Monday, April 30, 2012

in the attics of my life.

In the attics of my life, full of cloudy dreams unreal.
Full of tastes no tongue can know, and lights no eyes can see.
When there was no ear to hear, you sang to me.

I have spent my life seeking all that's still unsung.
Bent my ear to hear the tune, and closed my eyes to see.
When there was no strings to play, you played to me.

In the book of love's own dream, where all the print is blood.
Where all the pages are my days, and all the lights grow old.
When I had no wings to fly, you flew to me, you flew to me.

In the secret space of dreams, where I dreaming lay amazed.
When the secrets all are told, and the petals all unfold.
When there was no dream of mine, you dreamed of me.

-Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter, The Grateful Dead 

lead your ears listen, 

Friday, April 27, 2012


its has been too long.
time for another post, about a country, about a culture... about Anthony Bourdain.
i would apologize for writing about him again, i really would! but i just don't care.

the long awaited new season of No Reservations to air, in hopeful anticipation i sit down on the floor of my living room with some freshly cut yellow and red peppers (where are the green? the green are my favorite!) and some jalapeno chex mix. The Layover, Bourdain's last show on the travel channel was a sellout and a flop; so i must say, i was a little nervous.

but the episode started as i started up the DVR thing on my home tv with the same warning that i have found so much solace in..

The following program contains 
content that may be inappropriate
for some viewers.
Parental discretion is advised. 

ahhh, i am home. and then Tony chimes in, "our late model van whirs down the 2 lane highway in rural Mozambique. two white guys in front, our translator Carlos in the back.."

okay everyone, everything is going to be okay, order has been restored. Uncle Tony is back.
enjoying his local beer and piri-piri chicken

500 years of truly appalling colonialism...
18 years of enthusiastic but inept communism...
16 years of brutal and senseless civil war...

just 20 years ago Mozambique was just the shell of a memory. AK47s and dead bodies slumped in the ditches as the children walked to school. It was not uncommon to see someone missing an ear or a nose, those innocent people were simply in the wrong place and the right time. no one even knew what they were fighting over.

but as relentless as the painful years of nihilistic warfare, the positivity of these people shine through and can not be extinguished. 

Anthony described it best when he identifies the people as, "Afro-Portuguese-Laitn-Pan Arab-Asian mix" the rhythm in this episode just shows the motivation and passion of these people.

the beautiful array of colors and cultures make this place so rare that it seems to be a pearl, squeezed from all the pain and travesty that is Africa.

so, don't take for granted all the blessings you have in your life. the world is not ending if they run out of tater tots in the brunch line,  claims that Obama ruined our lives should be reevaluated (has the change in government personally effected your daily life?) and the pessimism that infects campus like a plague during finals week needs to be placed in perspective.

take a message of hope and love from the people of Mozambique.

one day there will be no more wars and the children will play,

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Tell-Tale Heart. . . continued

This one time in my American Literature Class my professor let us write a creative piece and I decided to write in Poe's style...while changing the ending of The Tell-Tale Heart, one of my favorite Poe stories. Let's just say I kinda have a slight obsession with Poe. Maybe more than slight. To the point where I own a candle that's suppose to smell like Poe's library, and I want the Poe scented perfume for my birthday. Don't care. I love my major. I hope you enjoy.  This is the only paper I've done well on all semester...makin' Poe proud in 2012.

I shrunk back into the shadows, concealing my face from the officers.  They stared at me with suspicious eyes-blue like the old man's.  But they didn't say anything! Oh no, they just stared with those eyes. Identical eyes of the dead old man himself! They tapped their feet in rhythm with the beating of the old man's heart. Ha! "Why are you standing there?" I shouted, "Make it go away! For God's sake, make it stop!" I collapsed in the dank corner of the room, clawing at my hair.  Sweat dripped down my forehead and I could taste the salt in my own tears.  

I told them about my deed and they did nothing but stand there. And they laughed! They continued to mock me! How could they stand there when I just confessed? How could they stare at me and not answer my pleas? Why didn't they believe me? "But I killed him. Don't you see? He's dead! I couldn't stand his eye. That damned Evil Eye!" But they continued to stare, to stare.  The tallest officer tilted his head back with a cackle, his mouth turning into a cavernous source of sound.  But still the beating persisted, louder, louder

I slowly climbed up the wall to a standing position and grabbed the lantern, but when I thrust it in their direction, their eyes disappeared! There was nobody there! But the mockery echoed behind me and I spun around to find one.  His face was turning purple. Oh God! Purple! And those eyes! "Stop! Stop! Believe me, he's dead, take him away from here!" The lantern cast a dark shadow over the officer's face. But it wasn't the officer before me. It was the old man! With his Evil Eye! He was laughing, hackling, making nonhuman sounds.  His bloody hand reached for me. Dark, rose-red blood poured from his arm onto the wooden floor.  "No!" I shrieked, stumbling backwards. 

