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Collection of detritus found on the sides of the Information Superhighway. Now with no trans fat! .

Fun Facts About Me
- I sleep with at least a foot or hand dangling off the bed.

- My favorite color is teal.

- I have 3 beauty marks: cheek, back, lower cheek.

- I like Kraft mac & cheese and hot cocoa on cold days.

- I love old romantic comedy musicals.

- I have big feet.

Digg!

P'an-Chin-Lien
The Chinese Goddess of prostitutes. As a mortal, she was a widow who was much too liberal and inventive with her favors, and her father-in-law killed her. In death she was honored by her more professional associates and eventually became the goddess of whores.
Baklava Cups
1 (2 1/8oz) box frozen miniature phyllo cups
2/3 c. chopped mixed nuts
1-2 tsp. sugar
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp. water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place the shells on a baking sheet. Mix the sugar and chopped nuts and fill the shells. Bake for 8 minutes or until the shells are lightly browned.
3. Mix the honey and water in a small bowl and drizzle over the nuts. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Kujiga: Korean Chant
Song sung by the nine elders of Kaya when summoning King Suro. One of the earliest (if not the first) recorded instance of a shamanistic ritual (kut) in Korea.

Keobuga, Keobuga
Meorireul naeeora
Naeeonoch'i aneumyeon
Kuweo meogeuri
"Turtle, Turtle
Stick out your head
If you don't
We'll roast and eat you"

Cortigiana Onesta
In Italy, known as honest courtesans, the cortigiana onesta were usually well-educated and worldly (sometimes even more so than the average upper-class woman), and often held simultaneous careers as performers or artists. They were typically chosen on the basis of their "breeding"--social and conversational skills, intelligence, common sense, and companionship--as well as their physical attributes. It was usually their wit and personality that set them apart from regular women. They were prostitutes in the sense that sex was one of their obligations, but unlike the average prostitute, sex constituted only a facet of the courtesan's array of services. For example, they were expected to be well-dressed and ready to engage in a variety of topics ranging from art to music to politics.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Fabric Dye and Hair
It's been a very very very long time since I've posted but I really felt that this should go out there.

I love brightly colored hair. Blue, green, purple, red, fuchsia, teal, lavender, whatever. I have experimented with colors and methods for almost 20 years which means I've learned a lot and made enough mistakes to no longer have too much emotional attachment to my hair. I'll try anything. After all, hair just keeps growing.

The problem with those funny colors is that they only come in semi-permanent vegetable dyes. These dyes work by staining and often need to sit in the hair for a long while. Everyone I've met that dyes in funny colors, including myself, usually keep it in all day or over night. And then they fade with every wash. Every shampoo creates colored lather. I'm lazy, I don't want to reapply every 2-3 weeks.

So I had the bright idea for fabric dye. After all, it's used for wool, which is hair. And it's used on delicate fabrics. Next I need to find out if there's a fabric dye that doesn't require boiling water- there is! I chose Dylon Cold Water Fabric dye since it seemed the gentlest. I even found an instance of it being used on human hair extensions! This must be it!

My first attempt was to use it like regular dye. I made a 1"x3" section and "painted" the dye on, then wrapped in foil to "process" for 45minutes, just like I would with hair dye. All I got was a vague tint.

Weeks later I decided to I try it again as per the fabric dying instructions: submersion. I took that same section and dipped it into a jar that contained the dye mixture. Only about half of the 9" length was able to stay submerged for the recommended 45minutes. Holding a jar of dye against your face for 45 minutes is annoying.

When time was up and I went to rinse, I was amazed by the color! Holy cow, this is gonna be awesome! And then I touched it. I haven't felt hair this overprocessed and chemically burned since I tried to go from natural Asian black to platinum white in one weekend when I was in 9th grade!! I did my tried and true emergency measures of deep conditioning and protein pack, but it's useless: the cuticle is burnt off.
My test strip is mush.

Dying human hair with fabric dye is a BAD idea.

