Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Dream Car

Isn't it glorious?!
Not only is this 1957 Messerschmitt KR-200 lovely, but it got 87 mpg when it was new.
The fact that I probably couldn't drive it up a hill if I ate a big lunch doesn't bother me, nor does the likelihood that it probably sounds like a lawnmower. Nope, all of that pales when I picture myself sitting in the driver's seat, turning the key, and then jetting off into the future.
(ok, the stats don't actually mention the vehicle's ability to transcend time and space, but can you doubt it?)

Here is the interior and the rear view:

These pictures all came from the Microcar Museum which has a dreamworthy cars a-plenty.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


I've been on the lookout for masks lately - mostly classic, plastic, cute animal ones like those above. Unfortunately, that specific set seems to be unavailable in the US, although it's cheap and plentiful in the UK, and I can't bring myself to pay the shipping.
Anyway, in my quest for masks of the cute variety I've run across some masks that were so weird that I had to share them:

I didn't know vintage astronaut masks would be so scary. Of course, it's nice to know that when humans go into space they transcend the need for gender identity.
And then there was this collection.
The monobrowed Native American fortune-teller(?) is kind of cute, while Frankenstein looks like he was drawn by a 14 year old. However, what got my attention was Little Boy Blue. Huh. It gives a whole new meaning to the "blue" in his name.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hibernation Halt

So what has brought me out of my blogging hiatus? The answer is: Mary Jane's annual Cassoulet Cook-off. It was as fun as ever, and a good time was had by all.
I'm afraid I don't have any pictures, but that might be all for the best since cassoulet is more mouth-watering than it is photogenic.
So why am I blogging about an event for which I have no photos and can only taunt you with various synonyms for deliciousness? The answer is: the Utilikilt.

Every year one of the top contenders for first place in the best-cassoulet competition is The Kilted Cook, a man who takes his cassoulet so seriously that he keeps a collection of duck fat on hand at all times (I like to pretend that he constantly scours ebay doing searches for vintage vats of the stuff). The first time I met him was the first time I learned of the Utilikilt, and ever since then I've been on a crusade to get Davis to wear one.

The Utilikilt is essentially a non-heritage-specific Carhartt-like version of a kilt.
Most men don't realize this, but chicks dig men in kilts. It's been scientifically proven. Ok, maybe my poll of 10 women wouldn't exactly be considered scientific, but 9 out of 10 women admitting to kilt digging still seems significant (and it should be mentioned that the one holdout was my mother whose lack of enthusiasm stemmed from a particular kilt-wearer who had annoyed her).

While I love traditional tartan kilts and all their accouterments, the wearing of them is generally limited to those of Scottish descent. The beauty of this new generation of kilt is that it doesn't discriminate by lineage (sadly it does discriminate by checkbook, though, as they start at $150 and go up from there).

I've heard that the look is common in the Pacific Northwest, but it's still quite rare around these parts. Davis has been hesitant to embrace these non-bifurcated garments because he doesn't like to stand out in a crowd, so my plan is to promote the look to others in the hopes that it becomes commonplace. The beauty of my plan is that even if Davis never becomes comfortable with the concept of wearing one himself, I'll still get to see plenty of kilted gentlemen strolling around town.
So will you all join me in this cause?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


It's so nice to cross something off one's to-do list isn't it? And it's extra nice when that something is "write a novel"!
Of course, the whole thing becomes a bit less of a triumphant experience when the item is crossed off not because it's a completed task, but rather because it has become clear that it's never ever going to get done, and it's best to just be realistic and move on.
Ever since I was a child I thought I might like to write a novel. I had a romantic notion of living in a garret in Paris and scribbling with a quill deep into the night, pausing occasionally to argue about philosophical matters with my friends and fellow writers in the local cafe. Well it turns out that I don't want to actually write a novel - I want to have already written it. I want the glory of being able to say that I wrote a book without actually doing any of the writing. It turns out that even when I have an idea for a story, I have absolutely no desire to toil away filling in the details.
I do still want to live in Paris though.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Slow-mo NaNoWriMo

word count=2,837
times I've said "I'm quitting"=3
times I've thought "I'm quitting"=42*
videos watched on youtube while trying to "find my muse"=70
favorite video involving a rabbit befriending a deer= this one

*make that 43

Friday, October 31, 2008

What Was I Thinking?

I'm not really sure what came over me, but I signed up for NaNoWriMo today.
I have no real plot in mind and only the vaguest of characters to throw into it, so I'm under no illusion that I'll be writing anything that anyone would want to read. Why would I think that writing a novel in 30 days would be an attainable goal for me? Is it that I feel I've honed my writing skills by being an incredibly prolific blogger? Errrmmm.....clearly not.

