Archive for January, 2011

Make Monday: Black Hearted

January 31, 2011

February means the saddest excuse for a holiday, is upon us. Valentines day. If your heart is as jaded as mine, then perhaps you will enjoy my craft project for this Make Monday. A little black heart pin for you or one of your mutually bitter single friends.

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ohJoy!

January 27, 2011

Its Thursday! The day that I have started collecting photos I’ve taken through out the week, because they relate to things that I love about life. Such as:

The guy who plays songs from Amelie in the 14th street station.

people who enjoy their jobs

drinking coffee on a tree

using long exposure to give me the power of invisibility

that some of the most important items in my life, right now, weigh less than my dog.

my dog

eating meals with friends

gingers. (They’re apparently the new black.)

making a barricade of beverages

having my blog on the front page of wordpress.com!

feeling like one of those people who starts looking like their dog (photo by Molly Burkett)

tiny cookies

turning people into cartoons while helping make things for their etsy shop

when eve the snow wants to get out of the cold

big sandwiches made by old polish women

Honorable Mentions:

  • “I got hot sauce in my eye tonight, and I thought of you”
  • buy backs at bars
  • holding hot tea when its too cold to feel my fingers
  • Rediscovering my love for Marcys Playground
  • ice cream cakes
  • waking up before the sun
  • thick socks
  • getting paid for doing manual labor
  • vitamin E
  • Katz deli
  • cynical texts from my brother
  • living vicariously through the parties I hear my neighbors throwing, almost every night
  • everything about this

Perfect Cinnamon Buns

January 24, 2011

My all time favorite breakfast treat is the cinnamon bun. I grew up eating those Pillsbury ones in the airtight tubes that you had to whack against the counter to get open.

I had a friend whos mom, would place them in a pie tin and they would expand. Being what I thought cinnamon buns should be, this was illusive concept to me. I only ate them once and have been trying to find ones that compare, ever since.

Heres what ruins anything that has ever come close to those homemade cinnamon buns that I have spent a lifetime dreaming about:

  • the weak cinnamon to bun ratio
  • not enough frosting
  • raisins. gross. Why do people find the need to add pruned grapes to something so perfect?

I realized that in order to do something right, I would just have to do it myself. Baking with yeast is still pretty new to me, so I was a bit scared of it. My baker dad informed me that yeast and humans live comfortably in the same temperatures:

  • If you add yeast to something that is about the same temperature as a warm bathtub, it’ll flourish.
  • If you add it to a liquid that is too hot, you’ll kill it.
  • If you add it to something cold, it’ll hold out on expanding until the temperature is warm enough or it’ll just take longer.

With this, I began skimming through cinnamon bun recipes, plucking what I liked about each one to concoct my idea of the perfect cinnamon bun.

It was so good, that my appetite almost didn’t give me time to take a good photo of the final product.

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Happy Billy Ocean Day!

January 21, 2011

Things I love about Billy Ocean, as we celebrate his birthday, today:

  • His ability to minimize consonants in order to create a perfect song
  • His contagious smile
  • His video featuring Day DeVito, Kathleen Turner, and Michael Douglas

ohJoy!

January 20, 2011

Puppy distractions

friendship distractions

getting ‘shotgun’ when it really makes a diffrence

seeing situations from a different perspective

teaching Charlie an awesome new trick!

sewing my finger into the sewing machine….

because it resulted in the purchase of these adorable bandaids!!!

leaving slightly comical/ passive aggressive notes

having people in my life who will put on my clothes, and those who will take a train out of their way just to make me smile.

getting exercise by being ridiculous

when a row of photos I’ve taken come up in a row on Facebook.

honorable mentions:

  • Being stopped at the metal detector at the passport office, for a bottle of hot sauce in my purse. “Boss, is this considered a drink?” “Only if she’s Jamaican.”
  • re-watching The Smoking Room
  • getting cut off in a lunch line by a guy who insisted on buying my meal.
  • rearranging my office space
  • finally finding a way to stream I Love Lucy episodes
  • catching one of those old trains with the orange seats
  • pizza with bacon and eggs on it, from Robertas
  • spelling things out phonetically with a phone operator. “V as in Vagina” “….ok, that was V as in Victory, correct?”
  • teasing my hair up
  • jumping jacks
  • baking almost every day
  • prematurely digging out my summer clothes for my trip to Thailand, next month

 

Make Monday: Chocolate Covered Popcorn

January 17, 2011


I used to be really intimidated by popcorn. Thats right…..popcorn.

The thought of making it outside of those pre-buttered microwave bags or pre-buttered aluminum tins, seemed impossible. I thought I hated popcorn, but turns out that I just hated that weird butter. Ever since someone showed me how easy making your own popcorn could be, I’ve been eating it pretty much every day.

