Date Archives September 2007

Photoshop Friday

Recently, Nicki sent me a link to dress your wedding, and this picture:

“See that one on the left with short black hair?” she intimated. “That’s you.” I was thrown off for a few moments, because (a)hadn’t I already announced ‘No More Weddings’? and (b)was there something that she’d been neglecting to tell me? The answers to these questions were: too damn bad, and no, respectively; she was bored and was having fun playing with this.

Well, I am not one to be outdone. So I quickly whipped up some Goth Prom action. “See that one with the short brown hair? That’s you!” I crowed.

“Who’s the ring bearer?” Nicki wanted to know. “That’s not really a ring bearer in the strictest sense…it’s a midget. Gidget ‘Pepito’ the Midget.” We joked about it for a while longer, and then yesterday, she sent me a message saying that her friend liked my midget, and a link to the picture of HER wedding plans. “You know why this is so much fun right? All it is, is Barbies for big girls.”

I was never a kid that played with Barbies normally. They pretty much lived in a Barbie nudist colony and had tiny plastic orgies and then settled down to live in shoebox trailers and raise their bastard children dressed in scraps of t-shirts while chainsmoking. All this time, I had Britney Spears Barbie and didn’t even realize it! So if I was going to play dress-up with this thing, I was bound and determined to do it RIGHT and make it look like it would actually look, should I ever get married:

Now THAT is more like it. Not pictured here is Fat Elvis, our minister.

I had so much fun with this, I think the rest of you should do it, too. Take the tools the internet has so handily given to us and abuse them horribly. Create the greatest monstrosity known to man. Create the funniest thing you can think of. If you want the bridal party to be like the spectrum of the rainbow, go for it. If the given tools aren’t enough because you want everyone in candy pink standing in a post-apocalyptic underworld, screencap it and stick it in photoshop or paint or whatever you’ve got handy and go nuts. Just make sure to post it here, because I want to see it. Oh, how I want to see it.

Girls just want to have lunch!

As the weather is starting to get chillier and more autumn-y foods are becoming appropriate, I made some delicious squash and apple soup last night. Apparently certain bits of rinds and peelings and whatnot are not supposed to go through the garbage disposal, and the universe felt it was very important that I learn this lesson the hard way, with a backed up, overflowing sink this morning. The maintenance guy will learn the real lesson later this afternoon, which is basically ‘Don’t let Mellzah cook’.

In case you would like to make YOUR sink back up:

Ingredients: 5 3/4 cups chicken broth 1 small butternut squash, peeled, de-membraned, and cubed 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 2 cups of onion, vertically sliced 1 1/2 cups of granny smith apple, peeled and sliced 3 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon all purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt

Put your chicken broth in a pot with the squash and sweet potato; bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, cover the pot and reduce the heat; cook for about 15 minutes or until everything is tender. Remove all those veggies from the broth with a slotted spoon, and mash them. In a skillet on another burner over medium-low heat, melt a tablespoon of butter, and put in your onions and apples; cook them until they’re lightly browned. It will take forever. It will be delicious. Promise. Stir those bad boys up occasionally lest they burn on the pan. Don’t get impatient with the process–the browner they get, the more delicious everything will be. When they’re cooked, remove them from the skillet, turn the heat up on that burner to high, and melt the rest of your butter. As soon as it’s melted, add a tablespoon of flour and whisk it CONSTANTLY until it turns golden brown. It won’t take too long. At that point, slowly add a cup of the broth from the pot and stir it in until it thickens–it will only take a couple of minutes to do so. After it’s thickened, add it, the mashed squash, the onions and apples, and your salt and pepper back to the big pot, stir everything up, and let it simmer for a little while longer. You could also add nutmeg and cinnamon if you’re so inclined. OR curry powder. But not both at the same time. Ewww.

When you realize your garbage can is full, in a moment of sheer laziness, try to put some of the squash peelings down the garbage disposal. Realize you’ve made an enormous mistake. Run the garbage disposal for 30 minutes continuously bright and early in the morning to ensure that the neighbors hate you. Show up to work late and angry but full of deliciousness.

