Monday, June 29, 2009

New slang

All over town (by town, I mean webernets) there are these hoards of people who lurk in the dark shadows of popular blogs and online publications, voraciously devouring every word written, waiting with bated breath to pounce on something... any small morsel they can concoct an elaborate vitriolic diatribe around in the comment section. This brand of feedback is almost always entirely indicative of their lack of comprehension of the writing's true content/purpose and generally serve to disparage the author in some ridiculous, single-minded way without addressing any larger issue.

Frequently rife with misspellings, poor sentence structure, and/or faulty grammar- these diarrhea-of-the-mouth style (for lack of a better expression) missives serve no purpose other than to chip away at the self-esteem of the writer (or worse, the subject of the post/story), while demonstrating the higher intelligence/morality/social standing of the commenter.

Ladies and gentlemen of the webernets, without further ado... allow me to introduce you to:

Netpicker (n) - Original Etymology, Nit Picker (n) 1951 - pedantic critic. Adopted for the web (or internet) in 2009. - Specifically characterizes an individual who seeks to criticize the work of another in the public forum of the comment section of any online published content with thinly-veiled attempts to elevate his/her own standing on unrelated grounds.

Synonyms: Hater (variant, "player" hater), troll, sniper, naysayer, @sshole, misanthrope.

I should add here that I've been very fortunate to avoid the steel gaze of most netpickers by flying largely under their radar with this fun little blog of mine. I've come up with this expression to put a name to the endless supply of jack@sses I come across while enjoying the work of other bloggers.

Most notably, I'm alarmed on a regular basis at just how many readers flock to Heather Armstrong's thoroughly amusing and insightful, seemingly for the sole purpose of netpicking. She regularly posts excerpts of her most amusing hate e-mails and I applaud her for taking it all in stride. Netpickers should largely be ignored... but it's about time we put a name to their nasty little spiteful faces.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

What are the chances

...I'll be able to convince Mr.Mr. to wear this to our next summer social gathering? Maybe it's the East Coaster in me, the part that thinks a mauve, oxford, button-down shirt and grey, lightweight, argyle sweater is entirely acceptable as evening wear (with the sleeves pushed up to three-quarters and the cuffs rolled around the sweater- of course)... but I'm digging on this. Perfect for an afternoon game of croquet, n'est pas?
Found via What Consumes Me, originally on Kempt.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bruises be gone

I'm not sure how it happens, but right around summer time when I'm ::gasp:: ready to bare arms in tank tops and swimsuits (perhaps less so the latter), I start to notice all the tiny bruises I've somehow managed to inflict upon myself in my daily wanderings. I suspect some happen without my even noticing as most are smaller than a quarter, but there's always a fond memory or two of running into the coffee table or cutting a corner too close. Ahh, memories.

Fear not, my pallid friends- there's help out there for you and your splotchy spots! Brown Butterfly of Bellevue, WA makes a fantastic body oil called "Athlete" that contains natural ingredients helping to bring back the healthy coloring of your skin after a nasty bump. If I recall correctly (and with the help of my own bottle's label), among the fantastic ingredients of Athlete oil are arnica, sweet marjoram, black pepper, and hazelnut oil. Arnica is the sneaky little helper that works to heal your bruises, while the black pepper works like magic, creating a warming sensation as the oil meets friction, be it between your hands or working on weary muscles.

I first met Fran, the husband of BB's founder at one of the many summer festivals in Seattle when I worked a booth as regional brand manager for a national food company. Fran is the cutest, most sincere gentleman you'll come across at one of these events- unassuming and polite while offering a bevy of details about the products his wife has created. He patiently explained that Brown Butterfly's oils are processed differently than your average body oil which results in smaller beads (molecules?) that absorb into your skin more easily- leaving less of the residue that gives you that greasy afterglow... which is great. Plus- it smells heavenly. Earthy without the dirty mustiness of the natural oil black sheep- patchouli, and warm without the heavy-hitter scents such as cinnamon or clove.

You can find BB products online or at local farmer's markets throughout Seattle. I've had my 4 oz. bottle for probably four years- a little bit goes a long way, and the stuff has yet to go rancid or otherwise lose potency. Plus, the packaging is clever and minimal which is another winning feature. All in all- a must have for anyone who bruises easily or enjoys a nice back rub from time to time. Christmas in July, anyone?

Monday, June 22, 2009


Gustavo Aimar's blog, La Mesa de Trabajo (The Month of Work) chronicles his mixed media collage and illustration work in photographs of his studio, works in progress, and completed pieces. I am completely struck by this one in particular.

There's something captivating about the detail of this figure. The delicately ornate eyelashes, straightforward and expressive eyes, high, rouged cheeks and Mona Lisa-like, reserved smile. The punctuated eyebrows and halo of blue around the face add a really interesting element and the chalk-white pallet of the face is so great. of At a mere 36 years old, this native Argentinian is a true talent and artistic inspiration. Not to mention I completely envy his studio and collection of antique papers.

What, What!?

Be there or be square on June 27th! This will be my first trip to the barn and I absolutely cannot wait. Just take a gander at the site to see a sampling of the gorgeous wares on sale. Drool-tastic!