My teeth may hate me for saying this, but I LOVE popcorn! I love it so much that over the summer, I’ve tried 12 different kernels and several kinds of salts to add to them. After extensive research, my favorite popcorn combo is the plain ole’ popcorn drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with corse salt.

Turns out its really simple to make!

Start by heating up a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large pot with about a cup of popcorn kernels.

when one starts to pop, put a lid on the pot while occasionally shaking the pot to make sure all of the kernels are getting heated at the bottom of the pot.

Keep the heat on until there  is 2-3 seconds between popping sounds.

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ohJoy!

January 13, 2011

 

people who act like cartoon characters

dogs, too

people who take photos of others without the fear of rejection

fending off colds by drinking ice cold smoothies in the middle of winter

disregard for the restrictions of weather

 

(wo)man eating refrigerators

 

saving money by making my own bread

 

using said bread to make the perfect sandwich

 

Galas refusal to admit that we’re too old to fit on the toddler swings.

“It’s fine…just a little pinchy on the sides”

 

redneck martini shakers

 

Lilian Caruanas Punks & Skinheads photo exhibit.

 

my grocery store, for keeping their Christmas decorations up year round

making cookies that are bigger than my head

snow!

 

fresh uni

 

drawings in unlikely places

 

learning about onigiri with the help of rice ball drawings

 

watching Looney Tunes and drinking coffee in a basement, every Sunday

 

new friends hanging out with old ones. Apparently one is silver, and the other is gold.

 

he does have a tint of gold to him…

 

taking off my pants when I think they make me look fat

honorable mentions:

  • Junji Ito manga
  • The Leauge and Paul Scheer in general
  • raw vegetables with salt
  • the Flipboard app for iPad
  • fresh popcorn for breakfast
  • the TLC Pandora seed
  • Pirate Radio/ The Boat That Rocked
  • deflating an inflatable bed by laying on it as it sinks
  • when people offer their seat on the subway, because I’m holding a lot of shopping bags
  • Art Streibers photos of Justin Beiber for Vainity Fair
  • 38 of New Yorks best soups
  • running into my friends on public transit
  • fresh pillow cases
  • teaching my dog how to high five

 

Pocket Notebook!

January 10, 2011

This week, I’ve started coming to terms with the fact that if I don’t write things down, I’ll forget about them. Yes. I’m getting old.

SO,  for this edition of Make Monday, I thought it would be a pretty good idea to keep a pocket notebook handy.  This not only will help me remember who I’m supposed to meet up with but will also help me get rid of some stationary scraps

and unused paper in my archived journals.

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Cat.

January 7, 2011

Remember when Audrey Hepburn tossed that cat out of the cab, at the end of Breakfast at Tiffanys, as some sort of romantic display of freedom? Have you ever wondered what would have happened to that thing if George Peppard hadn’t put her in her place, and gone looking for it? I think I came across the grim result of what may have happened to Cat, if someone other than Capote had written the story.

I was walking to the subway from my house faster that usual, to avoid the cold any more than I had to, when this little guy slowly limped into the middle of the street and took a seat. I quickly snapped a photo of its black silhouette in the middle of the isolated snow white road and then realized that it was in really bad shape. I got closer, and took a more detailed shot.

Due to my hatred for cats, I kind of said “poor dude” and walked on. Then guilt set in. I thought of how horrible it must be to need help, and have someone document your pain as amusement. I realized that if I left, I would never be able to look at the photographs of this cat without a voice in the back of my head reminding me that this was the shot that represented me being a bad person. Someone heartless enough to walk away from something that needed help.

I turned around and went back to the cat just before it just rammed by a semi truck. I scooted it to the side of the road, called animal control to come and pick it up, and waited around for a bit listening to it wheezing for air.

I was hoping that by crossing a black cats path, and going beck to help it, would be good luck for me. Unfortunately though, I was told that I only absorb one of its lives. So when you see me crawling around at the age of 150, it has something to do with this photo.

ohJoy!

January 6, 2011

I used to do a “Things I Love Thursday”, except I guess I called it ohJoy…and it wasn’t usually on a thursday.

It was just a list of things I loved about life, when things were really bringing me down. Unfortunetly, it would take me so much time to think up enough things to love about life, that it was a rarely done.

This year, I’m going to try to make a goal of just being able to write down and take photos of more positive things, more often.

Heres a list of things I’ve loved about 2011, thus far.

fish cakes in my ramen

letting my hair grow

waking up next to a cuddly dog

real friends who dress like imaginary friends

having my hair done on an otherwise average day.

fresh challah bread from the bakery to make french toast (with nutella)

bubbles in my coffee

finding interior in inspiration in unlikely places. (my future bathroom will soon look like the locker room from Shutter Island)

food wrapped like presents.

weekly family dinner nights

Seeing this guy who is obviously from the abortion ad on the train, stand around with his girlfriend, uncomfortably.

having the first meal of the new year, with some of my favorite people.

