I don’t consider myself an artist, per se. I am moderately crafty, and besides the odd venture into DIY home improvement or décor, I do dabble a bit in painting. And when I say dabble, I mean it in the faintest sense of the word, because I pretty much just paint one thing.
I do trees because, well, I effing like trees. I often find myself taking pictures of trees I think are cool. I climb trees whenever I get the chance, because my inner child happens to be an eight year old boy. But besides that, trees are easy to paint. You can’t screw up a tree. Even if the only thing you draw well is stick figures, you can still draw a tree, and anyone looking at it will still be able to tell it’s a tree.
I also have this weird thing where I won’t buy wall art. I really only like to hang paintings that I’ve done myself, or that friends have done. One of my favorite things I own is a painting by a friend of mine, the subject of which is me as a zombie.
Also, for some reason it really bugs me that, if I buy that painting at Ikea that I think is cool, I know it’s also hanging in thousands of apartments around the world. No thanks. I prefer originals. [/snotty indie kid]
But, yeah. So, in my quest to fill the blank spaces on my wall, I’ve done some painting. Some of it is kind of cool, I guess. At least, I enjoy it. My most recent piece was…well, I don’t know where I got the idea. But it’s some kind of tree city thing. And I’m really proud of this awesome GIF of its progress:
But seriously, here’s the finished product:
This was my first piece on a canvas this large (30 x 24). I worked on it on-and-off for about six months, and part of the reason it took so long was because I agonized over the placement of the lights in the buildings. I don’t know why. I guess I wanted it to seem random and unthought-out, when really I put way too much thought into it. Also, that one building in the front doesn’t have any lights on at all.
I swear I wasn’t being lazy. That building is deserted, and slated for demolition later in the year. It used to be luxury condos, but the owners were cheap and let it fall into disrepair. Or something.
My other recent project was a pretty easy one-day thing.
I found this project on Pinterest, pinned from this craft blog. The original used wax paper and Mod Podge over a traced design. I free-handed mine with Elmer’s glue (I had to use two layers). I don’t think it came out half bad. With the color, the end result kind of reminds me of Nightcrawler from the X-Men.
My last project, I was hoping to have finished by the time I did this blog post, but I’m really at a standstill with it.
I know I need to redo the tree on the far right, because the fork in the trunk is higher than the others, and that bothers me. But besides that, I don’t really know. I could shade it and add some background in various shades of gray or brown, keep it neutral. Or I could go totally acid-freakout-crazy colorful. That might be fun. Part of me wants to just splatter the brightest red across the front of it and call it a day, but I feel like my lack of beret ownership and aversion to cigarettes leaves me unqualified for a move like that. So for now, I’m stuck.
I have a couple other ideas bouncing around in my head, and plenty of wall space to fill, so I’m sure there will be more of these to come!
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Tags: crafts, DIY, painting
It is inventory season, which means that this gal has been working her ass off. Of course, I’ve still been managing to have fun. It comes in short, savory bursts that just end up making the working parts a bit more worthwhile.
It is also State Fair season. My well-meaning friends got tickets, intending for all of us to go. Unfortunately, my work schedule did not allow, and my ticket went to some broke yet grateful teenager. So, yet again, I miss out on the rides. The petting zoo. The artery-hardeningly delicious food. You just can’t get the same heart attack-inducing results at home.
Oh wait, you totally can!
I haven’t actually made it to the State Fair in several years. So it’s become my little tradition to make myself some fair fare to comfort myself. It’s okay Mal, I say. You’ll make it next year.
But I never do. ::sad trombone::
But at any rate. My favorite fair-inspired food to make has definitely been fried Oreos. You can usually get them at the booth that sells fried Twinkies and assorted fried candy bars (they will fry anything at the State Fair; I’m pretty sure I saw a booth advertising fried chunks of Kirstie Alley’s ass, which is pretty much the same thing as a fried Twinkie). “Fried Oreos?” my friends say. “That sounds horrific.” And then they try one, and I have to swat them with a newspaper to stop them from humping my leg. They’re that good.
