05 Jun

Tasty art

While browsing Shorpy, I saw a link to Box of Apples — a site devoted to fruit crate label art. They sell giclée prints of them, but even if you’re not in the market, the gallery is a fun browse. They mention in their blog that “…one reason these labels are so pretty is that instead of the usual four-color printing (where cyan, magenta, yellow and black are combined to produce the desired hue), they used eight- and twelve- color printing.” Close-up examples are provided to illustrate this. They are all great, but I think I like this one the best.

05 Jun

T-shirt addiction

I am a big dork. Threadless has been around for ages, but it wasn’t until last year that they finally broke down my resistance and convinced me to buy a shirt. I bought a few more after that. I like them a lot. I keep watching their website for cool new shirts, and buying one occasionally. But then this week they had a sale, and… I couldn’t help it. I bought 5 shirts. (Gulp!)

These are the ones I bought (click on the thumbnails to see them larger):

It is addictive, because they are all limited edition, so you have that “must buy it now or it will be GONE! FOREVER!” thing going.

Anyway, I guess I have enough t-shirts for now. Between t-shirts and salwar kameez outfits I guess I have been buying more clothes than usual lately.

(Bigger pics below the jump)
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02 May

Good taste in cover songs

While browsing YouTube tonight I found this set of charming covers of songs by Michael Penn, Erasure, A-Ha, and others. The videos aren’t much to speak of, and the performances are unpolished, but the singer, ExUSAF, has a good voice and does a fine job with songs like Penn’s “Try” and “Long Way Down”. And he hits the high note in “Take On Me” much better than I do. 🙂 If you are the type of 80’s music cover geek that I am, the little piano break in “Take On Me” will totally win you over.

Oh, what the heck. Here are a few of the songs I liked best, after the cut — enjoy!
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24 Apr

Kool-Aid, bronchitis, knitting, Edward Scissorhands

Well, I don’t post often enough in the best of times, but dealing with 3 weeks of bronchitis made me a lot less motivated to post. You know how it is — you do the minimum you have to do, and then your brain just shuts down for a while. And now that I am well, I keep feeling as if nothing I want to post about is important enough to post after such a long posting drought.

So, I decided I’d just post about some random stuff to get back into the posting mode.
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16 Feb

Kurt Cobain vigil photos, April 1994

While I was going through photo albums looking for photos to upload to Flickr, I found a group of photos that I took on April 10, 1994, at the Seattle Center memorial vigil for Kurt Cobain. These are the photos.

I looked online for articles about that day, and surprisingly, found very little. Here’s something I wrote about it myself on Metafilter, a few years ago.

It’s hard to believe that 13 years have already gone by.

15 Feb

Graffiti, Olympia, Washington, 1985

I’m going through old scrapbooks and albums to find photos to put onto Flickr. Lots of my photos are in terrible shape and I don’t want to lose them completely. This one is scanned from a contact sheet that is not in good condition — I don’t have a good full-size print of it any more and I’m not sure if I still have the negative, though it might be in a notebook in one of my boxes o’ junk.

Anyway, I was prowling downtown Olympia on a dark cloudy day in 1985, looking for something I could photograph for Bob Haft’s Experimental Photography class at Evergreen. The due date was the next day and I had procrastinated as usual. I turned a corner into an alley and found this graffiti. When I developed the photo, it didn’t look like Olympia; it seemed like something from a war zone in the 1940s.

I made a hand-colored print (which has since been destroyed), and turned that in for my assignment. This is one of my favorite photographs (though it’s not very cheery, is it?), so I hope I can find the negative and get some real prints made again sometime. Because this is scanned from the contact sheet, it looks even more vintage and unreal than the print did; it’s got a touch of blurriness and noise.

I’ve got some other old photos up at Flickr now and I might post more of them here on the blog soon.

