Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hair Matters

Today I was in the groove painting the windows, and as my mind wandered, I remembered an interesting article I had read a few years ago. It was a story in The New Yorker about the theory that the way you part your hair is an indicator of your personality and it has a big influence on how others perceive you.
It is called (what else) the "Hair Part Theory" and it was proposed by John and Catherine Walter. Their basic premise is that a "left parter" is a left-brain sort of person--and thought to have more masculine traits and a "right parter" has the more feminine characteristics of a "right brain" person. Taking this theory one step further--a left-parting man is seen to have a more practical and logical persona than a right-parting man, who is seen as more intuitive and softer. Likewise, a woman with a left part is seen as more masculine than a woman with a right part. So if you are a woman trying to get that job at the steel mill....left part! Right part for you guys trying to be head yogi down at the Yoga Hut.
The original article I read was written right after the disastrous 2000 election, and the Walters said they believed that Al Gore lost because he had a right part and Dubya is a leftie.
That made me think a bit about their theory and this election....what about Barak Obama? He's got NO PART! According to the Walters, no-parters are "new and different" had have "a unifying presence". Interestingly, Joe Biden was a left-parter and is now a no-parter.

Of course I had to check out John McCain...a right-parter and a comb-over-er to boot! (Oooo, bad news for you John!), and his running mate Sarah Palin, who sports a semi-beehive (The Walters don't have any theories about those. But it is sort of on the right side.)

Only time will tell......

Saturday, August 30, 2008

All About Painting

Today I began priming the exteriors of the two new windows that were installed two weeks ago. I can hold off on the interior, but I wanted to seal up the exposed wood.
I really enjoy painting. Sure there's a lot of prep work involved that's not actual painting--but even that is OK with me.
Every time I do painting I am reminded of when I was a Commercial Art student at MATC. This was back in the dark ages when we still actually had to draw stuff with paper and pencils. There were NO computers at all then.
The program included classes in typography, photography, illustration, as well as design classes. One semester of the illustration class was devoted to painting and boy, did I struggle! I had some good ideas, but the execution sucked. The teacher tried hard to help to load the brush, what pressure to use for certain techniques, and the important wrist/arm coordination--make the brush do the work he said..but I was just not getting it.
Fast forward 30 years.....I was painting my kitchen and voila! I GOT it! Everything just clicked. It was awesome! Now, I love painting and I'm actually pretty good at it.
So....thanks Mr. Krommenhoek!

Friday, August 29, 2008

BrainSpoon Needs Your Help!

Hey everybody.....Forget all that Obama message of hope stuff for just a minute-- here's your real chance to make a difference in the world today.
A friend of mine is in the band BrainSpoon and they are competing in a battle of the bands for a slot to play in the upcoming Detour Festival.
They are a great band and it would be so awesome if they could play at the festival.
All you have to do is click HERE and follow the directions to place your vote. Right now they are in second place by one percentage your vote CAN make a difference! Do it now!

Monday, August 25, 2008

What We Do Is Secret

We finally got to see the Germs'
movie! The excitement (at least in our house) had been building all summer and we finally got to see it Friday night. What had been billed as a one-night-stand was expanded into a week-long engagement.
The film is definitely a labor of love--the director, Rodger Grossman had been working on this project for quite some time. He had the advice and assistance of the remaining Germs and the film is a pretty accurate snapshot of the (short) life and times of Darby Crash and The Germs.
The early Southern California punk scene has been a fascination of mine over the years, mainly because I got here too late. I date my arrival to December 1, 1980 (it was really Nov 22, but we moved into our rental Dec 1), so it was pretty much over by then. I was a little older, had a real job to attend to (i.e. no partying), and lived in Redondo Beach (far from Hollywood), plus I was really worried I would somehow get my ass kicked--so I pretty much had to live the punk lifestyle vicariously.
Dale, on the other hand, was there as part of the scene back in the day and did get to see The Germs perform. He said he was impressed with the film's attention to detail, especially in the live scenes--the impending chaos during the performances. The movie's audio quality really added to the sense of chaos--it was rather unnerving, until I heard someone else say they had the same feeling.
One thing I enjoy about living in the L.A. area is that for events such as this, there are LOTS OF OLD PEOPLE in attendance. I include myself in that group. I venture to guess that half the audience was over forty. Dale was alternately freaking out and reveling in being the "cool daddio" because his daughters (18&21) were there with us. We were reminiscing how one of the kids used to wear his old Germs t-shirt as her sleep-shirt.
After the film, we were treated to a Q&A by the cast -members and the original Germs. Dale (that wag) wanted to ask Pat Smear if he quit FooFighters so as not to be in THREE bands where the lead-man committed suicide. (I held him back on that one). It was cool to see the originals. Actually, there was a show the next night at the Echo (where I recently saw THE EARWIGS), with the original Germs plus Shane West as Darby.
From left to right--Shane, Don, Pat, Lorna, Michelle

There were things set up in the lobby. Here's a link to their MySpace.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's Coming!