I decided to kill two birds with one stone and make this batch while visiting my new squeeze. He had a couple friends over and I figured, what better way to ingratiate myself with a new group of guys than to fry up some little rounds of Heaven?
How I do:
You will want to get your hands on:
- Pancake mix, and whatever the box calls for to prepare it
- Oreos (the regular kind, not the Double Stuff. I know it’s tempting, but they don’t hold together as well.)
- Vegetable or canola oil
- Powdered sugar (optional, if you’re an inhuman, unfeeling automaton)
- Large flat-bottom frying pan
Make up the pancake mix as if it were Saturday morning, and you just had a hankering for some pancakes. I make it slightly thicker, but not so thick that you would have trouble coating the Oreos.
Put the pan on med/med-lo heat, and coat the bottom with about half an inch of oil. It’s ready to go when you can drop a bit of the pancake mix in and it sizzles.
Start dunking your Oreos in the pancake mix. Make sure they are fully coated.
This can be messy.
And yes, I lick my fingers. What of it?
These fry up pretty quick, so watch them carefully. They should only need a minute or two on each side. Turn them over with the tongs. They should come out a nice, golden brown.
Remove them to some paper towels for cooling/draining. Dust with some powdered sugar. You know you want to.
The wonderful thing about this is how the frying process turns the Oreo into a warm, cakey, melt-in-your-mouth orgasmenon (that is my new word for “Orgasmic phenomenon” and I will thank you not to steal it. Or if nothing else, at least let me know when you use it so I can high-five you).
Squeeze’s roommate Six-Million-Dollar-Man’d a white chocolate Hershey’s kiss into the center of one of these Oreos and gave it to me to fry. I was skeptical, but it was actually a successful operation.
You might think, “Do you really need to add more sugar and fat to that?” And I say, come on, we are already frying Oreos in pancake batter for fuck’s sake. If we’re going to food Hell anyway, might as well pack on the calories.
It was also suggested that some of the fried Oreos be plated and served under a scoop of ice cream and some chocolate sauce. Unfortunately we did not have the necessities on hand to accomplish this suggestion. But I was still kicking myself for never thinking to do that. I can definitely tell that I’m going to get along with these guys.
Anyway, yeah. Once again, the fried Oreos were a big hit. No better way to a man’s heart.
Judging from that grin, I’m well on my way there.
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Tags: food, recipes
I am long overdue for writing about my most recent road trip. And have I ever mentioned that I have the most amazing roommates in the world? Because I do.
I said, “Oh hay, three day weekend!”
And they said, “Eff yeah, road trip!” and proceeded to request off at their jobs, too.
Friendship is awesome.
So we had three days to drive somewhere, have a great time, and come home.
See, there’s a thing about living in central Florida. It takes four hours just to get out of the state. One’s vacation options are rather limited. There’s Miami. No one who actually lives in Florida wants to go to Miami. There’s Orlando, but it is expensive and too close to home. St. Augustine and Cassadaga were two pretty good candidates. But we were thinking we’d get out of Florida all together. So we went to Savannah.
We left at midnight on a Friday night. There was a lot of “Would You Rather?” and one stop at a very interesting Waffle House in Lake City. Well, I guess when you consider the stereotypes attached to Waffle House, it was pretty ordinary. Think disgruntled truckers and drunk teenagers.
We arrived at 6am, parked illegally in front of the hotel because the parking lot was full, and slept in the car until sunlight and traffic woke us up. I have to say, I’ve never been so conscious of how fidgety I am until I’ve had to sleep in an enclosed space with two other people. Squirmy McFidgetson, that’s what they calls me.
That’s a lie. No one calls me that.
Anyway. I wanted to do a play-by-play of our trip, but I have decided that, probably, no one wants to read that. Suffice it to say that, between the eating (oh god, was there a lot of eating) and the shopping, there were plenty of bad pop-culture references and candy cigarettes. See? You’re not missing much. So I’m just going to highlight some of the notable stops on our trip and highly recommend that, if you ever find yourself in Savannah, you check out some of these places as well.
