Monday, June 30, 2008

Oooooh. Ahh.

...and there are many who WOULD say that the pot of gold is truly within the walls of such retail oddness and ecstasy as Big Lots. It's the American take on a modern bazaar, but less livestock and no bargaining.

(Picture was taken on the evening of June 21 on our way in to dinner at Mariachi Loco after A Prairie Home Companion.)

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Mysterious and Intriguing

These signs are found on streets all over the world. No one knows who puts them there, or even what exactly what they mean. The "Toynbee" in the sign is a reference to the Ray Bradbury book, The Toynbee Convector, as well as a concept from the Kubrick film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

This sign is at the corner of W. 3rd and Prospect, *on* W. 3rd., near my husband's office building.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NaBloPoMo June Badge

It's the badge for June's "blog every day" challenge. The theme was "Home".


Labels: , , ,

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Good Architecture. Not-So-Good Memories.

This is the Peter B Lewis Building at Case Western Reserve University, by Frank Gehry, a hometown point of pride- one of many. Funny that it only occurs to me to show pictures of my homeTOWN at the end of NaBloPoMo's June 'Home' theme.

Anyway. I didn't go to CWRU, I went to the Cleveland Instute of Art, whose campus is in the middle of Case's. So I shouldn't have any connection to the Lewis Bldg. other than aesthethic admiration, right? Not so!

A few days before graduation in May, 2003 I was cleaning out my studio at school. I'd just gotten done and was leaving the parking lot when many loud sirens started heading toward the area. Some of the emergency vehicles passed me. Not all of them were ambulances.

There are 2 HUGE hospitals in the area, and if you spend any time in University Circle, you learn to block sirens out. Unless you're driving and have to merge right for emergency vehicles to pass.

This was the police & SWAT, fire, and EMS response to the dreadful shooting that held the local community paralyzed for hours.

I got out of the area just in time. Not everyone was so fortunate.

I was never in danger. All that would have happened to me was inconvenience: I would have been immobilized for several hours in the parking lot by the multi-street roadblock that kept many cars, bikes, and pedestrians in place while the showdown ran its course. The people in the Lewis Building were held at automatic weapon-point. It was a very sad day.


Labels: , , , , , , , ,

On the Porch with a New Assignment

Another editing project well under way. Some of these projects are downright adictive; some, I can't wait to see the backside of. It's the nature of vetting someone else's work. THIS issue, however, will not only be well-edited, but strong, design-wise. I am happy to say that I have truly enjoyed each project I've been assigned.


Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Spider Saga 1: Arachne's Handmaiden


(deep breath)

That's a spider inside that nebulous blob.

It's lovely and breezey outside, and who's going to waste a day like this, with a patio like what my amazing and talented husband has built?

I took my knitting outside and opened the umbrella. I noticed the white blob, but didn't worry about it until it started moving. *That* was when I realized there was a spider still in it!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spider Saga 2: Arachne's Handmaiden

Yikes. Yep, it's moving. And when the sun comes out, you can *really* see the creature.

Oh, there's no doubt about her identity: she's a jumping spider, which is Family Salticidae.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spider Saga 3: Arachne's Handmaiden


Another action shot.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spider Saga 4: Arachne's Handmaiden

It's OUT!

*yoga breathing*

Everything is already ok. We can share this space.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spider Saga 5: Arachne's Handmaiden

I think she's laying eggs!

It's also getting windier, and she keeps going in and out of the nest. It's interesting to watch her tinker about the nest.

I guess I've decided I won't be evicting her. That's so contrary to my gut, but we've bonded now. Shared a cup of tea.

Also, this is her territory. Inside, I think I might still have different feelings. When I teach children about nature, I make it clear that we are guests when we step outside.

Besides, I'm a weaver. We're supposed to be kindred spirits (or something) (whatever; I'm a naturalist *and* an artist). I'm really trying hard to get over my phobia by confronting my fear 'Bene Geserit'-style: "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear..." from Dune, by Frank Herbert.

I'm not running screaming, but I haven't picked up my knitting, either.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It's a question we ALL ask, eventually.

A very sad Cleopatra begs to know WHY couldn't the Cubs beat the Sox? It had the feeling of an Indians game, except with more hitting.

Scant 5 hours later, Rick returned from the Indians game to report a dismal score, and even worse: a deadly boring game.

