Friday, August 30, 2013

a little Friday randomness

I reached into the drawer at work to grab a marker to change a sign. After using the red and the blue ones I went to put them back and realized the box was not in rainbow order. Immediately I dumped them out and made it right.
Made it right?
I'm not compulsive about everything, but sets of coloring implements must be in rainbow order. Must. Be. How else would I be able to find the exact color I need instantly? Today is the first time I really realized i'm compulsive about it.

Goofy wears Goofy slippers.

The state flower of Maryland is the Black-eyed Susan which I have always considered to be a more serious version of daisies.
I took this picture two weeks ago because July and August is the peak season for Black-eyed Susans in Maryland.
MENTAL MORSEL: Since The Preakness is run in May, the blanket of flowers that is draped over the winner is not made from Maryland Black-eyed Susans; in past years they have been brought in from other states or are yellow daisies with the middles painted black. 

How come you can sit in a store all alone for hours and as soon as a customer walks in you have to piddle?

Street performers and buskers make me happy and I have a special affinity for living statues.

Today's Public Service Announcement:
Do not -for any reason- grab the barrel of a curling iron that is turned on; it is hot, people.
BTW, if -for any reason- you do grab the barrel of a curling iron that is turned on not only should you run cold water on it, submerge your hand in an ice bath for 5-10 minutes and it won't blister. Don't ask me how I know or why I am bringing it up today.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

a little explanation can go a long way

To really understand
what is going on
in this photo
and my expression, 
you might need
to know my motivation
during this shoot.

You see,
I was pretending that
the Ugly Duckling
and I had been
invited to the same slumber party.
The other girls wanted to watch a movie that was too scary for me so I hid on Ducky's back and was peeking around his neck at the screen.
It makes perfect sense now.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

using the emotion instead of drowinig in it

I saw an interesting quote on Twitter yesterday by C. Joybell C.
Don't be afraid of your fears. They're not there to scare you. They're there to let you know that something is worth it.

I've spent a goodly portion of the last year afraid:
What am I going to do?
Am I making the right decision?
What if I run out of money?
What if I wait too long and can't find a job?
What if no one likes my work?
What if people laugh?
Should I expand?
Should I show my art?
Should I find a physical location?
Am I nuts?
And on and on and on.
Quite a bit of the time I can deal with the fears one by one and slay them with truth, but sometimes they gang up on me. I suppose that everyone has those moments of fear and doubt when they wonder about the validity of their choices and the worth of their life, it just all feels so different to me since I used to be so sure about those things.
Which is why I love, love, love this quote.
If none of my decisions mattered there would be no fear.
 But they do matter.
And this adventure that i'm on -though terrifying- is worth it.
It really is.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Last week fTM Felicia and I got together for lunch. She suggested a Korean chicken place called Bonchon on Rt 40 in Ellicott City. It is part of a chain- five countries in Asia, five states on the East Coast and randomly one store in California- but I've never been there. After a hilarious adventure of trying to find the place -she had said a Korean chicken place by the Crab Shanty and I knew exactly the building she meant so she never mentioned the name of it, except that there are actually four Koran restaurants within sight of the Crab Shanty - it was time to eat.
They are famous for their fried chicken, but Felicia said she was going to get something called bibimbob because she'd had it there before and really liked it.
There is a dish called bibimbob?
Obviously I was going to order that regardless of what it was.
I did however check the description to make sure there were no green peppers:

After verifying that the red pepper paste was hot red peppers and not sweet red peppers I was ready to give it a try.

Felicia ordered hers with seafood.
I wasn't sure if I wanted the bulgogi (beef) or tofu so I asked our server who said Get the beef before the words were completely out of my mouth (he says that the tofu makes everything too dry as it sucks up all of the sauce; don't order it).
The red pepper sauce is served on the side so that you can put on the amount that you want and then you stir, stir, stir everything up. The pot is really hot so there is some crunchy rice on the bottom; you really want to make sure you get that yumminess scraped off and mixed in.
To say that it was delicious doesn't even begin to cover it. I still have no idea what the bright yellow veggie was, but I highly recommend it.
Plus, it is fun to say!
I suppose that at some point I should try their chicken, but i'm not sure I could ever go there and not order the bibimbob.

Mental Morsel: Bibim means mixed in Korean and bob means rice so the name of the dish describes how you are supposed to eat it. Interestingly, there are an equal number of recipes on line for bibimbob and bibimbap, which appear to be the exact same thing. I don't know if bob and bap both mean rice, are from different dialects of Korean or is just accepted confusion of trying to spell a word in English that is not English. (though frankly they don't sound alike)
Okay, Scopi: do you have opinion of this?

