Thursday, June 21, 2007

First Day of Summer

Tonight is the Wilco concert at Merriweather. What a perfect way to spend the first evening of summer. See you all on the lawn!

My husband proposed to be while Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was playing on our turntable. So, it's always a sentimental time.

Friday, June 15, 2007


I finished my painting last night. I think I might do a series of scared ladies. We'll see.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Because I Know You're Wondering What I Thought

about the Sopranos ending. I thought it was perfect. I'm a big fan of endings without a clear, discernible conclusion, like Twin Peaks. I really don't understand why everyone is surprised and upset about it.

Thanks David Chase for some of the best television I've ever seen.

Help Send My Friend to Napa!

My friend Meg writes a great food blog and was nominated for a trip to Napa! Please help her be #1! Vote for her here by clicking on the "send me to napa" banner.

Thanks so much my fabulous readers!

Support Independent Publishers!

McSweeney's is in trouble. They are perhaps one of the great publishers of thoughtful and quirky media of our generation. Please support them today by buying some books you're sure to enjoy.

(Reprinted from their website)

- - - -

As you may know, it's been tough going for many independent publishers, McSweeney's included, since our distributor filed for bankruptcy last December 29. We lost about $130,000—actual earnings that were simply erased. Due to the intricacies of the settlement, the real hurt didn't hit right away, but it's hitting now. Like most small publishers, our business is basically a break-even proposition in the best of times, so there's really no way to absorb a loss that big.

We are committed to getting through and past this difficult time, and we're hoping you, the readers, who have from the start made McSweeney's possible, will help us.

Over the next week or so, we'll be holding an inventory sell-off and rare-item auction, which we hope will make a dent in the losses we sustained. A few years ago, the indispensable comics publisher Fantagraphics, in similarly dire straits, held a similar sale, and it helped them greatly. We're hoping to do the same.

So if you've had your eye on anything we've produced, now would be a great time to take the plunge. For the next week or so, subscriptions are $5 off, new books are 30 percent off, and the entire backlist is 50 percent off. Please check out the store and enjoy the astounding savings, while knowing every purchase will help dig us out of a big hole.

Many of our contributors have stepped up and given us original artwork and limited editions to auction off. We've got original artwork from Chris Ware, Marcel Dzama, David Byrne, and Tony Millionaire; a limited-edition music mix from Nick Hornby; rare early issues of the quarterly, direct from Sean Wilsey's closet; and more. We're even auctioning off Dave Eggers's painting of George W. Bush as a double amputee, from the cover of Issue 14. More special items will be appearing as we go, so check back often.

This is the bulk of our groundbreaking business-saving plan: to continue to sell the things we've made, albeit at a greatly accelerated pace for a brief period of time. We are not business masterminds, but we are optimistic that this will work. If you've liked what we've done up to now, this is the time to ensure we'll be able to keep on doing more.

Plenty of excellent presses are in similar straits these days; two top-notch peers of ours, Soft Skull and Counterpoint, were just acquired by Winton, Shoemaker & Co. in the last few weeks. It's an unsteady time for everybody, and we know we don't have any special claim to your book-buying budget. We owe all of you a lot for everything you've allowed us to do over the last nine years, for all the time and freedom we've been given.

Once this calamity is averted, we'll get back to our bread and butter—the Believer Music Issue is already creeping into mailboxes everywhere; Issue 24 of our quarterly is in the midst of a really pretty silk-screening process; and in July the fourth issue of Wholphin, our DVD magazine, will slip over the border from Canada, bringing with it some very good footage of Maggie Gyllenhaal and a Moroccan drummer who messes up a wedding in an entertaining way. And then, a couple of months after that, we'll publish a debut novel from a writer named Millard Kaufman. This book is exactly the kind of thing McSweeney's was created to do: it came through the mail, without an agent's imprimatur, and it was written by a first-time novelist. This first-time novelist is 90 years old. His novel was pulled from the submissions pile and it knocked the socks off of everyone who read it. Millard may well be the best extant epic-comedic writer of his generation, and he stands at equal height with the best of several generations since.

