Archive | March, 2009

Take a Picture of Someone You Love

30 Mar

Cost: Nothing if you already own a digital camera. Around $12 if you use film.

Time: Five minutes a day for as long as you like.

Materials: Camera (and film, if desired)

On March 11, 2009 (Shawn’s 33rd birthday), I started taking a picture of Mr. Poynter each day on my old Nikon. Why? Well… why not? If I keep this up (this refers to both Shawn and the picture taking), one day I’ll have thousands of photos of him, documenting his changing appearance/physical decline. Romantic, no? Here are just a few gems from the first batch.

Advertisements

848 1843! (Happy Friday)

27 Mar

WORDCOUNTWORDCOUNT

margarita is ranked 49863.

unicorn is ranked 30381.

missive is ranked 47581.

awkward is ranked 5141.

smitten is ranked 31810.

theatre is ranked 1742, while theater is ranked 44293.

pomegranate is ranked 54263

fyi.

Design Humor

25 Mar

Not sure how many of you subscribe to Domino Magazine or read Design Sponge, but if you take any interest in design or decor, surely you’ve seen this:

It’s a cool design, to be sure, with an interesting history.  It was apparently first created in 1939, a British motivational poster design during WWII (Jon Henley wrote an article about this poster for the Guardian).  The image is now public domain.  A poster resurfaced in a bookstore in Britain in 2000 and now, eight years later, has spread to the masses.  It’s everywhere.  Mostly hung on the wall, but I’ve seen mugs, towels, t-shirts.  When I first saw it, I thought it was well-designed a comforting, and could see why so many people wanted posters of the image in their homes as a reminder to relax.  But learning that it was meant to quell fears association with Nazi invasion makes the image a little less soothing.  Plus, I’d rather do this:

This spoof was created by Matt Jones, and is my personal favorite among the following contenders:

 

cute, no?

cute, no?

 

 

not very soothing

 

oh my. this ones quite threatening.

oh my. this one's quite threatening.

thanks to shawn for sending this my way.

PT II: Vodka Tasting

24 Mar

Remember yesterday when I told you all about how to infuse vodka?  I bet you were wondering how the stuff ended up tasting. Well, you’re in luck. I, along with 5 trusted colleagues, bravely set out to taste these mysterious libations and report our findings to you.  Here they are, in order of our least favorite to the most beloved vodka of the evening.

Bacon Vodka: Bacon placed last in our taste test.  No one claimed it as their favorite.  No one was even sure they’d ever want to drink it again. It sounded so… interesting.  I’ll admit it- I got caught up in the bacon craze that seems to be sweeping the nation, but trendiness doesn’t necessarily make for good vodka. I’ve learned a valuable lesson here and that lesson is this- drinkable meat isn’t a huge crowd pleaser.  This is not to say that the vodka was awful. It just didn’t really live up to the high hopes I had for it.  We mixed it with tomato juice, but were woefully out of worschteshire sauce and other mixin’s for a proper Bloody Mary, so maybe the bacon vodka didn’t get a fair chance.  When you drank it alone, the bacon flavor was apparent, but we all agreed we wouldn’t want to drink it alone.  Mixed with the tomato juice, Susan said she couldn’t taste much bacon at all.  Cassie could.  She tasted it, calling it “fascinating” while simultaneously wearing a look of disgust.  Shawn, not a vodka fan to begin with, said he “didn’t hate it.”  I will say this- As ambivalent as we all were about the stuff, I don’t think anyone took just one sip.  It’s a taste that makes you do a little double-take, makes you want to try it one more time.  I’ve got plenty left, so I’m going to do a little more experimenting with the stuff- perhaps a bacon cordial, bacon martini, or true bacon bloody mary would do the stuff justice.

 

He said he didnt hate it.

He said he didn't hate it.

 

Apple Ginger: The apple ginger and tomato basil were actually tied for second place, each having just one person claiming it as the favorite. Unlike the bacon vodka, the apple ginger was perfectly agreeable to all. No gagging, no strong exclamations denouncing the combination of dead animal and fermented grain. And that was perhaps its downfall- it was just too generic.  The apple flavor was apparent when you drank it straight, but probably wouldn’t stand up to anything stronger than tonic.  And the ginger was almost undetectable.  If I made it again, I’d add more ginger, as I think the spiciness of it would give it the extra little kick it needed. Susan said she wasn’t even sure if she’d be able to identify the stuff as apple-infused if she hadn’t been told.  I thought it was pretty apparent, but not over the top.  Cassie said the apple ginger was “pretty good. Definitely better than ‘real’ vodka.”  I think I picked the wrong crowd.  I realized as the tasting went on that only three of us were vodka fans to begin with.

 

Better than real vodka!

"Better than 'real' vodka!"

