Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Do you enjoy wings?
Tasty, delicious wings?
Tasty, delicious wings slathered in yummy sauce?
Then you gotta go to Gatorz.

There is a location in Port Charlotte, FL and the new one in Ft Myers, FL where i went for dinner.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays wings are 25 cents and you can get them in a bunch of sauces, naked or breaded, and drumettes only, whatever that other part is called only or mixed.
They are dang tasty. I tried both breaded and naked -enjoyed both- in Frank's sauce which is a mix of teriyaki and hot which was a sweet and spicy joy.
This place also has live music every night - score!
I suggest sitting outside by the Tiki Bar.

Hey Rea -

... know what you use to wrap burlap around viking's feet?


Monday, February 27, 2012

help a sister out, Frack

Okay J, i tried to do an image search to figure out what the cool big white bird with the grey head from the last post might be, but i kept finding things like this:
and pictures of ibis and Siberian cranes that are obviously not the right species.
Could you please tell us what kinda bird it was.
Thanks so much.

nature versus nurture

Today while out on a golf cart constitutional i had two very different experiences with some birds.
As i started out i noticed a large white bird by the water's edge.

It was too big and bulky to be a heron, plus it had a grey head - i had no idea what it might be, a crane of some sort mayhaps - so i got closer to investigate.
He didn't fly away, but he was unamused.
 Can you see the hairy eyeball he's giving me?
Click on the image and look at that glare: he is deciding whether to shriek a warning or just flat out go for my tasty, tasty eyes.

Needless to say, as soon as the picture snapped i backed away slowly.

A bit later i was tooling around by the other lake looking for alligators and noticed a duck swimming out in the water. In the land of cranes and herons and ibis, a duck kinda sticks out, especially cause it was of the notoriously ugly Muscovy variety (sorry Rea).
After thinking Look, it's one of Rea's ugly ducks; that's odd I went back to searching the shoreline for gator tracks. About 10 seconds later i saw movement from the corner of my eye:

Whoa! How did you get here so fast?
Duck dude saw me, swam to shore and waddled right up to the golf cart looking for treats. No fear at all. I explained that i did not have any duck treats; he just looked at me and shook his tail feathers. I mean he made such a rapid beeline to the golf cart that he was still dripping water. I went about my gator hunting business and he just hung by me unable to accept that i could possibly be at the lake without treats.
I think you can tell which bird must live here and which one was just passing through.

there's a frog in the kitchen

I was getting myself some breakfast when i noticed a frog hanging between the Venetian blinds and the glass over the sink.
It was posed so perfectly in mid-climb, with each foot on a different slat so that you could see its whole body stretched out that i thought it was one of those resin ones you can buy to put on your flower pots.

It wasn't.
Dad and I worked to get him into a container

and then i took him over to the woods by the lake since i wasn't sure if he'd prefer land or water.
As soon as i put him down in the grass he just froze, hyperventilating a bit to collect himself after the ordeal.
Pretty quickly, though, he recovered and went about his froggy way.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Change of scenery

I'm taking a few days of shore leave to sit by a lake on the lanae.
Mayhaps this will be a chance to catch up on blog posts.
You know, maybe.

Hey - stop laughing!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

snort, snort, snortle

Geeky, science humor slays me -for obvious reasons.
The R&D team has been working on a science humor experience and i can't get this joke out of my head:
Two atoms are walking along when the first atom exclaims, I've been robbed; someone took one of my electrons.
The other atoms asks, Are you sure? and the first one replies, Yes, I'm positive.
Honestly, it busts me up.
For the last week it has been playing in my head.
Sometimes i will be sitting in the van or reading a book or doing sudoku -minding my own business- and a little voice inside -with no warning- says Yes, i'm positive, sending me into a fit of giggles.
Then people look at me like i am deranged.
This is a problem.

Yes, i'm positive.

Monday, February 20, 2012

you know you are surrounded by crazies when...

on the notice board by the staff elevator
... and the best part is that people are taking them.

why i love my job, part947

Since it is a school holiday, I'm in the museum today.
Last week the director of education bought a small digital synthesizing oscillator and i decided to take it out on the floor to play with teach kids about sound.
That is cool.
Then he brought over a multi-key analog oscillator so that i could play with teach kids about the difference between analog and digital.
That is even cooler.
I had everything set up on a cart with speakers and an amp, but needed an extension cord. While searching in the back, back, back of storage, guess what i found.

Go on... guess...

What could possibly make my explainer about sound even better?

Did you say a big honking drum?
Cause that's what i found in the back, back, back of storage.