Think if the Fresh Market and Urban Outfitters teamed up and decided to open a gas station. I know, maybe it’s weird that a convenient store is one of the things that stuck with me from my trip. But look at this place.
In addition to their really cute gift section, they have a full gourmet deli and coffee bar, artisan breads, and all kinds of cool little gourmet snacks and candies. If they ever announce one of these opening in St. Petersburg, no joke, I might explode in my pants.
There is this little hole-in-the-wall sub shop down a nondescript side street. You could walk right by and never look twice at it, except for the line going out the door and down the sidewalk during lunch hour. Apparently that is a regular thing here, and I can see why.
That is the Conquistador, a Zunzi’s specialty, and it might be one of the greatest things I’ve ever put in my mouth. If I’d known the ecstasy that would befall my tastebuds, I might have ordered one of my own. As it was, I only had a bite of Brennan’s. But that, in addition to the awesome chicken and feta salad that I had, was enough to convince me that Zunzi’s will be on my list of must-visit landmarks in Savannah.
The Paris Market
There was quite a lot of shopping done on this trip. My poor feet. My poor wallet. But I cannot say that I did not enjoy myself immensely. One of my favorite stores – and Jean, seasoned shopper that she is, agrees with me - was The Paris Market on Broughton.
So many cute and interesting trinkets and antiques. The whole place had a very shabby-chic vibe to it, meant to mimic antique flea markets in France. I didn’t buy anything because, as in most Savannah antique stores, everything was a little over-priced for my tastes (that’s not saying much, though, I am a cheap sonofabitch). But we spent a lot of time in this one little store, and I almost bought a perfume called “I Made You A Mixtape,” though I unfortunately enjoyed the name a lot more than the actual scent.
Despite my finicky attitude, however, the Paris Market was certainly one of the most charming and unique stops on our shopping circuit, and definitely a place that I would seek out again.
Moon River Brewing Co.
I am big on food.
It’s the one thing I will not cheap out on. I love to try new dishes, and I find comfort in old standbys. When it comes to food, what do I not do? That’s right, fuck around.
Foodie that I am, it’s a big statement to say that there are few things in the world that I love more than goat cheese. It’s soooooooo good! So when Brennan took us to Moon River Brewing Co. and I saw Goat Cheese & Leek Fritters on the menu, well, I just had to get them.
Ho-lee crap, you guys. Simply amazing. And I mean that quite literally. It was a very simple appetizer, but not something I would ever have thought to make myself. Of course, now that I’ve witnessed its deliciosity – with my mouth – I’ll have to figure out how to make it. And I’ll be sure to let you know when I do.
Other than the GCALFs (yes, they are an acronym now), our dining experience at Moon River was just really excellent. The service was great, the atmosphere was cheerful, and if I was a beer drinker, I’m sure that I could tell you that their beers were great, too.
After Zunzi’s and Moon River, my tastebuds were getting a bit skeptical, telling my brain, “Come on Mal, not everything you eat here can be the best thing you’ve ever eaten.”
They were so wrong.
We had a very nice Sunday brunch at a place Brennan knew called Soho South. I fell in love with the place as soon as I walked in. It was part art gallery, part restaurant, and part converted warehouse, and I would sell my kidney on the black market to own/live in a place like this.
And then I got my food, and I didn’t even care about my surroundings anymore.
Their Eggs Savannah is Eggs Benedict with asparagus, and served on top of a crab cake in lieu of an English muffin. I don’t know what they did to their hollandaise — it tasted like they folded in some sour cream — but I loved it. The asparagus was delicious and tender.
But the crab cake. Oh, the crab cake deserves its own paragraph. Most crab cakes I’ve had are mashed-up, fried monstrosities contrived by seasoning-happy cooks, and while tasty, they’re not something I could eat every day. This very lightly-seasoned, falling-apart lump of Heaven was comprised of large lumps of crab that looked like they’d just been picked out of the shell. I took a bite, and all I tasted was sweet, buttery crab.
