Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanks Giving

 Thanksgiving has past and now there is this tiny gap until Christmas where I can relax and not prepare for something. To be honest, having something to prepare for was quite enjoyable because I planned things out and made lists and followed the plan - and didn't stress.

I really enjoyed decorating my Thanksgiving dinner tables (because this was my first year as hostess). Hosting a dinner gave my daily life purpose where it has been sorely lacking since I became unemployed.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to spend it with everyone I wanted to. But my family was there in spirit: the tablecloths my aunt made and the pumpkin bread I baked with my mom, for example. I am thankful for my family because they've always provided a strong foundation in matters of celebration (and style!). And although our traditions have changed a lot in the past few years, I feel so fortunate to have experienced them at all.

Here's to keeping traditions alive in our heart as the future will inevitably bring change.

Cheers and Sláinte

Friday, November 9, 2007

Haiku; Perception of Others

The calm black water
holds the pale yellow moon light
and then lets it go.

For just one moment
night water reflects moon light
soft pale yellow, good-bye.

These were written sometime in early 2007. They were inspired by a painting my aunt made.

I think I enjoy the painting because it doesn't "look" like something my aunt would paint.

We've had recent conversations about how she comes off to some people as "all business" and "adult". I think she carries herself with great positivity, responsibility, and self-assuredness (even if that's not always what she feels on the inside). But because of these things, one wouldn't expect to see an image of such darkness come from her. I say darkness because of the literal color scheme and not the subject matter.

In our society, I think there is an expectation of adulthood that people become non-individuals, bland-minded, and part of the hoi polloi (remember in high school when you found out that your teachers were real people too?). America seems to really hate aging (especially in women) and does its best to make us feel inadequate past age 25.

So I think it can be difficult not only to be the adult and still manage to feel like yourself and not just somebody else's something or other, but also to experience our elders as they really are: whole, deep, diverse, unexpected, young at heart, wise, imperfect humans who were once where you are now.

We all need to work on judging and assuming.

Try to see the tree as a tree and not as your ideas about the tree. - Buddhist saying paraphrased

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup

I threw this together the other night and it was one of the best soups I've ever made. The amounts are approximate and I'll add more notes on specific ingredients at the end.

Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup

- 1-2 whole carrots, sliced
- 2-3 pieces of celery, chopped
- 3 bay leaves, whole
- 1/3 of a large onion, chopped (I used a Maui sweet onion)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut into bite sized pieces (approx. 1")
- 1 small/medium head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
- handful of fresh green beans, with ends trimmed, and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 whole Anaheim chili* with the stem removed
- 10 cups vegetable broth**
- 1 Tbsp. Overboard spice*** (A special blend of Rosemary, sage, Thyme, Cayenne, Marjoram, Black Pepper, Onion Powder, Celery Seed, and Lavender.)

Put all ingredients into a large stockpot with a lid and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and simmer until veggies get soft. Check it at 15 minutes but it may need about 30 minutes of simmering.


*Anaheim Chili
- These are the long and slender bright green ones that are less hot than jalapeños but add a lot of flavor to a dish. If you add it whole, it shouldn't make the soup very "hot", only flavorful. I wouldn't recommend substituting chilies unless you are familiar with the spiciness of them.

**Vegetable broth
- I'm sure any variety will be fine but I used a vegetarian "chicken" style from Whole Foods Market that you can get in the bulk bins in powder form. I used 8 cups water mixed with the powder and one 14oz. can of Swanson's vegetable broth (because I needed to use it up). I believe that the sodium in the canned broth gave the soup enough salt. With that said, if you used 8-10 cups worth of canned broth, be aware that it may be too salty and you should taste it and add water if necessary.

***Overboard Spice
- This blend is available from Spice Traders & Teas. However, most of the ingredients are common in a well-stocked spice rack and you could mix up a Tbsp. worth yourself.
- I put the spices in several layers of cheesecloth and made an herb sachet (see instructions below). They also sell small cotton sachets with a draw string at specialty tea stores (and maybe Cost Plus) that would be good for this purpose.
- Alternatively, if you put these spices in the soup loose, the larger pieces of lavender, celery seed and rosemary may have to be picked out of your teeth. You could try grinding them to a powder just before use, but you'll probably want to add a smaller amount of the powdered form.
p.s. I made the above "How To" myself. I'm interested in graphic design and would be willing to help others on small projects for practice.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Title Collage

I spent...geez, about 8 hours putting that collage at the top of the page together. It is almost completely comprised of my own photos. The Buddha statue and the space background are not my creations.

It serves as a partial replacement for the typical "about me" section that these web pages usually provide.

I'd appreciate any feedback on it.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Fears and Phobias

I was afraid to look out the window at night until a few years ago because once, when I was 9 or 10, I saw a face in my grandparent's kitchen window. After waking the entire house up with my scream, it turned out to be an oddly shaped planter on a window shelf.

It's interesting how we pick up phobias or irrational fears of things along our journey through childhood. I've had the following completely irrational fears over the years:

- nervous about calling businesses or people that I don't know personally on the phone.
- having to shut all doors, drawers, and cover all windows before bed (or else the boogeyman would come, duh!).
- not letting my foot hang outside the bed covers for fear that some carpet or under-bed monster would eat my foot.
- having to sleep with my back against a wall at all times.
- going to new places by myself.
- an inability to pop a balloon with a pin.
- for just one night, I really believed that the television could turn on by itself and an evil girl would be able to emerge from the screen and get me. That particular night I ended up sleeping in a room by myself with a T.V. For some reason though, I thought if I turned the T.V. on, and kept it on all night, the evil girl couldn't get through.

I have the following TOTALLY rational fears (in my opinion):

- seeing distorted or melting faces.
- contact with black widows (and other poisonous or possibly poisonous spiders).
- losing my teeth.

And, I'm totally not afraid of any of the following (except if there was actually danger):

- pets and wild animals in general.
- heights in general.
- small spaces.
- flying (except take-off and landing - give me a break).
- dentists.
- needles.
- clowns.
- crowds
- public speaking (if I have something to say)

I can't think of any more major phobias at this time. If you feel like commenting, I'd like to hear some of your IRRATIONAL fears in particular.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


:Wumpscut: is probably one of my top 5 favorite bands (a few others high on the list are Skinny Puppy, Front 242, and Depeche Mode).

If you like Electronic, Industrial, or Gothic music you may have heard of them. If not, a good place to sample their sound is at

Most bands sell the typical merchandise along with albums such as posters, buttons, patches, stickers, etc.

However, :Wumpscut: is selling the following über industrial collectible which I think is AWESOME:

:W: Packing Tape
- Black printing on white tape
- alternating BKM & :W: logos
- 66 m
- Limited edition (72 pieces only)

First Blog Ever

I finally decided to break down and start a blog because I have a lot of thoughts about the world and it would be nice to put them in one place.

So this space is not specifically about any one topic because I am not about one topic.

I am a fountain of otherwise useless information, a strict generalist, an anthropologist, a Jane of all Trades.