"Sir, are you okay?" I looked over my shoulder to find both officers staring at me with their blue eyes. Staring again.  "What? But---I---didn't you see him? He was just behind me! Couldn't you hear his heart? It's so damn loud! Oh God! The old man, he was right there. Please, tear up the planks! I beg of you!" The officers glanced at each other, and in the silence I could hear the muffled beating grow louder! louder!-as the officers padded toward the spot I pointed toward on the wooden floor.  They kneeled down in unison, moving slowly, steadily, stealthily toward the old man's grave.  The shorter officer grabbed a crow bar from his belt.  He looked up at me with his blue, judging eyes. He thought I was mad! They both thought I was mad! But they knew-they saw him! They saw his ghost, the bloody corpse come back to haunt me.

I could feel myself profusely sweating as my body climaxed with anticipation and impatience.  Why couldn't they do it faster? I just need the beating to stop! The beating persisted, in perfect sync with my own heart.  The officers were taking their sweet old time.  So much time! Couldn't they see I would go mad if they didn't get the old man out of the house? Inch by inch the wooden plank began to rise from the floor.  Creak! Creak! Creak! The officer moved in a steady rhythm, steady like the beating of the heart.  He continued until the plank was almost removed. Slowly, cautiously. Creaking and bending and prying.  His hands turning a deep red as he applied more and more pressure. Dear God, hurry! I ran my fingers through my sweat-soaked strands of hair.  I couldn't wait any longer.  I was about to grab the crowbar from the man and do it myself when suddenly the plank popped out of its resting place.

He easily removed the parallel plank from the floor to reveal my devilish deed. Empty! EMPTY! How could this be? I killed the old man with my own two hands! I saw his body grow limp! I saw the sparkle dissipate from his one good eye.  I felt his last breath, warm on my hand. I was covered in his blood. The room still smelled like acid for God's sake! Where was he? Where could the God damn Evil Eye be hiding? I scratched the inside of the now-empty tomb, trying to find an explanation.  My stomach churned.  My heart beat uncontrollably. My hands shook with fright.  The officers started laughing again.  The mocking continued! The beating continued! Oh God! I could still hear the heartbeat! 

The room began to spin before me.  The laughter and persistent beating of the heart rang in my ears.  I felt trapped and misunderstood in the tiny, claustrophobic room.    They had played a trick on me! They knew I had killed him and they had moved the body! Mad! They are the ones making me mad! Ha Ha!  'Where is it?! What did you do with him? I can still hear his heart! I know he's still in the house!" I lunged toward the officers, demanding answers.  Demanding an explanation.  Demanding reassurance that the Evil Eye was gone forever.  

"Sir, there is nobody here.  It appears you haven't done anything wrong.  Why don't you get some rest?" The taller officer ordered, his blue eyes growing soft in the lantern light. But I couldn't believe him.  Oh no, I couldn't.  I knew the old man was still in the house.  I knew he was dead.  Nobody can fool me.  I turned to my right and reached for the brass knob on the creaky, wooden door.  But it was locked.  Something wasn't right.  Why would the door be locked? I began to panic. I rattled the knob consistently, shouting for help.  I could hear the laughter behind me.  So loud, so harsh, so mocking.
I turned around once more to discover the officers gone, but found the old man with his Evil Eye.  He was standing in his grave.  Standing in his own God damned grave, making a mess with his blood. "Nooo!" I screeched.  I couldn't take the games anymore.  I couldn't handle the mockery. I crawled back into room's dark corner and sobbed as the beating continued.

The clock in the kitchen began to toll. It was dawn. The sun was coming up.  I peered through my fingers to find the room empty.  It was just me.  No officers. No old man.  No staring eyes.  The beating was slowing.  It became duller and duller as the sun became brighter and brighter.  The bright orange-yellow rays of the morning sun bounced its light on the opening in the floor.  I inched toward the hole. Terrified.  But there it was.  The old man.  Dead.  He was just how I left him.  Good and dead.  But the eye still stared.  I reached into the grave and shut the eye. I shut it for good.  The silence was deafening.  The beating had stopped.  I was alone in the small room. I had always been alone.  Alone with my haunting imagination.

sweet dreams,

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

apathy giving way to change.