Look at that. Look at that! The whole crab cake was comprised of those fully-formed, juicy crab lumps. I cannot stress enough how impressed I was.
This dish was also served with breakfast potatoes, an afterthought that I wasn’t looking forward to nearly as much as the main dish. But those were quite good, also. Beautifully seasoned, not at all like the bland home fries that a lot of breakfast spots serve. They are called breakfast potatoes, but I could honestly eat them for every meal.
If you never eat at another restaurant in Georgia, please eat at this one. I can promise you will not be disappointed.
Kitchens on the Square
I love kitchen gadgets. I have way more of them than I need, and I constantly have to stop myself from buying more. So I had to hate Jean a little bit for demanding that we pay a visit to Kitchens on the Square on Barnard Street. For years, I’ve been lamenting the lack of a store like this in St. Petersburg, but it’s probably a good thing. I kinda wanted to buy everything in this store. There were so many cute and useful things!
Managed to get away with buying just a click-pen pepper grinder, and this ice cube tray:
Scented By Nature
I don’t wear much in the way of smelly stuff. So this perfume store is only on this list for one reason. This dog:
Poor guy partied way too hard. Didn’t even look up when we came in, just kept right on sleeping. Though, from the looks of things, we missed quite a battle with that stuffed frog.
Savannah’s Candy Kitchen
There are actually three Savannah’s Candy Kitchen locations in Savannah. We went to two. They kept us good and supplied with sugary goodness for the duration of our trip. In addition to a few pralines, a box of assorted truffles, a chocolate caramel apple that I will forever regret leaving on a bus, and several random candy selections, Jean and I stocked up on candy cigarettes with the express purpose of mocking Brennan.
Everything we bought from here was good. Well…with the notable exception of one thing. But that’s why we got it.
Hearse Ghost Tours
I have good ideas sometimes.
No one else wanted to go on a ghost tour. I really wanted to go on one. So I hinted and prodded and waved brochures around until Jean and Brennan caved. We picked the one that drives around in a converted hearse, mostly because it was reasonable in price for a non-walking tour.
And you know what? It was a good fucking idea. Boom.
We didn’t see any ghosts or spirits. I scoured my pictures afterward to see if I’d captured any otherworldly activity. I don’t think I did.
But, even without any ghosts, the tour was still fun as hell. We learned a lot about the history of Savannah (apparently everything in the city is built on a burial ground or blood-sodden battlefield, like one of Stephen King’s wet dreams). And we had the coolest tour guide ever. Louis? We think his name was Louis. If you know this guy, tell him to look me up on Facebook. We want to party with him.
Definitely, this was one of the most fun things we did during our stay. Fifteen bucks well-spent, and I would recommend this tour to even the staunchest paranormal skeptic. It’s just a good time.
Butterhead Greens Cafe
While bopping around town and visiting old acquaintances of Brennan’s, we were pleased to find out that one of his former coworkers had opened his own restaurant. It was our last stop on the way out of town.
Paddy, who I was meeting for the first time, is an exceptionally friendly and genuine guy. He runs a laid-back business, and as soon as you walk in the door you feel at home. His cafe, situated across from one of the main SCAD buildings, caters mostly to students at the college — and you can even call ahead to place your order.
I loved their unique ordering system — You take a laminated menu and a Crayola marker from their little station at the front of the restaurant, and you circle your choices. There’s even a place at the top to write your name. I opted the fully-customizable grilled cheese — you can pick any two cheeses (their selection is great!), and then a salad and a soup to go alongside it. I went with cheddar and feta on my sandwich, and the tomato soup.
All I can say is WOW! For such a modest little place with a fairly simple menu, the food is fantastic. I love me a good grilled cheese, and this one was amazing. The salad was very fresh and lemony, and the soup was absolutely killer. So flavorful. The prices are about what you’d expect for a college hangout (that is to say, pretty reasonable) but you’re getting so much for your money.
I am happy to report that business at Butterhead Greens seemed to be booming. Mucho kudos to Paddy, I wish him the very best!
