Some Stuff N' Stuff

Mostly a garden blog, and the occasional garden-inspired recipe.


Village Life


Did you brush your teeth today?


Dorky is the new cool

I got a little note from an "Anonymous" poster today - someone whom I obviously know from at least 6-7 years ago, by the way they refered to my old car and job. They exclaimed, to their astonishment, that I was a dork. Apparently I used to be cool back when I ran for beer (hashing it's called, and ya I still do that) and drove a very decrepid 1988 Oldmobile Cutlass Supreme. I find some interestering irony in all of this. Having a car of that caliber is not cool at all, it's terribly dorky, not to mention being somewhat poor at the time and cheap, which led me to having that car for as long as I did. So really, having that car was dorky, which turned out to be cool to this person. So you see, dorky is the new cool, or is it?

Apparently the contents of my blog led them to think that this dorky thing is a new phenomenon for me. So, ok, I draw cats, birds and make books, but hey, did you know that I a LEAGUE. Ok ya we have beer while we bowl - but I even bought the shoes. I worked at a weather company for Christ's sakes, as if that's not totally dorky. Not to hurt any weather people's feelings, but its a terribly dorky field of science, and I think they will be the first person in the room to admit they can be dorks.

The more I think about it, dorkiness is a nice attribute. Being cool has a lot of pressure, you got to wear the right things, say the right stuff, be at all the cool places, so much to do all for the sake of coolness. I have my own form of coolness, and while it may not include weather maps and decrepid cars it's still cool to me. And...blogs, and reading blogs, is THE dorkiest thing ever, ever, ever! I'll show you dorky...wait till I start drawing some of my teapot collection...


Blind Drawing - Scout the Cat

Ever try drawing "blind"? Just stare at the subject, not at your paper or pen, and draw. Try to draw without picking up the pen too much as you will lose your place quite easily. Study the subject carefully as you draw, the harder you look, the more detailed the drawing. You get some pretty interesting results. I had this one portrait I did a while back that turned out pretty cool. If I find it I'll post it. Above is a quick one I did of my cat, Scout.


The Making of a Book

I've been making my own journals/sketch books since I learned how in college. Each one gets better than the last, and I always screw up somewhere along the way. That said, here's the latest one.

When making your own book, you must first select & cut the paper to the page size you want, and arrange them into signatures, or little bundles of pages. The signatures are then stacked on top of each other and sewn together to create 1 bundle of pages. You then glue your spine, front and back cover into one piece, cover it with paper(s) of your choice, and finally, glue the sewn page bundle into the book. Easy-peasy...sorta.

Lots of things can screw you up along the way. This time around, it was the width of the spine. I didn't make it wide enough to really fit the book into its cover, so my book "yawns" a bit, meaning it doesn't close completely. With a few weights and time, it will fix itself. It's an easy thing to keep an eye on when making a book, I was watching the Sox lose to the Yanks at the time, so I guess that says it all.

The cover is made with a handmade paper printed and sewn by an Indian textile designing family. The stitching really makes this paper unlike any other I found.

Inside the book is made of pretty basic textweight paper in various shades of blues, greens and purple. It's so delicate, I'm sort of afraid to use it and get it all dirty, like my past handmade books. But I guess that's what happens with use. I think the next one I'll make is a leather bound book. The leather cover will keep it well protected. And nothin' looks better on a book than a worn out leather cover!


Bird & Birches


Pennants are flying

Finally, we can lay to rest all the 2004 hooplah. Big banners cascaded down the ol' green wall, flags were raised, rings were handed out, and people shed a tear. Oh, and the Yanks appeared to be paid off during the fantastic beating by the Sox. Happy to see Rivera, and the fans, with a sense of humor during his introduction on the field. He's a great player no matter what people may be saying these days. No time for drawing today - hopefully tomorrow!


