Small Business Saturday

26 11 2011

Like Black Friday, but more ethical.

In honor of SBS, here are my current favorite Etsy shops:

BethanyActually – Even if I didn’t play favorites with my friends, Bethany’s shop would be on here. Her dottery(TM) is not only pretty to look at, but often adorned with geeky quotes. Geekery aside, I’m currently drooling over this autumn tree mug (although it’s not for you. Unless you are Sarah).

The Realist Mermaid – Full disclosure: I haven’t tried any of Mariah’s food (yet!), but again with the playing favorites with friends. But, aside from the fact that she is a friend of mine, I’m sharing this because Mariah and I tend to share the same ideas about what constitutes healthy food, and she makes a lot of gluten-, dairy-, and other allergen-free foods. It’s hard to find whole foods sweets, especially allergy-friendly ones.

Pretty Little Charms – I recently found this shop and I wanted to share it not only because her stuff is so incredibly gorgeous (something like elegant nerd), but because she was awesome to work with. Extremely long story extremely short, there was an issue on my end with the order and she was so easy going and pleasant and understanding about it. I know I’ll buy from her again someday.

Phoebe’s Treasure – I’ve ordered from here several times over the years. In fact those two rings I wear daily (the green bead and the lapis one) were originally from here along with some of my favorite earrings. She’s always great to work with and her jewelry is simple but unique.

Lazy Cat Cut Coins – I love coins. I love jewelry. That pretty much sums that up.

Secret Agent Josephine – In addition to being a published author (more on that soon), Brenda’s got a shop full of VERY CUTE STUFF.

So go forth and support capitalism without corporatism! Happy shopping!


TMBG Again

18 11 2011

A few months ago, my friend Karen sat down next to me and told me, “My husband wants to ask you out on a date. I’ll be there, too, of course. And he says you can’t say no.” Which, honestly, sounds more like a hostage situation to me. But I’m completely comfortable with being a hostage to go see They Might Be Giants. As long as it’s not scary and I don’t get hurt and then my kidnappers let me go home to my bed that night. That’s the kind of hostage situation I love best.

Anyway, as the months went on, it was confirmed that Jonathan Coulton would be opening for them which turned out to be exciting, because, although I didn’t realize it, he’s AWESOME. He writes catchy songs about geeky things or unorthodox love or zombies or sweet, sweet covers of Baby Got Back. As it turns out he wrote the Portal song which my family has been a major fan of for the last couple of years, so I wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with him, after all.

Happy Thing: My Giants ♥

And then, as the week of the show dawned, so did an asshole sore throat. I spent days lying on the couch trying to make the cold go away, but it staked itself out there pretty good. So I bought some DayQuil (actually, store brand). And you know what? DAYQUIL IS TEH AWESOME. Why are the hippies trying to keep it from us??

Early in the evening Karen turned to me and remarked, “I’m standing here at a concert with a beer in my hand and I can’t tell if I feel 19 or like I’ve been married for 14 years.” (Which, it turns out, is a concept I wrote about last time I went to see TMBG.) So we discussed this through the evening, finding evidence here or there of one side or another. And, when the evening was over, we hobbled out of the venue and down the street, with our ears pounding and our legs stiff and our feet aching, and we realized: Mayyybe not 19. And I am totally OK with that. *waves cane*

So it was a fantastic evening. My Giants are always, always awesome, Jonathan Coulton was awesome, the company was awesome, AND, when I had lost most of the rest of my voice, I got to enjoy that fun sexy lady voice that comes along with head colds. And that was also awesome. (Yes, I did talk to myself all night long just to hear my own voice, or lack thereof.)

Here’s to next time, John & John. ♥

Golden Rotten Eggs

13 11 2011

golden rotten eggs

Originally they were called Goldenrod Eggs, but my aunt, as a little girl, misunderstood and her version stuck. Because it’s more awesome.

Last week we had a special night in my mom’s name. I can’t really say a funeral, and it didn’t feel like a memorial either, and it was just as much a chance for those who’ve worked so hard on her house to get together and relax as it was a chance to remember her. So I don’t know what to call it, really.

Let me back up a bit. Mom’s house is pretty much done. Wanna see before and afters? Of course you do!

Her bedroom:



The spare room:

the spare bedroom

master bedroom all shiny and gorgeous

You can see the whole set here.

And so we’re done.

I invited those friends (including my aunt) over for dinner last week during Dias de los Muertos. Er. Two weeks ago? This post has been in draft form for a looong time. Anyway, they came for a dinner in honor of my mother, and in honor of all the work we have done together.

Because Dia de los Muertos (and Samhain) is about family and ancestors, I chose to serve an old family recipe. I also chose to serve it because I rarely cook for people willing to eat it. For some reason, the people I’ve lived with since moving out of my mom’s home when I was 20 have not been big fans of eggs. This is sad for me, but I usually feast on Golden Rotten Eggs every year after Ostara since even kids who won’t eat them must dye hard boiled eggs. After-Ostara is one of the happiest food times of the year for me.

