Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Naturally Beautiful

This is the bar at the new Greenhouse Grille, which is probably my favorite restaurant in Fayetteville. I say "new" because they just moved from their small, original location to the much bigger old (and very much missed) La Maison des Tartes location in the Mill District building. The actual bar is cement with things like paper and coffee grounds in it for color and texture. Then there's a really thick, shiny lacquer on top. Way back there you can also see my sister, Jessy. She works hard for the money, y'all. Her boutique, Good Things, is also one of my favorite places. I don't care if I am biased - she has incredible taste and I could happily own just about everything in there.
In this economy it's even more important to support local businesses. These two make me really happy to live where I live.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Angry Does Not Begin To Describe It

All I can say is that it will feel VERY VERY GOOD to vote against Blanche Lincoln next year.

Get that horrid woman out of my state, out of the senate, out of my life. RIGHT QUICK!

How dare she?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Embarrassment of Riches

It's a supreme understatement to say that I am lucky to be surrounded by amazing, inspiring, talented, strong, witty, intelligent women.

A bunch of us gathered this weekend to celebrate the birthday of Jude and the new house of her sister. The weather was perfect and it was one of those weekends in which the stars aligned, allowing just about everyone to be able to come for the whole weekend and providing the most beautiful weather we've seen in a month.

Paula brought a rainbow of sweet peppers:Maria came over on Saturday to prepare sopes from scratch. On the right you see her impressive stack of homemade tortillas. On the left you can see how she pressed the tortillas when they're warm and fresh to make a little ridge around the edge - to keep the sauce from spilling over.
Here is a finished sope, topped with a fresh sauce made from freshly sauteed tomatoes, chiles, and garlic, ranchero cheese, and shredded cilantro and lettuce. SO GOOD! I could happily eat these every single day of my life.

Heck yes we did typical "girls weekend" things like braiding hair!
Gonzai, the Shiba Inu, and Bella, the Tibetan Spaniel-mix, collapsed in the shade.
This guy is seriously cute, and seriously stinky after he carried a freshly-killed mole (or maybe a vole?) up the hill and proceeded to roll around in it.
Oh, the effort involved in lifting up her head...it's exhausting.
Gonzai smiles when he's happy!
Sunday was deliriously beautiful and warm. We gathered up chairs and flotation devices and walked down to the river.
I've never seen it up so high in September.
Sacnite with "her Jude"....her abuela.
Molly marveled at the smooth, "perfect" stick.
Colin and Kristen. It's really not fair. Kristen had bronchitis, and still managed to be beautiful inside and out.

I feel energized, relaxed....my spiritual and emotional tank no longer hanging out at E.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Remember Only Few Of My Dreams

For some reason this morning I transitioned from sleep to waking with the thought, "I prefer the dreams that are more like short stories than long, genre-specific novels."

There you go. Give me variety and tie it up quickly, please.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Politely Declining Once Again

Man, people in Fayetteville sure do love to hate the annual Bikes, Blues, and Barbecue motorcycle rally that rolls into town (ha. I kill me) every fall. Me? I kind of like it. Not because I love hearing thundering biker pipes, or really bad classic rock cover bands, or more leather and exposed flesh than necessary.

It's because I like events that gather a lot of people who are unintentionally hilarious. Not only do you get the awesomely sincere and amusing bikers, but you get the equally sincere and hysterical religious zealots who are "protesting" the bikers. And it's all packed into one small street in my town every year, like a recurring amorality play. Remember, I grew up in a tourist town and our only entertainment was people-watching. This is some grade A people-watching.

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll get a chance to hang out with my camera as in years past. I'm leaving town for the weekend to hang out at the river with a group of amazing women. So you'll just have to take my word for it. Or walk over to Dickson Street and go check it out yourself.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rachel Maddow in a Razorback Hat!

This might be a dream come true...if it weren't for such frustrating reasons, namely our so-called Blue Dog Democrats (Blanche Lincoln and Mike Ross) coming out AGAINST the public option in any healthcare reform bill...against their constituents' wishes.