Let's hope both the Tribe and the Cubs fare better today. Interleague play has been brutal for my two beloved hometeams.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Crazy Silly Bert

She's having a post-supper bathe-&-roll. *I* don't understand it. Seems a bit counterproductive. (points to spot on rug to the left of Bert's head; housekeeping's not one of our fave pastimes...)


Labels: , , , ,


Earlier today, one of the very nice people from Heights Garden Center came over and complimented us on this lovely plant. How nice! Especially since WE didn't make it pretty. WE just dug a hole and put it in. It's been on its own ever since.

Labels: , , , , ,

This is ALL the sun that's left for now!

We are gonna get ZONKED. Oooh! Confirmation recieved in the form of thunder! NICE. I love summer storms.

The air is thick with the intoxicating scent of ozone, damp soil, and lush foliage. Mmmm.

I'm sitting between opened windows with my 2 most attentive pets, a cup of green tea with honey, some knitting, and Cubs v. White Sox (GO CUBS!). Bring it!

Oooh-there was just a BIG lightning strike. And it was very close. Bert 'Shaggy-&-Scoobyed' off the back of the couch even before the strike was done. Poor, freaked out kitty. Cleo did the opposite, hopping up onto the couch for some power snuggling.

The drama, the smells, the companionship... I just love summer!

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Just in Time for Beijing...

...not to mention the rest of Baseball... since steroids and The Clear are OUT...

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, June 27, 2008

Red and Yellow Thrill a Fellow, ME

The color in our front yard continues to amaze me, as does the staying power of these poppies.

The cranesbill (periwinkle-colored blooms just beyond the poppies) are no slackers, either!

Labels: , , , , ,

Normally I'm not wild about pink, but...

...there always has to be an exception! These are the first hollyhocks of the season. In *our* yard, at least. I've seen them blooming in other people's gardens for about 2 weeks now, and I am delighted to have some blooms in mine!

The next bloom will be black, my favorite. It's extraordinary.


Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rain Delay

Five minutes ago, we were watching "This Week In Baseball". Now we are in a rain delay, sans rain, but loaded with very ominous clouds and occasional lightning flashes. It was wise to delay!

What I *do* think is odd, however, is the failure to resume regular programming. It was very entertaining! Instead, we got the split scoreboard, one side explaining why there would be no baseball anytime soon, and the other displaying who we wouldn't see play.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This just tickles me...every single time

My neighbor is mowing his lawn again. Good thing he has something to sit on while he cares for such a vast holding.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

SteamPunked Bacon Burger MeisterBurger

Wednesday's are always my day to blog on the AntiCraft, where I'm a tech editor. We're still in the middle of the "Beltane" issue, also known as "Unclean (It's Sacrelicious!)", though most people just call it The Bacon Ish.

I think we seriously underestimated how much fun could be had with bacon. BACON. Really. Who'd'a'thunk it? But Carin ended up on NPR on Monday morning. Baconhenge has been picked up by so many different food blogs, and my felted bacon bracelet has piggy-backed (ha! porcine pun!!) its way along on at least one (Slashfood, if anyone's wondering, and I think it's cool.)

Today, at Zabet's suggestion, I put my Steampunked Bacon Burgers on the AC blog, but I can never figure out how to post photos there. Redundancy is the answer!! I'll post it here, as well, with pics here and link the two.

Problem solved. Bon apetit!!

(By the way, if you're curious about the format, it's how all projects are formatted when they're published on The AntiCraft. This was one such submitted project for the current issue, but it's not really fair for a tech editor to have more than 2 projects in a given issue.)


It felt like they were breathing down the back of her neck, but they were in fact at least twenty-five, maybe thirty miles behind.

Still: too close for comfort.

But it wouldn’t do to skip meals. That trophy could never happen on an empty stomach. This strip of road? No double arches, no giant cowboy hats. Not here! Gonna have to do it herself.

She pulled to the side. A glance in the cooler, some rapid mixing, deft application of aluminum foil. A pop of the hood and the metallic packet nestled securely on the manifold.

As she drove the next 230 miles the aroma of cooking meat tantalized her, speeding her across the continent.

Victory smells like a juicy bacon burger.

Suggested Watching
The Great Race (1965, rated “Approved”)
Wacky Races (1968, rated G)

Difficulty Level

Finished Measurements
# of burgers = 8-12, depending on the size of the patty

2# ground beef
2 packages onion soup mix
2 eggs
1 1/4 C (151g) dried bread crumbs
1 medium onion, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
3 T (29g) minced garlic
2 t (5.7g) fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
1 t (2.45 g) cayenne pepper (or to taste -- I prefer more!)
1/4 C (20g) dried parsley
Hickory smoked bacon (1 pkg.)

