Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Simplicty is Subjective...And So's Your Face

I don't know if you know anything about Scandanavian design, but let me tell you right now, having been to Ikea doesn't count. With Scandinavian design, the goal is to achieve both minimalism and complexity with a hint of functionality drizzed over the top. And at the end of the process, what you're left with is housewares.

Like this:

I'm not sure what this is.

Arlie, one of my oldest and bestest friends from way back in the ten years when we were exchange students together asked me to be his plus one to a wine and cheese thing at some fancy pants home store in the Pearl. I can't say no to free wine.

We wandered about the place for a good half hour or more, picking things up and putting them back down, sometimes dropping them because minimalist housewares are often slippery.

There were a lot of conversations that started with him handing a thing to me with a:

"What do
you think this is?"

I hold it up. Turn it back and forth.

"I think it's a bottle opener. See, you open it with the metal part."

"Ok, now turn it over."

The little tag on the underside said door stop. No joke. That's it. To
the left there. Door stop.

And it went on and on. Because the keys for the keyrings aren't actually in the store. No. In the store, it's just a hunk of rounded silver just sitting there. Expensive, with no apparent function. Except to make me crazy.

It's like a puzzle. Only once you solve it, there's something right next to it that's just as puzzling.

Of course, it's all cool looking as hell. But the mental capacity required for shopping in such an establishment is completely lacking in someone like me. Even with wine.

But I have to love the Scans with their wacky language and odd pickled fishes. It's a love Arlie and I share. And you know what else Arlie and I share? Awesome blogs.

Isn't that a lovely segue? Into THIS...a gorgeous blog about eating good food affordably. Of course, there's a distinct Portlandly slant since that's where he lives, but food knows no borders so go to it already. You'll never have to menu plan again (as Brendan is soon to find out when I inform him). Eat well friends. But only from functional tablewear.

Foodie for Less

And if you feel like solving puzzles. Here's the store with the door stop.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

What can brown do for you?

Surprise!!! Didn't think I'd be back again this year, did you? I didn't either. But today was a very special day. A momentous, blog-worthy, mark-your-calendar kind of day and I feel the need to share the news with the world at large. No, I didn't win a contest to meet Johnny Depp at his villa in the South of France, but something equally as exciting has occurred -- my little boy went poo on the potty. I KNOW! I am so freaking proud of him I could just burst. I feel like Gob when he got on the cover of POOF magazine... it's that kind of joy.

Seriously, up until today this kid had zero interest in using the potty, this is even after bribing him with a Thomas train set (yes, I pulled out the big guns here). We got the little red potty seat, the cute designer kid underpants, we made a whole sticker chart -- the whole nine yards. He was totally into the concept at first, but it just wasn't clicking and frustration was setting in. So I gave up, resigned myself to another year+ of changing giant poo diapers. Then, lo and behold, out of the blue and in the middle of chicken nugget dinner tonight he says, "I wanna go poo-poo." I quickly picked my jaw up off the floor, hauled him off to the bathroom and he sat there and did his business. It was magical. I almost cried.

So there you go, people. A heartwarming tale the whole family can enjoy. You're welcome. And as a bonus, I wrote a little song about it that goes something like this...

Who knew a poo could make me feel the way I do?

I'm still working on it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How I Love a Catchphrase

Not since the invention of the giant Cheeto have I been so annoyed with the crap this country comes up with. You'll see why in a moment.

But first...

I love it when people begin conversations with "In this economy...". I want to apply it to everything.

"In this economy, my toenails should be blue."

"In this economy, I will have chili for dinner."

"In this economy, I'd still pay $10 to see Drag Me to Hell."

"In this economy, stirrup pants should not happen."

See how well that works?

So...in this economy - I find the existence of things like The World Cruise Ship highly offensive. Go to that site. Go to it. Do it. It's a cruise ship you can live on. You can pay a couple million for a studio - pre-furnished and decorated an various shades of beige that takes you to exotic places like Brazil, France, South Africa...and Portland?

(excuse the poorly structured camera phone pick from the other side of the bridge)

How is that travel? Honestly. You step off the boat for a day trip to some ruins on Capri and are back on board in time for all you can eat lobster and that struggling stand-up comedian who does Social Security gags. And somehow, you have to make it back to Phoenix for that dental cleaning next month. Better book a flight from Madrid.

That's their life. Weird.

The ship has since sailed. Here's to hoping their next port isn't Iran. Day trips to Tehran may not end well. The footage from there is breaking my heart. Not in the same way this stupid boat is. And the Cheetos...oh the Cheetos.

Monday, June 22, 2009

What Artichokes Say About People

Everything you need to know about someone can be determined based on their relationship with artichokes.

Loves them in all natural and processed forms of gloriousness:
Can speak to forest creatures. And fairies. Occasionally grants wishes

Likes the fresh hearts but doesn't dig teeth-scraping the leafy goodness:

Might sell your baby to gypsies for gambling monies

Only likes the hearts when marinated in a jar/can:

Indecisive with a propensity to commit armed robbery

Doesn't like them at all:

Serial killer

Is unfamiliar with them on the whole:
Survived a long smuggling-related imprisonment on a deserted island.

Feel free to print this guide out and keep it in your wallet. That way you can refer to it if you ever come up against someone you're not sure about. It may just save your life one day. Or something.

kara out.