Today is a day for change. Everyday should be a day for change. And you know what...? The following blog post is NOT written by one of the indieatticgirls. Friends, Readers, Enemies, fellow indiefriend, Tyler C. has contributed to the blog. I hope you enjoy his post, I sure know I did (seeing as if I didn't it wouldn't be here).

make friends,

        Apathy and numbness in and of themselves do not cause a person to lose the game of life: for even the most successful of humans has at least one thing towards which they are apathetic. No, it is the moment when one stops fighting against this apathy, this numbness, whether due to a loss of strength or because it is simply too painful to not embrace them, that one begins to lose the game.
You see, Apathy is not always negative. When confined to a set area, it is harmless. People are naturally apathetic to certain things. For instance, a successful CEO may be apathetic towards art. He/she does not have to be, but it is a distinct possibility. However, so often apathy is indeed a terrible thing. When one applies apathy to an area of their life in which it does not belong, they are playing a dangerous game. It is in this situation that they begin to fight against the apathy, the numbness. To get personal, I’ve been struggling with this recently. There’s this girl, and she is… well, she’s amazing. We’ve been talking for months, and I let myself fall too far and too fast. We’re best friends, and we’ll be best friends for a long time, but we almost stopped being anything, and it was because I played the apathy game.
When I finally let the lack of mutual feelings set in, I tried to numb the pain, to be apathetic towards her. I thought that I could control it, let it set in for a little, get over her, and move on. Instead, I stopped caring about anything. Apathy, when applied to the wrong area, and used for the wrong reasons, is a cancer. It spreads indiscriminately, and it is unstoppable. For me, it took a massive swallowing of my own pride, and a decision to just take the pain, to kill it. Believe it or not, it is so much better to just face the pain than to try to numb it. Sure, it may suck for a little while, but the fallout of trying to numb it, trying to be apathetic towards it takes so much longer to recover from. Don’t try to force apathy simply because something sucks to think about.
Apathy is normal. It’s a part of everyday life. But we can’t let it control us. We can’t use it as a way out of something. Don’t use it as a crutch, for it will cripple you worse than you can imagine. Do a favor to yourself: let the things that you’re normally apathetic about remain that way, and don’t try to become apathetic towards other things. When you try to become apathetic, you’ll wear yourself out quickly, and then you’ll start to lose the game or life.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Instagram Is My Bestie

Here are some of my favorite pictures taken with instagram-it's crazy that an iphone can create sure beautiful images. i'm terrified that facebook now owns instagram though....eff...


we are citizens of the world

English as a second language or English language learners are sprinkled through most classrooms these days. While I was brushing my teeth and thinking about Spanish syntactical phrases, yes, this happens more than I want to admit, and I realized that I cannot teach grammar for the rest of my life. wow. If I could teach art and culture then I would be fine, but there are too many standards for grammar. I blame all of these thoughts and feelings on the new kids I am tutoring. For the sake of privacy, I will only use letters to represent the kids. But I feel like sharing their stories with you.

M & K- from Bangkok,Thailand. entrance level 3 eighth and ninth grade.
D- born in Mexico, lived in California. entrance level 3 (thought it would be 4) reform school.
T- from Banusha, Ethiopia. entrance level 1 in third grade.

Today, M was working on vocabulary lists and I was astonished that the teacher game M definitions with harder words than the actual definition. I mean, who uses Totalitarianism regime in an eighth grade definition for the term suppress? M has a very strong background in schooling, as well as her brother K but I don't get to work with him as much. Their English was lacking when they arrived but they were considered top students when they were living in Thailand. M is reading an Agatha Christie novel and spends hours every night looking up words and highlight and defining; M is a model student and what ESL teachers refer to as the 'dream student.'

D should not be in the ESL program.  The teacher I work with told me she was so glad that I think that (she clearly agrees with me) and he should be in structured Reading classes, not ESL specific. One of my biggest frustrations I find is the ignorance people have for ESL students. These students do not have reading problems, they do not have hindrances for learning, their only obstacle is the linguistic barrier. ESL students are not LD, RM or any branch of Special Education students. Anyway, D is from a juvenile reform school for teenage boys. the reason he is at public school can be attributed to hard working and a good track record while he was at his juvenile school. D has a difficult attitude toward school that makes working with him a struggle. Often, D is distracted by the females in his class, or the tutors/student teachers and it will be a learning experience how to deal with a student who is violently, vocally stubborn.

