Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Evolution of Dance

It's embarrassing how many of these dances I did at MBC mixers many moons ago (via Bacon).

Friday, May 19, 2006

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Stuff, stuff, and more stuff

Here's a cool place called Etsy. It's like ebay for handmade stuff. If I ever start selling jewelry, I might sell it here. You get your own 'store front' and set your prices. And there's a whole bunch of cool stuff for sale. AND the webdesign is just awesome. You can shop by color (really it just finds things by the colors in the photo of the item; so if the photo has an unintentional green background hue, it will still come up when you click on the green dot). And when you click on item thumbnails you can throw them around like you're chucking photos across the room.

Here are a couple of things I like (in other words I'll probably copy them. Though I wouldn't copy and then sell them. That wouldn't be cool.)

Birds nest necklace. I think this is just beautiful, but I'm not really into birds. Or their eggs. Plus it falls into the category of "I won't buy jewelry that I know I can make myself". I think it would make a nice gift for a mommy.

Soldered glass pendants by LingGlass. I could make these if I had the tools, but I don't. Plus it involves soldering which involves hot things and I just don't trust myself not to burn down my apartment. These pendants are really pretty and would be great to make if you had some stationary with a pretty print. I mean, you don't actually use pretty stationary to write stuff on, do you? When's the last time you got a letter in the mail? I wonder though, if the pendants are very heavy or very breakable?

Have fun browsing and why don't ya buy me something for the hell of it? :D

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ring practice

It's always nice when creative inspiration hits, especially when you think you've lost interest in doing the things you usually like to do.

I've tried making wire rings before, but they looked like crap and I didn't have quality wire and they would tarnish really quickly. But I came across a website selling handmade jewelry and thought I'd give rings another try.

Plus I had a neat looking bead.

So, this is a practice run. Next time I'll use a thicker wire and try to find a tool to make different sized rings. I had to wrap the wire around a cylinder four times to make it rigid enough to wear. And first I tried wrapping it around a chapstick. That was obviously too small for me. Then I tried a nail polish bottle top. It's ok, but still a little too big on my middle finger.

"Real" ring parts are hard to find unless you make "real" jewelry ("real" meaning precious metal and stone jewelry). So, I have yet to decide if wire rings are nice or too crafty and primitive. I suppose for a fun, casual ring, it's cool.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The one thing keeping me from reaching Nirvana

Today I went to a seminar at work and listened to Matthieu Ricard talk about "Happiness: a guide to life's most important skill". Ricard, whose father happens to be an atheist and French philosopher, attained his PhD in cellular genetics at the Pasteur Institute in the lab of a Nobel laureate. Upon completion of his doctorate, Ricard became a Buddhist monk. This is hilarious to any burnt out graduate student. However, he still does science. He was involved in a study comparing the physiology of Buddhist monks who are experts at meditation with volunteers who were total novices to meditation. Very interesting. Monks are apparently never stressed out and have insanely huge attention spans and also feel a much higher level of compassion than your average joe.

So, I was curious to what Buddhism is and found
this page. I agree with a lot of the fundamentals of this "religion". I could almost see myself becoming a Buddhist. But man, I like eating meat.

Beets aren't good to everyone

Apparently some people think beets taste like dirt.

Kinda like how some people think cilantro tastes like soap.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A little update on beets.

Got some beets. Three biguns for just 99cents. I was about to get a can of beets, but thought the checker up front would call me Crazy Beet Lady. I microwaved them (boiling beets takes 45 mintues but nuking beets takes 15 minutes). Despite the speedy cooking, they're still a bit of a hassle. They're insanely messy. Handle them like you had to maintain sterile conditions. I should have brought gloves from work. Otherwise, it'll look like a massacre occured in the kitchen.

They taste good. Not fantastic. But good.

First I had it plain. I thought it would be sweeter, like a cooked carrot or a sweet potato, so I was disappointed. I reminded myself not to expect so much from a vegetable. But maybe if I roasted it...?

Then I added some of that fancy salt I got for my birthday. That salt is really good for adding after the food has cooled down, so it doesn't just melt away. Nice little salty crunchies on warm tender beet. Quite nice.

Then I added some 10year old balsamic vinegar. As Jack O'lantern, I mean, Rachel Ray would say, "YUM!" No wonder pickling beets is such a good idea. The sour really brings out the sweet. Very nice. I need to get a cheap bottle of balsamic and reduce with honey and herbs to syrup consistency for a drizzling glaze. I bet that would rock. But then again, I bet that would make just about anything rock.

Then I ate the beets along with some goat cheese. It's a common pairing. I think I just like goat cheese with just about any vegetable. Ohh like grilled/roasted veggies (peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, squash) and goat cheese bruchetta. Mmmmmmmm...drool. Although, that's really good with havarti, too.