I can only think of three reasons why I would sign up for an event that is clearly going to be horrific:
a) I'm a masochist,
b) I lack the backbone to stand up to the peer pressure being applied by two people at work who are also doing it,
c) I remembered my college habit of preferring to tidy everything in the apartment to typing a paper due the following day, and I realized that NaNoWriMo's deadline offered the perfect opportunity for our house to get cleaned in places that haven't seen a dust cloth since we moved in.

I'm not sure if the undertaking of this task will result in my blog remaining unwritten for many weeks, or if I'll suddenly start posting up a storm in an effort to procrastinate once I've tweezed all the cobwebs from between the radiator pipes.
Oh dear, it's nearly time to time to tie up my hair with my thinking ribbon. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pretty Potations

I can't believe how fast summer is whipping by! Hopefully there will still be plenty of time to enjoy some deeeliciously dated summery beverages...

Davis and I were out flea-tiquing the other day, and I ran across a copy of a favorite cookbook from my youth: Betty Crocker's New Boys and Girls Cookbook. I was rather obsessed with food as a child (there are even rumors that my first word was "cookie"), and I used to love poring over this book. I don't recall how many recipes I actually made from it, probably not a lot, but I just loved looking at the pictures. There are plenty of the classic kid's goofy cakes and cookies, but for some reason the images that stood out the most were the soda fountain inspired beverages. I have to say, the pictures are still pretty appealing even if the thought of mixing grape soda and vanilla ice cream isn't.

Here are my two favorite pages (click on the images if you want to read the ingredients):

Here's a question for you: How do you pronounce "sherbet"? Do you say it as it's written, or do you stick an R in it and make it "sherbert"? Is that just a New England thing due to our habit of removing Rs from where they belong and putting them where they don't?
fyi - I used to pronounce it sherbert, but I've since gone upscale and now say "sher-bay".

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Video Valor & Villainy

The first two acts of the fabulous Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog are up now, and I highly recommend you check it out if you haven't already. It's a great introduction to the wonderful world of Whedon for those who have yet to become fans (and the only reason a sentient being wouldn't be a Joss Whedon fan would be an unfamiliarity with his work).
The popularity of the site is causing the video to bog down at times - my secret to dealing with this is to play the video in a background window with the volume off while doing something else, and once it is done, clicking the "watch again" doodad and it will now play through perfectly. I also recommend watching, rewatching, then watching one more time, as it gets better with each viewing. It will only be up until midnight on Sunday, so don't dilly-dally. Go now. What are you still doing here?
eta: If you missed it you can purchase all three acts for a mere pittance through iTunes. Trust me, it's worth at least seven pittances.

On a similarly wacky entertainment note, I've been watching the new series The Middleman and really enjoying it. It's a fun, funny, goofy, comic sci-fi action comedy with deliberately cheesy special effects and rapid-fire witty dialog. I only get about half of the pop-culture references (and that's being charitable - wait, is it considered charity if I'm both giver and receiver?), but that doesn't seem to hinder my enjoyment.
It's sort of like Men in Black, but centers around a female slacker who's in training to protect the world from evil.

Monday, July 14, 2008

One, Two, Cha Cha Cha

My studio is in a complete state of disarray due, ironically, to an attempt at reorganization. I get tired just looking at it right now, so it could be awhile before it's a useful space again. In the meantime, I thought I'd share some things that are making me happy:

1) I'm totally digging the Ray Charles cover of One Mint Julep.
I've listened to it countless times over the past three days, and every time I'm compelled to dance around to its glorious lounge-y strains while picturing myself as a Shag-esque 1960s animation. My rebirth as a 60s cliche has also lead me to try to convince Davis to take up smoking a pipe while wearing v-necked sweaters.

2) I just got a pinball machine!
A while back I discussed my desire to own my own pinball machine (you can read about it here - no really, read it) while oohing and aahing over the amazing graphics of some of the vintage games. Sadly, my machine is not one of the lovely ones, but at least it is a real full-sized arcade pinball machine. It's from 1979 and has pictures of "sexy" elves and these sort of dwarf/Conan type figures (the Barbarian, not the O'Brien) that aren't especially attractive, but the fact that it was found at a yard sale just up the street for just $50 more than makes up for that. It needs a bit of work and is currently sprawled across Davis' workshop, so I'm spending my time asking him "Is it ready yet?" "How about now?" "Well what about now?"

3) Son of Rambow - I just saw it a few days ago and loved it. So funny and sweet and adorably weird.