14 Feb

Sweater with, um, interesting detail

This sweater is from the December 2006 issue of the UK magazine Simply Knitting. It is a nice enough sweater from the front, and to 99.9% of humanity, I am sure. However, some of the rest of us have been corrupted by a certain Web in-joke that means we will never, ever, be able to look at this sweater without laughing. (Hint: look at the detailing toward the bottom.)

If you don’t know the in-joke, don’t ask. Trust me, you don’t want to know.

This has not been altered in any way. Though I admit it would have been an easy creation in Photoshop. Nope, this is the way the sweater actually looks in the magazine.

12 Jan

The end of For Better or For Worse

The long-running daily comic strip For Better or For Worse is supposedly coming to an end soon. Or maybe not. Now she says she’s going to freeze the characters in time — they’ll no longer age in real time, which was one of the things that made the strip interesting. Probably it’s just going to be reprints of old strips with wraparound new art and characters reminiscing. “Remember when Farley died to save April? I sure miss that dog. Too bad the kid’s still around.” Is it just me or is that possibly the worst idea ever? While normally I hate it when comics get passed to a new writer or artist, in the case of FBoFW I think the best option would be to hand it off to someone else to continue. (LJ’s plotting has gotten worse and worse in the last few years, so another writer might do the strip a lot of good.) But since Lynn Johnston refuses to do that, she should just kill it off. Nuke Milborough, or something. Or if they are going to start printing reprints, just do it this way.

18 Oct

Christopher Glenn, RIP

CBS News’ Christopher Glenn died yesterday. “Who’s Christopher Glenn?” some of you may be asking — but if you were a child of the 70s, you knew him, at least by voice. He was the narrator of In the News, a series of news broadcasts targeting children that were shown between cartoons on Saturday mornings. I liked Schoolhouse Rock a lot better at the time, with its catchy songs and cartoons, but I learned a lot from In the News too. If you were also a 70s kid, this sound clip ought to bring back a lot of memories.

11 Sep

OH NOES!! B00BIES!!!1111“1

John Keister, where are you? It’s time for some Almost Live!-style ridicule of our southern neighbor, Kent!

Starbucks is celebrating their 25th anniversary, and to celebrate, they brought back the original Starbucks logo, the one with the topless siren (well, close enough — the wording’s different, but otherwise it’s the original logo). But some folks are offended at the sight of the tiny siren’s miniature mammaries, including a school principal in Kent who has asked teachers to cover up their Starbucks cups to avoid poisoning the minds of suburban schoolchildren with the siren’s bare breasts. One imagines the masterpieces of art history that this principal has probably banned from her school as well.

A haiku on the topic:

Starbucks’ old logo
Principal says, “Cover it —
Boobs and school don’t mix.”

16 Jul

Ooga-Mooga! A place to track your tikis

(Sorry for the lack of posts. I was on vacation, and then catching up with work from being on vacation… still am catching up, really.) Ooga-Mooga! is a site for cataloging one’s collection of tiki mugs. And as you may know from previous posts, I do love my tikis. I finally got my old tiki mug collection out of storage, and a few weeks ago, I put them all up on Ooga- Mooga. Click on the picture below to see them.

Come see the rest of my collection on Ooga-Mooga

Now, I just need to find more tiki mugs — and they are a lot harder to find now than they used to be.

23 Jun

Driving at Night Again Mix

There are two kinds of road trip mix cds. One is the fast, loud, drive very fast sort of mix, the kind with tons of noise and energy. Then there are the ones you listen to when you’re driving along on a dark highway under a full moon, feeling a bit more thoughtful about things, even sort of melancholy.

I remember when I moved to Minnesota, and I was driving on a back highway through Montana, very late on a winter night (taking the shortcut to Belle Fourche so I could avoid most of Wyoming), and the moon was out, the clouds kept moving across the sky rapidly, a friend of mine was sleeping in the passenger seat, and my radio kept picking up ghosts of pop music broadcasts — most of which were playing George Michael’s “Father Figure” (which should date this trip pretty well for you, right there). I hated that song before, but the sound of it seemed to fit my mood. I was moving away from the only place I really knew, taking a gamble in moving to a new town with no job.