Then I added some navel orange segments. I've been eating bags and bags of oranges lately. They are also another common pairing in a salad (beets, oranges, arugula, goat cheese). They made the beets seem less sweet, so I didn't really think much of that pairing. But if they were in a salad together, that'd be fine with me.

So, yeah, beets are nothing to be scared of. They're cheap and pretty easy and pretty to look at, even if they are a bit messy. They taste good too.

A little random post on beets

Thinking about healthy cooking...

Are beets good? Have I ever eaten a beet? I think I recall eating a bite or two of a canned beet. But is that what beets actually taste like? Canned food is not comparable to freshly cooked food. How do you cook a beet? Can I cook it in the microwave? What flavors go with beets?

Now 'beet' doesn't seem to be a real word.



Haha. That's so not a word.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Have ya heard? Snacks are tasty!

Ok, so I quit Jenny Craig, and now I've been eeeeeaaaaaating. LOL. I can't help it. Ok, well, times are rough and eating, well, is a proven stress reliever. Damn food. Why does it taste so good?!?!? And I have discovered things in the grocery store in aisles I haven't traveled down since last September.

Example 1: 100 calorie pack Cheetos 'Asteroids' aka cheese balls. God, fried bright orange snacks are stupid good. And if I make them my evening snack, it's not even cheating. It's just crazy hard not to eat all five packs in the box at one sitting.

Example 2: Ben and Jerry's Vermonty Python. Kaluha ice cream with oreo cookie swirl and fudge cows. Funny, I never even craved ice cream while on JC. Probably because I didn't know this flavor existed.

Ok, I think I've gotten the junk novelty out of my system. Time to get back on the horse. Although, when I used to ride horses, students who fell off the horse had to bring cookies the next day. Shame cookies are a strange punishment. And a wee bit counterproductive for people who cheat on their diets.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

An Emmy for Edward

This is kinda late, but FYI, the ESPN webcartoon Off Mikes won the Sports Emmy. See the nomination post here .

How surreal is that? Edward won an Emmy! Congrats!!! Too bad he doesn't get a trophy.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

"Texas Rant House" (or "Aileen is a big PBS nerd")

I don't usually watch reality television, but I never miss a PBS reality show. There's been 1800's House, 1940's House, Manor House (BBC productions, I think) and Colonial House and currently playing is Texas Ranch House (American PBS productions). I tend to like the BBC productions better, but I enjoy all of them because they don't play games and vote people off and there is no money to be won. Participants do it for the experience of what it was like to live in a particular time in history. People do get kicked off or leave, but usually because they get sick, or fired from their job on the show, or family emergencies.

A common theme among all of these Houses is the gender inequality and how hard it is for 21st century women to adhere to the rules of the day. I would like to think that if I were on any of the shows, I'd play the part. I'd do the cleaning and cooking and crap without acknowledgement or say in what goes on in the household. Because that is what women had to do. It sucked. I would go into the project know it was gonna suck big time. Though, to be totally honest, I'm not sure how I'd handle 3 months of it. But it just drives me nuts watching most of the women on these shows. They complain about how the men don't care about what they think and the fact they are intelligent 21st century women and shouldn't be treated like 19th century women. Uh... but you're pretending to be in the 19th century!!!

For example, in Texas Ranch House the women want a say in the ranching business and want to be cowboys. And the Rancher's wife asks, "Why do the cowboys get what they want?" Uh, well, if there were no cowboys, you wouldn't have a ranch. THEN they complain that the men aren't helping them enough. (Though it is true that the guys on the show aren't minding their manners when it comes to helping ladies. Sometimes they just stand and watch the girls struggle with putting calves and goats back in their pens.)

And it really doesn't help that the Ranch owner is thinking like a 21st century man where women are equal(er). It just makes him look ball-less when he goes to ask his wife for permission for everything. I mean, it's good and right to get the opinion of whoever your right hand man or woman is, but when it's do or die, you have to make the decision on your own sometimes. However, there was a situation where he should have talked to someone because he clearly didn't understand what was at stake. See, he has the 21st century idea of "you don't bargain with 'terrorists'". But, for the love of god man, if a Comanche warrior wants to trade you some cows for one of your cowboys that he kidnapped, you don't BARGAIN!! I guess I just don't like the Ranch owner one way or the other.

So, how would I handle it? I remember in the 5th grade we had a class discussion about gender roles in some era, I don't recall. Maybe colonial. My social studies teacher commented that he could see one girl in my class, an alpha type personality, being very outspoken and challenging the rules and conventions of the day regarding women's rights and rights to be heard. But then he cracked this sly sort of smile and looked at me and said, "But Aileen on the other hand, would be obedient and follow the rules - out in public. But ooh, you just KNOW she'd let her husband know what's what once he got home".

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


estrogenic exclamation n. ("es-tr&-'je-nik "eks-kl&-'mA-sh&n) 1. an abrupt utterance made by females when presented with attractive material goods. See Best Bag EVER comments. 2. my new favorite phrase.