backs against the wicket


Today, I conned a friend into helping me move a gargantuan sideboard/hutch (the two are permanently attached). In the process, I strained my back a smidge. Sadly, the next thing on the agenda was a friendly game of cricket... you know, that game where everyone wears white and plays baseball all funky. Since my back was slightly wonky, I wasn't able to play :( So I worked on getting rid of my unsightly farmer's tan from wwkip. Afterwards, some of the cricketeers busted out a huge propane-powered pot and cooked Louisiana style crawdads! They were delicious little water-bugs. And now, after cleaning a bit at home, we'll be going to a couple happy hours to send off a good friend leaving to start a new post-doc in Irvine, California. Hopefully, I won't be too hung over to blog tomorrow.

seattle inspiration (and maybe portland?)


Two very nifty fairs that happen in Seattle.
A very inspiring creative get-together/networking meeting.

It's slightly amusing how Seattle and Portland are subtly competitive about their art (and craft) scene. John jokingly prodded Matte Stephens about moving to Portland when he moved out west. So Portland must be a pretty 'cultured' place that I kinda want to experience. Since it was passed over during my great northward migration, maybe a little backtracking is in order. Well, we'll see where post-doc jobs open up.

pig ear for the pug ear


Hemi and I just got back from a(n expensive) vet visit. The poor little bugger has an ear infection. And let me tell you, pugs are not the most cooperative little patients. Both the vet techs who showed me how to put the topical medicine onto the infected areas chuckled at the thought of having to administer the medication daily for the next two weeks. But I think it won't be too bad as long as we bribe him with his favorite treat: pig ears. He likes it when we hold his chew toy up for him to gnaw on, so hopefully we'll be able to sneak the medication in while he's happily gnawing away. At least this is slightly less disgusting than his bout of giardia.

i [heart] fremont


This last weekend marked the beginning of a badly needed summer in Seattle. This last spring was so wet and cold that this will be the best river rafting season in decades (in the Pacific Northwest). So it was glorious to see the sun this past weekend... especially since squinting because of the sun is a great scapegoat when you're watching a bunch of nekkid people parading down the street. 'No, no, it's just the sun. I'm not trying to make out what animal is body-painted on that guy's ass.' Yes, my friends, I speak of the 20th annual Fremont Solstice Parade. It's where the drag queens march (in HEELS) to legalize marijuana and the belly dancers shake to promote breast cancer awareness. Not to say that everyone who participated had an agenda. The Fremont Fair is mostly just to have fun and celebrate... naked (for some people). It was fun to watch.

After the parade, we went over to the Buckaroo Tavern. Best dive/biker bar though I didn't get into a barfight, nor do i think I got hepatitis. After the obligatory PBR, I walked across the street to Urbanweeds. I picked up an ecoforms pot urn to try to separate some of the basil seedlings. I love how these pots look and the ecofriendliness of them.

So with pot under my arm and face flush with the asian-glow, I walked (not staggered, one PBR wasn't enough) the two blocks home and reflected on what a great neighborhood I lived in. Other than the porn video store outside my livingroom window, there's great food (by Seattle standards), great bars, shops and color around Fremont. How long it's going to stay this lovely little neighborhood is uncertain though. This year's parade drew an estimated hundred thousand people, some watched the parade between the heads of ten rows of people, and the fair afterwards was sheer madness. In the throngs of the crowd, it's hard to imagine that six years ago (says an old-timer in my lab), everyone had a front-row seat to the parade and mostly it was a neighborhood thing. The gentrification of this little neighborhood didn't start that long ago. And I feel lucky to live here at this time, when Fremont still has a bit of the small neighborhood feel but with businesses that I love walking to and browsing.

basil in self-watering containers


So I've finally found time to make images of this basil project of mine. The first true leaves have sprouted and I figured this is as good a time as any to post about my burgeoning green pinkie (thumb's still quite black, I killed the cilantro plant that's the backdrop for some of the basil pictures). Considering my mother can kill plants with her (literally) withering glance, it's pretty amazing that I haven't totally killed these seedlings. I'm pretty sure this luck in gardening is due to the self-watering containers I've made for the seedlings...

These self-watering containers are made of 2-liter soda bottles according to Topper's website. One of the perks of working with electronics is the multitudes of soldering irons lying around. I then found that the bottles filled with soil and stagnant water to be a little unsightly since they were going on my livingroom windowsill. So, I cut 1" wide strips of plastic grocery bags (white and blue from Albertson's; orange-ish from Safeway) at a bias and knit up some bottle cozies. The orange-ish cozy is knit with a horizontal herringbone pattern discovered on Ravelry. The white and blue cozy is done in stockingette with short-row shaping to make the wavy scallops.