So those were the highlights of our trip. With the possible exception of San Francisco, this might be the best vacation I’ve ever been on. We did and saw so much in three days, and spent a reasonable amount of money doing it. Savannah is such a hip, charming town, and I certainly recommend that you go if you get the chance.
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Tags: food, reviews, shopping, travel
I finished it.
I am very, very proud of myself.
It only took me this long because I broke down and ordered proper label holders from a scrapbooking site. I knew that it would bug me to no end if I didn’t. And I am very, very glad that I did.
I spray-painted them antique gold to match the hooks that I got. I stuck them in place with little dabs of glue, and secured them with some little finishing nails, which I painted over with some gold acryllic once they were in place.
The label holders came with pre-made label inserts that said cheesy things like “Soulmates” and “Best Friends.” I just flipped them to their plain-white sides and wrote my own stuff. Saved me from having to make my own labels.
Notice how the one labeled “Paul Rudd’s Back Door” is the multi-tool? That’s funny. I am funny, you guys*. How about that?
The original design of this key rack was 5×4, or twenty keys. I do not have twenty keys to hang. So I did 4×3. Honestly y’all, I don’t even have twelve keys to hang. But I didn’t make this rack because I need it. Puh.
The lady who did the Meridian Road key rack also used tongue-and goove planks for her design. I did not. I could not find any that I liked for this project. I used plain poplar planks, cut to about 1.5ft each, and laid shorter planks across the back to hold the whole thing together. I wood-glued all of this.
For the framing, I used simple wooden moulding. The original design had the framing around the outside. I just attached mine to the front because it worked out easier that way for me. I secured it with wood glue, and a couple nails for good measure. The moulding was a little bowed, so we had to clamp it down while the glue was drying.
If I could do something different on this project, I would probably stain the wood ahead of time. I got a bit messy with the wood glue, and because of that there are spots where the stain didn’t take completely. I kinda like the look; it makes it look older and distressed. But if you’re going to be using glue, and are sloppy and impatient like me, you might want to stain your wood pieces before assembling them.
Also, remember the labels that I originally bought in lieu of the label holders that I really wanted? I ended up turning them into room number tags for our loose keys. It was an afterthought, but I really like how nicely it turned out.
Before: Boring, blank expanse of front-hallway wall.
After: Slightly less empty expanse of front-hallway wall.
So happy with my first shop project. And I didn’t sever even one appendage!
*Disclaimer: May or may not actually be funny. In fact, probably not funny. Sorry, Paul Rudd.
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Tags: crafts, woodworking
I didn’t realize this about myself until recently, but when it comes to fashion, I am a fan of ugly, brown items.
I have several of them, and wear them often and with pride.
Ugly brown shoes:
Ugly brown scarf:
Ugly brown sweater:
Apparently I am a collector.
And now, I have my very own Ugly Brown Hat.
Yeah, I made it. Though I must have done it wrong, because I keep getting compliments on it.
And the best thing about this hat is that it’s crazy easy. It’s done in chunky yarn on big needles, and because there are a few rows of drop stitch in there, it knits up really quick. I’m a slow knitter, and I finished this in just a couple hours.
I know I have a couple beginner knitters who read this, and I’m very new at pattern writing. So I might over-explain this pattern (and if I have made any errors, please let me know).
Here we go.
Ugly Brown Hat
Yarn: Bernat Softee Chunky in Walnut
Needles: Size 10 circulars and DPNs.
Pattern: S (M, L); *=repeat
Cast on 48 (52, 56) stitches. Join in the round.
Rows 1, 3, and 5: Knit
Rows 2 and 4: Purl
Row 6: (Knit 2 together, yarnover)* to end of row — Tip: Make sure all your yarnovers are facing the same direction! I kept doing it the wrong way, and had to backtrack because it looked weird.
Row 7: Purl
Row 8: Knit
Rows 9 and 10: To do a drop stitch row, insert your needle as to do a knit stitch, but wrap your yarn around the needle twice instead of once. Pull both loops through the original stitch. This will give you two new stitches. Repeat this to the end of the row. On your next row, knit the first stitch and pull the second loop off the needle with it. Repeat to the end of the row. This will give you a row of longer knit stitches.