The leader was tall, snide, and slim–he looked like a gay Captain Morgan

197823_5347018939_2410_n   On Sunday, I drove to Portland to check out the Portland Pirate Festival. I’d spent Friday night and most of the day on Saturday sewing a new pirate costume, as much as I love the old one, it’s incredibly costumey and less ‘working pirate’. It seems like a large portion of my time lately has been devoted to costume work–in addition to this pirate thing, I’ve been working pretty feverishly on my Halloween costume. Mock me for my early preparation if you must, but I’m tired of having a costume that’s not as awesome as it COULD be if only I hadn’t procrastinated–last year’s Dark Helmet, for example. That, and my October weekends are filling up rapidly, and I have a feeling that if I don’t start wrapping this up now, I won’t have time later and I’ll have another halfassed attempt on my hands. 196015_5347593939_978_n I think it turned out fairly decent; all it needs is a hat that doesn’t suck, and unfortunately, I don’t have millinery skills. I really should keep an eye out for a cheap sewing machine, though, as hand-stitching takes forever and a day. You can also see the most recent addition to the pirate bathroom–I found one of those hanging hippy-esque door curtain things, took it apart, and attached each piece individually to the glass doors–I quite like the look! I drew a lot of strange looks on the trip down, but my favorite is when I stopped at a rest stop near Castle Rock; an older man (mid to late 60s) asked me what I was up to, and then told me the last time he was in Seattle, some outraged busybody asked him if he knew that an animal had to die to make his coat. His response? ‘Oh no! I didn’t think there were any witnesses…now I’m going to have to kill you, too!’. Too cool. I ended up talking with him for far, far longer than I intended to be at the rest stop; I’d just meant to grab some of the free coffee and keep going, but he was one of those cool grandfatherly types who knows something about EVERYTHING–we talked animals, biology, history, politics, religion, car engine builds and manufacturers–I was fascinated, and suddenly two and a half hours had passed. Shortly before I left, he mentioned that his wife had been dead for fourteen years, and I felt badly for leaving because he just seemed so desperately lonely, like he hadn’t had anyone to talk to for years. I suppose that’s part of life, but it doesn’t seem right to me. Still, I needed to get back on the road if I was going to have time to do both the festival and meet up with hallucinas, so after the gentleman at the rest stop explained to me how the flintlock on my dagger/pistol worked, I bid him farewell and continued on my way to Portland. 205482_5347048939_1670_n This piratical stilt-walker is Heather Pearl; she says she figures that she has logged a few thousand miles on her stilts over the eleven years she has been working fairs! I’m pretty sure that just one mile would feel like a thousand miles to me, although if I picked a good pair of stilts, it would be fucking awesome to finally be height-weight proportionate. HAR HAR! 206482_5347083939_8213_n This pirate wench was working as part of the Pirate Parrot show; designed to be an educational show teaching the audience not only about parrots but conservation and whatnot. Between shows, people queue to get a chance to hold a parrot, which are surprisingly friendly and even cuddly–so different from the pet store parrots that threaten to take your finger off if you so much as pass by too near to the cage! 205690_5347098939_8742_n I could never be 1st mate–I’m disqualified straight off with the ‘extreme patience’ requirement. How could anyone possibly need THAT much patience? Are they dealing with the Pirate Captain (pirate_capt_log) himself? Disheartened, I went to the Rogue tavern for some rum to put me in good spirits again (see what I did there?) and was just in time to watch the pirate with ADD perform like some sort of entertaining monkey for the drunken crowd. 199572_5347128939_6502_n 200256_5347178939_2888_n Here he is, standing on a ladder of swords, juggling knives, and staring directly into the sun, all while cannons are being fired at uneven intervals. If he’d slipped, he’d be short at least half a foot! 208716_5347198939_1958_n This character looks the part so much, I couldn’t resist taking his picture! I left the grog garden just in time to see the Pirates of Puget Sound cross blades to settle disputes–‘this one stole my banana’ ‘this one’s shiny eyepatch blinds me in bright sunlight’ ‘this one ripped my teddy bear’–serious pirate grievances. They fought with real, sharp blades, so anyone who stood too closely to the battle area was quickly shooed away as pirates, much like the amish, don’t carry insurance for that sort of thing. 206949_5347343939_5788_n 207049_5347308939_7503_n 207823_5347618939_5898_n 208355_5347628939_6511_n 199423_5347543939_7497_n  199729_5347348939_6097_n 206381_5347313939_7961_n I’d like to take a moment to say that I wholeheartedly approve of the pirates in leather pants trend. WHOLEHEARTEDLY. 199195_5347633939_6823_n Right nearby was a pirate puppet show, intending to teach children that stealing is wrong and teamwork can help save the day. Is this a pirate show or some sort of hippy festival? Seriously! I wandered around the marketplace for a while, but nothing caught my eye as a ‘must have’; some things were nice but ridiculously overpriced for something that I could make myself with enough time and inclination, and to my surprise, there wasn’t a decent pirate hat to be found! Felt pirate hats always look crummy and cheap. 195975_5347588939_682_n As I walked by, I couldn’t tell if the above skeleton was a costumed person or just a decoration outside of a stall, and really, really stared at its face to see if I could see eyes–I was so engrossed in my study as I was walking by that when the person inside wolf-whistled at me, I nearly jumped out of my skin. Congrats, skeleton guy–you are part of a select few people who have scared the bejeezus out of me, while hitting on me, even. Hats off to you! After checking out some wares, I gave hallucinas a call, and since she was free, I went over to her house so that we might eat at the Pirate Tavern, home of Portland’s vegetarian pirates. We’ve been planning on going there for approximately a year, so we were full of anticipation and excitement when we pulled into the lot…only to discover that they’re closed on Sundays. Why must you disappoint me, Pirate Tavern? Why? And whilst I was bemoaning their unfortunate hours, the owners came out, just to add a layer of awkward to the mix. Why, yes, I was just standing in your parking lot wailing ‘noooooo’ like Darth Vader, why do you ask? All was well, however, when hallucinas took me out for some super-awesome veggie pizza. Super-awesome, and free, which only serves to make the whole experience even better. While I was there, I also picked up a commission I had ordered from her for my Halloween costume, which looks fucking FANTASTIC. Have I mentioned that my friends are amazing artisans? Because they totally are.