The Razorback hat moment arrives around 5:50, but watch the whole thing to learn about an iffy real estate transaction that leads us to believe that Rep. Ross isn't thinking about his constituents as much as his campaign coffers.



Arkansas voters - you can contact Mike Ross here and Blanche Lincoln here.

For good measure, you can also contact Mark Pryor here and John Boozman here.

I've written them all, plus the president, in the past few weeks. I urge you to do so as well. It's simple and easy. I am extremely frustrated with health insurance and our entire health care system. Every month I ask myself if I should cancel my health insurance because the coverage is so dismal, the premiums are so high, as are the co-pays...but I don't BASED ON FEAR. It's ridiculous and I keep holding out that a reasonable new system will be put in place and I don't have to continue throwing money away every month.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Minor Improvements

I finally got in the spare bedroom and dragged all my boxes of old magazines and ripped ad copy and newspaper headlines from the hall closet into that little room. I set up a card table and got to work, tossing a lot of old pieces into the recycle bin and putting together some new pieces.

I don't think for a minute that this concept is new or unique. Plenty of other artists (Jenny Holzer, perhaps most famously) have done it bigger and better. But I have so much fun cutting apart phrases and reworking them to say things that amuse me and placing them on images that either reinforce or ironically contradict the rearranged captions.





And of course a few obligatory Rocket pics. I wish Chickie would hurry up and be friends with him instead of stalking and trying to attack him.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Slimedog Millionaire

OH MY GOD, John Edwards just reached the apex of douchiness. He promised his girlfriend a rooftop wedding with the Dave Matthews Band? While his wife was (still is) fighting terminal cancer? And he's trying to run for president? Gross.

I don't know if I could invent a word that properly describes how wrong and morally reprehensible his actions were. What an asshole. It just figures, though, right?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Top Ceviche

I want to jump inside the television and shake each Top Chef contestant who thinks that "ceviche" or "tartare" is something new and exciting. STOP IT ALREADY!

I really wish I'd started counting from the beginning of the season, but I don't think it's any exaggeration to say that the contestants have prepared no fewer than 15 variations on ceviche, or tartare, so far. Even more annoying is Jen's insistence on pronouncing it "seveech." Aren't they supposed to be experienced or trained chefs? Surely they've encountered Spanish-speakers in their restaurant work...surely she knows how it's really pronounced.

I don't want to see any more raw or cured fish for the next few weeks. Show me something different. Come on, now.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Falling Deeper In Love Every Day

He likes to watch television.And his little, soft paw pads are maroon!

One good thing about this kitten - it's whetting my appetite for a human baby. I'm remembering how exhausting it is to wake up in the middle of the night, to teach someone else where to defecate, and to remove potentially dangerous and harmful items from tabletops. And this is only a kitten! So maybe I don't need another baby after all.

Too Much of Everything

Maybe it's the transition of seasons, but I'm feeling very frustrated and restless these days.

I think I'm also feeling very weighed down. Literally (extra weight I've gained in the past few years that I cannot seem to get rid of), and figuratively (TOO MUCH CLUTTER AND STUFF CONSTANTLY SURROUNDING ME). I think it's time for a purge. I think it may be time for a simultaneous Master Cleanse and massive yard sale.

It makes me sick to look around and see so much stuff. It's suffocating me and makes me feel guilty for being such an over-consumer.

One small twinkle of positive change - I bought a compost bin a few weeks ago. Next Spring and Summer I envision a healthy garden, nourished by the compost from all our food and yard waste. I'm suffering from months and years of being too busy and lazy and consumed with work and not enough time spent doing things with my hands - making art, digging in the dirt, growing and creating organic goodness. My psyche and body and creativity have atrophied long enough.

Future activities I'm looking forward to:
- David Sedaris on October 13
- Weekend at a vacation rental house by the lake with good friends at the end of October
- The big stack of books I checked out from the library...lots of ambitious reading
- Dinner with my grandmother tonight. The ingredients are from various gardens and the meat from my great-uncle's cattle.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Help!