It has been brought to my attention that Halloween is just around the corner. The haunt forums are on fire now and Labor Day is when haunters traditionally kick it into gear. The hard core people have been at it since the middle of summer. Here at Fartwood Manor we're still in the pencil-and-paper stage, but next week will begin refurbing and assessing the existing props. I do believe Hauntmaster Dale has a few new things up his sleeves for this year. This year also marks the FIFTH ANNIVERSARY of the haunt. Wow, how time flies!

Click HERE to check out Dale's page and check out the haunt in progress.

Friday, August 22, 2008

DIY Blues

When I rule the planet, homeowners that install wallpaper will be required by law, upon pain of death, to remove said wallpaper before selling the house to another (unsuspecting) person.


(but I did get some damn fine windows installed!--more later!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Music Tuesday!

Thanks today to David Byrne and Brian Eno for giving me a quickie excuse of a post.
I've listened to the album only once so far. My first impression is that it is quiet and mellow...just the thing to listen to when you're laying on the couch feeling all sickly. Definitely not My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, but definitely beautiful work. I remember when Jed the Fish played "Bush of Ghosts" in its entirety on KROQ when it first came out...I still have the little cassette I made of the broadcast.
It's funny to see their pictures. They're like all old and stuff! These guys were my idols way back when. I guess that makes me pretty old too.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

***cough cough****
back.soon. (i hope)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mutant Pizza

I know I often post about the wonderful meals I've made or the beautiful vegetables I get at the farmers' market. That's just the highlight reel folks. More often that I want to admit, meals at Fartwood Manor are pretty mundane. I usually keep a pizza or two in the freezer for those nights when I don't want to cook. The Trader Joe's Pizza Margherita is our favorite. I really like the crispy crust.
Sunday, I wanted to have a quickie lunch before we went out and about. So I pulled out this (not Trader Joe's) pizza and...WTF?!?! A mutant pizza! Somebody at the pizza factory was sleeping on the job.
We were really pressed for time so I cooked it anyway. It was pretty bad.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Holy Grail of Snack Food

I won't deny it--I do enjoy salty snacks. My preferred snack is pretzels. Snyder's Pretzel Rods to be exact. The best thing about pretzels, other than that they taste great with beer, is that they are good for people who use computers a lot. Because pretzels have no greasy coating, they don't get your fingers all messed up. You can pretty much eat and keyboard with no ill effects to the keys. Popcorn is a close second. In my world, it is OK to have popcorn for dinner. I'm old school on popcorn--I make it in a stove top popper. splatgirl creates: Breakfast with a Bonus Ending explains how to make Bacon Popcorn--popping the corn in bacon drippings. This I will be trying soon, I assure you.
Which brings us to Hot Cajun Corn Sticks. I first encountered them in Jack In The Box's "Southwestern Salad". Which, believe it or not, is a great salad. Along with the salad comes a packet of these yummy corn sticks. The idea is to provide some "crunch" to the salad. (Before you go and cast aspersions on my eating at Jack, let me explain by saying this is the only thing I eat there, because it is made OFF PREMISES and the fact that I can get a salad and be back at my desk in under ten minutes.)
The sticks are pretty well spiced with cayenne and give the tongue a good tingle. Unfortunately, they do have a slight coating on them, so they aren't the best for munching and working. Since the salad is pretty big, I save the corn sticks for my afternoon snack time.
I have been looking for these corn sticks for a few years--just to get them "a la carte" so to speak. No luck. Until last week when I was at Sprouts stocking up on Usinger's Weiners. There they were...a whole barrel of them! Yay!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Scirocco Memories