Mixing bowl
Chopping board
Grill, grill pan, or griddle
Metal spatula, large

Chef's Notes
One very effective way of forming the hamburger patties is to make a very large ball of ground beef, wrap the bacon strips around the ball so they intersect twice (once above, once below), then flatten the patty on the bacon intersection points. Your burgers will keep their shape, and the bacon will not shrink or squeeze the meat out between the strips.

Preheat your grill, if you plan to use one. You want a warm grill, not hot -- this burger needs to cook a bit slowly, due to the bacon. If you’re “grilling” this burger on the stove, use a medium-low flame/comparable electric setting.

Mix all ingredients together except the bacon. Form into patties. Wrap the bacon around the patties in the form of Xs (see Chef's Notes). Make sure there is an X on both sides of each patty. Press gently to embed the bacon in the surface of the patty.

Place the burger patties on the cooking surface. Let them cook at least 5-8 minutes without pressing or lifting it! (Seriously -- walk away if you have to! I know the temptation is unbearable for some.) Cook these burgers sloooooowly. Flip after 15 minutes. Flip again, watch and make sure the bacon doesn't cook too fast for the burgers; cook until the burgers are done to your satisfaction.

The fresh vegetables in the meat actually steams the burger from the inside while it grills. It will be VERY juicy.

Serve on toasted sesame buns with onion and tomato slices, with a little barbecue sauce and horseradish. Or don't bother with the condiments. These burgers are loaded with their own flavor.


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Home of the Free.

I am closely following the sad and tragic events in Zimbabwe. I have deep sympathy and an utter sense of helplessness over the horrors being suffered by the people in that country.

I find it unthinkable that a person could be removed from a bus at random, interrogated about their political loyalties, and beaten for hours if the wrong answer is given.

How is it possible that this is happening? How is it happening that no other country is stepping in? I understand the African National Congress' desire for autonomy. I applaud that. I believe that they need to be their own salvation. I believe the world is waiting for some good news from Africa, and that this would be a marvelous time for such a bold move. But why do they insist on such impotence? Do they fear like action on their own regimes? Mirrors are dangerous.

Robert Mugabe is nothing more than one more cookie-cutter strong man in a dime-a-dozen military uniform covered with as many medals as his puffed-up pigeon chest can support. The world has seen so many that look just like him, across Africa, Asia, South and Central America... I believe it was an accident of injustice that Idi Amin died of natural causes. Former Liberian president Charles Taylor is in the Hague being tried for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other heinous awfulness (not a legal term); others have come to really nasty ends. Mugabe will have his, too.

I'm grateful that I live in the United States. I do not have to agree with the administration, and on the occasions when I do not, I am free to discuss it openly. I can discuss it with friends and family. I have had interesting, polite, stimulating conversation about the upcoming presidential election with strangers at the auto dealership while waiting for repairs, and the exchange was marvelous; we parted richer for having heard each others' thoughts. I can call radio programs and write to newspapers and blogs. In the media, I can see or hear how it's done by professional journalists and pundits with the politeness and studied, even-handed, non-editorial position of an NPR/PBS interview, or with the blustery, interrupting, biased, and agenda-pushing of a FOX News broadcast.

I am grateful that I am generally safe from my country's administration.

I hope that this is something that not only stays that way, but continues to improve.


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, June 23, 2008

She's Just SO Sweet.

Why Do They Lock Gas Station Bathrooms?

To keep George Carlin from haunting them.

Yeah, that's not as funny as the answer he used to give. (Which was "Do they think someone's going to come in and clean them?") But today's not a very funny day. Today's the day they announced George Carlin died of heart failure, and I think I just may join him.

Intelligent, thought-provoking humor. Thank God and Carlin for that. Didn't matter how many times I heard his routines, I laughed myself silly over them. The Difference Between Football and Baseball. The Difference Between Dogs and Cats. Stuff. I never yet have heard the Seven Words bit without it being censored, but I imagine it being every bit as funny as all the rest.

God bless the great city of Milwaukie, WI. That's where, in 1972, Carlin ended up as a footnote in all the lawbooks for all time, and as a result, one of the most memorable WCPN interview moments in my listening history, just a few years ago.