Saturday, August 17, 2013


I have a serious pet peeve about parking.
Obviously you need to be within the lines to be parked legally, but I really, really, really think people should park straight and in the middle of the space. Yes, it takes 5-7 extra SECONDS of your life to pull in, partially back out and pull back in straight and centered, but now everyone around you can get in and out of their car without banging doors PLUS others can use your car to judge the straightness of their own parking job.
It is not that hard, people.
This might be my strongest pet peeve - stronger than my archeology/paleontology thing, even stronger than my hatred of the word brontosaurus - as anyone who had to practice parking the vans for me can testify. For that reason I am a very deliberate parker.
Can you imagine my distress pulling into this nightmare of confusion?
There are multiple lines going in multiple directions, everything is faded and nothing lines up with the cement stops.
This is wrong on so many levels.
If I had yellow spray paint I would totally go remark this parking lot in the middle of the night.

Friday, August 16, 2013

kind of a mess

It's a miracle
that any paint makes it to
 the canvas at all.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

the perils of marketing

Sometimes when you work on any project for too long you really can't see it anymore; that's why editors and proofreaders have jobs. But sometimes even the professionals only see what they expect to be there.
Case in point:
Over the weekend I accomplished some important things on my list so I treated myself to some KFC cause nothing says You really hit it out of the park today quite like sodium-rich, deep fried poultry (and no, I didn't get mac-n-cheese or a biscuit).
I feel like they must have redone some of their packaging since the last time I indulged because the white branding over the monotone lettering seemed unfamiliar.
As I was cleaning up the trash I picked up the box and recoiled as my eyes saw this:
I realize that it says Colonel but with the placement and capitalization how is it possible that NONE of the people who created or proofed this design didn't notice the giant COLON?
Now I can't unsee it and frankly I don't really want to be thinking about anatomy while I am eating my chicken; I have a hard enough time trying not to name the muscle groups as i'm chewing them.
And of all the anatomical parts to be thinking about... face it, we only really associate the colon with polyps and poop, neither of which I want to be imagining with my coleslaw.
Somebody at Yum! Brands needs lashed with a wet noodle.

Monday, August 12, 2013

3D mural

Baltimore has a lot of murals; I mean, a LOT. There have always been murals around town, but in the last few years there has been a big redevelopment push. It isn't unusual for several new murals to be finished on a regular basis.
Last fall I heard about a new 3D mural.
ummmmm... what?
It wasn't your standard trompe l'oeil 3D - of which I am a big fan- but an actual anaglyph (red-blue) 3D mural. I've never heard of such a thing. Curious about how well that would work on such a big scale I decided to try to find it one Friday Adventure day with Lydia.
Of course that doesn't mean that I actually looked up where it was or anything.
What would be the adventure in that?
We met at Sofi's Crepes for lunch. The same two guys have been working there every single time I've been in so we always end up talking to them. I knew the mural was somewhere off of Charles Street, so Lydia and I were reasoning where we should start the search when one of the crepe guys chimed in that he thought he knew where it was.  That is, he could narrow our 15 block search area down to 3 blocks so after our butterscotch crepes Lydia and I went on the hunt.
Since it was an adventure led by me there were many U-turns, going-around-the-blocks and just as we honed in the correct block, the street was closed due to a giant water main break.

So not surprised.
Only one block of Charles St closed in the whole city and it was the one we needed.
But we would not be thwarted.

After several passes around the fenced off gaping hole in the world we caught a glimpse of the mural, found a parking place and set off on foot.
The block was deserted; it was a little eerie actually.
The mural was in the lot of an abandoned filling station. Sure it looked foreboding, but there was a gate so i'm pretty sure we weren't trespassing.

There she was!

Or rather, there was most of her,
partially obscured by the ancient gas station roof.
Really, people?

Ahhhhh... that's better.

Up close she was huge.
I mean, I know that murals are big, but we normally view them at a distance to see the complete image so to stand right up next to the wall really shocked my sense of size perception.
It also highlighted the artists' amazing use color.
Have you ever really looked at the pattern of red, blue (cyan to be precise) and black in a 3D image?
It was cool.

But now for the real test.
Lydia had snagged some old red-blue glasses from work and we set about trying to trick our brains to see this lovely lady in three dimensions. She had brought glasses with two different shades of blue filters and we tried both of them, mixing them, flipping them and every other combination we could think of.
It worked.
Oddly, it worked better when we switched the proper red-blue eyes.
It wasn't perfect, but given the scale it was pretty impressive.
There is no way I could capture the effect on film, but I had fun shooting the mural through the glasses any way.
Both blue and red.
Both shades of blue together.
Just red.
How freaking awesome does that sky look?

The mural can be found at 2011 N Charles St and remember to bring 3D glasses.
For more info, here is the original Kickstarter campaign where you can read about the artists XXIST and Jake Warford and here is the update page, which includes a link to a half hour documentary made about the mural's creation.

