Monday, May 24, 2010

Sometimes all it takes is a little flip

I've been lamenting our small eating space for a while. Thinking that if we had room I would shift our mid-century heirloom table out into a proper dining space and bring in a cute mid-century diner table better proportioned to kitchen eating. Or put in a booth or something. The possibilities are endless.

Turns out, all I needed was to TURN THE TABLE.

I apologize for anyone who has had to maneuver around the table and blame it completely on the fact that it was moved into the kitchen last summer while I was knocked up, heavily drugged, and should have been in bed. It was moved by very nice men who put it where I said and then didn't touch it because you don't want to piss off the heavily drugged pregnant woman. Had I had my brain on correclty I would have said "can we turn it, please?" And everything would have been hunky dory and a year's worth of guests wouldn't have been so cramped.

Before pictures here. After pictures:



That's the Tripp Trapp Stokke back there against the wall. It's a trip hazard so it's out of the line of toes.

And yes, we use real linens at every meal. Don't you? (PS - for the record, when shopping for napkins or fabric with which to make you own napkins - only 100% cotton or linen will do. Synthetics just don't absorb as well, even synthetic blends. So when you're eating something really slimy (barbecue, anyone?) a not-cotton/linen piece of cloth will just smear it around. I like reddish toned napkins for barbecue. I could actually do a whole post just about napkins. I wish I were kidding.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I Was Going to Eat That!

So our property has a good number of fruit bearing trees on it - all right now in various stages of bloom/ripening.

In the middle of the front yard, all by its lonesome (some would say - randomly) is a plum tree. Not to be mistaken with the pretty plum cherry trees in the back this one is gnarled and craggy and in fall it looks downright malicious. Great at halloween.

In the spring it bears more fruit than it can bear. To be repetitive and redundant.

And literal:



Can you see the break? No? It's over there on the right.
Here's a close up:


Yeah.
So how much was lost, you ask?

This much:

There are starving people all over the world and I've got a plum tree that can't manage its own bounty.

Argh. Good thing we weren't relying on that branch for much more than snack food.

Any idea what we should be on the scar to ward off infection?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Be Excellent to Each Other

“Success bases our worth on a comparison with others. Excellence gauges our value by measuring us against our own potential. Success grants its rewards to the few but is the dream of the multitudes. Excellence is available to all living things but is accepted by the few. ~ Dale Carnegie


also, there's this:

http://blog.wylie-merrick.com/2010/05/do-i-know-you.html

about building a web presence so people know I have author-with-a-cult-following aspirations.

Would a facebook fan page be ridiculousand frivolous and vain? Do I care?

This is practically a moot point, though. I barely have the time and energy to shower regularly, much less write.

Sigh.


For the record, I'll take excellence, please.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Evil Cat take two

Before:


And then a little bit of sharpening, a little blurring, some spot healing, some dodging and burning and a bit of desaturation...and then a crop and some rounded edges later and voila!


I'm not in love with it, but I don't hate it either and it's a nice example of dodge (the wings) and burn (the cat) can do.

But remember folks - if your pictures look like such crap that you have to spend more than a few minutes of post-processing to get them to a state of being presentable (and you're not either learning a new program or playing around to see what happens) LEARN TO TAKE BETTER PHOTOS.

The End.

sometimes people think cats are evil

ss: 1/500  
f4.6 
iso: 800
focal length: 16.1mm


(tomorrow I'm photoshopping because this picture has all kinds of potential.)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Respect the Alone Hat


When I have on my Alone Hat I can't hear or see you. 
Make your own hat. Shut out the world for a bit and rediscover who you really are. (Or fold laundry in peace.)

Yet another reason to love Denise Roy.

ps - love my photoshop job? lasso, plus background layer paint plus - of course - vignette and rounded edges.)

The way to win readers and influence menus


She opens beautifully with "I love Vegetables....Call me a leaf geek if you must....I simply want to spread my enthusiasm through recipes rather than through telling you You Should, as so many magazines and medical studies to these days."

