Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving options

Thanksgiving food options:

1. Perhaps we've finally broken the bank with our habits in this blessed country. The Hummers and jobs have disappeared, and we've all been forced to scale it back this year. So here's an idea perfect for smaller tables.

This might look like a nice carrot cheesecake at first glance, but on closer inspection you will find all of the T-giving necessities: 2 layers of turkey, one layer of stuffing mixed with cranberry sauce, iced with mashed potatoes and topped with the sweet potato marshmallow mix.

2. Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Ten-spice pumpkin pie

Makes 2 nine-inch pies: Prepare and blind-bake two nine-inch pie crusts. In a large bowl, mix a large can of puréed pumpkin (796 mL), 4 eggs, one cup of brown sugar, one cup of white sugar, a half a teaspoon of salt, a cup and a half of condensed milk, and two tablespoons of the following spice mix, ground:

1 tbsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. whole mace
1 2-inch cinnamon stick
2 tsp. ground ginger
3 whole pods green cardamom
1 piece dried orange peel, about one inch square
10 black pepper corns
2 whole star anise
1 whole nutmeg
1 tsp. whole allspice berries

Pour filling into pie shells, and bake in 425 F oven for 15 min. Turn oven down to 350 and bake for another half hour, or until the centre of the pie is domed and set. Serve with hand-whipped cream flavoured with vanilla, sugar, and lemon zest.

3. The downfall of mankind: a meal of meat, wrapped in meat, wrapped in bacon x 30. Savage.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I thought of this: Raising hell in Heaven, which I imagine is what he would be doing. It's comforting, but that doesn't stop me from wishing he was still raising hell here with us. 

Love you and miss you Papy. There's nobody like you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Great idea for a shirt, especially the ectoplasm.. always having nasty spills in that dept.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I just watched Donnie Darko for the first time the other night (not to be confused with Donnie Brasco, which I had somehow been doing for the past many years.) I realize Darko is about 10 years old and now a cult classic, but it's never too late to get in on a good thing.

J thought it was "just okay," his description for all films mmeh, but I really liked it. Of course, many parts were cliche in the typical "The Kids Are Not Alright" 90s kind of way. There's the troubled youth too smart and too reckless to prevent their own destruction; you have the straight-talking teacher, who could save the world if only the outdated and miserable authorities would let her, the precocious younger sibling, awkward teen romance, parental disrespect. It's all there.

But what I really like about it:
1. sci-fi undertones
2. faint line between dream, reality, and whatever else there is
3. troubled youth, psychotic characters are always good
4. all of the loose-ends more or less wrapped up
5. exposing fraud
6. weird things like an evil bunny
7. 80/90s soundtrack. The opening shot uses a song from an 80s UK band called Echo and the Bunnymen; how fitting.

The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Anatomy 101

Isn't this cool! 8th grade frog dissection with legos. We think of some crazy stuff.
Lego art by Dave Kaleta
Fun fact: When we had to dissect and reassemble a fake frog in 8th grade, I was the fastest. The prize... a candy bar. It took some cool down before eating was possible.

I'm glad it was not a real frog. I'm not a fan of animal testing, etc. It might be a necessary evil in some cases, but I don’t like the mindset that our culture has adapted, viewing animals, or heck, anything in nature, as disposable.

Do you have an opinion on this?

Project Skunk

A little something for the kids. Squirrel or Chimpmunk depending on the size of your hand.
A black mitten could be a skunk. You could use compost inside for the proper scent.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More Words

Language sometimes can feel like trying to squeeze an entire buffet into a doggie bag. Words do their best to convey thoughts and emotions, but often there is so much left that is simply inexpressible.

I guess that's just the nature of language. But if it's English that's falling short, here's a list of some great untranslatable words from our friends all over the globe.

from Matador.

Toska  -- Russian – Vladmir Nabokov describes it best: “No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”

Mamihlapinatapei  -- Yagan (indigenous language of Tierra del Fuego) – “the wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start”

Jayus  --  Indonesian – “A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh”

Kyoikumama  --  Japanese – “A mother who relentlessly pushes her children toward academic achievement”

Tartle  --  Scottish – The act of hesitating while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.

Ilunga  --  Tshiluba (Southwest Congo) – A word famous for its untranslatability, most professional translators pinpoint it as the stature of a person “who is ready to forgive and forget any first abuse, tolerate it the second time, but never forgive nor tolerate on the third offense.”

Cafuné  --  Brazilian Portuguese – “The act of tenderly running one’s fingers through someone’s hair.”

Schadenfreude  --  German – Quite famous for its meaning that somehow other languages neglected to recognize, this refers to the feeling of pleasure derived by seeing another’s misfortune. I guess “America’s Funniest Moments of Schadenfreude” just didn’t have the same ring to it.