 

Tomato Basil: I grant this one second place because while only one person voted it as the favorite, it seemed to pleasantly surprise us all.  It smelled amazingly basil-y, and yes, a little tomato-y, too.  I liked the smell, but I wasn’t sure how it would translate taste-wise. Cassie tried it and “barely knew it was vodka” which for her is a good thing. Elam particularly liked the smell and the way the taste started in the middle and curled to the edges of the tongue.  Susan liked it, but said she wouldn’t sit around drinking it straight.  Shawn choked a little when he tried it, then said he had a “very active gag reflex, but it does taste good.”  Hmmmm.  I wasn’t sure I’d like it, but the tomato basil really mellowed out the vodka, making it really smooth and drinkable.  I think it would be fabulous for a refreshing martini and maybe a bloody mary, though I’d be afraid all the accoutrements would overwhelm the flavor.

 

Elam appreciates the bouquet.

Elam appreciates the bouquet.

 

Red Chile: This was definitely the crowd favorite. It’s tasty and pretty (the chiles give it a bright orange-y hue).  The heat doesn’t hit you until the end, in what Edyael called a “flamy finish.” Liz loved the chile, tasting it, murmuring “mmmm pepper,” and tasting it again.  I love the chili vodka.  I think it’s delicious mixed with mango juice and a little seltzer. You get a sweet, creamy beginning and a nice “flamy finish.”  Sexy.

 

Edyael contemplates the flamy finish.

Edyael contemplates the flamy finish.

 

So there you go. What lessons did we learn?  Sometimes taking risks (i.e. meat and alcohol) will disappoint you, but playing it safe (apple ginger) won’t leave you with a lasting impression. Reach for the stars, my vodka-loving friends!  Just be prepared to have your heart broken.

 

Thanks to the lovely tasters (in alphabetical order): Cassie, Elam, Edyael, Liz, Shawn and Susan 

Vodka Infusions Part I

23 Mar

A few weeks ago, for no reason I can readily recall, I decided to try infusing vodka with some of my favorite things.  I read no less than 3 internet articles on how to do this and then started my journey.  I recount it here for you.

Step 1: Acquire the booze.  Clearly, better vodka makes a better finished product, but because this was a test run, I went for Smirnoff. Not undrinkable, but I won’t cry if the infused product winds up being poured down the drain.

Step 2 (and 3 and 4): Chop, pour, and store.  Basically, you can infuse vodka with anything porous and edible that can fit inside a bottle or jar.  Whatever you choose, coarsely chop it if you can to increase the surface area for faster infusion, but you don’t have to go crazy.  I chose 4 infusions: tomato basil, bacon, apple ginger, and chile.  Here they are, in that order:

So you stuff the ingredients in the jar, pour some vodka in, and then let them sit in a cool dark place (a fridge or freezer works, but infusion goes slower in cold temperatures) for 3 days – 3 weeks depending on how much vodka you’re infusing and which article you read on the internet.  I let my chile infuse for 3 days because they were pretty potent and let then others infuse for about a week because they were such small batches.

Step 5: Filter

Once your vodka is adequately infused, you’ll want to filter out all the bits and pieces, as chunky vodka is anything buy appetizing. If you’re infusing the vodka with anything meaty and/or fatty, you’ll want to stick it in the freezer for at least a few hours to let the fat separate from the liquid. This will make for easier filtration.  To filter, I used the old rubberband-a-coffee-filter-around-a-cup trick.  Just make sure not to pour too fast, especially with bacon vodka, because the copious amount of fat makes it filter very slowly.

Step 6 (and 7): Chill and Drink!  That’s it.  Here we have the final vodkas, ready for the tasting.

 

Left to right: Red chile, Bacon, Tomato Basil, Apple Ginger.

Left to right: Red chile, Bacon, Tomato Basil, Apple Ginger.

Check back tomorrow for Part II: Vodka Tasting!!!

Springtime

20 Mar

It’s probably a meteorological cock tease, but the warm temperatures, shining sun, and dandelions blooming in my yard are making me think spring is really here, which naturally makes me feel giddy and childlike and in love with everyone.  So in honor of (maybe) the arrival of spring, I present to you a few of my favorite shiny happy cute spring things.

spring thing 1: twitterpation. you know what i’m talking about.

spring thing 2: make believe.  imagine my happiness when i stumbled upon this today. the poster is beautiful, the book amazing, and it will be directed by spike jonez. hell yes.

spring thing 3: spring cleaning. i’m designsponge-obsessed, and spring makes me want to clean out my house and make it as whimsically beautiful as these:

  


Silkscreen!

19 Mar

I’ve finally updated the silkscreen gallery, so you should go take a look if you so desire.  I hope to do a bunch of new designs come April, when my schedule slows down a little.  Until then, check these puppies out.

The Marriage of Bette and Boo