I found that one bottle worked well to house around 3/4 of a gallon of soil (which, according to the internets, is a good amount for a single basil plant). I refill the reservoir with water every couple of days, though this last weekend (2 weeks after planting) I scrubbed out some greenish gook before refilling. I'll start pinching off the smaller seedlings soon. Pesto, here I come!

More pictures to come as me pretties mature...

stuff at a.t.


I've been an avid reader of Apartment Therapy for a while now. I think AT has inspired me to do more things than any other website. One of the San Francisco editors just moved to Seattle, so hopefully more Seattle-centric events/things will become more common. But, for now, AT has had a whole slew of posts of handmade or DIY projects that I want to try.

Chicago editor's picks
San Franciscco picks

why not?


Google reader rocks. It's my new favorite way to procrastinate. So many blogs that need to be read, but so many web addresses to get to them... Well, GReader has put an end to that. I've been putting off using GReader for no good reason. Makes me wonder what I'm missing not getting onto social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace. Maybe I'll start, maybe not.




group project chair!
cahir in the sun
Originally uploaded by valutree
Yesterday, we (Christine, Selena and Gloria) knitted in public. The Capitol Hill Knitters sponsored an event at the Seattle Olympic Sculpture Park. This group is known for its knitting graffiti. The picture on the right is a communally knit chair from yesterday. Maybe I'll start showing up to their meetings... they look like a fun group. A bunch of people (including someone who works for Cascade Yarns) brought a bunch of things to raffle off. I came away with two skeins of Cascade yarn. Whee!

stuffs to make with future bounty of basil


As you might guess, I'm eagerly awaiting basil bliss... In other plant news: intensive care will hopefully rescue the poor spearmint plant.

artists i like at the moment


jen corace
melissa moss
kurt halsey
patricia zapata
david lance goines
yoshiko yamamoto
Lastly, I read the whole chronicle of rice-boy in two days. Of course, at the end of the comic, I had to wonder how stoned was this guy?

note to self...


Basil seeds planted on saturday june 7th. I don't think my poor little basil plants are getting enough sunlight though. Seattle weather this June is reminiscent of Seattle weather in January. I'm considering getting a compact fluorescent grow light to supplement the little buggers. My spearmint isn't doing too well either since they also prefer lots of sun.

One might ask what the above picture has to do with basil plants. Well, I'll let you know when the seedlings sprout and more, better images can be taken.

sprouts sprouts


I've been obsessing over growing my own alfalfa ever since a.t. had such a lovely article on it. I have a lot of pasta jars saved up and cheesecloth that I've been meaning to use to make paneer/ricotta for lasagna. Since I've been unmotivated to find fresh milk around Seattle, might as well put the cheesecloth to use on a different project. So next time I'm at Whole Foods or some other store that might sell seeds, I think I'll buy a bit to test my alfalfa-growing skillz.

falling into the no-knead bread line...


Whenever I saw lovely incarnations of the no-knead bread I always wondered whether my crust-avoiding self would like the lack of chewy middle areas. After my first attempt of making this bread, though, I have been converted. The crust was so yummily crumbly and flaky. Even as it came out of the dutch oven (Lodge brand, no enamel), I knew I'd love the taste and texture of it. The one down side is, much like other artisan breads, it didn't keep for too long. I think I'd probably only make it for when company comes over so that it can be finished before it goes stale. Future applications of this bread will have to include fresh bruschetta. But first I think I'd need to buy a worthy bread knife to cut the bread nice and thin.

blog templates


redesigning blogs takes a lot of time. i've spent a good chunk of the day trying to redesign this template and man, has it been a while since i've looked at code. makes me want to learn matlab or python or something. ...but now that i've stepped back to compare the original with what i came up with, i have to say, i think i prefer the original...
but i guess that's how the creative/plagiaristic ball bounces :) maybe i'll find another theme i like better tomorrow and stay up tweaking.

letterpressing classes


i love the look and feel of letterpress and ooh, baby, i'd love to learn how to do it. i'd make some calling cards like this gorgeous feather motif-ed card from brooklyn social cards. some google-sleuthing pointed to a school in seattle with a class teaching letterpressing to beginners! unfortunately, i can't afford the $500+ tuition. one of these days, though, i'll find a nice person who will let me apprentice in return for chocolate chip cookies or something.

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