Please do whatever you can to help. We thank you a thousand times. We'll keep updating everybody on how this is going over the next few weeks; for now, pick up a few things for yourself, for your friends, for Barack Obama. More news soon—thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dream Job

This article in the New York Times today chronicles a woman with my dream job. I've always wanted to be a scientific photographer and/or illustrator.

Her pictures are amazing. Check them out!

(The picture above is one I took of an Penicillium species on an agar plate)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Progress Report

So, it isn't finished, but hopefully will be this week. I need to tighten up some of the lights and darks and make her shirt look good again. I'm still practicing painting humans, this one is working out okay, I guess.

A finished picture will follow.

Friday, June 08, 2007


I found this image over at this blog of a guy who really hates Hello Kitty. But, his wife doesn't, and apparently has unlimited resources to buy all of this stuff. This has to be the ultimate Hello Kitty product ever made. I wish it were powerful enough so I could justify getting it for work.

Carnival Skittles (again)

Last night, I saw the one pound bags of the Carnival Skittles at a Safeway in Columbia. I think now that I finally found them, I'll start seeing them everywhere.

If you see them, buy a bag and try them. The retro starburst are also good. And how could they not be with a flavor called "optimus lime"?

Only a few more weeks until the Transformers movie!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Longest Week of Our Lives

On Monday, it'll all be over, and office mates everywhere will be talking about the end of the Sopranos. Unless, of course, you work at my office where I'm the only one who has HBO. Yes, this week is indeed the longest week of our lives as we await the conclusion of the amazing series, the Sopranos. I am a spoiler reader, but have managed to avoid googling "Sopranos spoilers" for a few weeks now. Alright, I did peek once, but decided it was worth not knowing anything. For the record, the only thing I read was that Tony would kill Christopher and Bobby would die. That's all I knew!

In a mere three days, we'll know whether or not Tony finally kills Phil (please!), and the fate of our beloved gangsters whom we've watched disfigure, kill, and pummel others for the past 8 or so years. I'm sure we won't be disappointed.

The Today Show Sucks

Every once in a while, I watch the Today show to remind myself that I hate network news. This morning, I wanted to see Bob Barker talk about his last Price is Right taping, and saw yet another piece about how Americans are offended about something that is hilarious. Apparently, this video is offensive to most Americans. I'm sure cool people have been watching this for weeks, but my husband just showed it to me last night. And, it's one of the funniest things I've seen since Louis CK.

Take a chill pill America and network media. This shit is hilarious.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Search is Over!

After a multi-week search for Carnival Skittles, I finally found them! They are at the CVS in Olney, MD (off Route 108). I was almost convinced these were a candy myth. They are tasty (especially the red licorice and cotton candy ones)

For your information, the following locations DO NOT have carnival skittles:

7-11 in Olney, Jarrettsville, Route 40 in Ellicott City
Rite Aid in Ellicott City, Olney
Sheets in Frederick and Burkittsville
Nashville International Airport
Circle K near the airport in Nashville
BWI Airport
Giant in Columbia
Safeway in Ellicott City and Columbia
Wegmans in Hunt Valley
High's in Jarrettsville

I'm sure there are other places I looked for these candies, but I can't remember them all.

I also snagged a pack of the Retro Starburst, but I'm waiting until later tonight to eat those.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Burgers I've eaten - Part 6

It's been a while since I've talked about a burger I've eaten. I have been to many places and tried lots of burgers in the past few months. Most recently, I ventured to Rocket to Venus, in Baltimore, MD.

This is one of the best burgers I've ever eaten. I think this burger rivals the Friends burger, which is my ultimate favorite (especially since Friends no longer puts blue cheese on their burgers). I ordered a medium burger with cheddar and bacon. It arrived juicy, with charred edges, and a perfect flavor. The bacon was extra crispy, and I didn't even have to ask for it!

The kaiser roll was just enough roll without dominating the burger.

The fries were dusted with sea salt and curry, an interesting accompaniment to the tasty burger.

So, if you're in Hampden any day soon, stop by Rocket to Venus for a burger you're sure to remember (and will want to eat again very soon).

Rocket to Venus is located at 3360 Chestnut Street in Baltimore, Maryland.