Torschlusspanik  --  German – Translated literally, this word means “gate-closing panic,” but its contextual meaning refers to “the fear of diminishing opportunities as one ages.”

Wabi-Sabi  --  Japanese – Much has been written on this Japanese concept, but in a sentence, one might be able to understand it as “a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay.”

Dépaysement  --  French – The feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country. (The French would have a word for this).

Tingo  --  Pascuense (Easter Island) – Hopefully this isn’t a word you’d need often: “the act of taking objects one desires from the house of a friend by gradually borrowing all of them.” Is this akin to breaking out of jail one chip of rock at a time?

Hyggelig   --  Danish – Its “literal” translation into English gives connotations of a warm, friendly, cozy demeanor, but it’s unlikely that these words truly capture the essence of a hyggelig; it’s likely something that must be experienced to be known. I think of good friends, cold beer, and a warm fire.

Ya’aburnee  --  Arabic – Both morbid and beautiful at once, this incantatory word means “You bury me,” a declaration of one’s hope that they\’ll die before another person because of how difficult it would be to live without them.

Duende  --  Spanish – While originally used to describe a mythical, spritelike entity that possesses humans and creates the feeling of awe of one’s surroundings in nature, its meaning has transitioned into referring to “the mysterious power that a work of art has to deeply move a person.” There’s actually a nightclub in the town of La Linea de la Concepcion, where I teach, named after this word.

Saudade  --  Portuguese – One of the most beautiful of all words, translatable or not, this word “refers to the feeling of longing for something or someone that you love and which is lost.” Fado music, a type of mournful singing, relates to saudade.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rocking the Vote?

If you ever watched MTV you might recall the hey-day of the Rock The Vote campaign. They enlisted famous musicians and celebraties to make voting cool, which they hoped would encourage the younger generations to get to the polls. Vote for what? That was never really addressed. It didn't say educate and then vote. Just Vote! It was the civic engagement that was important.

I have an eerie suspicion that all this was by design. We have devolved into a culture that votes on little more than name regonition, something that can be bought. We might know a little about a particular candidate or one proposition because of news or controversy, but overall very few in our society take the time, study each proposition, and then make an informed decision. I know, because I used to do it myself.

The first time I ever voted, I went into the booth and looked at the ballot and said, "what? I don't know any of these propositions and I don't know any of these people, all I know is who I want as president." But empowered by my "voice," I felt obligated to tick an answer to each question. My votes were purely TV ads and yard signs. It's shameful really, but I hear the same thing every time I leave the voting station. Youth laughing saying something to the effect of, "I just started marking things," and then everyone laughs.

Rock The Vote didn't say anything about wrong answers. Kids view voting like a multiple choice test that is always right!  "It's Up To You" and all you have to do is participate. Like we all get our "good effort" trophy at the end then walk out proudly with the "I Voted" sticker.

Our ignorance is a ticking b-mb. 

Iraqis gather outside a polling station in Sadr City, Baghdad, risking their lives to vote. (AP)

Voting Today

Welcome to the State of California. This time tomorrow you might be calling this state Amsterfornia! We are mere votes away from legalizing marijuana! I think it's pretty monumental. I will probably vote to legalize. We waste far too much police time and incarcerate far too many otherwise law-abiding people for the random joint found in a car. Alcohol is legal; marijuana is a lot less dangerous.  
If you are off to the ballots, make sure you've read the California Voter's Guide.

Sorry for the bad quality, obviously I took a screen shot from this ol' puter.
Feel free to give me a hard time if our opinions differ. That's what anonymity is for.

Dimes on Mars

Okay we are coming out of the closet hahaha. We have a radio show and you can check it out at Or if you want to just get to the point you can paste into winamp if you use PC or itunes if you are a mac-y. You can find us on internet radio Shoutcast. Lots of people have already stumbled onto the show from Croatia and places like Winnipeg! We've gone global.

Of course we just do this for fun. We don't claim to be experts in.. anything. But if you are wondering what you will find listening to the show, we talk about weird news, relevant news, discuss topics that are important to us and that we think are important to others (GMO anyone?). We also play new music and have interviewed a few wonderful guests. We are looking for more guests, so email if you might be interested: slobek (at)

Tune in! : )

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hey I like this

marc bauer breaking out some awesome aerial drawing
(from 2or3things)

ART pinching the earth

This is such a cool sculpture. This giant clothespin sculpture by Turkish artist Mehmet Ali Uysal appears in Park Chaudfontaine in Belgium.

I am leading a troupe of middle schoolers into a Fine Arts competition. Sculpture is one of the catagories, and I am happy to actually have quite a few little Reniors.