Friday, June 30, 2006

chicken schmicken

So the chicken the other night, she did not turn out so well. Can’t blame the recipe. It all came together so beautifully, but an oven mis-hap had us with an inedible pink chicken at 8pm. I know our oven doesn’t get as hot as it needs to. I know this. So why did I forget this? I usually stick the oven thermometer in there, preheat and adjust as necessary. But nope. Not that night. Completely forgot. So instead of cooking at 350 degrees for an hour and a half, the bird cooked at anywhere between 300 and 325. And I was SO hungry! So after cursing myself (and being, admittedly, an absolute bitch to my husband) I attempted to heat up some leftover lasagna. I usually never turn to the microwave. In my opinion, the only thing a microwave is good for is for popping popcorn. But, as I just mentioned, I was famished and I thought the microwave would be a quicker heating alternative to my dysfunctional stove. And I’m sure it was, but it certainly wasn't worth all the heartache it gave me. The plate of pasta exploded on the edges where the microwave succeeded in over heating while leaving the center of the plate completely untouched by any heat whatsoever. Shifted everything around, threw it in the micro again and gave it another whirl. More explosions, more inadequate heating. Went to take the plate out and to my surprise the plate was the temperature of molten lava. Needless to say, it was not a good dinner night. Poor husband suggested that he bring dinner home the next night to avoid similar turmoil. Good idea. And he picked up my favorite…Sammy’s Woodfire pizza and grilled chicken salad. Can I just talk about this salad for a second? What the hell do they put in this salad? It’s like crack. I actually eat so much salad that I can barely get down half a slice of pizza. The chicken is perfectly grilled, the balsamic is mysteriously delicious (I say “mysteriously” because in all these years of loving this salad and attempting to make my own balsamic vinaigrette, I have not been able to identify the ingredients for that absolutely perfect blend), the crumbles of gorgonzola and the crunchy walnuts makes for the only salad I eat as if there weren’t a single green thing in there. One of these days, when/if our ship comes in, new oven will make all my woes a thing of the past. Till then, let’s hope I’ll now remember to calibrate before attempting another fancy schmancy recipe. Tonight, it’s turkey burgers. Yes, think I’ll be better off sticking to the grill.

I turn 33 tomorrow.

In 33 years, I have learned:

1. I have no tolerance for mediocrity (the microwave is the king of mediocrity).
2. Boy, did I marry the right man.
3. Dammit Dawn, always wear sunscreen! Always. Forget all dreams of tanning. It simply doesn’t matter that when you go to Hawaii tourists ask you where you’re from and are shocked to discover you’re not also from Nebraska. “Southern California?!? But you’re as white as I am!”
4. Speaking of Hawaii, if ever you come to a road marked “4-wheel drive only,” do not, I beg of you, do not go down it in your 2-wheel drive rental car.
5. Stay away from gin.
6. Don’t even think about starting a diet in March…you know you can’t avoid those Girl Scout cookies.
7. Procrastination is my middle name.
8. I need to stop biting off more than I can chew…both literally and figuratively.
9. Never tell a hair stylist to, “have fun with it.”
10. There’s no place like home.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

yes, i'm still here

Okay...time for me to get back into a blogging groove. I haven't been doing much, but I have been doing some. So - here goes....Still reading a lot. Of course it didn't help that I strained my back the other day making me flat on my back for the past couple days. So I've gotten well into my new reading: On Beauty by Zadie Smith.

I can't believe Zadie Smith is younger than me and already has three great books published and adored. Wow.

My last post sparked some interest in book sharing (both here and on my livejournal blog). I love the idea of suggestions. Here are some of my all time favorites:

First, since Author Jane Jacobs recently passed away, I thought I'd mention The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Read this in Architecture school, but I think anyone who loves cities would find this very interesting and spot on.