It Never Rains in Southern California

I just rediscovered this song and had the most intense feeling of nostalgia for it. Which is weird, cause I never lived in anywhere but in New England, so I don't know why I suddenly crave to hear this it is in case you missed it too, and if you never heard it before - boy are you in for something...

Got on board a westbound seven forty-seven
Didn't think before deciding what to do
Ooh, that talk of opportunities, TV breaks and movies
Rang true, sure rang true ...

Seems it never rains in southern California
Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California, but girl, don't they warn ya?
It pours, man, it pours

I'm out of work, I'm out of my head
Out of self respect, I'm out of bread
I'm underloved, I'm underfed, I wanna go home
It never rains in California, but girl, don't they warn ya?
It pours, man, it pours

Will you tell the folks back home I nearly made it?
Had offers but didn't know which one to take
Please don't tell 'em how you found me
Don't tell 'em how you found me
Gimme a break, give me a break

Seems it never rains in southern California
Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California, but girl, don't they warn ya?
It pours, man, it pours

-Albert Hammond


Lil' birdies

Spring is calling, the little birdies are hoppin.



The Daily Drawin' says it all, really.

A long day in front of the computer, sox beat the empire ah-la evil, and now for a little pasta with tomato cream sauce...what, you want the recipe you say - why sure!

Tomato Cream Sauce (with or without vodka)
2-3 tbsp butter
4oz pancetta or prosciutto, diced
1/4 cup of vodka (if using)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
dried basil
red pepper flakes
salt & pepper

- Heat butter in large saucepan till it bubbles
- Add pancetta or prosciutto and stir for 2-3 min
- Add vodka (if using), stir, let the alcohol burn off (about 1 min)
- Add garlic and onion and continue to stir for 3-4 min
- Stir in tomato can and cream, lower heat and simmer for 5-7 min, stirring often
- Add in basil,red pepper flakes, season w/s&p, heat 1 min more and serve over penne or other favorite pasta



Ode to April

Jellyfish/Space Invader V.1

April, as I see it, is a heck of a lot better than March. March in New England, has to be one of the most schizophrenic months as far as weather is concerned. The days go something like this: snow storm, rain, brief period of sun, week of overcast clouds, fog, rain, snow storm, cloudy, snow flurries, etc...

April, however, makes it almost worth the wait. First there's turning the clock back to get another few precious hours of daylight. Then there's the start of the baseball season (although this year's start was, as predicted, yucko), and things are starting to warm up. No more piles of black snow to get your car stuck in, lots of water running on the ground everywhere, crocuses and tulips and starting to sprout...and the hashing is better than ever. Tons of mud to get a sneaker stuck in (and all over yourself), lots of high rivers to cross, and the occasional torrential rain storm to really kick it into high gear. The guys in RIH3 are loving it, as am I.


Game Day

Couldn't quiet hold back till Monday afterall. Hopefully, today's game of the Sox vs the Yankees won't be rained would be a shamelful dissapointment to delay the much awaited match-up. Although, I have a weird feeling we might drop this game pretty badly. I don't know if it's because I'm unimpressed with Wells, or if the Unit is the main scare-factor (oh and that Sheffield guy...yikes). Either way it should be interesting. I'm afraid I may be marking and "L" on the calendar for this one, though.


It's the Weekend baby

See ya Monday
...sloggin in the rain (spring here already?)


Shoppin' at the bastard

This is the food store that I often shop at in Somerville, Johnny's Foodmaster. I nick-named it " the bastard" back when I lived very close in proximity. I called it that because, even though it wasnt the best place to go, I went there anyway since it was so close. I always came out cursing the place since they never had certain things I was looking for (asian food staples). Now I live a little bit farther away - and there are other stores closer to me - but I continue to travel the distance to go the bastard, the place grew on me, what can I say? Prices are pretty cheap - and I still can't find the asian food things (I go elsewhere for that stuff) but the place is a classic! I used to work at DeMoulas Market Basket as a teen ager in high school, or "the basket" as it was commonly known by it I guess I have a thing for old-school grocery stores.