Repeat rows 2 through 10.
Repeat rows 2 through 6.
Row 7: (Purl 2, Purl 2 together)* to end of row. 36 (39, 42) stitches remain.
Row 8: Knit
Row 9: Knit as to do drop stitch, with yarn over twice.
Row 10: (Knit two drop stitches together, knit one drop stitch)* to end of row. 24 (26, 28) stitches remain. You may want to transfer your work to double-pointed needles at this time.
Row 11: Purl
Row 12: Knit
Row 13: (Purl 2 together)* to end of row. 12 (13, 14) stitches remain.
Cut off your yarn, leaving about 8 inches of tail. With a yarn needle, thread your tail through the remaining stitches and pull tight. Weave ends into the inside of the hat.
It complements other ugly things quite nicely.
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Tags: crafts, fashion, knitting
(Subtitle: I am bad at Sundays.)
There is this giant key has been in my family for…well, I actually don’t know how long, or where the hell it came from. I just remember being very small, and seeing it sitting in the middle of my Gran’s coffee table. I wanted very badly to play with it, but it was too heavy for me to lift. No joke, it’s like ten pounds.
Fast forward to now, and it is sitting, lonely and forgotten, in the room where we store all our random shit (heretofore referred to as The Rumpus Room). I don’t even know how it came into my possession. But it’s there. And I feel like it deserves so much more respect than it is currently receiving.
Forest tried to give it to Goodwill once, and I pitched a fit at him.
Anyway. I woke up today (pretend that it’s still Sunday when I finally get around to posting this), and I said to myself — Self, you are going to hang that key today.
So I went to Home Depot.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on here, but I love going to hardware stores. I love the smell, I love looking at all the home remodleing stuff, and I love picking out tools and materials for a new project. And I love how there is always a big, burly man nearby to help little ol’ me find what I need.
I brought my friend Nick with me, who is a very enthusiastic DIYer, and had to get some stuff anyway. We spent way too long looking at wall hooks, with me agonizing what would look best with the color paint we had, while at the same time complementing the key. Then we wandered over to the lumber section, and I started looking at wood to build that key rack from my last entry.
Let me be honest with y’all. I didn’t actually think I would build that thing. I figured that, like many of my projects, I might buy the materials. I might saw and hammer some stuff. But ultimately, I knew it would end up in a heap in my closet until I got sick of looking at it. But I was feeling optimistic.
So bought the wood. I bought little brass hooks, wood stain, and a miter box with a saw. We even detoured to Michael’s to get little labels for the keys (the label holders I really wanted were $6 apiece, so I forwent those. Fuck you, Michael’s).
I got home, and went into Home Improvement Mode. My friend Steve came over with his drill, and we hung a mirror I got for Christmas, and this 15-frame picture thing that’s been sitting in my closet for ages. We put up Jean’s Ikea shelf in the Rumpus Room. I got started on my key rack, sawing and hammering and wood-gluing away (used more wood glue than nails, I will admit, and Steve helped with this process quite a lot. Thanks Steve!).
And then, between waiting for glue to dry, I even started a new scarf.
As a side note, I am very excited about this scarf. Not only is it my first attempt at cabling (Big Cable Scarf from Men’s Knits), but the yarn is soooo pretty and soft.
Also, really expensive.
Honestly, I might as well just buy a scarf.
But that is not the point.
This is how far I’ve gotten with this key rack. Still have to make it look antique-y, and need Steve to bring over some clamps to properly glue the frame in place. Then I’ll be able to put on the labels and the hooks, and we’ll be golden.
Oh, also, at some point during all this, I did finally get that key hung.
Finally, some long-due respect.
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Tags: crafts, home improvement, knitting, woodworking
On my way to work New Year’s Day, I was feeling pretty crappy. And then I saw a guy riding a tandem bike alone. I told myself, “Well, at least I’m not that dude.”
I wanted to have some kind of entry to mark the new year. Set a good precedent for myself.