Somebody better start saving their pennies... You and me, both!

Photo courtesy of Queen of Tarte.

New mantra

"Everyone does better when everyone does better. "
Paul Wellstone

(As seen on a bumper sticker posted in a jeweler's workspace at The Shop People Industrial Arts Club in NE Portland.)

This couldn't possibly be more true.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Must have hair

Quick tip for ladies and gents seeing signs of the recession in their languishing locks: try a beauty school for a cut on the cheap. Recently I stopped into Phagans' School of Hair Design in NE Portland and inquired about a trim. I couldn't have been more shocked when the receptionist informed me I'd have to shell out only three dollars. You read that right, three dollars for a haircut (with a shampoo it would have been a couple bucks more). Now, I don't know about you but my wallet is tight these days and any time I can make a purchase with only the contents of my change bowl- I'm a happy lady.

It turns out Phagans' offers a steep discount on all services after 6:00pm to encourage patrons to support their evening students in their efforts to complete training hours. All services are performed under loose supervision of teachers with a final review and check to ensure clients are satisfied and the student has performed well. Bring a photo if you're looking for something specific or somewhat complicated and don't hesitate to ask for a student with more hours if you're concerned your style might require a little more skill. Be prepared for a little less small talk and your trim or color to take a bit longer than your traditional stylist as most students are very focused and take a deliberate pace to ensure accuracy.

All in all, you could easily have a luxurious night at Phagans' with shampoo, cut, color and nails for less than your average haircut anywhere else.

Phagans' School of Hair Design
1542 NE Weidler
Portland, Oregon 97232


16550 SE McLoughlin Blvd.
Milwaukie, Oregon 97268

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Granola for cheaters

I've always been told granola is easy to make at home but never really believed it until a couple weeks ago when I pulled out ye old Joy of Cooking to try it out myself. The first few batches were good but a bit too crisp, and one ended up on the floor after my kitchen counter gave out on me. Thankfully, with this last batch I think I've cracked the code. Based on how quickly this stuff disappears at our house, I think you'll enjoy it too!

Kitchen Sink Granola (grossly bastardized from the Joy of Cooking)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Scatter over a large baking sheet and toast in the oven about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes:

3 cups oats

Mix in a large bowl:

1 cup coarsely chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup generic cornflakes

And any/all of the following:

1/2 - 1 1/2 cup almond meal (you can find it at Trader Joe's)
1 tbsp - 1/2 vanilla protein powder, soy powder, cocoa powder, or wheat germ (I haven't tried the latter)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 - 3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
1 - 3 tbsp brown sugar

Add toasted oats to the (mostly) dry ingredients above.
Heat in a small saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes:

1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil
1/2 - 2/3 cup honey
1 - 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Stir the honey mixture into the (mostly) dry mixture. Mix thoroughly with tongs or a large spoon. Spread in a thin layer on the baking sheet (use 2 pans if necessary) and toast, stirring frequently, 45 - 55 minutes, or until all the ingredients are lightly browned. (This is where I got myself in trouble the first few times... if you get obsessed with everything being brown and crunchy- it will be too well done. If you remember that as the granola dries, it will harden and lose some of its moisture, you'll be all set.) Let cool, then store in a tightly sealed container. JOC says 5 days or 1 month in the fridge. Salty says, 10 days or... if you do this right, it won't even last that long.

This stuff is excellent as a snack, over yogurt with fruit, or delicious as a simple cereal with a little low fat milk. Seriously- I may never shop for granola again. Eat your heart out hippies!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Too little time

How irrational is it that having been unemployed for 8 months, I still feel like there isn't enough time to accomplish all the projects I'd like to undertake? What, exactly- keeps me from just sitting down and doing them? And lastly, how is it that days seem to drift by slow as molasses or, alternately, at breakneck speed without my even noticing. We have a joke around the house that it doesn't really matter what day it is when you're unemployed. Basically, your entire week is the weekend. And I think that's really the problem. Without the confines of the work week, I don't value my time the way I should. It reminds me of an article I just read in the Atlantic Monthly- my new favorite magazine.

{In summary- the article postulates that just as most people are likely to put off future (negative) experiences/tasks such as going to the gym (sound familiar?), eating better (getting warmer...), and saving money (BINGO!)- we're also prone to delaying gratification when there is no specific time frame allotted. It's very counterintuitive which I love. ...Yadda, yadda, yadda the main point is that both marketers and consumers alike to should be aware of this tendency and try to navigate the muddy waters of behavioral economics with caution.}

So I'm going to spend a little time thinking about how best to bring back the routine of my week. My motivational circadian rhythm is all out of whack and needs a serious makeover. If you have any tips or tricks of your own, I'd love to hear them. There's nothing worse than wasting time.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Something to think about

Conceived by Bud Caddell- a man who clearly has a direct line to my brain lately. Now if only I could find my "hooray!" spot.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


...I know I'm just a pawn in this whole "vintage papers" game but seriously. For reals.

Just a sneak peek at what's on offer at Papier Valise.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Things to do

-Learn calligraphy (properly this time)
-Begin collecting old stamps
-Buy a super eight camera
-Listen to more music music
-Use my gocco more