So, over the years since then, I’ve made a few mixes that seem to match that late night melancholy road trip mood. Here’s one. It’s just slightly too long for a CD so I guess I’ll be playing it from my iPod.

  1. “Finally” — The Frames
  2. “This Modern Love” — Bloc Party; I don’t remember buying this but it was with my iTunes purchases. (Was it one of the free tracks?) Anyway, it seemed to fit into the flow of this mix.
  3. “Conversations” — The Posies
  4. “Landed (Strings Version)” — Ben Folds; for the last year or so I have listened to this song over and over. It starts out like Elton John playing James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” but it’s so much better than that could be. And the strings version — it should be overkill, but it’s perfect.
  5. “Chicago” — Sufjan Stevens
  6. “Only Living Boy in New York” — David Mead; a cover, of course. It blends perfectly into the final note of the previous song, and starts a little piano trilogy.
  7. “Known Diamond” — Ken Stringfellow
  8. “Can’t Help Falling in Love (Again)” — eels; another cover, only two minutes long and a simple gem of a recording.
  9. “Levi Stubbs’ Tears” — Billy Bragg; perhaps the best song in his career. It’s hard to decide really, but this one is genius. The last four songs in the mix are almost more than one can take, I suspect. There’s a lot of drama in those 15 minutes. Better tone it down with:
  10. “…Baby One More Time” — Fountains of Wayne; another cover.
  11. “Nothing Wrong With You” — Finn Brothers; there are a lot of musicians I loved when I was 15 that have disappeared from the music scene. Thank God the Finns haven’t. (I had good taste at 15, huh?)
  12. “Begin” — Ben Lee
  13. “Mixtape” — Butch Walker; OK, here we get into the songs that a current 15 year old would probably love and would discover from the soundtrack of a WB show or something. This and the following two songs really have that feel. Very “high school drama.” But we all have these high school drama moments.
  14. “Brighter Than Sunshine” — Aqualung
  15. “Bad Day” — Daniel Powter; yes, I know, I am ashamed.
  16. “Forever in My Life” — Prince
  17. “Gentle Hum” — Finn Brothers; segues perfectly into:
  18. “Weight of this Word” — Sarah Bettens and FLORiS; segues perfectly into:
  19. “Respected” — Howard Jones; as in, 2005-vintage HoJo. It’s filed under “Electronic” in iTunes but it’s basically the same old Howard Jones, with a good pop hook and synthsizers. Anyway, this song and the previous have one of the best segues ever; they blend together like one song.
  20. “Walter Reed” — Michael Penn; dear God, I love Michael Penn. Why is he not a household name?
  21. “American Tune” — Paul Simon
  22. “Thunder Road (the live piano version from the 1987 box set)” — Bruce Springsteen; both of these last two seemed appropriate for the quieter parts of a road trip.
01 Apr

A New York Egg Cream Primer

I do love egg creams. But being a Seattleite, it’s possible I’ve never had a really good, authentic egg cream. (The hot dog stand in the Pike Place Market where I first learned to love the egg cream might make them authentically, or not — I don’t know. But they are good.)

Jason Perlow has posted A New York Egg Cream Primer, and I am going to try his instructions ASAP. I notice that he says that real sugar in the chocolate syrup is key — I believe it. Time to go check out the Passover food display at QFC.

31 Mar

Random 10 end of March edition

  1. “Mad World” — Tears For Fears
  2. “Day After Day” — Badfinger
  3. “That’s Just What You Are” — Aimee Mann
  4. “Let Love Rule” — Lenny Kravitz
  5. “Girl U Want” — Devo
  6. “I Can’t Get Behind That” — William Shatner Featuring Henry Rollins
  7. “He’s Waitin'” — Sonics
  8. “Pickin’ Flowers For” — Best Kissers In The World
  9. “Robert Bradley’s Postcard” — David Mead
  10. “Love My Way” — Jon Auer
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