Thursday, April 23, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thrift Store advice

Thrift Store Sign
Originally uploaded by pixeljones
A dear friend of mine does costume design for movies. Often she goes to thrift stores and alters the clothes she finds. She knows which thrift stores in her town have what. She knows her shit. Sometimes people will try to be helpful and tell her she should shop at thrift stores to find clothes. Yeah, she already KNOWS. She just rolls her eyes and thanks them.

When I was job or boyfriend hunting (long long ago - thank god I have both!) I'd never talk too much about the places I had sent my resume, the dates or the interviews. It would always doom the prospects. You'd get all excited, talk about the cool people you saw, how the place looked, the location, how he'd make a great father...Then when you didn't get the job or the guy (who you swore was the one) - you'd hear it back later from your friends, "How is he, how's Mr Right, hows the new job..." And you'd mourn all over again for your last hope. For your lost hope. There's be no other, that was it, that was the perfect job, the perfect man and nothing could compare. Then there'd be a new job posting, or that guy who you never noticed. And you'd try, try so hard not to get excited to proclaim to the world that you finally found the one.

I am searching for the answers, the questions, I keep hoping I've find the right job, the right man maybe the right cure. And I don't want any help. I don't want to tell anyone until I know for sure. Until then any unwanted advice will be taken and thanked as I yell, "Thrift Store!"

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bitch on wheels and the rules

trashy bitch
Originally uploaded by mugley
Watching "The Office" last night, I totally got Jim and his frustration understanding what his new boss wanted. I have quit jobs after trying to get a straight answer out of a boss. "You know, you'll just know" one boss said when I asked about a design that he hadn't liked. I wanted clarification or parameters - not a vague answer. I had a teacher that told me to make a design, "more crunchy." Yeah, ok. She was a sub so all I had to do was wait for my real teacher to come back.

I got an email today requesting a diagram of my creative processes. It was one of those babble speak emails that made my head hurt. The diagram might look like the picture to the right. Might.

And today, I have been trying to send a package out through FedEx. It was complex. I wanted to do it right. It took four employees to get that shit gone. The first one took a bible sized book and told me to find the info I needed. Wouldn't that be HER job. I thought another office could ship it out for me. Nope. Two wasted trips. Later this afternoon, I reread the instructions and brought the package back to the same place. Again, more employees but we figured it out.

After this frustrating day I come home to find my neighbor parked in our shared driveway. Shared. Driveway. I stomped down the driveway and told him to move the vehicle. There is a set of rules the old neighbors drew up about parking in the driveway. Really.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Watched Pot...

A Watched Pot
Originally uploaded by Josh Sommers
...never boils. I know I know. I KNOW.

I have no patience being a patient.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


I hate this song. I hate the title. I hate the dancing. And I hate Buddy Hackett. - I find him annoying and simpering. I've heard stories about Buddy Hackett and his graying underwear and wayward bits - which only adds to my hatred.And tt's perfect for a gross project I'm about to embark on.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Finding God

Many years ago I was at the library, I got the book pictured, The Life of God (as Told by Himself) It's from God's point of view of how he created the world. He starts by saying "it was foolish to create winter." I think that's what sold me. I hate winter. And insects are "the embodiments of my anxiety." He invents the rhinoceros and the palm tree on the same day and regrets the rhino's horn, "I should have removed it, but didn't." I loved the book. It answers just about every question you might have about the creation of the world. I should have remembered the author, who's name Franco Ferruci, is close to Fiorucci one of my all time favorite stores. You'd think. If you Google "Life of God" there are 309,000,000 entries. Good luck. I went back to the library. I'm searching the library's database for God, Life of God. No luck. I cannot find it. I cannot find God. For my 40th birthday, I took a road trip down Route 66. I was at the library stocking up on books to take on the trip. I thought I'd ask one of the nice reference people at the library. I apologized in advance for my stupid question, "I'm looking for a book about god, a funny first hand account. I don't remember the title or author." I could tell them about the insects and winter but all I got was glazed looks. I left my number on the slight hope someone could help me. Just before I left on my trip, I got a call - one reference guy, called another guy and they figured it out. We have a goofy feature in the St Paul paper, Sainted and Tainted. You can nominate anyone for such an award. I wrote in that the staff at the St Paul should get a Sainted award for finding the book. The reference guy called me back and said it was part of his job to find hard to find books. He answered an almost impossible question and found God for me.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Grandma's Gefilte Fish