A double-head, shoulder-slung drum that MATCHES MY UNIFORM!
So today i got paid to go play with teach families about different ways to make sound: physically, electronically and digitally. We were jamming. At one point a 2 year old was banging the drum from his stroller and smiling maniacally like a rock star.
Plus, now i have a drum by my desk.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I've never participated in Baltimore's Restaurant Week.
Sometimes it has been money issues, sometimes it has been timing, but mostly it is because i don't pay enough attention to when it is happening.
fTM Felicia was talking about trying a restaurant in Hampden that she'd never been to, called Alchemy; her intended companion kept changing the plans so she finally just gave up on him and asked me to go with her. I agreed cause i'd never been there, either, not knowing at all that it was indeed Restaurant Week.
Three Cheers and a Tiger for lower prices!
Located on the Avenue in Hampden, Alchemy is located in a refurbed row and doesn't look like very big from the outside, but it has dining space upstairs and down, as well as a bar.
They describe themselves as Modern American cuisine, which in this case means lots of ingredients and normally out of Niki's price range. Luckily, the Restaurant Week menu had an impressive number of selections.
 Felicia started with French Onion soup and I went with crispy flatbreads with beets because i have never in my life willingly ordered something with beets as a main ingredient. They were diced and roasted, then mixed with bleu cheese and applewood bacon. It was surprising delicious and i loved the little cripy herb garnish.

For our main courses, Felicia had the crab mac and cheese which she described as very rich and full of hunks of crab meat, while i had the chorizo burger - it was phenomenal.
that knife is so cool
Obviously i took off about half of the arugula because even i couldn't possibly fit that in my mouth and removed the tomatoes cause ewwww; there were caramelized onions and Manchego cheese on the sirloin/chorizo blend patty. Never, ever have i tasted anything like it. Served with homemade chips and green chili mayo i can't recommend it highly enough.
It was a pleasant lunch with good company in a cheerful, brightly room. Plus, with the reduced prices, it kinda felt like we were getting away with something.
I'm not up to anything; what makes you think that i'm up to anything?

quick quotes 8

Spending the weekend with Colleen in NoVa; things get pretty silly by 1am.
C: Why would the soap even BE there? It's not like i am going to wash my face in the toilet.
N: It is a bad day if you're washing your face in the toilet. Something has gone really, really wrong with your plans if you are washing your face in the toilet.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

T-Rex Trying

We all know that i am short (5'2"and three quarters), but it has been pointed out that even for my stature i seem to have kinda short arms. Really, my arms aren't that short, i am just super long torsoed (thanks Dad) so both my arms and legs seem proportionally short. Some of my closest friends and colleagues enjoy referencing the tyrannosaurus rex when helping me reach things on high shelves.
Why am i telling you this?
T-Rex Trying is a tumblr account that was brought to my attention last week when we were telling a bunch of science jokes (yes, we are geeks, but it was actually for a project; wait, does that make us bigger geeks?).
It is a series of drawings of a lovable t-rex trying to do ordinary things like jump rope or clean the windshield or use eyedrops.
With my wee little arms it is the funniest thing i have ever seen; i was laughing so hard that a co-worker came from the other side of the room to make sure that i was breathing. There are a few that are sad (trex trying to win an auction breaks my heart) and some that cut waaaaay to close to home (trex trying to get food from a buffet with a sneeze guard; i actually look like that if i want something from the back row - make salad bars only one row people!), but mostly they make me snort with laughter.
Given my penchant for ribbon dancing on the Segway, this is my favorite.

He just looks so befuddled.
I'm keeping an eye on their t-shirts cause i will scoop that up if it ever appears.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

life-hungry stupidity

One of my all time favorite books is Life of Pi by Yann Martel; I read it a few years after it was a best-seller, after all of the hub-bub about it had died down. It is a fabulous tale of faith and survival and tigers. I love it; you should read it if you haven't.
Today i have been pondering existence, survival. Yes, that is a bit deep for the keeper of the sparkle ponies, but we all have our thoughtful sides sometimes. I like Pi's take on it, in this week's quote:
Some of us give up in life with only a resigned sigh. Others fight a little, then lose hope. Still others - and I am one of those - never give up. We fight and fight and fight. We fight no matter the cost of the battle, the loses we take, the improbability of success. We fight to the very end. It's not a question of courage. It's something constitutional, an inability to let go. It may be nothing more than life-hungry stupidity.

Monday, February 13, 2012

the joy of arthropod devastation

If you are from a coastal state you probably have some sort of relationship with a local shellfish or mollusk that others don't quite understand. Be it lobster boil or oyster shucking or sucking crawfish heads, there are foods that bring us all back to the maritime traditions of our homes. Here in Maryland we eat our blue crabs steamed and covered with Old Bay from a communal pile.