This could be a blog recapping 2010. The Haiti earthquake, the oil spill in the Gulf, the death of Dio. My new job, new apartment, new singledom. I can’t believe how much happened last year.
I could also post my resolutions here. Except that I never make any.
But…you know. Fuck all that.
I’d rather talk about holy crap, I want to make some stuff!
I want to make some yarn out of old T-shirts. I want to make this spiced lime fried chicken recipe I’ve been dying to try. I want to make a video of Brennan eating pickled pigs’ feet, and I want to make this hotel key rack to put in my front hallway.
Also, I want to make that cute boy at the Fresh Market deli fall in love with me.
Now that all my Christmas knitting is done, I can use my spare time to make stuff that I really want to make.
I just want to know one thing: who’s coming with me?
I feel like there should be some kind of crafter’s support group.
I do like how being single seems to have brought back my creativity. Be it a coping mechanism or whatever, even in the depths of my loneliness, I can make the shit out of some arm warmers.
Like a rainbow in the fucking dark, y’all.
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So, I have this roommate who likes putting weird stuff in his mouth.
Wait, that sounded a little weird. Let me rephrase.
One thing I’ve been involved in lately is this collaborative Youtube series. Pretty much, we find weird foods, and my roommate Brennan concocts some witty banter and then eventually eats the specified weird food item. It works out because he speaks much better than I do, and is a lot more willing to have his tastebuds sodomized. Figuratively, of course. Also, I enjoy filming and editing. Also, it’s an activity that occupies my time and is also not knitting.
We unexpectedly stumbled across this opportunity in a very unlikely place. A Big Lots, to be precise.
While doing some ill-advised grocery shopping, we found this $0.50 candy. At least, it looked like candy? It was called CRAZY MANGO! and it was covered in chili powder.
For some reason, this was really exciting to us.
So we bought it. And I felt the need to film it.
And then I posted it on Facebook. And our friends liked it. And Brennan was excited about it. So we decided to make more.
What I love about this is, what you see there is pretty much all there is to it. There’s no planning, I just turn on the camera and Brennan talks. I think my favorite episode so far has been the Prem episode. It is also our longest yet.
We don’t even actively go out looking for items to feature. It’s just stuff we happen to find.
Recently, we stumbled on the motherlode while shopping in an Asian market for a gift for Brennan’s girlfriend. So you might notice that our next several videos will have an Asian flair to them.
Most recently, Brennan ate pickled mango. I had some, and thought it was disgusting. Brennan…well, you’ll have to watch the video. We almost had to give up because we couldn’t get the jar open.
Brennan has some goals. Some notables on the list are vegemite, durian (that spiky melon that smells like a corpse), and balut (hard boiled fetal duck). He has set a high bar for himself, and I appreciate that. And am rather glad that I just operate the camera.
We certainly appreciate suggestions, so if there is something you’d like to see Brennan eat, you can comment or e-mail. I’m starting to think that there’s nothing he won’t try once.
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Tags: comedy, food, youtube
Hoo boy. It’s been a bit, yeah?
As I’m sure many of you know, I was in a long-term relationship with a very awesome person.
At least, I thought he was very awesome. Until he told me that he was “too comfortable.” And furthermore, that he had lost that lovin’ feeling, as it were.
Needless to say, I was crushed. I had spent the better part of the last six years building a life with this person. My adult life, as I had envisioned it growing up, was coming together, and things like purchasing a house and starting a family seemed within reach. And the person himself, well, I thought he was perfect for me. Not necessarily practical at all, because when have I ever been practical in matters of love? But I was in love with him, I loved almost everything about him, and there was no doubt in my mind that I could happily be with him for a very long time.
Unfortunately, our visions of the future didn’t quite coincide, and I am left in the ruins of the life we made together while he gets to go out and “find himself.”
It’s been almost a month and a half since he left. At first, I was a moist and quivering mess of a person. I was afraid to listen to music or watch TV or engage in any activities for fear that I might be reminded of him and why he left. But every day it’s a little better. Sometimes I have an hour or two or relapse. And going to bed at night is the hardest. But I’m better now, if this constant weight on my chest and general robotic feeling constitutes “better”.