T. T is the most precious student I ever met. she loves talking about her culture, friends and family in Ethiopia.  I got to see pictures of her family members and she talked a lot about her favorite food, injera.

proper injera has bubbles, like so.
She told me she wants to eat it every single second of every single day. Today we talked about Miss. Boss "e" and when you add 'e' to the end of some words, she takes over and changes the full pronunciation of the word.  T has become bilingual and fluent in English in one year. April 22nd marked her anniversary of being a cute little American girl.

These children are so precious and I cannot imagine working in any other classroom setting.  Kids in normal classrooms will learn in spite of you.  The children that are the hardest to teach are the ones who need you the most.

don't let schooling interfere with your education,

song of the day

today's song: "somebody that i used to know" by goyte

Okay, yes, I know. You've probably heard this song played over and over on the radio, or have heard people quoting the lyrics on a daily basis...but honestly, who can blame them? The song's just that good.  Usually I get sick of every song ever played on Titan Radio at good ole Westminnie but this one is a winner for sure.  I promise.  Normally songs about break ups are pretty lame...but the lyrics couldn't be more true in this song.  It's more than perfect.  The song is extremely addicting, especially when there are SO many good covers of it/remixes.  I'll add my favorite cover at the end of this post.  Currently, I'm on my 5th listen of the day.  I've been addicted to this song since spring break. Literally can't get enough.  Goyte might end up being a one hit wonder, but this song will probably be marked down as my favorite hit of 2012.

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end, always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I'll admit that I was glad it was over

But you didn't have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don't even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and I feel so rough
No you didn't have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just somebody that I used to know

with love,

the buried mirror

the bell of freedom rings from the national palace as cries for freedom echo through the city. this is the birth of the Spanish American nations. 

restrictions from the Spanish made the natives crave their independence. the weapon of choice intellect. it is said that every man is born free yet lives in chains. Simon Bolivar, black eyes burning, he was a self made man and decided to use his power for a common good. 
Napoleon then invaded Spain and has his brother take the throne. according to Senora Lopez, " he liked to hit ze bottle." was Napoleon a contender to Bolivar, the Romantic visionary?
this complex, melancholy man gained the independence of Spanish America, neither European or Indian, but a part of both. he was looked at by the natives as a saint but Bolivar is quoted to say, "after Jesus Christ and Don Quixote, I am the world's third greatest fool." 

it is common for a stalemate to occur at the of a mountain and i may just be a R/romantic but the idea of this Godly mass, obstructing two fighting sides seems quite perfect. fighting should not be, and even the mountains agree. Bolivar, however, would not take the mountains as a barrier for freedom. 
the mighty Aconcagua was conquered, at such great heights and with such great morals and in 1817, the freedom riders made it into the territory of the Spanish Forces. 
this was the end of the Spanish rule. 

however, how does one rule themselves after independence? Argentina's San Martin liberated his people with liberty and equality and managed to not stain his sword in war or peace. rather than rule the land with a military lead, Martin chose to leave the country and seek refuge with his peaceful friends. 

but what would have happened if Martin realized that a peaceful country needs a moral and peaceful man? after leaving his peaceful leading, Argentina fell to a long history of violent war oppression. need I say Jorge Rafael Videla or neighbor Augusto Pinochet?

what are we willing to sacrifice for peace? and how does one define peace? is it always a comparison between what is the opposite of war-like? 

peace- the normal freedom from civil commotion and violence of a community; public order or security. 

we are never far from the violence of life. we must now ask ourselves our leaders, are they going to be lenient on their moralistic ideals and give way to a little bit of violence to create a majority life of peace? 

find your silence and your voice, 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

artist of the day

today's artist: chiddy bang

today's artist is chiddy bang, for obvious reasons. little old west minnie will be graced with the presence of chiddy bang this evening.  A 30 degree night with a snow storm warning in effect+a rapping/dj-ing duo gaining more & more popularity by the second=one fun night ahead.  chiddy bang might not know how to act around a bunch of middle class white kids, but we're oh so prepared for some great rapping tonight. chiddy bang takes some of my favorite songs (like mgmt's kids) and adds their own beats/words over top and it's actually pretty awesome...coming from the girl who only likes about 5 rappers/hip-hop artists. 

