June 2008

So I finished both of those projects I teased in my last post and then in the midst of photographing them, the image sensor in my camera died. So it’s shipping off to Canon tonight for a possibly free repair and I’ll get it back in 7-10 business days after arrival at the Canon repair place.

Until then I’m pretty much working camera-less, except for the one on my laptop.

However, the US Goverment did decided to send me a little check, with which I may be purchasing a digital SLR…

I try to be a good blogger and post at least once a week, twice on a good week – but last week that just didn’t happen. 

So here’s a quick catch up on what I’ve been up to since last we met:

  • I’ve watched two more documentaries on Everest (for a total of three) and am starting my fifth book on the subject.
  • I went to a REM concert at the United Center.

(photo via marcusglimer)

  • I went to the Printer’s Row Book Fair and saw a recent library science grad win the Define-A-Thon

(photo via pantagrapher)

  • I went to the sale at Vogue Fabrics and am stashed up for at least five projects. 
  • I went to my knitting circle and continued working on the pattern I’m devising. 
  • Smocked Tank in Progres

  • My  knitting circle decided (jokingly?) that it would be a great idea to make a calendar of knitted bikini’s that we each designed. I started a Ravelry group for it – and started sketching some designs, because I think it’s fun – even if no one else intends to do it.
  • I cut out one sewing project…
  • Pattern all taped together

  • and started putting it together. 
  • Preview Shot

  • I worked a rental with nearly 800 patrons on three floors with three front of house staff (not fun).
  • I watched Chicago do really well at the Tonys
  • I helped strike a set.
  • I spent 7 hours in meetings.

And that’s about it – I mean, I ate and slept and went to work in the midst of all that, which was a crazy, yet really fun week and half. So I hope you’ll forgive me for not posting!


You know how they say that married couples start to look like each other? Well at eight months of marriage, it’s a little soon for that, but there are definitely things I’ve picked up from my husband, like an appreciation for REM and baseball, and now, he’s penchant for obsessions.

Summiting Everest

By obsessions I mean that he will get really interested in a particular subject and read and watch everything there is about that subject for about two months. A few months ago it was the Mafia: several seasons of The Sopranos and three or so books on the mob. He’s currently into the World Series of Poker and has been reading about poker players, watching WSofP on YouTube, and playing online poker on Facebook.

Summiting Everest

I admit to having often kidded him about this, and of course, now I am doing the same thing about Everest. A few months ago we picked up a second hand copy of Into Thin Air, and last week, being in between books, I decided it would be a quick read – and indeed it was, as I couldn’t put it down. Then Mr. Cleaver informed me that the Frontline episode “Storm Over Everest” was available for viewing on their website (until 6/13 at least), so I watched that and read every interview excerpt on the site, and then I went to Wikipedia, which led me to other sites, which lead to me other sites, and you get the picture. And then I went to the library today and ending up with the stack to see here.

The thing that intrigues me about Everest is the 1996 season in particular, because there are so many gaps in each version of the story I’ve looked at so far. Jon Krakauer admits in his book that things that he was 100% sure about were later proven to be untrue, and the Frontline film makes a very clearly goes out of its way to not mentioning several people on the mountain, to the extent that it makes it seem as though they were’nt even there and from what I’ve read so far, Anatolli Boukreev’s version is clearly written only to bite his thumb at Krakauer and make himself look good. The activities of the numerous sherpas on the mountain and their views on the whole thing are also surprising absent from all accounts.

All of this, coupled with the obvious lapses of memory/coherence from lack of oxygen/hypothermia and possible deliberate omission of events, leave a very swiss-cheese tale. And to me, makes it into an intriguing mystery, I’m not likely to solve, but it’s a fun trip, so I’m going to let this obsession run itself out for a while.

Mail from Bitter Betty

In other news, I received a lovely little package from Bitter Betty in the mail today, containing an awesome wood-handled tracing wheel I won in a give-away on her blog. Thanks Betty!


Coffee Cake Cooling

One of my goals in life is to win a blue ribbon at a county fair. Dead serious.

I have no experience with State Fairs aside from the Rogers and Hamerstein movie, so they don’t particularly interest me. But as a kid I lived in the county seat – so I had to go to the fair a lot. I’m sure this isn’t actually the case, but it seemed as though we had three or so major fairs at the Napa Valley Expo center a year and I was at pretty much every one.

First there were the educational fairs. There was the one my modeling clay mission was displayed at amoungst the hundreds of other missions of the pasta, cardboard, and/or lego varieties. There was the fair that they had the city-wide science fair at: my experiment on the water purifying abilities of the sun didn’t even place. There was the year I volunteered to do an anti-drug puppet show at, only to find upon arrival that the “booth” contained no puppet stage and I spent several hours sitting under a table teaching kids to “Just Say No,” while the woman at the next table urged people to vote no on proposition 9.

And then there was the Town and Country fair where the 4-H kids strutted their hogs and the quilts and jams were on proud display. There were games: a friend once won a guppie and then passed it off on a happy little girl and her less than happy parents; there was food: corn dogs and funnel galore! There were the rides that only one year I was allowed to ride, which included a fun house/maze that I raced though only to be incredibly disappointed when I came out the other side that I hadn’t spent more time.

But missions and guppies aside, the real reason I went to fair after fair was to dance.

Anything Goes

Not at the Fair, but you get the idea. (That’s me in the far right, front row)

From approximately 1988 to 2001 I was made to put on my tutu and blue eye shadow and dance with my classes in tap, jazz or ballet. The stage was unforgiving concrete and it was always devilishly hot. One year my teacher told us not to bother with wearing foundation, it’d just melt it off. I love dancing, but I hated dancing at the fair, it was uncomfortable and there was a good chance someone I did not want seeing me in a leotard would stroll by during my performance (and several have).

Spandex and sequin trauma aside, I always like the craft, food, and animal displays and I still hope to win a ribbon of my own some day.

Coffee Cake and Sausage

This particular recipe won a ribbon for my family once upon a time (though the recipe card always said “prize” so I have no idea which prize it won – but if anyone in the family wants to clarify that’d be great) and so after that long introduction, I give you:

Prize Coffee Cake:


  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter or shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup milk


  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbl melted butter
  • 2 Tbl flour
  • 2 TBl cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and flour a 9″x9″ pan. 

Mix together sugar, butter, and egg to make butter cream. It may look good, but do not sample – it tastes terrible as a college roommate of mine discovered. Add milk and mix.

In a separate bowl, blend flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry mix to butter cream. Pour into pan.

Mix together topping ingredients. If necessary add a little more melted butter until it clumps, but we wary- too much butter will cause the topping to turn molten and sink into the batter instead of staying nice and crispy on top.  Sprinkle topping on top of the batter.

Bake 25-35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Recipe doubles well, just add 5-10 minutes cooking time for a 9″x18″ pan. 

Breakfast Aftermath

Surprise sleepy folks with coffee cake, eat all the crumbs.


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