In hindsight it makes sense: in order to be a cold water dye it probably uses a mild acid to deliver the pigment into the fiber. Cloth is made of thread, which is made of bits of fiber tightly twisted. It's okay for those tiny fiber bits to get damaged because they're twisted into a compressed strand. My individual strands of hair never stood a chance!

Now I'm off to chop of the damage. Hopefully the rest of the hair in that area will be able to conceal the cut. Lucky me that i couldn't get the whole length into the jar!

Lesson Learned!

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posted by Coddswaddle @ 9:58 AM   28 comments
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Dinner

This is a refreshing meal to be served cold.


Spring Quinoa Pilaf - 15-20 servings
This is a delicious side that can also stand alone as a vegetarian/vegan main dish. It's also fantastic as a meal of it's own when you add tuna and drizzle with Sriracha!

1 c. quinoa
1 box Near East Couscous with Toasted Pine Nuts
2 c. broth (chicken or vegetable)
1.25 c. water
1/2 large cucumber, diced
1 c. cherub tomatoes, cut in half
1 c. corn kernels (canned, frozen or fresh)
1 red bell pepper, roasted and diced
4 tbs fresh dill, minced
4tbs fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 c. black beans (drained)
1 mango, diced
2 tbsp lemon juice

Mix all of the water, broth, spice packet from the couscous and quinoa in a large pot (at least 2qt) and bring to a rolling boil. Immediately take it down to a low simmer and cover with a lid for 15 minutes. Immediately mix in the couscous, remove from heat and leave to steam with the lid on for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a very large bowl, toss together the rest of the ingredients.

Turn out the quinoa/couscous mix into the bowl and toss briskly.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve chilled.




Zesty Mango Salsa - 10 servings
This is a very mild salsa that can be used for a variety of dishes as an accompaniment (great with pork chops, fish, etc) or just eaten with chips.

1 mango, diced
1 c. corn kernels (canned, frozen or fresh)
1/2 red onion, diced
6 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 c. black beans (drained)
1/2 cucumber, diced
2 tbsp lime juice

Dice everything to be about the same size as the kernels of corn. You want a uniform, smallish size. Mix in a big bowl. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving and always stir before serving (juices sink to the bottom).




Spicy Mango Shrimp Tacos - 2-6 servings
Fast and easy but can't really be made ahead of time.

approx. 24 shrimp (4 per taco)
1/2 can black beans (drained)
1 large jalapeno, diced
4-6 tbsp Major Grey mango chutney (I like the Patak brand)
Smart Balance cooking spray (or whatever you prefer)
6 corn tortillas

Turn on oven to 300 degrees. Place tortillas directly on the wire racks (unless your racks are dirty, in which case: ewww! clean those things!) to warm up.

In a hot pan, begin to cook the shrimp. Keep them moving. After a minute, toss in the chutney and jalapeno. Keep it all moving. Once the shrimp is done cooking, add the beans and stir until everything is coated with the chutney.

Place about 4 shrimps on each taco and evenly distribute the chutney mix across the rest.


Put it all together and you have a refreshing summer meal, most of which can be made up to a week ahead of time.

Labels:

posted by Coddswaddle @ 4:58 PM   0 comments
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Wardrobe Essentials.... PTHTHTHTHTLT!!!!
I have been told many times in the past that I am "stylish" or "fashionable". I have been asked by folks where I've gotten this or that item. But I am not, in fact, fashionable OR stylish. I am, in fact, gaudy and cheap. It just so happens that my flavor of gaudy and cheap appeals to people. I also hit jackpot in the genetics lottery. I'm tall for a woman, with slim Asian bones and muscles stretched out on a Western scale with wide shoulders and hips giving me an hourglass framework. This is why I look nice, this genetic jackpot, not the clothes.

