Sunday, June 28, 2009

A rococo zephyr...

That is something that has been said before, actually sung, by one Bill Callahan. Most recently he sang it to me at the Triple Door.

Jesse and I had received a gift certificate to the Triple Door for our wedding two years ago and have been waiting for the perfect show to use it on. The Triple Door is a dinner theatre sort of place that serves pan asian/thai fusion mumbo jumbo and hosts a huge variety of musical shows. From the Squirrel Nut Zippers, to accordian heroes, to music snob mainstays like Bill Callahan. My brother had been trying to drill it into our heads for years how amazing this artist was, and how much we would fall in love with him. But it took until just this last year for us to realize this, and in the throws of our love affair he scheduled a show at the Triple Door and there it was! Our show, the show to finally use our wedding gift.

We'd been looking forward to this for months. But something happened when I woke up Saturday morning. I got up on the wrong side of the bed as they say. I was one big pile of grumpy. This continued through the afternoon. And then the worse thing that could ever happen to a grumpy me happened. We arrived in Seattle late, and hungry, and no time for a real meal. Extra grumpy. And then!!! J forgot the gift certificate, which was no big deal in reality. But for hungry grumpy me this was devastating. We grabbed quick (and VERY mediocre) appetizers in the Triple Door lounge in the 20 minutes before the doors opened. We met friends in line, found our way to our wonderful seats, ordered drinks, had amazing conversation, and sat through a funny, quirky, electric meets folk band from New Zealand called The Bachelorettes. My grumpiness was a distant memory. And when the lights dimmed again the crowd hushed, and mr. Bill Callahan stepped on stage.

A cellist seated to his right, a violinist to the right of him, another guitarist to the left and in the usual space was a drummer. Mr. Callahan in ranch boots, a thick head of blonde hair, and well fitting jeans scuffled his booted feet to the beat. And then he opened his mouth. And my heart melted. You know when you see a musician live and they destroy even the amazingness found on the recorded versions? When an artist just kills it? An artist you know is amazing, you were waiting for the greatness, and then they just go so far beyond what you expected, in the best way possible? That is what happened on Saturday night. That is what Bill Callahan did. He opened with Diamond Dancer, listen to it now, and went straight into Sycamore, ok now listen to this, and went through the set playing everyones favorites with the sort of ease and grace and beauty you see when an athlete is in the zone. This is just what he does, without having to think about it, he was born to do this. His voice is sincere and deep, you want him to tell you stories forever. He moves strangely, yet fittingly for the music. And the musicians he was playing with were almost as magical. The deep beat of the cello mingling with the depth of his voice. And the playful melancholy of the violin dancing in and out of every song. He was funny between songs. And the crowd was appreciative of every second, which in a town of nary a foot tap to even the greatest of bands, this meant a lot. It was just a really great show.

Once again my grumpiness was proven wrong. It always is. I've never been grumpy for a good reason. And I always feel sheepish after the fact. Even though I was starving by the end of the evening it was worth every second.

Thank you Mr. Callahan, you were a great wedding gift.

And thank you Mr. Ireland, for loving me even in my grumpiest moments, and for reassuring me all day that the show was going to be worth it. It was.

Friday, June 26, 2009

i am going to eat you up and when i'm done i'm going to take a nap.

I really just wanted to write that sentence down. It is not meant to be dirty, so get your face out of the gutter sirs. Does that ever happen to you? A sentence just starts rolling around in your head, nonsense, but it doesn't go away. Like a song. A song that has never been written. It happens to me a lot. We used to play a game in high school, my friends and I, created by Cori. It was called "Say something you've never said before", the name of the game is the only rule. Asparagus tickles fancy little mangroves. Never said that before. But now I have and I am darn glad about it.

This is how I think I should live my life always. On instinct maybe? Or rather, on spontaneity. Think it, do it. A little research, and a few seconds of thought is ok as well. I had to Google "mangroves" to make sure I didn't just make it up, or that it wasn't some sort of inappropriate word. And you know what? Now I know that Mangroves are trees or shrubs that grow in saline conditions. On the edge of salty waters. It can be a specific plant, or it can refer to all of the plants that grow in these conditions. The entire 'plant assamblage' is called a Mangal. Mangroves are beautiful and defy all of my thoughts of lush plant life. They require sediments and salt and a lot ofwave movement. They need not clean, slowly flowing, refreshing environments. They are highly adaptable. They are mysterious. They make coastal nooks and cranny's wonderful curious adventure worthy spaces. They are the things kids dreams (nightmares) are made of.