I had a cool car once. For about two years, I was the proud owner of a VW Scirocco. All black, black tinted windows.......I was Darth Vader on four wheels--without all the heavy breathing. I kicked ass-phalt. Almost rear-ended someone on 190th Street as I was listening to "Ride of the Valkyries" on my Blaupunkt turned up to 11.
Oh yes, I was stylin' n smilin'. Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Hwy1, Hwy2, Mammoth. Always road trips.
Then I moved to Maui. Since I wanted to be financially unencumbered for the move, I sold the car to my next-door neighbor--who had watched me care lovingly for it and knew he was getting a good deal. It was a pretty good thing for a while...he would let me drive it whenever I came back to SoCal...that is, until he totaled it on the 605. He told me he was very impressed with all the safety features.
I felt sort of sad to give up the Scirocco, even though I WAS moving to Maui, but the sadness was tempered by the fact my dad gave me his GTI as a replacement to bring with me. Another kick ass-phalt car. The GTI's were pretty potent. My mom even made up her own acronym for what GTI stood for. She said it meant "Good Time Inside". I'll have to agree.
Fast forward to reality: Now that I am a responsible adult with commitments and obligations, I have to get cars that are "economical" ie. cheap. For a while, I thought I was getting a Mini, but I got a house instead. How lame is that? (J/K).
But I will always have a soft spot in my heart for a nice "go-fast car".
So today my dad sends me a link to the review for the "new", resurrected Scirocco. Well, thank goodness it is butt-ugly or I would have really been having a bad-hair day. The seats look really cool, but man, that styling blows. It looks like an effin' Mazda! The reviewer gave a good mark for the handling, etc. but visually...sheesh. no way.

This is what my Scirocco looked like....except the color. *sigh*. One of these days I'll dig out those photos and digitize them.

It's funny....all I have left from my Scirocco days is my old key fob....20 years. wow.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Since Favre's trade is a done deal, I decided to do a little housekeeping in my cube at work. The Prilosec ad was from a while ago, and I originally started with the "I Quit" sticky note on 3/4/2008. During the last month or so, I and my co-workers have been adding sticky notes as the drama unfolded.
I replaced my Favre-centric stuff with the "power of cheese" poster I got at the SuperBowl XXXII in SanDiego. The toughest thing I have to replace is my spiral-bound Favre notebook. It's full of work notes from the last ten years. Either I transcribe it (which I really should do) or just paste another picture onto the cover.

last year's schedule

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Separated at Birth?

I wonder if DB will be playing any of these when I get to see him in October?
The song titles are so appropriate.

This graphic was lifted from JSOnline and was submitted by Walter Mink. (Who has good taste in music, IMHO)

Weekend Wokking Roundup

Head on over to Blazing Hot Wok and check out this month's entries.
The secret ingredient this month was TOMATOES and cooks from all over the world participated. Stuffed, sauteed, and stir-fried--eleven delicious recipes to use up the season's bounty.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New Recipes

I've been in the cooking mode for the last few weeks and have discovered some tasty recipes.
One of my favorite bloggers, Wandering Chopsticks has a treasure trove of wonderful recipes on her blog. She covers all sorts of cuisines, but Vietnamese is represented the most. Recently she had a post about Mi Xao Don Chay--Vietnamese Vegetarian Crispy Chow Mein. It is super-easy and tastes great. I especially liked the crunchy noodles with the tender veggies. I didn't use the chayote, but I think this is the type of recipe where you could sub in your favorite veggies.

I guess I was still in the Vietnamese cuisine mode when I spotted this recipe Vietnamese Chicken Salad. This was perfect on a warm summer night. I love the spicy dressing and mint. I used the purple basil, but I'm sure the green one is just as good.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

How To Make Your Boyfriend Happy

Or your girlfriend. Or your husband, wife, lover, kids, or whoever it is you love and want to treat right.
All you have to do is make them blueberry pancakes. Guaranteed to put a smile anyone's face.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Harmony In My Head

OK--Yesterday I had David Byrne, today it's Barbershop. Yes, I DO have an eclectic taste in music. Actually, I enjoy LIVE music of pretty much any type. If someone is going to take the time and effort to perform, I feel it is my duty to listen.
This event will be on the SS Lane Victory, an actual Victory ship AND National Historic Landmark! How patriotic!
The entrance fee includes: food by Gregorio the Taco Guy, a beverage, a museum, and of couse all the harmony singing you can stand! A family-friendly event! Unless your kid gets sea-sick...then it's not so friendly, I guess.
Check it out!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

oooooo I am VERY excited!

***this is an updated post****

Got this notice in the old email bucket the other day and I was all a-twitter with the news. Within 30 minutes I had tickets and three people to go with me..and it was before 8AM!
David Byrne and Brian Eno are two of my very best favorite musicians, composers, thinkers. No matter what path they are travelling at the time, I enjoy what they do. I can't wait to hear the latest collaboration.

Check this link--EverythingThatHappens and David Byrne will explain the concept.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Torrance Cat Found Unconscious

HellCat of the Pacific was found unconscious today in his backyard, the apparent victim of falling peaches.
Passersby refused to render aid due to the victim's breath "smelling like cat food".
HellCat eventually recovered sufficiently enough to retreat to his usual place beside the wall, where out of the range of falling peaches, he slept it off.