Presently, I’m in the process of defining myself as an individual, and trying to fashion a whole Mal from one half of Forest and Mal. I was worried that I’d lost myself in the vortex of couple-ness. I’m still here, breathing quietly with the covers over my head. Eventually I’ll be able to wake up to this world of swingin’ singledom, and maybe even enjoy it.
I do have to thank my friends and family who have put up with the worst parts of me that have come out in the course of all of this. I must not have been the easiest person to deal with in the past few weeks, and I’m put to shame by their patience and love.
I am really lucky. This breakup isn’t hurting me financially or socially. It could have been much worse, seeing as all I have to worry about now is nursing my wounded heart back to health.
Other than that.
I’ve been quite busy with work. Who has two thumbs and now runs the jewelry department for the new HSN outlet store? This guy!
And knitting. Been doing a lot of that.
A lot of that…
So that’s what’s up with me. Looking forward to the new year and the kind of exciting things it might bring.
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If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself while knitting, it’s that I’m incapable of following a pattern. Gauge? Who needs it! Size ten needles? I’m sure these sixes will do just fine! Yarnover? I hardly know ‘er!
Okay, that last one was pretty bad.
Because I use patterns as tentative guidelines at best (My creative knitivity needs to be allowed to run free! Or something.), my first order of business after getting the hang of hats was to, well, make something up.
I ended up with this.
My very first original.
I’m so proud.
Of course, people were jealous. I got a couple requests to make some more.
Well. Make your own, cupcake.
Here it is. My first pattern. And in the spirit of this hat, I recommend making your own creative changes to it.
You’re gonna need:
1 skein each of Lily Sugar ‘n Cream yarn in Hot Green, Light Blue, and Country Yellow
Size 6 16″ circular needles
Set of size 6 double-pointed needles
7 stitches and 12 rows = 2sq inches of knit2/purl2 ribbing
S (M, L); *=repeat
With your green yarn, cast 72 (78, 84) stitches on to your circular needles. Join in the round.
Rows 1 through 12: (Knit 2, Purl 2)* to end of row. (If you would like the green ribbed part of the hat to be longer, by all means do more rows.
Switch to blue yarn, and knit every row until you have what you feel is an appropriate length of hat.
Break for a trip to Ikea, but actually bring your knitting with you because if you’re going to test out that dining table you’ve been wanting, you really have to test it out.
Now you will begin decreasing.
Decrease row 1: (Knit 10 (11,12), knit 2 together)* to end of row. 66 (72, 78) stitches remain.
Decrease row 2: (Knit 9 (10,11), knit 2 together)* to end of row. 60 (66,72) stitches remain.
Decrease row 3: (Knit 8 (9,10), knit 2 together)* to end of row. You get the idea.
You’ll continue decreasing in this manner for the rest of the hat. When the stitches starth to stretch around the circular needle, you’ll want to switch to your double-pointed needles.
When you switch to your yellow yarn depends on how big you want your sun to be. I generally switch when I have about eight rows left, but you can start knitting yellow sooner if you want a bigger sun.
When you have twelve stitches left on your needles, cut off your yarn, leaving a few inches of tail. Use a yarn needle to weave your ends into the inside of the hat.
For the sun’s rays, thread about 18 inches of yellow yarn onto your yarn needle. Following the decrease lines, make duplicate knit stitches going down by pushing the needle up through the righthand corner of the stitch, then pulling the yarn through the lowest point of the stitch, and repeating for the lefthand side. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, there’s a nice tutorial for duplicate stitches here. Now, I prefer to do the embellishments afterward. You can intarsia the sun’s rays into the hat, and you’ll probably end up with a more polished result. It’s up to you.
Weave in your remaining ends, and you have a hat!
The second time I did this hat, I cast on eighty stitches, and did the decreases at five intervals instead of six. It came out very nicely, but I think I prefer the six interval decrease instead.
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Tags: crafts, fashion, knitting