August 14, 2011
Metahorticulture

I don’t like crafts.  I like the end result of crafting, but I dislike being the person who completes the process that nets a bracelet, a decoupaged flour bin, a DIY chandelier refashion, etc.  Or, in recent news, a macrame plant hanger.  I want a gazillion of them because I prefer being able to hang plants with the appropriate drip tray, and this type of hanger is ideal.  I don’t want to order them from Etsy because my demands are so specific that I dislike myself as soon as I put them into writing.  So I asked my mother to teach me how to macrame so that I could make them myself.  In the process, she found a trove of early-70’s hangers that she had made.  

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I still intend to make some myself, but it is so nice to have these wonderful vintage handmade items.  There are other smaller hangers that show off some pretty intricate work, but the ones I used first (and photographed) are for large plants.  

My mom can make anything out of anything.  So can my sister.  I grew up with endless art and craft supplies, yet my skills lie only in drawing and a brief but very intense period of painting.  I guess cooking counts, and my embrace of the tedious is very apparent in my kitchen proclivities.  My mom dislikes cooking and houseplants, so in that way I suppose we are complimentary?  Supplementary?  I just know that when I’m at her house I get sent back with plants and/or planting vessels.

I got one of my favorite pots from the parental home and immediately filled it with a plant that matched its decoration in a very literal and uncreative way.

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So meta.  (Such an obnoxious college thing to say, but there you have it)

July 4, 2011

Overkill iPhone photos of the creepy clouds you’ve already seen pictures of on the weather reports.  I also have videos.  Get excited!

July 4, 2011
stop hitting the bottle

I got a lot of great produce at the green city market this week.  Despite eating part of a rhubarb danish with unannounced cream cheese in it, I had a fine time.  

A highlight has been pea shoots and sunflower shoots.  I have been making salads with them for the past three days.  I don’t get tired of foods that I like.  Here is my favorite way to dress greens.  Mom, you’ve had this a million times but I feel like I saw a bottle of salad dressing in your fridge and therefore need to remind you.

What do you need?  Lemon, salt, garlic, olive oil, and some sort of plant that you would like to eat.

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Yeah.  Just smash the garlic clove, discard the peel, mush it up with kind of a lot of salt, emulsify it with the juice of 1/2 (or more) of the lemon, then whisk in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.  You can do this in the bottom of the salad bowl.  Add the foliage, toss, and consume.  Feel superior to people using bottled “vinaigrette” containing high-fructose corn syrup.  Avoid thinking about how small and petty this makes you.  Consider deleting the scare quotes around vinaigrette because that is just obnoxious.  

But seriously this lemon dressing is so delicious it will increase your consumption of raw vegetables.

July 4, 2011

I made cutoffs!  This is the closest I will ever come to making a garment - making a clothing item through the haphazard pruning of an existing item.  

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As you can see in the photo, these jeans were paint-spattered from relief work in New Orleans.  Many pair of jeans have come and gone since that trip, and yet I kept these old CofH jeans, promising myself I would get the paint out.  

You won’t see a full-length photo of the shorts because they make me look so awesome that you will feel badly about yourself in comparison.  They are the perfect length…I cut them off right above where the paint spots begin.  While wearing them and sitting on the floor.  They are the same length as my Nell shorts but fit like absolute perfection.  Because they’re not new.  

Here is my question: why do denim cutoffs cost basically as much as denim, um, jeans?  I was okay with this prior to my triumphant 2-minute craft project this morning.  But: linen shorts cost significantly less than similar linen pants by the same designer.  I am worried that denim cutoffs are actually literally cutoffs - like they make jeans and then chop them at the 7” mark.  I’m guessing the discarded legs get re-sold to companies that make denim patchwork Coach bags and other monstrosities.

May 27, 2011
race/height profiling, competitive eating

I am fanatical about doughnuts. I could be a competitive doughnut eater if my sports agent could guarantee that there would be no vomiting anywhere near me. The most I’ve ever eaten in one feeding is 10, and that is just because the two people I was with wanted doughnuts too despite their curiosity about my freaky consumption abilities. Doughnuts were part of every family trip while I was growing up (my father would go out and get us exactly which doughnuts we wanted while we all got ready at home). When I had horrible knee surgery, my dad got doughnuts for me as we headed home from the hospital. And so on.