Not a bad place I ended up, and all because I needed to get something out of my head.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

un caso clarisimo.

today's facts so far:

1. yep. it's an open and shut case for certain.

2. I closed the shop down tonite, and in 5 hours I'll open it back up again. It will be a glorious day when the opening and closing will be of my own shop. For now, it pays the rent. Or at least it pays for my shoes.

3. gf mac and cheese, dinner at 11:30. healthy.

4. sleepy.

5. ZZZzzz

Monday, June 15, 2009

By Hand...

"By hand. Everything used to be made by hand. Nobody in 1750 would have said, "This skirt was hand-made." Wouldn't have made any sense. "By hand" is what is called a "retronym." When something comes along that casts its predecessor in a new light, first the new thing and then the old thing get renamed. So we have "acoustic guitars," and "electric guitars," where before we only had "guitars." All ships were sailing ships, all furniture was made by craftsmen-not necessarily competent ones, of course. Just because it's old doesn't mean it was any good to begin with; merely that it has transcended the random disasters that visit all material goods, and their owners, too. History is written by the victors, and our image of the past is formed by the people and things that survived." -David Lance Goines

I am speechless. I have found amazing things at our local thrift stores before. Ikat summer dresses, italian leather combat boots, our couch, giant wooden framed photo of mt. fuji, a desk, our amazing desk turned many, too many things to count or list. But nothing has compared to this gem. This made my stomach tingle and my heart race, and once I realized what I had I held it under my protective arm as I lurked out of the store, feeling as though I had stolen something...but I hadn't. I paid for it, a whole $9.99. As far as retail therapy sessions are concerned, this was a major break through.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

You say tomato, I say 'holy crap I didn't kill anything, yet!'

Marigold party, chilling with the Allysum, all of which I planted with my mystery dahlia bulbs that I really didn't think were going to do anything at all and I couldn't bare to look at a pot only filled with dirt and I didn't want to be sad when they really didn't do anything. But they did something! And that's them, the little green spikey leaves playing peek-a-boo between the Marigolds in the center there, see them? They are real. Also say hello to the leaves of one of my basils, which we had on pasta on Wednesday night. om nom nom.
random pot of flowers from my favorite customer (my surrogate grandpa, he leaves me plant goodies by my car, he gave me the dahlia bulbs)...I had no idea that the little green leafy things were going to produce such lovely little flowers.
my succulents reaching for the sky.
A peek (peak?) of my rosemary, and one of two of my new solar powered lights.
Linaria, licorice plant, and mystery plant from surrogate grandpa. My first hanging basket that I planted myself.
My big ball of love, Marigold (he's got a brother plant down the box a ways). And an over achieving linaria, I think she may be trying to find her sisters....
My surprise linaria! Hello, striation! Hello, violet! Hello, obsessed with linaria!
Some more over achieving linaria, and towering over everything, it looks like trees in the background, is my oregano...
At last, my 'maters. So happy, freshly groomed, freshly calcified (eggs shells!), freshly fertilized (organic!)...6 little green 'maters and counting. In order of appearance, Health Kick Tomatoes (extra lycopene, wierd right?), lovely Julieta Tomatoes (like small romas I guess, super yums), and the Husky Cherry Reds (my first tomato producer and the one I expected to do the best, with a name like Husky right?) the distance you can see the wall flowers that surrogate grandpa gave me. They almost didn't make it, I'm still nurturing them back to life.
My first tomato. Hello beautiful.

5 points if you can spot my funny and sort of fitting spelling mistake. (ironic? i guess sort of.)
Ok, so it's only funny to me, cause I meant to use the word, as it is spelled, in a different part of that sentence and ended up not using it but ended up using a different spelling and meaning of the word in this part of the sentence but I didn't change the spelling so it's funny. to me. 12 pts if you think its funny too.

you can't spell inspiration without rat. what?