The kitten is still unnamed! The three of us can not agree on a name. So for the past few days he's just been Little Dude.

Any suggestions? He's tiny, with huge ears, and a hilarious personality. He has two speeds: hyper little pain-in-the-ass, and adorable, cuddly co-sleeper.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Heist Times

Yesterday I was reading about the theft of a bunch of Andy Warhol paintings from a collector's home in Los Angeles. I was thinking that the descriptions of the particular paintings sounded eerily similar to the very ones we saw back in January when they were briefly displayed at the Walton Arts Center here in town. Of course Warhol did tons of variations and prints, so I couldn't be sure. But sure enough, a perfunctory Google search revealed that the paintings I took Stella to see were from the collection of the same guy whose house was robbed last week. So those very paintings and screenprints we saw a few months ago were most likely among the ones stolen. HOW EXCITING!

I feel invigorated and ready for some international intrigue. Anyone care for some Thomas Crown Affair? Or The Great Muppet Caper?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Uh Oh...

Last night D. calls me as he's leaving work. "I'm about to do something I might regret," He said. Then he told me how when he was walking out to his car he heard the incessant crying of a kitten. "You can't leave a hungry kitten in some abandoned lot!" I said. And 30 minutes later look who walked into our lives:


It's a boy. He doesn't have a name yet. We weren't sure if we could keep him. But now I don't see how we can get rid of him. He's all legs and bones. Chicklet hates him. Lucy wants to be his dog mother. Stella is thrilled. And, secretly, so are D. and I.

Go Here Now!

Check out my friend Pamela's beautiful, intricate, unique work at Thatch and Burrow. I want everything!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

This Is So Late It's Practically Irrelevant...

The best thing about getting a scant five days away from work (yes, people...I am STILL talking about my "vacation" last month. Last. Month. sad, sad sad) is that it gave me time to catch up on my favorite things - reading, listening to music, watching movies or television, cooking, eating, hanging out with my favorite people.

A few recommendations:

A Family Daughter by Maile Meloy. Looky at me! I read a whole novel! My rate has been about one a year. That is so pathetic. I think I'll have to forfeit my English degree if this keeps up. But this book was really good. Simple (but not simplistic), deceptively short chapters (meaning she crammed so many good, complex things into such short sentences and paragraphs), and intriguing, flawed, interesting characters. Apparently this novel is a companion piece to her first, Liars and Saints. Whoops. Looks like I read them backwards. Fitting.

Okay so I have never been a particularly tech-y kind of girl. Yes, I love computers and the internet and downloading stuff, but I don't live and breathe that sort of stuff. I didn't have my own cell phone until nearly 2007. HOWEVER - that all went out the window when I got my iPhone. Y'all? I love this gadget more than life itself. I do. It is the answer to the prayers I didn't even know I had. And it is even more useful than ever before (if such a thing is possible) on road trips. When I took the bus trip with the Kenyan, Nigerian, and South African students to Washington D.C. I was able to check work emails all day long. On our Colorado trip, I used the Google maps function daily and played about two thousand games of Solitaire. The Urbanspoon application is one of my favorites. It never steered us wrong, and allowed us to have many delicious meals in strange places. I also stocked up on podcasts to listen to on the road. A few favorites from last month are the Puppies Behind Bars episode of Fresh Air (I dare you not to cry throughout the entire show), the Wal Mart and the "Brave New World of Business" episode of Fresh Air (especially interesting to those of us who live in Wal Mart's backyard), and many many of The Moth podcasts.

I promise to be better about writing. I've been cooking a lot but not taking photos, so it seems wrong to write about those meals. I'm also pretty excited about television (Mad Men, True Blood, Top Chef Las Vegas) lately. But maybe not so much to write about.

My daughter is AWESOME. She is exactly the kind of person you'd want to have in this world.

So yeah. There you have it.