mind your manners,

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Give me some 'tude.

i now understand why a picture is worth a thousand words. pictures capture facial features and often they are more telling and honest than the words that may be coming out of your mouth. 

also, a phrase my mother used to say to me ad nauseum, "it's not what you said, but how you said it," have been gaining a lot more relativity to my life. take the phrase, whatareyoutalkingabout and place it into two different situations. 
a playful one with your friend who just said something crazy and your loving response, is "what you talkin' about girl" or something to that effect. 
contrast that to telling your friend a thought you had, have them half listen and then bite back, dripped in disgust, "what are you talking about." feel it? so different. 

words have also their poignancy with casual and incorrect uses being accepted by the masses. three phrases come to mind immediately: "iloveyou," "that'sgay," and "that'ssoretarded." 
the last two are socially inconsiderate, rude and unacceptable. mental retardation effects 1/35 children in the unitedstates. last time i checked, that kind of pain and sadness should not be used to describe an assignment a college professor assigned. 
along with those lines, the word gay at one time meant happy; glad to see that the unitedstates has just negatively connotated one more word. 
observe the two phrases, "i love tacos" and "i love my mom." don't get me wrong, i love tacos, but don't even try to tell me i love tacos as much as i love my ma. this word has lost it's depth and when we look into the eyes of our loved ones and say the over used phrase, "iloveyou," is there any way for them to know which 'love' you are talking about? 

there is an awfully large amount of pessimistic and cynical attitudes being spit through the teeth of many of the students at westminster. where is the sincerity in our voices? how can we show love and kindness to each other when we are stuck in our own selfish nightmares that people so often mistake as daydreams?

willa cather once said that "a child's attitude toward everything is an artists attitude." children understand true uncorrupted emotions and don't feel hatred or cynicism. unfortunately, we cannot be children again, so we must turn to being artists; let us construct the world around us with kindness and add color and live positively. 

be mindful of
what you say
how you say it
and what you mean by it

go spread the love, 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

tye dye lovin'

there's nothing quite like taking the rubberbands off a recently tye-dyed t-shirt, rinsing out the excess dye, and discovering the unique pattern created on an originally bland white t-shirt. 

but today's post is about a different kind of tye dye. the kind of tye dye that is edible. but it's not tye dye cake, cookies, or jello.  it's tye dye cheesecake. that's right. it's heaven sent from the tye dye gods.  while on pinterest (probs one of the best sites ever), i ran across this little recipe and kelc, rach and i are gonna attempt this before the end of the semester, and it will definitely be documented. the hippie in all of us fell in love at first site with this recipe...and surprisingly, it seems like a piece of cake (pun intended).  

here's the blog with the recipe/pictures. 

and hopefully ours will end up looking like this:

happy tuesday!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Joe the Coffee Drinker

The United States import in excess $4 Billion worth of coffee per year.

So, that basically means, Americans spend about $164.71 on coffee and will wait in line nearly 45 hours each year. Wow.

32% of Americans say they depend on coffee to make it through the day.

The top three coffee retail sellers are (in order): Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts and Caribou Coffee.

35% of coffee drinkers prefer black coffee (KELCEY and ME)
65% prefer to add sugar and/or cream (HILLARY)
Nicaragua, Fair Trade, Equal Exchange, from a local store.

400 million cups of coffee are consumed in the United States.

The average cup of coffee is 9oz.

Men drink as much coffee as women, women seem to be more concerned about the price.

The average consumption of coffee in the United States is 3.1 cups.

Coffee is the world's second most traded commodity, taking a backseat only to petroleum.

Coffee beans are the seeds to a fruit that is similar to a cherry and come in pairs of two, except when there is only one, slightly smaller berry called the peaberry.

The peaberry is considered the caviar of coffee.

The first coffeehouse opened in Europe in Venice, 1683, though coffee was available since 1908 (only to those who could afford it).

The historical origins of the coffeehouse indicate that is was a popular meeting place for revolutionaries to conspire together and engage in political debates.

Christian priests believed that Satan has invented coffee as a substitute for wine which Muslims were not allowed to drink.  Since Christians used wine in their services, clearly coffee must then be the drink of the Anti-Christ.