Ask and you shall receive. I ranted about the mean magazine and the library then pinged me with this gem. Chock full of comfort food (grilled artichokes) and things you'd never thought of trying before (pickled brussel sprouts) and cheerfully illustrated and described...I must add this one to my collection.

Bonus - she lives in Berkeley. Think we could be friends?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

An Open Letter to Angry Vegans

Dear Stupid Magazine:

 I picked you up off the shelf to read for 3 reasons:

1) We get a farm box every other friday from our CSA and I am getting tired of making the same dozen recipes for each seasonal offering. Your cover stories of new tapas and eggless brunches seemed like it would help with that.

2) My son likely has a minor milk allergy, so I'm going to cut back heavily on my dairy and that's like learning a whole new language for me so it must be done in minor steps. Again - I was encouraged by your cover.

3) The coffee taste test cover story looked very interesting as I have an unhealthy interest in coffee.

I've just read it cover to cover and I'm more incensed than the last time I read The Atlantic cover to cover. Here's why:
1) I enjoy my animals and their by-products. I buy everything as local as possible (even when it's more expensive and means I have to buy less of other things) and as humanely as possible. Taking a not-meat ingredient and making it masquerade as meat is insulting. Also - being told that "eating meat and calling yourself an environmentalist is like Donald Trump giving a dollar to a homeless man and calling himself a humanitarian" is not the way to win readers and influence the population. It's insulting and frankly it's a huge turnoff. It makes me want to go buy the Double Down and leave it on your doorstep. (The Vegan Magazine equivalent to a flaming bag of dog poo?)

2) See above. Also: Tofu does not equal eggs. Not now, not ever. 

3) A half-page table with 4 words in each box is not a comprehensive taste test. Those are tasting NOTES. The next time you put something on your cover, actually cover the topic. YEESH.

 So, on behalf of all the people out there who KNOW that mass-produced beef is bad for every single thing involved (including our colons,) who do their reasonable best to live as responsibly as possible, and who enjoy bacon, eggs, and toast for breakfast, I would like to quote Jon Stewart: "Go Fuck Yourself."

 Thank you,

Responsible Omnivore Emily


PS- Cats should never be VEGAN. You spend all this time preaching about being nice to animals and the planet and then you go and do that to cats. Hypocrites.

 (source)


Saturday, May 1, 2010

I missed it...

I follow a blog kept by one of the mommies on one of the boards I frequent.

To quote:

"After several ultrasounds and two CVS tests, it was confirmed that our son, Elijah, has Trisomy 13. He has several defects such as extra fingers and toes, cleft palate, no lenses (eyes), enlarged kidneys, two vessel cord, the right side of the heart appears to be larger than the left, and a few more things. Although Eli has many complications, he is both perfect and beautiful to me. He has opened up our hearts to what love truly means. We are not sure if he will make it to term or through labor. If we do get to meet him while he is still alive, it will only be for a short time. I was unsure about continuing on with this pregnancy, but I am happy I chose to do so. This pregnancy will most likely be the only time I get to spend with him during his life, every little kick makes me smile, and every week he continues to stay alive and strong is a milestone. No matter what happens, my family has been blessed."

I have followed her story and feel like she is a friend (amazing what internet can do.)

He was born just before 3pm on April 25th and passed away not quite 24 hours later. My heart breaks for Laura and her family. Because of the pace of my own life, I only just found out.

So tonight I don't mind that my left hand is (yet again) being put to sleep by my sleeping baby. I will cherish every minute with him. It's all I can do for her. And, yes, I cried. Because - and I'm misquoting Denise Roy- "I entered into the human journey. I have taken it on from the inside, not as a dispassionate observer but as one who chooses to bear another's sorrow and pain. It makes a difference for the ones who suffer and for yourself."

And because this song will always remind me of Laura's angel, I'll share it with you:

If you own an x-box...

you need this game:




Scrabble + Tetris + Bees = addicting. In a good way.

(and my friend Rick made it!)
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