Friday, August 9, 2013

stick with the delicious brekkie

My body is very good about letting me know what it needs.
If all I can think about is bananas I know I have to find some potassium. Gatorade is sugar, peanuts is salt, beef is iron, and so on.
I'm sure it would surprise you to learn that my body can be stubborn.
And insistent.
Sometimes I am in a situation that is less than optimal for complying with its cravings. Sometimes I am in completely the wrong place.
You know who doesn't care?
My body, that's who.
So when i am planning on treating myself to a nice working brunch with free internet and my body insists that we are gonna drop dead if we don't immediately consume red meat I might make questionable choices.

Today's Public Service Announcement:
There is a reason that you never hear anyone say, I could really go for a good steak; let's hit the Bob Evans.

Learn from my pain, people.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

updates, comments and a WINNER!

I'm sure you have all been racked with despair over my daily planner woes so I want to soothe your souls with the news that I found a planner. It is the correct size, spiral bound, has large unlined boxes, is tabbed and even is pink. Yes, it only took 10 days, 6 stores and about $15 more than what I wanted to spend, but I now have a 18 month planner that will take me from this summer to the end of 2014.

The gash in my chin from the mysteriously open medicine chest is healing nicely; there might be a tiny scar that I can easily pass off as an old bullfighting injury.

My dear Anonymous - I can totally see your family serving Brie in that Waterford bowl; next time you are in New York feel free to pinch it from your mom for me. Or just ask for one for Christmas; we know how she loves to buy for Christmas.

Obviously blog posts got pushed back by my posting difficulty last Friday. The post about Lydia in the abandoned lot with 3-D glasses will be tomorrow. Me doing farm cooking will now be Sunday or Monday.

ETSY UPDATE will happen next week. Don't ask for a more specific time because we all know I will be 12 hours past my deadline.

Despite my BFF's belief that my new lovey is a representation of the thwart-hog, I have found a home and a name for him.
I really liked Percivil and appreciate that both Sheryl and Diane thought he could be a Percy; however, from the moment I read Lenny I knew that was his name.
He looks like a Lenny, he feels like a Lenny, he IS a Lenny.
Kaaren, email me about receiving your NikCo prize.
Thanks for all of the suggestions.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

shaking my head slowly

So i just logged on to post the updates to my Friday post, only to find that my Friday post never posted.
I am so unamused right now.
Anyhoo, below is the post that was suppossed to go out on Friday; just add 2 days to all of the announcements i guess.

a dozen random queries

I have a pretty specific morning routine on non- studio days.
It is the same day after day because it is both efficient and easy to do half asleep.
Which is why I do not understand how I managed to smash my face into the medicine chest mirror this morning.
I hadn't used anything in there yet.
I'm sure it was closed when I got into the shower because otherwise I would have hit it going into the shower. But when I was drying off and stepped out of the shower gabang chin meet pointy edge of door. Then the phone rang and Rea was greeted with, Stand by; i'm wet and bleeding.
Good start to the day: GO Team Us!


This little doggy is so cute with his play-with-me posture, waggley tongue and big eyes.
But who thought it was a good idea to have to fetch your Oreos from under the dog's tail?


I mean, honestly people.
Was the circus in town during the designers' meeting for this building?


Cute summery sheath dress in a sweet bamboo print that has not only a matching purse, but matching shoes?
I love matching!
Now if only I liked sheath dresses.
And wore green.
And was a size 6.
A size 6 Tall.


This is an unused shower with which I am acquainted.
 (no, it isn't mine; we already established that I was in my shower this morning)
Every time I use the facilities in this bathroom I am kinda afraid for my life.

Spent a while cleaning and displaying Waterford crystal at the Flea this week.
This is a medium bowl in the Lismore pattern.
You can see the spots of light that it throws onto the wall, but the picture didn't capture that all of the cut lines gleam with rainbows.
I could sit and stare at it for hours (but Andrew would frown on that).

What is going on here?
Jar, water, yellow globs...
That, my friends, is some of the homemade butter I made from the cow I milked.
This pic is from an intermediary step; I promise it comes out better in the end.
Look for the complete post next Thursday or Friday.

We are not even gonna discuss the idea of decorating in dead animals.
Or the fact that this particular candlestick is hideous.
If you are opposed to using real antlers, why would you be okay decorating with resin ones?
Normally people that don't want real antlers wouldn't like any depiction of dismembered animal parts.
If you are going to go with a rustic/hunter/carnivore motif you should at least have the good grace to use real antlers, people.

I gave another teaser about this Friday Adventure months ago and then there was the picture kerfluffle.
Well, I am really going to reveal the coolness behind this picture in a post on Monday or Tuesday.


Yes, they would.
At least, they'd keep the sparkly humans as pets.

The rest?
Great Dam builder slaves.

For me?
Juggling fire.
'nuff said.

The contest to name this adorable little guy ends on Tuesday.
I have a clear favorite so far from the suggestions.
Leave your last minute ideas here or on the original post.
Wednesday his/her name will be announced and the winner gets either a $15 NikCo gift certificate or a 4 pack of greeting cards custom made for them.