Take a closer look: My faded green thermal shirt has little holes on the side and back where the cat fought with it. My slacks are a half-size too loose or tight and there is a strange puckering at the hip where I hastily "repaired" a hole. My men's sweater is unravelling at a cuff but is still warm. Except for a handful of items I've tried to care for, much of what I own is second-hand, faded, worn out and coming apart. Some have permanent paint, ink or bleach stains. But I'm cheap so I can't bring myself to preemptively toss them out and replace them. I've gotten pretty good at layering stuff so that the worst is covered and the rest appears "artistic" and intentional. I like bright colors which is always appealing. I have learned that, with good posture, bone structure and confidence, a woman can make any outfit look good. But it would be nice to have stuff that's not literally coming apart at the seams.

Thanks to the holidays I've got money for new clothes and, by golly, I'm gonna spend it on new clothes! Since shopping usually spins me into anxiety attacks I've decided to figure out the ingredients for a functional wardrobe. This is, so far, a mistake.

Every article lists the humble white button-up shirt as the holy essential grail. It's dressy, it's relaxed, it's comfortable, it cures cancer and can make you fly!!! I own cats (one is black and loves being hugged). I "get my hands dirty" at the spur of the moment. I'm clumsy. I don't wear light clothes. Plus, most light shades make me look sickly. The button-up shirt also makes me look like a waitress for a nice restaurant.

Next on the list is usually a black skirt, trench coat, Little Black Dress, etc. This is when it dawns on me that I am not the target audience for these articles. None of them mention color; everything is white, beige, black and grey. None of them seem aimed at people who are perpetually cold. Slacks are thin and non-insulative. My poor thighs would be icicles after a day in a 70* office wearing a solitary layer of slacks! Who the hell every thought that 3/4 sleeves are a good idea when they leave your forearm cold or bunch up at the elbow. Ballet flats = might as well be barefoot for all the comfort and protection they afford.

All of these lists are desperately trying to channel Audrey Hepburn. She was a lovely-looking woman to be sure, but it's not the 60's and I'm no gamine. I'm a juggernaut with power tools, a geek and biker, an office worker and foodie. It's 2011-ish. I have no business wearing what she wore and to do so would be a farce.

So now I have to design my own "wardrobe essentials" list. Hopefully it will be as attractive and appealing as it will be comfortable and practical.

1) Long johns- the kind that are silky on the outside so they won't catch the fabric of your pants. Three of them should be enough. All in black. Better make it four.

2) Long-sleeved, square-necked thin-knit shirts that can reach the waist or lower. Since women's pants and tops usually refuse to meet I need base layer pieces that will cover my butt-crack when I bend. Long sleeved for warmth and square-necked so they won't show in other necklines. I have a green one, next I'd like teal, purple, blue and grey. Maybe black. All told, at least four of these.

3) Brown shoes. I have colored shoes and black shoes but no brown shoes. I should get some so I'm not embarrassing to be with in public.

4) Long-sleeve cardigan/jacket-type thing. Slim fit so it can be worn under jackets and coats. Long enough to overlap pants. I have one of those exercise outfit jacket things that currently serves this function but it's black is quickly turning grey. This is obviously a useful item so I should have more than the one. Two or three should do.

5) Pants- This is probably the most frustrating bit. I know exactly what I want and need and I'm gong to have a hard time finding them. Pants that extend above my hipbones, aren't skin tight AND are made of a spandex-blend are rare. Todaye a woman can usually wear jeans into the office as long as they are dressed up. The article itself is ubiquitous and few will dare tread on a woman's sense of fashion so it's often allowed. Still, I do realize I need slacks that fit well, even if there are long-johns underneath. And I need to remember to reinforce the hem since that's usually the first thing to go. I've already got the denim covered so I need slacks... let's say three.

6) Nice tops. This is the decorative outer shell that is seen peeping from within the jacket or sweater when it's cool, and standing on it's own when it's warm. Preferably without buttons or other 3D embellishments that will pop off and of a single jewel-toned color. Four of these.

7) Skirts- not likely.