Now, coffee has a universal appeal to people of different income level, ethnicity and religion.

get your joe on,

Saturday, April 14, 2012

artist of the day

today's artist: the avett brothers

today's artist is the avett brothers.  introduced to me by my sorority mother jane larson before i even attended westminster, i fell in love after first listen.  leah hunter burned me a copy of their "i and love and you" album and i consistently listen to it on repeat cause they're just that good.  rachael, kelcey and i were talking on our way to brunch this morning about how perfect "the laundry room" is because it's basically the kind of love story we all want to have.  specifically the laundry room portion for me. they're wonderful, and i will see them in concert any chance i get because they are GREAT live.

teach me how to use the love that people say you made,

Thursday, April 12, 2012

sometimes just to lay in the grass is enough

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time”-John Lubbock

Promise me that sometime in the next week you'll walk outside with nothing but your water bottle, sunglasses, blanket, and a book in hand.  That you'll go find a quiet spot in the sun. And just sit. Soak it all in.  Take advantage of this opportunity.  Reflection is good for the soul.


I'll Fly Away

This an ode. An ode to my favorite bag. I purchased this bad boy at a vintage consignment shop. I dished out a whole $2.  It is my favorite color.  It used to be a flight attendant's bag. It has a lock zipper contraption and sadly, I do not have the key for it. I find this bag is a hit among the ladies, and by that I mean old people. But that's okay, the bag is glorious and serves its purpose well. Enjoy some documentation of the bag in action. 

if the color isn't it's best feature, what else could it possibly be?

today, it is full to capacity including(but not limited to): laptop, charger, Spanish text book, notebook, Kashi granola bar, can of oranges and some V8 fruit and veggie juice. 

full effect with the outfit and all of it's glory. 

gotta love the cross body straps. 

don't forget to love the little things, 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Write or Wrong?

New fangled electronic devices are all the rage right now ie. iPad, Nook, Kindle. Also it is becoming trendy to uses these devices for reading, whether it be your text book, classics (usually free of charge) such as Pride and Prejudice or The Jungle Book, or the latest installment of The Hunger Games.

Now I blame (or thank) my Ma for these next thoughts... I like books. I like them a lot. They make the best gifts, I like to (Ma cover your eyes) paint in books, highlight them, dog-ear my favorite page, spill coffee on them, spray them with perfume, crack the spine, give them away, keep them forever, lend them, look at them, read them... basically love the book whatever way I feel necessary.

So now we jump to a Kindle. I cannot do any of those things. Call me old fashioned, but I love the feeling of a novel in my hands rather than have my eyes glaze over a computer screen (more than I already do!) I feel the same way about magazines and newspapers. They are just not as good. Online, you cannot feel the glossy pages of Rolling Stone or hold a Readymade magazine open with your knee as your hands are busy building the latest project; your fingers do not get stained with ink, nor do you get the satisfaction of creasing the paper correctly when searching for the Editorial section of the paper.

There are certainly upsides to these new pieces of technology, such as traveling, not paying as much for textbooks, and of course the ever popular fad of "going green" and saving on print materials. (Don't get me wrong, I care about the environment more than most people do, I will just choose to save our Mother Nature in every other way) So this is in no way an article to bash those who use electronic reading devices, actually, I applaud you for your movement toward simplicity, sustainability and saving space. I for one just cannot shake the memories of every summer since I was a child, sitting on my porch swing, with my old cat Katie drooling on my shorts, reading mountains of books for hours on end.

In honor of my love of all things literary, I have decided to give a new DIY project I stumbled upon a try. No time to read the New York Times in the morning? No fear! Make that coffee to go and make a statement with your nails.
its as simple as a white base coat, soak your nails in rubbing alcohol for 5 seconds, then press newspaper onto the wet nail and there you have it folks. 
cut out specific words to pass on a specific message; I found my words in an article about Bonnie Raitt and her folk influence and appreciation for all things music. 

and yes, my middle finger does say Bob Dylan. thank you for asking. 
go read something,

artist of the day

Today's Artist: Andrew Bird

Over spring break, I got addicted to Andrew Bird extremely fast.  I was reading the Hunger Games and decided to have him play in the background. And let me tell ya, it was a great combo.  I've only had a couple Andrew Bird songs on my iPod over the past few years, so I obvi had no idea what I was missing.  Great lyrics, beautiful violin playing, and relaxing songs that are almost impossible to get sick of.  I love it. Love him. So good.

Give it away,

There are 20 candles in the cake... WHAT ELSE COULD THAT POSSIBLY MEAN??