This song because it’s beautiful.

He always sounded like he was drinking champagne on a train and wise to the ways of the world.”

-Tom Waits talking about Teddy Edwards. (Also beautiful.)

other honorable mentions:

  • strangers saying “happy new year” in passing, all over New York
  • snowball fights
  • when friends from different parts of my life, end up becoming friends
  • extra olives in martinis
  • japanese eraser toys
  • Putting Annie Hall on repeat while I’m sick in bed. I’ll pass out and wake up to something that makes me smile, no matter what part of the movie is playing.
  • being reminded that I’m missed
  • Pushing Daisies or any program that involves narrative story telling, for that matter. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, lemony snicket’s a series of unfortunate events, ect…

 

 

Underground Ninja Toy Stores

January 5, 2011

Photo by Cherry Vega

I can’t remember when my love for Japanese started, but I imagine it was during my colorful raver years……which never happened, by the way……

Everything is so eye catching, that I long to know more about it. My years with Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re, helped resolve some mysteries of this foreign land full of cute mascots and 1000 different kinds of Pocky, but I always long for more. Every time I come across something I’ve never seen or tried in Chinatown, I feel like I need to buy it just to further understand its meaning.

I have a favorite place to go in Chinatown that I can only refer to as “underground ninja toy store” after it became the luring key term that was described as to me, the first time I was brought there. It blew my mind.

Photo found on yelp

You walk into this place. A dull building with not much more than a pharmacy and bad lighting. Then travel down an escalator….

and end up in a basement with nothing but stores that at crammed full of reasonably priced  japanese knickknacks, accessories, plushies, stationary, video games, cute cups, and other random things that are nearly impossible to resist because of cuteness sensory overload.

Thats how I ended up with this new and unusually tall tea mug for $5.00, the other day.

Last time I was there, I noticed there was a new knickknack that I could’t even begin to understand.

This. what.is.this…? I know it says “crystal balls” but it also says “seven color”. Obviously deceiving.

I didn’t buy it, but recently Bee came back from a trip and happen to have brought it back as a gift! As if I was back in the ninja shop all over again, I was stumped by what I was looking at. I asked her what this adorable bag that could barely fill the palm of my hand, was made for. I don’t think she knew much more than me, about the mysteries of it, because her explanation was pretty much a description of the packaging.

“you put them in water and they turn into things”

then she drifted off in both, voice and eye contact.

I let them sit on my desk for a few days, then decided to just throw them into some water to see what would happen. I had no idea what to expect, and have no idea how I feel about the results. I do, however, feel like I should share as much about my Japanese discoveries, as I can. Just doing my part in down playing Americans as ignorant and unapologetic, to the Japanese, I guess.

this was how they looked as soon as I dropped them into a glass of room temp water.

Within an hour, they began to swell up a little

After about 5 hours, they kind of just dissolved into the glass. I was tired and the only thing I wanted after seeing these results, was a Shirley Temple. Unamused, I went to bed.

When I woke up, I was pretty excited to see these bouncy balls, that felt like a hardened Jello, filling the glass.

I don’t know what to do with them, but they’re pretty rad! A bag of them costs about 50 cents, so perhaps I can use them as an alternative to snow balls, in the summer time.

Lavender Lemon Cookie Sandwiches

January 3, 2011

My sacred book of lists and scribbles (also known as my journal)

A new year means a couple of new goals (not resolutions). Here’s a few from the list, that I plucked from my journal:

  • have at least 250 “highlight of the day’s” written by the years end
  • send out more postcards
  • draw more often
  • get a photo of mine put into a gallery show
  • have a weekly reason to update my blog
  • do a cartwheel in a different country
  • try recipes with ingredients I’ve never used
  • learn two new trades
  • find an excuse to wear fake eyelashes, weekly
  • order something on a menu with ingredients that I can’t pronounce
  • learn to write with my left hand
  • learn a magic trick thats more impressive than “I’ve got your nose”
  • teach my dog a new trick

This morning, sick as a serial killer, I made cookie sandwiches. I used lavender as an ingredient, for the first time ever.

This just knocked three things off of my list of goals!

my lemon lavender cookie sandwiches!

My friend Bea, had a grand plan to create something called Make Monday. I loved it! It got me excited to look at her blog every Monday. Even though she hasn’t updated since May, I still go back hoping that she’ll pick it up again. Until then, I’m taking this idea from her.

So, every Monday, plan on me making something. Perhaps a craft, a meal, or if I can’t get it together, you may end up seeing a video of me making my bed.

Heres my recipe and a photo tutorial on how to make lemon lavender cookie sandwiches. (note: you’ll see I just started playing around with my new Wacom tablet, and went a little crazy)

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One Photo From 1.1.11.

January 2, 2011

Despite the fact that I most defiantly have flu monsters crawling around in my system, I think its off to a good start.

Thank heaven for two thousand and eleven.