Golden Rotten Eggs, How To Make Them:
1. Make a white sauce. I’ll let you Google this because the fact of the matter is that I have a head cold and it’s simple enough to make, but complex enough that I don’t feel like trying to explain it. I will, however, say that I recommend actually measuring things out b/c I tried eyeballing the milk and made it too thin (I will never ever ever learn to follow my own advice. Never). Gluten-free people: Just sub your usual GF mix, it works just as well in my experience. In fact, I made the entire white sauce using all substituted ingredients since I can’t have the butter or cow milk.
2. Cut the hard boiled eggs, setting the yolks aside and chopping the whites up.
3. Mix the whites in the white sauce.
4. Pour the white sauce mixture over toast. You can dry-grill toast on the stove if your toaster oven gets broken and then stolen like mine did.
my toaster oven got broken and then stolen so I toasted bread on the stove
5. This is the fun bit: Put the hard boiled yolks in a strainer and mash them through onto the top of the rest of it. This part, apparently, looks like the goldenrod flower, but I never even knew this until I was 28 so it’s not necessary to know to enjoy the food. In any case, the food definitely does not resemble the Golden Rotten. I guess, unless you don’t like eggs, like all those people I live with.
and then you smash the yolks through the strainer


We set up an altar for our passed-away loved ones, and after dinner we sat around and talked. We talked about my mom, what to do with her ashes (sand art, perhaps?) (it’s a joke. mostly), other family members we’d lost, and sexy big bird costumes (naturally). At the end of the evening, my aunt asked if it had brought the closure I was seeking. And while she quickly retracted it, knowing it may be too early to know, I’m glad she asked because, funny enough, it did. Even though it wasn’t a true funeral, and wasn’t focused solely on my mother and her memory, it really did click something in my brain or heart that changed things, subtly but truly. The emotional work isn’t over, but since that night I’ve been working with a simpler, more pure form of grief than I had previously.

After everyone left, I neatly piled all the dishes in the sink to wait until the morning, and I climbed into bed, emotionally spent and happy. With loads of leftovers to feel me all week long.

Tweets From October

2 11 2011

It’s a fictional-character-studded day at the Fire Dept. so far I’ve seen Lucile Bluth, River Song, and Wash from Firefly.
1 Oct

Elliott: You mean raisins just look like poop but aren’t actually poop?
1 Oct

My kids are awesome. ♥
2 Oct

Got the car washed, stepped out, got my leg wet. Assumed it was a drip of water, ignored it. Later realized it was a trail of foam. Sexy.
3 Oct

Tonight Margie and I are watching Harry Potter and the Year of Too-Long Hair.
3 Oct

Last night I dreamed I had to run an errand at my high school where I ran into Mr. Atienza and Professor Snape.
5 Oct

Will someone please save me from the 9yo who wants to talk about Club Penguin 48 hours a day? 10 months of this will make the crazy happen.
5 Oct

Without a doubt the most satisfying part of taking care of my mom’s affairs was clicking “unsubscribe” on the Bill O’Reilly emails.
5 Oct

Elliott: I hurt my hair. So I can’t clean the table.
6 Oct

Living like a vampire today: blinds drawn, mostly sleeping, watching marathons of Psych and Mad Men. Yep. Just like a vampire.
8 Oct

9 Oct

Elliott, loudly: POO POO RHYMES WITH BARF!!!
11 Oct

Oh I see. It’s the kind of day where I find a young brown widow has built a web on my FUCKING KITCHEN COUNTER.
12 Oct

Michael’s just made an announcement over the intercom to me, specifically, that they’d be with me in 20 minutes. I couldn’t make this up.
12 Oct

Elliott: You wanna hear a joke? 7 o’clock rhymes with the 7th Doctor!
12 Oct

Stupid Tooth Fairy forgot to come last night. Where do I complain?
17 Oct

Oh Richard Alpert, you’ll always be Batmanuel to me.
18 Oct

I have two sewing machines on my kitchen floor. That’s normal.
21 Oct

Did you know Cary Elwes name is actually Ivan? Me neither. WEIRD.
22 Oct

It’s almost 7. That’s bedtime, right?
23 Oct

The thing about early bedtimes is that my body thinks it’s a nap and that I’m done about 1am and ready to wake up.
24 Oct

Elliott’s joke: You know why Santa’s legs never exist? Because he’s always wearing pants!
25 Oct

And then Old Navy emailed me my receipt. 2011, sometimes you still surprise me.
26 Oct

Have the people at Off the Record always been this snobby and annoying and I just never noticed?
27 Oct

It seems like such a shame to throw away phone bills from 1972 when they’ve lasted this long. But I’m throwing them away anyway.
27 Oct

In 1978 gas cost 62 cents. I need a time machine real bad.
27 Oct

Margie’s reading my award-winning second grade story and mocking it. Someone protect me from her?
28 Oct

Two of the Muppet nail polishes are named with Will Smith references. That’s weird.
28 Oct

DIY brain surgery on Fringe and DIY appendix surgery (on the beach) on Lost- WTF happened to JJ Abrams as a child?
29 Oct

Finally heard the new iPhone’s talky voice thing and it sounds like GLaDOS from Portal. I can’t decide if that’s awesome or terrifying.
30 Oct