I don't like cake. Sorry, wait no! I will not apologize. It is too sweet. No Gracias. Rather than cake, it has and better always be a tradition in the Wetzel family to have birthday pancakes and your "cake" of choice. I will now list the "cake" that we have for each respective family member's birthday-

Madre Bonita- Pumpkin Pie
Daddy-O- Cheesecake
Justine (the sister)- Cream Puffs
Me- Apple Pie

These desserts are not only delicious, they are more individualized that lame old cake. But back to the pancakes... Ever since I was one year old, we have pancakes on our birthday but not just any pancake... they are always shaped in the number you are turning!! So, needless to say, I was happy to get a nice, thick, sweet, fluffy 2 and 0 on Easter morning. There was also coffee and bacon. best. birthday. breakfast. EVER.

And then of course, my ma and sis made me my b-day apple pie. It was so delicious and made from the apples from the trees in our back yard. it cannot get better than that. but seriously, it cannot, so don't even try to top it.
just look at it. begin to drool, it's okay.

I like to dunk the crust into a glass of milk.

Ma's Betty Crocker Cookbook has seen better days, the cover is torn off and the pages are all sticky and splattered, exactly how a cookbook should be. 
So after enjoying a slice of this delicious pie, my mom and I decided to give another snack a try. Birthday cake popcorn. Let me tell you, we did not have high hopes for this sickly sweet treat, but it just sounded so fun and festive. So we made it anyway.

First of all, the ingredients are very simple, they consist of, 6 cups of popcorn, a bag of white chocolate chips, vegetable shortening or crisco, boxed cake mix and of course... SPRINKLES. sprinkles are the best thing ever. It is basically the equivalent of glitter in the cooking world.
Simple enough. 
The batter gets a little sticky when you try to coat the popcorn. You may want to put in in a ziplock bag and just shake it until your arms fall off. Then you just add sprinkles, a lot of them. And then you just let it dry or set on a cookie sheet. Then you eat it. or look at it. The usual ratio is eating 2 pieces every 4 hours. It is too sweet to eat anymore.
look at how beautiful and festive it is!!

I would certainly make this for a gift. Mainly because it looks to cute and also because I don't personally want to eat it. 

gotta love the yellow bowl. it makes the popcorn taste better. fact. 
So there ya have it. Birthday are all about food.
Everything should be about food.

eat up,

Saturday, April 7, 2012

artist of the day

Today's artist: Sublime

Ahhh, it's almost that time of year. The lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. When you only need to worry if you have enough sun screen on, or if you've been drinking enough lemonade while running around outside. sunglasses, shorts, tank tops, swimming suits, used books, grassy hills, sandy beaches, tan lines, s'mores, iced coffee. all things good happen in the summer. and what's playing on my ipod on a daily basis? sublime. the perfect summer band. their funky reggae ska beats make you forget that you have work the next morning or that your college classes are starting up in a week.  sublime gives you a reason to be lazy, enjoy life, and hang out with good friends.

happy almost summer,

Friday, April 6, 2012

Uncle Tony

I'm not sure if you know this... but I like Anthony Bourdain. 

No... I'm serious... I really LOVE this man, seeing as I refer to him as Uncle Tony, respectively. 

Now, I will assume you dear reader are a tough audience. Tony is a standoffish man; he is lewd, brash, often drunk, opinionated, skeptical, condescending, hypocritical, and dare I even say... sarcastic? So, here I make my case, there are so many reason why Anthony Bourdain is the man and I will prove it to you.   And if I succeed... the new season of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations premiers April 9th at  9:00 on the Travel Channel (and no, the TC is not paying me for that little plug). 

How do I love thee? Let me count thy ways...

Cajun Country, United States of America
1. Anthony is big on the pig
Virtually every part of this animal: bacon (duh) sausage, gammon, ham, pork scratchings, head cheese, chitterlings, blood pudding, pig's ear etc. Maybe the topic of bacon (and the pig in general) has been a soft spot since I have given up meat (and when I say meat, of course I mean bacon) for lent. But not only does Tony eat the pig, he knows how to prepare the animal from the time you pull the trigger (and yes, the picture above is a pig that Tony killed and butchered himself). Pictured above is in Cajun Country with good folk music and a love for the cookout. 
Lucha Libre, Mexico