Generally, everything should be slightly slippery so they will not catch each other when I'm layering for warmth. Buttons and embellishments should be at a minimum since I usually ruin them, lose them, or neglect to repair/replace them when necessary. Embellishments also betray the age of the item- something to be avoided when one goes shopping once per year.

Everything should be made of fabrics that will age gracefully (ie: contain synthetics) or be so resilient (ie: denim, canvas and leather) that, as it wears out, it will retain it's shape. Everything will be made of wrinkle-free materials: knit, jersey, denim, spandex-blends, etc. I'm a shoddy clothes keeper. Things on my hangers are haphazard and, often, inside out. Everything in my drawers are senselessly jammed together. Some may have been folded once but I can't keep them folded so often give up. Wrinkle free means I will still look nice when I get out of my motorcycle gear.

The bright colors will be accessory enough since I seldom wear jewelry because it catches on stuff. I have my utility bag for every day and a purple purse for dressing up. I've rocked the "color as accessory" thing long enough that I've got it mastered and I can now pull off a purple purse with anything.

So there it is: I now know what I need and there's enough wriggle-room that I'm sure to find something that fits the bill. Now it's time to take more cold medication and go shopping! (4 long johns, 4 long sleeve layering shirts, 1 brown shoes, 2 cardigan thingies, 3 slacks and 4 tops)

posted by Coddswaddle @ 6:14 AM   0 comments
Monday, November 22, 2010
Hair Stupid
Historically I let my hair run feral. The agreement is that I don’t try to humiliate it every day and it won’t strangle me in my sleep. So I’ll go for years letting my hair grow longer and longer until I’m overwhelmed then sashay into a salon and have them hack it all off. By the way, if you tell a stylist to just cut it all off then they’ll get very uncomfortable. It will take rounds of encouragement and ensuring them you aren’t the litigious sort before they agree.

And for the first three months I love my sassy new hair. It’s an adventure of buying various hair goops and no regular brushing! But I get bored; don’t want to get a re-cut, and accept that I don’t know what to do with “fibre wax”. Usually I just ignore it for another year or so and then the cycle begins again. But this time I had my grown out pixie cut “cleaned up” due to my ongoing search for unemployment. The girl gave me something called a “fractured bob” or something else that sounds like my hair should have a handicap placard.

This new cut seems to require blowdrying. If I don’t then it sits on my head like a betrayed puppy. But if I use a dryer it goes berserk, also like a puppy but this time it's being attacked by a blowdryer. I don’t know how to use the damned things so I end up with a puffball. Luckily, if I brush my hair and then ignore it for a while, the puff eventually settles down for a nap and looks okay.

So now all I have to do is ignore it again, but this time I’ll get a trim when Dave tells me that things are looking way too bad to leave the house. He usually lets me know when I’m not fit for public consumption and, usually, I listen to him. Do I have makeup smeared on half my face from when I took a nap? Am I dressed like a cross between a crazy Asian granny and a clown? No problem! Unless I’m really comfortable and I don’t think where we’re going warrants effort (I’m looking at you, Target and Wal-Mart!) in which case his words fall on deaf ears.


posted by Coddswaddle @ 10:41 AM   0 comments
Friday, November 19, 2010
I am a treat dispenser

We got the cat treats because I was starting to worry about Bossy-Cat's teeth. Not for any real reason, just dawned on me he had teeth and they should be cared for. Bossy is also pretty picky so I wasn't all that sure he'd even be interested in the treats but I knew that the retarded Fatty cat would eat anything that Bossy didn't.

Bossy loves the treats. I give him a few and he'll scream at me for 15 minutes to give him more. He's convinced my fingertips magically dispense the treats and huffs them noisily. I've hidden the treat bag because he's starting to equate rustling as an indicator that my fingertips will begin dispensing treats.