My grandma mixing the Gefilte fish My grandma making the Gefilte fish Portal to Good Cooking, Gefilte Fish Recipe

Every Passover, my grandma would make gefilte fish. The best part was the story about getting the fish. It was very Seinfeldesque - a story about nothing. It was always told with great dramatics, they didn't have the right fish, the fish wasn't ground enough. There was always a story. I think my sister had some assignment to document a process. My mom photographed my grandma making gefilte fish and they transcribed her instructions. My mom found the original cook book and copied the cover and recipe in one picture. That's the picture in yellow.

Grandma will be watching from above as James and I try to do our best. I hope our story doesn't end up with, "and we had to go buy a few jars of the scary gefilte fish from the store." Here is that transcript of my grandma making fish:

A running commentary from notes from the gefilte fish demonstration made during Grandma's demo

Buy fish at a live fish store; it should not have a lot of fillets in the display case; just whole fish on ice. Fish is ordered in advance; fish man grinds it, saving bones 5 head for the broth

Recipe comes From ORT Cookbook: Portal to Good Cooking (see photo)

Fish formula: 1/3 each: trout, pike, white fish [pickerel can be sub. For pike each pound of fish (before boning) yields half pound after

Demonstration started with 5 lbs. of fish, 2.5 Ibs. After boning add: 1 good-sized onion and 1 egg for every pound of filleted fish (After they prepare fish and grind it, have them weight it so you will know the amount you have)

Add .5 cup water, increase salt .5 teaspoon for each pound of filleted fish. (If still a little bland, can add some more)

Add 1 tablespoon of sugar, to bring out the taste .5 teaspoon of pepper
(Grandma used less pepper; she didn't like the mixture too peppery)
1 tablespoon matzah meal for each pound of filleted fish .25 to .5 cup of cold water for 2.5 pounds

(Depends of mixture of fish- If fish is firm or delicate, fatty or lean. Ratio of matzah meal and water can vary a little)

Prepare fish broth: My Grandmother cooked together fish bones, onions, carrots, parsley root, parsnip, fish heads-- all together in huge pot for 3 hours, then discarded bones etc. She liked to cook fish in broth without all those bones getting in the way. Quantities for broth: 3 large sized onions, 5 carrots cut in large pieces or quarters, salt, pepper

Actual cooking:
Chop onion fine in Cuisinart (can be a little mush), fine enough to be mixed with fish in mixer.
Mix 3 fishes together by hand first. (In the past, fish wasn't ground but chopped in a large wooden bowl using a double-blade rocker, then chopped together). 3 fish + finely chopped onions mix together First by hand, then in electric mixer, adding salt, pepper. Add to mixer bowl: eggs, cold water, matzah meal, mixing to blend with fish. DON'T OVER MIX OR ELSE IT GETS MUSHY!

(Eggs = large-size) Grandma liked to complete mixing by hand; more cold water, the stiffer the fish.
Let stand (refrigerated) 10 minutes or so to allow matzah meal to soften. (Feel should be cohesive, moist; test comes when you wet hands to form ball)

(No brown skins on onions; turn fish brown)cooked a second round of onions and carrots added to fish broth (peeled carrots sliced and served on top of fish-patties). Forming the pattie: mixture fairly stiff could be "stretched" by adding more water and matzah meal (doesn't taste as good)

Cooking fish-patties in fish broth: need enough broth to cover fish completely; can add more water, salt and pepper to taste. Add more water during cooking if necessary.
Bring pot of broth to a boil; drop formed patties into boiling water. Cook several hours in covered pot. [Cook briskly first half-hour,Then boil gently, not a simmer, on low.) Let cool in broth,taking care in removing so patties do not break.Patties: Each pound yields approximately five; six pounds: 30 or more.

Dip hands in cold water; form a ball, drop in boiling water. Fish coagulates immediately; immediately form next ball. Use soup spoon with long handle; amount fills hand. (Measures less than .5 cup, approximately 1/3 cup of fish for pattie (?)

Sorry that this rambles; I did‘t feel like re-writing, editing etc. This keeps the conversational quality of Grandma narrating while she made the fish.I can remember my own Grandma chopping fish is a large wooden mixing bowl, rocking that double-bladed rocker back and forth.