Good O'l George did his Seven Words schtick on stage. And if you're reading this and don't know the piece, it's about how these particular words are never going to be heard on broadcast TV. I mean, there's a lot that gets past the network censors today, but these words are strictly, absolutely enforced. So at the end of the performance, Carlin was arrested, brought up on charges of disturbing the peace (!!!!! laughter is disturbing the peace!!) (because I just can't imagine anyone in that room rioted other than a gut-busting belly laugh!), and was released on a $150 fine.

A Milwaukie judge dismissed the charges. He said that while Carlin was being indecent, he still had his freedom of speech. Carlin bounded happily out of the court room and jauntily into the historic annals of law.

He was pretty proud of that, he later said. I don't blame him one bit.

So the last (or maybe second last) time George Carlin came to Cleveland, he was on WCPN for a live interview with Dee Perry on the Around Noon Show. And Dee has this very hesitating style of interviewing that makes her sound like she's making up her questions on the spot, though I'm sure she actually DID prepare days in advance. (It drives me nuts.) The interview was bland, but going well, until she asked Carlin about his "controversial" Seven Words bit, at which point he completely tore her to pieces.

The point of Seven Words is that words only have such power as we give them. This is the meaning of the phrase "the pen is mightier than the sword". You can bring down the mightiest warrior with words to weaken him or her before you ever enter into battle. Likewise, if it is decided that the word "rose" suddenly has awful connotations, we will no longer be permitted to use that word in print or broadcast media. Our children will be taught a new word for the flower that grows on the shrub that bears pointy thorns.

George Carlin used humor to get that point across with Seven Words. Dee Perry, by asking a poorly prepared and superficial question, offended him, and from that point forward, shares her interviews with other staff members whenever certain performers come to town. (We all benefit!!) It sure was interesting to hear Carlin's temper unleash. It was fascinating to hear his perspective out from behind the filter of humor. And then the finality of the click of the phone line.

I suppose that's a little like the news that came today.

I hate June. All the good people die in June.


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Oh, HAIL No...

Looks like the thunderstorms which plagued (but didn't dampen) the Garrison Keillor performance last night are hardly finished! It's been a very long time since I've been in hail. And this I had to run into! I had to rush out to clean the garage to put the car away.


Labels: , , , , , , ,

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fuzzy Pic, But I'm Having a Blast!

Time for Guy Noir!

Earlier in the performance, during one of the songs, the power went out. Just for about two minutes, and the performers didn't let it phase them. That was interesting, in and of itself. This was caused by a very powerful thunderstorm that "plagued" the performers throughout the broadcast.

I put the word "plagued" in quotes because it didn't seem to bother Keillor, et al. It was fascinating to watch how they all turned it into part of the program -- it was seamless. Their improv skills were so perfectly honed that it was impossible for us to tell whether they were truly reading from the scripts in hand or letting the weather (whether by prediction or circumstances) dictate. There were a few thunderclaps that were obvious (and perfectly played, God!! You definitely have good comic timing!!) but otherwise, just so impressive to watch.


Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Mike and Patti, very wonderfully, treated us to an evening (an amazingly delightful evening!!!) of Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion, live at Blossom. Then dinner afterwards!!

Wow. It. Was. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! AWESOME. Great entertainment. Good food. The best company. We are truly extraordinarily blessed.


Labels: , , , , , , ,

Baby Shower Lessons I Have Learned.

It's important to remember the furry family members when preparing to welcome a baby home.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, June 20, 2008

Baby Toys Are FUN!

Shannon product tests at her baby shower!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

Ain't that America?

Apparently this beautiful Way Back Machine lives next door to my dad.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Switchy-Tail, Twitchy-Tail

She is stalking her sister-cat Bert, vulture-style. Well, except vultures don't swish and twitch *their* tails in impatience and disgust. Pity this isn't a video. Morg's hilarious when she's peeved.

Bert is sitting about 4' in front and below her, beneath the player piano, playing it cool.

Which is the only way to sit when sitting under a piano. OR a vulture...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Holy. Screaming. COW.

Published. AND I got linked on Slashfood. How cool is that?????

(Really, the spotlight is on co-editor Carin's Baconhenge. And kudos to her, for devising a recipe that takes advantage of the season during which our magazine gets published. That's completely brilliant.)(Not only brilliant, it's delicious.)


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Visit this link. Then click on the box in the very top right-hand corner.

(Failing that, click here.)



Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

'Stella d'Oro' Means 'Star of Gold'

It's a gray day, but these Stellas are a nice spot of bright in the yard.

ALL My Cats Are Crafty, Apparently!