There is a terrific doughnut shop in Chicago called The Doughnut Vault. Here’s how it works: you spend an hour on line for some of the most delicious doughnuts human hands have ever created. You need to be there before they open (8:30 on weekdays) so that you can get chestnut glazed before they run out, and so that you can get to work on time. This is perfect for me, as my mother trained me that one must arrive at any store within the first 5 minutes they are open. Just imagine they only unlock the doors for 5 minutes each day. If you’re not there, you’ve missed it entirely. I embody this more and more as I realize how right she kinda is. Every Sunday morning, I am on the parking ramp at Whole Foods when the garage door rolls up.

Anyway, I was at The Doughnut Vault this morning. Near the front of the line was a very tall African American man wearing warm-ups. After he disappeared into the shop, some whispering broke out among the waiting crowd. He came back out a while later with two dozen doughnuts, got into a waiting range rover, and drove off. Two ladies came out next and told the queue “okay we asked him. He is not a basketball player. He is an attorney.” Collective chagrin set in. The dude in front of me guiltily stopped tapping his quoddys to the beats of A Tribe Called Quest wafting out with the sweet smell of doughnuts. I could hear the frantic tapping of fingers on glass as 75 people googled “bulls heat images” on their iPads to prevent further embarrassment should they encounter another tall black man today.

I was going to take a picture of my food but I ate so quickly that it couldn’t be captured in a photo. I will instead direct you to some of my absolute favorite doughnut-related art. I don’t know the artist, but sure do admire him. I wouldn’t be mad if you sent me some of his prints. I especially like the ones with trains too. They contain everything I like.

May 25, 2011
Allergy season = glasses/Visine A season.  The season when I have a difficult enough time purchasing enough Sudafed from the pharmacy counter without eye drops dilating my pupils to tweaker proportions under my contact lenses.

Allergy season = glasses/Visine A season.  The season when I have a difficult enough time purchasing enough Sudafed from the pharmacy counter without eye drops dilating my pupils to tweaker proportions under my contact lenses.

May 25, 2011
black is the color of my true love’s hair

I went to a new colorist.  This was 4 weeks ago.  When I told her what I wanted (um, slightly lighter than my natural hair color, although I have probably forgotten what that is), she had like a visceral response against the idea.  Then she told me I would love the color she gave me.  

It looked great for a few days…then it started getting darker.  I swear I am not just getting used to it.  I am just now getting compliments on my “darker” hair from people I see every day of my life.

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What is happening?  Now, people who know me well (i.e. the two people who read this) will know that my hair typically looks very dark in photos despite being medium brown.  Not any more.  It is as inky as it looks.  Please excuse the fact that this photo was taken in the bathroom.  And that there is a brush thingy in the background.  I like exfoliation.

May 14, 2011
home shopping

I was going to buy a military jacket (they go with everything!) but remembered having a really cute one ages ago.  I looked in a coat bag in my closet and there it was.  From college.  Vintage (ahem) Marc by Marc Jacobs.  I just saved myself a shopping trip.

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May 13, 2011
I’ve had Aunt Marilyn’s collection of these books for ages.  I keep rereading them.  I wish Barbara Pym had written 300 books.

I’ve had Aunt Marilyn’s collection of these books for ages.  I keep rereading them.  I wish Barbara Pym had written 300 books.

May 10, 2011

I stopped in to what looked like a hole-in-the-wall antique store today.  This is the first thing that caught my eye:

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8 of them, sold as a set.  I love the casual disregard with which they’re stacked.  They’re furniture, after all.  A bit later, I saw what I really loved:

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They have 4 of them! Bertoia with original pads!  In not white!

Please come visit me near the bait shop at Montrose harbor.  I’ll be living in a fort built of 12 midcentury chairs.  Bring food.

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