Michelle, Anastasia, Will, Debbie,
Cassie, Sue, John, Reggie, me, Denise
 The connection between Marylanders and the blue crab is so strong that when your birthday falls in a non-crab season month (like Cassie and Denise from Objects Found) your friends will still gather in a crowd for crabs.
Yes, they had to be brought in from the Carolinas and yes, they are 5 times more expensive than local crabs in the summer. But the stomach is no different from the heart in that it wants it wants. If a winter baby (or babies) wants crabs for a birthday celebration then by jimminey it is gonna happen.
Picking the meat from these bad boys takes patience and practice, resulting in hours of hanging out with your friends, hands covered in spicy goodness. The crab feast is a time honored tradition here that transcends all socio-economic boundaries. Even in a nice restaurant the crabs are dumped directly onto brown paper covering the table and everyone digs in like primitives, ripping claws and legs and swimmerettes off with their hands.
After knife and mallet, bucket and paper towels, a good time is had by everyone, except, of course, the crabs. 
mmmmm... tasty carnage

Friday, February 10, 2012

don't sneak up on me like that!

Now that the jewelry show is done i can back to doing things like laundry and posting on my blog.
All of the headway i made in December on shortening the queue was blown in January; i mean i haven't even done New Year's Eve yet.
In an effort to be productive this weekend i am sorting picture folders on my camera, computer and thumbs and all of a sudden i am confronted with this:

I thought i had deleted every version of that heinous, creepy, nightmare-inducing photo.
What is going on with that middle girl?
What happened to her EYES?
Crap, i am never going to be able to sleep tonite.
So, of course, i thought i'd share.
You're welcome.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


The Soroptomist jewelry show over the weekend at Object Found was an unqualified success for me.
Item 3# on my 40 While I'm 40 list is to create a line of recycled jewelry. To determine the number of pieces necessary to define "a line" i did a lot of sciencey stuff - namely, guessing. I gave myself the following goals:
-20 necklaces
-20 bracelets
-20 rings
-40 pairs of earrings
which seemed easy several months ago when i picked the numbers, but seemed more and more ridiculous as the date approached. I was allowed to use new hardware and findings and new seed beads (often they don't survive through the decades), but everything else on the jewelry -beads, baubles, accents, chains, etc- had to be recycled from vintage or broken pieces. Plus, there could be similar pieces, but no duplicates.
(and this would be why one of my new year's resolutions is to set reasonable goals for myself)
The show opened Saturday at 11am and i had the following stock:
-20 necklaces
-23 bracelets
-17 rings
-53 pairs of earrings
YIPPEE! I made the goals. Yes, i was 3 rings short, but i ran out of ring blanks having experimented with several different adhesives. Plus, since i went over on bracelets and earrings i figured it was okay.
The six jewelry vendors were set up in the antique store amongst everything; it was a tight fit to say the least.
The pictures don't really capture the cuteness of my table (bad lighting), but here you go:

It was important to me to only use repurposed items for display; if the line is about recapturing the beauty of old and broken things it seems silly to have fancy new display pieces.
A pair of candlesticks was saved from my neighbor's spring cleaning and flipped over to hang necklaces.
This lighting fixture was taken out of the upstairs apartment a few months ago and salvaged from the trash. After ripping out the ancient electrical bits, scrubbing it, dremeling holes and applying several layers of glitter spray (cause who can't use a bit of glitter spray now and again?) it made a fabulous earring tree.
Glasses were flipped over to showcase bracelets
and bracelet/earring sets.
 (with my own amethyst chunk)
A vintage mirrored kaleidoscope reflected these bracelets while many pieces ended up just draped on the table, which worked out nicely because every time something sold i rearranged.
For some reason there is no picture of the ring bowl with which i was quite pleased; i took a vintage relish dish from my collection (yes, i have a collection of relish dishes; i love them for some reason) and filled it with flat pebbles and clear beads so that the rings could be stuck down in and they would stand upright.
I sold over 20 pieces which may not seem like a lot, but astounded me. Even after contributing 20% to charity, i made enough to pay for all of the supplies i've purchased in the last months leading up to the show. Breaking even on your first try seems like a win to me; selling any of my stock now is pure profit.
I am reconfiguring my Etsy store to include the jewelry. I called the line ReWearables. Someone already owns the website for a used clothing line, so i need to check if the different spelling means that i can trademark it.
I've been asked to participated in the community Spring Fling in May and Reggie -the owner of Objects Found- has already asked me to reserve the first weekend of February for the jewelry show next year.
ahhhhhh... let's call #3 done!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

quick hello

I've been ill since Monday, hence the silence.

The jewelry show went great and i will have stories and pics up in the next few days.
Until then, i plan on sleeping.

On a totally different note, i think the trip to Alaska is back on. It might have been a fever dream, but i feel like Douglas said he isn't starting school until September so we are cruising in May. Just don't tell Fate.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


...shaking my fist at the sky

This is my desk right now:

Because this is the ceiling over my desk right now:

I can't go home cause i have a performance at 5:30 (for 7 interns; yes, SEVEN), but i can't get anything productive done, either.
I've had an allergy attack cause of the mildew from the leak and had to change my clothes due to an unrelated incident and sat in a meeting about governmental reports about blah blahblah something.