Hey, Bert! I'm knitting with that wire!

Yeah, um. And I really want to talk about what I'm knitting. Or why I'm knitting with telephone wire, but I'm afraid The Guardian has first dibs. YES. THAT The Guardian.

More info once it hits the stands in London. I hope I get a copy.

Oh. I can say this: there's a Time Lord involved. So there are a couple very catchy ear worms running through my head right now... particularly the Gary Glitter send-up... (I sure do wish we had cable, but all I have is cable needles.)


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dramatic Sky and Delicate Yucca Buds

This is the first year our yucca has bloomed. It's only beginning, too, but you can tell by the clouds we may be in for a bit of a storm tonight. I don't know what that will do to the blooms, so I wanted them up here as long as I had them! It's a nice addition to our backyard.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Crafty Cat

Morgan ponders the trappings of knitting and other crafts (that's the latest copy of CRAFT 'Zine, natch!). Silly girl!

The Animals Always Know

My Sweetest is sick today. He's getting round-the-clock monitoring and enforced bedrest. WAY better than Nurse Ratched!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Discovered at our Father's Day picnic... dog's talent: to get her rope wrapped into a knot around anything she can.

This is on our patio during supper tonight. Almost everyone in the family came to our home to honor our dads. Cleopatra spent her energy begging from person to person.

Which is exactly how she gets her rope tied into these Gordion Knots on the patio furniture.

Crazy dog.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Deadhead Daisies

*sigh*. The daisies are beginning to fade. I can't help mourning them, though I do gladly anticipate the erruptive blooms on hostas and day lilies. Even better: after those, we get purple coneflower, black-eyed susans, and cannas. We do have a good cycle.

But the daisies are my favorites.

I Am So Lucky.

I can't imagine any greater bliss than this.

My Favorite People

A rare morning. Rick decided Cleo could be trusted on the front porch without a leash. *I* don't know how long she'll be able to withstand her fatal curiosity!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hungry Boy

It's LOOOOONG past feeding time, and Mirth is making sure I don't forget. He's engaging in what's known as "Cat Hypnosis". He's trying to hypnotize me into doing his will.

You know, it's not paranoia if they're *really* trying to manipulate you... ;-P

(The end result, of course, was that I caved and fed the cats. But I do that *every* night, so don't be so quick to cue the theme music from The Twilight Zone!)

Oh, MORGAN...!

Crazy cat wants a piece of the thunderstorm. She *really* doesn't know what she's asking for, and it is my deepest pleasure (as Grand Protector) to deny her request (this time) to the best of my abilities.

Even God must want political analysis.

In memory of Managing Editor and Moderator (and unofficial voice of reason) of NBC's Meet the Press Tim Russert.

Sunday morning political discourse is changed forever. Your silence will be deafening. We would have missed you no matter what, but losing you will hit us particularly hard in a presidential election year. Tim Russert, you were one of the good guys. My husband and I both will miss your laser-like insights, keen man-in-the-street-perspective, and earthy wit.


Labels: , , , , , ,

Pining for Lupine Seeds

Seriously! Is that too much to hope for? (I have no idea if a lupine can be germinated by its own pollen. Don't see why not...)

My Ever-Curious Bert

She sees Mommy digging outside and wants to be part of the fun. Poor Bertie-Bert! She's an inside kitty.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sun Dappled Puppy

Our patio and 'new' patio furniture is a popular hangout for critters of all types!

>PHEW!< Especially on a hot, humid day like this.

photo credit: Rick Garcia


Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Gingkos at Progressive Field

Doesn't that look like a particular cellphone comercial, bragging about 'more bars'?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wild in My Backyard

LOTS of strawberries. Too bad they're not as tasty as they look.


The wild strawberries volunteering in our flowerbeds are spectacular this year! Bigger than ever, and they seem even redder, too. Sadly, they have NO flavor.

They sure are nice to look at, though!


Labels: , , , , ,

Pee or get off the grass... (?)

CLE!YO!PAT!RA! You have to do your *Outside*! (for those keeping score at home, why YES, that IS a euphemism!)

Wet grass will not melt you. You are neither that sweet nor that eeevi-i-il. Just do the deed and we can go inside and snuggle. If you refuse to empty, I don't feel comfortable trusting either your tiny canine bladder or brain.

Don't want to deal with wet grass? Fine. Let's meet at the toilet for purposes other than kleenex shredding (Olympic trial phase, apparently) and personal hydration purposes.



Labels: , , , , , ,