2. Anthony is fearless. 
This is El Octagon. And that is Tony on the floor, waiting to feel that churning feeling in his stomach.  That may have something to do with the 86kg (190lb) black belt descending upon him... or maybe it was that intestine menudo. Regardless, Tony doesn't say no and you know why? He does it for me... I mean his loyal viewers.
It don't matter where this is. 
3. Anthony sticks it to the man.
This photo is from Tony's blog ( his actual caption said that this is how he responds when the network asks him to give a shout out to his website... he gets someone to give the promo in Spanish. Tony went through a lot of inner turmoil when he was offered the job of a TV host because he feared that he was selling out of a business he held so dear. Basically he was terrified to be thrown in the same pot as Rachael Ray and really, can you blame him? But the profound love for the craft and the culture and the people make clear that Tony is in this for the right reasons and those reason do not include demanding his audience to check out his website. Sweet dreams Tony, sweet dreams. 

Quito, Ecuador
4. Anthony is artistic. 
When Tony is not prepping for a scene, or sleeping... see #3, he can often be found exploring more than they show on TV. Any one who has seen this show knows Tony's extreme, no-tourism policy and this usually includes snapping photographs of every street sign, shop edifice or blinding the locals. But many of the shots on his website or his books or those that capture his film crew are taken by Bourdain himself.  He has quite an eye and I really enjoy seeing his perspective in a visual way. 
Eating Oysters, Cambodia
5.  Anthony is personal.
One of the main reason this show was created was to promote a harmony that connects the world that is based off of the closeness that is a result of food.  Whether it is in the preperation, the actual eating or the talks after the meal is over, food is the gateway to learning, understanding, respecting and sometimes falling in love with a culture. Tony is big on what I like to call "face time" with the people who show him around the country.  He sits down, takes part in their life, their food and only through that is he able to project that harmony to his audience. So turn off the cell phones, lock eyes and see what you can learn from the next person you share a meal with. 
Commies, Cuba
7. Anthony is an educator. 
I can attribute about 1/2 of my knowledge of history and geography to No Reservations.  Rather than just soar through a episode, trying to find what makes "good" TV, Tony is also focused on preserving the reputation and integrity of the place he is visiting. That means being knowledgeable ladies and gentlemen. Being aware of the language, taboos, national dishes, and most importantly, the nations history is a big deal for travelers. If you are able to hold an intelligent conversation with the locals, you develop a rapport and lose the tourist label.  Tony is the master at this.  
Beirut, Lebanon
8. Anthony is a risk-taker. 
In July 2006, the No Reservations crew was filming in Beirut when the Israel-Hezbollah War or Lebanon conflict broke out. 1,326 people died and both sides claim victory over this event. The crew was lucky enough not to be counted in the 53 foreign civilians who were killed by the explosions. Anthony knew of the risk before arriving there, but he was committed to showing and educating the general public. It was a risk of course, I mean, the Marines had to rescue the team from the roof of their hotel and then take them to the beach, but the end result was a lasting memory, a need for closure (No Reservations: Back to Beirut 2010) and received an Emmy for Outstanding Informational Programming in 2007.  
Clockwise from top left: Slash, Tiny Tim, Joey Ramone, Chewbacca, Janis Joplin, Robert Plant, Howard Stern, Yoko Ono. Center: Anthony Bourdain.
9. Anthony has a past. 
Tony's success story (told in detail in his NYT bestseller Kitchen Confidential) starts from a grunge teenager, on every drug in the book in desperate need for employment. His saving grace was his position as executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in New York City. Maybe the hair in the picture above can be blamed on his drug problem. I would certainly hope so. 

10. Anthony is the man. 
Ripped jeans, The Ramones t-shirt, kafiya thrown to the side, bracelet of Indian prayer beads, pounding back his 12th shot of pisco sours or clear Russian death (See any episode featuring the drunken debauch that is Zamir) Tony is indestructible and untouchable by any other so called "foodie" or TV host. 

I will leave you with some words of wisdom:

(After left in the hands of Zamir promising him an exciting night, "Aren't you supposed to lie to your wife about fun stuff you're doing? Instead, I'm going to Chernobyl."

(When in Singapore, or anywhere for that matter) "If there's another American there, leave. And don't you even think about visiting a Starbucks or Hard Rock Cafe."

"If some Birkenstock-wearing knucklehead driving around in a SUV and wearing sneakers someone was sold into slavery to make is sniffling about the poor animals, that person is clearly never going to experience the world."

"As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small."

So tune into No Reservations at 9:00 (which happens to be his daughter Ariane's birthday and respectively the day after mine, thus making the new season my birthday present from Uncle Tony to me. 

one lives to find out,