and proceeded to grab my friend, Allie, and swing with her in her arms. She grinned while a group of us watched the video in what I could only describe as shocked confusion. Her reasoning was this: "Well, I like getting pierced, and I like swinging. So it would only make sense that being your own swing would be fun!" What's the written version of making creeped out noises? Aaahhhewwwwgroooosss. Yeah. That's about sums up my feelings on it. But gross or not, my friends are awesome.

Meanwhile, if you're also a mischeivious aunt/uncle/mom/dad/grandma/grandpa/friend with a friend who has a cat, I highly recommend this little book. I found it wandering through JoAnne's last week, and while I was intending to give it to my nieces as a gift... I think it's going to be a "special-stay's-at-uncle-and-aunts-house book" (i.e. mine). The author, Nick Bruel, apparently has a bunch of other Bad Kitty books, including "Bad Kitty for President", and "Bad Kitty Meets the Baby". The original Bad Kitty book tells the story of what can happen when you don't feed a kitten good food (like buffalo burritos and elephant eggs). It's the perfect book for my family in-laws, as they had a kitten that looked just like this not to long ago. They had to give it back to the farm they got it from after it started eating and puking up all their clothes.
Tonight is bellydance practice with a return to veils, zills and swords. I especially love teaching these things to beginners because whipping the sword out usually results in looks of fear before they realize it's not actually sharp. Granted, we have to practice balancing things on our heads first. In the spirit of a sneaky kitty, I might bring cups and fill them with water. How long can a dancer shimmy before losing her balance and drenching herself? No idea, but it's going to be a fun break from the heat. :)

Monday, July 9, 2012


I tell ya. You leave blogging for a few months and they go and change the format on you. So excuse me if the newer posts look a bit messy while I'm learning the ropes.

I used to wonder why there were so many abandoned blogs out there, and the reason is this: life. I don't know how people write those kinds of blogs where they focus on one thing and post several times a week. Seriously, you wouldn't think that one person could have that many things to say about make-up, or crock pot cooking, or... I don't know... pygmy goats.

So aside from deciding that I just can't narrow down the life that affects my blogging, here's what's happened since March 12th:
Testing the waters and the suite in Lake Superior

 - My nieces are on the brink of turning two and five. The older one is convinced that she wants her ears pierced and her mother is letting her go through with it. I've been invited to see the piercing, but I'm not sure I can manage it. I know there will be screaming and crying, and have a running bet going with my husband that my niece will either come away with no, or only one, ear piercing.

 - I tried a pole dancing class and discovered that I hate pole dancing. I had one hour-long lesson and it took me about a week to recover from the bruises and metal burns all over my arms and legs, and the pain in my back muscles. I now have a bit more respect for pole dancers than I did before (those ladies are true athletes), but I have less need to go see a show now.

 - We bid on two houses in the last few months and have been outbid both times. This is, without a doubt, the most frustrating part of home-searching.

 - On a happier note, my bike is fixed up! I got new tires and no longer have to worry about tire rot making them explode. To celebrate I biked to work the last few weeks of April (about a 2hr ride round trip). I also just got new wheels, so the bike doesn't cry rust at every turn. The next bit will be replacing the brake system and getting someone else to wrap the handlebars (I apparently  don't have the patience to do them better than a ten year old, so they look a little ratty.).

 - My husband is now an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church and is booked up for two weddings. He got the certificate in the mail back in April and it proudly sits amongst his desk clutter with the rule of, "Watch out for my minister certificate! It's holy!" If the state of Wisconsin actually cared about who married whom then I might worry a bit more about the state of the certificate. As it stands, however, I'm pretty sure one of those pygmy goats could do it and it'd be legal.

 - I finished reading No Impact Man by Colin Beavan and have since started reevaluating exactly how much waste I produce. I had a bad sinus infection the week I finished it, and, feeling quite guilty about the amount of cough drop wrappers and used Kleenex adorning my garbage can, I sewed up some handkerchiefs out of fabric scraps. I've also been checking around town to see where I can get things in bulk. Seeing as this is a new obsession with me, I'll update everyone on these new discoveries as I go. Things to come: glass straws, the most awesome washing machine ever, adventures with straight razors, and toilet toys.

Now I suppose the only thing left is to see how many days go by before my next post... well, interesting post. Should this attempt to jump back on the horse last only a month or so, giggling and rolling of eyes is absolutely in order.