Second, probably my favorite read of all time - Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy. I think the greatest tragedy is that Dreiser only published two books. After I read this, I wanted more more more! Since I'm terrible at recounting, here you go:

An American Tragedy tells the story of a bellboy, Clyde Griffiths, indecisive like Hamlet, who sets out to gain success and fame. After an automobile accident, Clyde is employed by a distant relative, owner of a collar factory. He seduces Roberta Alden, an employee at the factory, but falls in love with Sondra Finchley, a girl of the local aristocracy. Roberta, now pregnant, demands that Clyde marry her. He takes Roberta rowing on an isolated lake and in this dreamlike sequence 'accidentally' murders her. Clyde's trial, conviction, and execution occupy the remainder of the book. Dreiser points out that materialistic society is as much to blame as the murderer himself. (Petri Liukkonen)

You just end up falling for this poor mixed up kid, hoping that he makes it...even though he's done something terribly wrong. The movie, A Place in the Sun, is based on the book.

Third, a book I turned to for the story of another kind of American struggle, USA by John Dos Passos. I just love reading about times past, about struggle and survival. Always makes me appreciate what I have and opt for the simpler of things over our modern day conveniences.

Time for me to check on my roast chicken. Yes, have been quite the domestic lately - even sewing my own clothes (that's another post altogether). Followed a Jamie Oliver recipe. Let's see if mine turns out anything like his Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Fragrant Couscous and Cooked on a Sweet Potato Stovie:

(Stay tuned to see if mine works out)

Monday, June 19, 2006

i heart books

I haven't been writing. Too busy reading. Finished up Julie & Julia. I hate it when a good book ends. I always feel so lost. Mad at myself for rushing through it. Got to the last 50 pages and just decided I wouldn't put it down till I was done. Now, if only I'd saved the last 10 pages, or so, for a special a bubble bath or sitting outside in the shade with a nice breeze gently blowing through. But it's not like it's the end of the world - I am aware. Not like there isn't another book out there just waiting for me to pick it up. My husband reads. Reads a lot. A lot. And we're the sort of people that keep books around. As we keep DVDs we've already watched. Never know when you'll be in the mood to read or watch again. So...

I've got a pretty good resource at the tip of my fingers for finding the next gripping novel. Some of the bigger art and architecture books stacked at the bottom where you can't see them are mine. But mostly, the library is his. And, I might add, they're alphabetically organized into fiction and non-fiction and some other subject-specific categories that I'm sure I'm not aware of. (Of course, over the past 2-1/2 years, the bottom shelves have gone through some reorganization by a toddler becoming too tall for his own good) I've often thought I'll just start with book one in this monstrous collection. Then, one day, I might just catch up with my better half. Nah, who am I kidding...I'll never catch up with him. It's too easy for me to get completely consumed by a sewing/painting/woodworking/cooking/gardening project. But still, nothing can beat the feeling of reading the last sentence of the last page of a book you've dedicated hours to reading. And whenever I find myself taking in those final words, I always picture the writer writing those last words, and imagine the feeling they must have had after the final period.
Now I must go squeeze Julie & Julie into its appropriate place (just about time to build on another section to the wall of books). It's been hot and I've been fighting a sinus cold so I haven't had any energy whatsoever for projects. But I've got to get back into it. Maybe it's time to start rising early for some major early morning production sessions.

Friday, June 09, 2006

new pillow

a pillow design i developed for a friend.

[what do you think, J?]

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

june gloom

For a while there I thought it was actually going to start looking like summer. I even got my first sunburn of the season. But now the gloom of June has rolled in and this image here seemed very appropriate for the day's cloud cover:

But, not to fret because paycheck work is done and I will be free to silkscreen/sew/draw/paint all afternoon once the little Mr. Man goes off for an adventure with Grandma. I fear that the clouds are starting to roll into my head, though, because all I can think about is a good, long nap. The grey outside makes me so sleepy. Or, maybe it was the 5:30am wake-up from our feline bed companion. Our NASTY feline cat - who has been known to bite the unsuspecting hand that wrongly assumed all cats love a good petting, who growls and hisses when she hears a car door shut outside (indicating impending visitors to HER house), who once grabbed an entire steak with her teeth off a plate on the coffee table from a house guest who, again, wrongly assumed that cats want nothing more than a saucer of milk, so, said steak is safe - punished me for inching my foot into her personal-space, in my sleep, by clawing the bottom of my foot. And the only way for me to get out of this extremely painful situation was to endure even more pain in the effort to remove my foot from her grasp. After all that, I was awake. No turning back. Damn cat.

Monday, June 05, 2006


another sweet

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bazaar Bizarre!

Bazaar Bizarre, Los Angeles
vendor application
Submit yours by June 30th!