Friday, June 19, 2009

You Can Wear It OR Scour Pots and Pans!

A little background: We were not shopping for a dress for me. We were shopping in the fancy prom/cocktail/wedding dress boutique for my friend who must attend several formalish events this year. But within the racks, I found this.

This is a red dress made up entirely of tiny cloth roses with a texture similar to Brillo pads. And a bubble hem. In other words, it's hilarious. Wearing that dress is like being a mosquito drawn to a zap lamp. I know it might kill me, but I need to get as close as possible to it anyway. However, I can't bring myself to buy it. Opinions on the matter are split right down the middle at the office. I need you, perfect stranger, to make my decisions for me.

I forgot to mention that there's a bow in the back. You see my dilemma.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'd Hit That

Let me ask you something. Does this look like a face you want to hit?

Well it is...because that's what it's made for.

I think pinatas are the secret to preventing ulcers, going postal and downing entire bottles of asprin. I think this because I know it. This is not based on science, but let's face it...nothing good ever is.

I think that if we had pinatas in strategic locations around the country, there'd be less gang violence.

I think if we took pinatas to North Korea, we'd get turned away at the border because you can't go waltzing in to North Korea, not even with a pinata. But I still think we should try.

I think if pinatas were on every playground, there'd be no bullying. Only pinata bullying. And they like it.

I think pinatas are the key to unlocking the mystery of the universe AND the Da Vinci code. Unless it's filled with tootsie rolls. That's just disappointing.

I think pinatas are the first thing the pilgrims saw from the bow of the ships...and they knew they'd found the Promiseland. (Pin-a-ta means "awesome" in Iroquois. That's totally true.)

I think you see where I'm going.

This is what I would do to myself in a world without pinatas.

Don't let it happen, people.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Place to Walk and an iPod

Whoever realized that Johnny Depp should always be in vests gets a gold star. And they should feel good about that, because the highest I ever got was green.

I've seen a lot of ugly couples lately and am wondering if it's to do with the economy. Everyone's making cutbacks, even on their standards. Is that mean? It might be. But every time I see an ugly couple, it isn't so much that I think "how sweet that they found each other" as it is "who looks at that mug across a room and thinks YES". These are the things I think about when I have some place to walk to and an iPod.

I would have blogged sooner, but I was in Atlanta sweating my balls off. My dreams of reaching shemaledom have officially sizzled away in the hot Southern sun. I'm fairly certain those were lyrics to a Neil Young song, but I'm afraid I can't prove it. Anyway, I went for work but I stayed for the meatballs and the company (shoutout to JG!). But also I stayed because I had to.

I think it's weird that there are people who live half their time on the East coast and half on the West. I don't understand how their bodies can handle it. There were times when I was sitting in 8:30 am meetings (5:30 am my time) and was working so hard at keeping my eyes open, I'm certain it appeared as though I was on peyote.

I actually don't know how one ingests peyote. But I bet it's awesome.

I'm going to use tomorrow to catch up on blogs so I can avoid buying grout. Goals.

beetches better have some drama for me. If I end up preferring to spend my time on home improvement, we'll have to have words.

Kara out.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Now That's Entertainment

We live on a corner with a bus stop. Across from the bus stop is a mini mart. They sell jojos that you make you want to sire their children. Wait. Chicks don't sire. Whatever. The bus stop is right next to an incredibly beautiful Catholic church. There's a farmer's market every Sunday a couple blocks in one direction and a police station the same amount of blocks in the other. Directly across the street and one block over is both The Grilled Cheese Grill and a bar that sells Frito Chili Pie. Yes. This is my street.

With the warm weather, we've been keeping both the front and back doors open for cross ventilation (things you learn about from living in the South), not to mention every window that we can pry open. We wake up the the sweetest sounding birds in the morning, and at night drift off to the soothing sounds of people out on the corner...tearing each other new assholes.

I cannot believe the quantity of fights/spats/all out brawls that go on at the bus stop and/or mini mart. Sometimes it's a group of people, sometimes it's just two. Sometimes it's just one really drunk dude yelling shit at his 40 of Milwaulkie's Best. Occasionally there's been sirens. Once there's been bullets. But every single day, there's something. Right now, I'm witnessing what I think is a domestic dispute. The exact context of the discourse is hard to decipher, but I'm fairly certain the term "ho" is one side's descriptor of choice for his opponent. When I walk out there to climb on my scooter in the morning, I'll have to watch for shattered glass left over from the physical portion of the event. Oftentimes beer bottles are mistaken for snowballs, you see, and are lobbed at one another like tangible exclamation points.

None of it actually worries me. I lived in much more dangerous neighborhoods when in New Orleans and there obtained all manner of both evasive and observantesque skills. I'm just kind of entranced by it. I could go off here about how I've got a romanticized ideal of what it's like to be a witness in a big case where I help solve a crime and am the backbone of justice, etc. But the fact is, I'm fucking nosy. I basically feel that if you're airing your dirty underthings on a public sidewalk at the top of your voice, you're inviting an audience. And if I've got nothing better going, shooot, I'll stand in my doorway with a glass of wine and some popcorn.

Extra butter.

Now, if you'll excuse me...