He doesn't even chew! Just swallows them like the delicious choking hazards that they are! At most we've seen three chomps before the gulp but I swear half the things are just swallowed like benzos. Which I think defeats the purpose of feeding him tooth cleaning cat treats. Unless they're like those foaming drain cleaners, triggered by kitty stomach acid, filling him with dental cleansing foam. But since he hasn't looked rabid lately I'll assume that's not the case.

He's so loud and obnoxious afterwards that I almost don't want to give him any more but then feel guilty about his old bossy teeth. He yells and grumps, following me around the house till he gives up. That's when he melodramatically falls onto his side with a great sigh as if all the joy in life has died.

Now every time I go to the kitchen he pokes his head expectantly around the corner and I swear his meow sounds like "whatchadoin?" Once he sees I'm only washing dishes he sighs and goes away. I'm almost afraid to try and eat chips around him.

posted by Coddswaddle @ 8:57 AM   0 comments
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I'm a moron
For the last three and a half years I've been living in San Francisco. During this time my primary and only vehicle was my motorcycle. Now that I'm back in Texas I also have a car and it's taken some getting used to but it's nice to no longer worry about getting wet or having a bug splatter itself against my throat.

The other day, while visiting my local motorcycle shop to pick up some stuff to clean my chain with, I noticed a police patrol car circling me as I parked. While I gathered myself to exit the car he pulled alongside me and rolled down his window.

"Hello, ma'am. You seem to be missing your registration sticker."

My brain froze. A what? Wasn't that the little thing on my license plate? I got out, circle my car, returned to my starting point and stared at the officer like a retarded puppy. I swear I almost tilted my head. As we stared at each other I watched the subtle change in his face as he obviously experienced an inner facepalm.

He got out of his car, walked over to me, and tapped the windshield.

"This is your inspections sticker," he said as if talking to an especially slow child. "This tells me that the car is safe for the road. That it's lights, brakes and such are in good working order."

I was growing more and more embarrassed and he was embarrassed for me.

"Now around this sticker, either above or to the side, is usually another sticker. It's called a registration sticker. Do you have this sticker somewhere?"

My mind raced. And then I had a flicker... maybe that thing we got in the mail. The thing that confused both myself and the Fiance!

"I think it's at home. I'm sorry, I've been riding nothing but motorcycles for years now and I'm not used to car... stuff... anymore."

We stared uncomfortably a bit longer. He let me know that these stickers were important if I wanted to avoid tickets in the future and I should get it on there as soon as I could. I thanked him and felt stupid as he drove off.

After picking up the cleaning stuff, I drove home wondering where the thing in the mail might be. As soon as I walked in the door the damned thing stared me in the face from the top of the little foyer cabinet.

First I'd like to state that I am, in fact, not utterly stupid. When Fiance and I received the registration paperwork and license plates, we thought everything was fine. The plate had it's little registration sticker on it, obviously peeled from the bottom half of the paperwork. This bottom half also had a larger sticker but for some reason we agreed that this must be some sort of optional sticker. I swear, it wasn't just me. Fiance thought it too!

But looking at it now, in the harsh glare of humiliation, I saw the bright red boxes encircling the sticker, screaming in bold caps: FOR WINDSHIELD.

I swear they weren't there before. Long story shortened: I put the sticker on. Felt stupid. Told Fiance so he could keep me company in feeling stupid. He did and I felt better.
posted by Coddswaddle @ 7:04 AM   1 comments
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Marchesa's Newest Offerings


Marchesa has done it again with elegant drapings, mind-bending structures and amazing use of color! Their ability to combine ethnic influences in romantic/classic styles with explosions of modern shapes, make then one of the most innovative fashion houses today.
posted by Coddswaddle @ 2:46 PM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Coddswaddle

High Priestess of the Dark Lord Internet

About Me: I was hatched long ago by a slightly neurotic squirrel. It was from that rodent that I cultivated an interest in shiny objects and innovative design. Marketing is a trial for me as I navigate the aisles of plastic-wrapped promotional products. At home I like to shoot aliens while smack-talking, cuddling my cats, and causing my fiancée grief.
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