making my own napkins and loving it

puzzles and patbingsu
November 12, 2009, 1:26 am
Filed under: food, miscellany | Tags: , , , ,

once upon a time, we were all going about our lives as usual when a strange little envelope arrived in the mail.  or, in my case, arrived in my brother’s mail and had to be forwarded on to me.  anyway, the envelope came, and in it were cryptic instructions and puzzle pieces.  they were from this girl.  or was it this girl?  each set of instructions was slightly different, but mostly the same.


so we gathered, on a rainy night in west philly, to assemble puzzles and crush ice.


the puzzle was a wee bit challenging…



but we prevailed in the end.


after a bit of a flipping-over-fiasco, we were able to decode the message on the back:


(we thought that e had kept three of the pieces for herself, to remind us all of her absence, but it turned out that we had left them in kara’s envelope the whole time.  oops.)

kara tackled the lock…


and liberated the prize:


which was dried squid.



even the cat was sketched out…


in addition to the dried squid, there were cute little gifts, like keychains and tassles and funny shirts, as well as instructions to navigate ourselves to a website, where we were given instructions as to how to concoct a most delicious korean dessert known as patbingsu.

never ones to turn down a challenge, we headed to the kitchen, unpacked our previously-purchased grocery items, and got to work.






i’m not sure our patbingsu turned out exactly as it should have, but it sure was delicious.


then we watched this:

all in all, a most excellent night.


August 17, 2009, 2:57 pm
Filed under: crafts, miscellany | Tags: , ,

now that i’ve been in my new place for six weeks, maybe it’s time i posted a few pictures.  the roommate moves in on wednesday.  i haven’t done all my decorating yet, because i didn’t want her to feel like she was moving into somebody else’s house, but now that i’ve been here on my own for six weeks, that’s exactly what it feels like to me.  adjustments, adjustments.

as of this friday i’m on vacation until september 1st, and i already have a list of things i want to get done, including curtains for the living room, some new blocks for my string quilt (which i don’t think i’ve posted about, but i haven’t done much on it anyway), books books books, and the rest of season 1 of the wire.

busy busy busy.

i’m also headed to boston for a few days to visit the recently-arrived recipient of the baby quilt.  she’ll be receiving a totally adorable onesie with little eco-felt fishies on it.  not handmade by me, but handmade by someone who lives close to me and sells her wares on baltimore ave, so it almost counts.  plus, it matches the quilt, so you can’t beat that.

okay, here are pics!



IMG_6689my spacious, well-lit kitchen



IMG_6694my ridiculously tiny tv, and some artwork that has yet to be hung

IMG_6695so, picture this covered with cat hair (which looks black against absolutely everything, and light gray against this futon- blerg)

IMG_6697comfy comfy comfy cute.  this was made out of ikea fabric – 9 whole yards of it.

IMG_6700where all the magic happens

IMG_6702this is where i pile all of my crap.

IMG_6731haven’t touched the guitar since i moved in.

IMG_6737also made from ikea fabric.

IMG_6739nino and me…

IMG_6729…and birda makes three.

housewarming, america-style
August 12, 2009, 10:08 pm
Filed under: food, miscellany

as july 1st marked my return to grownuphood through independent living, i decided to host a housewarming barbecue, july 4th style.

honored guests included high school friends, college friends, nicaragua friends, cherished family members, their friends, and this guy:

IMG_6633when this picture was taken, he had just received a firm yet gentle massage with a tandoori rub.  he was feeling good: relaxed yet alert, eager to see where the night’s festivities would lead.

little did he know he was about to get thrown on the grill with a beer can shoved up his boy-badonkadonk.  ouch.

here’s what he looked like when he came out:IMG_6639


here’s what the beer looked like:



that’s grease floating on top.  chicken butt grease.  for a minute it looked as if colin might actually drink the chicken beer, because that’s just how much he likes beer, and just how much more of a man he is than you.  certainly more of a man than greg, anyway.  but, in the end, he sniffed the beer and made a wise choice not to drink it.  a shame, perhaps, but probably better for everyone in the end.

so, to lighten the mood, we ate firecracker cake!


trevor was the genius behind this one, with a little help from mom, and the sheer brilliance of the cake made us highly impatient to get some real firecrackers going.  atraeu, however, was of the opinion that firecrackers were a bad idea.  to let us know just how opposed he was, he spent the entire afternoon and evening hiding in my shower, to the surprise (and chagrin) of my guests when they tried to use the bathroom.


when it finally got dark enough, we initiated fun with sparklers, which of course led to many boyish spark-related feats of whimsy and immaturity.  i’ll allow the video to speak for itself.

on that note, a few more pretty pictures of sparklers in the night:



IMG_6675yeah, that one’s my favorite too.

when the sparklers ran out, there was fun with candles to be had.


leave it to jon to spend long periods of time dipping things into flames and measuring the rate at which they melt. but don’t think he’s the only one:


IMG_6688with liberty, and justice for all.


the candle never saw it coming.

status check
August 12, 2009, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Books, miscellany

i am a very bad blogger.  very bad indeed.  weeks and even months go by.  i move into new apartments, make curtains, hang pictures, sew napkins and dishcloths, host barbecues, eat amish fudge, cook porkchops and corn chowder, and fail to write in my blog.