As much as I have been uninspired in the kitchen I have even more so been in a rut in the crafting realm. And we are not even going to start the conversation about why I haven't done any art in over a year. I might need a therapist for that one. Once again, as with the food, something clicked last week. Not only did I plan and successfully pull off a last minute doozy of a bachelorette party, with burlesque and dares and goody bags! But I also made the aforementioned birthday wine, and this little lovely outfit for a good friend of Jesse's family's (and good friends of mine now too) little girls first birthday. I never made it to the party, late work day and it was scheduled in Everett right in between work in Ferndale and bachelorette party in Seattle (I'm sooo sorry I missed it, and I promise the gift is in the mail). But, this is what little Brooklynn Rose turning one inspired in me.

(I'm trying to see how many times I can use the word 'inspire' in these posts...)

Girl Eats World

I haven't been cooking much lately. I'm not sure if it is the weather or the diet (i'm still getting used to cooking light and without gluten), but I haven't been inspired. I've still been reading about food, cookbooks, blogs, Bon Apetit, and this great book about the history of the food establishment in America called, The United States of Arugula. And yet, nothing. Even when we eat out I've sought out comfort over interest. We still eat at home, it's just been staples: rotisserie chicken from Freddy's, burgers, salads. My usual drive to try something new, something trendy, something seasonal has all but left my world. Until now. About a week ago I made dinner. I cooked. I went to the grocery store and let it inspire me. I let the weather determine that we were not cooking inside. We were going to grill. And we were going to eat asparagus and we were going to have wild king salmon. And I was inspired. I had almost forgotten about this meal until I just loaded my photos onto the computer and up popped the pictures from that night. And my mouth watered again, and my chopping finger started twitching, and my flavor sensors started beeping...while we may eat out tonite (date nite!) you can count on me ordering something seasonal, trendy, and out of my comfort zone, and Sunday nite dinner will be just as inspired, I promise.

The Menu that brought me back to life:
Grilled heirloom grape tomato, goat cheese, red onion and arugula salad, lightly dressed with balsamic vinegar.
Asparagus a la grill, brushed with olive oil, salt, and pepper
Grilled Tapenade encrusted King Salmon

Thursday, June 11, 2009


today's facts so far:

-dancing makes everything a little clearer.
-i like sitting on the ground staring at my new little tomatoes.
-donkey likes new outfits.
-i love new shoes.
-i also love salads.
-alice waters may have invented the mixed green salad we've come to love and expect.
-jesse is making a smoothie!
-i want a cookie.
-yesterday felt like 5 days, morning time, nap time, lake padden time, kayak time, walking time, boulevard woods time, gf beer time, dinner time, drinking time, dancing time, 2am breakfast time, sleeping time.
-noon is working lady time at the gym.
-2 o'clock is old man time at the gym.
-I will never know what 6 am time is at the gym.
-martha stewart, swoon.
-i have been taking pictures of all of the things i've been doing with the intention of posting my heart out. i guess i've just been living and not reliving lately. and that is ok. expect some reliving soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Limited Edition birthday wine!

Today was a co-workers 21st birthday. Remember those? Most likely you don't. All of our friends turned 21 in what felt like one long spring. Strange shots were taken. Strange clothes were worn. And thankfully we all made it out alive. I was lucky in that I was the first to turn 21, so there were no elders to take revenge on little me. And even though I got off with nary a hangover I still, to this day, take my revenge on the poor newly 21s.

My co-worker (assistant manager to be exact) is a little different though, I don't take her for much of a partier. Or rather, she's a lot more mature than all of us were at her age. She is perhaps a little too responsible for her young age, and I hope that she realizes sooner than later how to let loose and have a little fun. All work and no Jack would say. She smartly took the day off today so I am bringing her birthday surprise to work tomorrow.

A bottle of inexpensive wine, with a fancy personalized label (above). Everyone deserves a little something fancy and with an alcohol content of 11% or more on any of their birthdays. While I appreciate the simplicity of the label I designed I felt she'd appreciate a little more razzle dazzle. And thus the sparkle, the ribbon, and the butterflies...just a note, the toothpick candles they make now work really nicely in the cork of a wine bottle. A little birthday wine anyone?