4) There's a new gallery in town that has lots of fun eye candy. This area has a ton of very traditional landscapes-&-lighthouses galleries, but the In Between Gallery is totally different - in fact, the owner made a rule that there will be no landscapes or lighthouses of any kind. Aahh, sweet relief! I was really impressed by pretty much everything she had on the walls, and most of the prices were quite reasonable for original artwork.
Here's a piece from there by FletchyO:

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Beatrix Ballet

I ran across a reference in a blog a little while ago (I believe it was one in my blogroll, but I can't seem to find it now - let me know if it was you!) about a production of Beatrix Potter stories performed by the Royal Ballet. You can see a video from it here.
I couldn't believe the costumes!
How had I never heard of this before?
If I had one of those costumes, I think I might want to wear it on a daily basis, and not just around the house, but to work, the supermarket, the bowling lanes, etc.... Obviously I wouldn't want to wear it in the summer, but it might really be nice and cozy this winter. Beyond just being a-dorable, the outfit could potentially be so toasty warm that I would want to set the thermostat lower, and as a result we could save thousands on our heating bill! It's really so practical that I think I neeeed one!
If you see someone who looks a lot Squirrel Nutkin when you're in town, please be sure to give me a wave.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Glorious Garlicscape

I've been wanting to purchase a CSA farm share ever since I first heard about them, but I kept thinking of it too late in the year. Most places want you to sign up in March, and around here we're not convinced that there will actually be a growing season until May rolls around.
This year I finally remembered to do it early enough, and I'm so glad I did. It's great to have a gigantic bundle of organic vegetables handed to you every week, and there have already been some I hadn't tried before. "Our" farm, Hatchet Cove Farm, supplies us with tips and recipes for braving this new world.
The pleasant surprise this week was a beautiful bundle of garlic scapes. Scapes are the leafless flower stalks that grow above the ground, and they get cut off to allow more plant-growing energy (green chi!) to go into the bulbs. More importantly, they're deeeeelicious when sauteed with butter and served with pasta. mmmm....I'm getting dreamy just thinking about it....
Sadly, I don't think the garlic that I'm still exhaling is quite as enjoyable to those around me who didn't get to enjoy the meal. Perhaps I should invite everyone over for next year's garlic scape banquet so we'll all smell equally well nourished.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Peonies, Pens & Pantone Colors

It's Peony season, and our yard is filled with them. With no planning on our part they seem to have staggered their growth habits to give us an exceptionally long flowering period. The tree peonies started blooming weeks ago with flowers the size of my head, and the regular ones with smaller but still sizable blooms are going strong now.
You've got to love a plant that demands so little fuss but gives so generously. My only complaint is the ants that invariably accompany them indoors, but it seems a small price to pay.

And the other joy in my life: my pens are here!
A few years ago I bought a bounty of inks (below). I didn't know what I was going to do with them, but they were on super sale and I couldn't resist. They dry too fast to be used by dipping a pen into the bottle, and not many pens these days allow you to fill them with your choice of ink. I thought a rapidograph might work, but didn't want to spend $25 for a pen if it didn't. Luckily it turned out that Davis had two as part of his dowry, so I was able to take one for a test drive. His collecting habits are so varied that it pays to ask him if he happens to have the most random things - the affirmative on the cheese press still cracks me up. Anyway, after discovering the joy of the rapidograph and seeing the great deals for new ones on eBay, I decided I neeeeeded to own several in various widths. I haven't had a chance to try them out, but I'm hoping to this weekend.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pendants Pending

I've been working on some pendants in my studio, having fun testing out materials, pens and designs.
Well, to be more accurate, it was intermittent fun and frustration because my drawing skills have gotten really rusty. I hate it when I have something in my head, and I realize that it's going to be a long learning process before I can bring it out of there.
My skinny pen died while working on that one of Mr. William Morris Minor, so production has pretty much stopped until my much anticipated Rapidographs arrive. I specifically mention these pens by name because the website says they're the sign of a serious artist, and I want you all to take me VERY seriously.

random aside: doesn't the one on the right look like it should say "Pow!!" or "Blammo!"?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Red Riding Hood Revealed

I've been puttering around my studio for the last several days working on a project that I hope to show you soon. In the meantime I wanted to give you a couple pictures from a vintage Little Red Riding Hood book that I purchased recently.

The blase expressions in this one crack me up:

I also love her bloomers and the shag-carpeted riverbank.

The second one is quite interesting. Does it look like Grandma is enjoying this a bit too much?

I like to think that the real story of Red Riding Hood might have been that Grandma was involved in a little role-playing game with a gentleman friend when Red walked in, leading to misunderstandings, mayhem and the birth of a masterpiece of children's literature.
What? It's certainly not any more perverse than what wikipedia gives as the original pre-Perrault version of the story. My version just features the amorous relationship between two consenting adults - no cannibalism or interspecies pedophilia here!
oh dear....I hate to see what the search engines will send my way now...

swing by the archives to see more petulishness
(the link is in the sidebar on the right)