i blame school.  because it’s school’s fault, but also because it’s easy to do.  it’s true that i have lots of work to complete on any given day, and that i haven’t had time to practice the guitar, let along fix the e string that popped out god only knows how long ago. and when i get home, and have made myself dinner and whistled at the bird for a few minutes, all i really want to do is open one of the beers that people keep leaving at my house post-barbecue, stretch out on the couch, and watch a little daily show.  or the wire.  or the office.  or whatever.

but let’s be honest, here.  i find time to check facebook and google reader oodles of times a day.  i recently read this amazing book in nightly installments.  sure, i needed to read it in order to prepare for my student teaching placement.  but i didn’t need to read it immediately.

immediacy is a word much better reserved for blogging.

so here i am, attempting to make amends.  mostly by posting tons of pictures, like i did so shame-facedly in my last entry.  apparently i haven’t learned from my past mistakes.  some history teacher i’ll make.

on second thought, perhaps i’ll split my many musings into separate entries, thereby reducing the number of pictures in each post and providing myself with a little extra blog padding, so that if another month goes by without any posts it’s not quite such a grievous offense.



enjoy, with my apologies for being a slacker.

May 1, 2009, 1:38 pm
Filed under: food, miscellany | Tags:

angry chicken‘s most recent post has alerted me to the fact that my birthday flower, i.e. the flower associated with my specific date of birth, is amaranth.  so of course i checked it out, because i had only heard of amaranth as a crazy healthy grain, and i had not encountered it since my days in the co-op.  the first thing i learned, unfortunately, is that amaranth is commonly known as pigweed.  blerg.  however, further reading left me enlightened and quite pleased with my little flower:

-in greek, “amaranth” means the “one that does not wither,” or the never-fading (flower).

– a traditional food plant in africa, this vegetable has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.  it is often referred to as “the crop of the future.”   (as it turns out, i also have that potential.  boo yah.)

-amaranth seeds, like buckwheat and quinoa, contain protein that is unusually complete for plant sources; regular consumption reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while improving antioxidant status and some immune parameters. (also true of me)

enya refers to the everlasting amaranth in her song “amarantine“.

yeah, that last one is my favorite, too.

March 4, 2009, 4:59 pm
Filed under: miscellany | Tags: ,

no real craft-y updates for you.  working on a pretty little scarf, but no pictures yet.  i’ve been busy with GREs and work and editing projects.  i’ve also been rediscovering my diaryland site, which i kept up for a year or two between 2000 and 2002.  that’s right, i was a blogger before anyone even knew what bloggers were.  we were all doin’ it back in those days, and for a long time it was important to me to be able to follow what my friends were up to once we all went our separate ways into academia.  but of course my devotion floundered, and alas, the site was abandoned.  now you can’t even read the entries anymore (apparently my amateur experiments with html weren’t so successful in the long run), but i’ve managed to salvage some from the members page, and i’m compiling a crazy-long word document.  so far i’m already on page 48, and i’ve only covered my first semester of college.  yowza.

don’t worry, i won’t subject all my semi-angsty post-teen blabbing on you, but i do think that from time to time i’ll share one or two that i find particularly amusing or thought provoking.  there will probably be more of the former than the latter, given what i’ve re-read so far.

so without further ado, here is your first gem:

Behold the power of feet

Last night, I was doing my laundry in the spacious basement laundry room that is supposed to be for the upperclassmen in the adjacent building but which I so stealthily discovered.  This spacious laundry room not only has six washers and six dryers (as opposed to the puny four in our laundry room), but the dryers are the cool kind with windows in the front, so that you can watch your clothes spin ceaselessly as they dry.  It’s a good time, I assure you.  Beats studying for finals, anyway.  </P><P></P><P>So, I was sitting with my barefeet against the dryer window so that they could absorb the heat, and I was watching my jeans and my red handkerchief and my cow socks chase each other around.  And I noticed the tattoo on my right foot, and started thinking about how it will always be there, even when I’m forty and sitting in my house somewhere, with a family and a job and hopefully some semblance of a life.  And I started to wonder if, when I was noticing my tattoo as a forty year old, I would remember sitting in that laundry room and watching my clothes spin.  And it made me really sad, because in twenty years I might not remember little events like that, and they’re the ones I enjoy most.  Leaning my feet against a hot dryer and watching my clothes spin.  Walking down Thayer St. in the freezing cold with my friends and laughing like crazy.  Watching Seth and Claire wrestle and kick at each other, and watching Claire win.  Those are the times when I stop and think about how much I really like it here, and I’m worried that those are the times I won’t remember.  </P><P></P><P>I hope in forty years I can look at my tattoo and remember sitting in that dirty old laundry room, and be able to feel the heat of the dryer on the bottoms of my feet, and remember that even though I was exhausted and I had endless amounts of studying to do, I was really content to just sit there and watch my clothes.  Hopefully, after thinking and writing about it, it will be one of those silly little memories that never leaves me.


want to hear something funny?  i’d totally forgotten all about that moment and everything i thought at the time until i rediscovered this entry.  sigh.  so much for preserving funny wacky little memories.

and for any of you old-school diarylanders who are interested (i’m talking to you, little miss cocoa), you can still access your old pages on diaryland.  and the site still looks exactly the same as it did way back when.  pastel purple till you puke!  yay for some things never changing!

i’m not like the other girls
December 28, 2008, 1:18 am
Filed under: miscellany, Uncategorized | Tags:

but i’m not a robot either.